News for Wednesday, January 24, 2007

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Katherine Tatum

Mrs. Katherine W. Tatum of Sugar Hill, Georgia, passed away on Wednesday, January 24, 2007. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home ...

Bertie Clinton

Mrs. Bertie Ruth Puckett Clinton, age 82, of Buford, GA, passed away on Tuesday, January 23, 2007. She was preceded in death by her husband, Mr. Grady Clinton; daughter, Brenda ...

Phillis Heybach

Phillis Allen Stough Heybach, age 81, of Talking Rock, GA, formerly of Tucker, GA, died Wednesday, January 24, 2007. Arrangements are pending with the Bill Head Funeral Homes and Crematory ...

James Hightower

Mr. James E. Hightower, age 60, of Hoschton, GA, passed away Thursday, January 18, 2007. You may visit www.gammagefh.com to sign the online guestbook or send private condolences. The Olin ...

Edwin Fite

Edwin Nash Fite of Gainesville, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on January 21, 2007 after an extended illness, which he fought bravely. The Family received friends ...

Becca Mcclendon

Becca McClendon, age 32, of Atlanta, GA, passed away January 23, 2007. Arrangements by Horis A. Ward - Stone Mtn. Chapel, 770-381-5722.

Rezoning for plant nursery approved

WINDER - A controversial landscape plant nursery will open in a residential neighborhood near Statham. Barrow County Commission Chairman Doug Garrison broke the tied vote while Commissioner Jerry Lampp fought adamantly against the proposed rezoning. Lampp's son, Ken, lives in the affected neighborhood.

"He knows his property values will go down," Lampp said.

Police seek chase suspect

DULUTH - Police are searching for a man who led police on a high-speed pursuit Saturday morning after he drove away from a sobriety checkpoint.

In brief

local

Mustangs' Davis on 'Coaches Corner'

Snellville passes senior housing ordinance

SNELLVILLE - Following months of discussion and reworking, Snellville council members adopted the city's first-ever senior housing zoning district designation Monday night .

Spearheaded by councilwoman Kelly Kautz, Snellville's R-HOP (Housing for Older Persons) zoning is "the best for Snellville. It's more unique and specific than others," Kautz said.

Modeled after Gwinnett and Cherokee counties' senior housing zoning, Snellville's text is even more specific. Four sub-categories of senior housing are outlined in the zoning amendment: single-family district (55 and older), villa district and villa cluster district (55 and older), and continuous campus care district (62 and older). Single story, multistory and mixed-use senior housing are all addressed in the final content of the city's ordinance.

Work began on the senior housing zoning specifics in the summer of 2006, with Planning Director Jessica Roth drafting a document much broader than that approved Monday night. The issue was discussed then tabled in November for further research and consideration. A special-called council meeting was held in December, and the item was tabled again for further review and to allow more public input.

The draft presented to the mayor and council Monday afternoon, and made available to the public Monday night, reflected input from the city's planning commission, city staff, council members and residents. About two hours of sometimes contentious discussion took place Monday before Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer and council members voted on the matter.

Councilman Robert Jenkins took issue with the 25 percent open-space requirement stating that "for all attached developments 15 acres or larger, no less than 25 percent of the site acreage shall be set aside as open space." Jenkins contended that an older population does not require open space in a community, as it is not needed for children or recreation.

"It would not be an asset to this type development," Jenkins said.

While several residents disagreed with Jenkins, the open space requirement was ultimately removed from the text. Another point of contention in the document specifics was the sidewalk width requirement. Some residents felt that 6-foot sidewalks were more appropriate for a senior community, but the approved version specifies 5-foot sidewalks.

Oberholtzer took issue with wording in the document that specified where certain types of senior housing could be built, such as villa cluster homes being built only in the town center overlay district.

"Why say 'only in the town center'? You can't bind future councils by stating this," the mayor said.

Volunteers donate manpower, money to Fort Yargo bike trails

christy.smith@gwinnettdailypost

WINDER - Members of a local mountain biking club have labored three years to build 11.3 miles of trails in Fort Yargo State Park using private donations. Without spending tax dollars, the 20-member Yargo Area Biking Association intends to complete and maintain 15 miles of trails throughout the park.

