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Suwanee city council honors local businessman

SUWANEE -- Mayor Dave Williams, on behalf of the city of Suwanee, presented a plaque and read a proclamation to honor local businessman Toby Blackwell on Tuesday. Blackwell, who recently retired from Allstate Insurance after 35 years of service, has been a community leader for years. Blackwell's business was the first one to move into Old Town Suwanee, kicking off the city's revitalization efforts in that area.

Blackwell is also a philanthropist and supports local schools, arts and civic organizations.

"He was one of the first people I met when I moved to Suwanee," Williams said. "This (presentation) is just a small token of our appreciation."

"I have been blessed. If you can't be successful here in Suwanee, where can you be with the growth we've experienced?" Blackwell said.

Williams' proclamation named Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010 "Toby Blackwell Day."

Another neighborhood PACT certified

Another Suwanee neighborhood has joined the city's PACT (Police and Citizens Together) initiative. Highlands Station is the 31st neighborhood in Suwanee to become PACT certified.

According to police chief Mike Jones, 96.6 percent of Suwanee's population is now under PACT certification. "It helps us solve crimes and make communities better," Jones said.

Neighborhoods under PACT certification work one-on-one with a police officer assigned to act as an advocate and liaison for their community. Suwanee's program has been recognized nationally for its effectiveness.

Re-elected councilmen sworn in

City councilmen Jace Brooks and Dan Foster were sworn into office Tuesday evening, following re-election to their council posts last November. Councilman Kevin McOmber was also re-elected to his seat but was out of town Tuesday evening.

City attorney Gregory Jay administered the oaths of office.

Brooks was appointed the city's 2010 mayor pro tem.