News for Saturday, January 27, 2007

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Dora Lee Moon Clower

Mrs. Dora Lee Moon Clower, age 97, of Snellville, GA, died January 26, 2007. She is survived by her Grandchildren, Tommy and Chris Clower of Lawrenceville, Cindy and Don Landress ...

Herbert Taylor

Mr. Herbert (Bill) Taylor, age 83, of Sugar Hill, GA, passed away on Saturday, January 27, 2007. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Irene Rowe Taylor ...

Charles Skelton

Charles “Chuckie” Skelton, age 54 of Buford, died Friday, January 26, 2007. Funeral Service will be held 3 P.M. Sunday, January 28 in the Chapel of Tapp/Tim ...

Joan Louise Bowman

Joan Louise Bowman, age 79, of Buford, GA, passed away January 27, 2007. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.

James Edward Sullivan

James Edward Sullivan, age 70, of Lawrenceville, GA, passed away January 26, 2007. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 1031 Lawrenceville Highway, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, 770-277-4550.

John D. Stephens named Chamber's Citizen of the Year

DULUTH - The Thomas P. Hughes Grand Ballroom at Gwinnett Center was filled with applause Friday night when John D. Stephens stepped on stage.

I-85 project moving along at 1-year mark

LAWRENCEVILLE - One year since the governor broke ground, the $147 million reconstruction of Interstate 85 at Ga. Highway 316 is ahead of schedule.

Commission pay raise gets cold shoulder

camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com

ATLANTA - Gwinnett lawmakers gave a cool reception Friday to a request from county commissioners to introduce a bill making a pay raise they voted themselves last week take effect this summer.

The move comes less than two weeks after commissioners agreed to the raise, contending it would not impact the 2007 government budget, which had just been cut by $6 million.

Gladiators prevail against Everblades

ESTERO, Fla. - Just when they seemed headed for their third consecutive defeat Friday, the Florida Everblades came back to life. The Everblades ripped off three consecutive third-period goals, sending the game to overtime and the home crowd into delirium.

In brief

Chick-fil-A logs more than $2B in sales

•ATLANTA - Chick-fil-A Inc. said Friday it had more than $2.27 billion in sales for 2006, a 15.16 percent increase from the previous year.

Defense leads Meadowcreek in win over Shiloh

NORCROSS - Meadowcreek tightened its grip on the region standings Friday night.

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.

Kovalchuk collects overtime winner

ATLANTA - The Atlanta Thrashers kept blowing leads. Finally, Ilya Kovalchuk gave his team a safe one.

Flaggers aren't only ones who love South

Tweaking flaggers is like bearbaiting. There's not a lot of sport in it, and I only do it when I am too bored to pick on the blowhard city of Atlanta.

In case you are not aware, flaggers are not imbued with much of a sense of humor. I reckoned in this space last year that with 2006 state elections upcoming, flaggers would have all the political influence of a dill pickle.

Naturally, those comments drew a lot of chest-thumping mail, which was not surprising. The surprise was that there were a few I could reprint without violating obscenity laws.

Men charged in fatalities

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Lawrenceville man has been charged in connection with a traffic fatality that occurred earlier this month.

Good deeds rewarded

Parkview wrestler ruled ineligible by GHSA after switching schools

The Georgia High School Association ruled on Friday that two-time state placer and Parkview wrestler Chad Mitchell is ineligible for the remainder of the season.

Brookwood girls avenge loss with win over No. 7 Berkmar

LILBURN - Embarrassing was the word that kept popping up after the Brookwood girls basketball team's lopsided loss to Berkmar earlier in the season.

Suwanee OKs mixed-use development

SUWANEE - City Council members this week approved the rezoning of nearly 150 acres of land on the southwest side of Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and north Burnette Road.

The planned mixed-use rezoning of the land, known locally as the Motorola tract of land and the old Falcon training complex, will be home to a hotel, office buildings, retail stores and multi-family and single-family housing. There will also be a plaza in the retail section of the development as well as a central park.

"We have worked on this for about a year," said the applicant's representative, attorney Mike Tennant. "This has been one heck of a ride."

The location and scope of the development have brought more than the usual level of scrutiny to the rezoning and planned use of the land. The area near southwest Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and north Burnette Road is considered a gateway to the city.

According to City Planner Josh Campbell, the area rezoned is considered a character area on Suwanee's Land Use Plan Map, and the mixed-use project proposed by OPUS South Corporation is a suitable use for it. The city Planning Department recommended approval of the rezonings, with conditions related to the development. Council members voted unanimously to approve the rezonings, as well.

