4/14: Norcross hall of famers; About Jim Ellis; On Russia

GwinnettForum  |  Number 17.04  |  April 14, 2017  

GEORGIA GWINNETT COLLEGE’S (GGC) Button Gwinnett Day presented GwinnettForum Publisher Elliott Brack with its second historic preservation award Wednesday. From left are Dr. Kathryn Gray White, associate professor of history; Dr. Linda Hughes, associate professor of educational foundations; Brack; Dr. T.J. Arant, senior vice president of Academic and Student Affairs and provost; Phil Hoskins, deputy county administrator – Gwinnett County; and Dr. Stas Preczewski, president of GGC. The award was for his 850-page book, Gwinnett, A Little Above Atlanta, which is no longer available after two printings. However, Brack announced at GGC that the book will by summer be available in an e-version, and retail for $9.99.The first historic GGC Preservation Award went to Dr. James D’Angelo of the Georgia Archeology Research Society in recognition of his work at Fort Daniel. (Photo by Rod Reilly.)
TODAY’S FOCUS: Three from Norcross High To Go Into NHS Foundation Hall of Fame
EEB PERSPECTIVE: Talking with the Person Behind the Many Jim Ellis Auto Dealerships
ANOTHER VIEW: After Study, Realizes Why Russia Is Working So Closely with Syria
SPOTLIGHT: U.S. Asset Management
UPCOMING: Suwanee’s Glow in the Park Coming to Town Center April 15
NOTABLE: Lawrenceville To Consider $20 Million Project for Downtown Area
RECOMMENDED: Cumberland Island National Seashore
GEORGIA TIDBIT: Banker Mills B. Lane Played Key Role in Atlanta Development
TODAY’S QUOTE: What Playing Golf Has Come To in the Modern Day
MYSTERY PHOTO: Trees, Cars……Clues Abound for This Edition’s Mystery Photo
LAGNIAPPE: Lawrenceville Utility Work Required Before Two Way Traffic
CALENDAR: Rep. Woodall to Speak in Downtown Duluth on April 17

Three from Norcross High to go into NHS Foundation Hall of Fame

By Sherri Boucher, Norcross, Ga.  |  Since 2006, the Norcross High School (NHS) Foundation for Excellence has held a Spring Gala to raise money for the Foundation, and to honor selected members of the NHS community who have made significant contributions to the success of our school.

This year, the Foundation is honoring three people as 2017 Hall of Fame inductees.

They are Keith Maloof, Melvin Melton and Alex Ward

A  Gala will be held on Friday, April 28, at The Carlyle House in Norcross starting at  7 p.m. to honor these great contributors to our school and community.  Gala tickets are available for $100 a piece and can be purchased in the front office at NHS starting April 10th.  Everyone is welcome!

Now to single out each of the 2017 inductees:


Keith Maloof has been a teacher and coach for 32 years, and at Norcross for 18 years.  He was instrumental in founding the Foundation.  His football teams have won five Region Championships and two State Championships.

Football and band programs touch more students than any other programs in a school. Coach Maloof helped create a “winning” culture not only in the school, but in the community. During his tenure at NHS, he has created a successful program, one admired by others. Yet he never wants the attention focused on him; Coach Maloof will always deflect the credit to his coaches and the students.  He shows care for all students at NHS and has built relationships that go far beyond football.  Keith and his wife, Lisa, have two sons, Tyler and Tanner, both NHS graduates.


Melvin Melton has been at NHS for 16 years.  He is the Head Custodian, but is much more than that. He is a mentor, adviser and confidant to both students and faculty.  In addition to being the Chaplain for the Norcross Police Department, he was recently named the Chaplain for the City of Norcross.  Melton has been one of the associate pastors at Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Lilburn, for 28 years.  Melvin and his wife, Lisa Renee, have been married for 29 years.  They have two children, a son, Melvin, Jr., and a daughter, Ashley.


