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  1. Major crash brings traffic to a crawl along I-85Thu, 30 Jun 2016 21:48:49 GMT
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  2. Metro ATL: Fourth of July GuideThu, 30 Jun 2016 15:07:52 GMT
    When July 4 arrives, CBS46 has handpicked the best gatherings in the Metro Atlanta area to celebrate the Fourth of July. Stone Mountain Park Fantastic Fourth Celebration - Stone Mountain Park is displaying a laser show and fireworks that launch 100 ft into the air. More...
  3. My Mom, the Beauty IconThu, 30 Jun 2016 05:19:45 GMT
    Hanging baskets follow the same recipe as containers as far as care goes. But instead of an upright thriller plant, you want more spillers and fillers. More...
  4. Police: Teen charged after Mall of Georgia threatThu, 30 Jun 2016 01:15:48 GMT
    A Gwinnett County teen will be charged with harassing communications after a threat to "shoot up" the Mall of Georgia, police said. Gwinnett County Police said a 16-year-old boy would be charged after consulting with the district attorney. More...
  5. Wife charged in 2015 suicide now considered homicideWed, 29 Jun 2016 21:04:52 GMT
    A Buford woman was indicted and charged last week in the 2015 shooting death of her husband, a case previously considered to be a suicide, police said. Liubov Volkova, 35, is charged with murder in the death of her husband, Jordan Whitson, 38. She was booked Friday in to the Gwinnett County Jail. More...
  6. Taddy Blazusiak Confirmed for 2016 AMA EnduroCross SeriesWed, 29 Jun 2016 18:57:02 GMT
    Press Release : Red Bull Factory KTM's Taddy Blazusiak has confirmed that he will be back to compete in the full eight-race 2016 AMA EnduroCross championship in 2016. The season will kick off in Duluth, Georgia on Saturday, August 27th. More...
  7. Latino voter registration grows in Hall, stateWed, 29 Jun 2016 08:16:24 GMT
    Hall County resident Julio Hernandez is one of thousands of Latinos in the state who cast a ballot for the first time in the May primaries. Hall County resident Julio Hernandez is one of thousands of Latinos in the state who cast a ballot for the first time in the May primaries. More...
  8. Man succumbs to injuries from south Forsyth crashWed, 29 Jun 2016 04:07:45 GMT
    A man involved in a head-on collision in south Forsyth that sent five people to the hospital has succumbed to his injuries, authorities said. Adolfo Mendoza, 40, of Norcross, passed away at Grady Memorial Hospital just more than a month ago after the May 7 accident on Old Atlanta Road. More...
Gwinnett County News
  1. County offices closed, trash schedule for Independence DayThu, 30 Jun 2016 00:00:00 EDT
    Please note that all offices, with the exception of those operations required for the comfort and safety of the residents of Gwinnett County, will be closed Monday, July 4, 2016, in observance of the Independence Day holiday. All offices will resume regular working hours on Tuesday, July 6, 2016. Trash and recycling collection in unincorporated Gwinnett County is scheduled as normal for Monday, July 4. The Gwinnett County Solid Waste and Recycling Call Center will be closed that day, but hauler call centers will be open. You can search for their solid waste hauler to find your hauler’s contact information. Residents who live within city limits should contact their trash and recycling provider to find out if collection will be delayed due to the holiday. Celebrate Independence Day Many exciting, family-oriented Independence Day celebrations are taking place around the county. See the list of events below to plan out your Fourth of July weekend! Friday, July 1, 2016 Fantastic Fourth Celebration at Stone Mountain Saturday, July 2, 2016 Fantastic Fourth Celebration at Stone Mountain Sunday, July 3, 2016 Duluth Celebrates America in Duluth Fantastic Fourth Celebration at Stone Mountain Prelude to the Fourth in Lawrenceville Red, White and BOOM! in Norcross Sparks in the Park in Sugar Hill Monday, July 4, 2016 Fantastic Fourth Celebration at Stone Mountain Fourth of July Festival, Parade, and Fireworks at Braselton Park Independence Day Celebration and Fireworks in Auburn Independence Day Game and Fireworks Celebration at Coolray Field Sparkle in the Park in Lilburn Braselton Flood Run in Braselton Star Spangled Fourth at the Mall of Georgia Star Spangled Snellville at the Snellville Towne Green More...
