News for Wednesday, January 11, 2006

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Betty Mauldin

Betty Smith Mauldin, age 74 of Norcross, GA, passed away January 11, 2006. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Peachtree Chapel Funeral Home, Norcross, GA, 770-448-5757.

J.t. Duke

J.T. Duke, age 93 of Winder, GA, passed away January 10, 2006. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home of Winder, GA, 770-867-4553.

Ron Stewart

Mr. Ron Stewart, age 39, of Sugar Hill, GA passed away on Monday, January 9, 2006. He is survived by: Wife of 16 years: Mrs. Stephanie Gaddis Stewart, Sugar Hill ...

Maude Elinburg

Maude Elinburg, age 86 of Buford, went home to be with her Heavenly Father Monday, January 9, 2006. A Funeral Service will be held at 1:00 P.M. Thursday, January 12 ...

Ruby Hartley

Mrs. Ruby Grace Hartley, age 89, of Buford, GA, died Wednesday, January 11, 2006. Funeral arrangements will be announced later. Hamilton Mill Memorial Chapel, 770-945-6924, www.hamiltonmillchapel.com.

Montine Thompson

Montine J. Thompson, age 83 of Snellville, GA, died January 9, 2006. The remains have been cremated. No service at this time. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Snellville Chapel ...

Margaret Woodard

Mrs. Margaret Tyson Woodard, age 93, of Concord, North Carolina, formerly of Suwanee, GA, passed away January 11, 2006. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by Junior E. Flanigan ...

Jack Robertson

March 27, 1937 - January 10, 2006 Jack B. Robertson, Sr., 68, of Dacula died Tuesday, January 10, 2006 at Peachtree Christian Hospice following an extended illness. A life long resident ...

Daria Moon

Daria L. “Dusty” Moon, age 45 of Auburn, GA, passed away on January 9, 2006. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service in charge of arrangements. Tom M. Wages Funeral ...

Emma Womack

Emma Dean Cruce Womack, age 85, of Boise City, LA, formerly of Tucker, GA, died January 10, 2006. Arrangements are pending with The Bill Head Funeral Home and Crematory, Lilburn ...

Jonathan Stevens

Mr. Jonathan Paul Stevens, age 28, of Winder, Georgia died January 10, 2006. A native of Stuart, Florida, he was a retail manager of PetsMart in Cumming, Georgia. Mr. Stevens ...

Elvin Flores

Elvin Hiram Flores, age 57 of Lawrenceville, died Tuesday, January 10, 2006. Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 300 Simonton Road, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045, 770-962-3100.

Tonea Sims

Tonea A. Sims, age 34 of Lawrenceville, GA, passed away December 29, 2005. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.

Loyd Williams

Loyd Johnson Williams, age 94, of Greensboro, Georgia died Tuesday, January 10, 2006 at Minnie G. Boswell Memorial Hospital. McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, 706-453-2626, is ...

David Stansel

Mr. David Edward Stansel, age 68 of Pendergrass, Georgia died Tuesday, January 10, 2006. Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home, Inc., Jefferson, Georgia, 706-367-5467.

Willie Wigley

Mrs. Willie Roe Carlyle Wigley, age 91, of Buford, GA, passed away on Tuesday, January 10, 2006. She is preceded in death by her Husband of 63 years, Mr. J ...

Vera Mitchell

Mrs. Vera Mitchell, age 83 of Buford, GA, died Tuesday, January 10, 2006 after an extended illness. Funeral Service will be held Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 2:00 P.M. at ...

Prep roundup: Allen powers Mustangs past Central

LAWRENCEVILLE - Chris Allen finished with 23 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals Tuesday night to lead Meadowcreek to a 69-59 win over Central Gwinnett. Teondre Williams finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Mustangs (12-5, 5-2).

