12/12: New baseball name; Largest school is Norcross; PCOM plans 2nd campus

GwinnettForum  |  Number 16.69  |  Dec. 12, 2017

A NEW DIVIDED STREET in Duluth is being named for George Rogers, a Duluth High graduate who won football’s Heisman Trophy when at the University of South Carolina. The street with divided median branching off from the Duluth Roundabout is the street named for Rogers. It is connected with Georgia Highway 120 north of the Roundabout. See more detail in Notable below.
TODAY’S FOCUS: New Name for Gwinnett AAA Baseball Team To Be The Stripers
EEB PERSPECTIVE: Norcross High School Ranks as Largest in Attendance in Georgia
ANOTHER VIEW: PCOM Plans Second Georgia Campus To Be Located in Moultrie
SPOTLIGHT: Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce
McLEMORE’S WORLD:  What’s a Commodore?
UPCOMING: Gwinnett Kicks Off Bi-Centennial Year on December 15, 2017
NOTABLE: Lawrenceville Firm Wins Hispanic Construction Association Award
RECOMMENDED: Hunger by Roxane Gay
GEORGIA TIDBIT: Nellie Peters Black Synonym for Charity, Humanity and Citizenship
TODAY’S QUOTE: Mistakes Are Precious Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way
MYSTERY PHOTO: Well-Manicured Grass Is Major Clue to This Mystery Photo
LAGNIAPPE: Snowfall Brings Different Views for Gwinnett Scenes
CALENDAR: Georgia Campus of PCOM Plans Open House This Week

New name for Gwinnett AAA Baseball to be the Stripers

By Dave Lezotte, Lawrenceville, Ga.  |  The Gwinnett Stripers! That’s the new name of the Gwinnett Baseball Club. Following nine seasons as the Gwinnett Braves, the Triple-A International League team will now be known as the Gwinnett Stripers.

The Stripers are the first unique team identity for an Atlanta Braves-owned Minor League Baseball franchise.

Vice President and General Manager North Johnson says: “We are excited to begin a new era as the Stripers. Gwinnett County is known for offering a wide variety of outdoor activities, including year-round striped bass fishing on Lake Lanier. As the Stripers, we will honor that outdoor tradition while sporting a unique identity that fans across the region can embrace.”

The Stripers name was chosen following a six-month creative process that included input from the Atlanta Braves, sports marketing firm Brandiose, and submissions from the fans. A total of 4,024 submissions and over 900 different names were sent in by fans during a “Name the Team” contest in May, and a selection committee narrowed the entries down to six finalists in July: Big Mouths, Buttons, Gobblers, Hush Puppies, Lambchops and Sweet Teas.

With help from a public online vote, the selection committee initially decided on Big Mouths. In the process of developing the logos and uniforms, however, it was determined that the Big Mouths moniker was not fitting with the ultimate vision of the team. Further discussion and development resulted in a change to the Stripers, a name that was included in the fan submissions but was not one of the six finalists.

“Big Mouths was the inspiration that ultimately led to the Stripers,” says Johnson. “We felt focusing on the striped bass would better reflect our community, with Lake Lanier known as a premier destination for striped bass fishing and located just a short drive away from Coolray Field. The Stripers name perfectly fits the region while also having a timeless baseball feel.”

With Big Mouths and Stripers both considered winners of the “Name the Team” contest, and each name submitted by multiple fans, the team has randomly selected one fan from each group to receive two 2018 season tickets. Patrick Kelly of Decatur (Big Mouths), and Jay Andrews of Sugar Hill, (Stripers) have both been selected.

The Stripers logos are both fresh and traditional, featuring the team’s new main color of “Striper Green” paired alongside the familiar Braves Navy and Red. The Stripers are the first professional sports team to use this color combination.

Regular home and road uniforms will introduce navy pinstripes to the jerseys and pants for the first time in team history. Alternate uniforms will include a solid “Striper Green” jersey, as well as a retro jersey modeled after the Braves’ iconic blue-sleeved tops worn during the 1970s.

The Stripers look was brought to life at Brandiose in San Diego. Brandiose developed the logos and uniforms, and will help develop enhancements for the 2018 fan experience at Coolray Field.