Alex Ward: While a ninth grader at NHS, Alex volunteered to announce softball games and run the scoreboard.  His sophomore year, he volunteered to run the scoreboard for the football team as well.  Then during his junior year, his volunteer duties continued to grow with the addition of providing music for the basketball games and manning the soccer scoreboard.  He continued to volunteer throughout high school. Upon graduating from NHS in 2006, Alex has continued to volunteer for his alma mater and today, he is Game Day Operations Manager for both NHS Football and Basketball.  In addition, Alex is responsible for taking photographs for the senior banners and displaying them in the cafeteria.  Alex is currently completing his final year of law school and is preparing to take the State Bar exam.

WE ARE FORTUNATE to live in a community that supports our local high school so well.  The mission of the Norcross High School Foundation for Excellence is to partner with the high school and the community in continual support of Norcross High School as a world-class school. Since the inception of the Foundation in 2001, over $1.6 million has been raised and reinvested back into the school to elevate the teaching/learning in the classroom, expand the fine arts opportunities, and support athletic programs and extracurricular activities.

  • For more information, visit our website norcrosshighfoundation.org.

Talking with the person behind the many Jim Ellis auto dealerships

(Part one of a two-part series)

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher |  Drive off I-285 toward Atlanta on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, and immediately there is a host of Jim Ellis auto dealerships, to eight all, bunched together. Over in Cobb County, there are four more Jim Ellis dealerships, and another in Buford, for a total of 13 in all, with 12 brands.  (Click here to see all dealerships).

So people ask, “Who is Jim Ellis?”

He’s a tall, lean, angular relatively quiet fellow, now 85, who grew up in Southwest Dekalb County, who still goes into his office at the VW dealership in Chamblee each day from his home in Jones Creek.

Today the group of dealerships has over 1,050 employees, and sells 1,000 new and 1,000 used cars a month. Associated with him in the organization are his children.

Jim Ellis’s career has been a spectacularly upward one, from growing up on a farm off Bouldercrest Road, never having electric lights or other conveniences in his home until he was age 11. His first work was plowing a mule on the family farm, and milking cows. He’s always worked and energetically enjoyed it. All during his schooling, he had various jobs….paper route, dairy route, roofing houses, later trading used cars one at a time, moving furniture, selling real estate.


Meanwhile, when in high school, he was a big-strapping athlete, a tackle on the football team at Roosevelt High, who earned a scholarship to West Georgia College. There he was captain of the football team, and pitched and played first base on the baseball team.

Then came greetings from the Draft Board, just as the Korean War was beginning. But before going into the Army, he got married in 1953 to that cross-town West Fulton high co-ed he had met on Daytona Beach, Billie Sammons. They’ve been married now for 63 years.

Jim’s eight week boot camp was at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. Then the Army picked a group to train as Advanced Infantry for eight extra weeks at Fort Jackson in night fighting, and planned to send the entire group to Korea. During this advanced training, the food was “left over C rations, powered eggs and horse meat from World War I,” Jim says. “I went from 240 pounds to 175 pounds and I’ve been near that same weight ever since.”

However, about that time the Army recognized that Jim had experience on IBM machines on one of his many jobs, and pulled him and another fellow out of the Infantry unit to train at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana on specialized equipment. From this he was assigned eventually to Fort McPherson. He was the company orderly, and got permission to live off base with his new wife.

After the Army, he was still working different jobs, but went to Georgia State University from 6 p.m. till 11 p.m. three days a week, taking three courses, and graduating in two years.

After college, trained in accounting, he worked with Lance Foods, and when they wanted to move him to Charlotte, he switched to Firestone. Later he joined General Motors on Memorial Drive as an accountant. GM sent him to several specialized auto schools. While at GM, he was, on weekends, in real estate, building cash to go into business for himself.

All along, Jim has had a plan of action. “You take one step at a time, after setting objectives and goal, then start another plan when you complete that goal. The minute you quite growing, it’s the first step toward failure.”

Soon Jim Ellis was thinking of going out on his own. Read about that in Part 2 of this series soon.


After study, realizes why Russia is working so closely with Syria

By Alvin Leaphart, Jesup, Ga.  |  For a while I have wondered why Syria was so important to the Russians.


Reading a little history and studying geography, things began to make sense. Russia has no warm water seaports; they are all frozen over in the winter, except Vladivostock on the Sea of Japan which is frozen over four months out of the year and must be kept open with ice-breakers. The only port in the warm water class is on the Black Sea and ships must pass through the Bosphorus to the Mediterranean Sea, then to the Atlantic.