Two more gas stations cited for gouging

NORCROSS - Two more Gwinnett gas stations have been fined for ripping off customers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Longtime Norcross planning director retires after helping lead revitalization

NORCROSS - Johnny Lawler was still in high school when he landed a job with the city of Norcross.

Warning: Don't use newspaper as a hair dryer

Sometimes a kid's perspective is the clearest. Take my nephew Nicholas, a second-grader who has a clear-sighted perspective on the world in general. A while back, my sister, Trudy, was taking a Hot Pocket - a frozen combination of meat, sauce and cheese, all stuffed into a nuke-friendly bread pocket - out of the microwave for him.

Sutter finally gets into Hall of Fame

NEW YORK - After falling short a dozen times, Bruce Sutter was relieved.

Perdue pitches teacher raises, smaller classes

COLLEGE PARK - A 4 percent raise for teachers and smaller class sizes highlighted the education agenda Gov. Sonny Perdue unveiled on Tuesday, the second day of this year's General Assembly session.

Perdue's proposals, outlined during a breakfast speech to a business audience, represent a major departure for a Republican governor who has held the line on raises and balked at reducing class sizes during his first three years in office.

But he said an improving economy has put enough tax revenue in the state's coffers to allow him to be more generous.

Perdue is promising to set aside 72 percent of about $1.2 billion in anticipated new revenue for education.

"It's in keeping with where the budget is,'' he said after headlining the annual Eggs and Issues breakfast sponsored by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. "It's a whole lot easier to do a budget with money.''

Perdue has been pitching his education agenda in pieces during the past several days, in anticipation of his State of the State address today to a joint session of the House and Senate.

He announced late last week that he would propose legislation requiring local school systems to spend at least 65 percent of their money in the classrooms and back a constitutional amendment prohibiting state lottery proceeds from being used for anything other than the HOPE Scholarship and pre-kindergarten programs.

Besides teacher raises and class size reductions in grades kindergarten through eight, the governor also pledged Tuesday to include funds in next year's budget to build more schools and put a counselor in every high school whose focus would be reducing the dropout rate.

"It's a very pro-education agenda,'' said Rep. Brooks Coleman, R-Duluth, chairman of the House Education Committee. "I think it's doing some things we've wanted to do but haven't been able to do.''

Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, a Democrat seeking his party's nomination to challenge Perdue this year, said he and his colleagues will support the raises and class size reductions, as well as Perdue's promise to freeze health insurance premiums for teachers and state employees.

Taylor cited a constitutional amendment he has been pushing that would lower class sizes in grades kindergarten through third.

At the same time, Democrats accused Perdue of being an election-year convert to raising teacher pay and reducing class sizes.

Taylor criticized the governor for cutting the HOPE program unnecessarily, and House Minority Leader DuBose Porter, D-Dublin, cited three years worth of cuts in K-12 formula funding.

"Suddenly, he realizes right before election time he's on the wrong side of the issue,'' Porter said.

The 4 percent raise for teachers and state workers follows a more moderate 2 percent raise they received this year and what amounted to a 1 percent increase last year. The state didn't provide any raises during Perdue's first year in office.

"Four percent is better, but it's not good enough,'' said Merchuria Chase Williams, president of the Georgia Association of Educators. "It would take 6 percent or more to take us back to where we were before. ... We have not kept up with the cost of living.''

The governor's class size proposal would cap kindergarten classes at 18 pupils, down from 20. In grades 1-3, maximum class sizes would be reduced from 23 to 21.

The cap in grades 4-8 would be reduced by four, from 28 to 24.

"Our biggest overcrowding issue now is in the middle schools,'' said state School Superintendent Kathy Cox. "This is huge.''

The 2007 budget Perdue will recommend today also will include $383 million in bonds to build the additional classrooms that will be necessary to achieve the class-size reductions.

Another $21 million is earmarked for the "completion counselors'' the governor wants in every high school.

Coleman said Georgia's alarming dropout rate must be a key focus.

