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News for Wednesday, January 18, 2006

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Rhunell Mcdaniel

Rhunell R. McDaniel, age 83 of Bethlehem passed away January 16, 2006. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home of Winder 770-867-4553.

Antionette Pace

Antionette Pace, age 32, of Buford, Georgia passed away on Tuesday, January 17, 2006. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by: Junior E. Flanigan of: Flanigan Funeral Home and ...

Ronald Wynn

Ronald H. “Ron” Wynn, age 55 of Conyers, GA died January 15, 2006. He was preceded in death by his parents, Hugh and Laura Belle Wynn and brother ...

Franklin Welch

Mr. Franklin E. Welch, age 86, of Buford, GA passed away on January 14, 2006. Surviving are: Wife of 58 Years: Mrs. Virginia Wall Welch, Buford, GA; Daughter and Son ...

Mary Frances Gray

Mary Frances Gray, age 81 of Conyers died Tuesday, January 17, 2006. Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 670 Tom Brewer Road, Loganville, Georgia. 770-466-1544

Charles Crowe

Charles Robert Crowe, age 82, of Tucker, died January 17, 2006. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, Lawrenceville. (770)277-4550.

Bondolyn Page

Bondolyn Page, age 86 of Lawrenceville, GA passed away January 10, 2006. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel 1031 Lawrenceville Highway Lawrenceville, GA 770-277-4550.

Giles among trio signed by Braves

Morris News Service

ATLANTA - The Braves agreed to one-year deals Tuesday with a trio of players who were otherwise headed for salary arbitration.

OBITUARIES

GRANT, JAMES

CURTIS

James Curtis (Jim) Grant of Jackson, MS, formerly of Lawrenceville, GA, died January 12, 2006. He was preceded in death by his Parents, Ina Grant of Lawrenceville and Oran Burt Grant of Miami, FL; Brother, Wendell Loy Grant of Buffalo, NY; Brother, Jimmy Ray Oakes of Lawrenceville. Survivors include: Wife, Ola Grant of Jackson, MS; Sister, Ada Marilyn Oakes of Lawrenceville, GA; Brothers, Myron Edward Oakes of Lawrenceville, GA, Gene Charles (Baby) Oakes, Sr. of Buckhead, GA; several Nieces and Nephews. He graduated from Lawrenceville High School and the University of GA with a degree in Fine Arts. He was Owner of Grant Sign Co. for many years, and was also Owner of Grant Airplane Instructor School where he taught students to fly for many years. He was a veteran of Pearl Harbor in the U.S. Army. He was one of the first members to build the VFW and was First Commander of the VFW Post 5255 in Lawrenceville, GA. He was also a member of The American Legion Post. There are no services planned. Arrangements by Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home of Jackson, MS, with entombment at Wright & Ferguson Mausoleum, Ridgeland. He was dearly loved and will be sorely missed by Sister, Ada Marilyn Oakes.

BUCKHEAD

MORRISON, ANNE

Anne Morrison, age 94, of Buckhead, GA, passed away January 17, 2006. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.

BUFORD

KENNEY, MARJORIE

Mrs. Marjorie L. Kenney, age 78, of Buford, GA, passed away January 17, 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.

FLOWERY BRANCH

ADAMS, TERRY

Terry Adams, age 40 of Flowery Branch, passed away in his sleep on Monday, January 16, 2006. Terry was born in Leachville, Arkansas. He is preceded in death by his father, Birl "Bill" Adams and brother, David Parham. He is survived by his wife: Jennifer Wiltsey Adams; children: Tyler Adams, Cassie Adams, all of Flowery Branch, GA; mother: Martha Hubbard Adams of Leachville, AR; sisters: Brenda Stone of Leachville, AR, Dianne Tucker of Cherokee Village, AR, Cindy Carle of Monette, AR, Janie Rogers of Leachville, AR, Patty Barrett of Leachville, AR, Sherry Lairsey of Monroe, GA; father & mother-in-law: Mike & Elaine Stone of Flowery Branch, GA. The family will receive friends on Thursday, January 19, 2006 from 5:00p.m. to 8:00p.m. at Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA, 770-277-4550. A funeral service will be held on Friday, January 20, 2006 at 2:00p.m. at Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel. Burial will be Memorial Park South in Flowery Branch immediately following the service.

LAWRENCEVILLE

GOETZ, VERONICA

Veronica Margaret Goetz, age 91, of Lawrenceville, GA, died Monday Evening, January 16, 2006. Arrangements are pending with The Bill Head Funeral Homes and Crematory, Lilburn/Tucker Chapel, 770-564-2726.