No doubt

For sake of 'art,' films pushing boundaries

Critiquing American culture is tricky for people in the family newspaper business, especially this week as two controversial movies open at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Letters to the Editor

President's idea of victory different than everyone else's

While I can appreciate David Broder's opinion regarding the war in Iraq ("Pressure in Iraq now on Maliki," Jan. 21, Perspective) I fear he has fallen into the same trap as most Americans, in believing that it's about anything but what it is.

Police looking for man accused of sexually molesting girlfriend's daughter

LAWRENCEVILLE - Police are looking for a Lawrenceville man believed to have forced his live-in girlfriend's 8-year-old daughter to give him oral sex.

Column: Ridge still has some catching up to do

NORCROSS - They

simply weren't ready. Not this time.

Top-ranked Blue Devils beat No. 3 Lions easily

NORCROSS - The No. 1 Norcross boys wanted to come out and set the tone early in Tuesday night's much-anticipated, much-hyped showdown against No. 3 Peachtree Ridge.

Index of leading economic indicators rises 0.3 percent in December

NEW YORK - An indicator of future economic activity rose slightly in December, suggesting the economy may grow at a modest clip in the next several months, an industry-backed research group said Tuesday.

Bill aims to overhaul health insurance in Georgia

ATLANTA - Only a dramatic overhaul of Georgia's health insurance system would reduce the ranks of the state's 1.7 million uninsured, a Republican state senator declared Tuesday.

But even as Sen. Judson Hill outlined legislation aiming at moving away from the current employer-based insurance system to one that emphasizes individual choice, critics said the bill wouldn't achieve its purpose.

The complex 60-page bill would offer tax incentives to encourage Georgians to buy insurance on their own instead of relying on employer-based group plans.

To help them make informed choices among competing plans, the measure would set up a Web site containing prices for medical services and prescriptions.

The legislation stems from a study committee chaired by Hill, R-Marietta, that met several times last year. During one of those sessions, the panel heard from former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, a longtime advocate of "consumer-driven'' health care.

Hill, who introduced his bill on Monday, said today's employer-based system fails to protect people who lose their jobs, while its reliance upon third-party payments encourages patients not to worry about the cost of care.

"Our current system is price blind, quality silent, and many incentives are in the wrong place,'' he said. "Georgians deserve to have a health care system that works.''

Hill said most Georgians who become uninsured are without coverage for less than a year, often because they have lost their jobs and are temporarily out of work.

He said those people, many of whom can afford health insurance, are the primary focus of his bill.

Under the legislation, people who make more than $60,000 a year would be allowed to deduct their medical expenses and claim a personal exemption on their state income taxes if they have at least minimum health coverage - a low-priced, high-deductible plan - or if they post a bond comparable to catastrophic coverage.

If they choose not to pursue either of those options, they wouldn't be entitled to the tax breaks.

Hill said those are powerful incentives to encourage Georgians who can afford their health care to pay for it.

"Not paying your bills is no longer an option in this state,'' he said. "If you make over $60,000 a year, you have to contribute something to your health care.''

But Linda Lowe, a consumer health advocate, said the health savings accounts Hill's bill envisions wouldn't be either attractive or affordable to many uninsured Georgians.

She said most of the uninsured aren't making $60,000 a year, while many are older Georgians with chronic health problems who would consider insurance plans that offer only catastrophic coverage too risky.

"The people who are most likely to do that are younger people and people with the means to benefit from the tax break,'' Lowe said. "I'm afraid it would not make a dent in the number of uninsured.''

Hill said the market-based approach his legislation embodies may be the last chance to avoid a solution to the problem of the uninsured driven by government mandates.

Lawmakers in Massachusetts enacted mandatory universal health insurance last year, and other states - notably California - are considering such a move.

"Going to universal health care is not an option for me,'' Hill said. "I'm not ready to see that on the backs of taxpayers.''

Bush defends Iraq plan to skeptical Congress in State of the Union

AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON - A politically weakened President Bush implored a skeptical Congress Tuesday night to embrace his unpopular plan to send more U.S. troops to Iraq, saying it represents the best hope in a war America must not lose. ''Give it a chance to work,'' he said.

Commission approves mixed-use development near Mall of Georgia

By Arielle Kass

Staff Writer

arielle.kass@gwinnettdailypost.com

LAWRENCEVILLE - A huge mixed-use development by the Mall of Georgia will be built despite residents' concerns about its effect on the county's school system, while a proposed high-rise development will live to fight another day.

