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Carole Townsend

Stories by Carole

Norcross swears in two new police officers

NORCROSS -- Mayor Bucky Johnson administered the oath of office to two new Norcross police officers on Monday. Both men are bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish fluently. Officer Marques J. Sawyer, who previously worked for the Gwinnett County Police Department, brings six years of experience to the job in

Loganville approves 2013-14 budget

LOGANVILLE -- A new budget for the upcoming 2013-14 fiscal year was approved by council members Thursday, following two mandated public hearings. The budget, a collective effort of city staff department heads and city manager Bill Jones, reflects a $8,030,987 general fund and a $6,778,507 enterprise fund. Also included are

Snellville adds PIO position, pay raise to budget

SNELLVILLE -- City Manager Butch Sanders said Monday that the $10,244,909 budget presented to Mayor Kelly Kautz, council members and residents is balanced, the product of the hard work of city staff department heads.. 'We had to dig to find dollars, but we did it," Sanders said.. The next

Dacula leaders move forward on gravity sewer project

City Council members voted Thursday to award the bid for the city's gravity sewer project to Strickland and Sons Pipeline Inc. in the amount of $556,372. Bids for the project were opened on May 23, according to City Administrator Jim Osborn. The sewer lines that will be run

Winder temporarily suspends American Legion alcohol license

WINDER -- City Council members decided Tuesday to temporarily suspend the local alcohol license for the American Legion Post 509, as the city and state licenses are held under two different names. John Robinson holds the city license, and the late Hubert Hunter held the state license. The American Legion

Norcross leaders vote to purchase land

NORCROSS -- City Council members voted Monday to purchase the land located at 250 Pinnacle Way in Norcross, for a price not to exceed $53,689. The parcel will eventually be upgraded and improved (at a total estimated project cost of about $250,000) for use as a city park.. The structure

Wild Wings owner gifts Snellville PD with K-9 funds

SNELLVILLE -- Bill Peterson, owner of Wild Wings Cafe in Snellville, presented a $5,000 check to the city of Snellville Monday night, for use by the police department's K-9 unit. Peterson also presented a $300 check to the same department for needed software.. Peterson, known in Snellville for community

Loganville, Walton heroes honored

LOGANVILLE -- Civilians and emergency personnel were publicly honored during Loganville's Thursday City Council meeting.. On March 14, a 911 call was made, reporting a man complaining of chest pain at First Baptist Church. Residents Brenda Zolnick and Anne Benford were on the scene. They placed that call, then began

Norcross leaders vote for pay raise

NORCROSS -- By a vote of 4-1 Monday night, Norcross city leaders voted themselves a 50 percent pay raise, the first such move in 18 years.. City resident Greg McFarland addressed the governing body, saying that he doesn't agree with the move.. "In this dreary economy, who came up with

Dacula officials pave way for family center, drive-through cafe

DACULA -- Lloyd deLatour, owner of Great Beginnings child care center in Dacula, petitioned City Council members Thursday for rezoning of a 2.1-acre property and changes of conditions on another in an attempt to further his vision for his business in Dacula.. Council members granted deLatour rezoning of the

Snellville leaders approve board appointments

SNELLVILLE -- City Council members voted to approve two of Mayor Kelly Kautz's nominations Monday.. Artist Kirk Buis was approved as a member of the Snellville Public Arts Commission. Buis is one of the founders of New London Theatre and Southern Gwinnett Community Arts Association. His nomination was approved unanimously

Berkeley Lake leaders consider berms on two separate properties

BERKELEY LAKE -- City Council members Thursday heard from two residents, both of them suggesting building berms on their properties. John Thafvelin, who lives at 10 Lakeshore Drive, presented a plan to council members in which the proposed berm would straddle the line between his property and Berkeley Lake's. "Actually

Loganville schedules election for mayor, council seat

LOGANVILLE -- City council members Thursday elected councilman Mark Kiddoo to serve as vice mayor for the next two and a half years, filling the role vacated by Vice Mayor Dan Curry effective April 15, who resigned during the same council meeting to run for mayor.. The move comes two

Stalemate continues in Snellville

SNELLVILLE The appointment of volunteer members to various boards is a common order of business in any Gwinnett city, except Snellville. During Monday night's City Council meeting, two board appointments were on the agenda as new city business, and both were met with controversy.. Tod Warner, a longtime Planning

Dacula approves annexation for church

DACULA -- City leaders voted Thursday to approve the annexation and subsequent rezoning of 5.64 acres of land from Gwinnett County into the city.. The owner of the land, Gwinnett Metro Baptist N.C.F., and applicant Nation of Christ Church plan to use the exiting 1,000-square-foot structure for their

Winder annexes several properties

WINDER -- In consecutive motions and votes Tuesday night, Winder City Council members voted to annex and subsequently rezone several properties from Barrow County into the city limits.. In addition to five residential properties, the Chick-Fil-A at 850 Loganville Highway and the Shell station at 830 Loganville Highway

County to purchase Norcross' water system for $2 million

NORCROSS -- Gwinnett County will purchase the city of Norcross' water/wastewater system for a price of $2 million, following a vote to move forward with the sale by City Council members Monday night.. The changeover, which will affect the city's current 2200 water and sewer accounts, will result in

Snellville police dogs receive vests, trauma kits

Snellville K-9s Duko and Coop will be wearing brand new, state-of-the-art ballistic K-9 vests, thanks to Animal Forensic Associates of Lilburn.

