ATLANTA - Andy Sutton is doing his part to get the Atlanta Thrashers to the playoffs for the first time.
Crews Middle SchoolWe give a thumbs up this week to Alton C. Crews Middle School, which was honored for its innovative professional development program by being named a finalist for the Intel Scholastic Schools of Distinction Award. One of only three finalists from the state of Georgia, Crews is one of 48 schools nationwide to earn that distinction. Sixteen of those will be selected as schools of distinction.
DACULA - Among the thousand people who packed the new Dacula library at its grand opening Saturday, Ed Flaherty and his granddaughter, Breanna Fouts, managed to find a quiet couch in a corner.
Laura Mallory wants to put an Avada Kedavra curse on the Harry Potter book series.
To say the reactions I have received to the "Brain Train" idea are overwhelming is somewhat of an understatement.I knew a commuter rail connecting Athens to Atlanta and points in between has been contemplated before, but I could not imagine the real desire present with working professionals to have this transportation option available.
DULUTH - Playing in his first professional postseason game, rookie Milan Gajic looked like a seasoned veteran.
LAWRENCEVILLE - Expensive meals and high-priced tickets to sporting events flowed freely to Gwinnett County lawmakers during the recently concluded General Assembly session, reports filed by lobbyists show.Two Republican legislators took in more than $1,000 in gifts from lobbyists during the first three months of this year, roughly equivalent to the length of the session, according to disclosures submitted to the State Ethics Commission. Another five local GOP lawmakers, including Barrow County's senator, received between $500 and $1,000 in freebies. Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville, led the way among members of the Gwinnett legislative delegation with $1,178 in gifts, followed by Rep. Donna Sheldon, R-Dacula, with $1,044. Those numbers, however, paled in comparison to the freebies showered upon other leaders of the General Assembly's Republican majority. House Majority Leader Jerry Keen, R-St. Simons Island, topped that list with $3,202 in gifts, while lobbyists spent $2,683 on House Speaker Pro Tempore Mark Burkhalter, R-Alpharetta, and $2,245 on Senate President Pro Tempore Eric Johnson, R-Savannah. All told, lobbyists spent nearly $850,000 on members of the Legislature during the 2006 session, breaking the record of more than $750,000 set last year. Much of that money was spent in increments of $20 to $50 on meals for individual lawmakers or on receptions for large groups of legislators, where the pro-rata spending was relatively moderate. Those events tended to take place at or near the Capitol, where lobbyists used the opportunity to educate one or more lawmakers on their issues. But there were also plenty of lavish meals at Atlanta's finest restaurants costing $100 or more, and lobbyists passed out dozens of expensive tickets to sporting events, including the Sugar Bowl - played this year at the Georgia Dome - and the March NASCAR race in Hampton. Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver introduced legislation into the House this year aimed at doing away with the more expensive freebies by setting a gift limit of $50. "Very few of us in the General Assembly can't afford our own steak dinner or a ticket to a sporting event,'' said Oliver, D-Decatur. "A gift limit is a reasonable step to moderate the influence of money in politics.'' But Oliver got no further with her bill than Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue last year, when he proposed a $50 gift limit as part of a comprehensive ethics reform measure only to see GOP legislative leaders take it out of the bill that eventually passed. Among the Gwinnett lawmakers, Balfour and Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, got tickets to the Sugar Bowl to see the University of Georgia lose to West Virginia, while Rep. Clay Cox, R-Lilburn, received tickets to the NASCAR race. Balfour said that, rather than a gift limit, he views "full disclosure'' as the best way to achieve ethics reform. "If someone takes me to a nice restaurant, my constituents can look at it,'' he said. Balfour, Unterman and Sen. Ralph Hudgens, R-Comer, who represents Barrow County, are all popular targets of lobbyists because the three Republicans have important committee assignments. Balfour is chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, which decides which bills get to the floor of the chamber. Unterman, who received $778 in gifts from lobbyists during the session, heads an important budget subcommittee. Hudgens is chairman of the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee. He got $729 in freebies during the session. At the same time, other influential local Republicans received far fewer gifts from lobbyists. Sen. David Shafer, R-Duluth, chairman of the Senate Science and Technology Committee, ranked well down the Gwinnett list with only $188 in gifts. "When I get done with business down there, I come home,'' said Rep. Bobby Reese, R-Sugar Hill, who got only $197 in freebies. "I don't go drinking and carousing or to sporting events.'' Sen. Dan Weber topped all of the local lawmakers when it comes to avoiding handouts. All he got during the session was a $10 gift card for Starbucks coffee. "In an ideal world, lawmakers could do their jobs and not have to take money or receive free meals or sports tickets from lobbyists,'' said Weber, R-Dunwoody, who represents northern DeKalb County and a portion of western Gwinnett. "I don't want to be beholden to them.''
