News for Sunday, March 12, 2006

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Engagement Announcements

Trice - Tanner

Doug and Jenny Trice of Loganville announce the engagement of their daughter, Julie Trice, to Benjamin Tanner, son of Gary and Cheryl Juhan of Snellville.

Prep roundup: Barrajas tops off four-run rally for Mustangs' 6-5 win

NORCROSS - Angel Barrajas drove in Bill Scott to cap off a four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh to push Meadowcreek past Westlake 6-5 on Saturday. The win was the first for the Mustangs in more than a year.

Road Closures

n Arnold Road at U.S. Highway 29 will require intermittent lane closures from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through July for road widening and safety improvements.

Details of planned commuter rail under discussion

LAWRENCEVILLE - If it had tires, city officials in Gwinnett County would probably kick them.

Gwinnett Gab

Suwanee adopts coastal community

SUWANEE - This city has adopted a Gulf Coast community to help it rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Gladiators get seventh straight victory

DULUTH - The Gwinnett Gladiators scored three goals on the power play, including Matt York's game winner, and defeated slumping Charlotte 6-3 on Saturday in front of 6,774 at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

Bannister studies taxes, development in Washington

Chairman Charles Bannister didn't come back from Washington last week with piles of cash for Gwinnett, but he did load up on information.

Pink covers not always as appealing as they seem

In general, I find books with pink covers strangely attractive. But even though the cover of "Suburbanistas" by Pamela Redmond Satran (Downtown Press, $13) was an appealing shade of pink, I didn't like the story too much.

Constitutional amendments helping GOP

Gov. Sonny Perdue and his Republican allies in the General Assembly have raised amending Georgia's Constitution to an art form.

With the deadline approaching to act on legislation this year, 20 proposed constitutional amendments have made it through a legislative committee. Six of those measures will be on the House or Senate agenda on Monday's "Crossover Day,'' the last day for bills to clear at least one legislative chamber.

Join us in tribute to Snellville's past, present and future

The city of Snellville will be having a grand opening for its new City Hall today from 2 to 4 p.m.

The City Council has invited the whole community, residents old and new, to come and tour "the people's house." This $10 million-plus undertaking is the largest municipal project the city has ever completed. It resonates with the past but has enough space for the future.

Former mayors and past council members have been invited to join in this historic event. They will be recognized and have a special place for the ceremony. You will be able to talk with some people who represented this city from years gone by. Hear their stories and relive history. I have even heard a past city clerk is going to try to make it.

A harpist will play on a harp that is 170 years old. Her music will fill the rotunda with soft, melodious sounds.

Elected dignitaries from the county and state will come to mingle and be a part of the celebration. We also hope to have pastors from our community churches join us in this celebration.

A fine dessert buffet will be served, and a memento will be handed out to every resident to commemorate this historic occasion. You may wander through the building on your own or have a guided tour from our city staff. This will be the third city hall in the 83 years of Snellville's history.

This is tribute to the past, present and future. This is the people's house, and I hope all those in Snellville government who lead our city today and in the future will never forget that.

Have you ever asked yourself what makes up a city's special character? Is it its buildings, landscape or businesses? I submit to you that it is the people both past and present.

After a year, tickets for running red lights on the decline

LAWRENCEVILLE - Cameras don't lie.

Tax law reform on GOP agenda

ATLANTA - Georgia lawmakers will be working around the edges of state tax law on Monday's "Crossover Day'' in the General Assembly, the last chance for bills to clear at least one legislative chamber.

Sever Road to get office buildings

"What's going on here?" is a weekly column that appears in the Sunday business section of the Gwinnett Daily Post. If you see a construction site and don't know what's being built, call Douglas Sams, business reporter, at 770-963-9205, ext. 1321, or e-mail him at doug.sams@gwinnettdailypost.com.

Top 10 memories of 2006 season

10. Duluth girls break losing streak

With a 40-38 win over Grayson on Nov. 22, the Duluth girls snapped a losing streak that had been over two years in the making.

A sweet tooth inspires Aurora's fundraiser for marching band

Are you aware of an event or project that benefits our community? Contact Shelley Mann at 770-963-9205 ext. 1305 or shelley.mann@gwinnettdailypost.com.