  2. Practice fireworks safety during Independence Day celebrationsThu, 30 Jun 2016 00:00:00 EDT
    Even though some types of fireworks are legal in Georgia, you should use extreme caution to avoid serious injury during your Independence Day celebrations. Gwinnett County’s firefighters encourage you to attend a professional show instead of using fireworks yourself this year. If you are going to use fireworks, follow these tips for a safe celebration: Purchase fireworks from a licensed and reputable vendor. Read the directions carefully and inspect the device for any defects. Keep a bucket of water, garden hose, and fire extinguisher close by. Ignite fireworks outdoors in an open area away from buildings, vehicles, vegetation, or any other combustible material. Ignite only one device at a time and use an ignition stick or fireplace lighter. Always keep a safe distance between yourself and the device. Before going to bed at night, remember to inspect the area where fireworks were used. Call 911 in case of emergency. Let’s work together to keep Gwinnett healthy and safe this Independence Day and all year round. For more tips, visit www.gwinnettsafety411.com.  More...
  3. General Primary runoff election takes place July 26 at West Gwinnett precinctThu, 30 Jun 2016 00:00:00 EDT
    A runoff election will take place to select a Republican candidate for State House District 81 on Tuesday, July 26 from 7:00am to 7:00pm. This election will only be held for voters who are registered to vote at Precinct 38 – Stripling Elementary School, 6155 Atlantic Boulevard in Norcross. No additional runoff elections will be held in Gwinnett County. In addition, this runoff election is only for the Republican ballot. If your voting precinct is Stripling Elementary School and you voted a Republican or Nonpartisan ballot in the May 24 General Primary election, you may vote in this runoff election. Also, if your voting precinct is Stripling Elementary School and you did not vote in the May 24 General Primary, you may vote in this runoff election. There is no runoff for the Democratic ballot. Voters eligible to cast a ballot in this runoff election may vote advance in-person Tuesday, July 5 to Friday, July 22 at the Voter Registrations and Elections Office located at 455 Grayson Highway in Lawrenceville from 8:00am to 4:00pm. There is no Saturday voting for this election. Voters may also request an absentee ballot for the runoff election now through Friday, July 22. A completed application must first be received before an absentee ballot is issued. Please call the Voter Registration and Elections division at 678.226.7210 to request an application or complete the form online. To locate your voting precinct and view the republican sample ballot that will be used in the runoff election, visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page.   More...
  4. Gwinnett 101 gives residents an up-close look at county governmentThu, 30 Jun 2016 00:00:00 EDT
    Have you ever wondered why a fire truck responds to your medical emergency, why the County has a SPLOST program, or how clean water gets to your house? The Gwinnett 101: Citizens Academy can help answer those questions and more. Gwinnett County Government is accepting applications for the fall 2016 class of Gwinnett 101: Citizens Academy. It’s a free, 10-week program that seeks to develop and nurture informed and engaged residents, students, and business owners in Gwinnett. Class members will get a first-hand glimpse of how the County works and build a network with others who live, work, and learn in Gwinnett County. Classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 6:00pm to 9:00pm beginning August 30 and ending with graduation and recognition by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, November 15. Residents who are interested in participating in the program must be at least 18 years old and be a resident and/or business owner in Gwinnett or attend a Gwinnett college or university. They must also have an interest in learning about county government and be able to attend all sessions. Class size is limited to 30 participants who will be chosen by a selection committee. Applications are available online at www.gwinnett101.com and must be received by Friday, July 22 in order to participate in the fall 2016 session.  For more information about Gwinnett 101, visit www.gwinnett101.com.  More...
  5. Officials break ground on Centerville Senior Center Thu, 30 Jun 2016 00:00:00 EDT
    Gwinnett County officials gathered at the future site of the Centerville Senior Center on Tuesday, June 17 for a groundbreaking ceremony. The new center will be built adjacent to the Centerville Community Center and Centerville Branch Library on Bethany Church Road in Snellville. Seniors who will frequent the new center attended the ceremony as Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash, District 2 Commissioner Lynette Howard, District 55 State Sen. Gloria Butler, and District 93 State Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick shared their thoughts about the new center coming to south Gwinnett. Nash said, “This is an exciting day for our seniors, and I was glad to be a part of it. As the senior population continues to grow, we look forward to this new center serving more residents.” The new 8,500 square foot, single-story building will feature a dining room, warming kitchen with serving line, multi-purpose room, billiards area, staff offices, and support space. The $2.24 million building will be the first senior facility construction funded by the voter-approved SPLOST program. Howard said, “One of the most important things for seniors is safety. Having another senior center will serve as a safe place for our older community to come together and socialize.” The LEED-certified building was designed by Lord Aeck Sargent and will be constructed by Construction Group LLC. Construction is expected to be complete in spring 2017.     More...
