News for Sunday, December 4, 2005


All Stories

Sex offender crackdown on Legislature's must-do list

ATLANTA - Historically, Georgia lawmakers tend to prefer their sessions during gubernatorial election years to be short and quiet.




Ellen Sue Cates, age 56, of Buford died Thursday, December 1, 2005. Arrangements by Tapp/Tim Stewart Funeral Home and Crematory, Buford, Georgia 30518. 770-945-9345.



Elizabeth Rose Driscoll, 94, passed away Friday, November 25, 2005. Wife of the late Rev. Carl Ashley Driscoll, Betty was born September 27, 1911, in Springfield, Ohio. The daughter of Mefford and Bessie Gainous Davidson, she and Carl were married in 1933. Betty shared his sixty-nine year ministry with the Lutheran Church in Ohio congregations at Lucas, Dayton, Columbus and Dover. They served at Good Shepard Lutheran Church in Tampa, Florida, where a building was dedicated to them as Driscoll Hall. Following his twelve years on the Florida Synod Office Executive Staff they retired. To be near family they moved to Christian City Retirement Village near Union City, Ga., in 1987, joining Christ Our Hope Lutheran Church in Riverdale where they were both very active until Carl died in 2002. Betty then moved in with her son and daughter-in-law in the Hamilton Mill area of northern Gwinnett County where she enjoyed being near her great-grandchildren and watching them grow. Her husband once wrote, "Betty is an ideal wife and helpmate to her minister husband...her natural talents and extensive reading enhanced her knowledge and judgment in church and community work and as a caring friend." She was a prolific letter-writer and faithful in remembering family and friends with cards. She encouraged the sick and shut-in with her cheery phone calls. She truly lived a life of service, love and faith. She is survived by a sister, Janie Patton, in Springfield, Ohio, daughter, Norma Smith, in Union City, Dave and Jo Driscoll of Hoschton, seven grandchildren, ten great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. A memorial service will be held at Hamilton Mill United Methodist Church on Sunday, December 4, 2005, at 2:00 PM with Dr. Dave Davis officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to church building fund at 1450 Pine Road, Dacula, GA, 30019. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Lawrenceville Chapel 770-963-2411.



Mr. Junior McElreath, age 45, of Elberton, Georgia died December 2, 2005. Funeral Arrangements will be announced by Carter Funeral Home of Winder, 770-867-1361.



Mr. Billy O'neal Barnett age 71, of Flowery Branch, GA, passed away on Saturday, December 3, 2005. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by: Junior E. Flanigan of: Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory of Buford, GA 770-932-1133.



Archibald W. (Archie) Putnam, age 87, of Lawrenceville, GA, passed away on Friday, December 2, 2005. He is survived by his: Wife of 24 years Doris Richardson Gold Putnam (Retired from World Relief Refugee Services); Children: Susan Smith of Jackson, TN, Marilee Carlson of Hanover, PA, Steven Putnam of Austin, TX; 6 Grandchildren; 4 Great Grandchildren; Several Nieces and Nephews; and Doris's Sons: Alan B. Gold of Decatur, GA, Geoffrey P. Gold of Huntsville, AL, Stephen C. Gold of Lawrenceville, GA; and their 5 children. Archie was preceded in death by his first wife Dorothy Putnam. He was a Veteran of the US Army. He formerly owned a Orthopedic Shoe Store in Illinois. He was a longtime member of the Grace Church (C&MA) Duluth, GA and recently a member of the Ingleside Presbyterian Church. An avid singer, Archie sang in numerous church choirs. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, December 10, 2005 at the Ingleside Presbyterian Church. Pastor Bill Bratley will officiate. Memorials may be made to the Youth Ministry Fund, Ingleside Presbyterian Church, 1001 Old Snellville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30044. The family will receive friends on Saturday from 1:00 P.M. until service time at the church. Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Hwy. 770-277-4550.