AT&T, BellSouth likely to avoid megamerger curse

AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK - If AT&T and BellSouth merge, it will be a gargantuan task, affecting tens of millions of customers and investors and more than 300,000 employees.

Norcross businesses back self-tax

LAWRENCEVILLE - Business leaders forming a self-taxing improvement district in the Norcross area have been more successful than they expected.

Children invited to enter Humane Society art exhibition

Young animal lovers are invited to submit artwork for the Atlanta Humane Society's annual student art exhibition.

The theme is "Be Kind to Animals," which can include topics such as proper pet care, laws regarding animals and concern for wildlife and endangered species. Students from kindergarten through seventh grade are encouraged to be creative and colorful as they artistically express their feelings about animals.

Learn to move to the music in ballroom dance classes

The five couples stepped quickly to the Latin music, looking into each other's eyes as they danced the cha-cha at the Pinckneyville Community Center in Norcross.

Meeks leaves Norcross with memorable title

This is what his legacy should be.

Sports calendar

Baseball

Through April: A new 18-and-over men's baseball league in the North Gwinnett/South Barrow County area is looking for players. All experience levels are welcome and games on Sunday from April through August. Open workouts starting soon. Call Lee at 770-873-4790 or Tony at 404-202-9694 for additional information.

Education tax would provide for school expansions

WINDER - Barrow County is educating more than 10,000 students. In a decade, the schools' superintendent expects that number to be doubled - or higher.

Winder adds ambulances to safety services

WINDER - The city of Winder has its own fire department. But emergency medical assistance is provided through the county.

Biffle and Stewart ready for rerun

LAS VEGAS - Nobody should be surprised if Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart turn today's UAW-DaimlerChrylser 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway into a rerun of the race two weeks ago at California Speedway.

Birth Announcements

Dec. 5

Jacob Edward Barrett was born on Dec. 5, 2005, to Susan Alaine Townsend Barrett and James Joseph Barrett IV of Loganville. He weighed 8.3 lbs., and was 203⁄4 inches long.

Cobb gets the best of Gwinnett at Challenge

SUWANEE - Parkview's boys and Collins Hill girls had the best days of the Gwinnett teams at Saturday's Cobb-Gwinnett Challenge, with each finishing in third.

Marketplace

Honors and achievements

Gwinnett residents Melanie Davis and Holly Monaghan received honors for their work at Accountants One, a 33-year-old boutique Accounting and Financial recruiting firm, during last month's 2006 Georgia Association of Personnel Services (GAPS) Annual Awards Banquet. Davis was honored for the second year at the $300K level, and Monaghan received the highest award for Accountants One by achieving the $400K level.

On the move

Joyce Self has been promoted to lead Bank of North Georgia's Retail Banking Division. Self has a 30-year banking career with experience in credit, branch management, compliance, branch administration, sales management, business development and commercial lending.

Survivors of breast cancer unite for fundraising event

NORCROSS - Supermodels Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford didn't attend the Bosom Buddies Celebration of Life event, but nobody missed them when breast cancer survivors began sashaying down the catwalk.

Donning new outfits courtesy of Parisian Gwinnett Place Mall, the 19 women in the fashion show smiled big and held their heads high in the latest fashions, illustrating life marches on despite cancer.

More than 400 women attended this year's Bosom Buddies In the Pink: 2006 Celebration of Life Luncheon and Fashion Show sponsored by the Georgia Cancer Foundation, the largest showing in the program's 23-year history.

"I've been a member 18 years, and I've been to this event and seen it grow from 100 to 400 people," said Sally Weatherbee, a Buford resident who has been cancer-free for 18 years. "This is the biggest, prettiest and the best (Bosom Buddies luncheon). It's like a homecoming for people."

Snellville opens new City Hall

SNELLVILLE - Snellville officials will honor former mayors and council members in the official opening of its City Hall today.

Changing Lanes

Thumbs up

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

Wedding Announcements

Armstrong - Horsley

Anna Elizabeth Armstrong and Adam Dean Horsley were married on Jan. 7 at First Baptist Church in Newnan. The Rev. James E. Armstrong and the Rev. Carter Shelton officiated the ceremony.

