News for Wednesday, March 1, 2006

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Ann Miller

Ann Rosenbaum Miller, age 80 of Snellville, Georgia, died February 25, 2006. She was preceded in death by her husband, Guy Wallace Miller. She is survived by, daughter and son ...

Ricky Kilgore

Mr. Ricky Willis Kilgore, age 45 of Stone Mountain, GA, and formerly of Buford, passed away February 28, 2006 after a sudden illness. He was preceded in death by his ...

Luella Barton

Luella Ackarman Barton, age 78 of Lilburn, GA, passed away February 28, 2006. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.

Deborah Walker

Deborah Lee Walker, 23, a senior at Valdosta State University, passed away unexpectedly in Valdosta, Georgia on Monday, February 27 in an automobile accident. Lee was predeceased by two uncles ...

Emmerline Cheeks

Mrs. Emmerline Millsap Cheeks, age 82, of Flowery Branch, died February 28, 2006. Arrangements by Memorial Park South Funeral Home, 4121 Falcon Parkway, Flowery Branch, GA 30542, 770-967-5555.

Mary Martin

Mary Lee Martin, age 68 of Buford, died Wednesday, March 1, 2006. A funeral service will be held at 11 A.M. Saturday, March 4 in the Chapel of Tapp/Tim ...

Doris Starnes

Doris Hazel Starnes, age 83 of Norcross, GA, passed away February 28, 2006. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Peachtree Chapel Funeral Home, Norcross, GA, 770-448-5757.

Michael Shumake

Michael Roy Shumake, age 42 of Lawrenceville, died Tuesday, February 28, 2006. Funeral Services will be held 3:00 PM, Friday, March 3, 2006 in the Lawrenceville Chapel of Tim Stewart ...

Dell Wilson

Dell Wilson, age 74 of Lilburn, GA, died February 28, 2006. Arrangements by Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Snellville Chapel, 770-979-3200, www.wagesfuneralhome.com .

Matthew Berger

Matthew Joseph Berger, age 17 months, of Flowery Branch, GA, died February 27, 2006. Arrangements by Memorial Park South Funeral Home, 4121 Falcon Parkway, Flowery Branch, GA 30542, 770-967-5555.

Braselton gets grant for river project

BRASELTON - The town of Braselton received $100,000 for the second phase of its RiverWalk project.

Letters to the Editor

Bush takes big risk trusting Arab nation to guard ports

President Bush has once again demonstrated his worldly knowledge and acumen in assessing who our friends are by attempting to allocate control of our ports to a company based in the United Arab Emirates, a country with proven ties to terrorist organizations.

The president holds forth the notion that these countries, including Saudi Arabia, are our friends and present no danger to the security of our ports.

Whether they do or not, the track record speaks for itself, and Americans are dumbfounded and enraged as to why this president, in the face of opposition from his own party, is bound and determined to go forward with his decision. Is it just a matter of business, big business?

Ernest Wade of Loganville said it all when he wrote, "Our port security should not be under the control of any nation much less one that is favored by al-Qaida." ("Blind outsourcing threatens security," To the Editor, Feb. 22).

sports calendar

Baseball

Through February: Early registration for T-ball for players ages 4-8 is $60. Register online at www.firstbaptist.net or call 770-921-1220 ext. 256. Sponsored by the Recreation Ministry of First Baptist Lilburn.

New police precinct overlooks Love Shack

NORCROSS - Ever since the Love Shack moved in, Herb Strickland has worried about crime coming with it.

Aurora price higher than anticipated

LAWRENCEVILLE - Turning an old church into a playhouse could cost Lawrenceville much more than expected.

Paste Front Page Headline 4 Here

NORCROSS - Though he has been teaching for 22 years, Ken Almon remembers well what it's like to be a first-year teacher.

He knows many new teachers come to the classroom armed with extensive lesson plans, deeply concerned about standardized test scores. What they may not have learned in college is how to develop personal relationships with their students.

Cliffs Notes for teachers

Police crack 2003 homicide case

LAWRENCEVILLE - More than two years of prayer and persistence finally paid off on Tuesday when family members of a 30-year-old Norcross woman learned police identified a suspect in her brutal stabbing death.

DNA evidence has linked a man serving a 95-year prison sentence for murdering two women in Gary, Ind., to the slaying of Aisha Davis two years ago, according to Detective J.D. Smith of the Gwinnett County Police Department.

"Further DNA analysis is pending," said Smith, who got the results back on Tuesday afternoon. "The only thing we can say is there was a hit on CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), the national DNA database."

Alien bill clears Senate hurdle

ATLANTA - Legislation clamping down on illegal immigrants in Georgia and the businesses that hire them cleared a Senate committee Tuesday in a vote primarily along party lines.

Voting 6-2, the Public Safety and Homeland Security committee sent one of the Republican legislative leadership's top priorities for the 2006 session to the full Senate, which could take it up later this week.

The comprehensive measure would require adults seeking certain taxpayer-funded services to prove that they are U.S. citizens or are in the country legally.

