Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Don't Throw Away that Christmas Tree - Recycle it January 9

The City of Peachtree City and Keep Peachtree City Beautiful, along with local volunteers, will mulch the Christmas trees for free. In return, you'll receive a free dogwood seedling (while supplies last). Please remove all lights, ornaments, and tinsel from the trees. Unfortunately, flocked trees cannot be recycled.

January 9, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Locations behind Kedron Shopping Center, Rockaway Road Recycling Center, or Peachtree City Home Depot. Call Keep Peachtree City Beautiful, 770-632-3195, for further information.

DON'T WANT TO WAIT TILL JANUARY 9TH? Bring your tree (without lights, ornaments, or tinsel) to the Rockaway Road Recycling Center for mulching. Your tree will be recycled, but dogwood seedlings will only be distributed during the January 9th event. The Rockaway Road Recycling Center is open Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Register for Kindergarten January-March

Fayette County parents with children entering kindergarten for the 2010-2011 school year can register their students at the Welcome Center January 19-March 19, 2010.

Students must be five years old on or before September 1, 2010 to register for kindergarten. To verify a child’s school of attendance, contact the Welcome Center, 770-460-3990, ext. 450. Hours of operation are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m. on Fridays. The center closes for lunch on Fridays.

The Welcome Center is located at 205 LaFayette Avenue in Fayetteville. Detailed directions and registration information can be obtained by calling the center or visiting the school system’s website, fcboe.org, and clicking “system departments” on the left-hand side and then the “Welcome Center” link.

Parents must bring the following documentation to registration:
1. Proof of Residency

a. Homeowners: A current residential property tax statement (if there is not a tax bill, then the purchasing/closing information for the residence can be used). The record must include the name of the parent/guardian, a current electric bill and a photo ID.
b. Renters: A current lease or rental agreement consisting of the written evidence that the agreement is valid. The record must include the name of the parent/guardian, a current electric bill and a photo ID.

2. Copy of Birth Certificate
Birth certificates with the biological parents noted can be obtained from the Georgia Department of Human Resources Vital Records at 404-679-4701. Birth certificates for children born in other states can be obtained by contacting the Vital Records Department within that state (hospital certificates are not acceptable).

3. Immunization Certificate

A current and completed Georgia Department of Human Resources Form 3231 is required by state law showing immunizations for measles, mumps, rubella, polio, whooping cough, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis B and varicella. This form may be obtained by taking the current immunization record to the Fayette County Health Department or a Georgia physician.

4. Certificate of Ear, Eye and Dental Examination

A current (within one year of school entry) and complete Georgia Department of Human Resources form 3300 (ear, eye and dental exam) is required by state law. This form is available from the Fayette County Health Department or from a private physician.

5. Social Security Card

6. Student Emergency Contact Information

This includes emergency contact names as well as physicians and dentist names and telephone numbers.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Arrest of Armed Robbery suspect reference Creekside Chevron incident earlier in week

Peachtree City Police announced that they have made an arrest in the Armed Robbery of the Creekside Chevron (2763 Hwy 54, Peachtree City, Ga), which occurred in the early morning hours of December 19th, 2009. This arrest is based on a coordinated effort between Peachtree City Police Department and the Newnan Police Department. The Newnan Police Department contacted the Peachtree City Police Department after investigating a Kidnapping and Armed Carjacking incident over the weekend in the City of Newnan. Information obtained in the Newnan Police Department investigation identified a suspect who matched the description of the suspect in the Armed Robbery at the Creekside Chevron, on Hwy 54 in Peachtree City. The suspect was identified as ORLANDO MARQUEZ PEAVY, 21, of Atlanta, Georgia. MARQUEZ ORLANDO PEAVY is currently being held at the Coweta County Jail under the charges from the Newnan Police Department. Peachtree City Police have warrants on MARQUEZ ORLANDO PEAVY for Armed Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Use of a Sawed Off Shotgun during the Commission of a Crime, and Carrying a Concealed Weapon.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Armed robbery at Line Creek Chevron

On 12-19-09 at 0612 a black male entered the Line Creek Chevron, brandished what appeared to be a sawed off shotgun, and robbed the clerk. The subject was wearing black tennis type shoes, blue jeans, a black shirt, and an oversized black jacket with fur around the hood area. The subject also had a stocking hat on under the hood covering his head. The offender appeared to be young (18-25 yrs old), about 6 feet tall, and very thin. The subject also has a very southern accent. Anyone with any information regarding this crime, please call 770-487-8866. If after hours, please call Fayette County E911 at 770-461-4357.

Click here for photos: http://local.nixle.com/alert/609879/

Saturday, December 19, 2009

PTC United Methodist Church Cantata "The Wonder of Christmas" December 20

The public is invited to come and see the true meaning of Christmas at the Peachtree City United Methodist Church on Sunday, December 20th at 9:30 and 11 am.

The Chancel Choir and Orchestra will present a Christmas Cantata, "The Wonder of Christmas" by David Hamilton.

The PTC United Methodist Church is located at 225 Robinson Rd in Peachtree City. For more information, call 770-487-6499 or www.ptcumc.org.

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National Weather Service Issues Flood Warning for Flint River Saturday, December 19

The National Weather Service in Peachtree City has issued a flood warning for the Flint River near Lovejoy from Saturday morning , December 19, until Sunday morning, December 20. At 4am Saturday the stage was 10.3 feet and rising.

Minor flooding is forecast. Flood stage is 12.0 feet.

The forecast is to rise above flood stage by late this morning and continue to rise to near 13.2 feet by this afternoon. The river will fall below flood stage by after midnight tomorrow.

At 14.0 feet, moderate flooding begins. Some roads begin to flood such as Upper Riverdale Road and Mockingbird.

This crest compares to a previous crest of 12.9 feet on June 21, 1989.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

PTC First Presbyterian Celebrates the Birth of Christ on Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is always an exciting and meaningful night at First Presbyterian
Church of Peachtree City. Come celebrate Jesus' birth with two traditional candlelight worship services at 6pm and 8pm. Both services will include music presented by the music ministry of First Presbyterian.

There will be one worship service on Sunday, December 27 at 11:15am.

First Presbyterian Youth will be busy the week after Christmas with events including a mini lock-in and a New Year's Eve party.

The church is located across from City Hall at 206 Willowbend Rd. For more information call (770)487-7757 or visit www.firstpresptc.com.

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Fayette County School System and Fayette Holiday Helpers Thank Community for Generosity

CARE coordinator Karen Spangler (far left) and her assistant Diann Ferrante (far right) thank Fayette Holiday Helpers members Helen Rickman, Sandy Hogan, Dale Bettis and Janet Prescott for their assistance with the 2009 Angel Tree project.

Thanks to the generosity of the Fayette County community, assistance from Fayette Holiday Helpers and employees of the Fayette County Public School System, all angels on the CARE (Children at Risk in Education) Angel Tree will have their wishes granted and then some.

Hundreds of angels, representing students and their families who are in need, were part of this year’s Angel Tree project. Counselors at each school identified students who met the special requirements mandatory for inclusion: all adults in the household must be working or legitimately trying to find work, and the family’s combined income is not sufficient to make ends meet.

Angel requests are non-traditional and include basic need items such as clothing, blankets, space heaters, toiletries, and laundry detergent. While priority is given to meeting the basic need requests, donors do not stop there. Generally, they make sure that angels are also given some non-requested, fun items such as toys, bicycles and games.

“We couldn’t do this each year without the generosity of our community and organizations like Fayette Holiday Helpers. Thanks to all of the donations from churches, businesses, civic organizations and individuals, many children and their families will have a merrier holiday season. I just want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for making these angel wishes come true,” says Karen Spangler, the school system’s CARE coordinator.

Although the Angel Tree project is seasonal, the needs for students and their families are not. The CARE program assists those in need all year long by helping with After School Program tuition scholarships, extra curricular program fees, and various activity dues so that all students can feel a sense of inclusion and take full advantage of their school experiences. To make a donation, contact Spangler at spangler.karen@fcboe.org or call 770-460-3990.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Whitewater Students’ Warm Hearts Help Others Ward Off Cold

Students Will Drummond and Michael Johnson display the hand-made quilts donated by the school’s eighth grade home economics classes while assistant principal Kim Lhota and school counselors Natalie Grubbs and Eve Hanie look on.

