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Michael Alpert

Stories by Michael

Jets open new field with win

Gary Pirkle Park's new synthetic turf seemed perfectly welcoming of the semi-pro team transplanted from its inaugural season at Berkmar High.

Jets set for second season

The Gwinnett Jets semi-pro football team finished 10-2 last season and reached the championship game of the Southern League, all while playing its inaugural season in a city it felt never truly embraced it.

Barrow fire chief stays on leave, not removed

WINDER -- The Barrow County Commission on Tuesday chose to take no further action against its new but recently suspended Fire and Emergency Services Chief Donald Towne.

Sugar Hill works out details of City Hall plan

SUGAR HILL -- Sugar Hill could sign a contract as soon as Monday with architect Precision Planning to design its $8.5 million City Hall.

Sugar Hill discusses details of city hall plans

SUGAR HILL -- Deliberate in decisions surrounding its planned $8.5 million City Hall, the Sugar Hill City Council at its work session Tuesday discussed a final precaution in its contract with architect Precision Planning.

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Sugar Hill hopes new Hindu temple will bring development to downtown

Sugar Hill hopes its planned $14 million downtown district catapults it from an easily missed place to a sought-after destination. A $3.5 million Hindu temple planned a mile away might make that destination an international one.

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Love for baseball spans oceans

The Dominican Republic flag flew next to the U.S. one atop the scorer's stand, symbolizing the solidarity of new friends previously worlds apart.
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Sugar Hill expects to hold millage rate steady

SUGAR HILL -- At the Sugar Hill City Council's monthly meeting Monday night, Councilman Marc Cohen encouraged residents to appreciate all the city is doing to improve itself -- remarkably with no increase in property taxes, despite a shrinking tax digest.

North's girls soccer coach thanks Sugar Hill Council for use of park

North Gwinnett girls soccer coach Mark Karen is grateful for his school's first ever state championship last month. Monday, at the Sugar Hill City Council's monthly work session, the team's 10th-year coach thanked council members for what he considered their vital role in the Class AAAAA title.

North's girls soccer coach thanks Sugar Hill Council for use of park

SUGAR HILL — North Gwinnett girls soccer coach Mark Karen is grateful for his school’s first ever state championship last month. Monday, at the Sugar Hill City Council’s monthly work session, the team’s 10th-year coach thanked council members for what he considered their vital role in the Class AAAAA title.

Barrow OKs church to convene in industrial park

Calvary 316 Church, a satellite location of Lilburn's Calvary Chapel Christian Fellowship, has cemented its right to exist in southwest Barrow County.

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Stars use dramatic wins to advance

DACULA -- Providence advanced to Tuesday's quarterfinals of the Class A baseball playoffs, but needed some late-game heroics to do so. The Stars (18-12) swept a doubleheader from host Hebron Christian (25-4) on Wednesday, winning both games 4-3, but not until their final at-bat.

Barrow introduces new financial officer

WINDER -- After nearly a year without a chief financial officer, Barrow County introduced its new one at its semi-monthly Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday night.

Sugar Hill OKs revised sign ordinance for safety

The Sugar Hill City Council at its monthly meeting Monday voted to approve a revised sign ordinance it considers essential to traffic safety.

Wolves lose in finals

JONESBORO -- The Wesleyan boys, Gwinnett's last chance for a state tennis championship this season, fell a whisker short in Friday's final of the Class A tournament at the Clayton County Tennis Center.

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Parkview dominates in first-round series

After getting hammered 16-6 in Friday's five-inning Game 1 of the Class AAAAA playoffs, coach George Hansen insisted his Kennesaw Mountain baseball team still was undaunted by the mystique of Parkview's Hugh Buchanan Field.

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New City Hall to be heart of Sugar Hill

SUGAR HILL -- Sugar Hill is in building mode. The new Gary Pirkle Park is getting nice reviews, and now the city is preparing to start work on its downtown streetscape this summer, then its $8.5 million City Hall this fall.

Brookwood boys blanked by Centennial

Good teams are careful not to emotionally exhaust themselves in the early rounds of the playoffs. So after Brookwood's dramatic elimination of visiting Marietta on penalty kicks in last week's opening round of the Class AAAAA playoffs, Broncos coach Danny Klinect was pleased his team was its typically workman bunch in Tuesday's second round against Centennial, though his Broncos lost 2-0.

