News for Saturday, December 31, 2005

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Mannie Peppers

Mannie Lou Ross Peppers, age 84 of Lawrenceville, died Saturday, December 31, 2005. Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.

Geraldine Brown

Mrs. Geraldine Brown, age 68, of Buford, GA passed away on December 29, 2005. She was preceded in death by her husband, James W. Brown. Surviving are: Daughters: April Brown ...

Janice Doty

Janice Higgins Doty of Atlanta, passed away on December 30, 2005. She was born on June 25, 1940 and was a native of Atlanta. She graduated from Russell High School ...

Thomas Ferebee

Mr. Thomas Wilson Ferebee, Jr. age 58 of Buford, GA died Friday, December 30, 2005. Arrangements by Hamilton Mill Memorial Chapel, 770-945-6924, www.hamiltonmillchapel.com

Shawn Washington

Shawn D. Sewell Washington, 24, of Chattanooga, died Monday, December 26, 2005 in a Georgia hospital. Arrangements by Taylor Funeral Home of Chattanooga, Inc., 423-622-8152.

Albert Hazen

Albert Hazen, 94, of Dacula, died Friday December 30, 2005. The funeral will be at 4 PM Monday January 2, 2006 at Bill Head Funeral Home, Lilburn/Tucker Chapel, with ...

Patsy Montgomery

Patsy Jean (Dyer) Montgomery, age 46 of Houston, died Friday, December 30, 2005. Tim Stewart Funeral Home Lawrenceville, 770-962-3100.

GAC senior sets good example by volunteering with shelters, athletes

Danielle Simms is on a personal mission to prove one person really can make a difference in this world.

Milam heads trio of Gladiators voted ECHL All-Stars

Troy Milam was named to the ECHL All-Star team for a second time on Friday.

Some people do need resolutions

I will soon be leaving for my annual pilgrimage to the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill on St. Simons Island to participate in the sacred New Year's ritual of stuffing my face full of all the corn-fried shrimp that exists on the face of the earth.

I know - it's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it.

I wanted to share some of my New Year's resolutions before I left, but when you are dang-near perfect it is hard to think of any.

My efforts haven't been a total waste of time, however, because I have a few resolutions that I believe would be helpful for some other folks.

For example, wouldn't it be great if Jimmy Carter resolved to pull up a chair in front of a bushel basket of boiled peanuts and tell them how smart he is and how he has a solution for everything from world peace to sour belches? That way, the rest of us wouldn't have to listen to him.

My friends at Georgia Tech should resolve to start an intercollegiate croquet team. I know for a fact that the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered school in the nation, doesn't have a croquet team, and assuming Georgia Southern and Valdosta State decide not to start one, Tech could be state champion in a sport.

OBITUARIES

BUFORD

BROWN, GERALDINE

Mrs. Geraldine Brown, age 68, of Buford, GA, passed away December 29, 2005. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory of Buford, GA, 770-932-1133, www.flaniganfuneralhome.com.

DECATUR

WADDELL, DORIS

Doris Waddell, age 77, of Decatur, GA, died Friday Morning, December 30, 2005. Arrangements are pending with The Bill Head Funeral Homes and Crematory, Lilburn/Tucker Chapel, 770-564-2726.

LAWRENCEVILLE

HAZEN, ALBERT

Albert Hazen, age 94, of Lawrenceville, GA, died Friday Morning, December 30, 2005. Arrangements are pending with The Bill Head Funeral Homes and Crematory, Lilburn/Tucker Chapel, 770-564-2726.

MIMS-SMITH,

CAROLYN

Carolyn Ann Mims-Smith, age 60, of Lawrenceville, GA, passed away December 25, 2005. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.

SNELLVILLE

PAGE, DOROTHY

Dorothy Frances Page, age 83, of Snellville, Georgia, died December 30, 2005. She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Luther Herman Page, Sr. She is survived by, Sons and Daughters-in-law, Luther "'Buddy" and Edith Page of Conyers, Donald and Pat Page of Lawrenceville; 5 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. Mrs. Page was a homemaker and loving wife, mother, grand and great grandmother and sister, and was a member of Clarkston Baptist Church. Funeral services will be held at 11 am, Monday, January 2, 2006 at Wages Snellville Chapel with Rev. John Bloodworth officiating. Interment will follow in Melwood Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 4 - 6 pm Sunday at the funeral home. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Snellville Chapel, 770-979-3200, www.wagesfuneralhome.com.