On the employment side, it would prohibit government agencies from entering into contracts with businesses that hire illegal workers and deny private companies that employ illegals certain benefits under the tax code.

"It will be the strongest (illegal immigration) law in America times 10,'' said Sen. Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, the bill's sponsor, who researched laws in other states while crafting his measure. "None of them comprise everything we're talking about.''

However, Rogers did agree to changes in the legislation that would limit its impact on portions of the undocumented population.

For one thing, it forbids denying public services to the children of illegal immigrants.

It also exempts prenatal care and post-secondary education. The new version of the bill approved by the committee calls on the state University System Board of Regents to develop a policy governing enrollment of illegal immigrants' children.

"A lot of these kids have been in the schools since they were in kindergarten,'' said Sen. Sam Zamarripa, D-Atlanta, a leading opponent of the legislation, who nonetheless worked with Rogers on many of the changes.

In keeping with federal immigration law, the bill also would not apply to illegals seeking emergency health care, immunizations, treatment for communicable diseases or K-12 public education.

Rogers also agreed to move back the effective date of several of the bill's key provisions, which originally were to become law on July 1.

The portion of the bill dealing with public benefits and the section on government contracts would take effect in July 2007.

The provision dealing with private sector hiring wouldn't become law until July 2008. It provides that companies that pay illegal workers more than $600 a year may not deduct those payments from their state income taxes as a business expense.

Rogers said the state Department of Revenue, which will be charged with enforcing that provision, wanted the extra preparation time.

"We bent over backwards to alleviate some of those concerns,'' he said.

But more importantly, the additional lead time would give Congress an opportunity to address illegal immigration.

The U.S. House passed comprehensive immigration legislation in December.

Zamarripa said 16 bills are pending in the Senate, all containing a "guest worker program'' for illegal immigrants sought by the Bush administration but not in the House measure.

Indeed, Georgia Democrats who oppose Rogers' bill - including Zamarripa - argue that Congress is the appropriate venue for addressing illegal immigration.

"We're trying to do legislation that belongs to the federal government,'' said Sen. Gloria Butler, D-Stone Mountain, one of the committee members who voted against the bill Tuesday.

Rogers and other Georgia Republicans, however, say they're stepping up because the feds have been dragging their feet.

One other change approved by the Senate panel adds a new section to the bill targeting "notarios,'' people who pose as lawyers capable of providing documents immigrants need to verify legal status, which often prove to be fraudulent.

Developed by Zamarripa, the provision declares that activity a misdemeanor punishable by fines of up to $1,000.

"The false-documents aspect of this entire issue is enormous,'' Rogers said. "It is something I'm going to continue to work on.''

Two Barrow girls reported missing, last seen Saturday

STATHAM - Two teenagers have been reported missing after one called her mother saying she was on her way home, then never returned.

OBITUARIES

BETHLEHEM

IVEY, LESTER

Lester Darrell Ivey, age 58, of Bethlehem, GA, passed away February 27, 2006. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home of Winder, GA, 770-867-4553.*

MCDANIEL, JAMES

James Melvin McDaniel, age 65 of Bethlehem, passed away February 26, 2006. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home of Winder, GA, 770-867-4553.*

DACULA

DIMA, ROSE

Rose Marie Dima, age 80, of Dacula, GA, passed away on February 26, 2006. Arrangements by Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Lawrenceville Chapel, 120 Scenic Hwy., Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-963-2411, www.wagesfuneralhome.com.*

KILGORE, RICKY

Mr. Ricky Kilgore, age 45, of Dacula, GA, passed away February 28, 2006. Arrangements by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Buford, GA, 770-932-1133, www.flaniganfuneralhome.com.

DULUTH

MAYS, WILLIAM

William (Bill) Hoke Mays, age 53, of Duluth, GA, died Monday, February 27, 2006. A graveside service will be Thursday, March 2, 2006, at 1 PM in the Decatur City Cemetery. He was the son of the late Hulon and Montine (Teny) Mays of Berkley Lake. Bill Mays was severely injured in an automobile accident in his youth and was cared for by his father and mother until their deaths. Mr. Mays attended Duluth High School and obtained training and therapy at the High Hope School. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Gregory Mays and is survived by several aunts, uncles and cousins. The family will receive friends Thursday from 11:30 AM until 12:30 PM at the Bill Head Funeral Homes and Crematory, Lilburn/Tucker Chapel, 770-564-2726.

LAWRENCEVILLE

WALKER, LEE

Lee Walker, age 23 of Lawrenceville, GA, passed away February 27, 2006. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.*

County commissioners OK Lilburn-area rezoning

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County commissioners approved a rezoning Tuesday night that was embraced by some and opposed by others in the Mountain Park area near Lilburn.

Comets showing off I.Q.

It's a term that's become quite familiar in recent years - one that implies a great knowledge and understanding of the game.

School board approves two principal appointments

SUWANEE - The Gwinnett Board of Education approved the appointments of two new principals for the 2006-2007 school year at a special called meeting this week.

When you're in the doghouse, make it home

It's been said that what America really needs is a good five-cent cigar. Of course, it was said in 1917 by Thomas R. Marshall, who was the U.S. vice president at the time, which means that it'd be a good 77-cent cigar today.