"In the '50s, when people dropped out of school, they could go to General Motors,'' he said. "Today, if they don't have a high school education, they can't get a good job.''

State In Brief

Customer killed while picking up food order

•STONE MOUNTAIN - A customer picking up takeout food at a restaurant was shot and killed by robbers, police said.

North girls' rally beats Dacula

DACULA - They did it again on Tuesday night.

Sugar Hill approves buffer reduction variance for retail center

SUGAR HILL - There will be no pedestrian walkway connecting The Links at Sugar Hill Golf Club subdivision with the proposed Links Village retail center on Suwanee Dam Road.

Sugar Hill's planning department recommended denial of a variance that would have allowed the walkway and reduced a zoning buffer between the two developments. Instead, city councilmen approved the variance with adjusted conditions drawn up by affected property owners, the president of Showcase Communities and planning department staff.

Newt finds new role

Newt Gingrich has been looking for a new place in the sun ever since he exited Congress in semi-disgrace in 1998.

Business In Brief

Home Depot buys Hughes Supply

•ATLANTA - The Home Depot Inc. said Tuesday it will buy Hughes Supply Inc., a distributor of construction, repair and maintenance products, for about $3.2 billion.

Dominant again

Lilburn council swears in members

LILBURN - After swearing in new councilmember Eddie Price and returning council member Diana Preston, the Lilburn City Council discussed two zoning issues Monday.

Parkview boys nip Comets 56-55

LILBURN - Things were looking quite bleak for the Parkview boys basketball team.

Painted flag to be removed

DULUTH - News crews didn't camp out on the Duluth Town Green, but the flap over an American flag painted on a city street has drawn its share of media attention.

Letters to the Editor

Fla. court made right decision on vouchers

The Florida Supreme Court made an important decision last week by striking down the state's school voucher program. Now the state Legislature can devote its attention to improving public education rather than subsidizing religious and other private schools. The children of Florida deserve the best public schools the state can provide. Taxpayer dollars should be spent in public schools, not private religious academies.

Florida legislators passed the voucher law in 1999 at the behest of Gov. Jeb Bush. The program provides vouchers for private school tuition for students enrolled in public schools deemed "failing." More than half of the participating private schools in the voucher plan are religious.

This is an important victory for public education and church-state separation.

- Ralph Greene

Snellville

Put views in writing

If ever there was a time to speak out against the iniquities and injustices of life, it is here and now and this is probably the only platform available to most of us in which to do it.

The letters to the editor column offers us the opportunity to express our views and to respond to those whose views clash with our own.

We've all heard the expression "put in writing" when someone is spouting off on a given subject. We get plenty of feedback from the professional columnists and political pundits, but what we really need to hear is what our neighborhood friends have to say on the issues, pro and con.

You don't have to be an English professor to state an opinion or express an outrage. Just plain talk will do everytime. Todd Cline, the recently appointed editor of this newspaper, encourages everyone to come on board and get involved in the issues that have impact on our lives. Believe me, I get my licks in whenever I can. It beats preaching in an empty room. You have something on your mind that needs saying? Get it said here.

Bufton out as Wesleyan boys basketball coach

Bill Bufton found out last Thursday that his successful run as Wesleyan's head boys basketball coach is over after this season, and he informed his team of the news at a Monday night practice.

Retail center slated for area near Beaver Ruin

LAWRENCEVILLE - A southern stretch of Satellite Boulevard marked by wetlands and wildlife is about to change.

School board to meet in new facility

SUWANEE - The Gwinnett Board of Education will have its first meeting of the new year in a brand new facility. Community members who attend Thursday's meeting will have a chance to see the huge new Instructional Support Center in Suwanee.

Wesleyan overpowers GAC girls

NORCROSS - When Wesleyan lost to Briarcrest, Tenn., over Christmas break in the finals of the Deep South Classic it woke up the Wolves.