With cold weather now hitting the metro Atlanta area, students at Whitewater Middle wanted to make sure others are staying warm this winter.

The entire school pitched in and collected over 100 blankets and more than 300 hats, scarves and gloves that were donated to the Atlanta Union Mission.

Two special hand-made quilts were also donated to the mission by the school’s eighth grade home economics classes. The students included a patch on each quilt with the date it was made, the school’s name and the signatures of those who worked on it.

Whitewater Middle’s assistant principal Kim Lhota and school counselors Natalie Grubbs and Eve Hanie organized the school-wide drive.

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“Reading is Contagious” Kicks Off at Inman Elementary

Fourth grader Kahlah Andrews, 10th grade mentor Ivori Douglas from Our Lady of Mercy High School and fourth grader Eden Negusse dive into books made of cake at the “Reading is Contagious” kickoff celebration.

Something contagious is going around at Inman Elementary, the love of reading.

Funded by a grant from Target and the Coweta-Fayette Bright Ideas Program, 20 teen mentors, who also happen to be chronic readers, from Whitewater and Our Lady of Mercy high schools are sharing their passion with Inman’s After School Program students through a new initiative called “Reading is Contagious.”

Students participating in the program do so at the request of their parents. Parents must agree to match the one-hour per week reading commitment with their child that mentors make. A journal recording time spent, child-created assessments of comprehension, word games, and drawings are exchanged between mentors and parents throughout the year. The journals mark milestones that are awarded, culminating with an end-of-the-year celebration.

“If we can get children excited about reading, we will have done our job; and if their reading scores improve, we won’t be surprised,” says Kahlilah Pagan, site coordinator for Inman’s After School Program.

The school recently held a “Reading is Contagious” kickoff celebration to inform parents and get students excited about the program. Louis Robinson, the school’s principal, calls the program a total team effort that is student focused.

“The students will be inspired by the attention given to them, the mentors and parents will be proud of their accomplishments, and together we will be reaching out to children with compassion through reading,” he says.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fayette Students Brighten Holidays for Sick Children

Students in Fayette County’s After School and REACH (Reaching Educational and Career Heights) programs are helping make the holidays a little merrier for some very special children.

Students in the two programs have been busy decorating and stuffing VIP (Very Important Patient) bags for children admitted to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Pediatric Hospital. This is the second consecutive year the students have worked on the VIP bags, which are part of the annual Santa’s Workshop Project coordinated by Janis Kraft of Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty in Peachtree City/Fayette.

After School Program students decorated white lunch bags with cheerful pictures and encouraging words. REACH students lent a hand helping stuff the bags with toys, crayons and activity sheets. Their goal was to complete 1,500 bags.

“I feel very proud that I can help others,” says Alyssa Ginn, a third grader in the After School Program at Kedron Elementary.

Local restaurants donated toys and crayons to the project. Students also contributed by donating their unused fast food toys.

The project has helped students in both programs understand the importance of helping others. They also learned that small actions go a long way in making a positive difference in people’s lives.

“This project provided students with a wonderful opportunity to exercise empathy. It demonstrates how their actions can help others,” says Christine Clark, the After School Program site coordinator at Kedron Elementary.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Fayetteville Intermediate Elementary Civic Club Donates to Angel Tree Program

Members of the K-Kids Club at Fayetteville Intermediate presented a $150 donation check to help provide presents to children on the CARE Angel Tree. (L-R) (seated) Cameron McDaniel, Andrew Rhone; (second row) Kayla Lott, Olivia Bailey, Morgan Lewis, Melanie Mikoy, Arianna Samuels; (back row) Monica McDaniel, club advisor, Sherese Floyd, club advisor, Maria Sherrod, school counselor, and Karen Spangler, CARE coordinator.

K-Kids Club members at Fayetteville Intermediate Elementary School are reaching out to help other kids in need throughout the Fayette County Public School System.

Through their community outreach efforts, the club earmarked $150 to benefit the CARE (Children at Risk in Education) program’s Angel Tree that provides nontraditional gifts such as clothing, After School Program scholarships and extracurricular program fees for students in need. All adults in the household must be employed in order for students to qualify for the program.

Club members held mini-fundraisers throughout the year to collect money to help improve their community at large as well as their own school environment. In addition to the donation made to the CARE program, the club gave money to UNICEF and Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless program. A portion was also donated to Fayetteville Intermediate to help purchase items that will benefit children at the school.

K-Kids Club is service organization for elementary students sponsored by the Kiwanis Club. K-Kids is a student-led community-based organization that operates under school regulations and draws its members from the student body. The 40-member club at Fayetteville Intermediate is made up of third, fourth and fifth graders. The club’s mission is to build a better local and global community by giving of time, money and efforts to help others.

"K-Kids is important because we help our community by fighting hunger and getting needed materials to those who don't have much," says fourth grader Melanie Mikoy.

The K-Kids advisors are Maria Sherrod, school counselor; Sherese Floyd, fourth grade teacher; and Monica McDaniel, fourth grade teacher.

“Our K-Kid members are an awesome bunch of kids who want to make a difference in their community and that is what they did when they donated money to CARE of Fayette County,” says school counselor Maria Sherrod.

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Peachtree City Discount Tire Grants Parent’s Wish

The Discount Tire team who helped grant a parent’s wish for new tires are (L-R) store manager Lawrence Lopez, Jared Blackstone, Chris Ducasse and Kegan Walley. Karen Spangler (right), CARE coordinator, and Helen Rickman of Holiday Helpers thank the store’s team for helping fulfill the Angel Tree request.

Tires are not the typical gift on most people’s Christmas lists, but it was at the top for a parent on the Fayette County School system’s Angel Tree.

Job cutbacks and losses due to the economy have hit many Fayette families hard this year. With her tires balding and loosing tread, this parent knew she had a safety issue but unfortunately did not have the money to purchase replacements. She had borrowed two tires from a friend but the tread had worn away on them as well. When she and her family were selected as angels for the CARE (Children at in Education) Angel Tree, new tires was the gift she wanted most.

Thanks to the generosity of Discount Tire on Georgia Highway 54 in Peachtree City, the parent’s wishes were granted. Not only did the store provide her with four new tires, the store manager also gave her a brand new spare.

“Her tires were in terrible shape. We replaced them and did an alignment. I happened to see the spare she had and noticed that the tread was gone on it. We replaced it as well,” says store manager Lawrence Lopez.

Lopez says he did not have to think twice or ask permission from the company to make the donation; it is part of the company’s philosophy. Discount Tire’s vision and values states “help those in need, always do what is right, work hard and be responsible.”

“Helping this mother was the right thing to do. She was so grateful to know that her vehicle is safer now for her family and we were happy to be able to give her that peace of mind,” says Lopez.

The Angel Tree program provides nontraditional gifts such as clothing, After School Program scholarships and extracurricular program fees for students and their families who are in need. All adults in the household must be employed in order for a family to qualify for the program.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Payless Shoes and Holiday Helpers Grant Wishes of Angels in Fayette County

Helen Rickman of Fayette Holiday Helpers (left) and Karen Spangler with the school system’s CARE program accepted the donation of 150 gift coupons at the Payless Shoe Source in Fayetteville from store manager Vincent Clayton.

Thanks to Payless Shoe Source and Helen Rickman of Fayette Holiday Helpers, 150 students in need of shoes on the CARE (Children at Risk in Education) Angel Tree will have their requests granted.

The 2009 Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids program is a grass roots campaign to deliver $1.2 million in free shoes to children of families in need. Over 2,900 nonprofits nationwide and in Canada applied to the program this year. Fayette Holiday Helpers was one out of 700 nonprofits selected to receive gift coupons redeemable for children’s shoes; each gift coupon is worth $15. Fayette Holiday Helpers, which assists with the CARE Angel Tree project each year, donated all 150 of the gift coupons they received to help fulfill the wishes of Fayette County’s public school students.

