There are some who thought things would never slow down in go-go Gwinnett. But significant trends are changing in the county known for its unbridled growth.
LILBURN - Sophomore Brandon Jacobs went 1-for-3, but his one hit was a huge one for Parkview on Saturday. Jacobs had a game-winning grand slam to lift the Panthers past Columbus 8-6.
WINDER - Apalachee High School administrators will ask the school board Tuesday to spend at least $88,170 to expand its stadium bleachers.Southern Bleachers brought in the low bid with Steel Stadiums offering to complete the project for $140,000. Administrators want to expand the more than 3,000 existing bleachers to 4,100, which will enable them to host state playoff games, said Jake Grant, assistant superintendent of facilities.
DALTON - Greater Atlanta Christian head coach Mike Mitchell received a pretty special birthday present on Saturday night.
LAWRENCEVILLE - Louise Radloff, Glenn C. Jones, M.H. Mason Jr. and W.C. Britt are among Gwinnett's community members who have had schools named after them.
Gwinnett middle schoolers recently competed in the first Gwinnett Regional Science and Engineering Fair, Junior Division, at Notre Dame Academy in Duluth.
Shelf Life: Rachael MasonSix weeks ago, if you'd asked me if I wanted to know what guys were really thinking, I definitely would have said yes. That was before I started reading "The Bachelor Diaries: A Dating Memoir" by Ron Geraci (Kensington, $14). The book is a window into the author's mind and for the most part, I wish I'd never looked into it. I thought I could handle a guy's no-holds-barred honesty. I was completely, totally and absolutely wrong. I'm sure Geraci isn't a bad guy at heart - at least I hope so - but in this book, he doesn't portray himself in the most flattering light. His behavior in the first few chapters made me cringe. His stories of online dating weren't much nicer. There were some funny moments, but the repulsive stuff outweighed the laughs. In chapter eight, his writing focuses on insulting the single people who gather at events where he's paid to act as a host. I'm sure at least some of his observations are accurate, but as a person who has been chronically single for quite a while, I took most of his comments pretty personally, even though I've never been to a singles event.
MACON - The Marietta Blue Devils came out Saturday night and hit four of their first six shots from the floor, and took a 9-2 lead over nationally ranked Norcross in their Class AAAAA quarterfinal game at the Macon Centreplex.
MACON - The Collins Hill girls basketball team had barely left the floor at halftime before they returned Saturday evening.
Personnel MovesSondra Smock has joined the sales team at Weichert Realtors - The Genesis Group in Norcross as a Realtor. Smock is a member of the Northeast Atlanta Metropolitan Association of Realtors.
My youth basketball team didn't do quite as well as I'd hoped this year, and I'm still at a loss to explain why. After all, I opened the season with one of my most inspiring pep talks ever.
Dec. 9Larry Dylan Smith was born on Dec. 9, 2006, to Victoria Gale Smith and Joshua Larry Smith of Lilburn. He weighed 6 lbs., 13 ozs. and was 18 inches long.
Hodges - BissellMr. and Mrs. Edward Hodges of Lilburn announce the engagement of their daughter, Stephanie Leigh Hodges of Lilburn, to Eric Matthew Bissell of Snellville, son of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Bissell of Snellville.
Perry - LittleKymberly Lane Perry and Robert Reece Little were married Dec. 31 at the Carl House in Auburn. The Rev. Richard Prigmore officiated the ceremony.
ROME - At halftime, things looked good. Hebron Christian had a some momentum and trailed the No. 1 team in the state by five points.But what had been going right for the Lions, went south after that. Everything just fell apart for Hebron as the girls' basketball season ended with a 47-25 loss on Saturday to Landmark Christian in the Class A quarterfinals at Georgia Highlands College.