At least 77 cents is what an official government inflation calculator officially calculated that something you bought for a nickel in 1917 would run you in 2006.

local briefs

Weir named top amateur athlete by Atlanta group

Brookwood grad Amanda Weir, one of the nation's top swimmers and a two-time silver medalist at the 2004 Olympics, received an Atlanta Sports Award on Monday night as the Amateur Athlete of the Year. The inaugural Atlanta Sports Awards were presented by the Atlanta Sports Council and Applebee's.

Prep Roundup: Bailey double propels Grayson over Loganville

LOGANVILLE - Grayson scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh, capped off by Kegan Bailey's bases loaded double, as the Rams (1-0) opened their season with a 7-6 win over Loganville on Tuesday.

State briefs

House to mull limit on property tax increases

ATLANTA - The House could vote this week on a constitutional amendment aimed at suppressing rising property tax rates.

Man dies in three-car wreck

LAWRENCEVILLE - A 42-year-old Lawrenceville man was killed Tuesday morning in a three-vehicle wreck on Duluth Highway.

Public Service Commission to review consumer advocates' role

LAWRENCEVILLE - The role of the state Public Service Commission's adversary staff may become clearer this week.

Independents' day? Not likely

From a distance, John Dashler appears to have the right stuff for governor. He articulates a clear vision for the state. He seems to understand Georgia's deep-rooted problems. His personal resume is impressive. His photo indicates he possesses the right look for high office. He may even have big bucks at his disposal.

The Dalton businessman is worth serious consideration as a contender for Georgia's highest office, right?

Probably not. The 58-year-old Dashler has made a campaign decision that puts him into just about everybody's fringe-guy file. He has decided to run as an independent. He plans to eschew Democratic, Republican and even Libertarian labels.

"Independent and third-party candidates for statewide races, including governor, have to gather signatures of Georgia's registered voters, approximately 40,000 by mid-July," writes reporter Charles Oliver in the Dalton Daily Citizen. "Dashler said last week he will meet that goal. But he added that the petition requirements are a big hurdle for an independent candidate."

As Oliver notes, if Dashler succeeds in gaining the necessary valid signatures, he would become the first independent candidate for governor to appear on the state ballot.

Georgia has the toughest ballot access laws in the country. You can bet the Georgia Legislature, whether it's run by Republicans or Democrats, is determined to keep it that way.

Georgians did not have the opportunity to vote for independent Ralph Nader in either of his presidential races. Our ballot-access fence kept him out. We were one of only five states in which Nader's name did not appear on the ballot.

In 2000, independent presidential candidate Pat Buchanan managed to get onto the Georgia ballots but received less than 11,000 votes (0.04 percent). In 1992, however, independent candidate Ross Perot received enough votes to throw the state to Democrat Bill Clinton. Most observers agree that Republicans would have easily won the Peach State if Perot had been relegated to the status of write-in candidate.

Police Reports

Woman won't store counterfeit money

•BUFORD - A large amount of counterfeit U.S. currency was placed in a garbage bag and discarded in a stream in Buford last week, according to a police report.

Local 'Idol' hopeful goes country

LAWRENCEVILLE - One of the 10 female contestants on the hit TV show "American Idol," Duluth resident Kinnik Sky performed Gretchen Wilson's "Here for the Party" on Tuesday night's show.

Developer must plant tree buffer for altering property lines

WINDER - A developer who requested that the homes he is building not be required to have the same property lines as the development behind it will have to plant trees between the properties to keep a measure of privacy, commissioners said Tuesday.

Without stars, GAC back in Final Four

They may not have the star power of the 2001 or 2002 state championship teams, but the Greater Atlanta Christian girls basketball team is back in the Class AA Final Four for the first time since 2002.

Gladiators clinch playoff berth with 3-2 win over Ice Pilots

The Gwinnett Gladiators used two goals from Jon Awe and a shorthanded tally from Jeff Campbell to beat the Pensacola Ice Pilots 3-2 on Tuesday night at the Pensacola Civic Center to clinch a 2006 Kelly Cup Playoff berth.

Gwinnett improves to 36-11-7 on the season with the win.

Speed-camera bill receives green light

ATLANTA - Local police agencies would be allowed to place speed-detection cameras in school zones under a Gwinnett County lawmaker's bill approved Tuesday by a Senate committee.

The legislation cleared the transportation committee unanimously and could reach the Senate floor later this week.

Freshman Rep. Melvin Everson, R-Snellville, introduced the legislation after city police officials expressed interest in using the cameras as a tool to slow down speeders near schools.

The Gwinnett County Police Department also sent an officer to a subcommittee meeting last week to support the bill.

Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snell-ville, who appeared before the committee on Tuesday, said the money raised from fines paid by motorists caught by the cameras would be used to promote public safety.

Sen. Steve Thompson, D-Powder Springs, praised the bill's backers for including provisions requiring the posting of signs warning motorists of the camera's presence and holding rental car drivers - not rental companies - responsible for tickets.

- From staff reports