Why is this issue being overlooked or simply ignored?

The Middle East has been in constant, continuous and barbaric war for the last 3,000 years.  The only reasons that they have not been killing each other with methods of mass destruction before is that they did not know how.

The Persians attempted to invade Judea around 50 BC to gain access to the  Mediterranean Sea. Herod, a minor King, obtained the aid of Rome and defeated the Persians and became a Client King of Judea.

There has been a constant struggle for this access throughout history. Now Assad is a Client Ruler for Putin with Syria providing the only warm water ports with access to the Atlantic Ocean.

Russia, being a land-locked nation throughout history, needs to be dealt with on this access. Putin does not care about Assad, it needs the use of Syria’s seaports, and that need is not going to cease.

We are going to have to deal with it and fight our common enemy. When are we going to learn that people in some parts of the world can be reasoned with?

With others you must use a club. Let’s deal with Russia’s need and get on with ISIS.


U.S. Asset Management

The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. David and Shawn Cross are the owners of U.S. Asset Management. Their firm provides personal financial management services with a focus on portfolio management and financial planning.  The firm helps clients make better decisions with their money by assisting in overseeing every aspect of their financial lives. Their process begins by profiling the needs of you and your family and then they construct a customized plan centered on what is most important to you.  Their job is to provide wisdom and convenience so that you can move on to more important issues to your family, your life or your business. Above all, the firm values trust, simplicity, fair cost and frequent communication.  With your permission, they will coordinate their efforts with your tax adviser, attorney, banker and other professionals.


Send us your thoughts

We encourage you to send us your letters and thoughts on issues raised in GwinnettForum.  Please limit comments to 300 words.  We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length.  Send feedback and letters to:    elliott@brack.net


Suwanee’s Glow in the Park coming to Town Center April 15

On Saturday, April 15 at 5:30 pm, the City of Suwanee will light up Town Center at the community lantern parade! Inspired by the Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade, Suwanee’s Glow in the Park will feature a strolling jazz band leading an illuminated pageant of light, music, and color through Old Town and down the Brushy Creek Trail, ending at Town Center Park with a concert starring 80s cover band Electric Avenue.

Food and fun begins at p.m.; the lantern parade begins at Town Center Park at 7:30 p.m., winding down the Brushy Creek Trail and ending back at the Town Center stage for an Electric Avenue concert at 8:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for the best glow looks and costumes.

Taste of Lilburn April 22 to benefit Wynne-Russell Historic House

The Lilburn Community Partnership will present a Taste of Lilburn on Saturday, April 22, from 1 until 4 p.m. at the Gartrell Nash Pavilion at Lilburn City Park. The event is a fundraiser by the Lilburn Community Partnership, a 501c3, and proceeds will go toward replacing the cedar shake roof of the Wynne-Russell Historic House (c.1826).

Taste of Lilburn is an outdoor food tasting event featuring restaurants in and around Lilburn: 1910 Public House, Matthews CafeteriaTaqueria Los Hermanos, The Barn Smokehouse and Seafood, Izzy’s NY Pizza, Taste of Paradise (Jamaican), Tipsy Pig BBQ, Hardee’s, Marco’s Pizza and Berkmar Culinary Arts.  Beer and Wine will be available for purchase.

Entertainment will be provided by Fair Oaks Band, featuring the Nicks Brothers.  Advance tickets (10 food coupons and 12:30 p.m. admission) can be purchased for $10 at www.lilburnevents.com. (Taste of Lilburn page) Tickets will also be sold at the event.  For more information, visit www.lilburnevents.com.

Fourth Multicultural Festival to be April 29 at Gwinnett Place Mall

The fourth annual Gwinnett Multicultural Festival will be April 29 at Gwinnett Place Mall from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Activities will kick off with a naturalization ceremony. The event is free to all.

Anthony Rodriguez, co-founder/producing artistic director of the Aurora Theatre, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies. He has been with the Aurora since 1996, its inaugural season. Initially hired as Managing Director in March of 1999, he was named Producing Artistic Director and established Aurora Theatre as a non-profit. Under his leadership, the theatre grew from 120 season subscribers to the 5,000 Aurora currently boasts.