GAC's Cokely, Wesleyan girls just shy of titles

A day's rain delay tests the mettle of even the best golfers, but Greater Atlanta Christian's Spencer Cokely and Wesleyan's girls barely missed a beat.

GAC's Cokely, Wesleyan girls just shy of titles

A day's rain delay tests the mettle of even the best golfers, but Greater Atlanta Christian's Spencer Cokely and Wesleyan's girls barely missed a beat.

Sugar Hill sign ordinance ready for City Council vote

After nearly six months of fine tuning, Sugar Hill's revised sign ordinance is scheduled for its city council's vote at its monthly meeting Monday. The ordinance's wording was finalized at the council's monthly work session Monday night, when it agreed on peculiar language governing illuminated signs' dynamic displays and movement of text and graphics.

Clarke sparks GAC boys to first-round win

Greater Atlanta Christian entered Thursday's Class AA/A soccer playoff opener at Paideia looking for a confidence boost, and got one.

Au's goal puts North in 2nd round

As time wound down in Milton's scoreless soccer match at North Gwinnett in Wednesday's first round of the Class AAAAA girls playoffs, everyone sensed it would come down to a single shot.

Barrow looking into hiring county administrator instead of manager

arrow County's long-running debate over hiring a county manager reached a fever pitch at its County Commission meeting Tuesday night. Commissioner Ben Hendrix, who last July had urged hiring a manager, was expected to again present an agenda item to do so Tuesday. But after an emotionally charged address to the public by embattled Commission Chairman Danny Yearwood, as well as public comment and board discussion in part against county manager-style government, Hendrix instead motioned that the board replace the county administrator who resigned in February 2009.

Au's goal puts North in 2nd round

SUWANEE — As time wound down in Milton's scoreless soccer match at North Gwinnett in Wednesday's first round of the Class AAAAA girls playoffs, everyone sensed it would come down to a single shot.

Wolves claim inaugural county lacrosse crown

For a second consecutive game, Wesleyan girls lacrosse players used their now standard method of operation -- with the same result.

Spartans get to savor win

The final of the Gwinnett County girls lacrosse tournament between Greater Atlanta Christian and Wesleyan anticlimactically was rained out Saturday.

Plenty of firsts in Mountain View-Archer soccer

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Dramatic storylines surrounded Archer's Area 8-AAA soccer games Friday at Mountain View.Mountain View girls became only the second team in the school's first year to make the state playoffs as they beat Archer 1-0. Likewise, Mountain View's boys became the school's first boys team to make state with a 2-1 win.

Sugar Hill names City Hall architect

SUGAR HILL -- Sugar Hill turned an important corner this week, though perhaps not a shovel until at least Christmas.

Parkview stays unbeaten in Region 8-AAAAA

LILBURN -- The Parkview baseball team on Wednesday continued the offensive dominance that has kept it Region 8-AAAAA's only unbeaten team. This time, the victim was visiting Brookwood, 14-4, in a game shortened to five innings by a 10-run rule.

Semi-pro teams may play at Sugar Hill's Gary Pirkle park

SUGAR HILL -- Barely three weeks after opening its first park in some 40 years, Sugar Hill's Gary Pirkle Park is fast becoming a sought-after destination for athletic organizations.

Semi-pro teams may play at Sugar Hill's Gary Pirkle park

SUGAR HILL — Barely three weeks after opening its first park in some 40 years, Sugar Hill's Gary Pirkle Park is fast becoming a sought-after destination for athletic organizations.

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Wolves outlast Ridge

NORCROSS -- Amid weather so perfectly spring, it seemed even Mother Nature was welcoming Saturday's beginning of a lacrosse tradition in Gwinnett County.Enthusiasm was palpable throughout Wesleyan's 8-6 win over Peachtree Ridge in the final of the inaugural Gwinnett County Tournament at Greater Atlanta Christian, an event both coaches expect will foster county rivalries and grow the sport's popularity annually.

Barrow moves to censure chairman

WINDER -- Tension ran high near the end of Barrow County's Board of Commissioners' meeting Tuesday night when Commissioner Ben Hendrix motioned that the board formally censure Chairman Danny Yearwood for alleged refusal to attend anger management training, as recommended by an attorney the county hired to investigate allegations against him.

