News for Thursday, March 30, 2006

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Billy Sadler

Mr. Billy Sadler, age 53, of Buford GA, passed away March 30, 2006. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory ...

Margaret Roberts

Margaret Roberts of Snellville, Georgia, passed away peacefully on March 29, 2006. She was a devoted sister, wife, mother, grandmother and friend. Her limitless loving and caring for her family ...

John Bourdon

John Francis Bourdon, age 76 of Dacula, GA, passed away March 29, 2006. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.

Betty Paden

Betty K. Paden, age 70 of Buford, died Wednesday, March 29, 2006. A Funeral Service will be held at Hog Mountain Baptist Church on Saturday, April 1, 2006 at 2 ...

Kerry Jones

Kerry Michael Jones, age 56 of Dacula, GA, died March 30, 2006. He is survived by his wife, Lynn Jones; daughter, Hannah Jones; son, Mason Jones, all of Dacula; brother ...

Edith Mclin

Mrs. Edith McLin, age 89, of Suwanee, GA, passed away March 30, 2006. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory ...

Sarah Claborn

Ms. Sarah Claborn, age 66, of Buford, GA, passed away March 30, 2006. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory ...

Katherine Simpson

Katherine Simpson, age 81 of Snellville, GA died March 29, 2006. She was preceded in death by her husband, Fred Simpson and is survived by her daughter, Donna Simpson of ...

Clinton Chandler

Woven into the fabric of our minds, hearts, and souls is the influence that Clinton L. Chandler has had on our lives. He was preceded in crossing the River Jordan ...

Three-county kidnapping ordeal begins in Snellville

AUBURN - A kidnapping that stretched across three counties and left eight children in a stranger's home began when a Gwinnett County woman thought there were devils in her car and ended when Barrow County authorities arrested her boyfriend.

Good eats, good cause

Competition in sleeping pill market likely to spur ad war

NEW YORK - The maker of Ambien has begun a new ad campaign it hopes will reverse a sales slide triggered by reports that some patients couldn't recall driving or eating while sleepwalking when using the prescription sleep aid.

Last chance for major prep in Atlanta: BellSouth's final year asMasters tune-up tourney begins today

DULUTH - The BellSouth Classic was moved to the week before the Masters in 1999 with a major theme in mind.

Eight charged with cocaine possession

NORCROSS - Eight people were arrested on cocaine trafficking charges earlier this week after a police search uncovered a large amount of drug paraphernalia in a Norcross apartment.

Concessions raise funds for charities at BellSouth

DULUTH - Steve Lyons runs a wedding video business during the week.

On Wednesday, he was running a concession stand.

Sabbatini back in the headlines

DULUTH - We all asked the same question back in 1999 - who?

Pet store banned from selling dogs

DULUTH - The pet store at Gwinnett Place mall was one of six Georgia stores ordered this week to stop selling dogs.

More than 130 puppies in all of the state's Pet Company stores tested positive for a highly infectious parasite that can be transmitted to humans.

Upscale subdivision approved in Hoschton

WINDER - A new upscale community will be built on Victron Drive in Hoschton.

Full plate on last day of session

ATLANTA - With an illegal immigration bill on Gov. Sonny Perdue's desk, Georgia lawmakers have completed action on one of the key issues facing the General Assembly this year.

But every other major piece of legislation remained on the table Wednesday as the Legislature geared up for today's 40th and final day of the 2006 session.

The only thing the Legislature has to do by midnight to avoid having to return for a special session is adopt a budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1.

However, lawmakers are expected to put the finishing touches on a host of other key bills they have been debating for weeks, including a get-tough measure aimed at sex offenders and legislation reining in the power of local governments to condemn private property.

After a ferocious public spat on Tuesday between the Republican leaders of the House and Senate, GOP budget conferees settled into serious negotiations on Wednesday.

"There were some tense times for a little while,'' said Sen. Bill Stephens, R-Canton, a member of the budget conference committee. "(But) we've had some good frank discussions and reached some understandings that have allowed us today to start working on numbers.''