“We are so grateful to Payless Shoes Source and Holiday Helpers for this donation. We have a large number of requests for shoes this year so this gift is very meaningful to us,” says Karen Spangler, the school system’s CARE coordinator.

The CARE Angel Tree project is designed to help working families struggling to make ends meet provide basic needs for their children. The tree fulfills nontraditional needs such as clothing, after school program scholarships, eyeglasses and dental work. All adults in the household must be employed in order for students to qualify for the program.

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Monday, December 07, 2009

Fugee Founder Encourages Students to Respect Differences, Follow Dreams

A local celebrity, whose story has just been published in a book and purchased by a movie production company, talked to Rising Starr Middle students last week about respecting individual differences and finding life’s true purpose.

Soccer coach Luma Mufleh, founder of the Fugees (short for refugees) soccer team in Clarkston, Georgia, spent an hour telling students about her childhood in Amman, Jordan and her journey to find her life’s true purpose. Along the way she was forced her into bankruptcy and disowned by her parents, but in the end found happiness and fulfillment.

Mufleh left Jordan after graduating high school to attend Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. After college she worked in several different states and eventually settled in Clarkston. One day on her way home, she saw refugee boys playing soccer in the street. Mufleh, a soccer coach and former player, decided to start a soccer program just for refugee boys. She also made a commitment to help their families assimilate into their new lives in America.

Not happy with her decision to stay in the United States and start a refugee soccer program, her wealthy parents disowned her, leaving Mufleh to struggle to make ends meet, just like the families she pledged to help.

“I was never truly happy and I didn’t have a purpose until I decided to form the team. This is my purpose. My challenge to you is to look inside yourself and find your true meaning. It might not be the road that has been mapped out for you,” she told the students.

Mufleh’s presentation was part of the school’s eighth grade Survivor Program, which is wrapping up its second nine weeks with a focus on understanding of and respect for individual differences.
Mufleh receives many invitations to speak but only agrees to do four engagements a year.

“I am a soccer coach, not a speaker. But I love working with children so I was happy to accept this opportunity to talk to the students at Rising Starr,” she said.

The Fugee players come from 18 war-torn countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Congo, Somalia and Sudan. Many of them have endured unimaginable hardships before coming to America: squalor in refugee campus, separation from parents and siblings and witnessing killings of family members.

Several years after the Fugees formed in 2004, the soccer league now has four traveling teams and has become highly recognized by soccer enthusiasts. In conjunction with the team, Mufleh has also formed the Fugees Family, a nonprofit organization devoted to working with survivors of war and helping them transition to life in America. The organization also provides tutoring, assistance with housing, and health and educational programming.

Mufleh was recently selected as one of the 2009 Common Ground award recipients and was featured on NBC and MSNBC. The award is presented to individuals who have made outstanding accomplishments in conflict resolution, negotiation, community building, and peace building.

Additionally, a book has just been released titled, “Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, An American Town,” and Universal Pictures struck a $3 million deal to make movie about the Fugee’s story.

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

More Students “Exceed” on Writing Test

The fall 2009 administration of the Georgia High School Writing Test shows more students scoring in the “exceeds” category compared to a year ago.

The latest results show 4 percent less students meeting the standard while 3 percent more are exceeding the standard. The 2009 performance summary breakdown shows 78 percent meeting standards, 18 percent exceeding and 4 percent not meeting standards.

Fayette County's total pass rate is 96 percent. In comparison, the state’s pass rate is 91 percent.

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FDIC Orders Online Bank Auction of Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment from Southern Community Bank

/PRNewswire/ -- Penny Worley Auctioneers (www.worleyauctioneers.com) announces the online auction of furniture, fixtures and equipment from FDIC Receivership for Southern Community Bank in Fayetteville, Ga., according to Jerry Jenkins.

Items in this online bank auction include: computers, executive office furniture, IT equipment, copier/printers, office equipment, Oriental rugs, framed art, storage and shelving, work tables, phone systems, cubical systems, 50-inch flat panel televisions, kitchen appliances, as well as bank equipment like intercom speaker system with microphone, locking under counter teller cabinets, check scanners, jogger, electric paper cutter, coin counter, currency counters, a check making machine, encoders, validators, and security cameras.

"This is a great opportunity to purchase computer and IT equipment along with high-end office furniture," said Jenkins. "All of these items will sell to the highest bidders."

Jenkins said the items were ordered sold by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receivership for Southern Community Bank. In 2008, Penny Worley Auctioneers was named an official auctioneer for the FDIC.

The online auction is open to the public. Bidding starts closing December 13. Bidders must register prior to bidding. For more information, visit www.WorleyAuctioneers.com, or call Jerry Jenkins at (513) 313-9178.

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Fayette County Students Finish Strong in Foreign Language Competition

Foreign language students brought home 52 awards last month from the 37th annual Declamation Contest held at Clemson University.

A total of 71 students from all of Fayette County's five high schools competed in the following languages: French, German, Latin and Spanish. Contestants were required to recite two poems from memory using their chosen language. Judges rated each recitation on pronunciation, interpretation of text, smoothness of delivery and textural accuracy.

Fayette’s results were strong with 73 percent of the students earning first, second and third place prizes. All totaled, the students won 19 first place awards, 17 second and 16 third.

The following students placed first in their foreign language category:
(Fayette County High) Marina Lopes, Spanish 3; Samira Issa-Boube, French 2; Zahra Manji, French 3; (McIntosh High) Kathleen Newman, French 1; Molly Cook, French 4; Shelby Coffey, French 4; Nathan Pearson, Latin 2; Natalia Cuestas, Latin 3; Scott Lauderdale, Spanish 4; (Sandy Creek High) Courtney Henfield, German 3 native; Lyssa Beck, German 4 native; Broderick Sims, German 1 native; (Starr’s Mill High) Anika Noorali, French2; Michelle Perez, French 3; Katherine DelleDonne, French 4; Travis Richardson, German 4; Leslie A. Perez, Spanish 2; and (Whitewater High) Ayana Graham, Spanish 3; Cameron Green, Spanish 4.

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Monday, November 30, 2009

"The Sound of Angels" Performance by the Georgia Singers at PTC First Presbyterian Church December 6

The public is invited to a special holiday concert performed by the Georgia Singers at PTC First Presbyterian Church on December 6 at 6:30 pm. This concert features sacred and secular opening sections followed by delightful seasonal selections and the singing of congregational carols.

The Georgia Singers is a new force in choral music for women's voices in Fayette County and is directed by Dr. Franklin Green, who is nationally known for his work with young women's voices and accompanied by Mr. Rick Massengale, Director of Music at First United Methodist Church in Fayetteville.

Admission is free, however a ticket is required. For more information or to reserve a ticket, please call 770-487-7757 or email concerts@firstpresptc.com. A free-will offering will be taken. Childcare will be provided for ages 4 and younger.

First Presbyterian Church
206 Willow Bend Rd
Peachtree City

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Georgia Alternate Assessment Parent Workshop set for December 3

The Exceptional Children’s Services Department of the Fayette County Public School System will host a workshop on the Georgia Alternate Assessment on December 3 in the media center at Rivers Elementary beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Parents are encouraged to bring their child’s report to reference during the discussion. Topics will include the creation of the Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA) and how its portfolio is assessed; eligibility for the GAA; adaptive curriculum in general; and elements of the Georgia Performance Standards assessed in the portfolio.

Parents will also see examples of activities aligned to grade level standards and will learn ways to talk to their child’s teacher regarding which standards their child is working on and how they can help their child at home.

Exceptional Children’s Services staff members Kim Stapleton, adaptive curriculum coordinator; Cathy Skinner-Robertson, adaptive curriculum consultant; and Linda Williams, REACH and transition consultant, will facilitate the discussion.

