News for Tuesday, January 24, 2006

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Milo Maynard

Mr. Milo Maynard, age 64, of Auburn, GA, died Monday, January 23, 2006. He is survived by his wife, Ruby Maynard of Auburn; daughter, Mindy Maynard; 4 step daughters; 3 ...

Maciej Bieniek

Maciej P. Bieniek, age 79, of Lawrenceville, GA, passed away Tuesday, January 24, 2006. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.

Gladys Barb

Gladys Barb, age 94, of Lawrenceville, GA, passed away January 23, 2006. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.

James Briscoe, Sr.

James Holland Briscoe, Sr., age 83 of Lawrenceville, GA, passed away on January 23, 2006. He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert “Ab” Daniel Briscoe and ...

Mildred Wheeler

Mrs. Mildred Wheeler, age 78, of Cumming, GA, passed away January 24, 2006. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory ...

Mary Herrington

Mary Odell Herrington, age 94 of Hayesville, NC, formerly of Lawrenceville, died Monday, January 23, 2006. Funeral Services will be held 11:00 AM, Thursday, January 26, 2006 in the Lawrenceville ...

Sybil Bannister

Mrs. Sybil Liddel Bannister, age 63, of Buford, GA, passed away January 23, 2006. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and ...

Myrtle Allen

Mrs. Myrtle Satterfield Allen of Buford, GA, passed away January 24, 2006. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory of ...

Mercer earns SEC freshman honor

Georgia guard Mike Mercer, a South Gwinnett grad, was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week on Monday.

Duluth talks bands, balloons, billboards at meeting

The hot topics of discussion at Monday night's Duluth City Council meeting were bands, balloons and billboards.

Several students from the Duluth High School Interact Club asked the council to be co-sponsors of the second annual Battle of the Bands in the Town Green on April 22. They also requested the city to provide security and cleanup for the event. The Battle of the Bands event raised $5,000 for charity last year, and will again donate the proceeds to four local charities. The council agreed to all requests.

Letters to the Editor

Keep America great by securing borders

Include me among the ignorant and complaining that the Rev. Aquiles Martinez says are in favor of keeping our country's borders secure and our immigrants legal ("Witch hunt doesn't solve problems," Perspective, Jan. 17). And if that is "witch hunting," I want to keep the witches out, too.

Braving the rain

New star may flame out

Democrats think they have found their deliverer. He is the new governor of Virginia, Timothy Kaine. So confident are they that Kaine can lead them to the electoral promise land, they have tapped him to deliver their party's response to President Bush's State of the Union speech on Jan. 31. Given the threats posed by foreign and domestic terrorists, Democrats risk exposing Kaine as an inexperienced lightweight who is not in the president's league of knowledge and experience.

Police Briefs

Man robs Norcross bank

•NORCROSS - A man in a white baseball cap robbed the Fidelity Bank on Friday at 3500 Holcomb Bridge Road.

Senate OKs tax relief on winter heating bills

ATLANTA - The Senate on Monday voted overwhelmingly to give Georgians some help with their winter heating bills.

Voting 51-3, senators gave final passage to legislation temporarily cutting the state sales tax on natural gas and liquid propane. The measure, which ratified an executive order issued by Gov. Sonny Perdue last month, now goes to the governor's desk for his signature.

Due to relatively mild weather so far this winter, home heating costs have not risen as steeply as industry experts were predicting following supply disruptions from last year's Gulf Coast hurricanes.

Still, natural gas prices are projected to increase by 36 percent in the South over last year, according to the latest federal estimate, while propane costs will rise an estimated 19.5 percent.

The legislation, which cleared the House two weeks ago, reduces the state tax on home heating fuels from 4 percent to 2 percent. The tax break will run from January through April for natural gas customers and January through March for homeowners who use propane.

Without that tax relief, the state would take in an additional $16 million to $20 million in revenue because of the higher prices, Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, R-Sharpsburg, said Monday during a short debate on the Senate floor.

"He (Perdue) believes the state should not benefit from a windfall,'' said Seabaugh, chairman of the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee.

But several Democrats argued that the bill doesn't go far enough.

Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, said knocking 2 percent off the sales tax would only save homeowners $4 to $5 a month. He suggested doing away with the full 4 percent tax this winter.

Sen. Regina Thomas, D-Savannah, said the governor and his legislative Republican allies should consider keeping the tax and spending the additional revenue on education and health care.

"It's a feel-good thing to say we're going to give a break with taxes,'' she said. "This is not going to do anything to help the consumers of this state.''