STATHAM

SAVAGE, BERNICE

Bernice America Savage, age 87, of Statham, GA, passed away December 29, 2005. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home of Winder, GA, 770-867-4553.

Turning the tables

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.

Duluth's new digs

Wesleyan girls fall in Deep South championship

DULUTH - It was something head coach Jan Azar hadn't seen happen in a long time. The Wesleyan Wolves got out-Wesleyaned Friday in the finals of the Deep South Classic at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

Police Briefs

Man says brother-in-law threatened to kill him

DACULA - A Dacula man's brother-in-law attacked him on Tuesday, beat him up and threatened to shoot him with a nail gun, according to police reports.

Gladiators rally, beat Blades in OT

ESTERO, Fla. - The Florida Everblades were on their way to extending their franchise record home winning streak to 13 games Friday. With one minute left and Florida up, the crowd could sense a victory. Then something strange happened.

Prep roundup: Wesleyan captures Gulf Shores crown

NAPLES, Fla. - Howard Thompkins scored a season-high 36 points and pulled down 15 rebounds to earn tournament MVP and lead Wesleyan to its fourth win in four days. The Wolves beat host Golden Gate 76-69 on Friday to win the Gulf Shores Shootout in Naples, Fla.

The Wolves (11-2) trailed 19-12 at the end of the first, but started the second quarter on an 11-0 run and finished the half tied with Golden Gate at 31. The Wolves never trailed Golden Gate (11-2) in the second half.

Tanner Smith scored 10 points and dished out eight assists, while Brett Bufton had seven assists to go with his 10 points. Erik Strong also scored 10 points and was named to the all-tournament team with fellow sophomore's Smith and Thompkins.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Norcross 65, Blair Academy (N.J.) 56

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Led by Jodie Meeks' 29 points, Norcross beat Blair Academy down the stretch and advanced to the championship of the Bojangles Shootout with a 65-56 win on Friday in Charlotte, N.C.

Spiritual Calendar

The Spiritual Calendar runs in Saturday's Lifestyle section. E-mail items to calendar@gwinnettdailypost.com or fax to 770-339-8081. Please include the date, time, address, phone number and cost. Deadline is two weeks prior to the event.

Centennial cruises to boys Deep South title

DULUTH - If Chattahoochee lived by the 3-pointer in Thursday's semifinal win over Brookwood, the Cougars died by it in the championship game.

Chattahoochee hit seven 3-pointers the night before to beat the Broncos, but was only able to get one shot from beyond the arc to fall until garbage time as Centennial ran away with the Deep South Classic boys championship in a 57-29 rout Friday at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

The Cougars kept it respectable after the first quarter, holding Centennial to 11 points, but only managed five points themselves.

In the second quarter, Chattahoochee again scored five points, but this time the Knights had 15. Centennial held the Cougars to just eight points in the third quarter to go up 45-18 and put the issue out of reach.

Centennial pushed a very tired Chattahoochee team up and down the floor all night and it was evident that Chattahoochee just ran out of gas, missing jump shots inside and falling short on its 3s.

The Knights made a statement to the rest of Region 7-AAAAA - which is the same region that Chattahoochee plays in - that this team will be here to stay. There were no seniors in the starting five and the tournament MVP was a freshman. That MVP was Lorenzo Brown, who scored 16 points, while junior Alex Richey led with 18 points.

Norcross church welcomes diverse congregation

Take a diagonal slice of Victory World Church in Norcross, and you'll have a pretty accurate picture of the surrounding area's demographics.

"We're both a racially and generationally diverse church," Pastor Dennis Rouse said. "We didn't start out that way, but it's who we are now."

Rouse, his wife, Colleen, and six other people started Victory World Church 15 years ago, first in a home and then a day-care center. Today, more than 5,000 people attend the church, which is known for its multicultural, welcoming mind-set.

Today, the church doors will open at 7 p.m. and again at 11 a.m. Sunday. Rouse plans to kick off 2006 with a message that will lay out the vision for the church and where it's headed.

"Becoming an Acts II church is our theme in January," Rouse said. "We typically do a 21-day fast and prayer every January. Some people will fast the entire time, and some will do it part of the time, but we pray every day."

New hospital in Duluth is health highlight of 2005

LAWRENCEVILLE - Destitution caused by natural disasters, the rise of a new hospital and the spirit of volunteerism are just a few of the things Gwinnettians have seen in 2005. Listed below are snapshots of events that through the past year have touched the lives of Gwinnett residents.

