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Keith Farner

Stories by Keith

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Methodists vote to negotiate sale of Simpsonwood to public entity

While negotiations with a “public entity” were not explicitly disclosed, it’s believed that more than 1,400 delegates from the 900-church North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church authorized its Board of Trustees to continue negotiations with Gwinnett County, possibly to use as a passive park.

GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Parkview Marine JROTC receives honor award

The Parkview High Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps was recently honored by the Gwinnett County Board of Education for being designated a Naval Honor School by the Commanding General Training and Education Command at Quantico, Va.

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Collins Hill High reports 1,100 students absent after text threat

A text threat that circulated around social media is believed to be the reason 36 percent of students were absent on Friday from Collins Hill High.

Gwinnett County Schools to have Broad Prize celebration

Gwinnett County Public Schools will celebrate its Broad Prize victory on Tuesday evening with local dignitaries, school officials, teachers, parents and students.

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Diva foundation helps Shiloh High students attend homecoming

A former Shiloh Elementary and Shiloh Middle student now at Woodward Academy started a foundation last year to donate dresses, hair and makeup services to three Shiloh High students with high GPAs, community involvement and teacher recommendations who wouldn’t otherwise go to homecoming this Saturday.

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Brookwood High reports 400 students absent after second email threat

About 400 Brookwood High students were absent on Thursday following a second email threat to staff. The school will have additional police presence the rest of the week.

Gwinnett high school beefs up security following email threat

Brookwood High has additional police presence at the school on Wednesday after several staff members received an email threat on Tuesday.

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In Gwinnett, Gov. Nathan Deal outlines education reform plan | VIDEO

Gov. Nathan Deal outlined his plans for education on Wednesday morning before a group of legislators, Georgia Board of Education members and other state education leaders at the Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology.

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Alcova Elementary participates in Read for the Record

Alcova Elementary was among schools around the world on Tuesday that participated in “Read for the Record” to encourage kids to read.

Rumors of threats bring more School Resource Officers to Collins Hill High

Several fighting incidents and rumors of additional altercations in recent days caused administrators at Collins Hill High to bring additional School Resource Officers to Collins Hill High on Monday.

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Gwinnett Tech chooses 33 student ambassadors

Gwinnett Technical College has chosen 33 students as the Mµ Class of Student Ambassadors who will serve Gwinnett Tech until the fall of 2015.

AAA: Spike in U.S. oil production leads to falling gas prices

U.S. oil production has soared to its highest level since 1985, which means gas prices are dropping as the holiday shopping season approaches.

Gwinnett Tech Adult Education division honored for student achievement

Gwinnett Tech was one of seven technical colleges in the state honored for overall achievement of educational gain benchmarks.

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Gwinnett Tech culinary arts student wins national recipe contest

Eljesa Haxhiu, a Culinary Arts student at Gwinnett Technical College, has won first place in a national recipe contest for Maple Leaf Farms, an Indiana-based producer of duck products

Berkmar High students evacuated from school due to bathroom fire

Berkmar High was evacuated Monday morning because of a small bathroom fire.

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Nellie, a 90-pound Great Pyrenees, serves as literacy mentor at Alcova Elementary

For three years, Alcova Elementary and Nellie, a 9-year-old and 90-pound Great Pyrenees, have participated in the READing Paws program.

GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Brookwood's Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble performs at Hall of Fame event

Brookwood High’s Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble recently performed red carpet music at the launch of the Southern Music Foundation’s Hall of Fame event. The Southern Music Foundation is a new nonprofit institution that celebrates the traditions and future of the many musical genres that originated in the American South.

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Duluth landmark to be replaced by Dreamland Bar-B-Que location

A 60-year-old landmark will become a Dreamland B-B-Q. The structure was the center of distribution for Parson’s grocery, hardware and retail stores.

Film about former mob boss turned Christian to premiere in Gwinnett

For God the Father, the movie about the former mob boss, Michael Franzese, who turned away from the mafia and accepted Jesus Christ.

