News for Thursday, March 9, 2006

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Diana Conley

Mrs. Diana Marie Conley, age 69 of Chestnut Mountain, died March 3, 2006 at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Arrangements by Memorial Park South Funeral Home Chapel, 4121 Falcon Parkway, Flowery ...

Kenneth Pharr

Mr. Kenneth Pharr, age 71, of Winder, died March 9, 2006. Funeral arrangements will be announced by Carter Funeral Home of Winder, 770-867-6706.

Mary Pierrel

Mary Elizabeth Miller Pierrel, died March 8, 2006. She was a member of Christ the Lord Lutheran Church in Lawrenceville, GA. Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Bruce ...

George Harbin

George W. “Jimmy” Harbin, age 70 of Madison, formerly of Loganville-Winder, died Wednesday, March 8, 2006. Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 670 Tom Brewer Road, Loganville ...

Agnes Stanley

Agnes F. Stanley, age 65 of Snellville, Georgia, died March 8, 2006. She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Bobby Stanley; son and daughter-in-law, Britton and ...

Jack Wooden

Mr. Jack Wooden, age 74, of Lawrenceville, GA, passed away Thursday, March 9, 2006. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and ...

Edna Arnold

Edna Robertson Arnold, age 82 of Lawrenceville, GA, passed away on March 8, 2006. She is survived by: Husband of 63 years: Harry Arnold; Daughters & Sons-in-Law: Emily ...

Albert Shumaker, Jr.

Albert A. Shumaker, Jr., age 83 of Snellville, died Wednesday, March 8, 2006. Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 2246 Wisteria Drive, Snellville, GA 30078, 770-979-5010.

Helen Anglin

Helen Holt Anglin, age 88 of Lawrenceville, GA, passed away on March 8, 2006. She is survived by: Sister: Louise Holt Burton, Lexington, KY; Several Nieces, Nephews, Great Nieces, Great ...

Senate approves stream buffer bill

ATLANTA - Landowners could build near drinking water reservoirs in Georgia in certain circumstances under legislation approved by the Senate on Wednesday.

The bill, which passed 33-16 and now goes to the House, is designed primarily to help property owners in North Georgia, where the terrain is so hilly that much of the flat land best suited for building is within 150 feet of vital drinking water supplies.

"Drinking water is vital to every family, but property rights also are vital to our foundation of freedom and independence,'' said Sen. Chip Pearson, R-Dawsonville, the bill's sponsor.

The legislation would allow landowners to build single-family homes inside the state-mandated 150-foot buffer for reservoirs if the lot is at least two acres and if they keep their septic tank drains outside the buffer.

The bill also would allow property owners to get around the buffer requirement by seeking a variance from the state Environmental Protection Division. To qualify for a variance, they would have to show that the construction would not harm water quality downstream.

The version of the bill passed by the Senate is much narrower in scope than the legislation Pearson introduced last month.

After strong opposition from city and county governments, he agreed to drop a provision that would have allowed property owners barred from building on their land because of a buffer requirement to collect compensation from their local government.

Pearson's original bill also would have applied to 25-, 50- and 100-foot buffers set by the state for smaller rivers and streams across Georgia, including trout streams.

The measure also exempts the 16 metro Atlanta counties that make up the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, created by the General Assembly five years ago.

"They have their own program in place,'' Pearson said. "We respect that.''

Even with the changes, however, Sen. Seth Harp argued that Pearson's bill would reduce the state's ability to protect property owners downstream from the effects of construction inside reservoir buffers upstream.

Harp, R-Midland, has often complained that the rapidly growing Atlanta region takes so much water from the Chattahoochee region that downstream residents are left with low stream flows and high levels of water pollution.

"This highlights the continuing saga of north versus south, the haves and have-nots of water,'' he said.

But Harp was a minority voice among Senate Republicans. Only he and one other GOP senator joined 14 Demo-crats opposing the bill.

Arts are hot topic in county

WINDER - Del Delamont would love to see Barrow County become the arts capital of the Piedmont region.

Barrow woman convicted of murder, sentenced to life

WINDER - A woman who shot her husband last May was found guilty of murder Wednesday and sentenced to life in prison.

Regents set student fees for college in Gwinnett

ATLANTA - Students getting ready to attend the new Georgia Gwinnett College this fall can start planning their fee budgets.

The state University System Board of Regents voted Wednesday to charge the school's first crop of students $148 per semester to cover activity, recreational, technology and parking fees.

All of those fees are covered by the HOPE Scholarship

program.