1) Duluth gets

high-tech hospital

The largest hospital in the county is expanding its system into Duluth, where a new acute care hospital is under construction. With overflowing emergency rooms, the nonprofit community hospital system wanted to add more room to its existing building in Lawrenceville, but will instead have a new facility. Gwinnett Medical Center - Duluth is slated to open next August and will offer patients 175,000 square feet of treatment space and 21 more beds than Joan Glancy Memorial Hospital, which currently serves the Duluth area.

2) Philadelphia Osteopathic College in Gwinnett

Gwinnett welcomed the Georgia campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, located in Suwanee off Old Peachtree Road.

Two men arrested in kidnapping

NORCROSS - Two men were arrested Friday in connection with the violent kidnapping of a 22-year-old woman from her Norcross apartment.

Gwinnett Grads: Former North star Johnson one of nation's top throwers

One of Kibwe Johnson's old high school coaches, Jim Yike, has heard the highest of praises regarding the former North Gwinnett track and field standout.

U.S. album sales off 7 percent, but downloads lessen wallop

LOS ANGELES - U.S. album sales were down about 7 percent as 2005 drew to a close, but the budding market for music downloads, which more than doubled over last year, helped narrow the revenue gap, according to figures released Wednesday.

Parents try to establish charter school

LAWRENCEVILLE - Watching her 12-year-old daughter struggle to spell and write was difficult for Renee Graham. Every day after school, she worked with her for hours to help her work through her learning disability, dyslexia. Her daughter simply wasn't getting the support she needed at school.

Graham knew there had to be a better way. Along with several other mothers of children with learning disabilities, she is trying to found a new charter school in Gwinnett County.

South girls rebound to claim third at Deep South

DULUTH - South Gwinnett made sure that what happened to them the night before against Wesleyan in the girls semifinals would not happen to them again in the consolation game against Northwest Whitfield.

One night after allowing Wesleyan to finish the game on a 9-0 run and steal the win from the Comets, South opened this game with an 11-1 in the first two minutes and eventually beat the Bruins 67-57 on Friday to take third place in the Deep South Classic.

"It was a real good comeback for us after the way we played (Thursday) night," South Gwinnett head coach Mike Allison said. "I know we had a lot taken out of us but all of our girls got to play and contributed. They showed that we are a championship team and we can come back and play well."

What others are saying

New election needed to eliminate specter of voter fraud

Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press:

Unfortunately, there are increasing signs that the recent election to fill a vacant Tennessee state Senate seat was anything but ideal.

Residents evacuate assisted living center because of smoke

SNELLVILLE - An assisted living employee was transported to the hospital with minor injuries after helping residents evacuate the building because of smoke on Friday evening.

Firefighters arrived on the scene to find Eastside Garden Assisted Living residents safely evacuated.

A furnace had melted wire on the second floor and produced a light haze of smoke but no fire, said Thomas Rutledge, Gwinnett County Fire Department spokesman.

Rutledge said the employee's injuries were not fire-related but were acquired during the evacuation.

Homicide rate up in 2005

LAWRENCEVILLE - Brenda Harris used to worry about her 85-year-old father's declining health and failing eyesight, but it never crossed her mind to worry about him being killed.

Remembering the year that was

I started reading the newspaper on a regular basis when I was about 4 years old. Yes, I was a precocious child and, no, I don't know what happened. For the last 50 years or so I have looked forward to those end-of-the-year features. You know the ones I mean - where we all look back on the news and events of the past 365 days. Well, since it is the last day of 2005 - unless something really weird happens between now and midnight - I figured this would be a good time to pause and say good-bye to 2005.

Truth be known, I have mixed emotions. In some respects it was a pretty good year. Not the best of times, as Dickens might put it, but a pretty good year, nonetheless.

But it wasn't all good, either. It wasn't the worst of times - unless you happened to have been engaged to Jennifer Wilbanks or lived in New Orleans, but there were some trouble spots to be sure.

City dedicates long-awaited justice complex

DULUTH - Randy Belcher had to speak up over the sounds of hammering, but the Duluth police chief said he's excited to finally come this close to a new public safety complex for his officers.

State Briefs

Prosecutors drop murder charge against rapper

•DECATUR - Murder charges against rapper Gucci Mane were dropped on Friday.

Organizers jazz up Rose Parade as TV ratings decline

AP Entertainment Writer

PASADENA, Calif. - In the land of perennial youth and movie star beauty, most centenarians just can't compete.

Coping with the in-laws often brutal

Thanks for the misery.

Cash, drugs seized after traffic stop

WINDER - Police on Thursday seized drugs and cash when they pulled a car over for having an expired tag.