Loganville staff, officials announce 'Relay for Ray' initiative

LOGANVILLE -- City Manager Bill Jones presented Mayor Ray Nunley with a one-of-a-kind T-shirt during Thursday night's City Council meeting. It read "Relay for Ray.". Jones, addressing Nunley with several city staff members standing with him, announced that city employees, elected officials, residents and friends

Snellville extends moratorium on assisted living facilities, more

SNELLVILLE -- City leaders Monday evening passed a resolution extending a moratorium on accepting new permit applications for assisted living facilities, group homes, personal care homes and community living arrangements. According to Councilman Dave Emanuel, state and federal regulations regarding these types of homes have changed, and the city needs

Dacula accepts annexation application

DACULA -- City officials voted unanimously Thursday to accept an annexation application from Gwinnett Metro Baptist NCF, with the applicant being Nation of Christ Church. The 5.64 acre property is located at Ace McMillan Road and Harbins Road.. Thursday's action indicates neither acceptance nor rejection of the proposed annexation; rather

Norcross leaders table immigration program

NORCROSS -- City Council members voted Monday to table consideration of an EB-5 immigrant visa program, an immigrant visa category in which a foreign national who invests $500,000 in approved investment projects or $1 million in a business that creates 10 jobs in the United States may be granted

Loganville tables variance, faces possible lawsuit

LOGANVILLE -- City Council leaders Thursday voted to approve a rezoning but table a variance request, drawing fire from law firm Mahaffey Pickens Tucker, which represents the applicant on both matters.. Attorney David Gussio said during Thursday's council meeting that, if the council did not vote the same on both

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Snellville mayor delivers State of the City address

Mayor Kelly Kautz on Monday delivered the annual State of the City address during the regularly scheduled council meeting.

Dacula leaders approve annexation for mixed use project

DACULA -- City Council members voted Thursday to approve the annexation and rezoning of 156.83 acres, located adjacent to the southeast quadrant of the intersection of Winder Highway and Ga. Highway 316. The proposed use for the land is a planned mixed use development.. The supplied concept plan proposes 2.5

Loganville honors American Legion leader's 36 years of service

LOGANVILLE -- Mayor Ray Nunley and City Council members publicly honored Bobby Boss on Thursday evening, thanking him for commanding the local American Legion for 36 years.. Boss' wife Evelyn was also recognized for her patience and support of the Legion's efforts and the demands on her husband's time and

Dacula amends alcohol, sign ordinances

DACULA -- City leaders Thursday made changes to the Dacula Alcohol Beverage Ordinance, accommodating the voters' November decision to allow liquor stores within the city limits. By a vote of 181-76, city residents decided to allow the package stores in the city, which will be limited to one for every

Winder council approves permit for day care facility

WINDER -- City Council members voted Tuesday to approve a conditional-use permit to Early Learning Center Property Management Inc.. The applicant plans to use the existing structure on the property located at 37 S. Center St. for a day care center for 80-plus children ages 6 weeks to

Norcross council action paves way for new development

NORCROSS -- City Council members Monday voted to pave the way for a six-house development on just more than one acre located at 152 Thrasher St. in Norcross. The development will be adjacent to Colonel Jones Park, and with the neighborhood Homeowners Association's vote of approval, the common area

Suwanee recognizes artist, residents for donations

Mayor Jimmy Burnette paid special recognition Tuesday evening to three people, for their donations of a painting and a sculpture to the city of Suwanee.

Snellville mulls changes to sign ordinance

SNELLVILLE -- Mayor Kelly Kautz, city council members and Board of Appeals members met during a special-called work session Monday to discuss possible changes to the city's sign ordinance. Jon Davis, Snellville's Planning Director, said during the work session that the city's ordinance is "completely and deliberately content neutral"

Berkeley Lake approves permit for auto body repair shop

BERKELEY LAKE -- City leaders Thursday unanimously approved a special-use permit for an auto body repair shop located at 4540 S. Berkeley Lake Road. The applicant assured mayor Lois Salter and the council that the chemicals used in the course of performing the repair work will be monitored and

Winder water department wins awards

WINDER -- City Water Distribution Director Roger Wilhelm announced Tuesday that the staff in his department recently won two prestigious state awards. The first award, the "Golden Backhoe," is bestowed to the water department with the best record for safety and "preventable damage," or the fewest incidents of

Loganville mayor, council spar over alcohol ordinance fees

LOGANVILLE -- City council members voted Thursday to table for no more than 90 days a decision regarding proposed changes to the Loganville alcohol ordinance.. The work session held earlier this week made it clear, according to councilman Mark Kiddoo, that "we are not ready to move forward" on the

Norcross holds off on creating arts commission

NORCROSS -- Norcross councilman Charlie Riehm on Monday proposed that the City Council create and appoint five members to a Norcross Arts Commission, thereby officially throwing municipal support behind the arts in the city.