Barrow approves funds for bypass study project

WINDER -- The $87 million Winder bypass project, which has long languished since its planning began in earnest in 2004, got an invigorating shot in the arm Tuesday night when the Barrow County Commission begrudgingly approved roughly $44,000 from SPLOST funds for a federally required feasibility study.

Sugar Hill sets rules for park

SUGAR HILL -- With its first park opening in more than 30 years scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, the Sugar Hill City Council at its monthly meeting Monday night ratified the agreement renters will sign to use Gary Pirkle Park.

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Sugar Hill brings solar energy, synthetic turf to newest park

SUGAR HILL -- Their beaming faces said it all.As Sugar Hill Mayor Gary Pirkle, his city council, City Manager Bob Hail and Recreation Director Andy McQuagge posed with shovels behind a mound of dirt on March 28, 2008, the excitement surrounding the ceremonial first shovel turn of Gary Pirkle park was palpable.

Council hopes to OK proposal for athletic association

Less than two weeks from the March 13 opening of its prized Gary Pirkle Park, Sugar Hill on Monday took a step closer to embracing the newly formed Lanier Athletic Association as a prominent tenant there.

Norcross girls open with big win

Norcross' boys needed overtime to eliminate visiting Centennial in Friday's first round of the Class AAAAA basketball playoffs, but the Blue Devil girls had a comparatively easier time in their first-round game at home Saturday.

Barrow OKs E-911 upgrades

WINDER -- Barrow County took another stride in enhancing its emergency response services Tuesday night, as its county commission approved approximately $123,000 for hardware and software upgrade of its $1.5 million E-911 facility expected to come on line in May.

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Panthers prevail

Parkview girls basketball coach Mike McCoy considered beating Brookwood 75-57 for the Region 8-AAAAA tournament championship on Saturday at Meadowcreek tougher than winning a state playoff game.

Mustangs fight to dispatch feisty Generals

Judging from Meadowcreek's 36- and 42-point wins over Shiloh during the regular season, few might have expected the teams' rematch in Friday's Region 8-AAAAA tournament semifinal at Meadowcreek to be all that close.

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Good Knight vision: Central stays focused, beats Berkmar

NORCROSS -- If the Berkmar boys' upset Thursday of South Gwinnett didn't get Central Gwinnett's attention, the Patriots being tied with the Black Knights' after one quarter of Friday's Region 8-AAAAA tournament semifinal did.But as Central coach David Allen hoped, his heavily favored Knights fought the urge to overlook Berkmar in favor of Saturday's final against Meadowcreek. Staying focused on the Patriots, Allen's Knights methodically pulled away from Berkmar and won 70-50.

Nimley overcomes slow start to lead Eagles

DULUTH -- It took until the third quarter for Saah Nimley to get going in the Region 7-AAAAA tournament Wednesday night, but once he did, the Collins Hill guard made the difference many anticipated.

REGION 8-AAAAA: Parkview tops Brookwood, faces Mustangs for state berth

NORCROSS -- It wasn't what Keenan Temple preferred, but the Parkview basketball coach will take it.He'd rather not have needed Tuesday's 78-53 play-in game victory over Brookwood to reach tonight's 8:30 quarterfinal of the Region 8-AAAAA tournament at Meadowcreek. The reason is it makes tonight's game his already-fatigued players' third in as many nights, following a 75-53 drubbing by Meadowcreek and Tuesday's resurgence against Brookwood.

Barrow votes on raises, zonings

WINDER -- The Barrow County Commission made several non-controversial decisions at its semi-monthly meeting Tuesday night.

Sugar Hill adopts new rules for pawn shops, gold dealers

SUGAR HILL -- Sugar Hill just made it more difficult to commercially buy and sell stolen goods.

Sugar Hill hears soccer proposal

Soccer was again a focus at the Sugar Hill City Council's work session Monday night. The self-proclaimed "Recreation City" listened to a second organization's proposal to begin the city's youth soccer organization at its new Gary Pirkle Park.

Barrow officials mull removing CFO job

WINDER -- Following a light agenda in its first meeting of 2010 two weeks ago, the Barrow County Commission returned to weighty, contentious issues at its meeting Tuesday, as it contemplated abolishing the county's chief financial officer position and replacing it with a finance director slot requiring different candidate qualifications.

Barrow Commission sees light agenda

WINDER -- The Barrow County Commission, beset by contentious, often budget-related issues much of last year, gratefully began 2010 with a light agenda in the year's first meeting Tuesday night.