LAWRENCEVILLE - Just looking at 15-year-old Anna Hanger you wouldn't suspect she had a brain tumor or that she's been through more medical procedures in three years than most will experience in a lifetime.
DACULA - Tucked among the fairy tales and Dr. Seuss books in the Dacula library, there's a section devoted to the needs of parents.
ATLANTA - The Home Depot Inc.'s chief executive, Bob Nardelli, earned a whopping $37.9 million in total compensation last year, the nation's largest home improvement store chain said in a regulatory filing Friday.
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Staff ReportsHOSCHTON - The Mill Creek Track Classic was held on Saturday, and the meet saw 11 stadium records fall and two state best times.
LAWRENCEVILLE - So far, the traffic issues on the largest single transportation project in the state have centered on Ga. Highway 316.
LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County could pay nearly $2 million to protect a major sewage transmission pipe from the Ga. Highway 316 at Interstate 85 interchange construction.
LAWRENCEVILLE - A couple of years ago, the city of Lawrenceville boasted the highest starting salary for police officers in metro Atlanta.
50th anniversaryMr. and Mrs. Roy James Hughes Jr. celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary April 1. Janice Patricia Patrick and Roy James Hughes Jr. were married April 1, 1956, at Bethany Primitive Church in Atlanta by Elder J.A. Monsees. They have two children, the late David Hughes and daughter-in-law Kelly Hughes, and Joanna Hadley and son-in-law Alan Hadley; and three grandchildren, Dustin Hughes, who is serving in the Navy in Iraq, Alanna Hadley and Dallas Hadley.
Don't ask me to tell you who's going to win the next election. I don't know. Can Cathy Cox defeat Mark Taylor in the Democratic primary for governor? I don't know the answer to that either. I also cannot tell you whether Republicans will manage to hold their majority in Congress in November - or whether Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2008.
What I love most about Easter is how pastel hues are suddenly everywhere. I love these colors even when they're not on the covers of chick lit books.Of course, I also have quite a weakness for cute little bunnies and chickens. I especially like those miniature fluffy yellow chickens with the tiny orange wire feet. While "Bitter With Baggage Seeks Same: The Life and Times of Some Chickens" by Sloane Tanen (Bloomsbury, $14.95) is certainly not an Easter book, it does star these tiny yellow chicks. Tanen is an artist who makes three-dimensional pieces that feature the chicks in various scenes. She depicts chick characters who search for love in the classified ads, endure the chaos of family life and take yoga classes. They also make fun of television shows, movies and fairy tales.
Last week, my wife and I got something we haven't had in a long time: a spring break, emphasis on the word "break."That's because we found ourselves temporarily, and quite unexpectedly, childless - something that has occurred rarely in the 19 years since our daughter was born, and never before without considerable conniving and cajoling on our part. Money usually changed hands, too. But this time it just happened. My teenage son had already arranged to visit his sister at college, and we got a call from my sister-in-law on Sunday inviting the younger boys to go to Florida with their cousin. She had no idea what she was getting herself into, of course, but it was hardly our place to tell her. We merely acquiesced. And suddenly - voila! No kids! For nearly five days, we had the house completely to ourselves. This in a household where, on any normal day, you get nothing to yourself, not even the bathroom. A household where my wife and I routinely have to hide the Girl Scout cookies just to make sure we each get a handful. True, our break wasn't all unmitigated bliss. I had to work three of the five days, and my wife grabbed the opportunity to do some major spring cleaning - which, of course, is why I elected to go to the office instead of taking vacation time. Still, we did manage to get away for a couple of days, although why we decided to "get away" when we had the house to ourselves I'm not sure. Some kind of instinctive defense mechanism, I guess, a version of the "fight or flight" response deeply ingrained in our fragile parental psyches after years of domestic conditioning. Fighting we've seen enough of. This time, we chose flight. I have to admit, though, that on the days we were home, the house did seem a little empty. I suppose that's a harbinger of things to come, when we're old and gray(er) and the kids have all left home for good. No more noisy stereos. No more bickering. No more can-I-haves. Just one quiet, dull evening after another. The very thought brings a tear to my eye. OK, not really. One thing my wife and I learned, though, is that when our childrearing days are over, we'll be fine. We won't be one of those couples who have allowed the flame to be extinguished by the dampers of parenthood, financial stress and hard work. The first evening we found ourselves alone, my wife and I were watching television when I looked over at her and said, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" She smiled at me and arched her eyebrows provocatively. "You bet I am," she replied. "All right," I said, getting up and taking her by the hand. "Now where did you hide those Girl Scout cookies?" Lawrenceville resident Rob Jenkins is associate professor of English and director of the Writers Institute at Georgia Perimeter College. E-mail him at email@example.com.