Before negotiating differences on spending priorities within Gov. Sonny Perdue's $18.65 billion budget request, legislative leaders had to address a disagreement over the General Assembly's role in determining how some state agencies spend their money.

The dispute erupted into a battle of words on Tuesday between House Speaker Glenn Richardson, R-Hiram, and Senate President Pro Tempore Eric Johnson, R-Savannah.

"It was a necessary venting of a lot of tension that had built up,'' Stephens said. "In the long run, I think it will be a good thing.''

Stephens predicted the conferees will reach agreement on the budget Thursday in plenty of time to get it to rank-and-file lawmakers for a vote.

Meanwhile, the sex offender bill is already halfway to final passage.

On Tuesday, the House adopted a compromise reached by a conference committee, which includes some significant changes from the versions of the bill that first went through the two legislative chambers.

The new bill, which the Senate is expected to ratify today, would dramatically increase minimum prison terms for convicted sex offenders serving life sentences.

Defendants sentenced to life for sex crimes involving children under the age of 14 - and lifers convicted of a host of other serious crimes - would have to spend at least 30 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole, up from 14 years in current law.

Those longer minimum sentences would avoid scenarios where a defendant convicted of murder could end up serving less time than someone convicted of a sex crime that doesn't result in the victim's death.

At the urging of Georgia sheriffs, the conferees also agreed to ease restrictions on where convicted sex offenders can live. The new version of the bill would allow them to live within 1,000 feet of a public transit stop, but not a school bus stop.

The sheriffs had argued that applying the law to both types of bus stops would so severely limit where offenders could live that they would be forced out of urban and suburban areas into rural communities.

The eminent domain measure is not as far along as the sex offender bill.

A conference committee continued working Wednesday toward a final version of legislation that would limit the ability of cities and counties to condemn private property primarily to public uses, such as roads, schools and water and sewer lines.

Lawmakers in Georgia and other states have been focused on eminent domain since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last summer that a city in Connecticut was within its rights to condemn private homes to clear the way for new development expected to boost local tax revenues.

The Georgia legislation takes aim at that practice. However, both the House and Senate versions of the bill would leave some leeway to allow local governments to target blighted properties.

Also coming down to the wire is action on legislation overhauling Georgia's child support guidelines. Lawmakers have been working for two years on a new system that would take into account both parents' incomes and reward noncustodial parents who spend a lot of time with their children with lower payments.

Less certain is whether the Legislature will approve new income tax breaks for Georgia retirees, a bill making it easier for authorities to prosecute organized dog fighting rings or legislation allowing groups of property owners - with the permission of local governments - to borrow money to build new communities in undeveloped areas.

Also on life support are bills aimed at boosting stem cell research in Georgia, allowing property owners to build homes inside buffer zones protecting water reservoirs and giving the state's stamp of approval on the planned construction of a pipeline for liquefied natural gas.

However, the Legislature is likely to give final approval to a bill allowing disabled Georgians to keep pet monkeys trained to perform routine tasks.

Human remains found in Social Circle; identity unknown

LAWRENCEVILLE - Unidentified human remains discovered in a shallow grave in Social Circle on Tuesday may be those of a woman who disappeared 10 months ago off the streets of this quiet city in southern Walton County, officials said.

Berkhoel handling the ups and downs of pro hockey

DULUTH - How many goalies go from playing in the NHL to not even being a No. 1 for an ECHL team in the same season?

Letters to the Editor

Thomas does not get it -- or does he?

Protests show immigrants' views

WASHINGTON

By turning out close to a million people in cities from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., for demonstrations against punitive immigration laws, the Hispanic community has delivered a timely reminder of the often-forgotten voice in this national debate.

Parkview to honor '96 state title team Friday night

LILBURN - Before anyone had ever heard of some kid named Jeff Francoeur, there was another Parkview baseball team that made some history of its own.

Grayson girls basketball coach resigns

With the tremendous growth of Gwinnett County, particularly the area near his school, Grayson girls basketball coach David Dowse no longer felt like he was living in a small town.

