4/7: Mayberry Moments; On William C. O’Kelley; Against larger boards

GwinnettForum  |  Number 17.02  |  April 7, 2017  
REMEMBER THIS SHOW?  All the same actors won’t be present, but a few of the original Darlings from the Andy Griffith Show will be coming to Duluth soon to the Red Clay Theater. For details on this show, see Today’s Focus below.
TODAY’S FOCUS: Mayberry Moments Coming to Duluth’s Red Clay Theater on May 6
EEB PERSPECTIVE: Gwinnett To Lose Its Most Senior Government Official Soon
ANOTHER VIEW: Opposes Larger Boards in Gwinnett and Suggests a County Charter
SPOTLIGHT: Hayes Automotive Group
FEEDBACK: More on Old Rural Buildings and Insurance for Congress Members
UPCOMING: Gwinnett To Resurface 170 Miles of Roadway This Year
NOTABLE: Lawrenceville Picks 12 Residents for Hooper-Renwick Committee
RECOMMENDED: Historic Rural Churches of Georgia, by Sonny Seals and George S. Hart
GEORGIA TIDBIT: Air Crash in Paris Leads To Establishment of Memorial Arts Center
TODAY’S QUOTE: Hunting for the Exact Right Word
MYSTERY PHOTO: There’s A Story Behind Today’s Mystery Photo
LAGNIAPPE: New Painted-on-Road Directions Help Maneuver in Lilburn
CALENDAR: Bird Walk at George Pearce Park This Saturday Morning

Mayberry Moments coming to Duluth’s Red Clay Theater on May 6

By Slade Lail, Duluth, Ga.  |  The real Mayberry is coming to Duluth! Don’t miss the opportunity to experience a true piece of Americana.  Mayberry Moments will be at the Red Clay Theater on Saturday, May 6 at 8 p.m.  Come meet original Andy Griffith show cast members Maggie Peterson and Rodney Dillard.  Maggie played Charlene Darling and Rodney played one of the brothers in the Darling family band.


When the bluegrass-playing family, the Darlings, made it to town they always brought with them entertainment and mayhem.  This carries on today in the Mayberry Moments production.  During the show you’ll have the chance to hear Rodney Dillard’s band, “The Dillards,” perform well known Mayberry classics such as Dooley, Doug’s Tune, and There is a Time.  You’ll also hear stories and anecdotes of what life was like on the set while filming the American TV classic, The Andy Griffith Show.  Maggie Peterson is sure to have tales about what it was like being the only girl in the Darling family.  She will also join in singing with “The Dillards.”

The Mayberry Moments show will be led by David Browning, also known as The Mayberry Deputy.  Mr. Browning’s portrayal of Barney Fife is like no other and is spot on!  David has traveled across the country portraying the character at more than 5000 events.  Before the death of Don Knotts in 2006 David had the opportunity to tour with Mr. Knotts as his opening act.  David says audiences love Mayberry Moments because it takes them back to a simpler time of American life.  He says, “In the world we live in today, people are searching for their own Mayberry.  I value the Mayberry deputy character for what it gives people today – a laugh, a lift, and memories.”

Lail Family Dentistry in Duluth is sponsoring Mayberry Moments at the Red Clay Theater.  On the afternoon of May 6th a 1962 Ford Galaxie Mayberry police car (that I own) will be at the Red Clay Theater for fans to sit in and take pictures.  Come early and you may get the chance to “go on patrol” around town!

The car alone brings a smile to people’s face whenever it is out for a drive around Duluth. People often put their phones out of their car windows to take pictures of it.  Some people even chase the car down and ask for a picture with the classic Mayberry squad car.

Mayberry Moments is a family-friendly event that will entertain both young and old.  After the show the audience will have the chance to meet the performers, get autographs, and find CDs and other merchandise for purchase.  Tickets are available now. Seating is limited.  For tickets, go to EddieOwenPresents.com or call 404-478-2749.


Gwinnett to lose its most senior government official soon

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher |  Gwinnett will soon lose its highest ranking Federal official, as Judge William C. O’Kelley and his wife are moving their residence from Norcross to their farm on Lake Lanier near Murrayville in Hall County. Actually, Judge O’Kelley is the highest Federal official in Georgia, and possibly the Southeast.