However, university President Dan Kaufman also has requested two other fees that are not covered by HOPE to help pay for a parking garage and student center at the campus off Collins Hill Road in Lawrenceville.

Board members are expected to consider those fees next month.

The fee issue is related to legislation the state Senate passed on Wednesday.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville, is geared specifically toward Georgia Gwinnett, the first standalone institution added to the university system since the 1970s.

A bill lawmakers passed two years ago sought to rein in the costs of the HOPE program by capping the amount of student fees that would be covered by the scholarships.

That language inadvertently left out the Gwinnett college because it did not exist at the time. Thus, new legislation was necessary, which senators approved swiftly on Wednesday.

"I'm hopeful it will get through the House as expeditiously as it did through the Senate,'' Kaufman said after the vote.

Georgia Gwinnett College, created by the General Assembly last year, will enroll 300 to 500 juniors this fall. Some 2,000 to 3,000 freshmen will follow in the fall semester of 2007.

Staff writer Camie Young contributed to this report.

Controlled hunt to thin deer population OK'd

WINDER - The City Council approved a formal request to proceed with a controlled hunt this fall to thin the burgeoning deer population.

Green presides over meeting in Bannister's absence

Lorraine Green took the gavel this week at the Board of Commissioners meeting.

OBITUARIES

MARCHMAN, JOANN

Ms. Jo Ann Gunter Marchman, age 75. Ms. Marchman passed away Tuesday, March 7, 2006 at a private nursing home following an extended illness. Funeral services are scheduled for 2:00 PM, Friday, March 10, 2006 from the funeral home chapel with the Rev. Michael Wilkes officiating. Interment will follow in Center Grove Baptist Church Cemetery. She was born on May 15, 1930 in Cleveland, Georgia to Mary Etta Satterfield Gunter and John Claude Gunter Sr. Ms. Marchman lived in Dunwoody before retiring and moving back to the family farm in Cleveland. She was a lifelong member of Center Grove Baptist Church, where her Father was one of the founders. Ms. Marchman had a long and fruitful career in the hospitality industry, which included an established catering business with clients such as C&S Bank. Her line of collectible porcelain dolls were sold on The Home Shopping Channel, at Doll Shows, and to individual collectors. Many were given to children of family and friends. She was a loving Mother, Sister, Grandmother. A friend and counselor to many, she constantly encouraged others to improve their lives and gave whatever help and assistance to reach those goals. She catered many weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays for family and friends. Her love of Center Grove Baptist Church, the choir, and Rev. Michael Wilkes was heartfelt. She was preceded in death by parents; Son, Larry Vaughn Cash; Brothers, Carl Gunter, Claude Gunter, James Gunter, Ralph Gunter; Sisters, Mary Freeman and Sara Hulsey. Her surviving relatives include her Daughter, Teresia Marchman Medders, Duluth; Son, Wayne Marchman, Austell; Grandsons, Shaun Medders and Larry Crawford; Sisters, Mildred Quartarone, Georgia Houseknecht, Margaret Patterson, Barbara Craig; Brother, Robert Gunter; and a large number of nieces, nephews, and great granchildren. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Thursday, March 9, 2006 from 2 until 4 and 6 until 8. Flowers will be appreciated or donations may be made to Center Grove Baptist Church Building Fund, C/O P.O. Box 1514, Cleveland, GA 30528. You may sign the guestbook online for Ms. Marchman at www.alexandersgatewaychapelfuneralhome.com . Alexander's Gateway Chapel Funeral Home of Cleveland in charge of arrangements, 706-865-1500.

DULUTH

WYKA, EMIL

Emil Edward Wyka, age 87 of Duluth, died March 7, 2006. A Funeral Mass will be said 11:00 AM Friday, March 10, 2006 at the Catholic Church of St. Monica, Duluth with Father Greg Goolsby serving as Celebrant. Mr. Wyka, a native of Passaic, NJ was retired from the US Post Office after 30 years of service. He was an Army Veteran of World War II, participated in the Battle of the Bulge and received two purple hearts. He is survived by: Wife, Helen Wyka, Duluth, GA; Son & Daughter-in-law, Chester & Lorraine Wyka, Hamburg, NJ; Daughter & Son-in-law, Lucy & David Fraser, Suwanee; Grandchildren, Cheryl Wyka, Greg Wyka, Jenny Lee Fraser; Sister, Regina Bates, Seattle, WA; Sister-in-law, Mary Wyka, Philadelphia, PA; Brothers-in-law, Matty Marcinowski (Loretta), Paramus, NJ, Eddie Marcinowski (Dot), Spring Hill, FL. The family will receive friends Thursday 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Bill Head Funeral Homes and Crematory, Duluth Chapel, 770-476-2535.

