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Gwinnett Tech student named Top (Pear) Chef

Gwinnett Tech student named Top (Pear) Chef

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- A Culinary Arts student at Gwinnett Technical College is now a nationally-recognized expert in cooking with pears.

Jennifer Williams took home the top prize for her original recipe at the 2012 USA Pears Culinary Student Competition in Oregon last month.

The judges were impressed with the balance of sweet and savory flavors in Williams' winning dish, Pear and Prosciutto Ravioli with Pear Sauce. She was awarded a $1,000 scholarship prize.

Williams' big win came as no surprise to her Gwinnett Tech instructors.

"Jennifer is the type of student who takes in all opportunities and absorbs as much as possible -- the type of student who'll be very successful in life, not just in culinary circles," said Chef Kerri Crean, director of the Culinary Arts program at Gwinnett Tech. "She has shown that putting in 110 percent will actually pay off, this time in the form of that $1,000 scholarship."

GGC names first athletics business manager

GGC names first athletics business manager

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Georgia Gwinnett College has selected Erin Lee as its first business manager for the Office of Athletics.

Lee, the former head volleyball coach at the Florida Institute of Technology, will oversee the athletic budget and monitor budgets for each sports team. She will also serve as liaison with the GGC business office and will assist with game operations when competition begins in the fall.

"I'm originally from the [Gwinnett County] area, so this opportunity brought me home," Lee said. "While visiting my parents in Alpharetta over the years, I watched the tremendous growth happening at GGC and I'm thrilled to now be a part of it."

Lee received a bachelor's degree in business management and a master's degree in marketing from the University of Alabama, where she was also a volleyball star and was named SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2003. She also served as marketing intern with the university's athletics department.

'Bonnie & Clyde' musical to debut at Aurora Theatre

'Bonnie & Clyde' musical to debut at Aurora Theatre

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- It's not often that a Broadway-caliber musical holds its world premiere in Gwinnett County, but a team of some of the Great White Way's finest is about to stage a brand new production at the Aurora Theatre.

With book by Hunter Foster and music and lyrics by Rick Crom, Bonnie & Clyde: A Folktale will storm the Aurora stage in March.

The theater's associate producer, Ann-Carol Pence, will serve as the show's musical director. She discovered the production during the New York Musical Theatre Festival and  worked hard to bring it to Georgia.

"What originally spoke to me about Bonnie & Clyde: A Folktale was its irreverent comic sensibility and laugh-out-loud humor," Pence said. "The music and lyrics are superbly intertwined and propel the story forward, which is hard to find in a lot of the new musicals."

Merry Christmas from Gov. Deal

Merry Christmas from Gov. Deal

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top cardiac surgeons join Gwinnett Medical Center

Top cardiac surgeons join Gwinnett Medical Center

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Two leading cardiac and thoracic surgeons have joined the new Strickland Heart Center at Gwinnett Medical Center.

Dr. Alexander G. Justicz and Dr. David A. Langford will serve as the center's lead surgeons.

"Our goal is to provide world-class cardiac care, and these two nationally renowned cardiothoracic surgeons help us complete such services," said Philip Wolfe, president and CEO of Gwinnett Medical Center. "Through their experience and commitment to clinical excellence, we can further realize our organizational mission of providing quality outcomes to the community."

RELATED: Gwinnett Medical Center names new Heart & Vascular Center

Deal appoints new Ga. EPD director

Deal appoints new Ga. EPD director

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

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

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

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

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

Local couple donates $250,000 to Gwinnett Tech

Local couple donates $250,000 to Gwinnett Tech

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

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

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