Merchandise featuring the Stripers logos is on sale now at both the Coolray Field Team Store and online at the team’s new website, GoStripers.com.

The Gwinnett Stripers open the 2018 season with a road game on Friday, April 6 at the Norfolk Tides. The Stripers’ home opener at Coolray Field is set for Thursday, April 12 at vs. the Rochester Red Wings. Season ticket packages are available for purchase now by calling the Coolray Field Ticket Office at 678-277-0340.


Norcross High School ranks as largest in attendance in Georgia

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher  |  Several Gwinnett High Schools are among the largest in number of students in Georgia, with Norcross High School being the largest in the state.  It has a full time equivalent attendance of 3,817 students, according to figures released recently by the Georgia High School Association.  Six other Gwinnett high schools have at least 3,000 students in attendance.

We talked to William Bishop, principal of Norcross High, this week.  He has been principal of the school for six years, and is himself a graduate of Norcross High.  He’s a native of Virginia, but his family moved to the area when he was a third grader, and he’s been through three levels of school in Norcross. His mother, Laura Bishop, resides in Peachtree Corners. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech, and has two degrees in post graduate work from the University of South Carolina and has done graduate work at the University of Georgia.

How does being the largest high school in the state affect the students?  Bishop responds: “For the students, it gives them the opportunity of a lots of advantages, including a wide range of elective classes to take and students organizations in which to participate. Our size just allows us to do that for the students.”


While Norcross is the largest school in the state in attendance, the school was built to house approximately 3,000 students. To accommodate the larger enrollment, mobile classrooms have been brought in to cover the gap in classrooms. It now houses 30 mobile classrooms.  Bishop says: “If we didn’t have those extra classrooms, our class size would have to be larger.”

Next fall, attendance at Norcross High is expected to be lower, as the new Paul Duke STEM High School will open in the Norcross Cluster, and should relieve the attendance level at Norcross High.

Below is the full time equivalent attendance at other Gwinnett high schools.

Gwinnett               Full Time Equivalent
High School          In Attendance

Norcross                      3,817

Mill Creek                   3,668

Brookwood                 3,538

Peachtree Ridge          3,273

Meadowcreek             3,211

Collins Hill                  3,129

North Gwinnett           3,023

Grayson                       3,017

Parkview                     2,968

Berkmar                      2,917

Duluth                         2,760

Discovery                    2,694

South Gwinnett           2,624

Mountain View           2,623

Shiloh                          2,343

Central Gwinnett        2,170

Dacula                         2,121

Lanier                          1,842

Loganville                   1,660

Buford                        1,426

Greater Atlanta Ch.      718

Wesleyan                        496

Hebron                            366


PCOM plans second Georgia campus to be located in Moultrie

By Barbara Myers, Suwanee, Ga.  |  On December 5, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) received initial approval from its accrediting agency to establish an additional location in Moultrie, Ga. With this approval, the college will move forward with the development of PCOM South Georgia, a four-year campus with an opening class of 55 Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) students. Plans call for the new 75,000-square-foot institution to begin classes in August of 2019.

Since 1899, PCOM, a nonprofit institution of higher education, has trained highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to health care—treating people, not just symptoms. Since 2005, it has operated a second campus in Suwanee, Ga., which now has 1,105 students studying there.

PCOM President and CEO Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, says: “This accomplishment is a credit to the commitment of the Southwest Georgia Medical Education and Research Consortium and all partners who have joined forces to bring this idea to fruition. We’re confident PCOM South Georgia will have a positive impact on health care in the South Georgia region.”

The consortium is a partnership of independent hospitals in Southwest Georgia. It was established in an effort to address healthcare access and physician planning through the development of a medical education pipeline and graduate medical education programs.

PCOM received initial approval from the American Osteopathic Association’s (AOA) Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) for the Moultrie location and met the criteria as outlined by the accrediting agency, including an assessment of support for the college from the South Georgia region.


Dean and Chief Academic Officer H. William Craver III, DO, adds: “We’re excited as we move forward in making significant investments in South Georgia in capital infrastructure, pipeline programming and the educational scope of the region. It is a pleasure to be working with physicians, healthcare facilities and educational partners in South Georgia. I am truly appreciative of the assistance of the consortium and its leadership, along with our founding anchor hospitals as this initiative progresses.”

