News for Friday, January 26, 2007


All Stories

Jim Tex Burke, Sr.

Jim Tex Burke, Sr., age 64, of Statham, GA, passed away January 26, 2007. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home, Winder, GA, 770-867-4553.

Hugh Dorsey Bolton

Hugh Dorsey Bolton, age 92, of Norcross, GA, passed away January 26, 2007. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Peachtree Chapel Funeral Home, Norcross, GA, 770-448-5757.

Caroline L. Nixon

Caroline L. Nixon, age 90, of Lilburn, passed away on Friday, January 26, 2007. She was a member of Mountain Park Baptist Church; the Red Hat Rebels of Lilburn; and ...

Orrett Alexander Richards

Orrett Alexander Richards, age 34, of Auburn, GA, died Thursday, January18, 2007 at Peachtree Christian Hospice following a brief illness. Arrangements by Hamilton Mill Memorial Chapel, 770-945-6924,

Douglas E. Bowers

Douglas E. Bowers, age 59, of Duluth, GA, died Sunday, January 21, 2007. A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 3rd at 2 PM at Unity of Gainesville, 3361 ...

Bonnie Walker

Bonnie Walker, age 62 of Thomson, formerly of Gwinnett County, died Thursday, January 25, 2007. Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 2246 Wisteria Drive, Snellville, Georgia 30078, 770-979-5010. Please sign ...

Katherine Tatum

Mrs. Katherine Whited Tatum, age 74, of Sugar Hill, GA, passed away on January 24, 2007. Surviving are: Husband of 60 Years: Clyde T. Tatum, Sugar Hill, GA; Daughters and ...

L.A., Denver object to Delta disclosure statement

ATLANTA - The city of Los Angeles said in a bankruptcy court filing Thursday that Delta Air Lines Inc.'s reorganization plan can't be approved because of undue authority it gives the company to reject certain leases.

District honors Barrow's best teachers

WINDER - Barrow County's elite teachers gathered at the Inn at Chateau Elan on Thursday to honor the Teachers of the Year.


An article about proposed high-rises at Gwinnett Place Mall on Jan. 25 incorrectly stated the towers' height. They would be 25 stories tall. It is the policy of the Gwinnett Daily Post to correct all errors of fact.

16 area schools awarded federal funds

LAWRENCEVILLE - More than 20 Title I schools in Gwinnett, Buford and Barrow have been named Title I Distinguished Schools after achieving adequate yearly progress for at least three consecutive years.

You may not like the speech, but you have to love the show

No matter where you find yourself on the political spectrum, one thing I think we can all agree on is the spectacle of politics is never boring.

GAC's Shelton inducted to Dugout Club Hall of Fame

As he enters his 25th season at Greater Atlanta Christian, head baseball coach Cliff Shelton received a momentous career honor last weekend from the Georgia Dugout Club.

Gladiators head south for pair at Florida

DULUTH - Jeff Pyle was energized after his Gwinnett Gladiators finished practice at the Duluth IceForum on Wednesday morning.

Schools may catch break on fire code

LAWRENCEVILLE - Nearly a year ago, Gwinnett's fire marshal's office was criticized for failing to inspect schools.

School, police briefs

Mill Creek student injured after

falling off fence on top of stadium

•HOSCHTON - A 19-year-old senior at Mill Creek High broke several bones after he fell off a fence on top of the school's stadium earlier this month.

Getting to Know ... Faith Nixon

Faith Nixon, a 1998 Parkview grad, is currently an assistant coach for the Norcross girls basketball team. In this latest installment of "Getting to Know ...," the former Augusta State hoopster talks with staff writer Corey Clark on a variety of topics, ranging from her upcoming wedding to her favorite George Michael song to her future goals.

Grand jury indicts men in sexual abuse cases

LAWRENCEVILLE - A grand jury this week indicted two Gwinnett County men charged in two separate cases involving sexual abuse of a child.

TV show features Gwinnett teenagers

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Georgia Public Broadcasting quarterly series that explores the lives of artists throughout the state will feature a segment on the Atlanta Boy Choir that includes the story of two teens from Gwinnett who are best friends.

Dobek glad to be making mark with Gladiators

DULUTH - In July, Bryan Dobek was at the NHL Atlanta Thrashers' prospects camp.

Finding a home

Ford posts record loss of $12.7B

DEARBORN, Mich. - Ford Motor Co. lost a staggering $12.7 billion in 2006 - an average of $1,925 for every car and truck it sold.

Super sophomores lead Norcross

Norcross High School produced one of the best swimmers ever from Gwinnett County - former American record-holder Mary Ellen Blanchard - but it still doesn't have the greatest history in swimming and diving. At least not lately.

Bannister asks for community input in State of the County address

DULUTH - Gwinnett's future doesn't just lie in the hands of the government, but also in the actions of civic and business leaders, Chairman Charles Bannister said Thursday, calling upon the community for help.