Mary Frances Sims Thurmond, age 86 of Lawrenceville died Friday, December 2, 2005. Funeral Services will be held 2:30 PM, Sunday, December 4, 2005 in the Lawrenceville Chapel of Tim Stewart Funeral Home. Rev. Phil Robertson and Rev. Mike Soop will officiate. Burial Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery, Lawrenceville. Affectionately known to everyone as "Aunt Frank", Mrs. Thurmond, was a retired seamstress with Georgia Slacks with 35 years of services and a member of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Lawrenceville. She was preceded in death by her husband, R. A. Thurmond; parents, Jim & Belle Sims; brothers, Park Sims, Everett Sims, and Mahlon Sims; sisters, Claudia Wages, Alice Bolton, and Ida Hudlow. Survivors include: Nieces, Nephews, Great Nieces & Nephews, Great Great Nieces & Nephews; Brothers-in-law & Sisters-in-law, J. W. & Helen Perry, C. S. Thurmond, all of Lawrenceville, and Lorene Bowen, Conyers. Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 300 Simonton Road, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045, 770-962-3100.



Mr. Charles "Chuck" Partridge age 39, of Sugar Hill, Georgia, passed away on Saturday, December 3, 2005. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by: Junior E. Flanigan of: Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory of Buford, GA 770-932-1133.



Paul Arthur Jaillette, age 53, of Winder, passed away on December 2, 2005. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home, 770-867-4553.

Poor ending shouldn't tarnish splendid season

VALDOSTA - The best thing for Brookwood's football team to do is forget Saturday night.

Sports calendar


Dec. 5, 6: The Windward Baseball Academy will hold two college/professional scout clinics from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 5 session is a pitchers clinic and Dec. 6 is a hitters clinic. Cost is $50 per clinic or $80 for both clinics. Call 770-619-3303 or e-mail to

Medication not only way to deal with chronic pain

BUFORD - Breast cancer survivor Sheila White is no stranger to dealing with pain. In 2004, when doctors performed a lumpectomy to remove the cancer, they also removed 12 lymph nodes from her underarms.

Parkview mathletes rank high nationally

Parkview High School students ranked among the top 10 mathematics teams nationwide in a competition last weekend.

The students competed against schools across the country to correctly and quickly answer 100 problems on a variety of topics in 30 minutes.

Students collaborated by dividing up the test questions and then double-checking each other's answers at the end.

They will be participating in National Assessment & Testing's ciphering time trials and four-by-four competitions on Thursday and Feb. 9.

They will feature 10 rounds in which students have three minutes to answer problems.

Painful end

Planning officials to decide fate of subdivision

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett planning commissioners are scheduled to vote Tuesday night on a rezoning that would allow a 967-home subdivision near the Barrow County line.

Thumbs Up

The Daily Post gives a thumbs up to Gwinnett citizens who have stood apart this week.

Census: Gwinnett poverty rose rapidly in '03

LAWRENCEVILLE - Poverty in Gwinnett County grew at a much faster rate in 2003 than it did at the state and national levels, according to Census data released last week.

'Our worst nightmare'

VALDOSTA - Nine years ago the Brookwood Broncos traveled down to Valdosta for the state championship game and picked up the biggest win in school history.

Dacula approves city's annual budget

DACULA - City councilmen Thursday voted unanimously to pass the 2006 operating budget.

Dacula's fiscal year matches the calendar year. The city's budget is balanced at $2.5 million, an increase from 2005's amended budget of $2.4 million.

Tax incentives for luring companies sparking debate

When Columbus-based Aflac announced plans last month to expand its work force by 2,000, Gov. Sonny Perdue took a hit in the Atlanta press for offering too much in incentives to get those jobs.

Gwinnett Gab

Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful honored in competition

LAWRENCEVILLE - Keep America Beautiful Inc. has announced the winners of the second-annual Graffiti Hurts National Award competition. Topping the list is Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful in the category of communities greater than 100,000.

Tips for navigating the annual office party with ease

Nothing spells potential for disaster quite like getting tipsy with your boss. And your CEO. And the office mail room guy.