GA-PCOM, PCOM’s branch campus in Suwanee, focuses on recruiting, educating, graduating and retaining health professions students from Georgia and the surrounding states.

The Moultrie location will join with GA-PCOM in this focus. In addition, recognizing the state’s critical need for physicians in the South Georgia region, PCOM South Georgia will seek to recruit qualified students who wish to pursue a career in rural medicine. To help accomplish this mission, PCOM is working to establish partnerships with colleges in the South Georgia region.


Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce

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What’s a Commodore?

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Gwinnett kicks off bicentennial year on Dec. 15, 2017

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners kicked off the County’s bicentennial observance last week with a proclamation declaring December 15, 2017, through December 15, 2018, Gwinnett County’s Bicentennial Year of Celebration.

December 15, 2017, is Gwinnett County’s 199th birthday and marks the start of a full year of activities, events, educational opportunities and capital projects that will highlight the county’s two centuries of rich history.

Members of the Gwinnett Bicentennial Advisory Committee and County staff accepted the honor as thanks for their work to organize the yearlong celebration. The group began organizing activities for the bicentennial in January 2017.

At the presentation, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash expressed excitement for the bicentennial and its potential to help residents learn about and get involved with Gwinnett. She also mentioned another bicentennial project: Gwinnett County’s Story Vault. She encouraged residents to participate in the ongoing effort to gather and record stories from the people who live, work and play in Gwinnett.

She says: “Story Vault helps us learn about our residents, new and old. It allows us to ask one of my favorite questions: “Why did you choose Gwinnett? If you have a story, sign up for a session. We’re always looking for new perspectives.” To schedule an appointment to record your own Story Vault video, email info@gwinnettcounty.com or call 770-822-7180.

This week also brought the launch of a historic site locator tool created by the County’s Department of Information Technology Services to help residents familiarize themselves with historic sites across Gwinnett County.

The locator is an interactive map that will allow visitors to remotely explore sites in the county, using photos and descriptions to highlight historic buildings, homes, markers, churches, cemeteries and other locations important to the formation and development of Gwinnett County. Some of the featured sites date back before the County’s creation in 1818.

Duluth builds new road, names it for Heisman winner George Rogers

Duluth officials, staff, and George Rogers himself will cut the ribbon to open the new George Rogers Avenue on Thursday, December 14 at 11 a.m. George Rogers is a Duluth High School graduate and football standout who went to the University of South Carolina and won the Heisman Trophy.


The new George Rogers Avenue connects the West Lawrenceville, McClure Bridge, and Irvindale Road corridors with Georgia Highway 120 at its intersection with Duluth High School.  This 1,200 foot long connection has one travel lane in each direction, a raised grassed median, and a 10’ wide pedestrian path on each side of the road.  Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists can use this connection to get to and from the Irvindale roundabout faster, and ultimately connect to various destinations such as downtown Duluth, various residential neighborhoods, Gwinnett Medical Center, Duluth High School and many other locations.

  • The ribbon cutting will take place at the West Lawrenceville Street roundabout. Parking is available at Joan Glancy rehab center. For more information about the project contact Margie Pozin at 678-957-7284.

Lawrenceville firm wins Hispanic Construction Association

Numerous local business leaders have received awards at the recent Georgia Hispanic Construction Association (GHCA) sixth annual Community Builder Appreciation Dinner. Close to 400 guests attended the sold-out event to honor the accomplishments of companies and individuals with extraordinary contributions. The evening of dinner and dancing featured top industry, civic, and community leaders and the success of Hispanic contractors in Georgia.

Announcement of the awards came from Wilson Tomala of Peachtree Corners, with Paul Davis Restoration and Remodeling of North America of Norcross.

This year’s gala theme, Building Bridges, exemplified the organization’s commitment to serve as the “bridge” that connects, leverages and builds Hispanic construction businesses and the community at large. GHCA as a nonprofit 501(c)(6) membership organization which develops and promotes the Hispanic construction industry throughout Georgia.

Among winners was E&D Granite City of 189 Hurricane Shoals Road, in Lawrenceville.