SNELLVILLE

FORD, KAY

Kay Sullivan Ford, age 71 of Snellville, GA, died January 16, 2006. She was preceded in death by her husband, James C. "Bud" Ford and is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Tracy and Asa Marshall of Macon; son and daughter-in-law, Brian and Tina Ford of Snellville; sisters, Cleo Crye of Benton, TN, Jean Stewart of Snellville, Marianna Smith of Cumming; grandchildren, Kyle, Logan and Asa; several nieces and nephews. Mrs. Ford was a member of Snellville United Methodist Church and was active in the local community group Gad-Abouts. Funeral services will be held Thursday, January 19 at 2pm at Wages Snellville Chapel. Interment at Snellville Historical Cemetery. The family will receive friends Wednesday from 2 until 4 and 6 until 8pm at the funeral home. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Snellville Chapel, 770-979-3200, www.wagesfuneralhome.com.

SUWANEE

HARPER, BRANDON

Brandon Nelson Harper, age 25, of Suwanee, GA, passed away January 16, 2006. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.

WINDER

PRICE, HELEN

Helen H. Price, age 74, of Winder, GA, passed away January 16, 2006. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home of Winder, GA, 770-867-4553.

Dunham goes back up, Tarkki sent to Gwinnett

DULUTH - The Atlanta Thrashers officially recalled their goalie, Mike Dunham, from their ECHL affiliate in Gwinnett on Tuesday.

Dunham missed 28 games for the Thrashers while recovering from a groin injury. The 33-year-old was on a brief conditioning assignment and won both games he started for the Gladiators.

New police chief hired in Lilburn

LILBURN - Lilburn officials announced Tuesday that the police chief of Mauldin, S.C., a 32-year law enforcement veteran and graduate of the FBI National Academy, has accepted an offer to head the city's police force.

Planners give nod to homes

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County planning commissioners endorsed the start of a 967-home subdivision Tuesday night in an area where chickens still cluck and cattle still graze.

Gladiators' Gajic earns ECHL weekly honor

DULUTH - Gwinnett Gladiators' forward Milan Gajic was named the ECHL Player of the Week for his performance Jan. 9-15.

Gajic is the third Gladiator to receive the honor this season, joining Guillaume Desbiens and Pascal Pelletier, who won it in back-to-back weeks in December.

Prep roundup: Perry's 24 helps lift Eagles to win

SUWANEE - Emmanuel Perry finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds as Collins Hill defeated South Forsyth 57-51 Tuesday.

Buford City Schools appoints Hamby as superintendent

BUFORD - Buford City Schools will soon have a new superintendent to replace Sue Morris, who announced her retirement earlier this month.

Williams shows way in big Meadowcreek win

LILBURN - Meadowcreek boys basketball coach Billy Davis may have summed it up best.

North girls win another nip-and-tuck game

SUWANEE - It was another low-scoring game for North Gwinnett's girls Tuesday night, but like they have so many other times this season, they found a way to win.

Things we believed in the past can still get us into trouble

One thing I have to admit about Samuel Alito's Senate hearings is they were enlightening. When I say enlightening, I don't mean enlightening in the sense of actually learning anything much about Alito and what kind of justice he would make on the Supreme Court.

Sweet 17th for South's Winchell

SNELLVILLE - Alex Winchell did it all for South Gwinnett on Tuesday. The junior scored 16 points, found her teammates with some sweet passes and was strong on defense all night.

Sports calendar

Baseball

Through February: Early registration for T-ball for players ages 4-8 is $50 through January. It's $60 after. Register online at www.firstbaptist.net or call 770-921-1220 ext. 256. Sponsored by the Recreation Ministry of First Baptist Lilburn.

Business In Brief

Coca-Cola fills new international chief position

•ATLANTA - The Coca-Cola Co. on Tuesday named company veteran Muhtar Kent to a newly created position of president of international operations as the world's largest beverage maker continued its strategy to centralize its leadership structure.

Letters to the Editor

Unpatriotic celebs do disservice to country

Seems we have another has-been Hollywood fading star trying to stir the political pudding in a foreign country.

The latest ex-celeb shooting off an unpatriotic mouth and making a fool of himself in front of the whole world is none other than Harry Bellefonte.

For those who don't remember, he's the guy who made famous the very old hit song that includes the line, "Daylight come and I want to go home." If that doesn't ring a bell, it's the "Day-O, Day-O" jingle played at musical interludes during Braves games.

On his traitorous trip to Venezuela, Bellefonte was quick to praise their crazed dictator as a hero while bashing our president as the world's biggest tyrant.