Downtown Lawrenceville 'progress'-ing

Lawrenceville is breathing new life into its downtown - one building at a time. Last week it was the old Hotel Button Gwinnett at the corner of Perry and Crogan streets on the downtown square. The recently refurbished building that now houses the trendy Bistro Solterra was officially named for county namesake Button Gwinnett in a dedication ceremony Wednesday.

Moore does it all for two-time champions

Imagine this scene, with little Maya Moore closer to 4-foot tall than her present 6-foot.

Maintenance project to begin on Ga. 316

LAWRENCEVILLE - As if the work on the interstate wasn't enough, transportation crews will also be out this week to start a maintenance project on Ga. Highway 316.

Trucking industry recruiting nontraditional drivers

By Douglas Sams

Staff Writer

doug.sams@gwinnettdailypost.com

BUFORD - Throw out that threadbare stereotype of the beer-bellied, tobacco-chewing, good ol' boy trucker.

Man shot in possible carjacking

NORCROSS - A man was shot in what he told police was a carjacking early Saturday, but officers said the man probably knows the shooter.

Group offers independence for mentally challenged residents

The system today believes mentally challenged people need to be integrated into the normal life of mainstream society. This is a great concept but presents challenges.

One challenge is to educate the community about this population. For instance, in Gwinnett County, most of our clients live with their parents or a family member. This type of living situation can create a dependency that hinders integration into mainstream society, while also minimizing the growth of self-esteem and independence.

However, another even bigger challenge is when mentally challenged adults live independently. Because of their childlike trust, they become one of the most vulnerable, at-risk segments of our population. The discrimination is even greater, leading some to be even more burdened with the pain of loneliness.

Addressing these issues is where "Just" People Inc. is extremely effective. Since our beginning days, we have had the philosophy that all people - regardless of intellectual capabilities, socioeconomic background, race or gender - are valued members of the community. We have always envisioned a community where each cherished member, able or disabled, lives a full and rich life reaching his or her maximum potential.

With the help of citizens, businesses, foundations and families, the "Just" People Village (an apartment complex in Roswell) opened in November 2004. It is a beautifully designed property with 56 apartments, a clubhouse and swimming pool, where 105 people with a wide variety of challenges live. There are married couples, roommates and individuals that have a community to call home. On-site staff are available as needed. The atmosphere is incredible because everyone is accepting of everyone else.

Of those who live there, 95 percent work in the community, and we have found them to be very successful. This is our goal for the clients we serve in Gwinnett County: to live full and complete lives through providing services that are otherwise unavailable or unaffordable. But this can only be done with support from citizens, local businesses, grants, foundations and families.

The daily services provided by "Just" People foster an independent freedom that encourages daily activity in mainstream society, promote the growth of self-esteem and assist clients in enhancing their daily lives.

"Just" People vans run from 5:30 a.m. to midnight every day, getting clients to and from work, to and from the grocery store, malls, parties, picnics, classes, trips and more. We offer weekly job skills classes, independent living skills classes (cooking, cleaning, hygiene, budgeting, meal planning, health and fitness, etc.) and socially appropriate behavior skills to help our clients live as independently as possible.

We are working to develop an information package for families moving into this community and people already living here to make them aware of what is available to them.

We welcome volunteers to work with the sports program or day program or become a big brother or

sister.

Donations are also accepted to help with the cost of social activities, sports equipment, dental bills, setting up house or for wish lists of clients. All money donated is tax-deductible, and 100 percent goes to the area you request to donate to.

For information about "Just" People Inc., call 770-441-1188.

All aboard

March Madness for the casual fan

We'll soon be in the throes of March Madness, that time of year when even people who don't watch college basketball watch college basketball.

And well they should. The NCAA tournament is the most exciting sporting event of the year, with the possible exception of the Super Bowl. And the tournament lasts much longer - an important consideration for those of us who use "I'm watching the big game" as an excuse to get out of yard work. At NCAA Tournament time, there's nothing but big games for three solid weeks.

Casual fans, however, may have trouble following all the jargon tossed around by television commentators. Well, you can rest easy. As a former player and coach, I've prepared the following glossary of common "roundball" terms (from the Latin roundus ballus, meaning "not a football").