Every April, John Linder gently reminds us of his plan to take all those tax headaches away.
Feb. 20Ella Katherine Gayle was born on Feb. 20, 2006, to Megan Hewitt Gayle and Jack Gayle of Loganville. She weighed 8 lbs. 7.5 oz., and was 21 inches long.
Editor's note: There are about 1.2 million members of Rotary International in 32,000 clubs in 168 countries. Gwinnett County is home to nine clubs. At weekly meetings, Rotarians recite the Four-Way Test. An essay on the Four-Way Test was submitted by Bill Davis of the Peachtree Corners Club.
LAWRENCEVILLE - Not long ago, buying organic food was probably considered something only hippies did in that Atlanta counterculture enclave known as Little Five Points.
RICHMOND, Va. - Ford Motor Co.'s 2,400 employees in Norfolk probably don't need an expert to tell them that they could be left behind as the economy moves ahead.
LAWRENCEVILLE - Five Gwinnett organizations, including a children's shelter, teen center and senior center, will each receive a grant of $50,000 from the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia.
Seven students from Gwinnett County will be recognized as among the best graduates of the University of Georgia's Class of 2006.
Delta Air Lines Inc. and its pilots union have reached a tentative agreement on pay and benefit cuts that could avert a strike, according to a memo Friday from the union to its pilots.
LAWRENCEVILLE - Members of the Gwinnett Board of Education made impassioned comments criticizing the state for imposing mandates on school systems, while simultaneously making revenue cuts to education budgets.
LAWRENCEVILLE - Over the years, Gwinnett County commissioners have determined what type of stormwater drainage pipes can go in new subdivisions and shopping centers.
n Where: The intersection of Scenic Highway and Webb Gin House Road•What: Poblano's Mexican Grill, which has had its signs up for a few months already, is just waiting for its certificate of occupancy before opening later this month, General Contractor Tony Albanese said.
Conducting businessGwinnett's oldest locally owned bank, Brand Banking Co., is helping Lawrenceville reshape its downtown. Spearheaded by the Lawrenceville Tourism & Trade Association (LTTA), the revitalization includes plans to bring the Aurora Theatre to Lawrenceville, developing amphitheaters in the area and building parking so people can come to the city. The Snellville Commerce Club has lined up its 2006 speakers. Laurie Kimbrell of the American Red Cross will address the club on May 2. Other county business and community leaders to speak in coming weeks include Gwinnett Daily Post Editor Todd Cline on June 6 and Gwinnett County economist Alfie Meeks on July 18. The Snellville Commerce Club aims to promote programs that strengthen the ties among members, local businesses and the community. Winmark Homes has finished Phase II at Liberty Estates, a single-family subdivision of 170,000 homes near Chateau Elan in Braselton. Honors and achievements Gwinnett area rookie real estate agent Joni Smith was recently named the grand prize winner of Re/Max Around Atlanta's "To the Max" bonus award program. Jacob Dubin of the Duluth Re/Max office recently earned his broker's license. Dubin has been with Re/Max Around Atlanta since earning his real estate license in 2001. On The Move Suwanee-based Richport Properties recently added Robert Buchanan and Carly Butts to its construction team. Buchanan will supervise the construction of new homes at Orchard Park in Covington. Butts will oversee construction of new homes at Avington in South Forsyth.
LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett volunteers will be shoveling, measuring and cutting next week as they build playgrounds for a new early education center at Gwinnett Technical College.
DULUTH - Adam Courchaine arrived in Gwinnett 12 days ago on assignment from Houston of the American Hockey League.