  6. Gwinnett's Department of Water Resources Billing and Customer Service: Running the business of waterWed, 29 Jun 2016 00:00:00 EDT
    FOCUS ON is a monthly feature that tells how your county government employees focus on providing high-quality services to you each and every day. Gwinnett’s Department of Water Resources Billing and Customer Service: Running the business of water Keeping clean, great-tasting tap water flowing to our faucets and managing the wastewater we produce keeps plant operators and engineers in Gwinnett County’s Department of Water Resources busy. But what about the business of water? Who handles the payments and billing for more than 400,000 water customers in this county? Find out more. Past Articles: Accounting Division (YOU ARE why Laurie is HERE) Animal Welfare and Enforcement Center Aquatics Team Central Precinct Community Risk Reduction Corrections County’s Treatment Courts Crime Prevention Unit DOSS Capital Projects Section DOT Road Condition Assessment Team Emergency Management Family and Consumer Sciences section FLAME Mentoring Program Fleet Management Division Gang Unit Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Green Communities Program Grants Business Unit Gwinnett’s Community Outreach Program Home-Delivered Meals Human Resources Recruitment Improving community health (YOU ARE why Doris is Here) Jury Division Neighborhood Stabilization Program Parks Maintenance Team Payroll Performance Analysis Division Plan Review Team (YOU ARE why John is HERE) Police and Fire Citizens Academies Public Relations Team (YOU ARE why Andrew is HERE) Purchasing Division Preventive Maintenance Quality of Life Unit Recorder's Court (YOU ARE why Sheryl is HERE) Senior Services Sheriff’s Office Jail Division Solicitor’s office Solid Waste and Recovered Materials Division Swiftwater Rescue Team Tax Commissioner Customer Service Operations Traffic Control Center TVGwinnett Production Team Volunteer Gwinnett Victim Witness Program Voter Registrations and Elections Division More...
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Gwinnett County Press News
  1. CELEBRATE NATIONAL PARK AND RECREATION MONTH IN JULY!Thu, 30 Jun 2016 14:45:45 EDT
    (Lawrenceville, GA., June 30, 2016) – This July, Gwinnett County residents don’t need to be bitten by a radioactive spider to discover that they have super powers. They just need to visit their nearest park or recreation center to find super powers they didn’t know they had. Parks and Recreation Month is an initiative of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), and all the ways parks and recreation transform our daily lives. From providing us places to get fit and stay healthy to fostering new relationships and forging a connection with nature, our close-to-home community park and recreation facilities provide essential services and improve quality of life. Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation (GCPR) will kick off the celebration with a proclamation by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners on July 5, at 2 p.m. at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Dr. in Lawrenceville. The month will continue with ongoing activities and special events: July 1 at 1 p.m. – Watermelon, White, and Blue at Prime Timers Pointe at George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center, 55 Buford Hwy., Suwanee. Seniors, age 50 and up can enjoy a dessert social with light refreshments. $2/person; pre-register online with code GPP32902 or call 678-277-0910. July 4 through July 8 – Swim Safely Week at various Gwinnett County Aquatic Facilities with games, activities and prizes given throughout the week. Times and locations can be found at www.gwinnettparks.com. July 9 at 11 a.m. – ScavengART at Pinckneyville Park Community Recreation Center, 4650 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Berkeley Lake. A scavenger hunt with an artistic twist! Gather a list of goodies from nature, and then bring them back to the Community Recreation Center to create a free take home craft. All ages; call 678-277-0920. July 9 at 6:30 p.m. – Hawaiian Luau at Mountain Park Aquatic Center, 1063 Rockbridge Rd., Stone Mountain. A fun, Therapeutic Recreation event specifically for those with disabilities and their families. Fun games, hula hoop contest, tropical snacks, limbo contest and traditional Hawaiian leis. All participants, including caregivers must pay to participate. All ages, $8/person. Register online with code MPA3310 or call 678-277-0906 or 678-277-0870. All pool rules apply. July 11 at 2 p.m. – Super! Movie Matinee at Bethesda Park Senior Center, 225 Bethesda Church Rd., Lawrenceville. Seniors, age 50 and up can bring a friend to enjoy popcorn, soda and a showing of Joy. $2/person. July 12 at 6:30 p.m. – Dip N’ Dine at Mountain Park Aquatic Center, 1063 Rockbridge Rd., Stone Mountain. Take a dip and dine at the pool! Chick-Fil-A and Kona Ice will be available to purchase dinner and dessert. All ages, regular admission fees and pool rules apply; twilight rates do not apply.  