FLOWERY BRANCH

GREEN, DONALD

Mr. Donald Eugene (RED) Green, age 61, of Flowery Branch, died Tuesday, March 7, 2006. Arrangements by Memorial Park South Funeral Home, 4121 Falcon Parkway, Flowery Branch, GA 30542, 770-967-5555.*

MITCHELL, JOHN

Mr. John K. Mitchell Sr., age 63, of Flowery Branch, died March 8, 2006. Arrangements by Memorial Park South Funeral Home, 4121 Falcon Parkway, Flowery Branch, GA 30542, 770-967-5555.*

LAWRENCEVILLE

ANGLIN, HELEN

Helen Holt Anglin, age 88 of Lawrenceville, died March 8, 2006. Survivors and funeral arrangements will be announced later by Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Lawrenceville Chapel, 770-963-2411, www.wagesfuneralhome.com.*

NORCROSS

BURKE, FONNIE

Fonnie Burke, age 87 of Norcross, GA, passed away March 7, 2006. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Peachtree Chapel Funeral Home, Norcross, GA, 770-448-5757.*

OXFORD

GREEN, ANTHONY

Anthony Dean Green, age 44 of Oxford, died Tuesday, March 7, 2006. Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 670 Tom Brewer Road, Loganville, Georgia 30052, 770-466-1544.*

SNELLVILLE

STANLEY, AGNES

Agnes F. Stanley, age 65 of Snellville, Georgia, died March 8, 2006. She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Bobby Stanley; son and daughter-in-law, Britton and Christie Stanley; son, Brad Stanley, all of Snellville; sister, Mildred Cannon, Tallapoosa, AL; brother and sister-in-law, Fred and Frances Foster of Covington, GA; granddaughters, Brittony, Kellie and Courtney. Mrs. Stanley was retired from Bellsouth after 32 years in the legal department. She was a member of Snellville First Baptist Church and a former member of Annistown Road Baptist Church. Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 12 at 3pm at Wages Snellville Chapel with Rev. JoJo Thomas officiating. Interment Eternal Hills Memory Gardens. The family will receive friends Friday from 6 until 9pm at the funeral home. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Snellville Chapel, 770-979-3200, www.wagesfuneralhome.com .

STONE MOUNTAIN

ROBERTS, FRANCES

Frances P. Roberts, age 81 of Stone Mountain, died Tuesday, March 7, 2006. Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 2246 Wisteria Drive, Snellville, Georgia 30078, 770-979-5010.*

SUGAR HILL

RICHARDSON, LEWIS

Mr. Lewis M. Richardson, Sr., age 93, of Sugar Hill, GA passed away on Friday, March 3, 2006. He is survived by his: Wife of 60 years: Mrs. Marjorie C. Richardson, Sugar Hill, GA; Daughters and Son-in-Law: Martha Barrett, Marietta, GA, Mary Lou and Michael O'Rouke, Buford, GA; Son and Daughter-in-Law: Lewis and Catherine Richardson, Canton, GA; Grandchildren: Patrick O'Rouke, Jason O'Rouke, Philip Barrett, Matthew Barrett, William Richardson, Mary Beth O'Rouke, and Madeline Richardson; Brother and Sister-in-Law: H. Melvin and Gloria Richardson, Chamblee, GA; Sister: Sara Huie, Atlanta, GA; Several Nieces, Nephews and Cousins. Mr. Richardson was born on April 14, 1912 in Jackson County, GA. He was a graduate of Tech High School in Atlanta, GA. He attended Emory University. He was a U.S. Army veteran having served in World War II. He was a retired real estate broker, a member of the Board of Realtors and Past President of the Savannah Board of Realtors. He was a member of the Level Creek United Methodist Church in Suwanee, GA. Memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 12, 2006 at 3:00 p.m. at Level Creek United Methodist Church in Suwanee, GA with Rev. Michael Martin and Rev. Wayne Smith officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Level Creek United Methodist Church Building Fund, 4844 Suwanee Dam Road, Suwanee, GA 30024 in memory of Lewis M. Richardson. The family will receive friends at the Level Creek United Methodist Church on Sunday after the service. Arrangements by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Buford, GA, 770-932-1133, www.flaniganfuneralhome.com.

Gwinnett Gab

School out Friday, in session Monday

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County Public Schools will be closed to students Friday.

