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Suwanee recognizes Right to Hike for emergency phone donation

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

SUWANEE — Brent Seyler, vice president of Right to Hike, was on hand Tuesday at the Suwanee City Council meeting to receive a “thank you” from Mayor Dave Williams and City Council members.

Seyler received a plaque commemorating Right to Hike’s donation of an emergency cellphone located along the Suwanee Creek Greenway. The phone, mounted on a nine-foot, tower and solar-powered, is another safety measure for walkers, joggers and bicyclists along the city’s trails.

Right to Hike is a nonprofit organization that was formed in honor of Meredith Emerson, the young hiker who was abducted and murdered while hiking in the north Georgia mountains. The group has donated similar phones to the Environmental and Heritage Center and other walking trails, as well as supporting the American Red Cross, Humane Society and other such nonprofits.

Seyler, whose wife Julia was Meredith Emerson’s roommate when the January 2008 tragedy took place, was both grateful and emotional when accepting the plaque Tuesday.

Suwanee police officer Cass Mooney took the opportunity Tuesday to remind residents of the Suwanee Park Ambassador initiative, a program in which residents can take a class and volunteer to help users along the miles of Greenway trails in the city. According to Mooney, since the program’s inception in May, three classes have turned out 53 volunteer ambassadors.

City thanks families for Everett’s re-opening

Williams publicly thanked Chris Lybeer on Tuesday evening for joining forces with two other families in re-opening Everett’s Music Barn in Suwanee. The Lybeer, Garrett and Webb families formed the Suwanee Music Barn Group after the last Everett brother passed away in October and the Barn was closed.

For more than 40 years, Everett’s Music Barn threw open its doors on Saturday nights and hosted nationally and locally known bluegrass bands. When the doors closed, Lybeer said that he just couldn’t see that tradition coming to an end.

“Suwanee has a unique institution,” Williams said. “A lot of people live here and don’t even know about it.”

“We wanted to preserve music and history for current and future generations,” Lybeer said.

For a $15 donation, music lovers can listen to some of the best bluegrass around, and there’s even free food, according to Lybeer. In the interest of preserving history and tradition, Lybeer added that Ma Everett’s “code of conduct” sign is still displayed on the walls inside: “No Long Hair. No Swearing. No Drinking.”

Dance studio to move to old Motorola building

A special-use permit was granted Tuesday to Omega Ventures Capital LLC, paving the way for Dance Connection Performing Arts to move to the old Motorola Building at 105 Satellite Blvd. in Suwanee.

Gwinco Boulevard, Connector to change names

The Suwanee streets formerly known as Gwinco Boulevard and Gwinco Connector will now be named Celebration Boulevard and Celebration Connector, following action taken by City Council members Tuesday. A 2005 study of the area initially recommended the change, and city leaders felt that the construction under way in the area makes now a good time for the changes.