Gwinnett County Schools develops new high school entrepreneurship program

The group of students it would serve, which is expected to start at 50 freshmen and eventually grow to 200, would build and operate a business in the first two years of high school, and expand the business in the final two years.

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Officials monitoring how Obamacare could affect Gwinnett County Public Schools

The potential costs of Obamacare on the system could be $7,100 per substitute teacher or other “part-time” employee, which kicks in after 30 hours.

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Gwinnett County Schools sets timeline for school bus camera rollout

The BOE approved an intergovernmental agreement between the County and the school district to proceed with installation of stop-arm cameras on school buses to catch motorists passing illegally.

Gwinnett County Schools Relay for Life teams raise $1.01 million

Among the 111 school system teams participating, 27 school teams and three central office teams raised $10,000 or more. The total amount raised by Gwinnett County Public Schools for the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life was $1,019,514.86.

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New principals named at Meadowcreek Elementary, Woodward Mill Elementary

New principals were named at Meadowcreek Elementary and Woodward Mill on Thursday at the monthly Gwinnett County Board of Education meeting.

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New Gwinnett Tech president to focus on health, technology programs| VIDEO

A native of Carrollton, Cannon, 53, became the third president of Gwinnett Technical College in August and he started the job last month.

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North Gwinnett community family night to honor memory of Cooper O'Brien

North Gwinnett High to put on family entertainment night Friday to raise money for scholarship in honor of Cooper O’Brien, an eighth grader who died over the summer after a bout with cancer

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Greater Gwinnett Championship generates $8.77 million for local economy

The Greater Gwinnett Championship announced this week that the 2014 tournament created an estimated total economic impact of more than $8.77 million for Gwinnett County and the metro Atlanta region.

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Duluth Middle students use STEM concepts to build solar-, battery-powered cars

Duluth Middle sixth grade STEM students participated in a car challenge on Tuesday where a battery- or solar-powered car they built competed against classmates’ cars. The students were asked to research which energy resource would be the best choice for a community to invest in.

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Central Gwinnett High, business community partner to celebrate Teacher of the Year

Central Gwinnett High put on a celebration on Monday to honor its Teacher of the Year, Johnny Griffin, and 32 businesses donated food or money in another example of the growing partnership between the school and surrounding community.

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Lawrenceville opens lawn, Gov. Nathan Deal, 12,000 attend Rock'n Ribville | PHOTOS | VIDEO

More than 12,000 people attended the seventh annual Rock’n Ribville Festival, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday to commemorate the grand opening of the Lawrenceville Lawn.

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GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Gwinnett, Barrow County Schools win Golden Radish Award

Gwinnett County Schools was recently recognized for its farm to school program as state leaders honored 30 schools at the state capitol. It’s called the Golden Radish Award, and GCPS — along with Barrow County Schools — was honored at the Honorary Level as locally grown food items were featured in school meals 36 times, and schools were provided with kid-friendly recipes highlighting local items each month.

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Lilburn Daze mixes old favorites with new additions

The Lilburn Daze Arts and Crafts Festival in downtown Lilburn on Saturday brought old favorites with some new additions as more than 200 arts and crafts vendors offered jewelry, pottery, baskets, wire sculpture and bottle art.

Gwinnett County Schools names six Teacher of the Year finalists

Six GCPS teachers have been announced as this year’s group of finalists for the Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year that will be announced on Nov. 11.

Harbins Elementary visitation day offers digital techniques to teachers | VIDEO

Harbins Elementary hosted a visitation day on Thursday for the Bring Your Own Device technology concept to share ideas with more than 90 teachers.

Brookwood, North Gwinnett, Peachtree Ridge students excel on AP exams

More than 56 percent of the Advanced Placement exams taken by Gwinnett County Public Schools students resulted in a passing score for the student to receive college credit.

