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North Gwinnett MS teacher named Volunteer of the Year

North Gwinnett MS teacher named Volunteer of the Year

SUGAR HILL, Ga. -- A music teacher at North Gwinnett Middle School has been named the Georgia Music Educators Association's Volunteer of the Year.

Amy Clement earned the honor for her years of service to the association in several key leadership roles.

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Clement has been at North Gwinnett Middle for four years. Under her guidance, the school's orchestra has consistently received superior ratings in evaluations and competitions. Several of her students have gone on to participate in county and state honor orchestras.

New principals named to 3 Gwinnett schools

New principals named to 3 Gwinnett schools

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- The Gwinnett County Board of Education has chosen new principals for three public elementary schools.

Ruth Westbrooks is now the principal of Puckett's Mill Elementary in Dacula. She most recently served as assistant principal at Partee Elementary in Snellville, a position she'd held since 2008.

Westbrooks has also worked as a teacher and a literacy coach. She holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Georgia State University and a master's degree in reading and literacy from Walden University. Westbrooks also earned certification in educational leadership from the University of West Georgia.

She replaces Michelle Farmer, who is now director of leadership development in the Division of Human Resources.

Clifton Alexander is the new principal at Simonton Elementary in Lawrenceville. He comes to the school from Meadowcreek Elementary in Norcross, where he had been an assistant principal since 2009.

Shop with a Jock takes kids on Falcons shopping spree

Shop with a Jock takes kids on Falcons shopping spree

ATLANTA -- Forty kids from the Odyssey Villas apartments in Vine City get a chance to go on a shopping spree this week with some of their football heroes.

The Shop with a Jock program pairs Atlanta Falcons players, including tight end Tony Gonzalez and wide receiver Julio Jones, with disadvantaged children for a Christmas shopping trip to Walmart.

The Walmart on Lawrenceville Suwanee Road in Suwanee has agreed to host the Shop with a Jock kids at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Participating children are selected through Odyssey Villas' Action Ministries Atlanta program.

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Gwinnett Sheriff's captain passes away

Gwinnett Sheriff's captain passes away

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Laura Lynne Hicks, a 25-year veteran of the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office, passed away Tuesday.

Hicks had been battling cancer, the sheriff's office said. She was 48.

"Captain Laura Hicks was a true professional law enforcement officer who made a difference to her department, community and friends. If nothing else, the overwhelming number of people who volunteered to help Laura or called to express their concerns during her illness says volumes about the positive influence Laura had on people," Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Walker said in a statement.

Hicks was hired as a deputy sheriff in May 1987 and served in virtually every division of the department as she climbed the ranks. She also graduated first in her class from the Northeast Georgia Regional Police Academy. Sheriff Conway made Hicks a captain in 2005.

Celebrity Softball Game played for childhood cancer research

Celebrity Softball Game played for childhood cancer research

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Atlanta Braves' All-Star catcher Brian McCann and his wife Ashley, along with Jet Sports Management and the Chipper Jones Family Foundation are now selling tickets for the Celebrity Softball Game on Saturday, November 3 at Coolray Field.

The McCann family, and the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research are giving children 10 and under free admission. Students can attend the game for $5, and $10 for adults.

With the first pitch set for 12:35 p.m., The Varsity, Coca-cola and Caribou Coffee will sell food and drinks.

According to an Atlanta Braves spokesperson, the game serves as one of two events in the Delta Air Lines Double Play, which has raised over $1.3 million for childhood cancer research.



Gwinnett commissioner pleads guilty to bribery

Gwinnett commissioner pleads guilty to bribery

ATLANTA -- Gwinnett County Commissioner Shirley Lasseter has pleaded guilty in federal court in Atlanta to a charge of accepting bribes in exchange for her support of a proposed real estate development in her district.

Lasseter, her son John Fanning and Carl "Skip" Cain all pleaded guilty Thursday in the bribery scheme. Fanning and Cain also pleaded guilty to a drug trafficking charge.

Lasseter and Cain accepted thousands of dollars in cash last year from an undercover FBI agent posing as a businessman. Fanning was promised a 50 percent stake in a pawn shop that was to be part of the project.

The agent told the three he was involved in drug trafficking, and Fanning and Cain made it clear to him that they would like to get involved with that.