Vandal makes grave mistakeMan gets trapped underneath headstone, admits to knocking over several others

LILBURN - A screaming voice was heard from a Lilburn graveyard for at least a couple of hours early Saturday morning.

Police say man found at church was shot dead

NORCROSS - An autopsy confirmed Tuesday the man found dead behind St. Patrick's Catholic Church Sunday night died from gunshot wounds.

Police were called to 2140 Beaver Ruin Road in Norcross at 5:40 p.m. after the man was discovered by a priest at St. Patrick's after sounds of gunshots brought him out of a 5 p.m. mass.

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.

Corrections

Corrections

In an article printed Jan. 19, one of the street names identified in reference to an alleged drive-by shooting in Lilburn was incorrect. The incident was reported at the intersection of Indian Trail Drive and Hillcrest Road.

Carl City Council member resigns

CARL - City Council member Freida Knight resigned her seat in Thursday's council meeting after three years of service. She had one year left on her term.

Police, fire briefs

Exxon manager chases robber

•SNELLVILLE - The manager of the Exxon gas station at 3021 Centerville Highway told police Sunday a man attempted to rob the convenience store.

According to a police report, a black man attempted to purchase a pack of mints and then sprayed the manager with pepper spray when he opened the register.

The manager was able to run after the man, detaining him for a moment before the suspect fled toward a Kroger without any money.

Arriving firefighters treated the manager at the scene and he was released.

County's top teacher stresses importance of arts in education

DULUTH - It's not every day business executives and community leaders are serenaded and asked to play games that teach rhythm and composition.

OBITUARIES

BUFORD

CLINTON, BERTIE

Mrs. Bertie Ruth Puckett Clinton, age 82, of Buford, GA, passed away on January 23, 2007. 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.*

DULUTH

BOLTON, SARA

Sara Bess Bolton, 81, of Duluth, GA, died January 22, 2007. The memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, January 28th, at Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church in Norcross. The family will receive friends Sunday from 2:00 p.m. until the time of service at the church. A resident of Berkeley Lake since the 1970's, Sara retired as an executive secretary and was an active member at Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church and participated in various activities in the community. She sang with the Dekalb Choral and Mt. Carmel Choir and was a strong supporter of the Arts community. Sara was an avid reader, she loved to travel, and dearly loved her cat, Missy. Preceded in death by a sister, Elizabeth Lowry, she is survived by her brother, Dorsey Bolton of Norcross, GA; two sisters, Dorris Sue Bolton Pittman of Marietta, GA, and Mildred B. Mewborn of Duluth, GA; nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to: Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church Music Ministry, 5100 South Old Peachtree Road, Norcross, GA 30092, (770) 449-4498. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Peachtree Chapel Funeral Home, Norcross, GA. (770) 448-5757. Online condolences may be expressed at www.crowellbrothers.com.

LAWRENCEVILLE

CROSBY, BENEDETTA

Mrs. Benedetta V. Crosby, age 80, of Lawrenceville, GA, passed away on January 23, 2007. She was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond Crosby. Surviving are: Sons and Daughter-in-Law: Tommy and Cathy Crosby, Gainesville, GA, Raymond Crosby, Lawrenceville, GA; Grandchildren: Ashley Crosby, Atlanta, GA, Amanda Patrick, Monroe, GA; Brother: Francis Vella, Utica, NY; Sister: Josephine Vella, Utica, NY; Several nieces and nephews. Mrs. Crosby was born on April 29, 1926 in Auburn, NY. She was the retired owner of Western Sizzlin Restaurant in Albuquerque, NM. She was a member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Lawrenceville, GA. A Memorial Mass will be held on Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Lawrenceville, GA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Vincent de Paul Society in memory of Benedetta V. Crosby. Arrangements by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home & Crematory, Buford, GA, 770-932-1133, www.flaniganfuneralhome.com.