In other business:

•Joan Sammond and the Georgia Humane Society asked for a special-use permit to house a pet adoption center in an area currently zoned for commercial use. The approximately 2,500-square-foot space, in a complex located north of Namasco Drive on Buford Highway will accommodate up to 15 dogs and 30 cats. The space will also house administrative offices for the Georgia Humane Society.

The special-use permit was granted Tuesday night.

•Jimmy Burnette was appointed Suwanee's 2007 mayor pro tem Tuesday night. Burnette follows councilwoman Jeanne Rispin, who served in the same capacity in 2006.

•Amie Sakmar was presented with the Suwanee STAR award Tuesday night. Sakmar was instrumental in clinching the city's open space bond refinancing last year and securing City Hall bond financing. She was also recognized by the state of Georgia for Suwanee's budget presentation, which was completed 3 years ahead of time, according to city manager Hardin Watkins.

•By unanimous vote, council members gave Mayor Nick Masino the go-ahead to enter into an agreement not to exceed $95,000 with Urban Collage for comprehensive planning services.

"Everything goes back to planning. This is money well spent, and it results in things like our Town Center. We spent $65,000 on planning services back in '98 and '99 with great results," said Masino.

Police/fire reports

Fire

Dogs die in fire

•NORCROSS - Firefighters believe combustible items placed too close to a hot water heater caused an accidental fire that displaced four adults and three children from their Bishops Circle duplexes Friday morning.

'24' shouldn't apologize for storylines

I'm not exactly on the cutting edge when it comes to trends. I'm usually the last to catch on.

When I finally got the hang of the Hula-Hoop, everyone else was playing with Duncan yo-yos.

When I finally decided that the Beatles were cool, the rest of the world had gone to heavy metal.

When I finally got around to buying a leisure suit, the cool guys were selling theirs at the Salvation Army store.

You see how it goes. When a new trend comes down the track, I'm always the last to get on board.

That's the way it has been with the television series "24," which just started its sixth season on the Fox television network. I had heard people talk about it of course, some show in which every episode depicted an hour's worth of real-time activity in a season -24 episodes - made up a single day.

I never watched the show and had no idea what it was about. I knew there must have been somebody watching, though, because the star of the show, Kiefer Sutherland, is the highest-paid actor on television, making more money per episode than Drs. House and McDreamy combined, not to mention all those housewives who run around in their skivvies on Sunday night.

A couple of weeks ago I decided that I was going to watch "24," just to find out what all the fuss is about. I knew I needed to tune in for the very first show and I did.

Three minutes in and I was hooked. Jack Bauer, Kiefer Sutherland's character, is some kind of secret government agent and, let me tell you this, he is a man's man. He makes Dirty Harry look like he should be in front of the grocery store selling Girl Scout cookies.

Let's put it this way. If John Wayne were still alive, he might get cast as Jack Bauer's butler, if he were lucky.

I knew I was going to like Jack Bauer as soon as he escaped torture and certain death, while bound hand and foot, by biting through his captor's jugular. You don't see that every night.

Well, I'm not going to give away the whole season, but we are five hours into the day and so far Jack Bauer has escaped certain death twice, captured an Osama bin Laden-type terrorist (whom he befriended and turned into an ally), witnessed a nuclear explosion in a L.A. suburb and tortured his brother into giving up secrets about his dad's involvement in nuclear arms sales. And that's all before 11 a.m.

But I'm not telling you about my newfound infatuation with a television series to get you to watch it. It seems that this season's "24" is creating quite a bit of controversy around the nation and the world.

First, an FBI agent complained that the television show might "give terrorist ideas."

Prep Roundup: Howard scores 1,000th in South girls' victory

SNELLVILLE - Antionette Howard scored 19 points, including her 1,000th career point, to help South Gwinnett defeat Grayson 59-25 on Friday night in Region 8-AAAAA girls basketball.

No license? Senate bill aims at you

ATLANTA - The Senate approved legislation Friday cracking down on Georgia motorists who drive repeatedly without a license.

Under the bill, which passed 40-8, a driver caught without a license for the third time within five years would be charged with a felony, subject to a prison term of up to five years. A motorist's first two offenses still would be treated as misdemeanors.

The bill's chief sponsor, Sen. John Wiles, R-Marietta, pitched it to his Senate colleagues as a public safety measure aimed at motorists reckless enough in their habits to drive habitually without a license.

"If you're in prison, you're not out on the roads endangering our children and family members,'' he said.

Since the bill was pre-filed last month, its supporters also have portrayed it as part of an ongoing effort by the Legislature aimed at illegal immigrants. In Georgia, many motorists arrested for not having a driver's license are in this country illegally.