ATLANTA - Last year, they were "community development districts."This year, they're "infrastructure development districts." But to critics, legislation that would let developers use quasi-governmental powers to finance and build new communities in undeveloped areas across Georgia still goes by the more pithy sobriquet "private cities." For the second consecutive legislative session, Republicans are pushing a bill and accompanying constitutional amendment that would allow landowners to finance the roads and water and sewer lines needed to create large developments. Subject to the approval of affected cities or counties, property owners would form districts governed by boards with the power to float bonds that would be repaid through taxes, fees and assessments levied on the residents. But this year's legislation features a new twist. An exemption that opponents say is unconstitutional would prohibit districts from being formed in counties that have imposed caps on property tax rates. That means the bill would not apply to Oaky Woods, a formerly state-owned tract in Houston County that became a focus of controversy in last year's gubernatorial campaign. "It has nothing to do with millage rate caps," Neill Herring, a lobbyist for the Georgia chapter of the Sierra Club, told a Senate committee last week. "It has to do with keeping Oaky Woods out of consideration for this program." Answer to growth Supporters see the legislation as a solution to Georgia's perennial growing pains. Sen. Johnny Grant, R-Milledgeville, chief sponsor of the bill and amendment, said other fast-growing states - notably Florida - are using infrastructure improvement districts to finance the building blocks of development that many local governments can't afford on their own. "These IDDs have helped new communities develop without burdening local governments with the costs of infrastructure," he said. "They're the perfect impact fee." While helping underwrite the costs of growth, the districts don't usurp the authority of cities or counties, Grant said. Thus, it's a "misnomer" to call them private cities, he said. "Local governments maintain zoning, permitting, land use and police powers," he said. Clint Mueller, legislative director of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, said the legislation would particularly benefit rural Georgia. For one thing, there are large areas of undeveloped land in rural counties. Also, rural communities don't have the tax bases to provide adequate services to large planned developments, Mueller said. "It's a financial tool ... a way of ensuring public infrastructure is there when these things are created," he said. Too much paving But Deborah Miness, vice president of land programs for The Georgia Conservancy, said any financing mechanism that encourages development in rural areas would only increase the "leapfrog development" that is engulfing more and more of the state's pristine land. She said 39,000 acres are being paved over every year in Georgia, harming water quality and diminishing wildlife habitats. "We believe this would accelerate this alarming trend," she said. At the same time, other opponents question whether infrastructure development districts could create a demand for housing in rural communities that lack an obvious draw. "I don't know if I go to Talbot County and do one of these things, that it would necessarily stimulate growth," said Senate Minority Leader Robert Brown, D-Macon. "I don't know that you can in isolation stimulate growth." Herring advanced the flip side of that argument. He said the areas where private cities would be most suitable, fast-growing counties in the far suburbs of major cities, don't need such a financing mechanism. "They're all developing anyway," he said. Consumers beware Herring and others also are skeptical of the consumer protections built into the legislation, including disclosure requirements and caps on the fees and assessments residents pay. Allison Wall, executive director of Georgia Watch, a consumer watchdog group, derided the bill during last week's committee hearing as "predatory lending for middle-class retirees." She criticized a provision that exempts the bill from the state's cap on interest rates and another section stating that homeowners' costs are subject to fluctuation. "I can't find any remedy in the bill for the property owner," Wall said.
BRASELTON - Three construction workers were injured on Saturday when a Braselton house collapsed after a strong wind, said Gwinnett Fire Department spokesperson Lt. Tommy Rutledge.
Some people were surprised to witness the remarkable acts of forgiveness seen in the Amish community after the recent murders of five Amish schoolgirls in central Pennsylvania.
LAWRENCEVILLE - A Hindu sect whose first attempt to build a temple near Lilburn was deemed too ornate for neighbors can begin clearing the land for a temple on Beaver Ruin Road.
LAWRENCEVILLE - With the baby boomer generation becoming seniors during the information age, information on services for the elderly can be found just a mouse click away.
City has new speeding trailerSUWANEE - The Suwanee Police Department has obtained a new speed trailer, a mobile radar-controlled, digital-display sign that makes drivers aware of the speed at which they're traveling.
ATLANTA - The chief executive of AFC Enterprises Inc., the operator of the Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits chain, is resigning.
Cassandra King, author of "Queen of Broken Hearts (Hyperion, $24.95), drew inspiration for her new novel from Atlanta. King was signing books at Mercer University when she met a woman who conducts seminars on divorce recovery.At the time, King was interested in hearing more about the seminars because she was helping her little sister cope with a difficult divorce. But as she was driving home to South Carolina, she realized the concept might also work for her new book.
