News for Friday, March 17, 2006

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Howard Mooneyham, Jr.

Howard Garland Mooneyham, Jr. age 67, of White Plains, GA, formerly of Snellville, died Thursday, March 16, 2006. Funeral Services will be held 11:00 AM, Saturday, March 18, 2006 at ...

Walter Myers

Mr. Walter J. “Bud” Myers, age 78, of Buford, GA passed away March 16, 2006. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by: Junior E. Flanigan of: Flanigan ...

William Krause

William A. Krause, age 84 of Snellville, formerly of Tucker, died Saturday, March 11, 2006. Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 2246 Wisteria Drive, Snellville, Georgia 30078, 770-979-5010.

Virginia Louise Porter House

Evans Funeral Home of Jefferson announces the death of Mrs. Virginia Louise Porter House, age 85 of Jefferson, Georgia, who passed away on Thursday, March 16, 2006. Arrangements by Evans ...

Rose Marie Wade

Rose Marie Wade, age 75 of Lawrenceville died Thursday, March 16, 2006. Funeral Services will be held 3:00 PM, Sunday, March 19, 2006 at First Baptist Church of Lawrenceville. DR ...

Leonard Posusta

Leonard Joseph Posusta, age 66 of Atlanta, GA passed away on March 14, 2006. Arrangements by Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc. Lawrenceville Chapel, 120 Scenic Hwy Lawrenceville, GA 30045 ...

Agnes Davis

Evans Funeral Home of Jefferson announces the death of Mrs. Agnes Lucille Irvin Davis, age 76 of Maysville, Georgia, who passed away on Thursday, March 16, 2006. Arrangements by Evans ...

Melvin Porter, Sr.

Mr. Melvin Storey Porter, Sr., age 79 of Jefferson, Georgia died Wednesday, March 15, 2006. Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home, Inc., Jefferson, Georgia, 706-367-5467.

James Terrell

James Edgar Terrell, 85, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, passed away on March 15. He was born in Norcross, Georgia, July 3, 1920 to Lena Stanley Terrell and Losco J. Terrell. He ...

Grady Hunt, Sr.

Mr. Grady M. Hunt Sr., age 83, of Jefferson, passed away on Thursday, March 16, 2006, after an extended illness. Funeral Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, 706-367-5467.

Rodney Thacker

Mr. Rodney “Rod” Thacker, age 73, of Buford, GA passed away on March 13, 2006. He was preceded in death by his son, Gary Thacker and first wife ...

Thomas Boling

Thomas Willard Boling, born May 5, 1935 in Jasper, Georgia, has left us to be with his Savior, Jesus Christ on Friday, March 17, 2006. Tom retired from Bellsouth with ...

Dennis Kendall

Mrs. Dennis Gene Kendall, age 55, of Duluth, GA, passed away March 15, 2006. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and ...

Cathy Caamano

Cathy Elaine Caamano, age 51, of Winder, GA, passed away March 15, 2006. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home, Winder, GA, 770-867-4553.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson, age 64 of Lawrenceville, died Thursday, March 16, 2006. Arrangements by Tapp/Tim Stewart Funeral Home & Crematory, 201 Morningside Drive, Buford, 770-945-9345.

Robert Pittman

Robert E. Pittman, 83, of Snellville, Georgia was called home to Jesus Monday, March 13th, 2006. Bob was a devoted husband, loving father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend. Bob was ...

Rookie has Gladiators in position for playoff run

DULUTH - Not from casual conversation would you know that Jon Awe is a Southern boy from Memphis, Tenn.

Too many states ignore threat of child predators

For those of you who still believe the justice system in America is working, consider the following. For three years, 46-year-old Andrew Selva sexually brutalized two boys, ages 5 and 12, in a small town outside of Columbus, Ohio. In a plea bargain, Selva admitted to the court that he raped the boys in a variety of ways. By all accounts, it was savage criminal activity.

Arena on minds of Snellville, Buford

LAWRENCEVILLE - While Duluth and Lawrenceville are staking their future on local theaters, Snellville and Buford are considering building arenas.

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.

Auburn to install new water meters

AUBURN - The city of Auburn voted to spend more than $1 million over five years to replace meters and water lines.