Man-to-man: A defensive system in which each player guards a corresponding member of the opposing team. The politically correct term would be "person-to-person," since women play it, too, but that hasn't caught on yet. As usual, this column is on the cutting edge.

Zone: A defensive system in which each player guards an area of the floor. Zone defenses are often effective, since areas of the floor are notoriously poor shooters.

Full-court press: When reporters and cameramen are lined up from one end of the court to the other. Their purpose is to cushion the fall of a player diving out-of-bounds after a loose ball.

Pick and roll: What coaches frequently do on the sidelines, when they don't know the TV cameras are trained on them.

Thirty: A 30-second timeout. Not enough time to go to the bathroom.

Full: A full, or 75-second, timeout. Now you can go.

TV: Television timeout. Enough time to go to the bathroom in Belize.

Even for longtime fans, some terms appear to have changed meaning over the years. Used to be that only your Bill Waltons and Isaiah Thomases were "great." Now the term is routinely applied to any player who occasionally scores in double figures, as in "Billy, that Jones sure is a GREAT backup point guard!"

And how about "dominant?" These days, it seems any player over 6-foot-9 is suddenly a "dominant" center. I recently tuned into a game at the start of the second half, just in time to hear the announcer intone self-importantly on one team's "total domination." The score? 37-33.

Finally, there's my favorite, "special," as in, "He's a really special player, Jim." I wonder how a young man thus described would feel to know that, in many public school systems, "special" is a euphemism for mentally disabled.

Anyway, now you can watch the tournament and act as though you actually know what's going on - which is really not as hard as it sounds. The guys with the perfectly coifed hair and matching blazers have been doing it for years.

Lawrenceville resident Rob Jenkins is associate professor of English and director of the Writers Institute at Georgia Perimeter College. E-mail him at rjenkinsgdp@yahoo.com.

Proposal under scrutiny

By Camie Young

Staff Writer

camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com

LAWRENCEVILLE - Legislators, county commissioners and council members are still searching for answers on a 2,000-plus acre city boundary fight.

Literary Calendar

Thursday

James Risen, author of "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration," will discuss and sign his work Thursday at the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum Visitors Center, 990 Peachtree St. in Atlanta. A reception will be held at 6 p.m., and the discussion begins at 7 p.m. The event costs $10. Reservations are requested. Free parking is available behind the Visitors Center on Crescent Avenue. Call 770-578-3502 or visit www.gwtw.org.

Norcross' Moss earns Marelle Award

Norcross senior D'Andra Moss received the Joe Marelle Award from the Gwinnett Tipoff Club on Saturday morning for overcoming adversity this season.

Making a pitch

It appears 30 acres of woods and rolling fields along University Parkway are being set aside to contain the nation's next Bio and Agro-Defense labs.

Shall We Dance?

OBITUARIES

BUFORD

CLARK, ELDIE

Mrs. Eldie Parker Clark, age 80 of Buford, died Friday, March 10, 2006. Funeral services will be conducted at 3:00 P.M. Sunday, March 12, in the Chapel of Tapp/Tim Stewart Funeral Home with the Rev. Arthur Southerland officiating. Interment will follow in Broadlawn Memorial Gardens. A homemaker, Mrs. Clark was retired from Georgia Boot and a member of Zion Hill Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Clark; sons, Paul Terry Clark and Vic Clark; one granddaughter, Julia Ann Wilson; brothers, Rufus Parker, Bona Parker, Bud Parker, Allen Bosey Parker; sister, Marie "Sister" Maddox. Survivors include two daughters, Susan Pendley and Sheila Tuggle; sons-in law, Jerry Dunn and Wayne Tuggle. 7 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews also survive. Tapp/Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 201 Morningside Drive, Buford. 770-945-9345.

FLOWERY BRANCH

BEARD, J. M.

Georgia needs a win - badly

Georgia can't afford to lose Kia. After a long string of setbacks, the Peach State desperately wants a new marquee industry. Georgia needs to be known again as a winner.

Kia, the giant Korean auto manufacturer, is expected to announce next week whether it's going to build an assembly plant near LaGrange. No one knows for sure how much Georgia's government is offering Kia. Gov. Sonny Perdue is reportedly proposing $250 million in incentives. That sum is probably just the tip of the cash vault.