In his 47th year on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, O’Kelley, now 87, was appointed to the lifetime tenure by President Richard Nixon in 1970. He remembers the day he learned of the appointment:

“I was in Jacksonville, Fla., with a client at his office, and got a call from the White House. They surprised me saying that the president had sent my name to the Congress to be appointed to the court. I immediately got a plane back to Atlanta. This was in early October and the Congress was going to adjourn sine die in 10 days, and if not approved by that time, the nomination would cease to exist.

“We had just a few days to get approved from the Georgia senators’ (Russell and Talmadge).  In the same week I got the senator’s approval, was confirmed by the Congress, and was sworn in on October 14, 1970. It was fast!”

Back in 2005, former and current law clerks and friends of Bill O’Kelley raised money to fund a scholarship at Emory University in the judge’s name. Eventually, the fund eventually topped $100,000. Bill and Teeny O’Kelley hold up a check mock-up of the scholarship funding at a reception in his honor.

Judge O’Kelley is a native of Atlanta, graduated from Emory University and its law school and got married to Teeny (Allen) immediately after law school. Two weeks later he was commissioned  an officer in the Air Force and served as a lawyer for four years, including time in Albany, Ga., Japan and French Morocco. For two years, his home in Morocco was at the Sidi Slimane Air Base of the  Strategic Air Command, where the family lived on the base “in a desert between Fez and Rabat,” he says.

After his military duty, O’Kelley formed a partnership with his former law school classmate, Lowell Hopkins, in a general practice (later O’Kelley, Hopkins and van Gerpen), primarily doing insurance casualty work, defending auto firms in liability cases and with a limited real estate practice of reviewing loans.

He was active in Republican Party circles. “I did not want to be in elected politics.  I enjoyed supporting and working for the right people. I just wanted to practice law.”

The O’Kelleys initially lived in Chamblee, but moved to Gwinnett in Norcross during a freak “blizzard” on December 31, 1963.   “Bill wanted to be in the house on January 1 to get the homestead exemption,” Teeny remembers. The road ended at their house, and they could barely see another house.

When Judge O’Kelley was practicing law, the Northern District Court had only two judges. President John Kennedy added another, and in 1969 President Nixon added three more judicial slots, including Judge O’Kelley. Today the court has 11 judges, plus five judges with “senior status,” including O’Kelley, meaning they have a greatly reduced caseload.

“I have about half the caseload I had before,” the judge says. But the work has changed over the years, with fewer trials.  “Today it’s mostly writing opinions on written motions,” he says. “I’ve not tried a jury case in several months.”  Judge O’Kelley has worked principally out of the Gainesville district office for many years, though he also has an office in Atlanta.

Living near Murrayville, he’ll reduce his office commute, which is 40 miles from Norcross, to about 10 miles. The O’Kelleys have two children and five grandchildren and two great granddaughters. They have sold their Norcross home, and plan to move next week.

Though the O’Kelleys will be just up the road, Gwinnett will miss them.


Opposes larger boards in Gwinnett and suggests a county charter

By Joe Briggs, Buford, Ga.  |  Re: “A much more diverse board structure in Gwinnett.”

I strongly oppose increasing the size of elected government in Gwinnett County along with any efforts to “diversify” our representation. That’s not to say that some changes to enhance transparency and access to elected office aren’t needed. But those should be in the form of a county charter.

Fewer elected officials means that each one is under greater scrutiny to deliver on their election promises. More positions open the opportunity for alliances, division, and the stalemate of party rancor. Fewer positions mean a simple ballot and election season that educates the voter to make an informed decision.  A full page of unfamiliar choices leaves people voting by party.

It’s been a long while since MLK’s Dream speech. It’s past time that we eliminate race altogether in our thinking. Let the most qualified, the hardest working, the highest achiever, win on those merits alone. Bringing up “diversity” is an ugly reminder that we are not there yet. I think we are.

We do need changes.  The county needs a clear and simple charter or constitution that lays out our form of governance in stone without endless references to the Secretary Of State’s website. Each elected position and its responsibilities and authorities should be spelled out along with its term, term limits, qualifications, and compensation.