Rodriguez’s greatest accomplishment to date is his successful negotiation to relocate Aurora Theatre to downtown Lawrenceville, where it serves as the cornerstone for the town’s revitalization. He served as past chairman for the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, where he is the first Latino and arts leader to serve in that position.

Among the special activities planned at the Festival will be specialized police units, a K-9 display, helicopter and fire truck displays; and other governmental department displays.

There will also be cultural performances, kids activities, a dunk tank, inflatables and international food.

Duluth planning Muddbuggs and Music Festival afternoon of April 22

Get your fingers ready for some finger licking fun at the inaugural Muddbuggs and Music Festival in downtown Duluth on the Green the afternoon of April 22, beginning at noon.

Join Rock 100.5, Kicks 101.5 and the City of Duluth will offer an all ages event with the freshest crawfish in the county, delicious low country boil and musical acts including: Mia Green Band, Tray Dahl, Jugtime Ragband, and Zydafunk featuring Charlie Wooton.

Kids ten and under are FREE with accompanying adult, while those 18 and under must have a legal guardian. A beer garden will be available as well as other food options. There will be a kid section where there will be games and inflatables. VIP tickets are available for purchase and include all you can eat crawfish and sides.

Stone Mountain Barbershop Chorus next concert is April 29

The Stone Mountain Barbershop Chorus will present its 2017 Spring Concert, “We Heard ‘em on the Radio” for a single performance on Saturday, April 29, at 3 p.m. in the sanctuary of Mountain Park United Methodist Church.  The church is located at 1405 Rockbridge Road in Stone Mountain.  Doors will open at 2 p.m.

The featured guest for this year’s concert is A Mighty Wind, quartet finalists at the 2016 International Convention in Nashville, Tenn.

Advanced purchase general admission tickets for this performance are $12.  A special advanced purchase discount price of $10 is available for full time students, groups of 12 or more and senior adults 60 and over. All tickets purchased at the door will be $15 cash or check only.

The Stone Mountain Chorus presents the audience with close, four-part harmony in the barbershop style.  The show will feature performances by several of the chapter quartets as well as inspirational and patriotic selections performed by the entire chorus.

  • Tickets may be ordered using secure credit card transactions from the Stone Mountain Chorus web site, www.stonemountainchorus.org.  Tickets may also be purchased from any Stone Mountain Chorus member or may be requested by telephone using the chorus information line at 770-978-8053.  The chorus accepts VISA, MasterCard or Discover charge cards.

Lawrenceville to consider $20 million project for downtown area

Lawrenceville will consider a $20 million redevelopment project on April 19, at City Hall. Richport Properties, currently under a purchase-sale agreement with the Downtown Development Authority, will present a concept folding office space in with a variety of residential units to create Lawrenceville’s first mixed-use environment for the downtown area in almost a decade. The project, referred to as “City View”, will sit on the former 7.5-acre site of the historic Lawrenceville High School. Richport properties will propose a 58-unit mix of single family detached homes, townhomes, cottages and office space.

Chuck Warbington, Lawrenceville city manager, says that The Cornerstone Development at Culver and Crogan Streets is the only mixed-use development project in the downtown and it is completely occupied with a waiting list at times. “The Downtown Lawrenceville market is ripe and ready for this project.  We are thrilled to have Richport properties as a catalyst for continued investment and revitalization in our square. Lawrenceville’s best days are ahead.”

Rick Porter, principal of Richport Properties, adds: “Our goal is to leverage the elevation of the site, incorporate design elements that reflect the historic character of the Square and still provide all the modern amenities to an urban live-work lifestyle. With City View, we hope to compliment Lawrenceville’s existing infrastructure and support its vision for expanding and growing downtown residential development options within walking distance of downtown.”

Workshop for developmental disabled coming on April 18

Gwinnett County Public Library and All About Developmental Disabilities (AADD) will host a free benefits workshop on April 18 at the Five Forks Branch. The program will begin at 6:30 pm.

Focused on supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are approaching 18 years old, the workshop will provide guests with information about resources that promote greater independence. Those resources include family support services, Social Security benefits, Medicaid waivers, transition planning, and more.

