A look back at the Gwinnett Daily Post's top stories of the week.
One year after Katrina
On Tuesday, the nation marked the first anniversary of Katrina, the hurricane that ravaged the Gulf Coast. It left 80 percent of New Orleans underwater, killed 1,800 people across the Gulf Coast, destroyed or severely damaged more than 204,000 homes and made more than 800,000 people homeless overnight.
Thousands fled to metro Atlanta in the weeks after Katrina - many of them to Gwinnett. The Gwinnett school system said more than 1,300 children from the Gulf Coast registered for school last September, and 863 had remained in May. The devastation that remains one year later forces evacuees to make a choice: start a new life in an unfamiliar place or go home and try to rebuild.
Thankfully, Tropical Storm Ernesto, which loomed over Florida early in the week, ended up delivering heavy rain but little else and mostly skipped over Georgia.
Georgia rose to 46th among 50 states in its SAT scores, according to results announced Tuesday. It did especially well in the new writing portion, placing 41st. However, this came as the national mean score in reading and math fell seven points. And Georgia only beat South Carolina based on the combined reading and math mean score, dropping three points.
Both Gwinnett and Barrow County schools topped the statewide average of 1,477 points - Gwinnett by its widest margin yet, and Barrow for the first time in four years. Students in the Buford City Schools were eight points below the state average.
Friday football kicked off in high schools across the county. ... A Gwinnett grand jury declined to indict a former police sergeant on criminal charges in the shooting death of a drunken driver. ... In 2006, Gwinnett has hired 89 new officers and 81 sheriff's deputies, breaking last year's hiring record. ... 178 employees are facing a layoff by Johnson Controls Team Atlanta at facilities in Norcross and Suwanee, while the R&R Manufacturing Co. in Auburn is laying off 30 workers. ... No one will face criminal charges in a neglect case involving a 79-year-old Sugar Hill man found living in wretched conditions. ... Officials are asking for the public's help identifying whoever is responsible for torching two police patrol cars in Buford last week. ... Relay for Life had another record-breaking year in Gwinnett in 2006. ... Revitalization suggestions for a 2.5-mile segment of Jimmy Carter Boulevard from Singleton Road to Buford Highway were presented to the community Wednesday.
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