'Potter' books moral, enlighteningI am compelled to write regarding the upcoming school board hearing in which a Gwinnett resident will be addressing her request that all books in the "Harry Potter" series be removed from the county public school libraries ("Board to consider request to ban 'Harry Potter' books," Page 1A, April 14). Like most critics of the series, Laura Mallory acknowledges that she has not even read the books. She charges that the books contradict her religious beliefs and teach children "evil." As a parent myself who has read all six books in their entirety, I am discouraged and disgusted. The stories are set in a fantasy world of magic, and various characters make moral decisions on how and when to use these fantasy powers. The overriding theme of each of the books is a battle for good over evil as it is present in this fantasy world. It is consistently made clear that forces of good must work diligently, and often with self-sacrifice and unselfishness, to overcome evil. Sometimes things are not as they seem, the books teach us, but love is ultimately the strongest power in life. No reader could possible learn to practice witchcraft or blood sacrifice from these stories. The books, however, are well-written, fascinating reading and have managed to attract young readers to tackle a 600-page book. All the while, readers young and old alike are encouraged to nurture friendships as something valuable and worthwhile, and to stand up for what is right. While my personal religious beliefs have no bearing whatsoever on what books parents permit their own child to read in this great country of ours, the "teachings" of Harry Potter certainly would make a powerful Sunday sermon in my church home. - Lisa Mattox Downs Hoschton Many ways to fight illegal immigration Many people have asked what they can do to combat illegal immigration and help return this nation to reasonable levels of legal immigration. Joining the "Minutemen" on the border may be a good thing to bring attention to illegal immigration, but most of us are limited in what we can do. Counter-picketing of illegal alien demonstrations is admirable but often not practical for those of us who have spouses who lack the understanding or who are afraid of any overt "politically incorrect" actions.
n Arnold Road at U.S. Highway 29 will require intermittent lane closures from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through July for road widening and safety improvements.
When Mark Pitt looks at Main Street in Duluth, he sees past the street construction and into the future.He envisions downtown Duluth as a village of the arts, with a range of cultural offerings as well as new shops and restaurants. The new Red Clay Theatre and Performing Arts Center will be part of those attractions. "You put a theater in any community, and immediately you're attracting traffic, both foot and vehicle," said Pitt, who is co-director of Red Clay.
LAWRENCEVILLE - If you happen to be in Suwanee on Monday, don't be alarmed by all the fire trucks and police cars.
Braselton one of 34 finalists in All-American City AwardBRASELTON - Braselton has been named one of 34 finalists in the 2006 All-American City Award program.
Gatlin - HullingerMr. and Mrs. Steve Gatlin of Peachtree City announce the engagement of their daughter, Christina Michelle Gatlin, to Travis Hullinger, son of Darrell Hullinger and Deborah Hullinger of Lawrenceville.
For more than 36 years, Annandale Village has been serving adults with developmental disabilities through our residential community in Suwanee.As a nonprofit organization, Annandale relies on contributions from the community and client fees to retain quality staff, maintain and develop programs, and to meet the ever-changing needs of our clients - the Villagers. As our clients and their families age, family funds often dwindle, leaving no option but to request fee assistance or to be put on a waiting list for state services. In response to the financial assistance needs of the Villagers and the need for expanded services for adults with developmental disabilities, the Annandale Board of Trustees and staff developed an annual fundraising event called The Jazzy Thing. Proceeds from the event are used to supplement the approximately $250,000 in scholarships awarded annually to Annandale Villagers. We are calling on you for your help in supporting Annandale Village through participating in The Jazzy Thing. Last year, the event brought in a record-breaking $158,000. This year, we need to exceed that, and we need your help to do it. Here is a taste of what you can expect at Annandale's Jazzy Thing. The aroma of down-home Cajun cooking tickles your nose as crawfish dangle in nets welcoming you into the swampy street party. You will feel like you just stepped into a little piece of Louisiana as you listen and dance to music by Zydefunk and enjoy savory foods provided by authentic Cajun cooks. You have to visit the Cajun Bazaar sponsored by Van Adams Jewelers. Visit the silent auction, where you can bid on dazzling jewelry or one-of-a-kind finds. There are Spicy Bites booths providing tasty little hors d'oeuvres to tide you over until the buffets open. Each booth is competing for the title of "Best Spicy Bite" and a cash prize.
TuesdayRobert Mann, author of "Forensic Detective: How I Cracked the World's Toughest Cases," will discuss and sign his work at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Decatur Library, 215 Sycamore St. in Decatur. The free event is sponsored by the Georgia Center for the Book and Chapter 11 Bookstore. Call 404-370-8450, ext. 2225.