Coping with the pain


Honors and Achievements

Georgia's work force training programs, including those at Gwinnett Tech, were recently cited as key attributes for the state, according to Expansion Management magazine's annual survey

In the past four years, Gwinnett Tech has provided customized training to more than 7,500 students.

Alfred Blanco of Gainesville was selected by the Southern Business Administration Association as the graduate student winner of the Student Community Service Award. Blanco is an executive MBA student in the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business. The annual honor recognizes students for exceptional achievement in academics and significant contributions to their


On the Move

Cotton Salsa, Goldeagle, Sports Moments & Memories, Crystal & More and Dormia are all new retailers that have recently opened at the Mall of Georgia in Buford.

Rep. Coleman tours Performance Learning Center

WINDER - Rep. Brooks Coleman, chair of the House's Education Committee, spent Friday morning talking to students at the Barrow County Performance Learning Center about how their traditional schools had failed them.

State to lift irrigation permit ban along Flint Basin

ATLANTA - A six-year-old ban on new irrigation permits for farmers in the Flint River Basin should be lifted in time for the 2006 growing season, state environmental officials said Thursday.

Wedding Announcements

Long - Valvo

Julie Anice Long and Vincent Paul Valvo were married on May 1 at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse. The Rev. Clarence L. Cannon officiated the ceremony.

Voters to decide runoff Tuesday

LAWRENCEVILLE - Bob Clark and Rick Johnson have to worry about holiday shopping this year.

Townhomes going in near Pleasant Hill Lowe's

"What's going on here?" is a weekly column that appears in the Sunday business section of the Gwinnett Daily Post. If you see a construction site and don't know what's being built, call Douglas Sams, business reporter, at 770-963-9205, ext. 1321, or e-mail him at

Suwanee gets in Christmas spirit

SUWANEE - The sound of nearby passing trains competed with Christmas carols blaring over loud speakers Saturday evening at the annual Suwanee caboose lighting event.

Tightly bundled families warmed themselves by the two fires and listened to children's choirs while sipping hot chocolate and indulging in s'mores, cookies and hot peach cobbler.

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

Christmas parade changes route

WINDER - For more than 20 years, high school bands have been marching through downtown Winder to celebrate Christmas, leading the way for floats and the arrival of Santa Claus.

Web sites make last-minute travel easier than ever

Staff correspondent

Did you ever feel like going somewhere at the last minute, but worried you weren't getting the best deal? Has there been a moment when you knew you had the time and resources to go somewhere, but procrastinated on booking the trip?

2 men shot in tavern

LAWRENCEVILLE - Two men were shot at a sports bar early Saturday morning.

Reasons for hope, optimism in fight against HIV/AIDS

We are excited to announce that 2005 marks the beginning of a new era in the history and strategic direction of our local community's response to HIV/AIDS in Gwinnett, Rockdale and Newton counties.

Letters to the Editor

The reason for season

I totally agree with Bill O'Reilly and his column. I am sick and tired of trying to be politically correct. Jesus is the reason for the season, and retailers need to understand this.

I don't want to hear a generic happy holidays. I am proud of Christ and the meaning of Christmas. Christmas is all about humility and love. Simply put without Christ there is no reason to celebrate. Like it or Lump it!

Weir wins gold at U.S. Open

AUBURN, Ala. - Brookwood grad Amanda Weir won the 100-meter freestyle at the U.S. Open Swimming Championships, beating out former teammate Maritza Correia on Saturday in Auburn, Ala.

Prep roundup: Moss leads Norcross girls to win

LOGANVILLE - D'Andra Moss scored 21 points, grabbed four rebounds, had four steals and two assists as Norcross downed Grayson 59-42 Saturday.

Jasmine Goodwin scored 12 points and two assists for the Blue Devils (4-2) and Nicole Jones added seven points and two assists.

Cingular set to catch up with rivals with launch of push-to-talk service

NEW YORK - Filling a big gap in its product lineup, Cingular Wireless is adding ''push-to-talk'' service, hoping to make up for lost time with novel features such as icons that show if a contact is available to speak.