County picks new company to run transit

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County has hired a new company to run its transit system.

DiMarco back this week after injury

DULUTH - Chris DiMarco said the lingering effects of a snow skiing injury are gone, so he shouldn't have any problems at this week's BellSouth Classic or at the Masters, where he was runner-up last year.

Dacula blasts three homers in win over Shiloh

DACULA - Shannon Wilkerson went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs to lead Dacula past Shiloh 13-3 on Wednesday in six innings.

French now paying for socialism

What American despairs that the French are having problems with their youth? Who among us laments that the snooty French, who look down their long noses at all things American (except when they need us to liberate them from their enemies and their own unwillingness to defend themselves), are paying the price for years of socialism? Surely, they are delighting in our pro-illegal immigration demonstrations, so let us gloat over their current difficulties, as payback just for their being French.

Gwinnett Gab

Gladiators raise money for children

DULUTH - The Gwinnett Gladiators hosted a public safety day to raise money for teens affected by heart disease.

Police reports

Man charged

with drunkenness

•LAWRENCEVILLE - A 27-year-old Jonesboro man was arrested Sunday after he almost drove his car off Cruse Road at Bethesda Church Road.

Justice is served

Sports Calendar

Baseball

Monday-Friday: Renz Baseball will be holding a baseball/softball Spring Break Camp April 3-7 from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. each day. The cost per camper is $125. Eight indoor baseball/softball cages and private lessons are available. For more information or to register, visit renzbaseball.com or call 770-271-4554.

State aims to put Lanier on polluted list

LAWRENCEVILLE - Georgia is taking steps to put Lake Lanier and other impoundments across the state on a federal list of polluted waterways.

Justice is served: French lifts Collins Hill past Parkview in extra innings

By Corey Clark

Staff Writer

corey.clark@gwinnettdailypost.com

LILBURN - It took extra innings and one long home run to settle one of the better pitchers' duals in recent memory on Wednesday evening.

Amendment may jeopardize speed cameras

camie.young

@gwinnettdailypost.com

ATLANTA - The Senate has cleared the way for final passage of a Gwinnett County legislator's bill that would allow police agencies to install speed detection cameras in school zones.

But the legislation's fate - and even the current use of red-light cameras in Gwinnett intersections - has been called into question by an amendment requiring that the money raised from fines go to a fund benefiting brain and spinal injury research.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Melvin Everson, R-Snellville, would allow police agencies to place the cameras in school zones and issue tickets through the mail to violators photographed driving at least 6 mph over the posted speed limit.

Offenders could be fined up to $70, the same penalty that is imposed on drivers caught by red-light cameras.

"Everyone complains that people are going crazy on the roads,'' Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville, told his Senate colleagues Tuesday night shortly before they passed the bill. "We need to try to slow people down.''

Under the version of the bill approved by the Senate Transportation Committee, the money raised through fines was to go to the city or county that installs a speed camera, to be used for "traffic enforcement and traffic accident prevention.''

But on Tuesday, a group of Republican senators amended the legislation to steer the proceeds instead to the state's Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund.

The amendment's sponsors said they opposed speed cameras as unwarranted government intrusion on motorists and a scheme by localities to make money.

"This is about revenue,'' said Sen. John Wiles, R-Marietta. "They're only going to put them in places where they can make a lot of money.''

The amended version of the bill also impacts red-light camera programs, which have been growing in popularity across the state. In the past year, cameras have been added in Gwinnett at nine intersections in five jurisdictions.

While the cameras have generated more than $2 million countywide, officials said the revenue doesn't fully fund police functions and, if the money were taken away, the governments wouldn't be able to afford leasing the cameras.

"How are we supposed to enforce laws safely and keep our taxes low?'' Snellville Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer said.

While he's been pushing a bill to allow the cameras to enforce speeding laws for two years, Oberholtzer said he'd rather see the bill die for lack of action than for the red-light program to be affected.

"It's very disheartening,'' he said of the legislative scuffle. "If you don't want us to enforce (traffic laws), then take the laws off the books. These people are violating the law. Using the technology makes it better.''

