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Gwinnett Police name new animal welfare manager

Gwinnett Police name new animal welfare manager

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Charles "Chip" Moore has been appointed manager of Animal Welfare and Enforcement Section of the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Police Chief Charles Walters chose Moore for the job after conducting two nationwide searches. Moore's first day in his new role was Mar. 30.

The job won't be too difficult for Moore to fill -- prior to his appointment, he was serving as interim manager.

"Over the last 13 months, Chip has exhibited the highest quality leadership and concern for the needs of Gwinnett County citizens and employees of the shelter," Walters said in a statement. "His appointment is a key factor in the continual improvement of the Animal Welfare and Enforcement Section."

Under Moore's temporary leadership, the county's animal volunteer program grew, and Gwinnett saw an increase in adoption rates and decrease in euthanasia rates.

School district names new COO

School district names new COO

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- Daniel Jardine has been named the Gwinnett County School District's new Chief Operations Officer.

Jardine's appointment was announced at the Gwinnett County Board of Education's February meeting.

In his new position, he will oversee construction, building maintenance, risk management and transportation, among other divisions in the district.

Jardine's experience includes facility planning and service work in Cobb and Gwinnett counties. Most recently, he served as senior vice president of Carter and Associates, a commercial real estate firm in Atlanta.

Jardine earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech.

He replaces longtime Gwinnett County School District COO Jim Steele, who retired in November.

Gwinnett Sheriff's captain passes away

Gwinnett Sheriff's captain passes away

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

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

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

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

Phillip Phillips to perform at Mall of Ga.

Phillip Phillips to perform at Mall of Ga.

BUFORD, Ga. -- Phillip Phillips will return to his home state of Georgia this week to give a free concert at the Mall of Georgia.

Phillips, who won Season 11 of "American Idol," will perform at the Buford mall's Village Amphitheatre from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 21.

Immediately after the show, Phillips will sign copies of his debut album, The World from the Side of the Moon.

Mall visitors are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets to hear Phillips perform.

Phillip Phillips' hit single "Home" was the theme song of the U.S. women's gymnastics team at the 2012 London Olympics.

Gwinnett commissioner pleads guilty to bribery

Gwinnett commissioner pleads guilty to bribery

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

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

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

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

Gov. Deal swears in Ga. Supreme Court justice

Gov. Deal swears in Ga. Supreme Court justice

ATLANTA (AP) - Gov. Nathan Deal has sworn in the newest justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Keith Blackwell was sworn in Thursday morning in the House Chamber of the State Capitol.

Deal last month appointed the 37-year-old Blackwell to fill a vacancy left by Chief Justice George Carley. Carley's resignation as chief justice was effective Tuesday.

Blackwell had served on the Court of Appeals since he was appointed in 2010 by former Gov. Sonny Perdue. He is the 92nd justice since the court's creation in 1845.

Blackwell previously practiced civil and criminal law. He will serve on the court until 2014, when voters will decide whether to keep him on the bench for a six-year term.

Deal to speak at drug court graduation

Deal to speak at drug court graduation

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- A graduation ceremony for the Gwinnett County Drug Court is set to have some notable speakers.

Gov. Nathan Deal, Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice George Carley and Gwinnett County Chairwoman Charlotte Nash are set to speak at the graduation Friday.

The ceremony will be held in the courtroom of the state supreme court in Atlanta.

Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge William M. Ray II will hand out diplomas. He has presided over the drug court since its founding seven years ago.

Six people are set to graduate.