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

Gwinnett Place business owners

Trees don't win many battles against roads or state agencies, but this week the giant oak tree located near Pleasant Hill Road and Interstate 85 got a nice reprieve when the state Department of Transportation decided to save it.

The oak, nearly 80 feet tall, is still standing thanks to some politicking by Gwinnett Place business owners. The group had hoped to save half of the monstrous tree, which has the appearance of two large trees sharing a large trunk, but got an even better result.

The DOT was worried that limbs from the tree would hang over the new lanes that will be created near I-85 this summer as part of the I-85/Ga. Highway 316 interchange improvement. But after checking the site, DOT officials determined the tree could stay although the limbs closest to the future lanes will have to be removed.

That was good news to folks like Carolyn May, vice president of nearby White Chapel Memorial Gardens.

Like others, she is sure she'll never see a billboard (or interstate lane) as pretty as a tree.

General Beauregard Lee

Beau knows spring, not to mention how to make an entrance. It took a couple of tries to wake up General Beauregard Lee, but once Gwinnett's famous groundhog shook off the cobwebs he predicted an early spring by not seeing his shadow.

He also showed he's ready for his close-up, as local TV station TBS was on hand to do a story. No word on whether Bill Murray will also be on the show.

Buford football

National Signing Day was again a big deal for Buford High School's football program as the Class AA school continued its trend of producing Division I-A talent. The Wolves had four more Division I-A signees, upping their I-A total to 18 signees since the 2000 season.

During that same period Buford has had 28 football players earn scholarships, a testament to their hard work and the hard work of the coaching staff.

Buford, which has three state titles to its credit this decade, has a reputation for producing talented and well-coached players. That reputation started under former head coach Dexter Wood (now the school's athletic director) and continues under current head coach Jess Simpson.

This year's senior class produced I-A signees Steven Singleton (LSU), Justin Roper (Oregon), Matt Pridemore (Duke) and Justin Curry (North Carolina) along with I-AA signee Jordan Grant (Tennessee-Chattanooga).

The signings were quite an accomplishment for a group of talented young men who continued the Buford tradition.