Light refreshments will be served and a door prize drawing will be held. The workshop is free and open to the public; however, reservations are required for those planning to attend.
December 2 is the deadline to reserve a seat by contacting Allison Stevenson, parent mentor, at stevenson.allison@mail.fcboe.org or call 770-460-3911, ext 239.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dec. 3rd Receipt Day at Fayetteville Dwarf House

The Fayetteville Dwarf House Save your receipt from your purchase on THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3rd, and receive that same order for FREE during the month of January! (one time only) This is good for ALL FOOD PURCHASES!!!! (Even chick-fil-a trays!) This does not apply to merchandise purchases and does not apply to any delivery orders.

If you're on Facebook, look them up and become a fan.

Learn to love your work and you'll never have to 'work' again.--Truett Cathy

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Register for Prizes and Support Fayette Businesses!

The Fayette Chamber is encouraging holiday shoppers to buy local with their Find it in Fayette! Holiday Campaign. At www.FinditinFayette.org, visitors can find places to shop, local holiday events, hot deals, and register for great drawing prizes.

Supporting Fayette County businesses strengthens our local economy in multiple ways. Sales tax dollars provide funding for local resources and buying local helps bolster the Fayette job market and supports local business owners and their families. According to the 3/50 Project, for every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. Non-profit causes also benefit because successful, community-minded businesses are more likely to support local charities.

The www.FinditinFayette.org website is an ongoing effort by the Chamber to connect the community with local businesses and to help sustain the excellent quality of life we enjoy here in Fayette. For more information on how the Chamber helps local businesses, visit www.FayetteChamber.org or call 770.461.9983.

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Angel Tree Sponsors Needed in Fayette County

(L-R) CARE Coordinator Karen Spangler and her assistant, Dian Farrente, stand next to the Angel Tree Board representing nearly 300 needy students and their families.

Nearly 300 students and their families are in need of “angels” this holiday season.

The Fayette County Public School System’s annual CARE (Children at Risk in Education) Angel Tree project is underway and the needs of students and their families are reflective of the current economic situation in Fayette, the state and nation.

The CARE Angel Tree is different from most holiday donation projects in that students and families make non-traditional gift requests. This year the school system is seeing requests for more basic needs such as toilet paper, soap, shampoo and conditioner, dish and laundry detergent, and cleaning supplies. Angel requests span across all grade levels and areas of the county.

“We are getting numerous requests for very basic living necessities that many of us take for granted. Many of our angels are for students and their families who have never been in a financial hardship before,” says CARE Coordinator Karen Spangler. “We have parents who have lost jobs and are still without work or had to take a drastic pay cut. These are the working poor who are trying to make ends meet.”

In order for a student and/or family to make a gift request, at least one of the parents must be working or legitimately trying to find work. Counselors at each school identify those who are in need and make recommendations for placement in the angel project if the students and their families meet the required guidelines.

“When the community makes a donation to our project, we want them to know that we are being good stewards of their gifts. We want them to know that their donations are being given to those who truly need and will use them,” says Spangler.

Besides basic needs, other requests include gas cards for getting to and from medical appointments and jobs, portable heaters, pots and pans, automobile tires, beds and mattresses, and linens and blankets.

Also, there are more requests from the high school level than in the past. Many of these students are in need of clothing, shoes and basic toiletries. Since older students are sometimes harder to fit than younger ones, it is requested that sponsors donate a gift card so that school counselors can help the students shop for clothing that appeals to them and fits properly.

The community can select an angel off the Angel Tree board located at the former East Fayette Elementary School on Booker Avenue in Fayetteville. Angels will be available for sponsorship now through early December.

Persons who would rather make a donation instead of sponsoring a particular child or family can do so by dropping off basic need items, non-perishable foods or gift cards at the front office of the former East Fayette Elementary School or at the Fayette County Board of Education office at 210 Stonewall Avenue in Fayetteville. These donations will help stock the holiday shopping center the last week before the winter break, giving school counselors an opportunity to shop for last minute needs for families who have just moved into the area or lost a job, got evicted, etc.
“This has been a huge success the past two years. We always have families and students who suddenly find themselves in need just before the holidays. Donations to the holiday shopping center are greatly appreciated so that we can help students and their families have a brighter holiday season,” says Spangler.

All donations are due by December 11 so that school staff can distribute the gifts to families in time for the holidays. For questions about the CARE Angel Tree Project or directions, please contact Betty Albers, 770-460-1390.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Peachtree City Elementary Students Share Season’s Bounty

Lily Gober places eggplants and corn into the cornucopias made by Peachtree City Elementary ASP students for Fest Day. The decorations were later donated to Southland Health and Rehabilitation.

The spirit of sharing Thanksgiving’s bounty is in the hearts of After School Program (ASP) students at Peachtree City Elementary.

The students designed paper cornucopias filled with vegetables made out of paper and paint to serve as centerpieces during the school’s annual Fest Day, an event held just before the Thanksgiving holiday break when parents and family members join their children for lunch.

After the fest was over, the ASP students extended the spirit of giving by donating their handiwork to their next door neighbors at Southland Health and Rehabilitation. The facility will use the artwork to decorate the residents’ dining hall between now and Thanksgiving Day.

"This activity provided our students with dual opportunities in creative expression and community service. ASP students enjoyed sharing their art with the school and with our neighbors at Southland. It was wonderful to see the students develop an awareness," says Jennifer Campbell, the school’s ASP site coordinator.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kiwanis and Civitan Clubs Help Fayette County School Clinics Purchase New Thermometers

Temporal artery scanner thermometers will soon be in every Fayette County school clinic thanks to donations from two local civic organizations.

The Kiwanis Club of Fayette County and the Fayette County Civitan Club have both made monetary donations to the school system’s School Health Services program after learning about the need for thermometers that take temperatures by scanning the forehead.

The school system found it would be more efficient and less costly to have the temporal artery scanners after dealing with flu outbreaks at the beginning of the school year. As individual students and staff members were diagnosed with the flu, school nurses took the temperatures of all students and staff in order to detect others that were running a fever, a symptom of the flu. Each time a temperature was taken, a new protective cover had to be placed on the thermometer. Not only was this costly, but it was also time consuming.

The temporal artery scanners can be cleaned with alcohol between students, eliminating a need for costly covers and making it more time efficient to take multiple temperatures. They also have a sliver ion antimicrobial head that destroys harmful bacteria, mold, mildew and fungi on contact.

“I want to thank these two organizations for helping us get the scanner thermometers into our school clinics. They are more accurate, efficient and less expensive than what we are using now. These thermometers are going to be a great asset to the clinics and I just want to thank these groups again for their donations,” says School Health Services Specialist Debbie King.

The temporal artery scanner is an infrared thermometer that measures temperature with a gentle stroke of the forehead, capturing the naturally emitted heat from the skin over the temporal artery. The scanner has proven to give more accurate readings than ear thermometers because it measures arterial temperature, the same temperature as the blood flowing from the heart which is the best determinate of body temperature.

The scanners cost about $78 each. School clinics are expected to receive the new thermometers in January.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pilot Flu-Free Schools Program Likely to Return Next Year

Fayette County Health Department nurse Cindy Stratton, RN, gives JanaƩ Walker a seasonal flu vaccine during the make-up clinic at Robert J. Burch Elementary on November 16 as her mom, Veronica, holds her.

The pilot Flu-Free Schools program has been deemed a success and will most likely return next year, hopefully expanding to additional elementary schools.

The program was held at seven elementary schools last month to provide the FluMist vaccine for seasonal flu to students and employees at those schools. A total of 552 students or approximately 13.5 percent of the total student population of the participating schools received the flu vaccine.

Of these same schools, 113 staff members received the vaccine or approximately 24.4 percent of the total employee population. Nearly 40 percent of all eligible persons were vaccinated. These numbers will increase as additional students and employees receive the vaccine during make-up clinics at the schools November 16-19.

Parents had to give consent for their children to receive the vaccination. Burch parent Veronica Walker was pleased that the Flu-Free Schools program was held at her daughter’s school because her pediatrician had ran out of the regular flu vaccine.

“This is a real convenience. We don’t have to sit around and wait at the doctor’s office. It can be done right here at school and I don’t have to check my daughter out to take her to the doctor,” says Walker.

Walker’s daughter, JanaĆ©, who is in pre-K, had to have the injectable vaccine since she had received the H1N1 vaccination the Friday prior to the make-up clinic.

