News for Thursday, July 8, 2010


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State House speaker makes stop in Suwanee

SUWANEE -- In a time when people are railing against left-leaning politicians, Georgia House Speaker David Ralston said his message to keep Georgia politics in the hands of the GOP has been an easy sell.

Woman arrested after admitted drug escapade

NORCROSS -- A Norcross woman who admitted to taking crack cocaine was arrested Saturday, after police said she entered a pair of strangers' apartments, urinating on herself before jumping out of one window and threatening to kill herself by leaping from another balcony.

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Lawsuits linger in wake of cop's conviction

DULUTH -- If attorneys for victims of former Duluth police Officer Jay Dailey are successful, the fallout from his bizarre attacks in February 2008 could include financial repercussions in addition to his upcoming prison stint.

Loganville looks to grow business

LOGANVILLE -- City leaders voted Thursday to adopt a resolution establishing the Loganville Development Authority, a nonprofit organization tasked with developing and promoting trade and tourism within the city.

Report: College has big impact on economy

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Georgia Gwinnett College had a $83 million impact on the regional economy in the 2009 fiscal year, according to a recent report from the Selig Center for Economic Growth.

LeBron James headed to Miami

LeBron James wanted to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The only place that could happen was Miami. Get ready, NBA: A superstar trio is born.

Charter school students perform well on CRCT

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Charter school students outperformed many of their peers in Gwinnett on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, according to data released Thursday by the Georgia Department of Education.

Jeb Bush endorses Casas

LILBURN -- A leader on the national political scene has endorsed state Rep. David Casas in his run for re-election.

False DFCS report of meth lab lands man in jail

NORCROSS -- A Norcross man spent time in jail last week after falsely reporting that his ex-girlfriend's new beau had "a meth lab in the house and let the children take it," police said.

Burger wins Yamaha Georgia Women's Open

Mill Creek grad Emilie Burger won the prestigious Yamaha Georgia Women's Open on Thursday, overcoming a disastrous double bogey on the 16th hole and holding off a hard charge from the other golfer in her group, two-time event champion Margaret Shirley.

LETTERS: SPLOST success gives reason to vote for new one

I write this letter to state why I believe you should vote "yes" for SPLOST on July 20. There are three compelling reasons to vote "yes."

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Getting to Know ...Vince Hayes

In this latest installment of "Getting to know ...," Hayes talks to staff writer Brandon Brigman about the Tavani Soccer Camp, the World Cup and breaking the news that his wife Kristina is pregnant.

Thompkins named to US Men's Select Team

Trey Thompkins, a junior forward at Georgia, was named Thursday to the USA Men's Select Team, a group of 20 college players who will train against the USA Basketball Men's National Team during its training camp July 19-24 in Las Vegas.

Thrashers hire Torchetti as associate coach

DULUTH -- John Torchetti, one of the coaches instrumental in guiding the Chicago Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup championship, was hired as the Atlanta Thrashers' associate coach Thursday.

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Hope fades for 2 in boat crash

PHILADELPHIA -- Sandy Cohen looked up from the deck of a stalled tourist boat to see an enormous barge approaching fast, and it was clear it wasn't going to stop.

NATION IN BRIEF: Authorities say Colo. stalker kills woman, then self

LEADVILLE, Colo. -- A Colorado woman was fatally shot by a man who was free on bail after being arrested on a charge of stalking her, authorities said Thursday.

PEOPLE IN BRIEF: Gibson focus of domestic violence inquiry

LOS ANGELES -- Mel Gibson is being investigated in a possible domestic violence incident involving his ex-girlfriend earlier this year, sheriff's officials said Thursday.

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Hi-tech truck: Police unveil hazardous device response vehicle

Gwinnett police Lt. Bill Walsh chuckled when recalling his department's explosives unit in the late '90s -- basically a bomb suit, some X-ray film and imaging technology operated by a hand-crank.

WORLD IN BRIEF: Russian head pardons 4 spies for US swap

MOSCOW -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree pardoning four convicted foreign spies so they can be exchanged for 10 people accused of spying for Russia in the United States, the Kremlin said Friday.

MUST READ: Mayor: Arrest in 'Grim Sleeper' serial killings ends terror

LOS ANGELES -- The arrest of a suspect in the ''Grim Sleeper'' serial killings ended a quarter century of terror in the city dating back to the first murder in 1985, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Thursday.

County seeks airport partners

Wanted: Private companies to partner with Gwinnett County to operate Briscoe Field.

Company shuts down Ducks rides

Devastated by the tragic boat accident in Philadelphia, the president of Norcross-based Ride the Ducks said Thursday he believes the amphibious vehicles the company operates are safe.

GCPS head commends Ga.'s adoption of K-12 standards

Gwinnett County Public Schools Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks commended the state's adoption of a set of national benchmarks that detail what students should learn in each grade and what they should know to graduate high school.