Sports Calendar

Baseball

Through April: A new 18-and-over men's baseball league in the North Gwinnett/South Barrow County area. 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.

Midyear budget headed to governor's desk

ATLANTA - The General Assembly gave final passage Wednesday to Gov. Sonny Perdue's 2006 midyear budget request in two lopsided votes.

The House voted 165-2 to adopt a compromise reached during several weeks of conference committee negotiations. The Senate followed suit a short time later in a unanimous vote.

The $17.8 billion midyear budget adds $444 million to the 2006 spending plan approved by lawmakers last spring to help carry state government through the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

The biggest single chunk of that new money - almost $145 million - represents the annual midyear adjustment for enrollment growth in Georgia public schools.

Other significant additions include $5 million to help school systems cover the rising costs of diesel fuel used by buses, $4 million to help low-income Georgians cope with higher heating bills, $2 million in HOPE Scholarships for spouses of deceased Georgia Reservists and National Guard members who were sent to Iraq and $250,000 to help counties across the state develop security plans for their courthouses.

But the main reason so many Democrats joined majority Republicans in supporting the midyear budget was an agreement by the two parties to add $7.6 million to a Medicaid program for children with severe disabilities whose parents have incomes too high to qualify for traditional Medicaid coverage or Georgia's PeachCare for Kids.

The money will go to families who were cut off from the Katie Beckett program last fall when the state began enforcing stricter eligibility requirements, and to families who are new to the program but would have qualified under the old rules.

Also on Wednesday, House members approved an $18.7 billion 2007 budget submitted by the governor in

January.

Unlike the midyear budget, it has a long way to go before gaining final approval.

The 2007 spending plan, for the fiscal year starting July 1, moves next to the Senate.

Shiloh hires Riverdale's Davis as new football coach

Shiloh has hired Riverdale's Nick Davis as its new head football coach, pending the new hire's approval by the Gwinnett County School Board at its meeting tonight.

Cobb-Gwinnett Challenge begins Friday

SUWANEE - Cobb and Gwinnett County feature some of the top track and field runners and teams in the state, so there is only one way to find out who's the best - the Cobb-Gwinnett Challenge.

Boyd's back in coaching world

Dunwoody kept its place atop the Class AAA boys basketball food chain last week by winning its second straight state

championship.

Mayor continues duties despite illness

LAWRENCEVILLE - Lawrenceville Mayor Bobby Sikes is undergoing treatment for leukemia.

Gwinnett Media Specialist of the Year named

HOSCHTON - There were no computers in classrooms in 1982 when Louise Doughty started working as a school media specialist. As Internet searches began replacing the Dewey Decimal System, she knew she had to change how she taught students to find and evaluate information.

Walking contradiction

When his personal approval ratings were far higher than they are now, President Bush might have succeeded in reducing the size and cost of government. Instead, he chose "compassionate conservatism" as his doctrine and big-government conservatism (which is a contradiction) as his calling.

Prep Roundup: Riedel hits two homers as Duluth tops Newnan

DULUTH - Duluth hit four homers, including a pair from Andrew Riedel, in a 10-4 win over Newnan on Wednesday. Riedel went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and a solo shot to lead the Wildcats (2-2).

Local leaders in D.C. to speak on bid for biodefense facility

WINDER - Regional economic leaders have stepped up their pitch for a national research facility that could fight pandemics such as bird flu, combat bioterrorism and pump millions of dollars into the economy.

Police reports

Woman accused of trying to pour salt into gas tank of ex-boyfriend's car

•NORCROSS - A woman was caught Sunday allegedly trying to pour salt into her ex-boyfriend's gas tank at Heritage Valley Court in Norcross.

County to restore creek altered by urbanization

DULUTH - Development near Gwinnett Place Mall has paved over tributaries of Sweetwater Creek, causing stormwater to carve chunks out of the streams when it rains.

Key retirement is sign of the times

WASHINGTON

In many ways, the saga of this Republican era in the House of Representatives can be summed up in the story of Bill Thomas, the California congressman who announced this week that he is retiring as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and not standing for re-election.

School board honors music students, appoints principal

WINDER - Barrow County's best student musicians, spellers and a welder were recognized at Tuesday's school board meeting.

Six students and one alternate were selected for the Georgia Music Educators Association All State Band:

•Billy Hentenaar, French horn, and Andrew Craft, trumpet, from Russell Middle School. Craft also was chosen as tenor for GMEA's All State Chorus.

