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HELP WANTED: Leslie Spurlock of Sugar Hill needs some help. She's a volunteer on the 75th anniversary committee of the city, working on a book about Sugar Hill. She says: " It isn't anticipated to be a large book, and when final, will probably be about 150 pages. I have a few photos of old Sugar Hill, and some information on the schools, a few interviews with Sugar Hill residents who are in their 80's who have lived here all their lives. I have this old photo of a car that looks from the 1950s that says 'Sugar Hill Police' on it. We can't find anyone who has any information of Sugar Hill having a police department. I understand they may have even had a City Marshall, but I don't know anything about that either." If readers know anything about early Sugar Hill history, contact Leslie at 678-482-6817.

Issue 14.67 | Nov. 18, 2014

:: New Primerica scholarship

:: Talmadge House is gem

Letters on site, paintings

Tree lighting, more

Med Center, JROTC

:: Georgia Gwinnett College

:: Friends with self

:: Sherman's March

:: Several spot cemetery


ABOUT US is a twice-weekly online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.

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Buy the book on Gwinnett's history


Primerica Foundation establishes 2 scholarships at Gwinnett Tech
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DULUTH, Ga., Nov. 18, 2014 --The Primerica Foundation, the charitable arm of the Duluth financial services company Primerica, has granted $50,000 to Gwinnett Technical College to establish two scholarship funds that will provide assistance to 40 low-to-moderate income students for tuition, books and program supplies annually.

From left are Karen Fine Saltiel, president and chairman; Anne Soutter, vice president and vice-chairman; Margaret Halbert, secretary; and Bill Nemetz, treasurer, all of The Primerica Foundation; and Dr. D. Glen Cannon, president, Gwinnett Technical College.

Karen Fine Saltiel, president and founding chairman of The Primerica Foundation, recently visited the campus along with Gwinnett Tech President Dr. Glen Cannon to commemorate the establishment of The Primerica Foundation Scholarship and the Barbara T. King Scholarship for Women. Total grant funding from the foundation was $75,000 to establish these scholarships.

She says: "Primerica and Gwinnett Tech have grown up together in the same community - we have a long history of supporting the college. We also have a vested interest in the success of Gwinnett Tech-- because the students of today are the workforce of tomorrow."

Over the last 17 years, Primerica and The Primerica Foundation have provided Gwinnett Tech with funding totaling $260,000. This funding has given hundreds of low-to moderate income students the opportunity for a college education.

Dr. Canon notes: "Gwinnett Tech and our deserving students are grateful beneficiaries of Primerica's support of higher education. Primerica has been an active partner with Gwinnett Tech for many years and the college and the community are enriched not only through their funding, but also through the active participation of their leadership team."

The Barbara T. King Scholarship for Women honors the late Primerica executive known for her community leadership. King served on the board for Gwinnett Tech from 1997-2003 and advocated for the organization, not only at the local community level, but at the state level as well. The Barbara T. King Scholarship for Women at Gwinnett Tech honors Barbara's many contributions to the college.

The scholarship provides funding for female students enrolled in a Gwinnett Tech associate degree program within the Health Sciences division. Scholarships will be awarded at $1,250 on an annual basis per student. Health Sciences programs include: Bioscience, Cardiovascular Technology, Dental Assisting, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Health Information Technology, Healthcare Assistant, Medical Assisting, Nursing, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Care and Surgical Technology.

The Primerica Foundation Scholarship funds general scholarships for students enrolled in a certificate, diploma or degree program at Gwinnett Tech. The scholarship funds will cover all program areas of the college.

In addition to foundation funding for the new scholarships, Primerica has supported several other GTC programs with corporate funds including: New Connections to Work Program, the Adult Education Program, and the D. Scott Hudgens, Jr. Early Education Center, the Media Resource Center, LMI College Access Programs and Workforce Development programs.

Former Atlanta Journal editor restores Talmadge Mansion in Telfair

Editor and publisher |

NOV. 18, 2014 -- Back in 1937 when Gene Talmadge was finishing his second two-year term as governor of Georgia, he took a big step. For Miss Mitt (his wife), he built a new home on U.S. Highway 341, between McRae and Lumber City, in his home county of Telfair.


