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Todd Cline

Stories by Todd

CLINE: ALS challenge breaks the ice on raising awareness

Have you dumped a bucket of icewater over your head yet? Chances are you either have or you’ve seen a friend, relative, co-worker or celebrity do so through a video posted on social media. The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS is a campaign to raise awarness and funds for the disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

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CLINE: Giant tomato plant casts shadow over my own garden

Our Top 10 online stories this week supported what a lot of us already know — people enjoy reading about big fish and big garden plants. We covered those bases with a record-setting brown trout and a tomato plant that has its eyes on the Guinness Book of World Records.

CLINE: Gwinnett cities offer Atlanta alternative

This past weekend you could have watched a professional bicycle race in Duluth, or visited Sugar Hill to see an impressive car show, ride a zip line or see some good bands, including one fronted by movie star Kevin Bacon.

CLINE: When it comes to success, it takes a village

Sunday’s Hall of Fame speeches are a reminder that you don’t get anywhere in the world without some help.

CLINE: Remembering when a job was just for the summer

Do you remember your summer jobs? Are they good memories?

CLINE: Coaches find great way to experience ‘Americana at its finest’

Cliff Ramos said he always gets a lot of feedback when he talks about his summer travels with his good friend Steve West. For six years now the two Greater Atlanta Christian wrestling coaches have made their “go where the road takes us” trips a summer staple, traveling for a week to 10 days with no schedule and no plan, just a map and their imaginations.

CLINE: Bugged by baggage

It’s hard to fly out of Atlanta and not bemoan the fact that when you live in Gwinnett you have to leave for the aiport so early that you could easily drive to Nashville before your tray is in an upright and locked position. That goes with the territory here, where you often have to arrive two hours early to ensure not being five minutes late.

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CLINE: Harvey makes her mark in 25 years with American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society’s Gwinnett office has a different feel this week. There’s nothing wrong really, just an important piece missing after 25 years.

CLINE: Farmers markets about the experience as much as the food

National Farmers Market Week, Suwanee, Suwanee farmers market, Town Center Park, Amy Doherty, farm-raised eggs, locally grown

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CLINE: Believe it or not: Kevin Bacon coming to Sugar Hill

“Why would Kevin Bacon come to Sugar Hill?” It was a good question.

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CLINE: Memories of kind men and Friday nights of the past

We learn as we get older that the good times don’t go on forever, and sometimes you hear a familiar name in a way you wish you never would.

City by City

City by City for June 8.

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CLINE: Brewing up an event in Duluth

This week Greg Lindquist is busy preparing for the second incarnation of Beer Fest Duluth: Brews and Tunes, an event that will run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Duluth Town Green. The irony is that come Saturday, the man who loves to sip a cold one and has made a business of beer won’t have time for nary a drop.

OUR VIEW: Keeping ethics front and center good for BOC

Economic news highlighted the first day of the BOC planning sessions, while county leadership was the focus of the second day. A year ago the commissioners made the issue of county leadership No. 1 on its priority list. This year they discussed where it should be on their list.

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CLINE: Caretaker of the clubhouse

Nick Dixon is the Gwinnett Braves’ clubhouse manager, but the title does little to explain his duties, not that any short description could. When it comes to taking care of the players, there’s not much Dixon doesn’t do.

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CLINE: Local cities doing their part to recognize Memorial Day

There is no lack of things going on this week. We just completed the earliest primary in state history, and up next is the last day of school, signaling the start of summer vacation for the kids which begins with a three-day weekend. It’s a respite that comes with a chance to cook out and hit the lake or pool, but obviously there is deeper meaning behind this holiday. And thankfully that will be highlighted as Gwinnett’s busy week continues with ceremonies recognizing Memorial Day in Snellville, Duluth and Dacula.

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CLINE: Buford Schools say goodbye to a pair of old pros

That feeling is even more profound for teachers who know the coming weeks are their last. There are a couple of those in the Buford City Schools system feeling that way these days, a couple of men who have put in more than 60 years combined in the education field.

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CLINE: Finding a passion for finding a cure

It’s a question that will be asked repeatedly on Friday at Gwinnett’s annual Relay For Life event for the American Cancer Society. As in, why are you here? Why do you walk? Why do you Relay?

