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Merry Christmas from Gov. Deal

Merry Christmas from Gov. Deal

ATLANTA -- Governor Nathan Deal issued a special holiday greeting for Georgia residents on Friday.

As Christmas nears, I wanted to wish every Georgian a merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.

Christmas has a special way of reminding us what is really important: our faith in God, family and the well-being of our fellow man.

But Christmas is not limited to a single season or date on a calendar. These feelings of peace and love are always with us throughout our lives. For many, Christmas serves as a rejuvenation of these values and ideals.

After the gifts are all unwrapped and the candles begin to dim, our spirits will once again be enriched and fully restored.

As we reflect on all we have been able to accomplish this past year, we will cary this rejuvenated spirit to achieve all the goals that we have set for the coming years.

Local Profile: Entrepreneur helps others with BlackBride.com

Atlanta - On January 22nd, the 2nd annual BlackBride.com bridal showcase will return to downtown Atlanta and the Marriott Marquis.

Mary Chatman is the President and CEO of the organization and being a resident of Suwanee, we at 11Alive's Where U Live wanted to sit down and hear her story.

Mary initially worked for BlackBride.com as a writer, but decided to make a power move once the previous owner put the site up for acquisition.  Mary, who has an extensive business background, jumped at the opportunity to acquire the company and over the past 2 years she has led the company through a complete makeover.

Deal appoints new Ga. EPD director

Deal appoints new Ga. EPD director

ATLANTA -- Jud Turner has been appointed director of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR board made the appointment official this week after Gov. Nathan Deal nominated Turner for the post.

Turner replaces F. Allen Barnes, who is leaving to work in the private sector.

Turner is a founding partner in the law firm Turner, Bachman & Garrett LLC and public affairs firm Georgia360 LLC. He was former Gov. Sonny Perdue's lead attorney and represented the governor during negotiations with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service during the state's severe drought.

Turner has also served as general counsel to the Georgia Department of Education.

Local couple donates $250,000 to Gwinnett Tech

Local couple donates $250,000 to Gwinnett Tech

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Gwinnett philanthropists Clyde and Sandra Strickland have donated $250,000 to the Legacy of Lives Campaign at Gwinnett Technical College.

The program establishes scholarships for students in certain programs, and helps others enroll in the school after obtaining their GEDs.

RELATED: New Heart & Vascular Center at Gwinnett Medical Center to be named for the Stricklands

Georgia Gwinnett College hires women's soccer coach

Georgia Gwinnett College hires women's soccer coach

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- A veteran soccer coach has been chosen to lead the new women's soccer program at Georgia Gwinnett College.

Domenic Martelli comes to Gwinnett with 18 years of Division I coaching experience. He spent the last 12 seasons at Georgia State University, where he quickly became the winningest coach in school history.

"It's thrilling to be a part of what is beginning to take place at GGC," Martelli said. "This is a golden opportunity -- a college growing academically, technologically and, of course, athletically."

RELATED: GGC hires first baseball coach

GWINNETT: Court to consider speedy trial claim

GWINNETT: Court to consider speedy trial claim

ATLANTA -- A death penalty defendant who has been awaiting trial for a Gwinnett County killing since March 2005 is asking Georgia's top court to dismiss all charges for violations of his right to a speedy trial for the second time in less than two years.

Khahn Dinh Phan is asking the Georgia Supreme Court to dismiss his charges because he said the state has "chronically underfunded" the death penalty defense system.

Phan was accused of the December 2004 shootings of a Vietnamese couple and their two-year-old son over a gambling debt. The father and son died, while the wife suffered severe injuries.

Phan was appointed two public defenders, but the case lagged amid a funding delay. Prosecutors say Phan brought the delays upon himself.

DULUTH: Gingrich to address Ga. GOP forum

DULUTH: Gingrich to address Ga. GOP forum

DULUTH, Ga. -- Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is set to speak at a Republican presidential forum in Gwinnett County.

The former House Speaker will address the 7th congressional district GOP in Duluth Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Seventh District GOP Chairman Jason Thompson said the open, town hall-style format will provide Georgians "an up-close and personal opportunity to meet and hear candidates in person, instead of just on television."

Thompson said the group has invited all Republican primary presidential candidates to come for individual sessions before the group and is hopeful more will choose to attend.

Gingrich, a former congressman from Georgia, is trailing frontrunners Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Rick Perry in public opinion polls.