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Brenau University junior Candice Snow of Suwanee gets down and dirty with environmental sustainability during the hands-on service part of a new multidiscipline honors seminar class at the school.

Brenau University students, faculty and staff recently dedicated a plaque commemorating the university's first multidiscipline course in environmental sustainability at the site on the Gainesville campus where students recently planted a small group of trees, as part of the project. The semester-long seminar examines all aspects of environmental sustainability from philosophical and religious responsibility to bottom-line business practicality. It included students' getting to the roots of the issue by planting some new trees on the campus. The students planted eight trees Nov. 5 at an open space on campus between Virginia Hall and Thurmond McRae Lecture Hall adjacent to the university library. Trees were donated by Lumpkin County Parks and Recreation Department under the guidance of the Yahoola Creek Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that stewards the use of Yahoola Creek Park in Dahlonega. The students also helped the conservancy with a plant sale fundraiser for its activities last month.

Members of New Hope Baptist Church on Browns Bridge Road in Gainesville recently celebrated the final payment on the church's bank note with a note-burning ceremony. From left are the Rev. Bill Long (back to camera), interim pastor; trustee Charles Gabriel; the Rev. Ray Turpin, former pastor; and Jojo Thomas, director of missions for Chattahoochee Baptist Association. The church celebrated with a trio of singers and a special dinner.

The Northeast Georgia Mountaineers, a volunteer organization associated with AT&T, visited recently with residents of Habersham County Nursing Home. The group presented two wheelchairs and 10 clothing protectors to the home. Standing with residents and staff of the home are pioneers Clint Savage, Betty Gillespie, Bennie Smith, Joan Smith and Evelyn Brown.

Natalie Ledford, 12, recently had her wish granted through Kids Wish Network to meet NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. The Clermont resident has Long QT syndrome, which is a heart condition that causes arrhythmia and frequent fainting. Ledford has a pacemaker and a defibrillator implanted in her chest to regulate her heartbeat and to detect cardiac arrhythmia and correct it by delivering a jolt of electricity. After her mother was contacted by a Kids Wish Network professional fundraiser, Natalie was given the chance to make a wish. Organizers put together an entire weekend of activities, which included watching a NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, visiting the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola as well as meeting Earnhardt.

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