LAWRENCEVILLE - An abandoned horse barn burned to the ground early Saturday, but no injuries resulted and no animals were inside at the time.
SNELLVILLE - The Fantastic 4 are more than just a group of superheroes.
BOGARTHUTCHINS, HENRY Mr. Henry H. Hutchins, age 77 of Bogart, GA, passed away April 14, 2006. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home, Winder, 770-867-4553.* DACULA GADDIS, HAROLD Mr. Harold Gaddis of Dacula (Hog Mountain Community), passed away Saturday, April 15, 2006. 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.* DULUTH SANDERS, DIANA Diana J. Sanders, age 67, of Duluth, GA, passed away April 14, 2006. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Peachtree Chapel Funeral Home, Norcross, GA, 770-448-5757.* FLOWERY BRANCH HOLLIFIELD, NANCY Mrs. Nancy Hollifield, age 56, of Flowery Branch, GA, passed away Saturday, April 15, 2006. 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.* LAWRENCEVILLE STILL, FANNIE Fannie Mae Still, age 89, of Lawrenceville, died Friday, April 14, 2006. Funeral Services will be held 11:00 AM, Monday, April 17, 2006 in the Lawrenceville Chapel of Tim Stewart Funeral Home. Rev. Ray Gentry and Rev. John Colbaugh will officiate. Burial Gwinnett Memorial Park, Lawrenceville. A retired seamstress with Georgia Slacks, Henson Manufacturing and Walton Manufacturing, and a homemaker, Mrs. Still was a caretaker for the P. Severs family and was a member of Walnut Grove Baptist Church and attended Lawrenceville Church of God. She was preceded in death by her husband, M. L. Still, Jr. and is survived by: Children: Velva Ann Autry, Winder, Carolyn & James Tullis, Lawrenceville; Grandchildren: James R. Nichols, Jr, John Derek Nichols, Janet Russell, Rachael Tullis; Great Grandchildren: Jonathan Nichols, Nikki Nichols, Blake Russell, Bailey Russell; and Niece: Jo Ann Yancey Smith. Flowers accepted or memorials to Lawrenceville Church of God Building Fund, P.O. Box 367, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046. Family will receive friends from 1- 9 PM, Sunday, April 16, 2006 at the Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 300 Simonton Road, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045, 770-962-3100. SUMNER, TERRY Terry W. Sumner, age 53 of Lawrenceville, GA, passed away April 14, 2006. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.* NORCROSS GIBB, HENRY Henry David Gibb, age 59, of Norcross, GA, passed away April 12, 2006. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Peachtree Chapel Funeral Home, Norcross, GA, 770-448-5757.* PENDERGRASS STINCHCOMB, ALMA Mrs. Alma Cooper Stinchcomb, age 94, of Pendergrass, passed away on Saturday, April 15, 2006. Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, GA, 706-367-5467.*
LAWRENCEVILLE - When members of a House study committee on natural gas met in Savannah last July, Atlanta Gas Light and one of its subsidiaries, Georgia Natural Gas, chipped in to buy them dinner.
Mr. Harold Gaddis of Dacula (Hog Mountain Community), passed away Saturday, April 15, 2006. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and ...
Terry W. Sumner, age 53 of Lawrenceville, GA, passed away April 14, 2006. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.
Mrs. Nancy Hollifield, age 56, of Flowery Branch, GA, passed away Saturday, April 15, 2006. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home ...
Fannie Mae Still, age 89, of Lawrenceville, died Friday, April 14, 2006. Funeral Services will be held 11:00 AM, Monday, April 17, 2006 in the Lawrenceville Chapel of Tim Stewart ...
Henry David Gibb, age 59, of Norcross, GA, passed away April 12, 2006. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Peachtree Chapel Funeral Home, Norcross, GA, 770-448-5757.
Mr. Henry H. Hutchins, age 77 of Bogart, GA, passed away April 14, 2006. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home, Winder, 770-867-4553.
Mrs. Alma Cooper Stinchcomb, age 94, of Pendergrass, passed away on Saturday, April 15, 2006. Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, GA, 706-367-5467.
Diana J. Sanders, age 67, of Duluth, GA, passed away April 14, 2006. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Peachtree Chapel Funeral Home, Norcross, GA, 770-448-5757.