Potential candidates should not have to be interviewed by a county employee or qualified by a recognized political party to get on the ballot. And why should it cost more for a judge ($5,000) than a Education board member ($500)? Those are ridiculously high fees that inhibit “inclusion” by any race.

We need to only go to the polls once. Twice only if there is a primary, and those dates should coincide with national and state elections. Having to go to the polls more than that causes voter confusion and disconnection from civic participation.

Perhaps the single greatest feature that should be incorporated in a charter would be a voter initiative that is enjoyed by many states and municipalities. It describes a process whereby legal residents can place a question on the ballot by collecting a qualifying number of resident signatures. Elected officials are then obligated to take the question up in their next session. Issues could range from building parks to a tax cap to expanding MARTA.  Voter initiatives steer elected officials into recognizing the direct will of the voter and engage the electorate in civil matters.

Before the Mayflower pilgrims allowed themselves to come ashore after a long beating at sea, they took the time to write a charter or compact agreeing how they would govern themselves in this new situation.  Those simple rules helped them survive the first two devastating winters. It’s past time that we take a break to write and adopt a charter before going further that demystifies how we do government in Gwinnett and levels the playing field for candidates and residents alike.


Hayes Family Automotive Group

The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today’s sponsor is Hayes Family Automotive Group with Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC. Mike, Tim and Ted Hayes of Lawrenceville and Gainesville with Terry Hayes of Baldwin invite you into their showrooms to look over their line-up of automobiles and trucks. Hayes has been in the automotive business for over 40 years, and is North Georgia’s oldest family-owned dealerships. The family is the winner of the 2002 Georgia Family Business of the Year Award. We know that you have high expectations, and as a car dealer we enjoy the challenge of meeting and exceeding those standards each and every time. Allow us to demonstrate our commitment to excellence!


Remember those buildings which once said “See Rock City?”

Editor, the Forum:

I’m so glad someone wrote about “old buildings.” They always invoke a kind of nostalgia when I pass by one. It makes me think about who lived there and what did they do and where did they go.

There were several old buildings I used to pass on my way to Americus to visit my daughter when she went to Georgia Southwestern College.  I would travel the back roads from here, going through small towns along the way. I remember one time going down there, passing a large cotton field that was just harvested. Cotton everywhere along the road. It looked like snow if you didn’t know better.

There was a large old barn in that field near the road, and if a good wind came along, it would fall down. It had the “See Rock City” on one side of it. I don’t know if it’s still there, but I’m hoping it is and will always be there for others to enjoy and wonder.

Happy Birthday, Gwinnett Forum! May you have many more years entertaining and informing us with fair and balance reporting.

— Sara Rawlins, Lawrenceville

Happy birthday!

Editor, the Forum:

We were very fortunate to become subscribers to your wonderful work when we moved to Gwinnett 15 years ago and have enjoyed reading it.  We thank you for the hard work it represents; not that we always agree with you.  We have particularly found the entries by Debra Houston to be thought-provoking and interesting.  We wish you many more years of publication.

— Don and Janet Gibson, Lilburn

Another who wants Congress to have same insurance as rest of us

Editor, the Forum:

Again George Wilson proves that he liberally drinks the Democratic Party Punch and talking points and regurgitates them perfectly.  Only problem, he’s still wrong.

Republicans don’t “now own” anything about the broken mess called Obamacare. His liberal buddies still own it.

Republicans have been waiting at the table to talk for seven long years and Democrats have thumbed their nose at this effort.  This fix is really quite simple: just pass a law that requires all members of government, including Congress, to use the exact same healthcare as the voters. We would see both sides immediately work towards a fantastic system, “Greatest System Ever” in President Trump’s words, most likely “free market” without government interference.

Interesting, that sounds much like what the voters have been requesting for seven years now!

— Steve Rausch, Peachtree Corners

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


Gwinnett to resurface 170 miles of roadway this year

Gwinnett County Commissioners on March 21 awarded $23 million in resurfacing contracts and accepted grant funds to pay for 26 percent of the cost. The grant funds come from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Gwinnett County documents roads in need of resurfacing every year. Transportation employees rate the pavement status on about half of the County-maintained roads annually. That data is then sorted to identify the roads in most need of resurfacing. Out of more than 2,500 centerline miles of road maintained, Gwinnett will resurface close to 170 miles this year.