DAVIS, VERDELL

Verdell Davis, age 82 of Lawrenceville, died Tuesday, January 23, 2007. Funeral Services will be held 2 PM Thursday, January 25, 2007 in the Lawrenceville Chapel of Tim Stewart Funeral Home. Rev. James Massey & Rev. Rolland Jackson will officiate. Burial will follow at Gwinnett Memorial Park, Lawrenceville. Mrs. Davis was a member of Central Baptist Church and retired from McGee Cleaners with many years of service. She is survived by Husband: Mr. Harlin Davis, Lawrenceville; Son & Friend: Gerald Davis & Kay Greenway, Snellville; Daughters & Sons-in-law: Wanda & Washie White, Greensboro, GA, Cathy & Mike Carder, Snellville; Grandchildren: Keith Davis, Carla Jackson, Missy Westgate, Eric White, Josh Carder, Jessica Carder; 5 Great Grandchildren; Several Nieces & Nephews. The Family will receive friends from 6 - 9 PM Wednesday, January 24, 2007 & 9 AM - 2 PM Thursday, January 25, 2007 at Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 300 Simonton Road, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-962-3100. Please sign online guest registry at www.stewartfh.com .

MARKWALTER, IRENE

Irene K. Markwalter, age 73 of Lawrenceville died Monday, January 22, 2007. Funeral Mass will be held 11:00 AM, Friday, January 26, 2007 at St. Oliver Plunkett Catholic Church, Snellville. Father James Henault, M.S. will serve as Celebrant. Burial Gwinnett Memorial Park, Lawrenceville. A member of St. Oliver Plunkett Catholic Church, Snellville, Mrs. Markwalter is survived by: Husband: John A. Markwalter, Son: Brian J. Markwalter, both of Lawrenceville; Daughter & Son-in-law: Elaine M. & James McSheehy, Grand Junction, CO; Son & Daughter-in-law: Gary M. & Angela Markwalter, Dacula; Brother: Raymond Kuzelka, Chicago, IL.; Grandchildren: Sarah L. McSheehy and Caitlyn E. Markwalter. Family will receive friends from 5-8 PM, Thursday, January 25, 2007 with prayer service at 7:00 PM at the Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 300 Simonton Road, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045. 770-962-3100. Please sign online guest registry at www.stewartfh.com

LILBURN

SMITH, WILLIAM

William L. "Bill" Smith, age 72 of Lilburn, GA, died January 23, 2007. Arrangements by Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Snellville Chapel, 770-979-3200, www.wagesfuneralhome.com .*

NORCROSS

ROWE, PHYLLIS

Phyllis Martin Rowe, age 66 of Norcross, GA, passed away January 22, 2007. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Peachtree Chapel Funeral Home, Norcross, GA, 770-448-5757.*

TALMO

MCCLURE, TAMMY

Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, Georgia announces the death of Mrs. Tammy Sue Bryant McClure, age 49, of Talmo, who passed away on Saturday, January 20, 2007. Funeral Services announced later by Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, GA, 706-367-5467.*

Study helps schools teach Hispanic students

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County Public Schools officials say they have used the results of a consulting project conducted by a state Board of Education member to reach out to a growing Hispanic student population.

No. 1 GAC girls ward off No. 2 Avondale

Ben Beitzel

Staff Writer

ben.beitzel@gwinnettdailypost.com

DECATUR - For three quarters the Greater Atlanta Christian girls basketball team played like the No. 1 team in Class AA.

Has Vick run his course in Atlanta?

ATLANTA - So it turns out Michael Vick was NOT carrying a water bottle laced with marijuana on his way through the Miami airport.

Winder trailblazers

Kahn looks back as Dems change course

A fixture in Georgia Democratic politics since the 1980s, state party chairman Bobby Kahn exits the public stage with guns blazing this weekend.

Prep roundup: Smith leads Wesleyan boys past No. 2 Decatur

DECATUR - Tanner Smith scored 26 points on Tuesday night as Wesleyan knocked off second-ranked Decatur 59-43 in Region 6-AA play.

Wesleyan, which moved into a three-way tie at the top of the region standings with Buford and Decatur (18-2, 10-1), improved to 16-4 overall and 10-1 in the region. Dillon McLaughlin also scored 14 for 10th-ranked Wesleyan while Erik Strong added 10 points.

Co-defendant: Secretary felt mistreated, proposed secrets theft

ATLANTA - A former secretary at The Coca-Cola Co. was angry at her employer for not treating her well and hatched a plan to steal trade secrets from the beverage giant to sell them to rival PepsiCo Inc., a co-defendant testified Monday at the woman's conspiracy trial.