News for Sunday, December 25, 2005

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Local farm helps special needs athletes go for the gold

Are you aware of an event or project that benefits our community? Contact Shelley Mann at 770-963-9205 ext. 1305 or shelley.mann@gwinnettdailypost.com.

Need a break from Christmas? Peer into Georgia's future

If you're tired of looking at wads of used gift wrapping ...

Bill hopes to curb influx of illegal aliens

A local legislator thinks putting pressure on employers may help the state curb an influx of illegal immigrants.

OBITUARIES

BUFORD

TURK, EVELYN

Mrs. Evelyn H. Turk, age 79, of Buford, GA, passed away on December 24, 2005. She was preceded in death by her son, Joey Turk, a daughter, Cuma Turk, and son-in-law, Ronnie Humphrey. She is survived by her: Daughter: Mrs. Jackie Humphrey of Buford; Sons: Frankie Turk of Buford, Chris Turk of Buford; Grandchildren: Brandy and Stephanie Humphrey of Suwanee, GA, Jerry and Stephanie Humphrey of Buford, Jamie and Joe Appling of Buford, Kim Turk, Joseph Turk, Brittany Turk; Great Grandchildren: Ragan, Shelby, Connor, Camille, Luke and Jake; Sister and Brother-in-Law: Mrs. Teeny and Rev. Gaylon Beard of Buford, GA; Several Nieces, Nephews and Cousins. Mrs. Turk was a native of Buford, GA. She was retired from GA Pacific Co. in Chamblee, GA. She received her education in the Buford School System. She was of the Baptist Faith. Graveside Service will be held on Monday, December 26, 2005 at 3:30 P.M. at Hillcrest Cemetery in Buford with Dr. Richard Mark Lee officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Monday, December 26, 2005 from 12:30 P.M. to 3:15 P.M. Arrangements by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory of Buford, GA, 770-932-1133, www.flaniganfuneralhome.com.

JEFFERSON

PRICE, EVELYN

Mrs. Evelyn R. Price, age 86, of Jefferson, passed away on December 23, 2005. Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home of Jefferson, GA, 706-367-5467.

LAWRENCEVILLE

BORN, ERNEST

Ernest W. Born, age 70 of Lawrenceville, died Friday, December 23, 2005. Funeral arrangements will be announced later by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 300 Simonton Road, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045, 770-962-3100.

LILBURN

FARMER, MELBA

Melba Rea Suit Farmer, age 82, of Lilburn, GA, died Christmas Eve morning, December 24, 2005. Arrangements are pending with The Bill Head Funeral Homes and Crematory, Lilburn/Tucker Chapel, 770-564-2726.

LOGANVILLE

AINSWORTH, RICK

Rick Ainsworth, age 30, of Loganville, GA, passed away December 23, 2005. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.

SNELLVILLE

BROWN, GEORGE

George W. "Bill" Brown, age 80 of Snellville, GA, died December 22, 2005. He was preceded in death by his son, James Randall Brown and is survived by his wife of 56 years, Barbara Brown; daughters, Marlyn Carson, Paula Brown, all of Snellville; grandchildren, Kenneth Carson and his wife, Wrynn, Rhonda Carson; great grandchildren, Ashley, Taylor, Mallory, Chase Randall; many nieces and nephews. Mr. Brown was in the Navy and Air Force, serving in WW II and the Korean Conflict. He retired from General Motors after 30 years of service. He was Past Department Commander of the American Legion, and a member of Avondale Post #66 and was a member of Snellville United Methodist Church. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, December 27 at 2pm at Wages Snellville Chapel with Rev. Claude Smithmeir and Rev. Steve Brown officiating. Interment Melwood Cemetery, Stone Mountain. The family will receive friends Monday from 6 until 9pm at the funeral home. Those desiring may make donations to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 672648, Marietta, Georgia 30006, in memory of George W. "Bill" Brown. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Snellville Chapel, 770-979-3200, www.wagesfuneralhome.com.

PAYNE, MARY

Mary Gwendolyn Payne (affectionately known as "Mema"), age 77, of Snellville, passed away Friday, December 23, 2005 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Jesse "Red" Payne. Gwen was a member of the Snellville United Methodist Church. She is survived by sons and daughters-in-law, James and Kay Payne of Grayson, Wendell and Olivia Payne of Cumming, Robert and Tammy Payne of Good Hope; daughter, Kay Payne of Snellville; grandchildren, Kelly Murell, Josh Payne, Leigh Eidson, Claire Payne, Robbie and Cindy Payne; great grandchildren, Rachel and Luke Murell and Maggie and Lilly Eidson; sister, Isabell Morton; brothers, Hudson, Johnny, Dwight and Bobby Moody; and a host of nieces and nephews. "Mema" was an accomplished seamstress, designing draperies and curtains for many friends and family members over the years. However, her favorite items to sew were dolls, which she gave to her grandchildren and friends who lovingly passed them on to their children. The family will receive friends Monday, December 26, from 11 AM to 2:30 PM at Tom M. Wages Funeral Home in Snellville. The funeral will be held in the chapel that same day at 3 PM with interment in Eternal Hills Memory Gardens. Those desiring may make donations to The American Cancer Society, 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway, NW, Suite 260, Duluth, GA 30097, or call 800-227-2345, in memory of Mary Gwendolyn Payne. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Snellville Chapel, 770-979-3200, www.wagesfuneralhome.com.

