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City of Winder selected for affordable housing program

WINDER -- The city of Winder is one of a few select cities in Georgia selected to participate in the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing program.

GICH offers communities a 3-year program of collaboration and assistance related to housing and community development. The objective of the initiative is to help communities create and launch a locally based plan to meet their specific housing needs.

Callison Rawls, a University of Georgia graduate student, interned with the city of Winder this past semester. Rawls initiated a study of areas in Winder in which blight is beginning to take root. In a detailed report to Mayor Chip Thompson and council members Tuesday evening, she offered suggestions to help city planners ensure that Winder remains a diverse, economically healthy city with residents from all socio-economic backgrounds.

Rawls also added that the GICH program will provide much more in-depth data and offer practical tools the city can use to avert blight and re-invigorate areas that are borderline problem areas.

City Administrator Bob Beck said Tuesday that he hopes Rawls will return to work in Winder as in intern in the upcoming semester.

Gas Department employees recognized

Gas Department employees Jason Griffin and Robert Craig were honored during Tuesday evening's council meeting for going above and beyond the call of duty. A city resident had submitted a letter of praise earlier this month, commending the two young men for returning her daughter's stolen purse, which the workers had found discarded in a ditch.

Even though valuables had been stolen and the rest of the contents were strewn in the mud, the victim and her family were appreciative of the men's thoughtfulness and effort.

"This is an example of excellent employees being excellent in everything they do," Beck said.