House next to take on immigration

ATLANTA - The Senate overwhelmingly approved a sweeping bill aimed at illegal immigration Wednesday after an emotional but relatively brief debate for such a high-profile issue.

Senators voted 40-13 to send the comprehensive Republican-backed legislation to the House after spending just less than two hours weighing the economic and moral implications of targeting both illegal workers and the businesses that hire them.

The measure goes after the estimated 250,000 illegal immigrants living in Georgia by requiring people seeking social services to prove they are either U.S. citizens or in the country legally.

It takes on businesses in two ways, prohibiting the state and local governments from entering into contracts with companies that hire illegals and denying businesses tax writeoffs for their illegal employees.

The bill also includes provisions increasing penalties for human trafficking, requiring law enforcement agencies to verify the legal status of suspects arrested for felonies and putting restrictions on "notarios,'' people in the Hispanic community who falsely claim to be lawyers capable of helping illegal immigrants obtain the documents they need to get a job.

But the sections of the bill addressing employers and the delivery of social services drew the vast majority of attention during Wednesday's debate.

Requiring employers in Georgia to verify that the workers they hire are not illegal immigrants is simply making sure they're following current federal law, said Sen. Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, the bill's chief sponsor.

Under the bill, companies that pay a worker they can't verify more than $600 a year wouldn't be allowed to write off that expense on their state income taxes.

"Surely, we should not grant someone a tax break for knowingly violating the law,'' Rogers said.

Senate President Pro Tempore Eric Johnson argued that the state can't afford to provide social services to illegal immigrants without depriving low-income Georgians who are legal residents of vital programs.

"Our heart has no limit, but our pocketbook does,'' said Johnson, R-Savannah.

But the bill's critics warned that cracking down on illegal immigrants would have economic and moral consequences.

South Georgia senators said they were particularly worried that the legislation would hurt farming.

"The vast majority of the labor our agricultural community depends on so much today are migrant workers,'' said Sen. George Hooks, D-Americus.

"The first crop that's going to go down is Vidalia onions,'' added Sen. Sam Zamarripa, D-Atlanta, the Senate's only Hispanic member.

Zamarripa, who worked closely with Rogers to reduce some of the bill's impacts, also questioned the morality of the bill. He said it would create fear among a group of people who don't deserve it.

"They're good, good people,'' he said. "They care about hard work, their family and their Lord.''

But Rogers said there are other victims who are suffering from illegal immigration, including a small-business owner who testified during a public hearing last week that he is losing out to competitors who keep their payrolls down by hiring illegal workers.

Rogers said concerns about the economic consequences of his bill ignore the fact that businesses that rely on illegal immigrants are flaunting the law.

"Have we sold ourselves out so far that a profit motive is all that matters?'' he asked.

Senators approved a couple of amendments before Wednesday's final vote on the legislation, including a provision declaring any property used in producing false identification documents illegal contraband.

But the Senate rejected a proposal by Sen. John Bulloch, R-Ochlocknee, to delay the effective dates of various portions of the bill to give business owners - particularly farmers - more time to prepare for it.

Majority Republicans also defeated an amendment submitted by Senate Democrats containing tougher sanctions against businesses that hire illegal workers.

Longtime Snellville planner resigns

LAWRENCEVILLE - Pick a piece of land in Snellville and Don Allen can tell you what was built there.

Historic building named for Button Gwinnett

LAWRENCEVILLE - Robert Cain could point to where he stood when family and friends tossed rice on him and his bride Grace half a century ago.

"There's a lot of memories here," he said.

Berry eyes two candidates for new president

ROME - A search committee has referred two candidates to the board of trustees in Berry College's search for a president to succeed Scott Colley, who is retiring June 30 after eight years as president.

Letters to the Editor

Iraq's leaders seem unable to settle their differences

The situation in Iraq has all the earmarks of a hopeless venture into never-never land.

The inability of all political and religious factions to form an all-inclusive government becomes increasingly obvious. Any chance of an American-style democracy is so much wishful thinking on the part of Washington.

The varied religious sects in that sorrowful country are stuck in a "my way or the highway" mentality that shows absolutely no signs of forming a unified government. It would seem that the only role left for us is to hold the line to protect our troops until an honorable way can be found to get them out.

Retreat with honor? That phrase comes uncomfortably close to the "peace with honor" that Henry Kissinger laid on us at the end of our Vietnam involvement.

We keep on being told that there is no correlation between Iraq and Vietnam, but it's becoming more difficult to make the distinction. Would it be unreasonable to suggest that we spend the next decade or two dealing with problems here at home and stay out of other people's business?

Streams under repair