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Author Fran Stewart sits with her book series, "Bisucit McGee."

Author Fran Stewart recently spoke at the Friends of the Braselton-West Jackson Library Lunch and Learn series. Stewart is a freelance editor whose "Biscuit McKee" mystery series, set in small-town Georgia, features a middle-aged librarian and the library cat, Marmalade. The next Lunch and Learn series for the group will be at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 10 at the Braselton Municipal Building in Braselton.

Air Force Airman Joshua A. Rowland has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. He is the son of Vickie Crowe of Jasper and brother of Nicole Draggoo of Gainesville. Rowland is a 2005 graduate of White County High School in Cleveland.

The Gainesville Federated Garden Club Council recently presented "Color Me Young" at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in conjunction with Youth Art Month. The top youth award went to Trevor Morone, a first-grader at Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy. Carole Roslak of the Gainesville/Gateway Garden Club won the individual sweepstakes award, and Crabapple Garden Club won the club sweepstakes. The top design award went to Caroline Silcox of Crabapple Garden Club. Kathy Hawthorne of Fleur-de-lis Garden Club won the top horticulture award.

Eight local teachers were recently presented with grant money to help their "Bright Ideas" projects come to life. Teachers can apply for a classroom grant of up to $1,500 through Sawnee EMC. The Bright Ideas program is open to any K-12 classroom teacher whose school is located within the Sawnee EMC service territory or located within close proximity and serves a number of Sawnee EMC members. The first quarter Bright Ideas winners of 2008 are: Ron Schwarzman, Creekland Middle School; Cristina Saldana-Illingworth, Daves Creek Elementary School; Donna Price, Piney Grove Middle School; Tammy Bohon, Sawnee Elementary School; Melissa Johnston, Silver City Elementary School; Kristen Miskovsky, Silver City Elementary School; Mark Kunder, North Forsyth Middle School; Patrick Muenchen, Kilough Elementary School.

The Sawnee EMC Foundation board recently awarded $21,594.00 to seven local charities: Cherokee County DUI/Drug Court Foundation; Cherokee County Sheriff's Foundation, MUST Ministries, Reading Education Association of Dawson County, Forsyth County Family Haven, Hall Family Initiative Residences, Inc. and Alpharetta Police Athletic/Activities League.

Marine Corps Pvt. Ben L. Stanley, son of Lisa C. and Vernan P. Cline of Gainesville, recently completed basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S. C.

The Georgia Foundation for Independent Colleges has recognized The McNeely Foundation of Toccoa for 50 years of support. Started by Thomas B. McNeeley, founder of Toccoa Casket Co., the foundation has helped offer scholarships to students in need. The Georgia Foundation for Independent Colleges is an association of 25 of Georgia's independent, nonprofit, liberal arts colleges and universities.

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