City Manager Jeff Timler said Snellville's revenues from cameras at three major intersections go to paying back a $400,000 contract to lease the equipment and to support added services, such as an extra day in court and the time it takes an officer to certify the tickets.

A Gwinnett Daily Post study published earlier this month revealed that the number of tickets issued by cameras has decreased each month, implying that the cameras are successful at deterring light-running.

Gwinnett County Chairman Charles Bannister said the move would only shift the burden of paying for the equipment to the taxpayers.

Grass fires erupt along interstate

DULUTH - Firefighters spent the Wednesday afternoon rush hour battling multiple grass fires that erupted along Interstate 85 South from Pleasant Hill Road to Beaver Ruin Road.

Local lawmakers back Stephens for secretary of state

After today, Bill Stephens will no longer get to pal around all day with his buddies at the Georgia General Assembly.

OBITUARIES

BUFORD

FIORELLI,

CATHERINE

Mrs. Catherine Fiorelli, age 95, of Buford, Georgia, passed away on Tuesday, March 28, 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.*

DARIEN

BUNTYN, JOAN

Joan Ann Buntyn, age 74 of Darien, GA, died Monday, March 27, 2006 after a sudden illness. Arrangements by Hamilton Mill Memorial Chapel, 770-945-6924, www.hamiltonmillchapel.com.*

LOGANVILLE

ELROD, TOMPIE

Tompie L. Hendrick Elrod, age 89 of Loganville, died March 27, 2006. A Memorial service will be held 2:00 PM, Friday, March 31, 2006 at East Shadowlawn Memorial Gardens, Lawrenceville. Mrs. Elrod, a native of Talladega, AL was a insurance office secretary and was of the Episcopalian faith. She is survived by: Husband of 64 years, Jessie B. Elrod Jr, Loganville; Daughter, Emmie Lynn Elrod Carris, Acworth; Son, Jessie B. Elrod III, Buford; 3 Grandchildren. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Eglestons Children's Hospital. Bill Head Funeral Homes and Crematory, Duluth Chapel, 770-476-2535.

NORCROSS

CORBIN, TIM

Tim Corbin, age 52 of Norcross, GA (formerly of Lawrenceville), passed away on March 29, 2006. Arrangements by Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Lawrenceville Chapel, 120 Scenic Hwy., Lawrenceville, GA 30045 770-963-2411, www.wagesfuneralhome.com.*

PENDERGRASS

TATE, JEFFERY

Mr. Jeffery Ted Tate, age 44 of Pendergrass, Georgia died Monday, March 27, 2006. The body was cremated. Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, GA, 706-367-5467.*

SNELLVILLE

JAMES, CORA

Cora McClain Daniel James, age 82 of Snellville, GA, died March 28, 2006. She was preceded in death by her father and mother, Owen and Addie McClain, sister, Vera Nolan, husband, James H. Daniel and son, James F. Daniel and is survived by her husband of 20 years, William Paul James; sons and daughters-in-law, Owen D. and Nancy Daniel of Monroe, Charles H. and Donna Daniel of McDonough; sisters, Janie Fox of Decatur, Pearl and Linton Smith of Locust Grove; granddaughter, Michelle Denson and husband, Eddie; grandsons, Ricky Daniel, David M. Daniel and wife, Nancy, James C. Daniel, Charles M. Daniel and wife, Tiffany; great grandchildren, Kendall Denson, Kody Denson, Reid Daniel, Mitchell Daniel and Ethan Daniel; numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews. Mrs. James was a member of Annistown Road Baptist Church for a number of years and was retired as a bookkeeper. Funeral services will be held Friday, March 31 at 1pm at Wages Snellville Chapel. Interment at Hillendale Memorial Park. The family will receive friends Thursday from 2 until 4 and 6 until 8 pm at the funeral home. Those desiring may make donations to Children's Health Care of Atlanta, in memory of Cora McClain Daniel James. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Snellville Chapel, 770-979-3200, www.wagesfuneralhome.com .