Only students and staff members of each school were eligible to receive the seasonal flu vaccine. The program was not open to the general public or to students and staffs at other schools. Injectable vaccines were available for students and adults who could not take FluMist due to health issues or other concerns.

The participating elementary schools were Huddleston, North Fayette, Peachtree City, Robert J. Burch, Sara Harp Minter, Peeples and Spring Hill. The schools were selected based on their geographic location and that they had past experience setting up flu clinics.

District 4 Public Health sponsored the Flu-Free Schools program. The purpose of the program was to keep students and teachers healthy and in school by reducing the number of days missed from school and work.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Give Free Stuff for the Holidays and Help Fayette County Teachers

Who couldn’t use a free Papa John’s pizza or Firestone Complete Auto Care oil change, no purchase necessary?

The word “free” is very appealing in this economy and free food and services is exactly what you will get when you purchase an Enjoy the City coupon book from the Fayette County Education Foundation.

Not only can you enjoy many free items, but you can also feel good knowing that you have helped Fayette’s public school teachers purchase needed supplies for their classrooms.

The books are $20 and make great holiday gifts or stocking stuffers. Proceeds benefit the Fayette County Education Foundation, which supports the county’s teachers by providing mini-grants to purchase needed items that enhance classroom instruction.

The books can be purchased at the Fayette County Board of Education office, 210 Stonewall Avenue in Fayetteville, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

They have numerous “buy one, get one” free deals and discounts from popular restaurants such as Johnny’s New York Style Pizza, La Hacienda, Sonic and La Parrilla. Families can also enjoy savings on entertainment like “buy one, get one free” Atlanta Braves game tickets and free general admission to Zoo Atlanta with the purchase of a ticket. There are many discounts on services such as car rentals, dry cleaning and hair care.

Other than employee and community donations, the foundation relies on the coupon book sales to help fund the mini-grants that typically range from $500-700 per teacher.

These are tough financial times for everyone. The foundation wants to make the holidays a little merrier while also helping the county’s teachers get what they need to continue offering their students the best educational experiences possible.

The Fayette County Education Foundation is nonprofit organization and is a cooperative effort between the school system and the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce. For more information about the foundation or Enjoy the City coupon books, contact Melinda Berry-Dreisbach, public information specialist for Fayette County Schools, 770-460-3535.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Fayette County After School Program Offers Holiday Special

The Fayette County Public School System’s After School Program (ASP) wants to help parents get ready for the holidays.

Crowded stores, long checkout lines and heavy traffic may leave some parents needing to add a few extra hours to their day to get everything done. That’s why the ASP is extending a special offer just in time for the holidays.

November through December, parents can purchase one or two day tickets for their students to attend the program at participating schools. Hours for ASP care begin at the end of each school day through 6:30 p.m. The program is available at the following elementary schools: Braelinn, Brooks, Robert J. Burch, Cleveland, Crabapple Lane, Kedron, North Fayette, Oak Grove, Peachtree City, Peeples, Fayetteville Intermediate, Hood Avenue Primary, Huddleston, Inman, Sarah Harp Minter, Spring Hill and Tyrone.

The ASP offers quality supervision with plenty of fun activities to keep children busy including arts and crafts, games, computer classes and homework assistance.

Advanced ticket purchases are required. Space is limited and based on availability. More information about the holiday special can be obtained by contacting the ASP site coordinator at a participating school or call 770-460-3990, ext. 256.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

North Fayette Surpasses Pennies for Patients Goal

Proudly displaying the check representing the money the school collected is (L-R) Abraham Respert, Andre Teague, school counselor Heather Sherwood, Nadia Martinez and Sanathan Mercer.

Students at North Fayette Elementary in Fayetteville are helping one of their classmates fight against cancer as they raise money for research and education one penny at a time.

Throughout October, students donated their pennies and other spare change to the Pennies for Patients campaign benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The school decided to set an ambitious fundraising goal of $1,000 but surpassed it by collecting a total of $1,268.87.

“The students became very passionate about this cause when they learned that one of the school’s students had been diagnosed with cancer. All of the pennies really added up,” says school counselor Heather Sherwood.

The students learned that even a small effort could make a difference in the lives of others. The money they raised will be used by the society to research cures for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, as well as fund programs to improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

GOP Pancake Breakfast Nov 21

The Fayette County GOP will have a Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, November 21, 2009 at the Fayette County GOP Headquarters located at 111 South Glynn Street, Fayetteville, GA. The hours are 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Tickets are just $5.00 each. They will serve pancakes, sausage, coffee or orange juice. For tickets call Dot Ensley at 770-460-8507 or the GOP Headquarters at 770-716-1545.

DivorceCare: Surviving the Holidays Seminar Scheduled

The Small Group Ministry at Heritage Christian Church will be offering “DivorceCare: Surviving the Holidays” which is a helpful, encouraging seminar for people facing the holidays after a separation or divorce. The seminar will be held on Sunday, December 6th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Childcare provided. There’s no charge for this event.

The “Surviving the Holidays” seminar features practical suggestions, guidance and reassurance through video interviews with counselors, experts in divorce-related care and people who have experienced the holidays after separation or divorce. Topics to be discussed include “Why the Holidays Are Tough,” “What Emotions to Expect,” “How to Plan and Prepare,” “How to Handle Uncomfortable Situations” and “Using the Holidays to Help You Heal.”

Those who attend will receive a free book with over 30 daily readings providing additional insights and ideas on holiday survival.

Please email smallgroups@heritagechristian.org, for details and location of this event.

Heritage Christian Church offers many support groups such as Divorce Care, Divorce Care for Kids, Grief Share, Financial Peace University and many more. For complete group listings visit our web site at www.heritagechristian.org/smallgroups
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Fayette County Schools Prepare for Veterans Day Celebrations A Long Standing Tradition Continues in Brooks

Public schools throughout Fayette County will recognize and honor the community’s veterans and active duty military personnel on Veterans Day (November 11) with breakfasts, special programs and receptions.

One of the largest and longest-running Veterans Day celebrations takes place at Brooks Elementary where the school’s students honor veterans with songs, music and messages of “thanks” during a patriotic assembly followed by a parade through the town of Brooks and a picnic at the school. This annual tradition is in its eighth year.

The Veterans Day celebration has become a tradition that the Brooks community holds near and dear to its heart. Because of the current economic situation, cuts in the school’s transportation budget put the performances of the Sandy Creek High Air Force JROTC Color Guard and the Whitewater High marching band in jeopardy. The Brooks Elementary student council turned to the Brooks Town Council for help.

“One by one, out of the goodness of their souls, these individual councilmen signed over their quarterly paychecks to Brooks Elementary. It was a spiritual moment indeed,” says Pre-K teacher Dana Sams, one of the organizers of the celebration. “Next a business person offered to pay for a large banner in the town square announcing the program, a local minister offered his church’s assistance and a teacher wrote a personal check. There wasn’t a dry eye in the Town Hall. If you don’t think that Mayberry, USA exists, then you need to come to Brooks, Georgia and visit our community school. This is America at its finest.”

More than 100 local veterans and their families have received hand-written invitations from the school’s fifth graders. Special letters of thanks and well wishes have also been sent to Lt. Daniel Berschinski of Peachtree City, who is currently recuperating at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington D.C. He lost both legs and sustained other injuries after stepping on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. He is a 2002 graduate of McIntosh High.

“His family has already indicated how touched they have been by the letters and cards that Brooks has already sent; and we’ve only just begun,” says Sams.

The honored veterans, along with the school’s students, parents and staff, and a total of 18 red wagon floats and banners, will parade through downtown Brooks with Mayor Bobby Butler (a Korean War veteran) leading as grand marshal. This will be Butler’s last year as grand marshal before his tenure as mayor ends in December.

Hungry parade participants will gather back at the school to enjoy an All-American picnic lunch of hot dogs and all the trimmings. Students will have an opportunity to listen to veterans tell stories from their military experiences as the celebration winds down.