This is the same guy who called black members of the Bush administration house slaves. Celebrities like Bellefonte, Alec Baldwin and Jane Fonda are quick to visit anti-American countries and praise their leaders, but when "daylight come, they want to go home."

Politicians should rededicate themselves to telling the truth

This is hard to believe, but an awesome 30 years have passed since a major politician ran on a clearly stated platform of not lying.

Where there's a Will

State Supreme Court denies Rojas' appeal in stabbing death

LAWRENCEVILLE - The Supreme Court of Georgia on Tuesday unanimously affirmed the conviction of a Norcross man in the stabbing death of his friend after a night of heavy drinking in June 2003.

Jose Felix Rojas was seeking to overturn his Aug. 6, 2004, conviction and life sentence in Gwinnett County Superior Court on a charge of felony murder in the death of Franklin Hernan Carreno.

During his trial, both prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed Rojas had no motive to stab his close friend Carreno, a Columbia native, 22 times on June 10, 2003. Wilson presented 20 character witnesses during the trial to testify Rojas was an upstanding member of the community who raised four sons and had no history of violence.

Authorities may never understand why Carreno was killed, since he and Rojas were alone in his Herrington Woods apartment in Norcross during the incident. Rojas claimed he did not remember what happened because he they had both been drinking heavily that evening.

Two other friends left the small party at Carreno's home just hours before the slaying. Rojas and Carreno were last seen having a good time talking and listening to music. There was no prior feud or argument between them, friends said.

$2 million proposed for Hamilton Mill branch

LAWRENCEVILLE - State aid for libraries could come to Gwinnett for the first time in a decade.

State In Brief

Statesboro standoff ends peacefully

•STATESBORO - A couple surrendered peacefully Tuesday after holding an attorney hostage for more than 24 hours and telling authorities they were armed with an explosive device, police said.

County to offer incentives to draw businesses

LAWRENCEVILLE - After years of watching from the sidelines, Gwinnett County government is getting in the economic development game.

Lawmakers express displeasure over health plan

ATLANTA - Georgia lawmakers Tuesday grilled the state's new health chief regarding recent disruptions in insurance coverage for teachers and state employees that resulted from decisions made before she took office.

Members of the legislature's budget committees from Southwest Georgia and the state's northwestern counties complained about the inadequate network of providers United Healthcare of Georgia brought to those areas when the State Health Benefit Plan hired them last fall in a cost-cutting move.

"There were not a lot of hospitals or doctors,'' Rep. Bob Hanner, D-Parrott, told Dr. Rhonda Medows, who took over as Georgia's community health commissioner in December, several weeks after United was hired.

"People were not only mad. They were frightened.''

"How could you approve a contract without having a network in place?'' asked Rep. Ed Rynders, R-Leesburg.

Members of the House and Senate appropriations committees raised the issue during the first of two days of hearings on the $18.6 billion budget proposed by Gov. Sonny Perdue last week.

It was one of the few topics to generate many questions, as lawmakers heard mostly good news from the governor and state agency heads concerning their plans for $1.2 billion in additional tax collections the state is anticipating due to the recovering economy.

The state's switch to United caused a huge public outcry in the affected regions last November when many enrollees discovered that their doctors weren't in the company's network.

Only after the state awarded a contract to United did the Department of Community Health negotiate with the company to expand its network to include more doctors and hospitals serving those areas.

But by that time, the enrollment period for many enrollees was about to expire, threatening to leave them in the lurch.

"It should not have come down to the last week before enrollment started,'' Medows said. "There's probably enough blame to go around.''

Reacting to the episode, Democrats in the House and Senate introduced legislation last week that would provide more oversight of the State Health Benefit Plan.

The bills call for the creation of a committee - either of legislators or plan enrollees - that would review various features of the state's health coverage and suggest improvements.

The legislation also is drawing support from Republicans, at least those who represent parts of the state affected by the switch to United.

"We need some kind of oversight,'' Rynders said. "We need to send the message to every teacher and every employee in this state that whatever happened won't happen again.''

The budget panels also heard Tuesday from state School Superintendent Kathy Cox, who outlined a series of education spending initiatives Perdue presented to the legislature last week.

Today, the state university system Board of Regents will present the governor's plans for higher education.

Braselton starts construction on spacious library

BRASELTON - Library employees and patrons, come fall, will no longer have to politely slide past each other in Braselton's 843-square-foot library.

City and library officials Tuesday celebrated the groundbreaking of Braselton's new 8,900-square-foot library. The afternoon rain canceled the actual groundbreaking on Ga. Highway 124 in Jackson County, but the celebration continued inside Braselton's Town Hall.

Officials expect an actual groundbreaking to take place later this week, when the weather clears.