OUR VIEW: Wilbanks’ long tenure has given GCPS leadership and continuity

J. Alvin Wilbanks is nearing the end of his 50th year in the field of education. He has spent 19 years of that time as superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools, a long tenure that has produced more than a few highlights as well as plenty of critics. Wilbanks is the first to tell you that comes with the territory.

CLINE: A new goal to sleep on

Dr. Charles Czeisler, director of the division of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School, says the country as a whole suffers from a “staggering” amount of sleep deficiency. He says in the article that two million Americans fall asleep behind the wheel every week, and as most bosses (and many teachers) would attest, many more do the same behind a desk.

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CLINE: National Library Week brings back memories of reading past

A library can be a place of escape for anyone, allowing readers to travel to places and see things they never dreamed they’d experience. While I believe that to be true of libraries anywhere, it may be even more true for those who grow up in a rural area or small town like I did.

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CLINE: A volunteer job with lots of baggage

As chairwoman of the caddie committee, Julie Coupland’s job is to make a home at TPC Sugarloaf for the men (and women) who carry those bags on the Champions Tour. The tour comes to the county for the second time next week for the Greater Gwinnett Championship, which will play rounds Friday through Sunday.

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CLINE: Passion the name of the game for Family Promise director

Family Promise needs help from local churches. Currently there are 30 host churches and five more called support churches. There are 15 weeks that are open, which means the need for more church participation still exists.

CLINE: Remembering when the games were on the line but not online

Believe it or not, there was once a time when you could watch the NCAA basketball tournament without any gadgets.

CLINE: A note of thanks to all those who volunteer

Volunteers don’t expect a check. The definition of the word is pretty straight forward when it comes to that. But that doesn’t mean they don’t receive payment.

CLINE: A nice addition to the neighborhood landscape

You can learn a lot by walking your neighborhood. And a recent discovery was a very nice surprise.

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CLINE: The joke's on them

We took our lumps from the national media with our most recent winter storms that derailed traffic and about everything else, keeping kids from school and most folks inside. But the advantage to living in the South is that weather lasted for days, not months.

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CLINE: Snellville's Young has a volunteer's spirit

Wanda Young, 78, is a fixture in the Snellville area. She volunteers for Eastside Medical Center’s Health to You program and is a mainstay at the Snellville Senior Center, helping man the front desk and organizing the monthly bingo game.

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CLINE: The importance of saying ‘thanks’

In that spirit of thankfulness, the City of Duluth has declared next week Public Works and Police Appreciation Week. It’s a chance to let the residents of Duluth thank the people who kept their city safe during the storm, a process that was emulated around the county last week.

The new venacular of the modern Olympics

I assume we’ve all done it, dreamed of winning Olympic gold. Whether you were an athlete or not, there’s something about the thought of representing your country atop the medal stand that is quite appealing, and never more so than during an Olympic year when the events are aired in prime time and Olympic champs are seen everywhere from morning show sets to cereal boxes.

CLINE: Gwinnett spellers epitomize the definition of poise

I served as a judge at the Gwinnett County Spelling Bee for the seventh time Saturday at Central Gwinnett High School. Though I’m somewhat a veteran of the event at this point, the kids who compete in it still amaze me.

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CLINE: The cold business of heartiness hierarchy

When it comes to weather, the pecking order of heartiness is interesting. It seems everyone thinks everyone else is a wimp.

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CLINE: Meeting your heroes

I was struck by the sense of awe one young lady and his mother had at the chance to meet the grand marshall of the Lawrenceville MLK march — former Olympic golf medalist Tommie Smith.

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CLINE: Good Samaritan Health Center to present five-year plan

To accomplish its fundraising goals, the Good Samaritan Health Center, which services the poor and uninsured, needs to increase the donations it needs to run. To that end, a plan will be presented to the public next Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Sonesta Hotel (formerly the Marriott) in Duluth.

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CLINE: The lack of commercial appeal

These days live TV is my main, and usually only, impetus to sit through commericials. In the age of streaming and DVRing, there’s no need to spend a minute (or even 30 seconds) away from your show of choice. In fact, I barely know what days the shows I watch actually air; they are just collected and watched when the schedule permits, commericials relegated to fast forward.