Gwinnett Place area has economic impact of $9.5 billion

As the premiere employment and activity center for the County, the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District (GPCID) has announced that Gwinnett Place has an impact of $9.5 billion on the economies of Gwinnett County and the state of Georgia. That number is derived from the fact that Gwinnett Place has a direct economic output of $4.5 billion, and indirect and induced effects of an additional $5 billion.

Joe Allen, executive director of GPCID, says: “We’re only one percent of the entire land area of Gwinnett County, but as the main commercial core, our area of influence provides a massive economic impact to the County.”

The number and density of jobs are steadily growing in the district. Gwinnett Place has an average of 6,049 jobs per square mile compared to 800 for the county. Since 2011, the Gwinnett Place area has added 10,000 jobs, and the current total employment impact of direct and indirect jobs in Gwinnett Place is 57,302.

There are 1,900 companies that provide Gwinnett Place employees with a total of $1.3 billion in annual net payroll, and the average employee salary is $53,000. The majority of jobs are in retail (24 percent), while 13 percent are in finance/insurance, eight percent are in management and six percent are in technology and science.

Greater Gwinnett Place also boasts 7,384 residents, and is diverse and young with 28,000 Millennials  living in the area, and 200,000 who live within three to 10 miles.

The study, conducted by Bleakly Advisory Group, also showed the total market value of real estate in the area to be $1.7 billion with a taxable value of $613 million (40 percent). The average market value of an acre of land is $728,000 versus ~$315,000 county-wide.

DAR chapter visits Lawrenceville Veteran’s Administration Center

The Philadelphia Winn Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution brought Christmas greetings to patients at the Gwinnett Veteran’s Administration Clinic on Riverside Drive in Lawrenceville last week. The Daughters assembled and decorated a Christmas tree, collected Christmas “goodies” and stuffed them into 25 large stockings, distributing them throughout the morning to veterans. A highlight of the event came at mid-morning , when a patient waiting room filled with veterans, joined in the singing of “Happy Birthday” to Peggy Freeman, state DAR Service To Veterans Chair, shown on the right. Other Philadelphia Winn Daughters participating in the Christmas event included Teri Tigh, left, and Treasurer Anne Lockhart .


Hunger by Roxane Gay

Reviewed by Karen Harris, Stone Mountain  |  Roxane Gay opens her life to readers with the goal of shedding light on how obese, morbidly obese and overweight people are shamed and denigrated in America. A devastating childhood event derailed her of love and ability to move through life with grace and confidence.  Using food to build her body into a fortress, she still was unable to establish a feeling of safety within her own skin. We learn about her trauma 30 years after it occurred and learn of her trying to lose weight. In addition to the psychological aspects of obesity and violence against women, she also explores the practical challenges to simply moving through life; getting a seat she can fit into on an airplane, finding chairs that will hold her body and dealing with insults and derision from strangers.  Readers will applaud her courage and only wish her complete healing and restoration.

  • 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.  Send to:  elliott@brack.net

Nellie Peters Black synonym for charity, humanity and citizenship

Mary Ellen Peters Black (known throughout her life as “Nellie”) personified the early club woman movement in the South. Black dedicated her life to organizing women for the purposes of benevolence, self-improvement, and social and civic reform.


Nellie Peters was born in Atlanta on February 9, 1851, the eldest of nine children. Her father, Richard Peters, emerged from the Civil War (1861-65) to become a financial and civic leader in postwar Atlanta. After graduating from finishing school, Nellie joined her family in their philanthropic and charitable endeavors.

Devoutly religious and a staunch Episcopalian, she taught Sunday school and organized the city’s first mission. At age 26 she married George Robison Black, a congressman from Screven County. The couple had three children before George Black died in 1886.

Nellie Black belonged to numerous civic and social organizations, including the Every Saturday Club, Pioneer Club of Atlanta, Colonial Dames, Daughters of the American Revolution, and United Daughters of the Confederacy. She held various positions of leadership in the Women’s Auxiliaries of the Episcopal Dioceses of Georgia and Atlanta. Through her membership in the Atlanta Woman’s Club, Atlanta Federation of Women’s Clubs, and the Georgia Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC), Black focused on social and municipal engineering. She served on the founding board of the King’s Daughters Hospital (the first free hospital in Atlanta) and the executive committee of the Woman’s Building at the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition.