But most Democrats ending up supporting the bill. Only Thomas, Sen. Gloria Butler, D-Stone Mountain; and Senate Minority Leader Robert Brown, D-Macon, voted against it.

Perdue spokeswoman Heather Hedrick said no date has been set for the governor to sign the bill.

Convenience can get awfully pricey

You have to ask yourself just how many entertainment options you really need in a pair of britches. What brought this up was I saw that Levi's was designing some blue jeans for iPod users. IPods are those little music players designed specifically for people who can't manage to make it through life without a downloaded musical soundtrack blaring in the background via convenient and stylish earplugs, sort of Walkmans gone very, very bad.

Sudderth commits to Navy

The Parkview football program is sending another Sudderth to Navy.

Church selling 30 acres for Dacula town center project

DACULA - Hebron Baptist Church draws 5,000 people to Dacula every Sunday. Soon, those churchgoers could have a new place to eat lunch, shop and play.

Sheriff: No plans to end PHS contract

By Andria Simmons

Staff Writer

andria.simmons@gwinnettdailypost.com

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway said Monday he has no current plans to replace the company contracted to provide health care at the jail, despite recent concerns over the death of a fatally ill female inmate.

In brief

Third search for missing teacher completed

OCILLA - Searchers have completed a third search for missing Irwin County High School teacher Tara Grinstead, with no major discoveries reported.

OBITUARIES

ATLANTA

WILLIAMS, TOMMY

Tommy Williams, III, age 61, of Atlanta (Dekalb County), GA, died Sunday, January 22, 2006. Arrangements are pending with The Bill Head Funeral Homes and Crematory, Lilburn/Tucker Chapel, 770-564-2726.*

AUBURN

STEVENS, DAVID

David Leonard Stevens Sr., age 49 of Auburn, GA, passed away January 19, 2006. A memorial service will be held Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 6:00 p.m. at Kistner Center, 2689 Lenora Rd., Snellville, GA. David's passion, as well as his profession, was landscaping. He created the gardens at the Kistner Center for his dear late friend, Mary Kistner. He loved to play the guitar, scuba dive and enjoyed nature in every aspect. He had a talent for woodworking and could turn an ordinary tree branch into a masterpiece. David was a kind, gentle person who was adored and loved by his family and friends. He will be missed greatly by all those who knew him. The world has lost a beautiful person and now he has found peace with our Lord. David is survived by his Parents, Herbert W. and Lois Nell Rollins Stevens of Dade City, FL; Life Long Love, Diane Stevens of Duluth, GA; Son, David Stevens Jr. of Duluth, GA; Brother, James Willis Stevens of Zephry Hill, FL; Sisters, Karen Dozier of Currituck, NC, Susan Oaksford of Syracuse, NY. Memorial contributions may be made to Kistner Center, 2689 Lenora Rd., Snellville, GA. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home of Winder, GA, 770-867-4553.

BOGART

DAVIS, CONNIE

Mrs. Connie Reed Stinchcomb Davis, age 47 of Bogart, GA, passed away January 20, 2006. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home of Winder, GA, 770-867-4553.*

DAVIS, THOMAS

Thomas Davis, Jr., age 43 of Bogart, GA, passed away January 20, 2006. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home of Winder, GA, 770-867-4553.*

DULUTH

WOODALL, W. RAY

W. Ray Woodall, 65, of Duluth, GA, died January 23, 2006. The memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 25th, at Crowell Brothers Peachtree Chapel Funeral Home in Norcross. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Mr. Woodall, a U.S. Navy veteran, was a member of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church. He was a Civil Engineer for 18 years and a Salesman for Lou Sobh for 3 years. He is survived by his wife, Carole Woodall of Duluth, GA; two sons, Timothy Woodall of Mobile, AL, and Darren Woodall of Knoxville, TN; brother, Jim Woodall of Bradenton, FL; two sisters, Sally White of Fillmore, CA, and Patricia Sprayberry of Santa Paula, CA; and a granddaughter, Bailey Woodall. In lieu of flowers, those desiring may send contributions to the Georgia Baptist Children's Home, P.O. Box 329, Palmetto, GA 30268, (770) 463-8645. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Peachtree Chapel Funeral Home, 5051 Peachtree Ind. Blvd., Norcross, GA 30092, (770) 448-5757.