Gladiators rally to beat Grrrowl late

GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Gwinnett Gladiators used two third-period goals to post a 2-1 come-from-behind victory in Greenville on Tuesday.

OBITUARIES

WINDER

BUFORD

ELINBURG, MAUDE

Maude Elinburg, age 86 of Buford, went home to be with her Heavenly Father Monday, January 9, 2006. A Funeral Service will be held at 1:00 P.M. Thursday, January 12, 2006 in the Chapel of Tapp/Tim Stewart Funeral Home with Rev. Phillip Carter officiating. Burial will follow at Friendship Baptist Church Cemetery. She is preceded in death by her husband, Jewell O. Elinburg and 1 daughter, Geraldean Elinburg. She is survived by: Daughter, Shirley Piascik, Buford; Son, and Daughter-in-law, Billy and Jeannette Elinburg, Sugar Hill; Daughter and Son-in-law, Betty and Bill Barnard, Buford; Son and Daughter-in-law, Jewell, Jr. and Brenda Elinburg, Taylor, MI; Sisters, Bessie Williams, Porterdale, GA, Ollie Waycaster, Buford, Florine Elrod, Flowery Branch, Ruby McDaniel, Flowery Branch. She is also survived by: 13 Grandchildren, 17 Great Grandchildren, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Mrs. Elinburg was a member of the Buford Senior Center since 1984, a member of Friendship Baptist Church and recently attended Destiny Church with her daughter, Betty. Visitation will be held Wednesday, January 11, 2006 from 2 P.M. to 4 P.M. and from 6 P.M. to 9 P.M. at Tapp/Tim Stewart Funeral Home and Crematory, 201 Morningside Drive, Buford, Georgia 30518, 770-945-9345.

MITCHELL, VERA

Mrs. Vera Mitchell, age 83 of Buford, GA, died Tuesday, January 10, 2006 after an extended illness. Funeral arrangements will be announced later. Hamilton Mill Memorial Chapel, 770-945-6924, www.hamiltonmillchapel.com.

COVINGTON

WHISENHUNT,

SKYLOR

Little Skylor Jason Whisenhunt, died January 5, 2006, at the age of 2 months. Funeral Services for Little Skylor will be held at 2:00 PM, Thursday, January 12, 2006, at the chapel of Caldwell & Cowan, with Pastor Tim Hamm officiating, and interment following at Lawnwood Memorial Park. Arrangements by Caldwell & Cowan, Covington, GA, 770-786-7062.

DACULA

HLADIK, WILLIAM

William Hladik, age 95 of Dacula, GA, passed away Monday, January 9, 2006. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.

SMITH, STEVEN

Steven T. Smith, age 56 of Dacula, GA, passed away January 8, 2006. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.

DAWSONVILLE

PRUITT, FRANK

Mr. Frank Pruitt, age 61, of Dawsonville, GA passed away on January 9, 2006. He was preceded in death by his father, Mr. John Wesley Pruitt. Surviving are: Wife: Patsy Jones Pruitt, Dawsonville, GA; Daughters and Sons-in-Law: Jodie and Clint Holbrook, Cumming, GA, Wanda Crane Bearden, Dawsonville, GA, Angela and Mark Joiner, Dublin, GA, Christy and B. J. Reddish, Cedartown, GA; Son and Daughter-in-Law: Eddie and Rose Helton, Winder, GA; Parents: Imogene and J. C. Mooney, Buford, GA; Sister and Brother-in-Law: Mary Jean Pruitt Moore and Barry Moore, Gainesville, GA; Brother: Ron Mooney, Buford, GA; Grandchildren: Hannah and Hayley Gazaway, Heather Holbrook, Holly and Luke Stevens, Eli Bearden, Matthew and Alicia Joiner, Leigha and Calep Reddish; Mother-in-Law: Mary V. Cagle, Dawsonville, GA; Nieces, nephews and special friends. Funeral service will be held on Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. at the Chapel of Flanigan Funeral Home with Rev. Kenny Sizemore officiating. Interment in Broadlawn Memorial Gardens, Buford, GA. Arrangements by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory of Buford, GA, 770-932-1133, www.flaniganfuneralhome.com.

