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Keith Farner

Stories by Keith

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Gwinnett County Schools to honor student artwork

Student artwork from schools around the district will be rotated throughout the month, and each rotation begins with a reception to honor student artists and their families.

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New parent-driven geography program at Wesleyan exposes students to countries, cultures

The idea of the program is to not only expose students to where the countries are on a map, but also what’s unique about a given country, such as a Boomerang in Australia, clover in Ireland or Hello Kitty brand products in Japan.

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Gwinnett County Schools takes disciplinary action over bullying video

The boy who recorded the video, a follower of the Sikh religion, points the camera toward the back of the bus while one girl points toward him and calls him a “terrorist, terrorist.” The boy is wearing a patka, a traditional head covering worn by Sikh children.

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Schools across Gwinnett celebrate Dr. Seuss, Read Across America | PHOTOS

At Primrose School of Five Forks on Monday, Lilburn Mayor Johnny Crist and Snellville Mayor Kelly Kautz each read to pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students, along with DeAnna Espinoza, a librarian from the Five Forks branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library.

Buford City Schools announces inclement weather make-up plan

Buford City Schools will make up all three days its missed because of inclement weather before the end of the month.

Gas prices rise 30 cents in February

Lawrenceville gas prices among cheapest in Gwinnett

The cheapest gas in Gwinnett is in the Lawrenceville area where several stations on Monday morning posted prices below $2.20. The lowest was the Exxon at Lawrenceville Highway and Johnson Road where it was $2.11.

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Police: Domestic dispute led to Lawrenceville double shooting

Police officers were called to the Lawrenceville home at about 10:30 p.m. on Sunday after a woman dialed 911.

Anti-Common Core activist group holds meeting with Superintendent Richard Woods, Rep. Tom Rice

The focus was on Common Core’s impact on Georgians and how to restore quality education and local control. The group believes the standards were “hurriedly adopted” in Georgia without legislative process to make Georgia eligible to receive funding in the Race to the Top grant competition in 2010.

GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Deadline looms for Broad Foundation scholarships

The scholarships pay $5,000 a year for four-year schools and $2,500 a year for students attending two-year schools and are aimed at students who have shown improvement in their grades over time.

Lilburn house fire claims family dog, two cats

No one was home when the fire started, but the blaze caused heavy damage to the furnished basement area and extensive smoke and heat through the main level.

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Stolen No. 44 NASCAR race car found in Gwinnett

The race car, in the area for the NASCAR events at Atlanta Motor Speedway, was reported stolen from a hotel in Morrow by the Morrow Police Department.

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At the Gwinnett science and engineering fair, nervous energy, excitement fills the air

For some, it was their first time making it to the 37th annual regional event. Others, like Simone Pete, a Twin Rivers Middle seventh grader, were in their third year.

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Gwinnett County Schools explains decision to have school on Thursday

The decision to have school as scheduled came after officials noted the 10 p.m. Wednesday television broadcast said the county would receive all rain, and road tests conducted around 3 a.m. Thursday gave the green light that roads were OK.

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Age eligibility bill in General Assembly concerns Gwinnett School Board member

The longest-serving member of the Gwinnett County Board of Education disagrees with the stance of House Bill 100, which is legislation that would stop 4-year-olds from starting kindergarten, that’s working its way through the General Assembly.

Activist group to hold Common Core educational conference

The focus will be Common Core’s impact on Georgians and how to restore quality education and local control.

Buford, Barrow Schools closed Thursday, delays for GGC, Gwinnett Tech

A majority of other metro Atlanta K-12 school districts announced earlier Wednesday that they would be closed on Thursday, including all of the neighboring districts around Gwinnett.

Regional science fair to feature 800 students across Gwinnett

It’s the 37th installment of the regional science and engineering fair that will be on display at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth where students from 90 schools including six non-Gwinnett County Public Schools in Gwinnett.