In today's world, this residence looks much like a Southern 5-4-and-a-door, with two-story white columns, red brick, and set about 100 yards back from the highway in a grove of pine trees. But it wasn't built in today's world, but constructed 77 years ago when most people in Telfair County probably didn't have running water in their homes, and many had to bring out the buckets when it rained because of leaks in the roof.

It was properly called the Talmadge "Mansion." Today it would be considered a "very nice house."

Talmadge was born in Forsyth, Ga., and after graduating from the University of Georgia, set up law practice and farmed in Montgomery County. He soon was active in McRae in nearby Telfair County. He first won statewide election as Agricultural Commissioner. He was a favorite of many Depression-era Georgians, and always entertaining with his white shirt and red suspenders. When accused of improprieties, he came back on the stump, telling backers and farmers of that day: "Sure, I stole, but I stole for you."

Elected during the county-unit times, which meant political domination by the small counties, he would say to people at barbecue rallies when running for office: ""The poor Georgia dirt farmer only has three friends he can trust: God Almighty……Sears and Roebuck….. and Eugene Talmadge!" He won his first term as governor, taking office in 1933 and was re-elected for 1935. Forced to sit out in 1939, he came back easily winning another two year term in 1941, and winning the Democratic primary in 1946 for what would be his fourth term. But he died in December, 1946 before taking office. This set off the "three governors" controversy, which eventually put Lt. Gov. M.E. Thompson as governor, and in 1948 led to Herman Talmadge starting his years as a Georgia governor, then Senator.

Now, why all this Talmadge background? It's for the newcomers to Georgia.

Over the last dozen or so years, the "Talmadge Mansion" (right) had fallen into disrepair since Gene's daughter, who lived there, died. (Herman before his death maintained a home in Lovejoy.) The Talmadge property in Telfair became so grown up in pine trees that you could barely make out the home from the highway.

That's when Jim Wooten, the retired former editor of The Atlanta Journal, stepped in. Jim's once lived in Telfair County. He bought the house at no doubt a bargain rate from the bank that ended up thinking it a white elephant. He says: "The house was in bad shape, and we suspect it had not been painted in 30 years." He patched walls and ceilings, and found period furniture for the entire house.

He's exquisitely restored the home to perhaps even better than it was before. Jim's making it an events facility for the local area. Already parties are taking place there. When the Georgia Press Association board met nearby recently, he invited past presidents and their wives to come check out the restored facilities, with a barbecue set among the pines on a beautiful moonlit night. The entire grounds are gorgeous, and the restored home a fitting tribute to a former governor.

Jim Wooten, remembering 'old Gene, has restored the home in true Mansion style to admire and to use. Hats off for Jim!

Georgia Gwinnett College

The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring to you at no cost to readers. Georgia Gwinnett College is a four-year, accredited liberal arts college that provides access to targeted baccalaureate level degrees that meet the economic development needs of the growing and diverse population of Gwinnett County and the northeast Atlanta metropolitan region. GGC opened its doors in August 2006 as the nation's first four-year public college founded in the 21st century, and the first four-year public college founded in Georgia in more than 100 years. Georgia Gwinnett produces contributing citizens and future leaders for Georgia and the nation. Its graduates are inspired to contribute to their local, state, national and international communities and are prepared to anticipate and respond effectively to an uncertain and changing world. GGC currently serves almost 11,000 students.

  • Visit Georgia Gwinnett College¹s web site at

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Feels previous letter stated some ideas which were incorrect

Editor, the Forum:

The letter on Dreamland Barbecue had some facts that are not exactly correct. Noble Fin Steak house is to be built on this location. From what I understand, Dreamland did not submit proper building plans. The businesses behind Dreamland also complained about their smoke pit, since parked cars would be covered with an oily residue from the smoke all day.

