News for Friday, January 19, 2007

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William Webb

ROBERT William Robert Webb age 42, of Duluth, GA passed away January 18, 2007. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Peachtree Chapel Funeral Home, Norcross 770-448-5757.

Juoy Day

Juoy Davis Day, age 50, of Norcross, died January 18, 2007. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Peachtree Chapel Funeral Home, 770-448-5757.

Dick Thompson

Dick Thompson age 62 of Dacula died Monday, January 15, 2007. Funeral Services will be held 1:00 PM, Monday, January 22, 2007 in the Chapel of Gordon Funeral Home, 528 ...

George Arris

George Anthony Arris, 69, of Suwanee, died January 15, 2007. A memorial service will be held Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 3PM at Duluth First Baptist Church. He was a ...

OBITUARIES

BETHLEHEM

HAMILTON, LIZZIE

Lizzie Addielou Hamilton, age 85 of Bethlehem, GA, passed away January 17, 2007. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home, Winder, GA, 770-867-4553.*

PENDERGRASS

CARLYLE, JERRY

Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, Georgia, announces the death of Mr. Jerry Wayne Carlyle, age 54, of Pendergrass, Georgia, who passed away on Thursday, January 18, 2007. Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, GA, 706-367-5467.*

WINDER

OUZTS, LAURA

Laura Ellen Ouzts, age 96 of Winder, GA, passed away January 18, 2007. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home, Winder, GA, 770-867-4553.*

WALLACE,

BARBARA

Barbara Shultz Wallace, age 70, of Winder, GA, passed away January 17, 2007. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home, Winder, GA, 770-867-4553.*

Police reports

No children

on bus involved in accident

•NORCROSS - A Gwinnett County Public Schools special-needs bus carrying no children was involved in an accident at about 3:45 p.m. Thursday at Beaver Ruin Road and Buford Highway, officials said.

Proposals offer drastic changes

NORCROSS - Say goodbye to Buford Highway. At least as you know it.

Strip mall ravaged

Grand jury indicts six on drug charges

LAWRENCEVILLE - Three men and one woman were indicted together by a Gwinnett County grand jury this week on multiple drug-related charges.

Kickers getting D-I offers

In the high-stakes world of college football recruiting, kickers are typically an afterthought.

Lieutenant governor offers school reform package

ATLANTA - Allowing school districts in Georgia to become charter systems would give teachers, administrators and parents flexibility to best meet the needs of their students, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said Thursday.

Speaking at Tech High School, a charter school in Atlanta, Cagle said he would support legislation in the Senate in the coming weeks to let whole school systems convert to charters, an option now available only to individual schools. As lieutenant governor, he is the Senate's presiding officer.

"We've experienced great successes with charter schools, primarily because ... they're structured from the bottom up instead of the top down,'' Cagle said.

"Teachers, principals and superintendents come together to design their curriculum around the needs of individual students and systems.''

The charter schools initiative is one of two education reform proposals Cagle touted on the campaign trail last year and again last week in speeches after being sworn in as the state's first Republican lieutenant governor.

He also is pushing to expand Georgia's "career academies,'' high schools that emphasize career and technical education, working in partnership with local businesses and technical colleges.

Charter schools are becoming increasingly popular in Georgia. Currently, 57 are operating across the state, up from 35 during the 2002-03 school year.

State statistics show that students in charter schools achieve higher test scores than their peers, and a higher percentage graduate.

State School Superintendent Kathy Cox said several counties have converted most of their schools to charters, but the process is cumbersome because each school has to apply individually with the state for charter designation.

"We want systems to really ask the question, 'Could our whole system perform better as a charter system?' '' she said.

Under Cagle's bill, city or county school districts awarded system-wide charter status would be exempt from state education mandates and some federal requirements.

In exchange for the added flexibility, they would be held to specific achievement standards. The state Department of Education could pull their charter if they fail to perform at or above those standards.

"This idea of high flexibility and high accountability I've championed for a long time,'' said Rep. Brooks Coleman, R-Duluth, chairman of the House Education Committee, who attended Thursday's announcement.

Along with the legislation, Cagle is asking the General Assembly for $625,000 in planning and incentive money to help launch five charter school systems.

The lieutenant governor also is looking for $1 million in startup costs for five career academies and $15 million in bonds for construction.

"Eighty percent of tomorrow's work force will need some technical training,'' Cagle said. "It's imperative that we get students at an earlier age on a technical path.''

Cox said several career academies already operating across Georgia are providing a model for Cagle's initiative, including schools in Newnan and Conyers.