Library officials present guides catered to Hispanic community

Gwinnett library officials and volunteers presented a "dream come true" Thursday, a Spanish-language guide to local services.

Driver charged in crash that killed elderly woman

Police have arrested a Lawrenceville man on vehicular homicide charges in a crash that killed a 71-year-old woman last month.

Chick-fil-A to award patrons with free food

Stopping in at a Chick-fil-A restaurant clad in cow-like attire today will net customers free food.

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Author visits Riverside Summer Literacy Institute

Riverside Elementary School recently hosted a Summer Literacy Institute to help students develop their creative and critical thinking abilities with written language.

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LARSON: Community garden grows more than vegetables

I think we all have memories of a neighbor who had a little vegetable garden and gave away his or her crops, maybe over the backyard fence or maybe at church. One of my favorite homegrown memories was when I took bulk mail to the Lilburn Post Office and Gayla Huff always had her freshly picked veggies in a box for her customers to enjoy. I was sad to see her retire, but I'm sure others are still enjoying the fruits of her labor.

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JENKINS: Enough of this futbol, let's get back to football

Today the World Cup comes to a merciful end, after weeks of hype and force-fed coverage. It's as if the national media has been putting on a full-court press (that's just an analogy; nothing as exciting as a full-court press actually happens in soccer) trying to get Americans to care.

More than 100 turn out for Veterans BBQ

LAWRENCEVILLE -- More than 100 people attended the Lawrenceville Veterans Center's second annual Veterans Barbecue on July 1 at Tribble Mill Park in Lawrenceville.

Sugar Hill to resume mosquito spraying

SUGAR HILL -- The City of Sugar Hill will begin its second round of citywide mosquito spraying this week, helping protect residents against the spread of mosquito-born illnesses.

Sport leagues begin to take shape in Auburn

AUBURN -- Recreation leaders in Auburn want community members for two sports leagues that have nothing to do with pigskin, home runs or, thankfully, vuvuzelas. Organizational meetings are under way this month for disc golf and adult tennis leagues open to anyone who's interested.

Buford's Live on Main series kicks off Thursday

Beginning this Thursday, the downtown area will kick off Historic Buford Live on Main, an ongoing series of events to bring visitors to Main Street, where businesses will open their doors offering specials on merchandise, hosting live music and presenting demos.

MOVIE REVIEW: Lead actress highlight of bleak 'Winter's Bone'

Winner of the top prize at the most recent Sundance Film Festival, director Debra Granik's "Winter's Bone" is the current darling of the art-house circuit and is poised to become a breakout hit ala "The Hurt Locker."

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MOVIE REVIEW: Superbad dad puts 'Despicable Me' at top of 2010 animated films

With 2010 halfway complete, the suits in Hollywood have much to be happy about and an equal, if not greater, amount of serious negatives. Business is up and most of the live-action movies released thus far have largely performed according to expectations.

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ART BEAT: Association invites participation in Suwanee Art Walk

The North Gwinnett Arts Association isn't a year old yet, but its membership is already planning some dynamic and inclusive events to enhance the local arts.

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THE DISH: Rice Station

Rice Station offers a fusion of Chinese, Japanese and Thai selections, with more than 140 items on its menu.

Norcross festival celebrates the tastes and sounds of summer

Norcross will celebrate blues music and blueberries during an event Saturday.

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Exhibit brings reptiles of all shapes, sizes to Gwinnett

The reptile and exotic animal expo Repticon will be held Saturday and Sunday, drawing both people looking for pets -- anything from bearded dragons and leopard geckos to boas and pythons -- along with guests attending for the educational aspects.

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MOVIE TRIVIA CONTEST: Test your film knowledge with Michael Clark

So, you think you're good at movie trivia? Every week, we give readers the opportunity to flex their movie muscles by answering five trivia questions from our movie critic, Michael Clark.

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MOVIE REVIEW: 'Chanel' triumphs over other tales of artsy pair

In the 35-year period following Coco Chanel's 1971 death, there was only one movie made about her ("Chanel Solitaire") and it was a huge stinker. In the span of the last two years, there have been three more films and "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky" is easily the best of the lot.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Jeunet balances vengeance with his message in 'Micmacs'

If you've followed the art-house scene for any length of time, you're already familiar with the bizarre and whimsical style of director Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Although best known for his mostly straight-ahead, traditional romance "Amelie," Jeunet usually trades in intellectual farce and is the French equivalent of Terry Gilliam, Tim Burton or an even more hyper "Raising Arizona" strain of the Coen brothers.

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Rep. Hank Johnson says he feels better than ever

ATLANTA -- Rep. Hank Johnson says he feels better than he has in years and is ready to return to Washington.

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Judge hears companies in Oxendine donation probe

ATLANTA -- A Fulton County judge heard arguments from two insurance companies who want to block a State Ethics Commission investigation into contributions to Republican gubernatorial hopeful John Oxendine.