Advocate for victims gets award

LAWRENCEVILLE - It's hard to believe something positive could come of the brutal murders of a daughter and granddaughter, but one woman's personal tragedy has helped her become an advocate for victims' rights in Georgia.

Seeing green

Cityhood bill for Dunwoody gets the ax

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County won't be getting a new neighbor just yet.

OBITUARIES

BUFORD

THACKER, RODNEY

Mr. Rodney "Rod" Thacker, age 73, of Buford, GA passed away on March 13, 2006. He was preceded in death by his son, Gary Thacker and first wife, Barbara Thacker. Surviving are: Wife of Seven Years: Mrs. Delores "Dee" Thacker, Buford, GA; Daughter: Karen Westbury, Middleburg, KY; Sister: Mrs. Phyllys Ransom, Cumming, GA; Brother and Sister-in-Law: Michael and Barbara Crowe, Murrells Inlet, SC; Sister-in-Law and Brother-in-Law: Mary and Sam Rabiola, Omaha, NE; Brothers-in-Law and Sisters-in-Law: Mike and Linda Tegeder, Paul and Terry Tegeder, Leo and Sharon Tegeder, all of Omaha, NE; Several nieces, nephews and cousins. Mr. Thacker was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was a retired teacher. He was the former Personnel Director for many years for the Georgia Boot Company in Flowery Branch, GA. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Buford where he was also a member of the Grace Sunday School Class, the Abundant Life Fellowship and the Silvertone Choir. He was a former member of Rock Springs United Methodist Church in Lawrenceville, GA. Memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Buford with Rev. Charles Gilliland and Mr. John Dooly officiating. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service and at a reception in the Church Gymnasium immediately following the service. Flowers are accepted or donations may be made to the Abundant Life Fellowship, First Baptist Church of Buford, in memory of Rod Thacker. Arrangements by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home & Crematory, Buford, GA, 770-932-1133, www.flaniganfuneralhome.com.

DULUTH

KENDALL, DENNIS

Mrs. Dennis Gene Kendall, age 55, of Duluth, GA, passed away March 15, 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.*

JEFFERSON

HOUSE, LOUISE

Evans Funeral Home of Jefferson announces the death of Mrs. Virginia Louise Porter House, age 85 of Jefferson, Georgia, who passed away on Thursday, March 16, 2006. Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home of Jefferson, 706-367-5467.*

HUNT, GRADY

Mr. Grady M. Hunt Sr., age 83, of Jefferson, passed away on Thursday, March 16, 2006, after an extended illness. Funeral Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, 706-367-5467.*

PORTER, MELVIN

Mr. Melvin Storey Porter, Sr., age 79 of Jefferson, Georgia died Wednesday, March 15, 2006. Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home, Inc., Jefferson, Georgia, 706-367-5467.*

LAWRENCEVILLE

JOHNSON, BOB

Bob Johnson, age 64 of Lawrenceville, died Thursday, March 16, 2006. Arrangements by Tapp/Tim Stewart Funeral Home & Crematory, 201 Morningside Drive, Buford, 770-945-9345.*

MAYSVILLE

DAVIS, AGNES

Evans Funeral Home of Jefferson announces the death of Mrs. Agnes Lucille Irvin Davis, age 76 of Maysville, Georgia, who passed away on Thursday, March 16, 2006. Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home of Jefferson, 706-367-5467.*

SNELLVILLE

KRAUSE, WILLIAM

William A. Krause, age 84 of Snellville, formerly of Tucker, died Saturday, March 11, 2006. Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 2246 Wisteria Drive, Snellville, Georgia 30078, 770-979-5010.*