LAWRENCEVILLE

SORROW, HENRY

Henry C. Sorrow, Sr., age 86, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, passed away on Saturday, January 21, 2006. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Virginia English Sorrow and former wife, Sarah Singleton Sorrow. He is survived by sons, Henry C. Sorrow, Jr. and wife, Sandra of Snellville, GA, Tommy G. Sorrow and wife, Deborah of Lawrenceville, GA; stepson, Michael Johnson and wife, Joan of Loganville, GA; sisters, Lora Belle Miller of Denver, CO and Effie Almond of Warner Robins, GA; brothers, Elton Sorrow and Penn Sorrow, both of Baltimore, MD; grandchildren, Carole Van Hooser and husband, Cole, Cathy Derreberry and husband, Boyd, Christopher Smith and wife, Christina, Nikki Smith, Doug Johnson and wife, Cindy, Dana Kennedy and husband, Daks; and 9 great grandchildren. Mr. Sorrow was a veteran of WWII having served in the Pacific in the Rainbow Division, which was one of the first to occupy Japan. After his discharge from the Army he operated a diary farm. He retired from General Motors Lakewood Plant and attended Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in the Pittsburg Community. Funeral services will be held at 11 am, Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at Wages Snellville Chapel with Rev. Buster Dockins of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church officiating. Interment will follow in Eternal Hills Memory Gardens. The family will receive friends Monday from 2 - 4 and 6 - 8 pm at the funeral home. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Snellville Chapel, 770-979-3200, www.wagesfuneralhome.com .

LOGANVILLE

FRAZER, SUE

Sue Hall Frazer, age 64 of Loganville, GA, died January 22, 2006. She is survived by: Children: Tim and Kim Frazer of Dahlonega, Tammy and Wayne Donaldson of Loganville, Tabitha and Ronnie Allen of Eatonton, Benjy Frazer of Loganville; Grandchildren: Casey Shoptaw, Jason Kenney, Jesse Frazer, Josh Towler, Jacob Donaldson, Cassidy Allen, Scott Allen; Sisters and Brother-in-Law: Betty Bowen of Loganville, Jean Rossing and Tommy Rossing of Loganville; Brother and Sisters-in-Law: Buddy Hall and Sarah Hall of Monroe, Nolan Hall of Loganville, Rutledge Hall and Judy Hall of Loganville; Brother: Billy Wayne Hall of Loganville; Sister: Suzanne Splawn of Loganville; Caretakers: Judy Hall and Donna Grier. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 1:00 P.M. at Wages Lawrenceville Chapel with the Rev. Robert Pruett and Rev. Franklin Rutledge officiating. Interment will follow at White Chapel Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends Monday from 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM and Tuesday from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM and Wednesday until service time. Tom M. Wages Funeral Services, Inc., Lawrenceville Chapel, 770-963-2411.

KENT, JUNE

June Kent, age 79 of Loganville, died Saturday, January 21, 2006. Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 2246 Wisteria Drive, Snellville, Georgia 30078, 770-979-5010.*

ZENT, CHARLOTTE

Charlotte Elaine Zent, 48, of Loganville, died Sunday, January 22, 2006. Arrangements by Bill Head Funeral Homes and Crematory, Lilburn/Tucker Chapel, 770-564-2726.

MACON

SMITH, TONI

Toni Laura Smith, age 81 of Macon, died Monday, January 23, 2006. Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 300 Simonton Road, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045, 770-962-3100.

WINDER

SCHWORKE, ERNA

Erna Schulbe-Schworke, age 92 of Winder, GA, passed away January 22, 2006. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home of Winder, GA, 770-867-4553.*

Parkview wins inaugural Battle of Five Forks

Parkview's swimming and diving team took home the inaugural Battle of Five Forks Swim Trophy this past weekend with a victory over rival Brookwood. The two programs developed a trophy for their head-to-head meet each season that they will trade back and forth depending on the victor.

Flipping the switch

Barrow lawmakers push illegal immigration bill

ATLANTA - Two lawmakers representing Barrow County introduced legislation Monday aimed at the hiring of illegal immigrants in Georgia.

Snellville appoints new mayor pro tem

SNELLVILLE - Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer and City Council members Monday night voted to appoint council member Robert Jenkins the city's new mayor pro tem, an office left vacant after mayor pro tem Mike Smith resigned Jan. 20.

Smith, who has been charged with ten felony counts in connection with a telemarketing scam, voluntarily resigned and will devote his attention to clearing his name.

"I felt that Mike Smith would have been a better choice for mayor pro tem. I regret that he resigned. I wish he would have stayed on," Jenkins said after thanking his fellow council members and the mayor for their confidence in him.

Jenkins went on to say that he is disappointed in the way the investigation and arrest were handled by the sheriff and the district attorney.