July 15 at 11 a.m. – Brown Bag Concert at Gwinnett Historic Courthouse, 185 Crogan St., Lawrenceville. This is a free event featuring the interactive sounds of Havana Son, plus lawn games, superhero photo booth, face painting and kid’s activities. July 15 at 7 p.m. – Superhero Family Night Swim at Collins Hill Park Aquatic Center, 2200 Collins Hill Rd., Lawrenceville. Superhero themed swimming and activities. Regular entry fees and all pool rules apply; twilight rates do not apply. Call 770-237-5647. July 16 at 5 p.m. – Superhero Saturday at Lenora Park, 4515 Lenora Church Rd., Snellville. A free event with kids’ activities, face painting, music, superhero character appearance, food truck, photo booth and more! At dusk, stay for the free showing of Kung Fu Panda 3, sponsored by B98.5. Call 770-822-8840. July 20 at 6:30 p.m. – Double Dip: Ice Cream Day at Mountain Park Aquatic Center, 1063 Rockbridge Rd., Stone Mountain. Celebrate National Ice Cream Day with swimming, fun games like “pin the cherry on the ice cream cone” and a no hands ice cream eating contest! All ages, $6/person. All pool rules apply. Call 678-277-0870. July 21 at 7 p.m. – Super Family Night at Bethesda Park Aquatic Center, 225 Bethesda Church Rd., Lawrenceville. Celebrate superhero style! Enjoy fun Superhero themed swimming, crafts and activities. All pool rules and admission fees apply. Call 678-277-0880. July 22 at 6 p.m. – Super Powered Kids Night Out at Mountain Park Activity Building, 1063 Rockbridge Rd., Stone Mountain. Put your superhero powers in gear and enjoy an action-packed night with pizza, ice cream and cool activities while parents enjoy a night out. Ages 7 to 13, $12/child, must pre-register by July 20 online with code MPA31401 or call 678-277-0179. July  23 at 9:30 a.m. – Battleship Game Day at West Gwinnett Park Aquatic Center, 4488 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Berkeley Lake. Take part in an immersive game of Battleship with a Dodgeball twist. Players on each team will be given a “ship” to ride which must be sunk by the opposing team. Teams will be divided in age appropriate groups in both indoor pools. All ages, regular admission and pool rules apply. Call 678-409-8801. July 23 at 6:30 p.m. – Wild Rumpus Pool Party at Bethesda Park Aquatic Center, 225 Bethesda Church Rd., Lawrenceville. Bring a swimsuit, towel and change of clothes to let the wild rumpus begin! Enjoy fun swim activities and snacks. All pool rules apply. All ages, $8/person. Kids 3 and under are free, pre-register by July13 online with code BEP35100 or call 678-277-0880. July 30 at 9 a.m. – Punt, Pass and Kick at Rhodes Jordan Park Soccer Fields, 100 East Crogan St., Lawrenceville. Free event for kids to take part in NFL’s national competition! Boys and girls of all ages compete separately in their own age group in punting, passing and kicking. Earn the chance to advance to a regional and state level competition at the Georgia Dome. A valid birth certificate, complete entry form and parental signature are required before competition. Ages 6-15. Call 678-277-0860 for more information. Other events will include month-long Kid’s Art Show at each of the Community Recreation Centers and Aquatic Centers. Supplies for kids to create their own art are provided. New this year, is NRPA’s selfie photo contest with a different theme each week. The contest can be entered via Facebook or by uploading a photo to Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #SuperParkSelfie. A $500 Amazon gift card will be awarded weekly. Visit www.nrpa.org/July for official rules and details. GCPR is encouraging everyone to share their photos and love of parks using the hashtag #SuperJuly on social media. The themes for the contest are: July 4-10: Selfie with nature July 11-17: Selfie doing something healthy July 18-24: Selfie with your friends and community July 25-31: Selfie showing your superhero side To learn more about Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, visit www.gwinnettparks.com.  More...