Guests are encouraged to bring copies of a transition plan, Individualized Education Plans, and relevant medical documents.

AADD maximizes resources for individuals and families living with intellectual and developmental disabilities to pursue stability, growth and independence. Founded in 1951 by a group of parents, and incorporated in 1956 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, AADD is one of the longest running agencies serving individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in Georgia.

The Five Forks Branch is located at 2780 Five Forks Trickum Road in Lawrenceville.

Rockbridge Road to get 1.2 miles of new sidewalks

Gwinnett County Commissioners on Tuesday awarded a $1.5 million contract for sidewalk construction along Rockbridge Road.

The sidewalk will be built between Five Forks Trickum Road and East Park Place Boulevard, a high-traffic area for pedestrians. The sidewalk will connect residential areas along Rockbridge to retail establishments in the East Park Place and U.S. Highway 78 area.

CMES Inc. had the lowest of three bids at $1,486,449. The project stretches about 1.2 miles and includes the installation of sidewalks, curb and gutter and drainage improvements along the west side of Rockbridge Road. The project is funded by the 2009 SPLOST program.


 Cumberland Island National Seashore

From Bob Foreman, Grayson |  “We recently visited Cumberland Island, off the Georgia coast at St. Marys. We took the Lands and Legacy Tour on Cumberland Island. This has got to be the best tour deal ever in a National Park. It is a six hour tour of Cumberland. Mike Fulford, the guide, is an excellent tour guide and really knows the history of the island. The tour is $45/person. The ferry boat ride is $26/person round trip. Tours can sell out weeks in advance, especially weekends and holidays. Ferry tickets may also sell out, so it is a good idea to purchase in advance at www.cumberlandislandferry.com.  There is also a National Park entrance fee. We used our lifetime senior pass. Wilderness style camping is available on the island for those who do not mind roughing it. Allow about six hours driving time from Atlanta. Consider going in spring or fall when the weather is nice.”

An invitation: what books, restaurants, movies or web sites have you enjoyed recently? Send us your recent selection, along with a short paragraph (100 words) as to why you liked this, plus what you plan to visit or read next. –eeb


Banker Mills B. Lane played key role in Atlanta development

In the 1950s and 1960s Mills B. Lane Jr. played an important role in Atlanta‘s political development and economic expansion. As president of Atlanta-based Citizens and Southern National Bank (C&S), Lane pioneered innovative lending practices and earned national prominence for the bank, while financing much of the city’s physical redevelopment.


It was in Atlanta’s political arena, however, that his impact was perhaps most keenly felt. Working behind the scenes as a political insider, Lane leveraged his influence to promote good government and progressive candidates, and helped to build an institutional framework capable of resolving municipal disputes.

Mills Bee Lane Jr. was born in Savannah on January 29, 1912, to Mary Comer and Mills B. Lane Sr. After graduating from Yale University in New Haven, Conn., in 1934, he accepted a position in Valdosta as a clerk with C&S bank, which was founded by his father in 1906. Lane married Anne Waring, and the couple had two children, Mills B. Lane IV and Anita. (Mills B. Lane III was Lane’s nephew, his brother’s son. Lane IV would go on to found the Beehive Press in Savannah.)

The young Lane earned high marks for his fresh approach to the family business and quickly scaled the bank’s corporate ladder. Following his father’s death, Lane became bank president in 1946, a position he held for almost 30 years. When once asked to explain his success at the bank, Lane replied with equal parts humor and candor: “My father owned the joint.”

Though his lineage may have placed him on the path to the president’s office, it was Lane’s innovation and vision that allowed him to succeed once there. While president at C&S, Lane helped pioneer data processing, credit cards, “instant money,” and travel agency services to the bank’s customers. He lent money liberally, and he allowed all bank officers, even assistant cashiers, to make loans up to the bank’s legal limit. When coupled with a favorable investment climate during Georgia’s post–World War II (1941-45) economic boom, Lane’s willingness to take risks paid large dividends for the bank. By the time of his retirement in 1973, C&S had become the largest bank in the South and the most profitable among the 50 largest banks.