Dacula to charge for sanitation on county tax bill

DACULA -- City leaders voted Thursday to go ahead with plans to bill city property owners for garbage collection on their annual Gwinnett County property tax bills. "We've had two town hall meetings to discuss whether to (do this)," Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks said.. The city has heretofore billed residents

Berkeley Lake leaders considering auto body shop

BERKELEY LAKE -- Mayor Lois Salter and city council members Thursday listened as deputy city administrator Pat Chapman reviewed a special-use application for an auto body repair shop located at 4540 South Berkeley Lake Road. The application specifies that the type of work to be done on the premises

Loganville council hammers out ethics ordinance details

LOGANVILLE -- Several amendments to the city of Loganville's ethics ordinance were presented to mayor Ray Nunley and council members Thursday evening by city attorney Karen Woodward. One of the changes contested by council members and voiced by councilman Mike Jones was a measure preventing a filing of ethics complaints

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GMC stresses need for bigger NICU

Gwinnett Medical Center is planing a new neonatal intensive care unit to be constructed at their Lawrenceville campus.

Dacula mulls adding sanitation fees to property tax bills

DACULA -- In the coming weeks, Dacula residents and property owners will get the chance to meet with city leaders to discuss the possibility of adding city sanitation fees to property tax bills.

Norcross leaders approve traffic study guidelines, ordinance

NORCROSS -- Mayor pro tem Andrew Hixson and city council members voted Monday to approve a Traffic Study Guidelines Ordinance and the necessary associated parameters. In effect, the ordinance requires developers of new projects 100,000 square feet and more to provide a traffic impact study to assess the amount of

Loganville Town Center on the drawing board

LOGANVILLE -- Years of waiting and planning for a city town center in Loganville are starting to pay off, according to city councilwoman Michelle Lynch. A conceptual drawing of a city gathering spot was on display at Thursday's city council meeting, complete with a pavilion, sidewalks, benches, lighting and landscaping

Winder approves day care center zoning

WINDER -- The city's zoning board of appeals Tuesday evening approved a conditional-use request for Connie Wilbanks to open a children's day care center at 74 Church St. The center, to be named Cribs and Crayons, will occupy the existing structure at that address, which is located in the

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Mill Creek student making a difference through service

Charles Orgbon is doing his part to make the world a better, and greener, place to live.

Dacula approves $24K sewer project

DACULA — City leaders gave the go-ahead Thursday night for Precision Planning Inc., to engineer a sanitary sewer system from the Stanley Road pump to Lakeside Drive in Dacula. The cost, $24,350, is “a pretty good deal for all that’s involved,” said city administrator Jim Osborn.

Norcross leaders table decision on digital reader board

NORCROSS -- City Councilmen Tuesday voted to table the final decision on the purchase of a digital reader board, with a proposed location at the railroad tracks in the heart of downtown Norcross. Currently, the city's information board is near the same location downtown, and the messages are changed manually

Loganville closes land deals for public park, pavilion

LOGANVILLE -- City officials voted Thursday to go ahead with the purchase of the land located at 235 Main St. (formerly Catfish College restaurant). The purchase price was $220,810.36. Recently, the city also purchased the parcel of land at 4400 Pecan St. Mayor Ray Nunley stated that both parcels will

Winder approves permit for Hardee's restaurant

WINDER -- City Council members voted to approve a conditional use permit for construction of a Hardee's restaurant with a drive-thru at 113 North Broad St. in the downtown area. The special permit was required to accommodate the drive-thru portion of the restaurant.. Though several area residents and

Norcross sets property tax millage rate

NORCROSS -- City leaders voted Monday evening to set the 2012 property tax millage rate at 6.424, the same rate that applied to property owners in 2011. According to city manager Rudolph Smith, the new millage rate would have to be raised to 7.018 in order to collect what was

Proposed Dacula annexation on hold

DACULA -- The proposed annexation of approximately 156.83 acres from unincorporated Gwinnett County into the Dacula city limits has been put on hold for review and arbitration, according to Dacula Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks.. The parcels of property are located adjacent to U.S. Highway 29 north of Ga. Highway 316 and