News for Wednesday, August 23, 2006

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County receives state grant for watershed improvements

LAWRENCEVILLE - Of the 437 square miles that make up Gwinnett County, 75 of those belong to the Lower Yellow River Watershed.

Two local softball tourneys this week

There might be a tougher high school fastpitch softball tournament than this week's Hawk/Bulldog Invitational, but it would have to be the postseason sectionals or state finals.

Letters to the Editor

Stormwater fee plainly unfair

I am opposed to the stormwater fee because I think it should be imposed on builders and developers as an impact fee.

They are the ones who are creating the problem. My down spouts are so that the water from my roof flows to my front lawn then my back lawn then my neighbor's back lawn. I have very little if any water flow that goes to the street.

They did not do their study fairly. You cannot tell from the air how water is going to flow from one person's yard to the next. They couldn't think of any other way to raise money to pay for their problem except to put it on people like me who are senior citizens who can't afford more taxes.

Sports calendar

Baseball

Aug. 19, 20: The Atlanta Baseball Club, home of the Atlanta Blue Jays travelling baseball teams, will host tryouts for the fall 2006/summer 2007 seasons on Aug. 19 and 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at North Atlanta High School. Go to www.atlantabluejays.com for more information.

Biomass producers want role in pollution reduction plan

ATLANTA - Environmentalists and advocates for the biomass industry criticized state environmental officials Tuesday for not incorporating either conservation or renewable energy into a plan for reducing pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Georgia has until March to submit its version of what is known as the Clean Air Interstate Rule to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

If the state fails to meet that deadline, the federal rule would take effect without input from Georgia, Jimmy Johnston, program manager for the state Environmental Protection Division's Air Protection Branch, told members of the Georgia Board of Natural Resources.

Johnston said EPD officials decided not to include proposals to improve energy efficiency in Georgia or develop alternative sources of energy because both issues are on the agenda of the 18-member Governor's Energy Policy Council appointed last week by Gov. Sonny Perdue.

The panel of energy industry representatives, researchers, environmental advocates and state and local government officials is due to deliver a state energy plan by December.

"We thought it would be inappropriate to move ahead of the state energy plan,'' Johnston said.

But a representative of Summit Energy Partners, a biomass producer interested in Georgia, said the state is missing an opportunity by not including in its rule incentives to encourage the construction of biomass plants.

Brad Carver said electricity produced from biomass has less price volatility than either coal or natural gas, which have experienced major increases in the past year.

He said biomass plants also would create four times more jobs for Georgia than their coal-fired counterparts because the raw material to produce it comes from inside the state.

"This would be a big boon for the agricultural community and timber industry in Georgia,'' Carver said.

Patty Durand, director of the Georgia chapter of the Sierra Club, also urged board members to consider including incentives for improvements in energy efficiency in the new rule.

She said Georgians now use 25 percent more electricity per capita than consumers in other Southeastern states.

"The cleanest kilowatt hour is the one that is not produced,'' Durand said.

Sports briefs

local

'Prep Rally' debuts 14th season of H.S. football coverage

"Gwinnett Prep Rally" is set to begin its 14th season of covering Gwinnett high school sports with a show that includes the Corky Kell Classic previews along with looks at all of the county schools and top returning players. The show also includes a profile of Brookwood linebacker Rennie Curran.

Commission rejects shopping center near cemetery

LAWRENCEVILLE - A cemetery that dates to the 1850s has survived an attempt to have a shopping center as its neighbor.

Investigation recommended firing officer

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County police officials recommended that former Sgt. George Gilson be terminated for the shooting death of an unarmed motorist.

Police Reports

Norcross man arrested, charged with public indecency, criminal trespass

NORCROSS - A 44-year-old Norcross man was arrested Monday at the Target at 3200 Holcomb Bridge Road and charged with indecent exposure.

OBITUARIES

BUFORD

TURPIN, MARY C.

Parkview grad Gustafson signs with Braves

Gwinnett products Brian McCann, Jeff Francoeur and Nick Green have already made the journey through the Atlanta Braves' minor-league system to the big leagues.