Gwinnett Gab

Mother's photo of child in Parade

LAWRENCEVILLE - Lawrenceville resident Terrilyn Bayne's photo of her daughter, Mackenzie Grace, was chosen from more than 175,000 photo entries to appear in today's issue of Parade magazine.

Bayne said she couldn't resist snapping the photo of her daughter whose yawn she says "perfectly describes how the holiday preparation makes us feel sometimes."

Voices in business

Each week the Gwinnett Daily Post profiles the business men and women who help drive the success of local companies and small businesses alike. Interested in a profile? Call Doug Sams, business reporter, at 770- 963-9205, ext. 1321, or e-mail him at doug.sams@gwinnettdailypost.com.

As holidays bring new toys, recycle the outdated ones

LAWRENCEVILLE

In a few days, many families will take down their Christmas trees and haul them to a local recycler. Returning the holiday evergreen to nature is an annual event for many environmentally conscious people across Gwinnett.

But a lesser known national recycling program involves salvaging consumer electronics - a cause that takes on even more importance this Christmas as millions of consumers awake today to find new computers, iPods and cell phones under their tree.

Duluth moving quickly on downtown improvement plans

LAWRENCEVILLE - After waiting years for a federal grant that will help improve their downtown, Duluth officials are wasting no time in getting the work started.

County's ice skating rinks popular holiday attractions

DULUTH

When she puts on a pair of ice skates, 10-year-old Makayla Gaskin said she feels like she can do anything.

2005: Year of the Republican

Twelve months ago, as Georgians got ready to ring in the new year, it looked like 2005 was going to be a good year to be a Republican.

Roadwork, new commissioners top year in Gwinnett politics

LAWRENCEVILLE - The tone for the 2005 year in politics was actually set at the end of 2004, when three new commissioners were picked to lead the county.

Music venue opens store

WINDER - In July 2004, the ceiling fell in at 106 West.

Suwanee council urges caution on eminent domain issue

Suwanee's City Council wants to make sure legislators don't overreact on some of the most politically charged issues of the past several months.

Helping someone less fortunate a nice tradition

It's the holidays and magic is in the air! It's a time to gather with family and friends, a time sit by the fire and tell Christmas stories. The Foster Children's Foundation's would like to share a couple of Christmas stories that we hope you will share with your family.

A Special Wish

I remember that day like it was yesterday, we were all going to meet Santa. The entire girl's dormitory of the orphanage was going. We waited and waited and finally Santa arrived. It was my turn to sit on his lap and I quietly whispered my wish in his ear. He gave me a Christmas stocking filled to the brim. I began looking at the wonderful treasures in my stocking; a 5-cent box of Crayons, a 10-cent coloring book, lots of penny candies and an apple. I was so excited that I forgot about my wish.

Christmases past better than presents

The best thing about Christmas? Easy: the memories, those Yuletide snapshots (both actual and mental) collected over the years, more precious than any gift. Except maybe a new black Chevy Colorado extended-cab pickup, fully loaded. But I guess it's too late for subtle hints.

Writing a Christmas Day column has made me reflect on some of those memories - like the first Christmas my wife and I were married, in 1983. We lived in a small apartment carved from a drafty Victorian whose only heat source was a pair of wall-mounted, open-flame gas furnaces. Each winter, we faced the age-old dilemma: Do we freeze to death, or just burn down the house?

While visiting family overnight on Christmas Eve, we left the heaters unlit, lest we return to find only cinders. That night, the temperature dropped into single digits. When we came home the next day, the water in our toilet bowl had frozen solid. But at least our presents were intact - not to mention everything else we owned.

Another memorable Christmas was 1986, about six months before my daughter was born. As my parents' first grandchild, she had been eagerly awaited since approximately the day after our wedding.

We knew my wife was pregnant by Thanksgiving but decided not to announce it until Christmas. That way, we thought, we would still get presents for ourselves and not for the baby.

Since we were going to be at my folks' house on Christmas Day, we found a creative way to break the blessed news: a pacifier wrapped in a large gift box. The grandparents-to-be were suitably delighted, although my dad did feel a bit sheepish afterwards about his present to me, a book entitled "The Birds and the Bees for Dummies."