It was style as much as substance, however, that distinguished Lane’s leadership at C&S. Ever the showman, he amused and sometimes confounded observers with attention-grabbing stunts that might have seemed more appropriate at a carnival than at a bank. In order to promote Georgia’s wool industry, for example, Lane once herded a flock of sheep into the bank’s main lobby. To promote teamwork, he arrived at official bank meetings wearing baseball and football uniforms. And to encourage his executives to pursue bigger targets, Lane once donned a shooting jacket, stormed a C&S conference room, and unloaded a round of blank .30-caliber cartridges. “I’m a banking fugue,” he admitted, “a variation on a theme.”

Few people understood the relationship that existed between Atlanta’s economy and politics as well as Lane. As an influential member of the city’s tight-knit business community, Lane was a consummate insider, working behind the scenes to negotiate compromise and harmonize the city’s disparate voices during the civil rights movement.

After teaming with Ivan Allen Jr. to broker a desegregation compromise between members of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and student demonstrators in 1960, Lane managed Allen’s successful campaign for mayor the following year, and did so again in 1965. Also in 1960, at Allen’s request, Lane established the Commerce Club, an exclusive gathering place in downtown Atlanta designed to foster ties between the city’s business and civic communities. Throughout Allen’s tenure in office, Lane was a constant, if unseen, presence, advising the mayor on key decisions and underwriting much of the city’s physical development.

            (To be continued)


Trees, cars … clues abound for this edition’s Mystery Photo

The palm tree, some parking, and a building are clues for this edition’s Mystery Photo. Put it all together and what do you have? Send in your thoughts to elliott@brack.net and be sure to include your hometown.

What we thought might be a difficult Mystery Photo got several immediate responses, most of them right. First in was Tim Anderson of Fitzgerald saying: “It looks a lot like Plum Orchard on Cumberland Island. It was owned by one of Thomas Carnegie’s children.”  He was right. The photo was sent in by Bob Foreman of Grayson, who recommends (above) a visit to the island.

Michael Green of Milton writes: “Plum Orchard, an estate located on Cumberland Island on the coast of Georgia, was built for George Lauder Carnegie in 1898.  The Carnegie family owned most of Cumberland Island. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is now part of the Cumberland Island National Seashore. My wife and I toured it with a group (Georgia Association of Marine Educators) that stayed on the island in 1981.  We were fortunate to stay in former Carnegie staff quarters that served the large Carnegie mansion, Dungeness, now a ruin.”

Ann Sechrist of Snellville correctly identified the photo.  “Plumb Orchard, Cumberland Island – a favorite destination of ours. Our son’s memorial is on Cumberland Island.  We planted Live Oak trees 20 years ago in his memory. We have camped there as well. Just down right beautiful.”

Others recognizing the photo were Bryan Ginn, Suwanee; and Susan McBrayer Sugar Hill.

George Graf of  Palmyra, Va. writes about the photo: “Cumberland Island is Georgia’s largest and southernmost barrier island.  According to mymindisongeorgia.blogspot.com, members of the Carnegie family gave Georgia a tremendous gift in the 1970s when they deeded over a Carnegie mansion called Plum Orchard located on Cumberland Island to the National Park Service. They turned everything over in the mansion which measures 22,000 square feet and has 125 rooms including the furnishings like hand-blown Edison light bulbs and original Tiffany lampshades.  Andrew Carnegie lived well, but gave most of his wealth away.”


Lawrenceville utility work required before two-way traffic

Roving Photographer Frank Sharp found this improvement work going on in downtown Lawrenceville. This is a water utility replacement project before the city begins work on allowing two-way traffic on Perry Street. This project replaces a 50 year old 6” asbestos cement pipe with a new 12” ductile iron water pipe.  With this construction in the historic downtown area, the city uncovered stormwater pipe issues that required replacing 75 year old clay stormwater pipe that was failing.


(NEW) Rep. Rob Woodall (R-7th) will speak April 18 at 11:30 a.m. at a luncheon meeting of the Duluth-Norcross Kiwanis Club at City Hall on Duluth. Space is limited to the first 50 people and will be $15 per person. RSVP to grhode@juno.com by April 14.