WHITE PLAINS

MOONEYHAM,

HOWARD

Howard Garland Mooneyham, Jr. age 67, of White Plains, GA, formerly of Snellville, died Thursday, March 16, 2006. Funeral Services will be held 11:00 AM, Saturday, March 18, 2006 at Grace Baptist Church, Snellville with remains placed in state at 10:30 AM. Rev. Robert Moon and Rev. Bobby Bear will officiate. Burial Good Hope Baptist Church Cemetery, Greshamville, GA. A Hairdresser and Owner of Garland's Beauty Shop in Snellville, Mr. Mooneyham, was a member of Grace Baptist Church, Snellville and was preceded in death by his father: Howard Garland Mooneyham, Sr. in 2001. He is survived by: Wife of 49 years, Bobbie Sue Meek Mooneyham, White Plans, GA; Daughters & Sons-in-law: Melanie Susan & Alan Garmon, Greensboro, GA, Melissa Susette & John Clark, Snellville; Son & Daughter-in-law: Howard Garland & Lisa Mooneyham, Ill; Springhill, TN; Brother and Sister-in-law: Marshall Gary & Linda Mooneyham, Lithonia; sister: Jane Lee Pair, Sandy Springs; Grandchildren: Rusty, Ricky, and Randy Taylor, Greensboro, Chase Mooneyham, Springhill, TN; Several Nieces & Nephews. Family will receive friends from 10 AM-9 PM, Friday, March 17, 2006 at the Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 2246 Wisteria Drive, Snellville, Georgia 30078, 770-979-5010.

WINDER

CAAMANO, CATHY

Cathy Elaine Caamano, age 51, of Winder, GA, passed away March 15, 2006. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home, Winder, GA, 770-867-4553.*

City crackdown on property upkeep begins Tuesday

LAWRENCEVILLE - A subdivision with a few dozen vinyl-clad homes will be the first test for Lawrenceville's new Quality of Life Unit.

Tennis Center music to ears of promoter

STONE MOUNTAIN - Jason Lary thinks he's found metro Atlanta's next great outdoor music venue - a nearly 8,000-seat Olympic tennis center tucked between strip malls and discount stores.

The Lithonia-based promoter wants to bring classic soul and jazz concerts to Stone Mountain Tennis Center, which sits just off U.S. Highway 78 next to a Super Target.

Flap over Jane Fonda heats up Senate

ATLANTA - Movie star Jane Fonda's role in opposing the Vietnam War was the unlikely source of a heated debate that roiled the Senate Thursday for the second day in a row.

The sponsor of a Senate resolution honoring Fonda, who now lives in Atlanta, for her advocacy work combatting teen pregnancy tried to withdraw the measure a day after a senator who is a military veteran objected to it.

Fonda has been scorned for decades as "Hanoi Jane'' by veterans groups who were incensed when she traveled to North Vietnam during the war, posed for photos with enemy weaponry, and criticized U.S. military policy.

Sen. John Douglas, R-Covington, compared Fonda to two infamous traitors from America's wars.

"I can think of no living American who is less worthy of this honor than Jane Fonda,'' said Douglas, who served in the Army for 17 years and now works as field representative for the Peace Officers Association of Georgia.

"She is as guilty of treason as Benedict Arnold and Tokyo Rose.''

Resolutions honoring Georgians for various accomplishments are introduced routinely into the House and Senate. Usually, they draw little attention from lawmakers and are approved unanimously without a formal vote.

But Douglas objected on Wednesday when he heard the resolution honoring Fonda. By that time, however, it already had been adopted.

So Douglas moved to reconsider that vote when the Senate reconvened on Thursday.

First, however, Sen. Steen Miles, D-Decatur, who had introduced the resolution, offered to withdraw it. She said Fonda, who is out of the country, asked her to withdraw the measure in the wake of the controversy.

"I am deeply sorry that a routine resolution honoring Jane Fonda for working tirelessly to prevent teen pregnancy would cause such a horrific firestorm,'' Miles said Thursday. "We should strive to move beyond the yesterdays of 30 and 40 years ago.''

But Republican senators wouldn't let Miles off the hook so easily.

The Senate voted along party lines 28-15 to deny her permission to withdraw the resolution.

Then, senators resoundingly defeated the resolution, 28-1, with Miles and seven other Democrats joining Republicans in voting it down.

Nurse faces challenge with undocumented residents

LAWRENCEVILLE - Trauma nurse Deb Battle is trained to care for the sick and wounded, but another obstacle she faces is caring for undocumented residents.

"Some other challenges that can make (cultural diversity) more of a challenge are undocumented citizens," said Battle, the trauma program manager at Gwinnett Medical Center.

A seasoned nurse, Battle knows what her patients will need after they receive treatment at the hospital. Some will go to nursing homes, others will have home care and some will be entitled to bring home specific medical equipment, such as an IV drip, paid for by Medicaid.

