City launches Christmas decorating contest

Residents and business owners in the city of Auburn are invited to participate in a Christmas decorating contest.

The city’s Downtown Development Authority will choose the winner. First place will receive a $100 gift card, second place will receive a $50 gift card, and honorable mention will receive a $25 gift card. Photos of the winning displays will also be featured on the city’s website and Facebook page.

To enter the contest, take a picture of your Christmas decorations and email it by Dec. 12 to

For more information, visit


With toy donation, Animal Shelter drops adoption rate

The Barrow County Animal Control Shelter is offering reduced adoption rates for those who bring a toy to donate to the Barrow County Family Connection’s Holiday Connection toy drive.

With a donation, the adoption fee will be $10. The regular fees are $35 for cats and $55 to $85 for dogs. The fees cover spay/neuter surgery, so animals that are fixed before the adoption are free, according to the shelter’s website.

The animal shelter is located at 616 Barrow Park Drive in Winder. For more information, call 770-307-3012.


Community invited to Chapel’s Christmas service

Lake Berkeley Chapel’s Christmas service will begin at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 8.

The service will feature music and verse with Merry Maids and Men. A full breakfast will be served after the service.

Lake Berkeley Chapel celebrated its 60th anniversary this year. The interdenominational chapel provides monthly worship services and Christian fellowship in the community without interfering with regular church affiliation.

The chapel is located at 4043 S. Berkeley Lake Road in Berkeley Lake. For more information, visit


Volunteer in need of

blue decorations

A volunteer needs donations to create a “Back the Blue” holiday tree in the lobby of the Braselton Police and Municipal Court.

Blue decorations, such as blue lights, blue garlands and blue bows, as well as police-themed ornaments can be dropped off by Friday in the building, 5040 Ga. Highway 53 in Braselton.

“Back the Blue” is an activism campaign focused on building community support for local police officers.


BBA hosts annual holiday parade, festival

The Buford Business Alliance invites the community to the annual Historic Buford Holiday Parade and Festival.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in downtown Buford. There is no admission fee.

The parade will begin at 11 a.m. and can be seen anywhere along Main Street, according to the event’s website. Following the parade, a festival featuring artisans, food trucks and entertainment will be open.

For more information, visit


Credit Clinic to offer

tips, tricks

Have questions about the credit rating system? Attend the “Credit Clinic: How Tos and FAQs” seminar at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Dacula Library to get answers.

Learn how the credit rating system works, how to improve your credit, and other tips and tricks for dealing with credit at the seminar, which is free and open to the public.

The Dacula branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library is located at 265 Dacula Road in Dacula.

For more information, visit


Police offer holiday home checks for residents

Going away for the holidays? Don’t forget to let the Duluth Police Department know.

The Police Department will send officers to check on your home while you are away. The service is free for all Duluth residents.

Those interested in the service can fill out a Vacation House Check form online at

To complete the form, you’ll need to provide your address and departure information. You can also provide information about vehicles that will be left at your home and people who have access to the premises, as well as emergency contact information.


Library hosts Literary Gingerbread House contest

The Grayson and Collins Hill branches of the Gwinnett County Public Library are having a Literary Gingerbread House Contest.

Literary Gingerbread Houses can be entered into the teen, family or adult categories. Houses will be on display at the library at which it was dropped off.

Creations can be dropped off from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Collins Hill Library, 455 Camp Perrin Road in Lawrenceville, or from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Grayson Library, 700 Grayson Parkway in Grayson.

Online voting will determine the top winner in each category, and prizes will be awarded to the winners.

For more information, visit


City official earns

finance certification

City of Lawrenceville employee Derrick Turner recently earned the Local Finance Officer Certification through the Carl Vinson Institute of Government’s financial management training program.

Turner was recognized with Level I certification for pursuing professional development in governmental finance, accounting, budgeting and more, according to a news release.

Level I certification requires finance officers to participate in 108 hours of instruction about the intricacies of government budgeting, purchasing, accounting, and other public finance topics. Level II Certified Financial Officers receive an additional 84 hours of instruction in intermediate governmental accounting and budgeting principles, internal controls, and revenue administration as well as public finance electives.