Planet vote might end tough times for Pluto

After more than 75 years, the whole planet Pluto debate appears to be headed for a resolution.

Elderly man found severely neglected

SUGAR HILL - Police are investigating a case of elderly neglect involving a 79-year-old Sugar Hill man found living in deplorable conditions in the basement of a Sugar Hill home.

Dawes Croy is paralyzed on the right side, and he cannot move easily or speak at all. When a nurse went to check on Croy and bathe him last week as a favor for "a friend of a friend," she found Croy lying in a medical bed in the basement of his house on Emperial Croy Road in Sugar Hill. He was covered in urine and feces.

Grayson council adopts ordinances at monthly meeting

GRAYSON - The Grayson City Council adopted its city code at Monday's monthly meeting.

The codification of the city ordinances had been in the works for several years but has taken this long to complete.

Gwinnett rated among top U.S. counties

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett is competitive with some of the top counties in the United States, members of a consulting company told local leaders Tuesday, but still must take steps to catch up with some of their better-educated and more mobile peers.

Microsoft may offer holidayVista discounts

SEATTLE - Microsoft Corp. is considering discounts or other promotions during the holidays to entice consumers to upgrade their PCs with Windows Vista, even though the new operating system isn't due to hit store shelves until January at the earliest.

Maybe governors should be kept to one term

Does Georgia need to take a step back if it is to ever move forward again? Perhaps the state should consider returning to the era of one-term governors.

Allowing governors to succeed themselves to a second four-year term was a bad idea from the beginning. With only one or two exceptions, our best governors have been those who served four years and left. Our weakest executives have been those bent on serving a second term.

No matter who is elected in November, the next governor ought to suggest that Georgia repeal the 1976 term-succession amendment. There are several reasons for going back, the best one being: A one-term governor doesn't have time to dawdle.

Upon inauguration, he or she could confront the state's major problems without having to ponder whether one's proposed solutions might hurt subsequent re-election chances.

Ullrich leads Hawks to 3-2 victory

HOSCHTON - Bethany Ullrich dominated North Gwinnett as she pitched a complete game, striking out 16 batters while allowing only two runs on four hits to lead Mill Creek to a 3-2 victory in a non region game.

"She is a senior and she is very composed," Mill Creek coach Kelly Murdock said. "She is so patient and she is always willing to make her pitch."

Falcons trade Duckett, get WR Lelie

ATLANTA - The Atlanta Falcons traded running back T.J. Duckett to the Washington Redskins on Tuesday as part of a three-team deal and acquired holdout receiver Ashley Lelie from the Denver Broncos.

Reinvigorating the river

Prep roundup: Brookwood sweeps North and Salem

SNELLVILLE - Brookwood improved to 4-2 on the young season with a pair of sweeps over North Gwinnett (25-20, 25-23) and Salem (25-11, 25-12) Tuesday night.

150,103 fill school hallways

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County Public Schools has topped 150,000 in enrollment.

Peachtree Ridge's Haynes a scary thought for opposing defensive backs

SUWANEE - There is no way to prepare a high school cornerback for this. It just isn't possible.

Nancy Guar

Nancy Beatrice Guar, age 75 of Savannah, died Tuesday, August 1, 2006. Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 300 Simonton Road, Lawrenceville, GA, 30045, 770-962-3100. Please sign online guest registry ...

Mary C. Turpin

Mary C. Turpin of Buford, GA passed away, August 18, 2006. Arrangements by Hamilton Mill Memorial Chapel and Gardens 770-945-3924 www.hamiltonmillchapel.com.

Vera L. Matheny

Vera L. Matheny, age 88 of Lawrenceville, GA passed away August 21, 2006. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel 770-277-4550.

Wanda Makaena

Wanda Alberta Makaena, age 63, of Lilburn, GA, died Monday, August 21, 2006. Arrangements by Bill Head Funeral Homes and Crematory, Duluth Chapel. (770)476-2535

Richard Barnett

Mr. Richard Barnett of Statham, GA passed away August 22, 2006. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by: Junior E. Flanigan of: Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory of Buford ...