-- Steve Jones, Peachtree Corners

Dear Steve: You are right about a new restaurant anticipated at the former Dreamland site in Peachtree Corners. Jay Swift, chef/owner of Old Fourth Ward's 4th and Swift, is planning a restaurant that will feature seafood, steak, and pasta, scheduled to open next summer. Meanwhile, Dreamland is planning to open at a new location in Duluth. -eeb

More concerning smoke, smell at Peachtree Corners location

Editor, the Forum:

Steve Jones raises several interesting points to re-address although they have been covered before. The "smoke and smell" issue is still present, as it comes from J Alexander's restaurant. As for not submitting new building plans, Dreamland wanted to stay and rebuild, the building owner wanted them to stay and wanted to rebuild, however the city imposed new harsh and costly regulations that made it completely impossible to comply and make a profit.

As for the new venture planning on building, time will tell if they too hit the unreasonable regulations barrier.

That, however, doesn't change the fact that we've sat all this time with an empty lot and no tax revenue. I'm not opposed to progress and change to improve, but I still believe Dreamland was forced to look elsewhere because our city leaders felt that business didn't fit the "image" they want for the "upscale" city of Peachtree Corners. And remember, we still have multi-family housing going in across from the Forum.

-- Steve Rausch, Peachtree Corners

Enjoyed taking in Churchill paintings at Millennium Gate Museum

Editor, the Forum:

I had an opportunity to see the Churchill paintings exhibit this week at the Millennium Gate Museum and I enjoyed it and the setting. One can see Churchill's talent progression over his years of painting. I had assumed he began painting in retirement, but learned that he did it his entire adult life. Some of the works I liked most were the ones depicting North Africa and southern France.

For your readers who decide to go to this exhibit, I encourage them to walk around Atlantic Station and explore some of the many retail establishments.

-- Michael Wood, Peachtree Corners

Rant, rave, send us a letter

An invitation: We encourage readers to submit feedback (or letters to the editor). Send your thoughts to the editor at We will edit for length and clarity. Make sure to include your name and the city where you live. Submission of a comment grants permission for us to reprint. Please keep your comments to 300 words or less. However, we will consider longer articles (no more than 500 words) for featuring in Today's Issue as space allows.

City of Lilburn plans lighting of Christmas Tree on Dec. 6

Be part of this annual tradition, as the City of Lilburn lights the tree on Main Street on December 6. Lilburn Middle School Chorus will perform at the event. Coloring contest winners will be announced.

The Lilburn Co-op is asking local residents to donate items in its food containers at the Tree Lighting again this year. For a list of items needed, visit The containers will remain at City Hall through the Lilburn Christmas Parade. Bring food donations to either the parade or drop by City Hall during normal business hours throughout the week.

Bring your camera so you can take a picture with Mrs. Claus out by the tree! The 1910 Public House will be serving hot chocolate at the event.

Duluth seeking person to serve on planning commission

The City of Duluth is looking for citizens to serve on the Planning Commission. An alternate position is available, with applications being accepted until November 26.

The Planning Commission considers zoning ordinance amendments, speed hump petitions, zoning changes, land use changes, and special use permits. It may also be utilized to do research on other issues at the direction of Duluth City Council. The Planning Commission consists of five appointed members and an alternate, non-voting member who serves if there is an absence on the Commission. For more details, contact Rich Atkinson at 770-497-5305.

Medical Center conducting first interview for residency program

Interviews are underway at Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC) for the new internal medicine residency program. The first class of internal medicine residents will begin training in June 2015. GMC hopes to accept up to five residents during the first year.

Kimberly Bates, MD, GMC's director of the internal medicine residency for the Graduate Medical Education Program, says: "GMC will provide internal medicine residents with a robust experience based on thriving cardiology and stroke programs, and the high-volume emergency department that cares for nearly 140,000 patients yearly. Perspective candidates will also find Gwinnett's cultural diversity attractive as a diverse patient base is requisite when establishing a solid medical foundation among residents."

As part of the internal medicine program, residents will be guided through the extensive curriculum of general internal medicine, highlighting the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of adult diseases.
Phil Wolfe, GMC's president and CEO, notes: "It's well documented that physicians remain in the community where they complete their residency; the greater north metro stands to benefit from this program as it will help address the severe primary care physician shortage in Georgia."

