News for Monday, June 28, 2010


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Duluth raises millage rate

The Duluth City Council on Monday adopted a tax millage increase of 0.8 mills for 2010 and approved a $36.1 million fiscal year 2011 budget. The vote on raising the tax millage rate from 5.191 mills to 5.991 mills was 4-1 with Councilman Billy Jones voting against it. The vote in favor of the new budget was unanimous.

Court OKs county prosecutors to seek death penalty in case

The Georgia Supreme Court decided Monday that it would not prohibit Gwinnett County prosecutors from seeking the death penalty in the trial of Khanh Dinh Phan, despite the defense's arguments that state funding problems have inhibited his right to a speedy trial.

Police: Alzheimer's sufferer found safe

Police found a missing Alzheimer's sufferer hours after he went missing from a Buford mobile home park Sunday evening, officials said. The 78-year-old man was reported missing from his residence at the Countryside Village of Gwinnett Mobile Home Park about 6:30 p.m.

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The new crop: Farmers markets not just for fruits, veggies anymore

The name "farmers market" is perhaps becoming a misnomer for the annual outdoor summer markets where vendors peddle their wares. While fresh produce -- primarily fruits and vegetables -- is still the staple, vendors have diversified, selling anything from handmade soaps to homemade dog treats.
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Perdue to host Cox fundraiser

Clay Cox's campaign for Congress got a big fundraising flair, with the state's three top leaders hosting an event for him next month. Gov. Sonny Perdue, House Speaker David Ralston and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle are headlining the July 13 event at 550 Trackside in Lawrenceville.

Texting while driving ban set to begin

Beginning Thursday, texting while driving will be against the law in Georgia, after the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation earlier this year.

Berkeley Lake OKs tax hike

Following a fourth public hearing on the issue, city leaders voted Monday to raise the millage rate in Berkeley Lake from 3.69 to 4.9 mills in 2010. The meeting room was standing-room-only again, with residents turning out in force to speak both in favor of and against the tax increase.

Braves solve Strasburg, win 5-0 behind Hudson

Stephen Strasburg's fifth big league start was by far his toughest. The Atlanta Braves scored four runs in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals' star rookie, and Tim Hudson threw seven scoreless innings in a 5-0 victory Monday night.

BOC drops department head

CONYERS -- Rockdale County Board of Commissioners voted to eliminate the director of Emergency Services position and reshuffle the divisions Monday as part of a budget cutting effort.

School food won't cost more

CONYERS -- The Food Services department at Rockdale County Public Schools continues to be affected by a slowing economy.

BOC mulls options for retirement

CONYERS -- An early retirement option was discussed as part of Rockdale County's effort to trim its general budget, but there was some doubt as to how much savings could be recouped.

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Charles Bannister arrested, charged with DUI in county vehicle

View full police report inside this story
LILBURN -- Charles Bannister, Gwinnett County's top elected official, was arrested on DUI charges Monday night -- while driving a county vehicle.Jail records show that Charles Bannister, the second-term chairman of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, was arrested by Gwinnett County Sheriff's deputies and booked into Gwinnett County Jail at 9 p.m. on charges of driving under the influence.

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McKendree's Marsal finds passion in football

Name a sport and there's a pretty good chance Dana Marsal has played it.The McKendree Elementary School physical education teacher grew up playing softball, basketball, volleyball and tennis in high school. In college she played on intramural flag football, ultimate frisbee and soccer teams and was the captain of the rugby squad. But there was one sport Marsal thought she would never get to play -- full-contact football.

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Banner year for Bronco runners

Brookwood's running program accomplished a feat this year never before achieved at the Class AAAAA level. The Broncos won the boys cross country state championship in the fall and then the track state title in the spring. Now the Broncos' running program will see how it fares against the nation's best when it competes as the Brookwood Track Club at the Nike Track Nationals.

Woman unruly on way to jail

NORCROSS -- Police arrested a 51-year-old Norcross woman on charges she threatened to kill an officer and offered sexual favors in exchange for her release, police said.

Driver charged in deadly crash

DACULA -- Police have charged the driver in a fatal crash Saturday evening on Hamilton Mill Parkway in Dacula with felony vehicular homicide, officials said.

Duluth teen to face judge today

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A Duluth teen facing charges stemming from alleged sexual acts with two young girls will be in court for a probable cause hearing today.

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NATION IN BRIEF: BP spends $2.65B on spill, denies CEO quitting

NEW ORLEANS -- BP's mounting costs for capping and cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico spill have reached $2.65 billion, it said Monday, but the oil giant denied reports out of Russia that CEO Tony Hayward is resigning.

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Broncos' Fussell commits to Air Force football

The latest in a long line of Division I-A linemen from the Brookwood football program made his college decision official over the weekend. Rising senior Blake Fussell accepted an offer from Air Force roughly a week after visiting the Falcons' Colorado Springs campus.

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DeShields, US team win gold

Being the youngest player by far on the U.S. Under-18 Women's National Basketball Team didn't seem to bother Diamond DeShields. The 15-year-old, a rising sophomore at Norcross, more than held her own as the Americans won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Under-18 Championships for Women in Colorado Springs.

PEOPLE IN BRIEF: Vince Neil arrested on DUI charge

LAS VEGAS -- Motley Crue singer Vince Neil was arrested on drunken driving charges after getting pulled over by police in his Lamborghini near the Las Vegas Strip.

FIRE BRIEFS: Lightning fire displaces four

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A pop-up thunderstorm early Sunday caused Gwinnett's fifth residential lightning fire of the weekend and displaced a Lawrenceville family, officials said.

'Mr. Swatch' Nicolas Hayek dies of unexpected heart failure

GENEVA -- Nicolas Hayek, chairman and former chief executive of the giant Swiss watch-manufacturing firm Swatch, has died. He was 82.

WORLD IN BRIEF: Queen makes visit to Canada

TORONTO -- Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip arrived in Canada on Monday for the start of a nine-day tour of a country she calls a second home.

Police: Alzheimer's sufferer found safe

BUFORD — Police found a missing Alzheimer’s sufferer hours after he went missing from a Buford mobile home park Sunday evening, officials said.

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Broncos' Fussell commits to Air Force football

The latest in a long line of Division I-A linemen from the Brookwood football program made his college decision official over the weekend.

G-Braves win with ninth-inning rally

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Parkview grad Clint Sammons grounded into a force out, but the play still allowed two runs to score as the Gwinnett Braves rallied to beat Columbus 4-3 in the ninth inning Monday.

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McKendree's Marsal finds passion in football

Name a sport and there’s a pretty good chance Dana Marsal has played it.

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Johnson pushes by Busch for win

Jimmie Johnson pays back Kurt Busch for a late bump and run and wins the Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire on Sunday afternoon.