Developmental Disabilities Benefits Workshop will be April 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Five Forks Branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library. It is sponsored by Gwinnett County Public Library, in partnership with All About Developmental Disabilities. If you are the parent or caregiver of a child who is approaching 18 years old and living with an intellectual/developmental disability, this is the perfect time to explore resources that promote greater independence.  This workshop will provide you with hands on instruction for family support services, DD/ID services, Social Security benefits, Medicaid waivers, transition planning, and more. Be sure to bring copies of your child’s IEP, transition plan, psychological evaluations, and medical records. For more information, please visit www.gwinnettpl.org or call 770-978-5154.

Rep. Scott Hilton will address the Peachtree Corners Business Association on April 20 at Ippolito’s in Peachtree Corners. The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $25 for drinks and appetizers. For registration visit membership@peachtreecornersba.com.

Lilburn Relay for Life Rally, Friday, April 21 at 5 until 9 p.m. at Lilburn City Park. Come to enjoy the fun-filled evening of games, food and fun. Entertainment will be provided. Have a team or be a sponsor. Sponsored by the Lilburn Woman’s Club. A survivors lap around the park will be at 6 p.m. For more details, email bdsnookybell@gmail.com.

Free paper shredding at Coolray Field from 9 a.m. until noon April 22 at Coolray Field, home of the Gwinnett Braves,  in Lawrenceville. This event will feature on-site paper shredding with a limit of five copier boxes per vehicle. This event is sponsored by Gwinnett County’s Solid Waste Management Division and Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful to promote sustainability while bringing awareness and encouraging residents to appreciate Mother Earth.

Free recycling in Lilburn is coming soon.  Each year the City of Lilburn asks a variety of recycling vendors to offer their services at one great event — the Great American Cleanup. This year’s event will be Saturday, April 22, from 8 a.m. until noon in the Greenway parking lot across from Lilburn City Park. This is an opportunity to clean out your garage, filing cabinet, etc.

Community Clean-up in Peachtree Corners will be April 22. Join with the United Peachtree Corners Community Association and Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful in making the city more attractive. Volunteers will work in small teams alongside city officials to clean up various litter and illegal signs around various roads in the city of Peachtree Corners. All supplies including bright safety vests, gloves, bags, large grippers and water will be provided. Adults and children 12 years old and older (accompanied by an adult) are invited and encouraged to participate. For more information or to organize your subdivisions group, please contact Matt Lombardi at mattlombardiupcca@yahoo.com

(NEW) Bear on the Square Mountain Festival, 21st edition, is in Dahlonega April 22-23. Admission is free to all Saturday and Sunday events. Complete information about the Bear festival, including schedules of activities, names of performers and artists, a listing of sponsors, and other information can be found at www.bearonthesquare.org.

DISCUSSION on April 23 at 3 p.m. at the Norcross Cultural and Community Center on Georgia  and Gwinnett politics and the recent election. Join Gwinnett County Public Library for coffee, questions, and a discussion on the changing face of Georgia and Gwinnett.  Professor of political science at Georgia State University, Dr. Robert M. Howard, will be leading this seminar. He is the executive director of the Southern Political Science Association and co-author of the latest edition of Politics in Georgia. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit www.gwinnettpl.org or call 770-978-5154.


HANDYMAN SERVICES: Whatever your home maintenance problem is, Isaias Rodriguez can help. An experienced painter, he is dependable in installing or repairing siding, gutters, ceramic tile, plumbing, garage doors, or any other problem around your home. He’ll even fix your bike! He is originally from Mexico and has been in Georgia since 1996. He is legally allowed to work in the United States and is insured. Give him a call at his home in Norcross at 404-569-8825 or email him at rodriguez_isais@yahoo.com. Visit his Facebook page at Neza construction and home repair to see some of his past work.


GwinnettForum is provided to you at no charge every Tuesday and Friday.

Meet our team


  • Location: We are located in Suite 225, 40 Technology Park, Peachtree Corners, Ga. 30092.
  • Work with us: If you would like to serve as an underwriter, click here to learn more.

Subscriptions to GwinnettForum are free.

  • Unsubscribe.  We hope you’ll keep receiving the great news and information from GwinnettForum, but if you need to unsubscribe, go to this page and unsubscribe in the appropriate box.

© 2017, Gwinnett Forum.com. Gwinnett Forum is an online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.