DULUTH

BANKS, LINDA

Linda Harris Banks, age 53 of Duluth, GA, passed away January 9, 2006. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Peachtree Chapel Funeral Home, Norcross, GA, 770-448-5757.

LAWRENCEVILLE

BARRETT, AUZIE

Auzie H. (Pat) Barrett, 89, of Lawrenceville, formerly of Norcross, died January 8, 2006. Arrangements by Bill Head Funeral Home and Crematory, Duluth Chapel, 770-476-2535.

PALLI, DAVID

David Christopher Palli, 22 month old infant son of Peter and Yamuna Palli, of Lawrenceville, passed away January 10, 2006. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.

LILBURN

FITZGERALE, JAMES

James J. Fitzgerale, age 49 of Lilburn, GA, passed away January 5, 2006. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.

PENDERGRASS

STANSEL, DAVID

Evans Funeral Home of Jefferson announces the death of Mr. David Edward Stansel, age 68 of Pendergrass, Georgia, who died Tuesday, January 10, 2006. Funeral services will be announced by Evans Funeral Home of Jefferson, GA, 706-367-5467.

SNELLVILLE

BOSTICK, JENNIFER

Jennifer L. Bostick, age 52 of Snellville, died Saturday, January 7, 2006. Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 2246 Wisteria Drive, Snellville, Georgia 30078, 770-979-5010.

CALLAWAY,

HONORENE

Honorene N. Callaway, age 85 of Snellville, GA died January 9, 2006. Arrangements by Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Snellville Chapel, 770-979-3200.

SPARTA

SMITH, PATRICIA

Patricia Ann Boyer-Smith, age 69 of Sparta, GA, formerly of Snellville, GA, passed away on January 9, 2006. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Donald Smith. She is survived by: Daughter & Son-in-Law: Debbie & Wayne Barber, Alpharetta; Sons & Daughters-in-Law: Ken & Rita Carswell, Grosse Point, MI, Tracy & Jeanette Carswell, Buford; Grandchildren: Blake Barber, Gene Carswell, Jonathan Carswell, Brittainy Barber Speak, Emily Carswell, Tyler Carswell & Kailie Carswell; Great Grandchildren: Alexandria Carswell & Robert Carswell. Mrs. Smith was the last child to be born at her family's plantation at Glen Mary Plantation, Linton, GA. Memorial services will be held Wednesday, January 11 at 2:00 P.M. at Wages Snellville Chapel. The family will receive friends one hour prior to service at the funeral home. Those desiring may make donations to American Lung Association of Georgia, 2452 Spring Road, Smyrna, GA 30080 or Leukemia Society, Georgia Chapter, 3715 Northside Parkway, 400 Northcreek, Ste. 300, Atlanta, GA 30327 in the memory of Patricia Ann Boyer-Smith. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Snellville Chapel, 770-979-3200, www.wagesfuneralhome.com.

WINDER

PAYNE, HIRAM

Hiram Allen Payne, age 77, of Winder, GA, passed away January 9, 2006. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home of Winder, GA, 770-867-4553.

Hill considers run for state House seat

LAWRENCEVILLE - Former Gwinnett County Chairman Wayne Hill may try a political comeback in 2006.

Barrow buys swimming pool, plans to open in spring

WINDER - By spring, county residents should be able to take swimming lessons in Barrow's newly acquired swimming pool.

Sports calendar

Baseball

Jan. 14: Berkeley Baseball Academy is holding a pitchers and catchers clinic with professional scout for the New York Yankees and former minor league pitching instructor Joe Caro from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 14. The clinic is for players age 10 to 18, costs $75 and includes a video analysis and personal evaluation checklist. To reserve a spot, call 770-441-2242.