At this writing, Mississippi also is in hot pursuit of Kia.

Raising the stakes considerably, Mississippi has put $1 billion worth of incentives on the table. The bundle for Kia includes more than $200 million federal funds earmarked to help the Magnolia State recover from Hurricane Katrina. Besides, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has emerged from the Katrina disaster as a go-getter in trying to rebuild.

Nevertheless, Georgia appears a good bet to secure Kia. In addition to taxpayer incentives, Georgia's assets include an unmatched interstate highway system, a growing pool of idle but willing workers and easy access to scores of parts makers, most of which are in Alabama.

Thanks to decisions made decades ago by Gov. Ernie Vandiver and Highway Board member Bill Trotter, Interstate 85 was routed through LaGrange and is now a major selling point for Kia.

Kia's site-selection team is well aware that habitual runner-up Perdue is in a weak negotiating position and, therefore, ready to agree to almost anything. We wish the governor luck. We hope he does not run into another wall.

Even if Georgia lands Kia with its 2,500 workers, we still have a way to go. The announced closings of the GM and Ford plants in Atlanta will cost the state more than 5,000 high-paying automotive jobs.

How did we come to this?

For a generation, Georgia was the fastest-developing state in the Deep South. Our transportation network plus Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport served as a magnet for Fortune 500 companies.

Atlanta became an internationally recognized service center. Georgia hosted more payroll-rich military installations than just about any other state. Then the wheels started to fall off.

You can blame the politicians, but the real culprits are us voters who chose such a sorry lot.

First, Atlanta began to lose its dominance as a financial center. The Georgia Legislature repeatedly refused to keep up with Florida and North Carolina lawmakers in facilitating bank expansions. As a result, several big banks moved. North Carolina replaced Georgia in financial services and soon became a jobs-generating international banking capital.

Then, one by one, our power politicians exited. In Washington, Sen. Sam Nunn and House Speaker Newt Gingrich departed, and so did their ability to attract and keep federal installations.

In Georgia, Republican Sonny Perdue ended the Democratic dynasty, which took credit for energizing Georgia's economic development and attracting a series of main public events (the Centennial Olympic Games, Super Bowl XXXIII and the Democratic National Convention).

Shortly after Perdue was sworn in, bad karma set in. DaimlerChrysler withdrew a proposal to build a plant near Savannah after Perdue demanded a specific written commitment for future plant expansion. The German-American automaker chose South Carolina as its plant site.

Dominoes continued to topple. Brown & Williamson moved out. Merck, General Electric and WestPoint Stevens went south. Winn-Dixie laid off hordes. Mergers gobbled up Georgia-Pacific and Scientific-Atlanta. Delta bankrupted. Now, AT&T is about to acquire BellSouth.

Nearly every section of Georgia has lost significant industries and military installations. Invitations to the promoters of giant public events to return to Georgia are invariably spurned. Bad weather, high crime rates and traffic congestion are the main excuses.

According to government figures, Georgia is experiencing the nation's biggest increase in unemployment. We are tied with hurricane-ruined Louisiana for having the most folks out of work.

Perdue has vowed to go to San Antonio to try to entice Ma Bell to relocate to Atlanta. If we cannot use breathtaking cash offers to snag a race-car museum or another Super Bowl, seducing a high-tech telecom headquarters to leave Texas seems highly improbable.

To say Georgia faces a crisis may be premature, unless of course you're among the tens of thousands left jobless even as our population continues to soar.

A lack of smart leadership with a clear vision is increasingly apparent. Admittedly, several economic reversals could not be averted at the state level. Yet a quicker and more aggressive state government - one not completely beholden to old industries and reactionary interests -could have made up for lost ground by thinking more and trying harder.

P.S.: One knows Georgia is at a crossroads when a group of experienced political old-timers recently convened to inspect the roster of likely winning Republican candidates in the upcoming elections. They decided Ralph Reed may be the quality of the lot.

Syndicated columnist Bill Shipp writes on Georgia politics. Write him at P.O. Box 440755, Kennesaw, GA 30160, or e-mail bshipp@bellsouth.net. His Web site is www.billshipp.com. His column appears on Wednesday and Sunday.