For the purposes of this bid, the County was split into four areas: north, northwest, west, and southwest. Contractors could submit bids on one or all of these areas.

Of the five responses received, ER Snell Contractor Inc. had the lowest bid on three of sections and Pittman Construction Company had the lowest bid on the fourth. Together their bids total $23,227,329.75 to resurface 169.34 miles of roadway.

The County’s share of the project is funded by the recently approved 2017 SPLOST program and the 2014 SPLOST program. The state funding is through the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant program.

Gwinnett County Transportation Director Alan Chapman said, “Resurfacing studies and our own experience have shown if we can maintain the riding surface on a roadway, we will spend less money over time keeping it in good repair.” Funds spent on resurfacing cut down the amount spent on patching or completely rebuilding a roadway.

21st annual Bear on the Square Festival in Dahlonega is April 21-23

The 21st annual Dahlonega’s Bear on the Square Mountain Festival will continue to provide family fun the weekend of April 22-23 with an expanded program of activities for participants. The 2017 celebration has added a major new event, the Moonlight Jam, which will take place on Saturday evening of the festival.

A bluegrass band plays at a recent Bear on the Square Festival. (Photo by Lamar Bates.)

The festival will be staged, rain or shine, in and around the town’s Historic Public Square the fourth weekend of April, one week later than usual to avoid conflicting with the Easter weekend. Here is a rundown of highlights for this year’s 21st Bear on the Square festival:

Friday, April 21 the events include:

  • Jamming on the Square: This is the festival’s favorite participant activity, and the jamming will go on, day and night, throughout the Bear weekend. Many  have been coming to the festival for many years.
  • Live and Silent Country Auction: This is the largest fundraiser for Bear, which opens its doors at 5 p.m. on Friday night. Admission to the MainStage Tent, the scene of the auctions, is $5 and covers the cost of a bidding paddle, dinner and wine. The live auction will get underway at 7 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday, April 22 and 23:

  • Music in the MainStage Tent: Performances by 11 bands and individual musicians are scheduled in the MainStage Tent throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. The opening event on Sunday morning will be the Gospel Jam. There is no cost for admission to any performance.
  • Moonlight Jam in MainStage Tent: The inaugural Moonlight Jam will be on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. This free event will be hosted by banjo artist,  the Rev. Jeff Mosier. The jam will consist of performances by Mosier’s band and other guest performers
  • Artist Marketplace: Held around the Historic Public Square on Saturday and Sunday, the Marketplace presents the juried work from regional artists. This year the market will have 90 booths.
  • Storytelling: The Southern Order or Storytellers has compiled a lineup of storytellers for Saturday and Sunday. It will kick-off on Saturday morning in the MainStage Tent at 10:30 a.m. A storytelling workshop will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday in Uncle Woodrow’s Workshop Tent on East Main Street.

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.


Lawrenceville picks 12 residents for Hooper-Renwick Committee

The City of Lawrenceville selected twelve volunteers to serve on its first-ever Legacy Preservation Committee. The Hooper-Renwick Legacy Preservation Committee will comprise the following members: Theresa Bailey, Constance Brown, Pastor Ronald Dunnigan, Gary Glenn, Rory Johnson, Greg Lott, John Maxey, Joyce Moore, Rubye Neal, Johnny Smith, Marlene Taylor-Crawford, and Gwendolyn Brown Taylor.

Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson says: “Our purpose is to find solutions that help the City achieve its goals for redeveloping the downtown while simultaneously honoring a significant piece of Lawrenceville’s history.”

The Committee has been formed to engage and involve the Hooper-Renwick community and outline multiple options for honoring and preserving the legacy and impact of Hooper-Renwick. Members were chosen by a nomination committee composed of Ms. Rubye Neal; Greg Lott; Marlyn Tillman, president of the NAACP, Gwinnett Chapter; and Marlene Taylor-Crawford, president of the United Ebony Society; and Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson.

The Hooper Renwick Legacy Preservation Committee is expected to meet once a month for a one-year term with possible trips to local parks, museums, and historic sites to gather information on the best way to honor and preserve the legacy of Hooper-Renwick.  The City has selected the Carl Vinson Institute at the University of Georgia to conduct the meetings and will consider other consultants along the way to potentially provide conceptual visioning of various options.