During inclement weather events, Greater Atlanta Christian employs cyber school

For the second straight year, GAC has implemented plans to trigger a “cyber school” if needed, which it did on Wednesday. Cyber school is an alternative learning plan of students using technology to complete assignments, which frees up officials to make better decisions regarding the weather.

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Gwinnett County Schools uses final built-in makeup date, last day of school now May 21

District officials confirmed that the day would be made up on May 21, the new last day of school, which is the last of three built-in inclement weather make-up dates on the 2014-15 calendar. That date was originally scheduled for teacher post-planning and staff development.

Gwinnett County Schools to close Wednesday because of inclement weather

At about 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, Gwinnett County Public Schools officials announced that the district would be closed on Wednesday because of inclement weather expected to arrive on Wednesday.

Girls basketball playoff games to be played, weather may affect parent-teacher conferences

The snow that fell on Gwinnett early Tuesday morning did not cause any problems for buses or school facilities, but district officials are monitoring the weather to see if after-school activities will be called off.

GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Lilburn Elementary receives portion of $45,000 grant

The money is for dental sealants on first and second permanent molars and health education programs, and it comes from The Renaissance Family Foundation, an affiliate of Renaissance Dental. A recent event at the school was designed to focus on oral health education for students and teachers, including lesson plans, tooth tips, posters and videos.

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Teacher tandems add to family atmosphere at Jones Middle

The five tandems are believed to be the most at one school across Gwinnett County Public Schools. There are two mother-daughter pairings and three spouse tandems at a school where hiring family members is meaningful to Principal Richard Holland.

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Gwinnett County Schools police investigating alleged on-campus rape

Two investigations are ongoing at Mill Creek High following a report of an alleged rape in an elevator during school hours.

College Board rep defends controversial new AP U.S. History framework

The head of all Advance Placement courses at the College Board, Trevor Packer, paid a visit to explain changes made to the U.S. History course that have drawn criticism from Gwinnett residents and people around the country.

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Gwinnett County Schools outline plans for new theme-focused magnet high schools

Members from leadership development and the Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship teams will help develop the programs at the schools.

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Gwinnett County Schools names principals for three new schools

CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks announced the appointments at a regular meeting of the Gwinnett County Board of Education.

GaDOE approves additional options for math courses

State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced that the State Board of Education has approved new math courses that offer a traditional/discrete option so high schools will now offer either option.

GaDOE honors dozens of local schools for Advanced Placement results

Across the state, 609 schools received the honor in at least one of five categories: Access/Support, Merit, STEM, STEM Achievement and Humanities. The 2015 AP Honor Schools are based on the results of 2014 AP courses and exams.

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Gwinnett Tech Foundation Board of Trustees adds two members

Matthew Holtkamp, president of Holtkamp Heating and Air, and Angie Woo, legal director, Cisco Systems, Inc. are the newest members of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

GCPS transportation workers to arrive early Thursday in response to ‘exceptionally cold air’

Gwinnett School Board to adopt $3.91 million emergency response system

A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect from 7 p.m. Wednesday until noon on Thursday as the wind chill factor is expected to be between five below zero and five degrees. To prepare for those conditions, bus drivers and mechanics that work for GCPS will arrive to work at about 5 a.m. on Thursday, about 30 minutes earlier than usual.

Greater Gwinnett Championship to offer military complimentary tickets, refreshments

The Champions Tour golf tournament played in April at TPC Sugarloaf announced on Tuesday will sponsor a Patriots’ Outpost for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. At an area on the 18th fairway, guests will enjoy complimentary QuikTrip sandwiches and pastries, snacks, and Coca-Cola refreshments.

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Tuesday GHSA state hoops games to be played

Several of those schools without power were also expected to host playoff basketball games on Tuesday, and school officials and the Georgia High School Association worked to develop a plan for possible schedule changes, if needed.

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Gwinnett Tech Foundation Board of Trustees adds two members

Matthew Holtkamp, president of Holtkamp Heating and Air, and Angie Woo, legal director, Cisco Systems, Inc. are the newest members of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Grass, woods fire spreads to vacant Duluth home

Firefighters contained the blaze to the primary structure and one nearby vehicle.