One of the bill's provisions would require authorities arresting a driver for not having a license to make a "reasonable effort'' to determine the suspect's nationality.

Wiles drafted an amendment to the bill on the Senate floor after Sen. Michael Meyer von Bremen, D-Albany, objected that it could send to jail people who move from out of state and aren't aware that the law requires them to get a Georgia driver's license within 30 days of establishing residence.

"I'm all in favor of getting people without licenses off the roads,'' he said. "But we need to be careful when we pass laws not to end up putting people in jail for a single mistake.''

Wiles' amendment, which passed unanimously, would give judges discretion to suspend the jail sentence of a defendant who had established residence in Georgia within 60 days of the offense and had a valid out of state driver's license.

Also on Friday, senators voted unanimously to outlaw "phishing'' in Georgia, the transmittal of fraudulent e-mails by con artists seeking to dupe victims into revealing personal information such as credit card numbers.

"This is a problem that is growing across the country,'' said Sen. Cecil Staton, R-Macon, the bill's sponsor. "They're getting more and more sophisticated.''

The measure would mete out stiff penalties to scam artists caught engaging in phishing, including up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000.

Both Senate bills passed on Friday now go to the House.

Letters to the Editor

Confessed graveyard vandal should've said his prayers

I bet the poor sap who admitted vandalizing a graveyard in Lilburn was praying hard before police finally arrived to pull the fallen gravestone off him ("Vandal makes grave mistake," Jan. 24, Page 1A).

His desperate prayer probably went something like this: "Oh Lord, if you'll just lift this heavy burden from me I promise to repent and turn away from my wicked ways. I really mean it this time, Lord."

Most of us pray this same prayer each time we're caught between a rock and a hard place (no pun intended). The difference is most folks don't wait until they're already under the tombstone to do it.

- Deryl Duncan

Lawrenceville New AT&T will pick apart BellSouth piece by piece

I, too, am a retiree of Southern Bell and BellSouth, serving 32 years as a craft employee, as they called us, and I was there on Jan. 1, 1984, when we were cut loose and on our own ("BellSouth deserved better fate," Jan. 20, Perspective).

Elementary students learn about dairy from 'mooving' classroom

WINDER - Sam Darling, 6, learned Friday that cows have only one udder, not four, when the Mobile Dairy Classroom visited Holsenbeck Elementary School.

Better Broncos

OBITUARIES

AUBURN

RICHARDS, ORRETT

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, www.hamiltonmillchapel.com.*

DULUTH

BOWERS, DOUGLAS

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 Clark's Bridge Road, Gainesville, GA 30506, 770-534-0949. Mr. Bowers is survived by his wife of 37 years, Sabra Slater Bowers; his daughter, Dana L. Bowers of Lawrenceville; his mother, Frances Thompson Bowers of Atlanta; his sister, Joan Bowers Carmody of Decatur; and his brother, George H. Bowers of Marietta. He is preceded in death by his father, Waco Bowers. Mr. Bowers owned an insurance agency, Bowers & Associates, and was a manager for Compass Marketing Research. Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, Lawrenceville, GA, 770-277-4550.

LILBURN

NIXON, CAROLINE

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 the Order of Eastern Star San Jose #31 for 54 years. She was preceded in death by her husband, Vaughn D. Nixon. In lieu of flowers please make donations in Caroline's memory to the Georgia Eye Bank, Inc., 3060 Peachtree Rd., NW, Suite 130, Atlanta, GA 30305. She is survived by her daughters, Nancy Vaughn Nixon and Cindiella Nixon, both of Lilburn; son, Vaughn D. Nixon, Jr., San Jose, CA; grandchildren, Ami Nicole Nixon, Heather Vaughn Nixon and Jennifer Mae Nixon. The graveside service will be held at Eternal Hills Memory Gardens, Sunday, 3:00 pm. Visitation with the family will be today 6 to 8 pm at Eternal Hills Funeral Home, Snellville, 770-972-3155.

NORCROSS

BOLTON, HUGH

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.*

STATHAM

BURKE, JIM

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

SUGAR HILL

TATUM, KATHERINE

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, Quinton 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 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, www.flaniganfuneralhome.com.

THOMSON

WALKER, BONNIE

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 online guest registry at www.stewartfh.com .*

Wesleyan falls again to Avondale

NORCROSS - It's been quite some time since the Wesleyan girls basketball team got beat by a team twice in one season.

Shiloh boys shine at County Dive

LILBURN - The Gwinnett County swimming and diving championships got underway Friday night with the dive portion of the competition at Mountain Park Aquatic Center.