“Children sense the gravity of what it means to have freedoms here in America that like-aged children in other countries do not have. They get the special privilege of shaking hands and sharing a hot dog with a real life hero or heroine,” says Sams.

If you plan to go, here is the schedule for the celebration: 8:30 a.m., reception; 9:30 a.m., program; 10:15 a.m., parade; 11:11 a.m., moment of silence followed by the All-American picnic lunch.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sandy Creek ROTC Drill Team Wins Awards

Cadets show their excitement and proudly display their trophies after earning a third place overall finish at the Mundy’s Mill Invitational Classic Drill Meet. (L-R) Haylie Billingsley, Alexa Solano, Aleeia Marcelo, Vanessa Lara, Megan Shuford, Manuel Austria-Torices, Donald Loken, Tasha Marcelo, Dustin Gonzalez, Kaycee Hall, Caleb Davidson, Christopher High, Julian Hughes, Katrina McKennon, Benjamin Pickard, Samuel Dean, Kendrick Dixson, Yanni Ramlochun, Zaheer Tajani, Catherine Dougherty, Christian Powell and Derek Ansley. Cadets not pictured are Nereida Duran and Delsi Duran.

The Sandy Creek High Air Force Junior ROTC drill team placed in the top three at the Mundy’s Mill Invitational Classic Drill Meet.

Sandy Creek’s team, which is in its third year, had its best competition finish to-date, placing third out of a total of 10 Air Force Junior ROTC drill teams from area high schools.

Meet competition involves multiple events judged for precision and accuracy. Each drill routine must be executed with a set sequence of commands. The commands must be called out perfectly and the entire squad must perform each movement in unison.

In addition to the overall third place finish, the team also placed second in the Unarmed Regulation Drill, commanded by Cadet Katie McKennon, third in Unarmed Regulation Inspection and third in Armed Regulation Drill commanded by Kendrick Dixson.

Sandy Creek’s ROTC drill team practices after school with cadets going over each routine repeatedly to ensure proper execution. Chief Master Sergeant Mark Davidson oversees the team.
“These results are reflective of the hard work the cadets put into the preparation for this meet.
Each cadet was so proud of their efforts and so excited to bring back trophies. This type of performance further encourages the team to continue to excel in these types of competitions,” Davidson says.

The drill team will compete next in the Blue Devil Drill Meet in Marietta on December 12 and will likely participate in the state drill meet in March.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

Fayette County School Gets Excellence Award for Second Time

A Fayette County school has just received its second Georgia School of Excellence designation, bringing the county’s total awards to 22.

Whitewater Middle has been named a 2009 Georgia School of Excellence in Student Achievement by the Georgia Department of Education. The school is among 27 statewide to receive the recognition.

The award is given in two categories: greatest improvement and highest achievement. Whitewater Middle received the award in the highest achievement category, designating it as being among the top 10 percent of highest achieving schools in the state as measured by assessments in reading and mathematics. Only 13 schools were honored at this level.

Whitewater Middle was named a Georgia School of Excellence for the first time in 1997. Schools can receive the honor more than once if they have not been named a Georgia School of Excellence in the past five years.

Each year the Georgia Department of Education identifies schools from each Congressional District as Georgia Schools of Excellence in Student Achievement. One public school from each Congressional District is chosen in the greatest improvement and highest achievement categories.

The 2009 winners will be honored at a banquet on February 5 at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Eight Fayette County Schools Named as Distinguished Schools

A total of eight of Fayette County's elementary and middle schools have been named Title 1 Distinguished Schools by the Georgia Department of Education.

The county’s schools are among 896 public schools statewide to receive the designation. Schools are given “distinguished” status based on having made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) three or more years consecutively. Since all of Fayette’s schools receiving the honor have met AYP six or more years in a row, they will each receive a monetary award, paid out of federal funds, as well as a certificate recognizing their achievement.

Both North Fayette Elementary and Robert J. Burch Elementary have met AYP for 11 consecutive years and will each receive a $1,424 award. Both schools have been recognized as distinguished for nine years.

Fayette Middle, Fayetteville Intermediate, Hood Avenue Primary, Inman (formerly East Fayette) Elementary and Oak Grove Elementary have made AYP for seven consecutive years and will each receive a $712 award. These schools have been recognized as distinguished for five years.

Flat Rock Middle has made AYP for six years and will receive a $712 award. The school has been recognized as distinguished for four years.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Fayette County Student Named to State School Superintendent’s Advisory Council

Sandy Creek High’s Quannaires Streeter is among the 53 students from around Georgia selected to serve on the 2009-2010 Student Advisory Council to State School Superintendent Kathy Cox.

Members of the council will meet three times throughout the school year to advise Cox on how state policies are having an impact in the classroom. The Student Advisory Council will also discuss other education-related issues and will serve as the superintendent’s ambassadors in their respective schools.

More than 550 students from 108 districts applied to be a member of the Student Advisory Council by filling out an application and answering essay questions. Students were chosen based on the strength of their essay.

The first meeting of the council will be held November 9 at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

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Parents Invited to Attend Intellectual Disability Eligibility Workshop November 10 in Fayette County

A parent workshop on Intellectual Disability eligibility will be presented by the Fayette County Public Schools Exceptional Children’s Services Department on November 5 in the media center of Rivers Elementary beginning at 6 p.m.

Discussion will focus on how mild, moderate, severe and profound intellectual disability eligibilities are determined, the terminology used and the services available for students in the general and adapted curriculum settings. A question and answer session for general questions will follow.

Cathy Skinner-Robertson, adapted curriculum consultant for the county’s Exceptional Children’s Services Department, will lead the discussion. There will be light refreshments and door prizes for participants.

Attendance is free but reservations are required. Contact Parent Mentor Allison Stevenson at Stevenson.allison@mail.fcboe.org or call 770-460-3911, ext. 239 to reserve a seat.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Lunch and Learn in Fayette County for Surrogate Parent Training

A lunch and learn session for persons interested in becoming surrogate parents to students with disabilities in the educational process will be held November 9 in the media center of Rivers Elementary beginning at 12:30 p.m.

The Fayette County Public Schools Exceptional Children’s Department will provide training for those interested in becoming surrogates for students whose parents cannot be identified or located, and the responsibilities are strictly limited to the special education portion of the child’s education. Duties include attending and participating in the child’s annual Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting and providing consent for evaluation or placement.

Foster parents, retired teachers and persons who would like to act as a parent in these special education decisions are encouraged to come to this training. Rosie Gwin, exceptional children’s services coordinator for the school system, will lead the training.

“Acting as a surrogate parent is a wonderful opportunity to serve a child when he or she needs it the most,” says Allison Stevenson, the school system’s parent mentor.

Participants are invited to bring their own lunch. Drinks and dessert will be served.
The training is free but reservations are required. Contact Allison Stevenson at stevenson.allison@mail.fcboe.org or call770-460-3911, ext. 239 to reserve a seat.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mayor’s Christmas Motorcade

In the state of Georgia there are several thousand citizens living in Georgia’s seven regional mental health and retardation hospitals. Many of these patients have lived in these hospitals most of their lives and have little, if any, contact with or support from friends or family.

Fifty one years ago, in 1958, the Georgia Municipal Association and then Governor Ernest Vandiver created the Mayor’s Christmas Motorcade to help these hospital patients celebrate Christmas by providing each with a present. The staff at the regional hospitals tells us that without the Mayor’s Christmas Motorcade, many patients would go without any type of gift or recognition during the holidays.

Our city has started its gift collection campaign and we are asking for your help. The hospital clients are part of our community, drawn from a region, and we would like to encourage all of you to remember them this holiday season. West Central Georgia Regional Hospital located in Columbus is the hospital that the City of Fayetteville is supporting. If your school, church, business, or civic group would like to partner with the City of Fayetteville in participating in an outstanding holiday community project, please contact Anne Barnard at (770) 719-4159 for further information on how you can get involved.

You will find enclosed a prepared “Christmas Wish List” for the clients (http://www.fayettefrontpage.com/docs/2009%20Wish%20List.pdf). Let’s not forget those less fortunate during the holiday season.

