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Briefs: North Gwinnett HS Relay chapter tops $100K

After last year's haul of $76,000, North Gwinnett High School's Relay for Life chapter set a goal to bring in $100,000 this year. After the May 4 county-wide celebration, co-captain Holly Smith said the chapter raised $102,000. Two events stood out, Smith said. The Miss Suwanee Pageant made $10,000 more than last year, and the MORP dance added another $7,000.

"Relay is in our blood and a part of NGHS culture now," Smith said.

Suwanee student wins Bar award

Suwanee middle-schooler Joshua Melvin recently won third place out of more than 100 entries in a Georgia Bar Young Lawyers Division Essay contest. Applicants in sixth through eighth grade wrote about the importance of the judicial system, with a focus on procedural rights and freedoms. Melvin earned $100 for the award.

North Middle wins 'solar showdown'

North Gwinnett Middle won a solar competition against 15 other middle schools on May 4 in Braselton. Jackson EMC sponsored a Junior Solar Sprint competition, as the North students built "Mouse Dawg" and won in speed/performance and design. All participants received identical solar panels and motors in kits, but could be creative when selecting what their chassis, wheels, transmissions and designs would be from other materials. They were encouraged to use math and science principals. North was coached by Jonathan Roy, and the students who competed were Tanay Sheth, Tilak Patel, Lauren Johnson, Richie Adams, Kirtan Parekh and Jordan Thomason.

Suwanee police, public works announce new employees

The Suwanee Police Department recently welcomed four new officers.

Chance Belcher, of Buford, is continuing a family tradition as both his father and brother are in law enforcement. Belcher is a graduate of Berkmar High School. Lawrenceville resident, Jonathan Dawson comes from the University of Georgia Police Department. He has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Piedmont College.

Also new to the police department is Svetlana Yokovleva, a graduate of Collins Hill High School and Georgia State University. Previously, she taught in Japan for four years. Returning to the police department is Sam Lauricella, who previously was a Suwanee officer from 2001-07. Since then, Lauricella, a Jefferson resident, worked with the Hall County Sheriff's Office as a school resource officer.

Juan Beltran and Javier Gonzalez have joined the public works department as equipment operators. Beltran worked previously for the city as a seasonal special events staff person. A Sugar Hill resident, he also worked for Mall of Georgia Chrysler Dodge for seven years. Gonzalez has held a similar position with the Department of Transportation in Houston.

Suwanee woman honored by DAR

Suwanee resident Karen Sokol has been awarded the State Outstanding Junior Award by the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. Sokol is the current chapter Regent and an organizing member of the Suwanee Creek chapter, and was recognized for, "her efforts in promoting the aims and purposes of the National Society and participating in community activities."

The Suwanee Creek chapter meets on Monday nights in Sugar Hill.

Suwanee Day festival design contest

The Suwanee Day festival is seeking submissions of original artwork or graphic design for use on its 2012 festival tshirts and posters. The artist/designer of the selected work will receive a $500 cash prize. The submission deadline is May 31. The parade theme is "Celebrate America: Red, White and Blue." The festival is Sept. 15 in Town Center Park. Applications are available at suwaneeday.com

Gwinnett Daily Post Memorial Day concert

The Gwinnett Daily Post will sponsor a patriotic-themed concert at 7 p.m. on May 25 in Town Center Park. Members of the Silver Wings parachute team will land at the event.