Former Chamber VP granted bond with supervision

Special to the Post

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. - While there are numerous conditions on his release, the former vice president for economic development for the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce and former executive director of the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority is on his way back home to Georgia.

'The best is yet to come'

sports calendar


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 or contact Marc Cain at

State of the County addressChairman Charles Bannister • January 25, 2007

Thank you. I'm glad to be here. And I'm happy to report that the laryngitis I had at this time last year has gone away! So I hope my optimism about the state of the county in 2007 will come through loud and clear. Thanks to all of you for being here and for your interest in the state of our county.

I also want to give a big thank you to the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and to the Council for Quality Growth for hosting us here at the Marriott again this year. I also want to thank everyone involved with the Partnership Gwinnett effort to envision what we all want Gwinnett to be in the future, and some of those key contributors are: Jim Maran and the Chamber of Commerce, Gwinnett schools, our cities, county government, our health care agencies, citizens and local businesses led by title sponsor Scientific Atlanta.

Many of the key leaders in your county government are also here today, including my fellow commissioners: Lorraine Green, Mike Beaudreau and Kevin Kenerly (Editor's note: Commissioner Bert Nasuti is recovering from hip-replacement surgery and could not attend). Jock Connell, our outstanding county administrator, is here as well, along with his two deputies, many of the county's department directors, several judges and other elected officials. I hope you will take some time to speak with any of them about your specific thoughts regarding your county government.

Wesleyan coach has program among the elite

NORCROSS - Jeff Bedard is used to winning. As a three-time high school wrestling state champion he's always had a knack for being successful.



Deborah Jean Owens, born May 13, 1957, passed away January 23, 2007, after a long battle with cancer. Debbie is survived by her loving husband, Kevin Owens; her daughters, Shannon & April Parham, Brianne & Sarah Owens. She is also survived by her supportive family: Parents, Richard & Barbara Meyer; Grandmother, Helen Moloney; Brother, Gordon Meyer & his children, Rachel, Joel, Luke, Adam, & Seth; Brother, Dan Meyer and his wife, Ginger & their children, Joshua & Michah; Brother, Don Meyer and his wife, Sue & their children, Brian, Kailley, Bradley & Karissa; Brother, Bruce Meyer and his wife, Julie & his children Jamie and Christopher. She is also survived by Kevin's parents, Ed & Ann Owens, Kevin's Brother, Charles and his wife, Sandy and their children, John & Becky; Kevin's Brother, David; Kevin's Brother, Paul and his wife, Jennifer & their children, Paul & Laura. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 3:30 p.m. at the Lighthouse World Outreach Center, 609 Gene Bell Road, Monroe, GA 30655. Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, Lawrenceville, GA, 770-277-4550.



Mr. David H. Ayers, age 52, of Flowery Branch, GA, passed away on Wednesday, January 24, 2007. He was preceded in death by his father, Mr. Sterling Ayers in 1963 and his grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. H. K. (Mamie) Bowman and Mr. and Mrs. David (Lula) Ayers. He is survived by his: Wife of 19 years: Mrs. Linda Hecht Ayers, Flowery Branch, GA; Mother and Step Father: Roslyn Bowman Carlyle and husband, Julian Warner Carlyle, Buford, GA; Step Sisters: Connie and Eddie Headrick, Gainesville, GA, Hanna and Dale Jones, Flowery Branch, GA; Step Brother: Lanny and Jody Carlyle, Sugar Hill, GA; Brother-in-Law: A. L. Hecht, Gray, GA; Niece: Melinda Short, McDonough, GA; Nephews: Patrick Hecht, Macon, GA, Trey Hecht, Macon, GA. Mr. Ayers was born December 19, 1954 in Gwinnett County, GA. He graduated from Buford High School in 1972 and received a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from the University of Georgia. He was employed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ATSDR for the past 31 years. He currently held the position of Deputy Director, Division of Toxicology, ATSDR. He was of the Methodist Faith. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. in the Chapel of Flanigan Funeral Home with Rev. Charles Gilliland officiating. Interment will be in Broadlawn Memorial Gardens, Buford, GA. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Friday from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 1132, Fairfax, VA 22038-1131 or in memory of David Ayers. Arrangements by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Buford, GA, 770-932-1133,



Thomas Gary McDonald, Sr., age 62 of Loganville, GA died January 24, 2007. He is survived by his wife, Judy McDonald; sons and daughter-in-law, Tommy and Beth McDonald of Eatonton, Chris McDonald of Loganville; grandchildren, Dustin, Morgan, Heath, Caroline McDonald. Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 27 at 12:00pm at Wages Snellville Chapel with Dr. Jeffery Perkins officiating. Interment will follow at Sweetwater Memorial Chapel Church, Duluth, GA. The family will receive friends Friday from 6 until 8pm, at the funeral home. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, Inc., Snellville Chapel, 770/979-3200