Thank you for your support,

Mayor Ken Steele
City of Fayetteville
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Whitewater Teacher to Head DECA Board

The DECA Club at Whitewater High continues to make news in Georgia. The latest honor for the club came in October with the election of Krystin Glover, marketing teacher and DECA advisor, as president-elect of the Georgia DECA Board, Inc.

Glover will spend this year training and shadowing the current president and then will take over the reins as head of the board next October. She will serve as president for a two-year term, presiding over a five-member elected board and six ex-officio members. Previously, Glover served on the board as the Western Region Director.

DECA is an association for marketing education students. It represents the program of student activity known as co-curricular, rather than extracurricular, since DECA activities are designed to reinforce the competencies taught in marketing and management.

The DECA Board is a policy-making group overseeing all functions of Georgia DECA.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kathy Cox to Speak Nov 12

The Greater Fayette Republican Women's Club will be meeting for dinner on Thursday, November 12th, at 6:00pm at Frank's, 1095 Highway 54 W., Fayetteville. State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox will be the guest speaker. All interested Republican Women, their families, and friends are invited to attend. For more information, call Alberta Lucas (770-719-0879) or Debby Dickinson (770-631-2383).

Georgia's Organic Produce Acreage is Growing

Fayette County farmer Becky Douville plants her tomatoes in plastic-covered rows. This method blocks out weeds and allows her to forgo spraying herbicides. This is just one organic method she uses to grow the crops she provides to Metro Atlanta farmers' markets. Photo by Sharon Dowdy

Of the more than 170,000 acres of Georgia farmland devoted to growing vegetables, only 3,000 acres are dedicated to growing organic produce. The numbers are small, but these producers are finding demand is high in their niche market.

Most organic growers sell their produce at farmers markets in metro areas or to upscale restaurants operators. Organic growers also sell to a growing number of consumers who prefer chemical-free food.

Plant some for the worms, too

Becky Douville of Able 2 Farm in Fayette County learned to grow organically by taking classes from Georgia Organics, Inc. She also learned at the feet of Lester Bray, considered a gardening guru in Fayette County.

“Mr. Bray taught me things like how to plant enough tomatoes to share with the horn worms,” she said. “This way I don’t have to spray, and I still have enough for the markets I supply.”
Douville isn’t a certified organic grower but grows her crops in a sustainable way. She has developed her own style by meshing Bray’s methods with what she learned from University of Georgia Master Gardener classes and Georgia Organics classes.

Supplying locally grown food

She grows tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe and cucumbers and sells them to markets in Fayetteville and Fairburn, as well as Atlanta’s Emory University Farmers Market and Trinity Community Ministries.

“I feel like a stockbroker,” she said. “I have all my cantaloupes sold before they even leave the field. And that’s about 300 melons.”

Conducting organic, conventional research

To help farmers like Douville, UGA Cooperative Extension horticulturist George Boyhan conducts research for organic crops. For the past 12 years, he was stationed in Statesboro, where he focused on Vidalia onions, working with both conventional and organic growers. Georgia producers started growing onions organically in 2003.

Onions are the largest single vegetable grown for the organic market in Georgia. Blueberries are No. 2.

“Some 400 acres were grown this past year,” Boyhan said. “That’s great, but it’s still a small fraction of the 12,000 or 13,000 acres of Vidalia onions we produce.”
Weeds are the biggest hurdle

Organic growers now get yields close to those of conventional growers. Weed control is their largest drawback. Organic-onion growers must use cultivation equipment and extensive manual labor to control them, he said.

As a reward for their extra work, organic growers get a premium price. “The highest price I’ve seen for organic onions is $45 a box,” Boyhan said. “Conventional growers get $20 a box on the high end and $12 a box on the low end.”

Now working on the UGA campus in Athens, Boyhan researches other organic crops and teaches College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences students the ins and outs of organic farming.
Breeding organic varieties

“I just completed a big trial on pumpkins, and we just released a new variety” called Orange Bulldog, he said. “It has a higher level of disease resistance.”

Conventional pumpkins grown in Georgia are very susceptible to aphid-transmitted diseases. “Orange Bulldog has higher disease resistance, and organic growers are limited in what they can use so it’s a good fit for them,” Boyhan said. “We’ve produced pumpkins organically on our research farm with both treated and untreated seeds.” In order to be certified as organic, a crop must be grown using untreated seeds.

Taking a new look at old seed

Boyhan will soon conduct organic-growing trials on varieties of watermelon, cantaloupe, pepper and tomato, particularly heirloom types.

“I’m interested in looking at how heirloom varieties compare to modern varieties particularly under organic growing conditions,” he said. “True heirlooms are seeds that have been passed down in a family from year to year. There are also heirlooms that are named varieties that can be traced back to the 19th century whose seeds can be bought from seed catalogs.”

Some consumers buy organics because they believe they are more nutritional than traditional crops. A government study in the United Kingdom revealed no difference in organic versus conventional crops in terms of health or nutrition, Boyhan said.

“It’s a mixed bag of research,” he said. “People should be eating more fruits and vegetables, period, no matter which way they are grown.”

By Sharon Dowdy
University of Georgia

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Fayette County Schools Say “Thanks” to Retired Educators November 1

Schools across the county will honor Fayette County's retired educators by putting messages on their marquees in recognition of Retired Educators Day on November 1.

The Fayette County Public School System is taking this opportunity to say “thank you” to all of the county’s retired teachers for their years of dedication to Fayette’s students and their continued commitment to the education profession. Although retired, these educators realize that education is the cornerstone to a successful community and some have remained involved in Fayette’s schools beyond retirement as volunteers, mentors and tutors.

Many of the county’s retired educators are members of the Fayette County Retired Educators Association. Each year the organization gives several awards to students and faculty for outstanding achievement including a scholarship for graduating seniors who plan to enter the field of education, the Middle School Academic/Outstanding Student Award for one eighth grade student at each of the county’s middle schools who demonstrates superior academic performance and community involvement, and the Outstanding Educator Award honoring a current educator for his or her exceptional service to the education profession.

Retired educators have touched and influenced the lives of generations of young people in our community and have inspired them to use their talents and abilities to the fullest, and to become responsible and contributing citizens. The Fayette County Public School System encourages the public to reach out on November 1 to retired teachers they know and offer their appreciation to these educators for their dedicated service to the community.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

“Baby Love Squares” are Latest Project of Rising Starr Knitting Club

Looking over the finished knitted baby squares is (L-R) Principal Len Patton (seated), Nancy Ware, NICU nurse at Egelston and Rising Starr parent, Clorinda Roache, assistant principal, Abril Diaz, 8th grade, Kimberly Ware, 7th grade, and Shannon Booker, 8th grade.

Being a patient in a hospital makes most adults anxious, so imagine how it must be for a newborn in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Members of the knitting club at Rising Starr Middle are doing their part to help calm infants in the NICU at Egleston Children’s Hospital by knitting what they call “Baby Love Squares.”

A set of small, knitted squares are given to mothers with infants in the unit who cannot visit their babies often for various reasons. The mother wears the square so that her scent is transferred to it. The square is placed with the baby, making the infant feel safe and secure.

Principal Len Patton started the school’s knitting club shortly after she became principal as a way for her and students to interact with each other while learning the art of knitting. The club has expanded over the years to include different types of handiwork. Participants meet in the afternoons after school. The club is open to students, parents and staff.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Fayette County Bands Earn High Honors at Competitions

The Whitewater High Marching Band members celebrate by showing off the six-foot trophy they won after being named Grand Champions of the Eagle’s Nest Invitational.

The Fayette County High Marching Tigers made their own history by placing fifth overall in the Bands of America Regional Championship, the highest placement the band has ever received at this competition.

A total of 21 bands from South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio and Georgia participated in the championship, which was held in Massillon, Ohio the weekend of October 17. The band’s finals performance score was only 5.4 points from first place.
In addition to making the finals, the band also won its second “Class Placement Award” by placing third in their class of nine bands. The Marching Tigers earned their first such award last year at the Atlanta Super-Regional.

Another honor for the band included being ranked number one of all 21 bands competing by the Music Performance Ensemble adjudicator.