She said expanding the program would help keep more Georgia teenagers in school.

"The key to reducing our dropout rate is to make sure kids have viable options,'' she said. "They don't have a lot of choices in traditional high schools.''

Gladiators begin 2nd half with Everblades

DULUTH - The Gwinnett Gladiators return from the All-Star break tied for first place overall with Florida and Alaska - and their next five games are against those very opponents.

Rite Aid OKs $3B Brooks, Eckerd purchase

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Rite Aid Corp. shareholders on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a deal worth almost $3 billion to buy more than 1,800 Brooks and Eckerd stores and become the largest drugstore operator on the East Coast.

Internet snoops wait to catch your slip-ups

Prediction: The new hot thing in our future will be anonymity.

Morris waives extradition, faces 195 years on child porn charges

Newton Citizen

crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com

COVINGTON - Former Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Scott Morris will return to Halifax County, Va., today to answer to child pornography charges, Commonwealth Attorney Kim White said.

In Brief

Crayon maker Binney & Smith changes name to its iconic brand Crayola

•EASTON, Pa. - Binney & Smith Co. is counting on a corporate name change to its iconic brand Crayola to help fuel its future growth.

Auburn man sentenced for smuggling

MOBILE, Ala. - A federal judge sentenced an Auburn man to more than five years in prison Thursday for smuggling cocaine into the United States.

Fretter, Schell spark 6-3 All-Star game victory

BOISE, Idaho - Gwinnett's Colton Fretter scored the game winner and Brad Schell sparked the American Conference's 6-3 victory over the National Conference in the ECHL All-Star Game on Wednesday night in Boise, Idaho.

Sports calendar

Athletics

Feb. 17: The Brookwood community plans to honor longtime Bronco athletic director and head football coach Dave Hunter with a celebration dinner on Feb. 17. All friends, colleagues and former players of Hunter are invited to attend the event, which will be at the Gwinnett Marriott on Pleasant Hill Road. For more information or to purchase tickets to the dinner, go www.brookwoodbroncos.org or contact Marc Cain at mcainbia@bbia.net.

Survivors, walkers ready for Relay for Life kickoff

LAWRENCEVILLE - Although it has been 13 years since Gail Williams was diagnosed with breast cancer, she jumps at the chance to celebrate her triumph over the disease and encourage others, raising awareness by participating in American Cancer Society events in Gwinnett County.

School lunches have changed - well, sort of

Thursday was the first time I'd been in a school cafeteria in many years. I'd been invited to Osborne Middle School in Hoschton to discuss persuasive writing with Michael McIntyre's seventh-grade class. I met the class in the lunchroom.

Parkview, Collins Hill favorites at state duals again

If recent history continues at the Class AAAAA state duals, it will be another all-Gwinnett final.

Police searching for Lilburn drive-by shooting suspects

LILBURN - Police are investigating a Wednesday night drive-by shooting that they suspect might be gang-related.

Trouble with Harry continues

LOGANVILLE - A Loganville mother of four who has fought to ban the Harry Potter series from Gwinnett County classrooms is appealing the state's decision to let the best-selling series stay.

Prep roundup: Dacula wrestlers top Mill Creek 51-22

DACULA - Dacula had nine wrestlers win on its way to a 51-22 victory over Mill Creek on Thursday.

Four buildings, including church, 'a total loss'

DULUTH - Firefighters are working to determine what caused a fire that damaged nine businesses in a shopping complex Thursday morning.

Lt. Thomas Rutledge, Gwinnett County Fire Department spokesman, said the fire began at 6:31 a.m. at the Mooring Plaza shopping center at 2856 Buford Highway near Old Peachree Road.

Berkeley Lake officials to review traffic study

BERKELEY LAKE - John Karnowski of Streetsmarts Inc., presented mayor Lois Salter and the Berkeley Lake city council members with a traffic report Thursday night. The study and resulting report were commissioned by the mayor and council several months ago in an attempt to understand and relieve various traffic concerns within the city.

Sports briefs

local

Mill Creek's Davis to sign with Berry soccer

Mill Creek senior Jenna Davis will sign a letter of intent with the Berry College women's soccer team today. The school will honor her with a 2:45 p.m. ceremony today at the Hawks' fieldhouse.

Getting to Know ... Megan Guthrie

Megan Guthrie has been working as the Gwinnett Gladiators' medical trainer since the team moved here from Mobile, Ala., where she also held the same job with the Mysticks.