Then there was Christmas 1990, when my oldest son was 18 months old. I bought him a toy basketball goal designed, according to the box, "for ages 3 and up." My wife thought I was crazy. "He's not big enough to shoot it in the basket," she said.

On Christmas morning, he walked into the living room, saw the goal (which I had put together the night before), picked up the ball, and took his first shot. Swish! Score one for Dad.

Since then, we've had many wonderful Christmases, but I think my favorite is this one. My daughter is home from college for the first time since August. My three basketball-playing sons - the sharp-shooting toddler now a high school junior - have some time off, giving Mom and Dad the best gift of all: a few days of not running from game to game. Mostly, we're just happy to be together.

I hope you, too, are together with those you love today, sharing happy memories and making more. And I wish you a very Merry Christmas - even if you didn't get a new pickup truck.

E-mail Rob Jenkins at rjenkinsgdp@yahoo.com.

Road Closures

n Bogan Road from Harmony Elementary School to Hamilton Mill Road will require intermittent lane closures from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through January for safety improvements to include curb and gutter, sidewalk and a multi-use path.

Peace on Earth

Health District Office going in on Riverside Parkway

n Where: Riverside Parkway near Old Norcross Road

•What: New East Metro Health District Office

•When did construction start: Groundbreaking was in late November

•When will construction end: N/A

Other construction

• Industrial buildings, warehouse and distribution are being built on Northmont Parkway, near Satellite

Boulevard.

Students capture spirit of holidays with free-verse poetry

The restrictions of rhyming have long frustrated poetry students. So learning how to write free verse poetry was a revelation for third-graders at Freeman's Mill Elementary School. Suddenly there was more to poetry than "Roses are red/violets are blue/I hate writing poems/how about you?"

Legislator's hobby helps him get into governor's mansionEditor's note: This is the second story in a series about The Personal Side of Politics.

DULUTH - Brooks Coleman has found a new way

to get into the governor's

mansion.

Wedding Announcements

Sutton - Pupo

Sallie Shiree Sutton and Thomas James Pupo were married on Oct. 22 at Galilee Christian Church in Jefferson. Minister Tom Plank officiated the ceremony.

The bride is the daughter of Kenny and Janie Sutton of Buford. The groom is the son of Lou and Nola Pupo of Vero Beach, Fla. Both attended North Gwinnett High School.

The bride contracts with Special Assignments Inc. in Buford. The groom works with Conway Transport in Norcross.

Sister of the bride, Stephanie Sutton of Atlanta, served as the bride's maid of honor. Friend of the groom, Tyler Trudell of Bethlehem, served as the groom's best man.

The couple now resides in Jefferson and will honeymoon on a cruise in the spring.

Sprinkler system delays Winder shelter opening

WINDER - A new homeless shelter originally slated to be finished by Thanksgiving is now on target to open its doors in March.

Mill Creek's Porter eyes return after tearing ACL

SUWANEE - A rope ladder lay flat on the floor and Porsha Porter made quick stutter steps in and out of the gap between each rung.

It's a short walk over to a four-foot sheet of white plastic where Porter puts on booties and slides laterally, pushing off with her outside leg as soon as she reaches each end.

Then she straps a long cord to her waist, sprinting 20 yards or so with resistance.

Mayor hopes town will be next golf cart community

STATHAM - Statham's mayor expects to own a golf cart by this time next year.

Seven vie for CEO position

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett's community hospital system may have a new CEO by March.

Duluth courts theater company

LAWRENCEVILLE - Duluth is losing the Aurora Theatre to Lawrenceville, but city officials have decided the show must go on.

From the heart

Melt away holiday stress at luxurious retreats

Despite all the food, fun and festivities, the holidays can be simply exhausting. All that hectic shopping, elaborate cooking and family pleasing leaves many people longing for a little relaxation.

Frozen Fun

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Editorial Page, New York Sun, 1897

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor:

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Sports calendar

Baseball

Monday-Friday: Renz Baseball Christmas camp runs this Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call 770-271-4554 or go to renzbaseball.com for discounts.

Birth Announcements

Oct. 31

Alexis Renae Lane was born on Oct. 31, 2005, to Stephanie Rogers Lane and Billy James Lane of Loganville. She weighed 8 lbs., 9 ozs., and was 21 inches long.

Thumbs Up

Pay up

A Lawrenceville nursing home has agreed to pay $2.5 million to resolve federal and state allegations that the facility neglected elderly residents and failed to provide them with proper care.

Graduation test debate continues

ATLANTA - As state education leaders see it, new rules allowing more flexibility in the granting of waivers to high school seniors who fail the graduation test have resolved a year-old dispute.

Engagement Announcements

Williams - Staley

David and Mary Ann Williams of Clarence, N.Y. announce the engagement of their daughter, Sara Ann Williams of Chicago, to James Henry Staley of Chicago, son of Henry and Lizabeth Staley of Suwanee.