News for Sunday, March 11, 2007


All Stories

Police reports

Student charged with breaking into Shiloh High School

•SNELLVILLE - An 18-year-old Shiloh High School student was arrested Wednesday and charged with breaking into the school.

According to a police report, Lervil Demarra Culpepper broke into the school at 4210 Shiloh Road in Snellville through the school's band room.

Culpepper told police his uncle kicked him out of his home, and he went to the school because he needed somewhere to go.

The teen was seen on security cameras entering the school. Police identified Culpepper by the red sweatshirt he was wearing.

Thief puts workers in store cooler

•DULUTH - Ledo Pizza and Pasta at 3083 Breckinridge Blvd. in Duluth was robbed Wednesday night.

An armed black man entered the restaurant about 11:30 p.m. demanding money from the manager and her husband, according to a police report.

The thief made the manager open the businesses' safe and then forced the two into a walk-in cooler. The manager said the man was unsuccessful in locking the cooler door and fled.

The manager and her husband described the man as about 5 feet 11 inches tall, 175 pounds and wearing a dark-colored bandanna on his face.

Lions introduce Ballard as new head football coach

SUWANEE - Not long after Bill Ballard was introduced as Peachtree Ridge's new football coach, star running back Brandon Davis had only one question for the new coach: "What type of offense will we run?"

Cops nab suspected ringleader in drug operation

Newton Citizen

COVINGTON - Walton County authorities arrested a man Thursday night who they say is a ringleader in a case involving numerous large-scale marijuana growing operations in the metro Atlanta area.

Legacy Award winner honored for leaving 'indelible marks'

DULUTH - A woman who has left "indelible marks" in the community was honored Friday evening with the Woman's Legacy of United Way in Gwinnett's fourth annual Legacy Award.

Best in the nation

Prep roundup: Rider leads North in rout of Central

SUWANEE - Mitch Rider was 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs to lead North Gwinnett past Central Gwinnett 13-6 on Friday.

Police ID bike wreck victim; family expected from Italy

LAWRENCEVILLE - Police on Friday released the name of the bicyclist killed in a vehicle crash Wednesday night.

Gwinnett County Police Department spokesman Cpl. Darren Moloney said the bicyclist is 35-year-old Michelle Gilli of Lawrenceville.

Gilli was killed when his bike collided with a Lincoln Town Car at the intersection of Ga. Highway 316 and Cedars Road in Lawrenceville. Gretta A. Baldwin, 37, of Duluth was driving the Town Car when the two collided.

According to witnesses, Gilli's traffic light was red as he attempted to travel through the intersection. Moloney said Baldwin's traffic light was yellow.

He said Gilli was hit from the left side as he entered the intersection and was pronounced dead at the scene. Gilli was listed at fault for the accident, Moloney said.

"Any time a bike enters an intersection on a red light, that's a bad idea," Moloney said.

Column: The perfect finish forMaya's amazing career

DULUTH - It was one of those moments everyone in attendance at the Arena at Gwinnett Center will never forget. And they shouldn't.

One Moore time

Defensive effort leads Norcross to second straight state crown

DULUTH - It was only fitting. When it mattered most, when the game and the 2007 state championship was on the line, the Norcross defense delivered.

Critics completely wrong about Zell

The last thing Zell Miller needs is to have me springing to his defense. Zell can take care of himself, thank you very much. But he has taken a couple of gratuitous shots recently that I feel need further commentary.

Springing forward nothing but trouble

I hate springing forward. I don't mind falling back, but I hate springing forward.

Police: Man DUI on mower

AUBURN - Country artist Vince Gill's song "One More Last Chance" mentions his wife taking the keys to his car so he rides his John Deere to meet his friends at the bar.

Robert Lane Griffiths of Auburn may have never heard Gill's song, but the man's actions say otherwise.

The 63-year-old of 1550 Wynfield Court was arrested a week ago after riding his green Craftsman lawn mower to the Ingles supermarket on Atlanta Highway.

"It's something that in our line of work it's not unusual to see the unusual once in a while," said Auburn Police Department Chief Frederick Brown.

According to a police report, Griffiths admitted he had been drinking before driving his mower about a half mile and crossing Ga. Highway 8 to the store.

Griffiths was arrested after police stopped him as he traveled with his groceries on the mower back to his home along Wynfield Drive, Brown said. Griffiths was arrested and charged with DUI.

Griffiths was stumbling and seemed unfit to take a field sobriety test, the report said.

"He presented a danger to himself and to others," Brown said. "A highway is not somewhere to be driving a lawn mower."

Collins Hill rolls to third straight state crown, earns national title

DULUTH - Only one adjective appropriately describes Collins Hill's season - perfect.

Team seeks ways to boost schools

SUWANEE - Members of a cross-functional action team on Thursday presented research about student achievement to the Gwinnett Board of Education and suggested ways the school system can add rigor to middle school to increase success in high school.

Letters to the Editor

Clinton vs. Obama no dream matchup

The best comment I've heard about the Hillary Rodham Clinton vs. Barack Obama primary contest is from Mike Bates of He calls it "the pants suit versus the empty suit."

Second title rings sweet for DeMercy, Aminu

DULUTH - Jordan DeMercy and Al-Farouq Aminu didn't have much to celebrate after Norcross' state championship last year.

Gwinnett grads: Kubik named Mountain West's top player

After leading her Brigham Young women's basketball team to its second straight regular-season conference title, Collins Hill grad Dani Kubik Wright got a fitting reward on Monday.

Parkview boys slip past Grayson

LILBURN - Grayson's boys welcomed back goalkeeper Eric Ati on Friday night.

GAC, Wesleyan set to meet for fourth time this season

MACON - Today brings what both the Greater Atlanta Christian and Wesleyan girls basketball teams wanted - both are a win away from a state championship.

N.J. slaying suspect found in Norcross

NORCROSS - A 19-year-old New Jersey murder suspect was arrested by Gwinnett County sheriff's deputies in Norcross on Thursday night.

Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Stacey Bourbonnais said Ronald Darby was arrested about 7 p.m. after members of the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force and the New York New Jersey Task Force discovered Darby was staying at the home of a family friend at 1140 Falling Water Lane in Norcross. According to the Sheriff's Department detention center docket, Darby lived at 139 South 8th St. in New Jersey.