Lilburn seeking applications for 8th annual farmers market

The Lilburn Farmers Market is accepting applications for the eighth year of their seasonal market operating every Friday in June, July and August from 4 to 8 p.m. located at 1400 Killian Hill Road in Lilburn,. The market is a producer only market and is seeking vendors of food and food related items. Applications are also being accepted for food trucks.

Partnering with Wholesome Wave Georgia, the Lilburn Farmers Market will again be associated with the Georgia Fresh for Less program which doubles the EBT/SNAP benefits on eligible purchases at the market.

The Lilburn Farmers Market has recently been awarded the 2017 AgSouth Farm Credit’s ‘Think Outside the Store’ grant to help promote the market and to encourage our community to think ‘farm fresh’ when planning their meals. The Lilburn Farmers Market is sponsored by Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church. More information about the market can be found at www.lilburnfarmersmarket.org.


 Historic Rural Churches of Georgia

By Sonny Seals and George S. Hart

Reviewed by Bob Foreman of Grayson  |  My daughter gave me the book for my birthday.  It is a comprehensive look at old rural church architecture in Georgia.  Some of these buildings are in ruins and some of them have been wonderfully fully restored. The book documents these building before they could disappear and encourages people to take steps to save them. A non-profit was formed in 2013 for the purpose of researching and documenting Georgia’s most historic and architecturally significant rural churches structures. This is not just a book you leave on the coffee table. The book is full of beautiful photographs and great descriptions of the history of many of these churches. It is not just nostalgia.  It is history. If you grew up in rural Georgia, you may find your home church by clicking on the name of the county when visiting the web site: www.hrcga.org/home/.

  • 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

Air crash in Paris leads to establishment of Memorial Arts Center

On June 3, 1962, many of Atlanta‘s civic and cultural leaders were returning from a museum tour of Europe sponsored by the Atlanta Art Association when their chartered Boeing 707 crashed upon takeoff at Orly Field near Paris, France.

Memorial Arts Building

Of the 122 passengers that died, 106 were Atlantans (eight crew members also died; two stewardesses sitting in the tail section survived). In an instant the core of Atlanta’s arts community was gone. Thirty-three children and young adults lost both parents in the crash. Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. traveled to Paris to assist with the recovery efforts.

Artists Helen Clark Seydel and Louise Taylor Turner perished on the flight, as did 26-year-old W. David Cogland, a commercial artist who taught art therapy to mental health patients at the Central State Hospital in Milledgeville and who was among the youngest on the flight. Also traveling were the president of the Atlanta Art Association, Del Paige, and association members Anne Merritt, Lydia Black, and Ruth McMillan (who organized the trip). Atlanta businessman Roby Robinson and his wife, Louise, perished.

Expressions of grief and sympathy flowed into Atlanta from around the world. Within days of the crash, memorial gifts benefiting the Atlanta Art Association were established; $15 million was raised for the establishment of a memorial cultural center, which was to include a new home for the visual and performing arts in the city.

Founded in 1905, the Atlanta Art Association had acquired the Peachtree Street home of Mrs. Joseph Madison High in 1926 and other property, including the adjacent home of Edgar P. McBurney. New galleries were constructed on the site in 1955. In 1959 the association acquired the 18th-century Thornton House in Union Point, which was moved to their Atlanta property and restored as a house museum. The Atlanta Arts Association Women’s Committee had established a successful tearoom, gift shop, and gallery in the former McBurney coach house.

After the Orly disaster the Atlanta Art Association evolved into the Atlanta Arts Alliance, which would eventually administer the High Museum of Art, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Alliance Theatre, the 14th Street Playhouse, and the Atlanta College of Art.

Builders broke ground for the Atlanta Memorial Arts Center on June 3, 1966. The center was opened to the public in 1968, when a casting of Auguste Rodin’s The Shade (L’Ombre) was presented by the French government to the city of Atlanta, in memory of those who died at Orly. The campus of the Atlanta Arts Alliance has continued to evolve, and the Memorial Arts Building is now situated amid other buildings at the Woodruff Arts Center campus. The building remains a vibrant memorial to those who devoted their energies to the betterment of humanity through art achievement in Atlanta and beyond.