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Hazy waters foil underwater search for Pa. boaters

PHILADELPHIA -- Hope faded for finding two tour boat passengers alive Thursday, a day after the amphibious craft they were riding in was struck and sunk by a barge in the Delaware River, spilling them and other passengers into the murky waters, searchers said. Survivor's account inside story

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Georgia-based tour company suspends duck boat operations nationwide after Philly accident

PHILADELPHIA -- Georgia-based tour company suspends duck boat operations nationwide after Philly accident. Survivor's account inside this story

Burger wins Yamaha Georgia Women's Open

One costly double bogey couldn’t stop Emilie Burger. Neither could her playing partner and main pursuer, who she knows very well.

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Brookwood grad Basner climbing his way through minors in blue

For seven years, Toby Basner really hasn’t had a home. He says he lives in Snellville, but it’s a house shared with his brother and two friends. He really lives on the roads and skies between the small cities that dot the United States.

Buford's Live on Main series kicks off Thursday

BUFORD — Main Street in Buford will be busier than usual the third Thursday of every month.

GWINNETT GAB: Tom M. Wages workers certified

LAWRENCEVILLE — Tom M. Wages Funeral Home Lawrenceville location manager Alan H. Johnson and Snellville location manager Christopher S. Banks have earned the designation of certified funeral service practitioner from the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice.

BRODER: Congress has an ugly truth it's avoiding

On June 30, the Congressional Budget Office issued its long-term outlook, predicting that deficits would come down for the next few years as the need for counterrecession spending eases and revenues improve. But then, it warned, “unsustainable” red ink would flow again, creating debts not seen since World War II.

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Martinez shines in sloppy loss

LAWRENCEVILLE — Cristhian Martinez didn’t enter in the best situation.

By Venue

40 Watt Club

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Disc Spotlight: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (NR)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (NR)

LETTERS: Hice billboard doesn't reflect a serious candidate

Republican Congressional candidate Jody Hice’s campaign billboards referring to President Barack Obama with the Soviet hammer and sickle are appalling (“Hice’s political billboard causes stir,” July 7, Page 1A).

LETTERS: GMC out of line with its policy against smokers

I was outraged to read the article in the Gwinnett Daily Post regarding Gwinnett Medical Center’s new hiring policy (“Hospital won’t hire smokers,” July 8, Page 1A). Besides being discriminatory, I think it is extremely hypocritical.

Gwinnett Calendar

Send items for Gwinnett Calendar to or the Gwinnett Daily Post, P.O. Box 603, Lawrenceville, GA 30046. The fax number is 770-339-8081. Please include event name, time and date, location, with address, phone number and cost. Deadline is two weeks prior to the event.

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McCULLOUGH: Hospital's anti-smoking goal is noble, but oversteps its bounds

This week Gwinnett Medical Center implemented a new hiring policy that prohibits employees from smoking, not just at work, but anywhere, ever.

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Metro Calendar

July 17

Thompkins named to US Men's Select Team

For the second straight summer, USA Basketball has tabbed Wesleyan product Trey Thompkins for one of its prestigious national teams.

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MOVIE REVIEW: 'Chanel' triumphs over other tales of artsy pair

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (R)

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Film Fans say 'Twilight' knocks 'em (un)dead

EDITOR’S NOTE — Film Fans features local residents reviewing the film of the week: “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.” Want to be a Film Fan? E-mail

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Mona Allen

Mrs. Mona Rose Allen, age 77, of Sugar Hill, GA passed away on Tuesday, July 6, 2010. Her husband, Rev. Kenneth S. Allen, preceded her in death. She is survived ...

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Alan Raffalovich

CW4 Alan Gregor Raffalovich (Retired) died July 6, 2010 at Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, GA. He was born, April 15, 1918 in Boston, MA, but lived many years in ...

Vernon Smith, Jr.

Vernon W. Smith, Jr., age 85, of Loganville, GA, died July 6, 2010. Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, Loganville Chapel 770-466-1544

Anne Garrett

Anne (Elaine) Garrett, age 77, of Winder, GA, passed away July 6, 2010. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Home, Memory Chapel 770-867-4553

Frank Awbrey

Frank Mooty Awbrey, age 76 of Lawrenceville, Georgia passed away on July 6, 2010. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Frances Rose Awbrey; daughters, Susan (Ken) Rucker ...

Frances Mitchell

Frances Mitchell of Decatur, Georgia, age 90, passed away Monday, July 5, 2010. A Red Cross volunteer for many years, she was the proud daughter of a Confederate Veteran and ...

Elizabeth Hodges

Miss Elizabeth Ann Hodges, age 74, of Flowery Branch, GA passed away on Tuesday, July 6, 2010. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by: Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan ...

Peggy West

Peggy J. West, age 78, of Grayson, GA passed away July 4, 2010. Arrangements by Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel, 770-277-4550

Joan Myers

Joan A. Myers, age 73, of Buford, GA passed away on Tuesday, July 6, 2010. Service and Arrangements will be announced later by: Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home ...