Annandale Village to break ground on new transitional care facility

Annandale Village in Suwanee will have a groundbreaking event on Friday for The Keith Keadle Center for Continued Care, a new two-story, 18,000 square foot transitional care facility. It marks the start of the organization’s annual Family Weekend celebration.

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Doors to Home art exhibits spread across Gwinnett

More than 140 doors have been painted will be on display through Nov. 1 in Duluth, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Sugar Hill and Suwanee. All of the doors may be viewed and purchased at Each door is $100 and may be picked up at the end of the exhibit. Proceeds will be shared by Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity and Artworks! Gwinnett.

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Gwinnett SAT scores fall, but still top state, national averages

Georgia SAT scores see slight decrease over last year

Gwinnett test-takers topped state and national averages on all sections (critical reading, math, and writing) of the SAT. Though across the county, state and nation, scores dropped as more students took the college entrance exam.

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Redistricting plans will affect 14,000 Gwinnett County Schools students | MAPS

Plans call for students to be affected from 31 schools and six existing clusters to accommodate the four schools opening in August.

GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: 36 Gwinnett schools named to SHAPE honor roll

Parkview High’s Technology Student Association Chapter earned the National Chapter of Excellence Award as an outstanding model in the areas operations and meetings, scholastic and educational activities, service projects, conference participation and leadership development.

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Alford Elementary paints the school pink

Alford Elementary on Friday put on a “paint the school pink” event for breast cancer awareness. A third-grade teacher there is battling breast cancer, and students and teachers wore pink and held a fundraiser to donate a portion to her medical costs.

Gwinnett County Schools invites community for curriculum review

Resources submitted by publishers are reviewed by parents, community members, teachers and administrators for alignment with the school system’s Academic Knowledge and Skills curriculum. During the review, GCPS staff and community members will review student textbooks, digital resources, and associated teacher resources for Language Arts for all grades, K-12.

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Suwanee program teaches high school students about leadership, community | PHOTOS

Year-long leadership program through the city of Suwanee with students from North Gwinnett and Peachtree Ridge recently finished its first installment.

AAA: Georgia gas prices to keep dropping in October

Gas prices in Georgia have dropped four cents in the last month, while the national average in September was $3.39 per gallon, which was about 13 cents less than last year and 44 cents cheaper than 2012, according to AAA.

Georgia Gwinnett College given healthiest campus accreditation

U.S. Healthiest, a non-profit dedicated to making the U.S. the healthiest nation in a healthier world, announced that Georgia Gwinnett College, has advanced from a Bronze to Silver Level HealthLead U.S. Healthiest Campus Accreditation status for its student wellness efforts.

Gwinnett Tech horticulture students perfect again on national certification test

A group of Gwinnett Tech Horticulture students have earned a 100 percent pass rate on a national certification exam for the second consecutive year. The Landscape Industry Certified Lawn Care Manager designation is offered through PLANET, The Landcare Network, in partnership with the University of Georgia.

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Mazda Motorsports team, EPA bring live STEM examples to Collins Hill

Representatives from Mazda Motorsports and the Environmental Protection Agency visited Collins Hill High on Tuesday with a racecar to discuss STEM careers and green fuel technology with students.

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Gwinnett County Schools announces Teacher of the Year semifinalists

Gwinnett County Public Schools announced its Teacher of the Year semifinalists on Monday as it moved closer to selecting its annual honoree on Nov. 11.

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GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Trickum Middle student honored for National Geographic Bee

Several Gwinnett students were named semifinalists for the National Achievement Scholarship program. They were among a group of more than 1,600 black high school seniors to earn that designation in the 51st annual announcement.

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GSMST student receives $1,500 scholarship from film distribution company

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology senior Samuel Zinga received “The Boxtrolls” Innovator Award on Tuesday at the in front of 500 students and his family, faculty and staff. Focus Features presented the $1,500 scholarship to him ahead of the nationwide release of “The Boxtrolls” on Friday.