"But a lot of these people, if they're undocumented, have no health insurance and aren't qualified for some benefits," Battle said. "I tell them up front, 'I'm not the INS or the police, but I need to know your legal status because it impacts what (help) I can get you.'"

Although defining a patient's residency status is not part of the admissions process and is not required by the hospital, Battle said it helps to know up front. She then tailors her course of action according to what type of benefits the patient may receive once released from the hospital.

"There's this fear among some people, and they're not honest; so then we go down the path to get benefit A, B and C, and then they're not qualified and if (they) would have told me that up front ..."

Financial resources and IV nutrition are just some of the components American citizens have access to. Battle said finding resources for undocumented citizens can be frustrating, especially when the time comes to be released.

Senior Center space dedicated

WINDER - Joan Bradberry doubts the two concrete picnic tables in the backyard of Barrow's senior center will be enough for all the people who will be drinking coffee, playing cards and talking in the new space.

Getting to Know ... Bill Holleman

Bill Holleman is in his third year at Peachtree Ridge as the athletic director and head boys soccer coach. He opened the school with the Lions after five successful years at Shiloh, where he led the boys to the Class AAAAA state title.

Steak, ale sooth ailing veterans

WASHINGTON

Americans have heard much about coffins returning from Iraq without media coverage; they've heard about military funerals unattended by the commander in chief; they've also heard endlessly about a certain military mother who lost a son in Iraq.

What they don't hear much about are the quiet events and private meetings that often take place in the Oval Office between President Bush and military families. Or the Friday night steak dinners local restaurateurs throw for wounded vets from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

I stumbled upon one of the dinners last Friday night as I was heading to meet a longtime e-mail buddy, Russ Clark of Columbus, Ohio, a Vietnam Marine vet and minister with Point Man International Ministries of Central Ohio.

Clark works with other vets as they try to adjust to civilian life. Some are recently returned from Iraq or Afghanistan; others are still trickling in from Vietnam.

War takes some time getting over, Clark will tell you.

The short story is that Clark and I missed each other, to our mutual regret. Instead, I happened upon a large dining room filled with about 125 people, including many wounded soldiers in wheelchairs or on crutches. I also noticed a couple of suits by the door wearing wires.

I introduced myself and asked who in the room required security. They weren't in the mood to say, apparently, but suggested that I'd probably be able to figure it out.

In a room full of camouflage and amputees, it was easy to spot a man in a dark suit casually grasping a Corona neck. I wandered over to the group surrounding him and listened as Isaac Serna, a 21-year-old Humvee gunner, described how he had been wounded.

The man in business attire was Paul Wolfowitz, former deputy defense secretary and now head of the World Bank. Wolfowitz listened intently, asked a few questions, then joined Serna and others for a group photo. And so the evening went, with the former deputy quietly making the rounds - listening and shaking hands - and lingering for a while after the wounded were headed back to Walter Reed.

In fact, I learned, you can find Wolfowitz here most Friday nights - at least twice a month - meeting with the wounded and hearing their stories. No fanfare or fuss, which is why many outside of Washington don't know about it.

"Here" is Fran O'Brien's Stadium Steakhouse in the basement of the Capital Hilton Hotel a few blocks from the White House, where owners Hal Koster, a Vietnam vet, and Marty O'Brien began hosting free dinners for wounded troops a couple of years ago.

Some may recognize the setting from the "Doonesbury" comic strip, which featured O'Brien's after creator Garry Trudeau attended one of the dinners.

To accidental tourists like me, the sight of so many wounded, including many amputees, gathered in an environment of celebration is initially jarring.

You feel almost ashamed of your limbs, but are quickly disabused of that vanity by the generous spirits of the soldiers themselves. Serna efficiently rolled up his pants to reveal a badly swollen leg supported by splints, reporting happily that he would keep his leg.

Sgt. Edward Wade, who has been traveling between his home in Chapel Hill, N.C., and Walter Reed for the two years since his "alive day" - what wounded soldiers call the day they didn't die - was less fortunate. He lost his right arm when an IED exploded and suffered enough brain damage that he wasn't expected to live.