A dusty shelf out of sight is a typical landing place for reports from study commissions created by governors.To avoid that fate, Gov. Sonny Perdue has introduced a constitutional amendment that would take away much of the General Assembly's control over congressional and legislative redistricting and give it to an independent panel. But Republican legislative leaders don't appear to be moving with any sense of urgency to surrender the power to draw the districts they represent as they see fit. "We haven't talked about it yet," Senate Majority Leader Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, said last week. "It hasn't been on our radar screen." In all fairness, redistricting hasn't been at the top of Perdue's priority list either. The governor has been occupied with trying to get Congress to bail out Georgia's financially struggling PeachCare program, an issue that's important enough to have prompted the Legislature to take a recess until March 19 in hopes of resolving the short-term funding uncertainties in children's health insurance by then. Perdue, however, did take time late last month to submit to the Senate a plan to create an independent redistricting commission to draw congressional and legislative maps following the next census in 2010. "You can't take politics out of politics," he said. "But an independent commission would come closer." The proposed constitutional amendment closely follows the recommendations of a study commission Perdue created last year to look for ways to make redistricting decisions less political. The current process in Georgia, which gives the Legislature complete control, has drawn bitter complaints from both major political parties since the last census in 2000. In 2001, then-minority Republicans were incensed when Democrats shoved through maps that contorted districts into strangely twisted shapes in an effort to protect Democratic candidates against voter habits that were increasingly trending toward the GOP. The effort failed to hold back the Republican tide, however, and by the end of the 2004 elections, the GOP had captured full control of the General Assembly. Republicans used that power to craft new districts that met the test of appearing more compact. But GOP leaders then gave Democrats reason to object about redistricting abuses when they zeroed in on a small portion of the Senate map last year, redrawing districts in the Athens area to sink the candidacy of Jane Kidd. She turned her misfortune into a positive in January by winning election as Georgia's new Democratic chairman. What the study commission came up with was middle ground that would give much of the power over redistricting to an independent panel but still leave lawmakers with some say in the process. As recommended by the study group, the proposed constitutional amendment would give the first crack at drawing congressional and legislative maps to an independent commission, whose members would be chosen by the governor, lieutenant governor and legislative leaders from both parties. After completing its work, the panel would submit its recommendations to the General Assembly. The Legislature could not make changes, only vote the plan up or down. If either the House or Senate refused to approve it, the plan would go back to the commission for reworking. Then, if either legislative chamber failed to approve it a second time, lawmakers would take over the process and draw their own maps. "The Legislature will still have control at the end of the day," said Sen. Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone, the amendment's sponsor and one of Perdue's floor leaders in the Senate. Indeed, Bill Bozarth, executive director of Common Cause-Georgia, said the proposal would leave the General Assembly with more of a role in redistricting than he would prefer. But he said he understands why the commission went in that direction. "It's an attempt to put a compromise out there that the Legislature can live with," he said. Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University who was a member of the study commission, said the amendment probably would be a winner at the polls, if the Legislature agrees to put it on next year's ballot. He said Georgia voters likely would identify overhauling the redistricting process as part of ethics in government reform, which tends to be a popular cause. "The public has seen it as an issue of trust between them and legislators," Swint said. "They'll see this in the same light." But whether voters actually will get to decide redistricting reform in November 2008 is far from certain. While Republican legislative leaders have grown reluctant to criticize the proposal now that it has Perdue's seal of approval, they were decidedly cool to the idea as the study commission conducted its work. "There is certainly going to be some resistance from the General Assembly," Bozarth said. "But we've got until 2010 to do it." Williams said much the same thing, that the Legislature can afford to take its time with the measure. "It's one of those bills that's not going to get voted on until 2008 anyway, so it doesn't have to pass this year," he said. E-mail Dave Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have any thoughts about this column? Share them with us at email@example.com. Letters should be no more than 200 words and are subject to approval by the publisher. Letters may be edited for style and space requirements. Please sign your name and provide an address and a daytime telephone number. Address letters for publication to: Letters to the Editor, Gwinnett Daily Post, P.O. Box 603, Lawrenceville, GA 30046-0603. The fax number is 770-339-8081.
LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett Technical College's Early Education Center will be open to day campers for the first time this summer.
firstname.lastname@example.orgLAWRENCEVILLE - One local father could find few words to describe the shock and hardship his family has experienced since learning their 19-year-old daughter was arrested and charged with the theft of money from a Cobb County bank.
Want proof that newspaper columnists really do have an effect on the world around them? Just keep reading.
MondayJon Clinch, author of "Finn," will discuss and sign his work at 7:15 p.m. Monday at the Decatur Library, 215 Sycamore St. in Decatur. The free event is sponsored by the Georgia Center for the Book. Call 404-370-8450, ext. 2225 or visit www.georgiacenterforthebook.org.
MACON - There will be no second state title for the Peachtree Ridge Lions.
LAWRENCEVILLE - Like most upstart businesses, Wi-Ex Inc. was looking for all the extra money and help it could get.
MACON - The Campbell girls missed a wide-open layup early in the fourth quarter on Saturday that would have put them up eight points over defending state runner-up South Gwinnett.
A look back at the Post's top stories of the week.
LAWRENCEVILLE - Don't refer to them as seniors. And the places they're moving to certainly aren't senior communities.
DALTON - There must be something relaxing about Wesleyan's locker room at the Northwest Georgia Trade Center.