Nancy A. Gepfer, age 66, of Norcross, GA, passed away January 24, 2007. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Peachtree Chapel Funeral Home, Norcross, GA, 770-448-5757.*



Bonda Gibbs, age 63, of Snellville, died Monday, January 22, 2007. Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 2246 Wisteria Drive, Snellville, GA 30078, 770-979-5010. Please sign online guest registry at*



Mrs. Katherine Whited Tatum, age 74, of Sugar Hill, GA, passed away on January 24, 2007. Surviving are: Husband of 60 Years: Clyde T. Tatum, Sugar Hill, GA; Daughters and Sons-in-Law: Sue Ellen and Robert Walls, Buford, GA, Gwendolyn Fountain, Buford, GA, Lisa and Steve Pirkle, Buford, GA; Son and Daughter-in-Law: Steve and Janice Tatum, Flowery Branch, GA; Nine Grandchildren; 18 Great Grandchildren; Two Great Great Grandchildren; Sisters: Gladys Williams, Trenton, GA, Doris Hutchins, Flat Rock, AL; Brothers and Sisters-in-Law: Horace and Grace Whited, Maysville, GA, Clinton and Doris Whited, Buford, GA; A host of nieces, nephews and cousins, and several Sisters-in-Law and Brothers-in-Law of the Tatum Family. Mrs. Tatum was born on January 28, 1932 in Jackson County, AL. She was a homemaker and a member of the Flowery Branch Church of God. Funeral service will be held on Sunday, January 28, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. at the Buford Church of God with Rev. Jason Walls, Rev. Len Pirkle, and Rev. Fred Sylvester officiating. Interment in Broadlawn Memorial Gardens, Buford, GA. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Friday from 7:00-9:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Arrangements by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home & Crematory, Buford, GA, 770-932-1133,

Senate considers trauma care bill

ATLANTA - A bill introduced into the Senate on Thursday would create a state commission to oversee efforts to improve trauma care in Georgia.

But that would only be a first step. The real work would be finding the money to expand the state's network of trauma centers to fill coverage gaps in large parts of the state, said Sen. Cecil Staton, R-Macon, the legislation's sponsor.

"This is like opening a bank account,'' Staton said during a news conference outlining his bill. "Now, we'll have to do the hard work, which is making sure the money is appropriated.''

Staton headed a Senate committee during the past year that looked for ways to not only to shore up Georgia's existing network of 15 trauma centers, but also to expand the availability of trauma care to areas of Georgia that are largely uncovered.

He said his interest in the issue stems from a car crash four years ago that sent him to the trauma center at Floyd Memorial Hospital in Rome with a broken leg and broken ankle.

Staton said he was lucky that the accident didn't happen in southern Georgia, where there isn't a trauma center near Interstate 75 between Macon and Thomasville.

"If you're on a highway south of Macon and you're unfortunate enough to be in an accident, you could find yourself several hours away from getting to a hospital where you can get the adequate care you need,'' he said. "I don't think that's good enough for Georgia.''

Staton cited statistics showing that Georgia's death rate from traumatic injuries is 20 percent above the national average. Just drawing even with the rest of the nation, he said, would save the lives of about 700 Georgians a year.

Staton's bill would create a nine-member commission to manage a state fund that would be dedicated to trauma care.

He said money from the fund would be used to help hospitals already in the trauma care network improve their services, to entice hospitals not in the network to open new trauma centers and to create a statewide helicopter system specifically to transport trauma victims.

Kevin Bloye, a spokesman for the Georgia Hospital Association, which supports the bill, said an infusion of $80 million to $85 million a year is needed simply to maintain the existing network.

But that would be just represent a down payment. Bloye said Georgia hospitals are losing $250 million a year in uncompensated trauma care.

"The $80 million doesn't make us well,'' added Phil Wolfe, president and CEO of Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, home to one of the state's trauma centers. "But it helps.''

Gov. Sonny Perdue is supporting the effort with plans to introduce legislation during the next several weeks to crack down on "super speeders'' in Georgia, those who drive more than 20 miles an hour above the speed limit, and earmark the revenue from stiffer fines for trauma care.

But Bloye said that wouldn't bring in nearly enough money.

He said the hospital association also supports funding trauma care with a $5 fee on every car registered in Georgia.

"It would be broad-based and easy to collect,'' Bloye said.

Staton said his study committee considered dipping into car registration fees, a step the state of Maryland already has taken, as well as a $1.16 increase in the surcharge on monthly cell phone bills.

"When you're trying to come up with $85 million in new money, it's not an easy thing to do,'' he said. "It may ultimately require a number of revenue streams.''