"Usually, when someone is being investigated, they know about it. Mike knew nothing about this until he was arrested," Jenkins said. "This is a devastating situation for a husband, father and former

councilman."

Dippel to run for

vacant Post 5 seat

Terri Dippel, who ran against Smith for the Post 5 council seat last November, announced her intention to run again for the same seat now that it is open. Dippel, who won 38 percent of the vote last November, said, "I never expected to run again so soon or under these circumstances."

Dippel is an second-grade teacher at Centerville Elementary School in Snellville. She and her husband, Richard, have lived in Snellville for 20 years.

The election is tentatively scheduled for July 18, the first date on which Snellville can hold an election since moving the city's polling place to the new City Hall.

Mayor accounts

State of the City

Oberholtzer delivered his State of the City address to residents Monday night. Looking back at 2005, he highlighted the city's accomplishments. Giving a pat on the back to the public safety and police departments, Oberholtzer commended city staff for numerous awards and honors bestowed on the city in 2005.

Looking forward to 2006, the mayor added that more officers will be added to the city's force. He also noted planned improvements to Briscoe Park, city sidewalks and drainage repairs and improvements.

"We had a great year and are looking forward to a better one this year," Oberholtzer said.

South's undefeated Cashion different person on mat

There is a transformation that happens to Wes Cashion before he begins to wrestle.

South boys may forfeit wins over ineligible player

In an initial ruling handed down by the Georgia High School Association, the South Gwinnett boys basketball team will be forced to forfeit five wins, including two Region 8-AAAAA victories, for using an ineligible player earlier in the season.

Gas companies try to accommodate frustrated customers

LAWRENCEVILLE - Many local natural gas customers struggling to pay recent bills may get a break.

Georgia Natural Gas is offering some subscribers more time to settle up if they are approved for a payment arrangement, said spokeswoman Terry Redman.

"It's on a case-by-case basis, but sometimes it can be four months, six months," she said. "We're definitely giving customers the option to (take) longer if they need to."

Groups urge state to help poor with heating costs

ATLANTA - The state should steer additional tax revenue generated by higher home-heating prices toward poor people instead of spreading it out as across-the-board tax relief, consumer advocates said Monday.

Representatives of several nonprofit groups spoke out after the Senate gave final passage to a bill temporarily reducing Georgia's sales tax on natural gas and liquid propane from 4 percent to 2 percent.

The legislation, the state's response to a sudden increase in heating prices this winter, is expected to reduce customers' bills statewide by $16 million to

$20 million.

But the bill's critics said that amount would save individual customers only $4 to $5 per month.

That money could be put to better use beefing up the state's share of the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, said Alan Essig, director of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.

He said $16 million to $20 million - added to what the state and federal governments already are spending on energy assistance to low-income Georgians - would be enough to serve 200,000 low-income households.

Last winter, just more than half that many households in Georgia received energy aid.

"They're overwhelmingly elderly and disabled ... some of the most vulnerable populations,'' Essig said.

Cas Robinson, president of AARP Georgia, said low-income Americans need more help with their energy bills because they spend a disproportionately large percentage of their incomes on heat, 13 percent compared to just 5 percent by the average American family.

When heating prices go up suddenly, low-income customers often must choose between buying the medicines they need and paying their heating bills, he said.

"(They) are forced to make unsafe and unhealthy choices just to keep the heat on,'' he said.

But Gov. Sonny Perdue said across-the-board tax relief makes sense because all Georgians are being hit with higher heating costs.

"The people who consume pay the taxes,'' he said.

At the same time, Perdue spokeswoman Heather Hedrick noted that the governor is stepping up the state's commitment to the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Perdue's midyear budget proposal earmarks $4.1 million in home-energy assistance, the first time the state has provided general fund money to LIHEAP.

Hedrick said those funds - combined with $6 million from the state Public Service Commission and $17.9 million from the feds - would be enough to serve every Georgian enrolled in the program last year and eliminate a waiting list of 25,000.

Perdue also is seeking $200,000 in the midyear budget to develop the state's first energy conservation plan.

Jill Johnson, an advocate for the Georgia Public Interest Research Group, said that plan must include a public education component, promotion of energy-efficient buildings and home appliances, tax incentives to encourage businesses and homeowners to buy energy-efficient products and an aggressive push to develop renewable sources of energy.

"There is no reason, with the talent and leadership we have ... that we can't come up with an energy policy in this state,'' added Rep. Douglas Dean, D-Atlanta.

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.