SNELLVILLE - 'Twas a road reversed and winding, full of strip malls, bright and blinding, when a district there appeared to usher it from days of yore.
Over the years, I've I heard a plethora of praises heaped upon Warm Springs, Ga. For various reasons, I never had the chance to visit.My curiosity was piqued recently when I came across the 1977 TV film "Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years." This film reinforced the fact that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt put this west Georgia hamlet on the map more than 75 years ago. After learning he had polio, Roosevelt came here to take advantage of the area's natural warm waters, which not only eased his pain but made him feel stronger. In the early 1930s, he built the legendary six-room cottage known as the Little White House. During his presidency, Roosevelt came here not only for rest and relaxation, but to create many of his New Deal policies.
LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County's largest employer will have its largest job fair of the year from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday at the Gwinnett Center.
Sonny Perdue may not have signed on, but the Georgia state Senate supports a commuter rail proposal to link Athens and Atlanta.
In the summer of 2003, Operation Predator was launched by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. The investigation has targeted individuals who make and consume child pornography worldwide.Because much of this stuff is manufactured overseas and shipped to America, ICE agents took the lead in tracking down the bad guys in the U.S.
DORAVILLE - David Banaee believes in karma.
WALL, RUTH DAVISRuth Jane Davis was born a twin on September 24, 1916 in Wrens, Georgia to Zemmie Gunn Davis and John Davis. She and her family lived on their farm until shortly after her father's untimely death when she was 15. They then moved to Thomson, GA where she met her future husband, Reginald Wall. They graduated from Thomson High School. Reginald Wall was valedictorian and Ruth Davis was salutatorian. Ruth Davis Wall was the first person in her family to attend college. She earned her degree in English with a minor in French from Berry College in Rome, GA, graduating summa cum laude in 1941. She taught school in the southwestern Georgia area until marrying Rev. Reginald Wall in 1941. She went on to become a mother five times over - Elyse Wall-Greeson, Woodstock, GA, Frank R. Wall, Jr., Athol, Idaho, Philip C. Wall, Bethlehem, GA, Pastor Stephen Wall, Sykesville, MD, and Timothy D. Wall, Dacula, GA. Ten grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren also survive her along with many nieces and nephews. In 1958, Rev. Reginald Wall passed away, leaving Ruth to raise the children on her own. When all the children were in school or college, she went back to college and subsequently earned two Masters Degrees. She retired at the age of 70 from Druid Hills High School in the DeKalb County school system. In her retirement years, she enjoyed times spent with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was a member of the Belvedere Seventh Day Adventist Church for many years, and more recently a member of the Auburn SDA Church. She went to sleep in the Lord on March 2, 2007. Visitation is Sunday from 4:00PM - 7:00PM at A. S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home, Decatur, GA and Monday from 10:00AM - 10:45AM at the Auburn Seventh Day Adventist Church, 14 County Line Road, Auburn, GA with home going and remembrance services following at 11:00AM. Graveside services will be held at 4:00PM in Thomson, GA at Westview Cemetery. A.S. Turner & Sons. BUFORD BRANCH, MARY SUE Mary Sue Branch, age 84, of Buford, GA passed away Saturday, March 3, 2007. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by: Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory of Buford, GA, 770-932-1133.* MINARDI, BERNADETTE Mrs. Bernadette K. Minardi, age 68, of Buford, GA passed away on Friday, March 2, 2007. She is survived by her: Husband of 51 years: Mr. James Minardi, Buford, GA; Daughter and Son-In-Law: Vivica and Michael Kahl, Oklahoma City, OK; Sons and Daughter-In-Law: Raymond and Martha Minardi, Nashville, TN, Donald Minardi, Flowery Branch, GA, James Minardi, Jr., Buford, GA; 10 Grandchildren; 2 Great Grandchildren; Sister: Beverly Rhodes, Indianapolis, IN; Brother: Raymond Klaes, Florida. Mrs. Minardi was born June 9, 1938 in Detroit, MI. She was retired from the Gwinnett County School System, Lawrenceville Middle School. She was a member of the Buford Church of God where she was also a member of the Prime Timers. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. in the Chapel of Flanigan Funeral Home with Pastor Edward Davenport officiating. Interment will be in Broadlawn Memorial Gardens, Buford, GA. