Chamber president recovers from artery surgery

•LAWRENCEVILLE - The president of Gwinnett's Chamber of Commerce is recovering from surgery to clear a blocked artery.

Jim Maran underwent surgery Friday to clear the blockage in his carotid artery.

A chamber spokeswoman said the surgery was successful and the artery was cleared with the use of a stent. Maran was to be resting at the Gwinnett Medical Center until Saturday morning.

He requested that no flowers be sent.

River group gets $5,000 grant

•BUFORD - Recreational Equipment Inc. presented the Georgia River Network with a $5,000 grant in recognition of the work the group has done to conserve the state's vital watersheds.

The grant was made possible by REI's most successful year to date, which allowed more than $4 million to be earmarked for outdoor recreation and conservation causes across the country. REI's deadline for grant proposals is March 1 of each year, but additional money on top of budgeted funds became available and the Georgia River Network was one of four Atlanta market organizations nominated.

Via the Engage, Empower, Advocate program, the Georgia River Network will assist in organizing new groups, continue to build capacity in these and previously established river groups, and provide each group with the information and tools necessary for these citizen-led river groups to address issues threatening Georgia's rivers.

2007 homestead exemptions due

by March 1

•LAWRENCEVILLE - Property owners may file for a 2007 homestead exemption until March 1.

Homestead exemptions can offer tax savings to property owners who own and occupy a property as of Jan. 1 of the tax year for which the exemption is filed.

Property owners who already receive an exemption and had no ownership changes to their deed do not need to reapply. They will continue to receive their

current exemption on property taxes.

The Gwinnett County tax commissioner collects property taxes for Berkeley Lake, Dacula, Grayson, Lawrenceville, Lilburn, Snellville and Sugar Hill. Property owners residing in these cities' limits and who apply for a county exemption will also receive applicable city exemptions to which they may be entitled.

For more information about available exemptions, contact the Department of Property Tax from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For 24-hour service, call TaxTalk24, the Tax Commissioner's automated customer service telephone system, at 770-822-8800 or visit Questions can also be e-mailed to Propertytax@

Lottery launches new instant game

•ATLANTA - The Georgia Lottery Corp. has announced the launch of Georgia's $500 Million Club, a new instant

game with 51 millionaires and the highest instant

game top prize in Georgia history.

The $20 game offers more than $500 million in total cash prizes including 10 top prizes of $5 million, 40 prizes of $1 million, and an extra grand prize of

$10 million. The game

also offers more than 81,900 prizes from $500 to $50,000 and more than 3.8 million prizes from $40 to $200.

Gwinnett Gab appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.