More than a mystery, find the story behind today’s photo


Today’s Mystery Photo is a vintage one, but a photo with a story behind it. Can you identify this old photo and tower, which is still standing today?  Send in your thoughts to elliott@brack.net and be sure to include your hometown.

The most recent Mystery Photo proved difficult, as only George Graf of Palmyra, Va. recognized it, and even he said it was difficult. The photo was submitted  by Susan McBrayer of Sugar Hill.  George correctly identified The Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Hartford, Conn.

He wrote: “According to history.com, after moving to Maine, where, in response to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), her most celebrated work. Stowe was unconcerned about the tactics that made slavery a political issue.  Her stated purpose, ‘to awaken sympathy and feeling for the African race’ and to urge that readers ‘feel right’ about the issue, belongs to a feminist and utopian agenda that contemporary readers were slow to recognize.  Although Stowe blamed the slave system itself as ‘the essence of all abuse’ rather than the slaveholders, the novel’s effect was to exacerbate regional antagonisms. Indeed, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which called forth anti-Tom novels from Southern writers, so raised the temperature of the dialogue that Lincoln would later, half-seriously, apportion to Stowe some responsibility for starting the Civil War.”


ROAD MARKINGS around the new Lilburn City Hall and Library, and in the roundabouts near these two areas are new feature in Lilburn. The clearly-marked painted-on-rod guide makes the route through the area much easier for motorists.


(NEW) Bird Walk at George Pierce Park, Saturday, April 8, sponsored by the Southern Wings Bird club. Members Dan Douthart and John Deitsch will lead the walk on a paved path, leaving at 9 a.m. from the back parking lot.

Retired Atlanta Braves’ Chipper Jones will be at Coolray Field in Gwinnett on April 8 at 5 p.m. The Gwinnett County Public Library will host his appearance. Tickets to the Gwinnett Braves’ game vs. Durham (at 6:05pm) must be purchased to access the book signing.  To get a signed copy of his book, Ballplayer, attendees must purchase the book from Eagle Eye Book Shop.  You may reserve a copy now, or Ballplayer will be available for purchase at the store or through their website, www.eagleeyebooks.com, on April 4.

11th Annual Supplier Symposium for firms wanting to do business with Gwinnett County. The symposium will be April 11 starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.  Attendees will meet buyers and contracting officers from the Purchasing Division and other metro Atlanta agencies and take advantage of networking opportunities designed to create relationships.  For more information about the event and to register, visit this site.

Literary Summit at 10 a.m. April 12 at the Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) Auditorium in Lawrenceville. Join Gwinnett County Public Library, in partnership with GGC, for a literary summit with bestselling author Thomas Mullen, author Richard Hoard, professor and publishing entrepreneur Dr. Steven Brown, author and CEO and founder of Deeds Publishing Bob Babcock, and Gwinnett Daily Post sports editor Will Hammock. For more information, please visit www.gwinnettpl.org or call 770-978-5154.

Ribbon Cutting and grand opening at 4 p.m. April 12 for new Eastside Urgent Care Center, at 3641 Centerville Highway, Snellville. For more information, email Hope.Moeck@hcahealthcare.com.

Social Media Marketing Workshop, on April 13 at 6 p.m. at the Grayson Branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library.  Learn how to market your business and gain attention through the use of social media sites.  This workshop will cover basic strategies you can use to drive traffic to your website and more effectively promote your products or services.  Workshop topics include website design and strategy, branding, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. For more information, please call 770-978-5154 or visit www.gwinnettpl.org.

Pete the Cat’s Author, Eric Litwin, will be at the Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville on Saturday, April 15, for two shows, at 10 a.m. and 11.30. Litwin is a “guitar-strumming, book-writing, harmonica-blowing, banjo-picking, song-singing, five-time national award-winning, folksy, fun type guy.” Join Gwinnett County Public Library for a delightful morning.  All ages are welcome.  Books will be available for purchase and signing courtesy of Books for Less.  Tickets are $7.00 each for ages two and over.  Tickets available at www.auroratheatre.com.

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.

(NEW) 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.

(NEW) 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.

(NEW) 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.

(NEW) 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.

(NEW) 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


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


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