Kids share lists with Santa at charity event

SNELLVILLE - Five-year-old Allen Moore didn't tug on Santa's beard. He didn't even want to.

In Brief

Three hospitalized in wreck

•LAWRENCEVILLE - Three people were transported to Gwinnett Medical Center following an accident Saturday afternoon.

Stunning loss for Brookwood

Gwinnett companies wheeling and dealing

Apparently, Gwinnett companies have been spending a lot of time at the negotiating table this year.

Prescriptions becoming harder to get

LAWRENCEVILLE - Spotting a pain medication abuser is just one trick of the trade Carter Gorman has learned in his 25 years as owner and head pharmacist at Monfort Drugs.

By simply asking for their driver's license, he can deter "meds shoppers," people well versed in the illegal act of floating from doctor to doctor gathering pain medication prescriptions and then visiting different pharmacies to fill them.

Police: Alcohol was factor in fatal crash

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett police said alcohol was a factor in the car accident that killed a 39-year-old man Saturday afternoon.

Police pronounced Charles Partridge of Sugar Hill dead on arrival after a 1995 Nissan Pathfinder traveling north on Suwanee Dam Road crossed the center yellow line and collided into his 2003 Mazda Protege. Partridge was wearing his seat belt, police said.

Barrow's first movie theater set to open in summer '06

WINDER - Gone are the days when a trip to the movie theater meant crossing the county line. Silver screens and tall white pins are coming to Barrow, with the addition of the county's first movie theater and bowling alley, set to open in the summer of 2006.

Birth Announcements

Oct. 6

Jason Ryan Scott was born on Oct. 6, 2005, to Stephanie Denise Scott and Will Frank Scott of Loganville. He weighed 6 lbs. 7 ozs., and was 19 inches long.

Some good news for Georgia

"Georgia median income (is) just shy of national average," read the happiest Georgia headline that we have seen in months.

Hard Labor Creek reservoir again a possibility for Winder

WINDER - Plans to create a new reservoir as a water source for the city of Winder and two counties are again being discussed, with the settlement of a lawsuit that had kept the project on hold.

Gwinnett asks feds to pay Katrina costs

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County is seeking reimbursement for money it spent helping thousands of evacuees who ended up here in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Man arrested after standoff

NORCROSS - The SWAT team was called in to arrest a man Saturday night after police responded to a domestic violence call and the man refused to leave.

Commission to discuss rules for high-rise condos Tuesday

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County commissioners Tuesday will discuss, and possibly vote on, new rules that would allow high-rise condo towers in the unincorporated county.

Measurements put game room just barely 900 feet from school

WINDER - A Winder game room is just more than 900 feet from Winder-Barrow Middle School, barely covering the required distance that a game room must be from school grounds.

Internet provides new temptations for shopaholics

LAWRENCEVILLE - As a debt counselor, Kelly Makara knows plenty of "shopaholics," a term coined by writer Sophie Kensella to describe someone who buys everything she doesn't need.

Catch local dancers in festival to benefit hurricane relief

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

Cheerleaders, football players win scholarships

LAWRENCEVILLE - The Gwinnett Football League awarded $25,000 in scholarships to outstanding seniors who had participated in the league while in high school.

The award will go directly to pay for the students' educational costs at whichever accredited college, university or technical college they will attend next year.

Both cheerleaders and football players were eligible for the scholarships.

They were awarded based on grade point average, test scores, reference letters, activities and accomplishments.

Tackling 'The Best American Short Stories 2005'

I really want to like short stories more than I actually do. During the past few weeks, I have been trying hard to develop a greater appreciation for this form.

I have been slowly working my way through "The Best American Short Stories 2005" (Houghton Mifflin, $14), and I am exhausted. I found that the 20 stories in this book were very demanding. I could read only one or two of them a day.