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CLINE: A look back at the people (and columns) of 2013

The world can be a rough place, something we are reminded of on a daily basis, especially if you work for a newspaper. That’s one of the reasons I tend to lean toward the fun, positive and uplifting when it comes to my personal column. We can all use a pick-me-up at times, and I hope relaying occassional feel-good stories achieves that (for me and the readers).

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CLINE: Buford girls basketball team great example for Christmas giving

Sue Rudnik is a big fan of the Buford High School girls basketball team. And not because of their prowess on the court. Over the years, the team coached by Gene Durden has made it a tradition to sponsor children from Division of Family and Children Services (DFACS).

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CLINE: Enjoying traditions of the season

Those of you who travel for the holidays know about the pressure of getting everything done on time. The Christmas season brings with it some inherent stress with all the tasks that need to be completed, and deadlines get moved up when they have to be finished in time to drive or fly to your destination.

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CLINE: A Toys for Tots tradition

Doug Reid’s 15th Annual Toys for Tots event will be held Friday through Sunday at Suite 110 in the Village Shoppes at Creekside, located at 860 Duluth Highway in Lawrenceville.

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CLINE: The story of John J. Thrasher, founder of Norcross

After making the family connection, David Sumner, now a journalism professor at Ball State University, became enthralled with his ancestor’s history. Two years ago he published a short book entitled “Railroad Man” — which the city of Norcross now distributes at its welcome center.

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CLINE: Making an impact at Moore Middle

Lamont Mays molding new Lawrenceville school

What stands out at Moore is the STEP Academy, a program designed for at-risk, over-aged eighth-grade students that allows them to complete eight and ninth grade course work in one school year. Those who complete the program transition to 10th grade and remain on track to graduate with their peers.

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CLINE: The true story of the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura

After watching the piece on “60 Minutes,” I dare you to come away without thanks for what you have and without a feeling that you really should do more with it. At its heart, that is what this story is. As Chavez says: “The world sends us garbage. We send back music.”

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CLINE: A unique Eagle Scout project

The race is to benefit the charity Better Health for Haiti, which was started by Mark Coughlin, an assistant coach at Peachtree Ridge who runs with and helps train Isaac Penman and his teammates. For Penman it was a win-win situation, a chance to create an Eagle Scout project that included running and supported his coach.

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CLINE: Cecil Flowe leaves a legacy at Parkview

What I have always liked most about Cecil is how human he is. When he was upset you knew it, and when he was elated you knew that too. He was honest with his feelings, and I think the players picked up on that.

CLINE: Keep local food banks in mind

This is just one of many promotions you’ll hear about around Gwinnett, as various businesses and groups pitch in to help local food banks. A thumbs up goes to Holtkamp for spearheading this drive. The company’s website said its mission is twofold — to raise both food for struggling families and awareness for the need to continue to do so, especially outside of the holiday season when there is a heavier focus to help.

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CLINE: A legacy of love for Right to Hike

To me, that’s where Right to Hike stands out — hitting the right notes of helping and healing, of being fun yet poignant.

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CLINE: A slow, but Sweet(water) commute

Craft beer is like a lot of things: You think you are an afficianado until you find people who really are. I enjoy drinking (and reading about) all styles of craft beer, seeking out unique brands and styles at the liquor and growler stores. But I met my match in Denver.

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CLINE: Great Days is Gwinnett at its best

Whether it was students bringing in canned food, young adults doing landscaping work or professionals working on high-end projects, Great Days of Service had projects that worked for all ages. And though it can’t be calculated like the aforementioned numbers, that feeling of what it’s like to give back to your community may be the most impactful part of the event.

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CLINE: Teaching awards provide nice recognition

But all awards are not equal, and some do a better job than others in bringing deserved recognition to the people (and their profession) that are nominanted. Which is why I like the yearly Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year competition, which announced its list of 26 semifinalists this week.

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CLINE: The cliches of coachspeak trite but true

The simple words are sometimes the most impactful. And the things you already know are exactly the ones of which you need to be reminded. As you get older, those cliches, trite as they are, make more and more sense.