  2. SWIM SAFELY WEEK CELEBRATED AT GWINNETT COUNTY AQUATIC CENTERSThu, 30 Jun 2016 14:44:58 EDT
    (Lawrenceville, Ga., June 30, 2016) – Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation (GCPR) will be hosting fun games, activities and prizes from July 4 – July 8 at various aquatic facilities. Children and adults can participate every day of the week and visit www.gwinnettparks.com to download activity sheets and information. GCPR will be holding these events to increase awareness of water safety now that summer is in full swing. Through various swim classes, public service announcements and distribution of water safety information, GCPR is dedicated to providing residents with the tools they need to prevent water-related injuries. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the sixth leading cause of unintended injury-related death for people of all ages and the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14. Research shows that formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children aged 1 to 4 years. GCPR offers swim lessons for those as young as six months to adults of all ages. Group, private and semi-private swim lessons are available in a variety of class levels to benefit everyone from novice to advanced swimmers. For more information on swim lessons, details about GCPR aquatic centers or other planned events, visit www.gwinnettparks.com. The scheduled activities will be at all aquatic centers and pools and are as follows: Monday, July 4 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Bethesda Park Aquatic Center Tuesday, July 5 Noon – 3 p.m. Noon – 3 p.m. Mountain Park Aquatic Center Dacula Park Pool Wednesday, July 6 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Noon – 3 p.m. Collins Hill Park Aquatic Center Best Friend Park Pool Thursday, July 7 Noon – 3 p.m. Noon – 3 p.m. Bogan Park Aquatic Center Lenora Park Pool Friday, July 8 Noon – 3 p.m. Noon – 3 p.m. West Gwinnett Park Aquatic Center Rhodes Jordan Park Pool More...
  3. COMMISSIONERS ENDORSE INFINITE ENERGY CENTER MASTER PLANWed, 29 Jun 2016 08:45:32 EDT
    (Lawrenceville, Ga., June 28, 2016) – The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday adopted a resolution endorsing and supporting Explore Gwinnett’s revised master plan for the Infinite Energy Center complex. Concepts in the overall plan include an expansion of the exhibit hall, new outdoor gathering spaces, new parking lots and decks, a headquarters hotel, new and improved access to the center from surrounding roadways and additional arena seating, plus a mixed-use district that offers entertainment, dining, retail and housing options. Progress has already been made toward some of these goals, including the County’s acquisition of land adjacent to Meadow Church Road that will eventually become additional access points into and out of the complex. Board Chairman Charlotte Nash said, “What began as a $30 million investment of SPLOST funds to build a civic and convention center nearly 30 years ago today includes an arts center, ballroom and the Infinite Energy Arena. My fellow board members and I are proud to support Explore Gwinnett’s plan to turn an already successful complex into a vibrant destination for residents and visitors to ‘come early and stay late.’” A one-year comparison of activity at the Infinite Energy Arena shows total attendance grew by more than 100,000 between 2014 and 2015 and the number of events and performances increased by about 20 percent during the same period. Similar growth occurred in the number of events held in the convention center space. The existing 50,000-square-foot exhibit hall lets the Infinite Energy Forum compete for 20 percent of the mid-sized meetings in the industry, according to Explore Gwinnett CEO Preston Williams, who added that expanding to 125,000 square feet will let the Center compete for up to 70 percent of the meetings market. Williams said, “The Infinite Energy Center master plan has been part of our vision for 10-plus years. Expanding the convention center, creating the entertainment district and adding a headquarters hotel will elevate the Center to the next level of meeting facility. The partnership and support of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners has been one of the keys to our success and is part of the reason the Center generates more than $175 million in economic impact annually. “The acquisition of the Meadow Church property is a great example of the type of forward-thinking decisions by county leadership that will help us complete the campus and make the Center an even greater economic activity generator for the community.” More...