On a Mission

Stupid things I have said, 2005 edition

In what has become an annual tradition, I wish to mark my fourth anniversary as a Daily Post columnist by reviewing some of the stupid things I've said over the past 12 months. Inexplicably, this column seems to get easier to write each year.

For example, early in January, assessing our Christmas gift-giving performance, I wrote that "my wife and I have decided next year we won't get [our children] quite as many expensive toys." Eleven months later and a week into this year's shopping season, I can honestly say we have lived up to that resolution. Everyone knows PlayStations, iPods, laptop computers and personal DVD players are not "toys."

Another statement I made last January may or may not qualify as stupid. Writing about Gwinnett's then-newly-refurbished county commission and school board, I said, "Whether or not you agree with [members of those bodies], you have to give them this: They're not scum-sucking weasels."

Since then, we've had revelations of gambling junkets, a scandal over apparent non-compliance with open-meetings laws and a pair of top teachers summarily dismissed. Scum-suckery? Weaselish? You decide.

In February, after a frustrating attempt to purchase a discount plane ticket over the phone, I wrote that it's no wonder the airlines are losing money, given the industry's standard array of "rude customer service reps, interminable delays, lost luggage and phantom sale fares."

That characterization so offended a retired airline employee - "the voice on the other end of the phone," as she called herself - that she e-mailed me to say she "found my column insulting" and that "my momma would be ashamed" of me.

Mortified, I sent the following reply: "Thank you for taking the time to write. Also, if you were indeed the voice on the other end of the phone, thank you for retiring."

In June, I wrote that "golf is more than just a silly game in which grown men strike little white balls with sticks." In retrospect, I've decided that golf is precisely that.

In May, writing about Joint Enrollment - allowing high school students to take college courses - I said that public schools are little more than "government-sponsored mind control." The stupid part is that I was talking about mind control for students. Turns out, teachers are the real victims.

And finally, in September - in the midst of the post-Katrina gas panic - I argued that we should re-evaluate our commuting habits. "It's high time," I wrote, "we brought mass transit to the masses."

Silly me. I should have known Gwinnett County would never go for that. And besides, the DOT has a better idea: Instead of spending millions to decrease the number of cars on the highways, let's use that money to redesign the 316/85 interchange so we can accommodate even more cars.

Making the rest of us miserable for the next four years - well, that's just a bonus.

E-mail Rob Jenkins at

Lowndes stuffs run, sets tone early

VALDOSTA - An offense that relies on its rushing attack had it completely neutralized in Saturday night's decisive first half.

Auburn to raise water rates

AUBURN - The Auburn City Council on Thursday approved a 2.6 percent water rate increase to take effect Jan. 1, 2006.

The increase is in response to Gwinnett County raising its water rates.

Since water service is provided by both Gwinnett and Barrow counties, some residents questioned why all of the city's water couldn't be provided by Barrow County alone. Councilman Charles Sewell responded that the current water system wasn't set up that way, but once finished is "designed to pull water from Barrow Creek only" if necessary.

Mayor Harold Money said his administration "didn't want to cut off water" to residents by only using water from Barrow County at this time.

Barrow County officials presented their plans for "Quality Growth." Their proposal for county improvements over the next 10 to 20 years calls for an expanded sewer system, new home development, commercial building improvements, historic preservation, environmental protection, a comprehensive transportation plan, paving county dirt roads, and a detailed list of other changes.

Barrow County Commissioner Chairman, Douglas Garrison, asked for "improved communication and cooperation" between the city and county governments.

Planning Director Guy Herring said a "well-planned development will protect open spaces" and will "cost taxpayers less."

Gladiators swept out of Florida

ESTERO, Fla. - Dustin Johner showed no signs of jet lag Saturday night in his first game for the Florida Everblades, helping his new team to a convincing 5-2 victory over the Gwinnett Gladiators at Germain Arena.

GOP senators challenge White House on security


When Lindsey Graham and John Sununu joined the ranks of Republican senators, the last thing the White House expected was that they would start challenging administration policies on national security.