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Todd Cline

Stories by Todd

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.

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CLINE: The fair cost of making memories

The Gwinnett County Fair is in full swing, bringing back plenty of memories of festivals and fairs past. Like the wild food options available at the fair, those memories are varied. Or maybe time makes them that way.

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CLINE: The simplicity of sitting

We all have those places. Places where we go to get away from the job, the hassles and even the maddening reruns of sitoms you’re not quite sure why you watch in the first place. We’re such a plugged in society — let me check my email on my phone while I surf on my tablet while listening to music on my iPod — that it’s easy to forget the soothing nature of simplicity.

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CLINE: Father-son duo are field generals

This week is a big one for Neff. In addition to the milestone birthday he and his team are preparing for the Hawks’ first home football game of the season. For the past decade, Neff has been in charge of getting the field painted for home games, relying on a group of helpers that include his eldest son, Thor.

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'Out to Lunch' ... with Jane Stewart

“Out to Lunch” is a perodic feature that allows readers a chance to learn about the people behind the titles in Gwinnett County through a lunchtime conversation with a member of the GDP staff. The subject picks the place, we pick up the tab and then share the conversations that occur during the meal.

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CLINE: The humility of heroes

In today’s society it’s easy to get caught up in games of “who deserves the credit” or “that’s not my job” but no matter what your occupation it should come down to doing your job and doing it to the best of your ability.Funny how when you take care of that the credit and compliments take care of themselves.

Daily Post to change procedure for commenting

Starting next week, the Daily Post will no longer allow anonymous comments to be posted online. Beginning with Monday’s content, readers will comment on stories at through their Facebook accounts.

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CLINE: The good news from our schools

In any system as large as Gwinnett County Public Schools — an enrollment approaching 167,000 to go with more than 10,000 teachers — there will be issues and items of complaint. It goes with the territory. But less than three weeks into the school year, we’re reminded again and again of the good news that comes from our schools.

OUR VIEW: Make your voice heard on SPLOST

At Tuesday’s meeting the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners is expected to issue a call for a SPLOST referendum to be placed on the Nov. 5 ballot. Anticipating that, the county announced it will hold an orginizational meeting on Aug. 26 for those intersted in participating on the Citizens Project Selection Committee for transportation projects.

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CLINE: Making some deer friends

Though I enjoy seeing the deer, I feel bad for infringing on their territory. But that has changed a little, first after they ate my hibiscus plants and second after speaking with a wildlife biologist.

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CLINE: TOUR Championship provides nice perks for local veterans

The golf should be great and admission free for veterans when the TOUR Championship comes to Eastlake toward the end of September.

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CLINE: New theme for annual SPCA fundraiser

On Sept. 7, the Georgia SPCA is hosting its annual fundraising bash. This year it’s a “Wizard of Oz” theme with the motto: “There’s no place like a home.”

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CLINE: How the cookie crumbles

We all like what we like. Even if it’s the snacks that come with giving blood. But sometimes the rest of the story is the most interesting part.

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CLINE: Lilburn City Manager comes up aces

He’s not a pro golfer, but Bill Johnsa’s collection of 26 holes-in-one is a number that puts even the pros to shame.