GMC's internal medicine residency program is affiliated with the Georgia Campus of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and The Georgia Regents University/The University of Georgia Medical Partnership in Athens.

South Gwinnett JROTC team finishes among top in state

The South Gwinnett High School JROTC Female Raiders is the third place winner in the Georgia State Raider Championship held recently at Spalding High School in Griffin. The Raiders are in the fourth years of the ROTC program at South Gwinnett High. First place went to the team from Adairsville High, with Richmond Hill finishing second.

Cadets Brandy Canada and Yessy Alfaro receives the Regional Championship trophy from the Area 11 Coordinator Colonel Johnny Richards.

The Georgia State Raider Championship consists of five athletic and curriculum skilled events. The five events for the State competition are as follows: Raider Fitness Test, One-Rope Bridge, Cross Country Rescue that includes a 15 questions first aid test, 5 km Team Run and a Tire Flip.

Coach Sergeant First Class (Retired) Christopher Diaz says: "The JROTC program has only been a part of the school for three years and these ladies have already proven to be the best in their area by winning their regional championship. I am so proud of the commitment and dedication they have shown all year and their effort has paid off in this placement among the top programs in the state."

This is the first year that the Lady Raiders have advanced to the State competition. The Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) is a program offered to high schools that teaches students character education, student achievement, wellness, leadership, and diversity. For further information, contact Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Nathaniel Flegler Jr. at 404-932-0469.

Send us a review of a book, movie, restaurant

  • An invitation: What Web sites, books or restaurants have you enjoyed? Send us your best recent visit to a restaurant or most recent book you have read along with a short paragraph as to why you liked it, plus what book you plan to read next. --eeb

Sherman's March weaves together several disparate subjects

A well-loved and critically acclaimed work of cinema verite, the film Sherman's March (1986) weaves together subjects as disparate as the Civil War (1861-65), nuclear holocaust, and southern womanhood to create a subtle and emotionally powerful film.

Originally setting out to retrace Union General William T. Sherman's march through Georgia and the Carolinas, documentary filmmaker Ross McElwee instead crafts an insightful look at life and the search for love in the modern South.

Born in 1947 in Charlotte, N.C., McElwee (right) attended Brown University as an undergraduate before enrolling in a graduate film program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). While at MIT in the mid-1970s, he studied under prominent documentary filmmakers Richard Leacock and Edward Pincus, from whom he learned the cinema verite techniques that he later used in Sherman's March and other films.

After graduating from MIT, McElwee returned to Charlotte and worked for years as a freelance cameraman at local television stations, filming such various programs as the evening news and "Gospel Hour" shows. He also had the opportunity to work with legendary filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker and served as cameraman on John Marshall's N!ai, The Story of a K!ung Woman (1980). During this time McElwee also made his own documentary films, including Space Coast (1979), Charleen (1980), and Backyard (1984). Sherman's March is McElwee's fourth documentary.

Several factors contribute to the success of Sherman's March. First is the way in which McElwee forces himself into the narrative. While pure cinema verite technique dictates that the filmmaker simply shoot what is happening, McElwee learned from Leacock and Pincus that equally dramatic moments can happen when the filmmaker interacts with the subject, a technique he uses to great effect in Sherman's March. One of the film's most emotional moments occurs near the end when McElwee, whom the viewer to this point has seen only alone in staged shots or in mirrors, reaches out from behind his camera to touch the cheek of a woman distraught over a difficult relationship.

Sherman's March won several awards, including the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival in 1987. In 2000 the Library of Congress National Film Registry chose the film for preservation, citing it as a "historically significant American motion picture." McElwee currently teaches film at Harvard University and continues to make highly personal documentary films; in 2003 he released Bright Leaves, a documentary exploring his family history and tobacco farming in North Carolina.

Identify this city

This could look like many cities a few years back. All we ask today is to identify what city this is, and you don't have to guess the year. But the 10 story building, the streetcar, or perhaps some of the signs may give away the location of this Mystery Photo. Send your ideas of where it is to and be sure to include your hometown.