  4. ENVIRONMENTAL AND HERITAGE CENTER LOOKS BACK AT THE IMPACT OF THE 1996 OLYMPIC GAMES WITH SPECIAL SUMMER EXHIBITIONMon, 27 Jun 2016 14:53:59 EDT
    (Buford, Ga., June 27, 2016) — In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the 1996 Olympic Games, the Environmental and Heritage Center (EHC) is hosting an exhibit highlighting the Atlanta area's elevation to international status as a result of the Olympic and Paralympic competitions. The exhibit is a retrospective and is composed of items from private collections that seek to engage residents' memories and reflections on the historic nature of the events surrounding the 1996 Olympics. EHC Director of Programming Jason West said, "Twenty years ago, the world called on the Atlanta area and forever changed the cultural and physical landscape of the region.  This exhibit explores how the Olympic and Paralympic Games impacted the region and the role that Gwinnett and its citizens played in this historic experience." The exhibit features a number of unique items that tell of a personal connection to the Games including pieces of track and seats from the Olympic Stadium, a Swedish Rowing Team jacket with an unusual trading story, a Paralympic torch, an Olympic Band uniform and many more.   The exhibit also includes a touch table with various examples of Olympic sports equipment allowing guests an opportunity to immerse themselves in the athletic competitions. "The EHC staff is grateful for the many people who placed their memorabilia and personal artifacts on loan and shared their stories," added West. The Olympics exhibit is on display at the EHC until Aug. 20, 2016, and will run concurrently with Atlanta's public celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Games taking place in July as well as with the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in Aug. The exhibit is included in EHC admission and is free for EHC members.  For more information, visit www.gwinnettEHC.org. More...
  5. CLERK SEEKS CITIZENS TO SERVE ON BOARD OF EQUALIZATIONFri, 24 Jun 2016 15:22:25 EDT
    (Lawrenceville, Ga., June 24, 2016) – The Gwinnett County Clerk of Superior Clerk is looking for interested citizens that own property in Gwinnett County to serve as Board of Equalization members. The Board of Equalization is charged with hearing appeals including, but not limited to determinations of real and personal property, exemption denials and current use determinations. Members of the Board of Equalization are also responsible for assuring that all real and personal property entered on the county’s assessment roll is at true and fair market value. In addition to being property owners, applicants must be qualified and competent to serve as a grand juror, at least 18 years of age, a high school graduate and able to attend scheduled hearings. Applicants must also satisfactorily complete 40 hours of state-mandated training within one year of appointment. Applicants may not hold an elected office or be employed by an elected official.  Successful candidates will serve a three-year term on a three-member board or serve a three-year term as an alternate member. The members are compensated at the rate of $75 per day. Interested citizens should contact Lily Perez, Gwinnett County Board of Equalization supervisor, at 770.822.7235. More...
  6. GWINNETT HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS MEET LOCAL JUDGESWed, 22 Jun 2016 16:14:21 EDT
    (Lawrenceville, Ga., June 22, 2016) – On Friday, June 17, high school students from Central Gwinnett and South Gwinnett High schools met with local judges as part of S.M.I.L.E. (Summer Mentoring in Legal Education) Gwinnett, a mentoring program focused on the legal system. A panel of Recorder’s Court judges, a Magistrate Court judge, a State Court judge, and a Superior Court judge, all from the Gwinnett Circuit, spent over an hour discussing their legal careers and the law with students eager to learn about the legal profession. The students were given the opportunity to ask questions and peppered the judges with questions about their legal backgrounds and various legal issues. State Court Judges Pam South and Joe Iannazzone initiated the S.M.I.L.E. Gwinnett program this spring with the assistance of teacher Rebecca Streetman, program specialist for law, public safety, corrections and security at South Gwinnett High School, and attorney Dana Pagan, a former teacher at Central Gwinnett High School and now a Gwinnett County assistant solicitor. Students applied for the program and were selected in April. The program encompasses six themed presentations and a graduation ceremony, all in the months of June and July. The program takes place at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, the County courthouse in Lawrenceville, where students have attended sessions in courtrooms. The program kicked off June 3 with a “lunch with lawyers” event for the students sponsored by the Gwinnett Bar Association. On June 10, the students attended a program on constitutional law and a presentation on the legislative process by state Sen. P.K. Martin, who also spent time telling the students about the Georgia legislature’s page program. The teenagers have become familiar with the courthouse, touring areas including the holding cells and the law library. Students are looking forward to a tour of the county jail and additional programs on the new accountability courts programs and social media issues for teens. The program will end with a reception for students and parents, where students will make presentations regarding their summer experiences in the legal field. Judge Stacey Hydrick of DeKalb County State Court began a summer mentoring program for high schoolers several years ago in Decatur, and Judges South and Iannazzone embraced the idea for Gwinnett County high school students. The program is offered at no cost to the students and is staffed by volunteers. Program leaders are hopeful for a successful first year, with plans to expand the program in the future. More...