The band is under the direction of Dr. Myra Rhoden. Assistant band director is Jonathan Broome.

That same weekend the Whitewater High Marching Band received a superior rating at the Eagle’s Nest Invitational Band Competition in Gwinnett County.

Out of 11 bands that competed, Whitewater was one of only two that received superior ratings for all areas of competition judged including percussion, drum major, color guard and band.
Whitewater pulled away from the pack by receiving the awards for Best in Class Brass Section, Best in Class Woodwinds, Best in Class Music and first place in Class 4A competition. In overall competition, Whitewater won Grand Champion of the invitational and brought home the coveted six-foot trophy.

The band is under the direction of Jack Jean. Assistant band director is Robert Truan.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fayette County Math Teacher Earns State Award

Her passion for math, development of creative lesson plans and commitment to continued professional growth has landed one Fayette teacher state recognition.

Jane Hannon, instructional support teacher for elementary mathematics, has been awarded the Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics award at the elementary level by the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Each year the organization gives the award to an elementary, middle and high school math teacher who demonstrates outstanding teaching abilities and a commitment to helping students better understand math.

Hannon, a 26-year veteran classroom teacher, is a member of the faculties at Fayetteville Intermediate, Hood Avenue Primary and Spring Hill Elementary where she leads discussions on instructional strategies, unit planning, examining student work and providing feedback, and analyzing data.

Hannon has led the way in the development and implementation of an acceleration model of instruction to help students master math concepts tested on the CRCT; has served as a team leader in developing unit plans, common pre and post unit tests and performance tasks for the Georgia Performance Standards K-5 mathematics curriculum; has been instrumental in assisting teachers in planning activities for math night at each of her schools; and even created a character called Num-Bee for a bi-weekly student TV show that focuses on critical math concepts.

“Jane’s lessons are interesting, filled with manipulatives, linking math to literature, and are always student centered. She consistently searches for more ways to make her lessons meaningful and authentic, to make her teaching more effective and to provide assistance to her colleagues,” says Lynn Ridgeway, coordinator of mathematics for Fayette County Schools.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

PTC Update

Work underway on Flat Creek Path Bridge

Construction is now underway for the connections to the Flat Creek Multi-Use Bridge (located behind Gardner Park and near Morallion Hills in Southern Peachtree City). Residents, businesses, and path users alike may hear the impact of the pile driver for the next several weeks as the connections are placed. The bridge is expected to open in late-January.

Council awards CSX Path Bridge Connections Project

At their regular meeting last Thursday, the Mayor and Council awarded the $157,000 construction contract for the path connections to the CSX multi-use path bridge and tunnels on Highway 54 West to Lewallen Construction. The Georgia DOT must sign the contract, and then the Notice to Proceed with construction can be issued to the contractor.

Volunteers Needed – Commission and Authority terms pending

Peachtree City is now accepting applications for several volunteer boards serving the community. Applications are due to City Hall by 5:00 p.m. on December 4, are available by clicking the link on the respective agency below for more information:

Peachtree City Water & Sewerage Authority (WASA) – owns and operates the sewer treatment system serving Peachtree City.
Peachtree City Airport Authority – owns and operations Peachtree City Falcon Field Airport.
Peachtree City Tourism Association – serves as Peachtree City’s Convention and Visitors Bureau and operates the Peachtree City Visitors Center.
Peachtree City Recreation Commission – Advises the Mayor and Council on recreation needs and issues in Peachtree City.

Kedron Pools reopen today

Additional repairs required for the pools at Kedron Fieldhouse and Aquatic Center required them to remain closed through this past weekend. However, the pools reopened today (Monday, October 19).

Mayor & Council Candidate Interviews Online

The Fayette County Chamber of Commerce has posted a video candidate forum online for the upcoming November 3 Election. Candidates for each of Peachtree City’s posts (Mayor, Council Posts 1, 3, & 4) had an opportunity to answer questions. [View Videos . . . ]

Keep PTC Beautiful helps keep the Air Show green!

At the October 15 City Council Meeting, Keep Peachtree City Beautiful (KPTCB) Director Al Yougel reported that the group collected 98 bags of recyclables during the two-day Great Georgia Air Show on October 10 & 11, which, after sorting, resulted in 1,800 lbs. of plastic bottles that were recycled instead of going in the landfill. The non-profit agency is working to increase recycling opportunities at events in the city. [More information on KPTCB . . . ]

Veterans Day event to be held November 7

This year’s Veterans Day recognition will be held on Saturday, November 7, at 10:00 a.m. The City, in conjunction with VFW Post 9949, American Legion Posts 50 and 105, and the Clyde Thomason detachment of the Marine Corps League, will host the event at the new Falcon Field Veterans Memorial Park at Falcon Field Airport. [More information . . . ]

Occupational Taxes Now Due

Notices were mailed Friday for all businesses to pay their 2010 Occupational Taxes by December 31. This includes home-based businesses. This year’s mailing includes a Fayette County 9-1-1 emergency contact form, and a Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program form now required by State Law for all businesses. If you did not receive a renewal notice last week or if you have never obtained an Occupational Tax Certificate for your business, please contact City Hall. [Email City Hall regarding Occupational Taxes . . . ]

Shopping Locally

Green Market, Thursdays at The Avenue - The Avenue at Highway 54/74 will be holding a series of produce markets on Thursdays, beginning this week (Thursday, October 22). Growers from south Metro Atlanta area will bring locally grown produce to the gazebo area at City Circle from noon – 7:00 p.m. for the next four Thursdays.

Braelinn Village Center Under Construction & Open For Business – The renovation of Braelinn Village Shopping Center is in full swing, but all the merchants remain open for business.

Other Information from around Peachtree City

Local Jobs – The City of Peachtree City maintains a listing of Open City Positions on its web site. The City site also includes links to other Fayette County jobs posted on the Fayette County Development Authority and Fayette County Chamber of Commerce web sites.

PTC Yard Sales – Peachtree City may be one of the few places that requires residents to register their yard sales (at City Hall), but it gives us a great weekly list of places to look for deals. The list is updated regularly and can be found in the Virtual Neighborhoods section on Peachtree City’s web site. [View upcoming yard sales . . . ]


Don’t Forget . . .

Volunteer Firefighter Pumpkin Sale – October 1-31, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Leach Station (Paschall Rd at Highway 74 South) and Weber Station (Peachtree Parkway south of Crosstown Rd.). [More information . . . ]

Jack-O-Lantern Drop Off (for judging and display at the 10/24 Halloween Party) – Thursday & Friday, October 22 & 23, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. for the October 24 Contest Judging at The Fred Box Office. Prizes for creepiest, funniest, and most creative for both kids (12 & under) and adult (13 & over) will be awarded on October 24. Include name, address, phone # and age on bottom of jack-o-lantern. [More information . . . ]

Christ Our Shepherd Community Service Weekend – October 23 – 25 - blood drive, flu & pneumonia shots, blood pressure checks, document shredding, yard sale, bake sale, and more. [More information . . . ]

Not So Frightful Storytelling and Halloween Party at The Fred – Saturday, October 24, 4:00 p.m. at the Frederick Brown, Jr. Amphitheater. FREE ADMISSION. Folk songs and folk tales, costume contest, “safe trick-or-treating,” Jack-O-Lantern contest, and more! Local vendors also still welcome to sign up for the event. [More information . . . ]

Fire Department Haunted House – Friday & Saturday, October 23 & 24 and 30 & 31, 7:00 – 11:00 p.m. Students $8, Adults $10. [More information . . . ]

2nd Annual Toga Trot 5K & 1 Mile Race – Saturday, October 31, 8:30 a.m. at Dolce Atlanta Peachtree. Presented by the Atlanta Southern Crescent Alumnae Panhellenic Association (ASCAPA) and the Rotary Clubs of Peachtree City‘s - Net proceeds directly benefit the ASCAPA college scholarship program and the Rotary Polio Eradication Fund. [More information . . . ]

Halloween & Trick-or-Treating – Saturday, October 31 – The City does not change the date for trick-or-treating.