His spunky wife, Sarah, does most of the talking and has high praise for Wolfowitz. "Of all the people, Dr. Wolfowitz is the first who has met the faces of the people who were wounded in the war," she said. "... He's more the student now. He learns from us."

Wolfowitz has taken plenty of flak for his contributions to the Iraq war strategy, now considered to be "going badly" by a majority of Americans (57 percent, according to a recent CBS News poll). Even though those figures are mirrored by Americans in the military (58 percent), I did not feel inclined to disagree with Wolfowitz on this night in this room when he said to me, "The last thing these people want is for us to cut and run."

Whatever one may observe with 20/20 hindsight, any appraisal of Wolfowitz is incomplete without a visit to Fran O'Brien's on Friday nights. There you might also bump into the Wades and hear that on Feb. 14, they were celebrating the second anniversary of Edward's "alive day" when the telephone rang.

It was Wolfowitz.

Kathleen Parker, an Orlando Sentinel columnist, welcomes comments via e-mail at kparker@kparker.com. Her column appears on Friday.

Stone Mountain fire displaces three

STONE MOUNTAIN - Two children and an adult were displaced in a house fire that injured a Gwinnett County firefighter Wednesday afternoon.

GAC breaks through in eighth inning

LILBURN - Greater Atlanta Christian used some good pitching and a little luck to open its region with a 5-1, eight-inning win over rival Providence Christian on Thursday.

Cocaine lab found under Auburn home

BARROW COUNTY - Twice now, the clues have led investigators underground.

Berkeley Lake committee strives to protect greenspace within city

BERKELEY LAKE - In an effort to protect what is likely metro Atlanta's best-kept secret, the city of Berkeley Lake appointed a committee of public servants and watchdogs to safeguard acres of greenspace that lie within the city limits.

Following a recent meeting of the Berkeley Lake Conservancy, chairwoman Betty Covington made some recommendations to the mayor and City Council members Thursday night. Covington first suggested the city provide two wooden signs, set back in the woods near the path in the greenspace, that specify "foot traffic only" and reference the city ordinance that supports the rule. Councilman George Sipe went a step further, suggesting the sign include a clearly visible "violators will be prosecuted" footnote.

City attorney Dick Carothers was given the task of drafting such an ordinance, then passing it on to the conservancy members for their input.

Another point Covington brought up was that of excessive privet growth inside the greenspace. An invasive plant that thrives in most any conditions, uncontrolled privet growth can cause damage to the delicate natural balance inside the forested acreage. Committee members are researching all options regarding the overgrowth and will report their recommendations to City Council in the near future.

Mayor Lois Salter has recently commissioned the city's ordinance enforcement officer to walk the greenspace trails every two weeks to inspect for signs of intrusion, littering and any other unlawful activity.

County will keep eye on new aquatic center construction

Construction on the new aquatic center across Peachtree Industrial Boulevard from the Berkeley Lake community is scheduled to begin in the fall with an estimated completion date of 12 to 18 months after commencement. Randy Kirkus, chairman of the city's Public Works committee, has been working closely with county officials to ensure that sedimentation and runoff during the construction phase will not adversely affect Berkeley Lake waters.

According to a report he gave Mayor Lois Salter and council members, Kirkus is satisfied the situation will be monitored closely, "as well as or better than the Crescent development that's going on now." Kirkus was referring to the development at North Berkeley Lake, which will include a small restaurant and retail shops. The developers monitor runoff and sedimentation and report their findings regularly to city officials.

The children's park equipment has been pressure-washed and new mulch has been applied to the play area.

Police Briefs

Couple caught having sex in bushes

•NORCROSS - A Marietta man was arrested Sunday for allegedly engaging in sexual activity behind a closed business on Jimmy Carter Boulevard.

'Brain trust' formed to push rail project

LAWRENCEVILLE - A group of movers and shakers are throwing their weight behind a commuter rail project that would link Athens to Atlanta with several stops in Gwinnett County.

City annexation passes House

WINDER - A bill that would allow Winder to annex a 155-acre complex housing the county's new courthouse facility passed the House on Thursday.

Prep roundup: Freeman gets game-winning hit for Shiloh

SNELLVILLE - Drew Freeman was 2-for-7, including the game-winning RBI as Shiloh defeated Loganville 13-12 in 11 innings on Thursday.