Last week's mystery photo was from Tom Merkel of Berkeley Lake, with Ross Lenhart of Pawley's Island, S.C. being the first with the right identity: " The American Cemetery at Normandy with the statue: The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves near Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France." Ross adds that there is a " copy near here at the entrance to Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina."

Richard Edinger of Lawrenceville also noted that "This is the bronze statue in the middle of the Normandy American Cemetery in France."

Others with the correct answer were Bob Foreman, Grayson; and Ruthie Lachman Paul, of Norcross.


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2014, Gwinnett 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.

It's Important To Be Friends with Oneself

"Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world."

-- Former First Lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 - 1962).




Men of any age who would enjoy being a part of an "A Capella Experience," set aside Tuesday, November 18, at 7 p.m. to pay a visit to The Stone Mountain Chorus of the Barbershop Harmony Society at a special guest night program. It will be at Peachtree Corners Baptist Church, 4480 Peachtree Corners Circle in Peachtree Corners. For more details, call at 770-978-8053 or visit

Bestselling author John Connolly will speak on November 22 at 7 p.m. at the Norcross Cultural Arts Center. The event is free. The author will be signing "The Wolf in Winter," the latest in his Charlie Parker thriller series. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Connolly has won the Shamus, the Agatha, the Edgar and Anthony awards for his writings. The event is sponsored by the Gwinnett County Public Library.

Exhibit of eight artists continues through December 2 at George Pierce Park Community Center in Suwanee. Eight female artists will showcase their talents, including watercolor, acrylic, oil, color pencil, mixed media, collage, and pen and ink with color pencil. For more information, call 678-277-0910.


1/9: Gov's inaugural party
1/6: Our continuing objectives

12/31: Fun board game
12/23: Good news on Cuba
12/19: CIA's atrocities
12/16: Muddy, hilly roads
12/12: Drop box regulation
12/9: On philanthropy
12/5: Humor, writing contest
12/2: Simpsonwood save is good

11/25: Snellville bell tower
11/21: Remembering Carl Sanders
11/18: Talmadge House
11/14: Churchill paintings
11/11: Hudson cruise
11/7: Why it was a GOP year
11/4: Another election a possibility


1/9: Jones: Black-eyed peas
1/6: Berlo: NLT's choreopoem

12/31: Leonard: Andersonville tour
12/23: Havens: Rotary club's charity
12/19: Aurora wins big
12/16: Yarber: Safe harbor bill
12/12: Arrington: Hunger challenge
12/9: Preston: Lilburn mural
12/5: Witte: Simmons Building
12/2: Putnam: PC's community study

11/25: Okun: Robotic bariatric surgery
11/21: Calmes: Special Nutcracker
11/18: Urrutia: Primerica scholarships
11/14: Jones: GGC's growth
11/11: Johnson: Tesla ownership
11/7: New Brenau joint degree program
11/4: Two shows of A Christmas Carol


Gwinnett Forum publisher Elliott Brack suggests that Gwinnett County needs a long-range list of continuing objectives for improving the county. Read more.

  • Development of a two-party system for county offices
  • Moving statewide non-partisan judge election runoffs to the General Election
  • Light rail for Gwinnett from Doraville MARTA station to Gwinnett Arena
  • Extension of Gwinnett Place CID area to include Arena and Discovery Mills Mall
  • Banning of tobacco in all Gwinnett parks
  • Making Briscoe Field a commercial airport for jet-age travel
  • More diverse candidates for political offices and appointment to local boards
  • Physical move of former St. Gerard's Catholic Church in Buffalo, N.Y., to Norcross
  • Creative efforts to support the arts in Gwinnett
  • Advancement and expansion of city and Gwinnett historical societies
  • Stronger regulation of late-night establishments with alcoholic licenses
  • Requiring the legislature to meet once every two years.
  • Development of more community gardens.

ABOUT US is a twice-weekly online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.

:: Contact us today
:: Subscribe for free
Buy the book on Gwinnett's history


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