“Finance officers who earn certification gain the skills they need to maintain sound accounting practices and build strong financial foundations for their governments,” said Tracy Arner, the Institute’s financial management training program manager.

Seventeen local officials from around the state earned their Level I or Level II Local Finance Officer Certification in the third quarter through the Institute of Government at the University of Georgia, the news release states.


Lions Club collecting

coat donations

This holiday season, give the gift of warmth. To help families in the community stay warm this winter, the Lilburn Lions Club is hosting a coat drive.

Donations of new and gently used coats in children’s, youth and adult sizes can be accepted during normal business hours at the following locations:

♦ Mr. Transmission, 4450 Lawrenceville Highway, Suite E, Lilburn

♦ House of Payne, 4565 Lawrenceville Highway, Lilburn

♦ Queen’s II Hair Design, 529-3 Indian Trail Lilburn Road, Lilburn

♦ Mail & Package Center, 4155 Lawrenceville Highway, Lilburn

♦ Taste of Paradise Restaurant, 4805 Lawrenceville Highway, Lilburn.

Those who like to host a donations box at their business can email


Christmas Parade planned for Dec. 14

The city of Loganville will welcome the holiday season with its annual Christmas parade from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 14 on Main Street in downtown Loganville.

The parade will feature local businesses, school groups and other organizations, according to an event description. It will begin at Bay Creek Elementary School, 100 Homer Moon Drive in Loganville.

For more information, visit


Angel Giving Tree up

in City Hall

The Angel Giving Tree is now up in Norcross City Hall.

The tree is adorned with gift tags containing three gift suggestions for a boy or girl who is 12 or younger. By choosing a tag and purchasing a toy or toys, you are helping a local child whose parents are struggling to make ends meet this Christmas.

Those who are purchasing items for the Angel Giving Tree should bring the new, unwrapped gift to Norcross City Hall by Dec. 12. Gift tags should be taped to the gift. Gifts will be delivered Dec. 13.

For more information, visit


Houser recognized for years of service

Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason recently recognized Matt Houser for his seven years of service as the city’s Planning Commission chairman.

Mason presented a proclamation and a ceremonial gavel recognizing Houser for his dedicated service and leadership as the inaugural chairman of the Planning Commission..

Houser began serving on the Planning Commission shortly after the city was incorporated in July 2012. Houser recently resigned from the position, and Alan Kaplan, who has also served on the Planning Commission for seven years, has been named the new chairman.

For more information, visit


Snellville official speaks to South Gwinnett students

Snellville Economic Development Director Eric Van Otteren recently received a certificate of participation from a South Gwinnett High School entrepreneurship class, led by teacher Fran Thompson.

Van Otteren spoke to students during Global Entrepreneurship Week. He urged students to take their passions and turn them into profitable adventures.

Van Otteren also highlighted The Grove at Towne Center, the city’s $85 million development project, and encouraged them to create micromanufacturing businesses.

Global Entrepreneurship Week is a program of Global Entrepreneur Network. More than 35,000 events in more than 170 countries are scheduled each year in November to promote, encourage and support the development of entrepreneurs.

South Gwinnett High School has a Business and Hospitality Academy, in which one of the career pathways is entrepreneurship.


Benton House receives trophy for sharing hugs

Benton House of Sugar Hill recently received a trophy for sharing more than 1,000 hugs in five days to highlight the need for contact and connection in seniors.

Benton House Senior Living launched a campaign to share 20,000 hugs in five days to highlight the importance of human touch to the health and well being of seniors.

Benton House offers assisted living and specialized memory care for residents. For more information, visit


Suwanee Police offer holiday home checks

The Suwanee Police will routinely check the homes of city residents while they are out of town.

Requests must be submitted at least 48 hours before departure, according to the city’s website.

To request a house check, visit and fill out the house check form. Information on the form includes your address, dates of departure and return, whether vehicles and pets will be left at the home, and emergency contact information.

If you return from the trip early, call the Suwanee Police Department at 770-945-8995 or email

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