Intent on increasing statewide educational opportunities, Black lobbied the state legislature for compulsory education laws and the admittance of women to the University of Georgia. An ardent supporter of early childhood education, she served as president of the Atlanta Free Kindergarten Association for twenty years and helped establish numerous kindergartens throughout the city. Although unsuccessful at the state level, Black persuaded the public school system in Atlanta to incorporate kindergartens into their schools in 1919.

In 1897 Black assumed management of the 1,400-acre Peters family farm in Gordon County. Interested in agricultural education and reform, she became one of the leading proponents in Georgia of the Country Life Movement, a rural reform movement inspired by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt’s Country Life Commission. In 1914 Black carried her crusade for agricultural diversification into the public forum when she chaired a series of rallies sponsored by the GFWC. Working with the Georgia Department of Agriculture, she toured each of the state’s congressional districts, encouraging farmers to diversify their crops and decrease their dependence upon cotton revenues and imported foodstuffs.]

During her three terms as president of the GFWC, Black vigorously supported U.S. president Woodrow Wilson‘s thrift and conservation campaigns. In her official capacity as a representative for the U.S. Department of Conservation during World War I (1917-18), she organized canned-food drives to benefit military hospitals. Black also served as president of the Conference of Southern Women, director of the School Garden Army of Georgia, and honorary chair of the Georgia Division of the Women’s Council of National Defense.

Upon her death in 1919, newspapers across the state praised Nellie Black’s service. The Atlanta Journal noted that “her name was a synonym for charity, for gentleness of spirit, for love of humanity, for constructive citizenship. No man or woman in the last century has exerted a stronger influence for the uplift and advancement of the state.” One editor claimed that “had [Black] been a man she would have been in the United States Senate.” In 1998 Black was inducted into Georgia Women of Achievement.


Well-manicured grass is major clue in this Mystery Photo

This nicely-framed picture is this edition’s Mystery Photo. Figure out where it is and send your idea and your address to elliott@brack.net.

Click to enlarge photo.

The super-wide Mystery Photo of the last edition was a tough one, since no one except George Graf of Palmyra, Va. was able to identify it.  The photo came from Videographer Nick Nicholson, formerly of Atlanta, and in Winston Salem, N.C., now on assignment in Peru.

Graf wrote: “You are really going to the four corners of the earth now.  I gave up lots of my free time to doggedly search for this location.  I spent hours searching southern California, Taiwan, and the Baja Peninsula.  Good job! Then I found what I think is the answer in Lima, Peru.  I think it is near a small oceanside park near Larcomar and overlooking Playa Redondo.”

Note: We forgot to mention the person sending in the Antwerp photo. It was newly-elected Norcross Councilman Chuck Paul.


Snowfall brings different views for Gwinnett scenes

The heavy snow in Gwinnett last Friday stirred Roving Photographer Frank Sharp to ride around and capture the wintry mix. One photo shows snow covering the walkway at the Lawrenceville Senior Center, while another is seen at the Historic Gwinnett Courthouse.


(NEW) Open House: Prospective medical students are invited to attend an Information Session at Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (GA-PCOM) on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 3 p.m. Admissions representatives will be available to discuss the college’s masters’ and doctoral degree programs.

Cookies and Cocoa with Santa Claus will be Saturday, December 16 from 10 a.m. until noon at the Red Clay Music Foundry in Duluth. Professional pictures will be taken on site and later posted on the City of Duluth’s Facebook page for download. The pictures are free of cost.

Writing Workshop with Journalist Drew Jubera, a five-time Pulitzer-nominated journalist, will be Saturday, December 16 at the Lilburn Branch of the Gwinnett county Public Library. It is hosted by the Library and the Atlanta Writers Club, and is free. RSVP to events@gwinnettpl.org.

Christmas Gala Holiday Pops will open the 2017-12018 subscription season by the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra on December 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Johns Creek United Methodist Church. Tickets for this public performance are $32 for adults; $27 for seniors; and $16 for students. For tickets, call (678) 748-5802 or visit www.johnscreeksymphony.org.


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