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Tuesday evening from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Arrangements by: Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Buford, GA, 770-932-1133, www.flaniganfuneralhome.com. SHIRLEY, LINNIE Mrs. Linnie Shirley, age 92, of Buford, GA passed away on Friday, March 2, 2007. She was preceded in death by her husband, Mr. William Homer Shirley, daughters, Clara Wilson and Minnie Lee Power, brother, Charlie Miller, and sister, Evelyn Pointer. She is survived by her: Sons and Daughters-In-Law: Carl E. and Linda Griffis, Lawley, FL, Lewis Griffis, Buford, GA, Percy and Norma Griffis, Franklin, CO; host of Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren; Sisters: Panzy Mizell, Poplarville, MS, Betty Doyle, Middleberg, FL; Brother: Frank Sutton, Lawley, FL; Granddaughter and Care Giver: Glenda Smith, Flowery Branch, GA; Several Nieces, Nephews and Cousins. Mrs. Shirley was born July 12, 1914. She was a retired store clerk. She was a member of the Shoal Creek Baptist Church, Buford, GA. Funeral services will be held on Monday, March 5, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. in the Chapel of Flanigan Funeral Home with Rev. Darryl Dale officiating. Interment will be in Broadlawn Memorial Gardens, Buford, GA. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Arrangements by: Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Buford, GA, 770-932-1133, www.flaniganfuneralhome.com. DULUTH DAMM, MARGUERITE Marguerite Damm, age 88, of Duluth, died March 2, 2007. Arrangements are pending by Bill Head Funeral Home and Crematory, Duluth Chapel.* OVERLY, CHARLES Charles Dave Overly, age 60 of Duluth, died March 2, 2007. Arrangements are pending by Bill Head Funeral Home and Crematory, Duluth Chapel.* LAWRENCEVILLE FURMAN, JAY Jay A. Furman, 40 of Lawrenceville, died Monday, Feb. 26, 2007. He was born in Syracuse New York and came here in 1987 from Liverpool, New York. Survivors include a son, Ashton of Ga. Father, John R. Sr. (Barbara) of Cicero N.Y. Mother, Rosemarie (Edward) Myers of Cicero, N.Y. Brothers, John R. Jr. Joseph, Sisters, Barbara (Chuck) Adamski , Denese (Chris) Reudink of Fl. Paternal grandmother, Barbara Helen Furman, Maternal grandmother, Mary Tarquinio of Fl. Several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. Graveside services will be held in New York in the spring. May the Eternal Light of the Lord keep him at peace. Donations for Ashton may be sent to Jennifer Grimes 77 Village Way Lawrenceville Ga. 30045. SCOTT, KAY Kay W. Scott age 82 of Lawrenceville passed away on March 2, 2007. Mrs. Scott was the 1968's Atlanta woman of the year, first female President of International Sanitary supply Association in 1983, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Volunteer, Red Cross Motor Core Volunteer, Lavista Woman's Club, and Gwinnett Ducks Unlimited. Mrs. Scott is survived by her daughter: Barbara Harter; son: Chuck Wheeler; 6 grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren. Funeral services for Mrs. Scott will be held on Monday, March 5, 2007 at 12:00 P.M. at Ward's Fairview Chapel with Rev. Ron Caps officiating. Interment will follow at Fairview Memorial Gardens. Family will receive friends on Sunday from 6-8 P.M. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home 706 Pollard Blvd. SW, Atlanta, GA 30315. Horis A. Ward Fairview Chapel. NORCROSS MERCK, SHIRLEY Shirley Ridley Merck, age 64, of Norcross, GA, died Saturday, March 3, 2007. Arrangements to be announced by Bill Head Funeral Homes and Crematory, Duluth Chapel, 770-476-2535.*
When Tim Hollis visits Six Flags Over Georgia, he never misses the Monster Plantation. On this boat ride, friendly monsters caution visitors not to head toward a dangerous marsh.Hollis, however, doesn't see these brightly colored characters. Instead, as the boat floats along, he imagines the Tales of the Okefenokee, a ride he remembers from his family's annual visits to the park in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Okefenokee ride, which was based on the south Georgia swamp, was replaced by Monster Plantation in 1981.
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Strolling through the grocery store, it's plain to see this is not your grandmother's produce aisle. Beside green heads of lettuce and tucked in between rows of bananas and peaches are fruits and vegetables for a new generation of eaters.Known as interspecies produce, these hybrid foods are catching on in area markets. Hybrid fruits and vegetables often come with silly sounding names, such as plumcots (a plum crossed with an apricot), broccolini (broccoli and Chinese kale) and nectaplums (nectarines plus plums). "This is produce that came from the cross-pollination of fruits and vegetables," said Dennis Tarry, general manager of Dave Wilson Nursery in California. "These are totally natural foods, natural genes. We found certain food genes that cross well with other food genes, and then we were able to make whole new foods."