Gas prices continue rise while long-term forecasts remain below $3

Average household expected to spend about $750 less for gasoline in 2015

While the Georgia average rose seven cents, and many Gwinnett gas stations set their prices above $2.10 for a gallon of regular unleaded, one outlier on Monday morning was a Citgo on South Norcross Tucker Road near Sparrows Lane in Norcross that listed $1.99, according to

Suwanee to give latest update of downtown master plan

The city of Suwanee will officially kick off its second update to the Downtown Master Plan at a community meeting at City Hall at 6:30 p.m. on March 5.

Seasoned parents suggest start college application process early

That plan was to finish testing by the end of the junior year, have applications out by August or September trying for early acceptances by Christmas of the senior year and apply for scholarships in January and February. Counselor suggests earning certification or some education after high school.

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Becoming more common, Advanced Placement classes challenge students

The class of 2014 had 571 students take 1,098 AP exams, and 86 were AP scholars meaning they scored a three or higher (on a five-point scale) on three or more exams. Across Gwinnett County Schools, those Duluth students aren’t alone. The class of 2014 saw 5,033 seniors take 12,010 Advanced Placement courses during their career.

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GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Riverside Elementary students visit Gold Dome

Teacher Lynne Franks said the students study democracy, branches of government and levels of government. Rep. David Clark, who represents the Suwanee area that Riverside serves, helped out with the tour and students taking a picture with Gov. Nathan Deal.

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How to pay for college

Think creatively for scholarships. Start looking at major companies that offer scholarships or in local communities where in Gwinnett, for example, several electric membership corporations that offer scholarships.

Gwinnett Tech among nation’s fastest growing two-year public colleges

Gwinnett Tech ranks 10th on Community College Week’s 2014 list of Fastest Growing Community Colleges.

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Lake Lanier Islands looking to fill 100 seasonal jobs

The company is recruiting people to work at its beach, campgrounds and Lanierworld water park.

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Central Gwinnett's Maryanne Grimes named Principal of the Year

Grimes said the award should be renamed for the “School of the Year” and outlined a list of attributes her staff does to help students.

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GGC Day at the capitol launches 10th anniversary celebration

The school celebrated its achievements and growth on Thursday during an anniversary event under the Gold Dome. The Gwinnett legislative delegation presented resolutions honoring Georgia Gwinnett College to GGC President Stas Preczewski.

With incentives, rise in single family homes, Loganville area attracting several restaurants

Since last weekend, three restaurants have opened or plan to open in the coming months. Big Daddy Que, a barbecue take-out and catering restaurant, Applebee’s and Bullritos, which offers burritos and Tex-Mex fare, are all new to the area.

Duluth snack food, Sugar Hill barbecue sauce named finalists in Flavor of Ga. contest

Savannah Snaps made by Chandler Chase’s Verdant Kitchen in Duluth, and a Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce made by Michael O’Rouke’s Sugar Hill Smokehouse, were selected among the finalists from a field of more than 100 products in 10 categories, one of the largest fields in the contest’s history, which dates to 2007.

Gwinnett County Schools refinances bonds to save $21 million

The savings is equivalent to one new elementary school and will go back into the Education special purpose local option sales tax building program. The money is not ear-marked for a specific project, but it could be available to close any gaps since the sales tax revenue has been consistently near the low estimate of budget forecasts.

Gwinnett Tech transfer fair to feature nearly 20 four-year colleges, universities

Gwinnett Tech will host the “Next Step Transfer Fair” from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 26 in the Busbee Center. The fair is designed for students, graduates and alumni looking to continue their education beyond an associate’s degree.

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Gwinnett Tech Board of Directors adds Georgia Power region manager

The school has announced Doug Jenkins, a region manager with Georgia Power, is joining the Board, and bringing with him engineering, economics and community development experience.