The following articles were authored by LeAnne

Curious George at the Braselton Library

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Storytime at the Braselton Library on Friday included listening to Curious George: A Day at the Library followed by an appearance by the popular monkey. See scenes below.

Storytime at the Braselton Library on Friday included listening to Curious George: A Day at the Library followed by an appearance by the popular monkey. See scenes below.

Curious George made an appearance Friday at the Braselton Library. Everyone’s favorite monkey from the popular books by Margret and H.A. Rey made a stop by the library during storytime just after the reading of one of the book — A Day at the Library — in which Curious George is the main character.

Curious George visits Braselton Library

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Parker Wood’s story being retold in new ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ book on joy

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Linda and Brent Wood were blessed with Carter whose adoption story is being retold in a new "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book which Carter will be signing on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Little Hootie's in Hoschton.

Linda and Brent Wood were blessed with Parker whose adoption story is being retold in a new “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book which Parker will be signing on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Little Hootie’s in Hoschton.

Cathy Patrick has watched Parker Wood grow up and she is pleased that her shop, Little Hootie’s Cafe and Dippin’ Parlor on City Square in Hoschton, will be hosting a book signing on Saturday as Parker’s amazing adoption story is being told again in a new “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book focused on “The Joy of Adoption.”
The book, compiled by Amy Newmark and LeAnn Thieman, features 100 other stories plus Parker’s story which his mother, Linda, was contacted about republishing at the end of January.
“Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul: Stories Celebrating Forever Families” was published in 2008 and told of Linda and Brent Wood’s struggle to start a family – four years of fertility treatments and  two adoption efforts which fell through. And then a miracle emerged from a tragic traffic accident which left brain dead a 42-year-old woman who was eight weeks pregnant. The woman’s sister asked that she be kept alive so the baby could be born but the baby had to be delivered by C-section when the mother died. The tiny baby was gravely ill and only given by doctors a 1 percent chance to survive.
That aunt contacted Brent with whom she had a work connection and he and Linda went to see the baby, who had a laundry list of health problems and a prognosis that make them question if they were ready to take on such a weighty task. Doctors said he may never breathe on his own and the future was uncertain.
“We put it in God’s hands,” says Linda.
They got their sign from God when little Parker pulled off the respirator and began breathing on his own. He showed he was a fighter – he was fighting for his family.
Eye surgeries and early intervention with speech and occupational therapy allowed Parker to flourish although he is legally blind and has some learning disabilities, he is on grade level at age 12. He utilizes enlarged type reading materials and does need a guide at night but “that doesn’t slow him down,” says his mom. He will turn 13 in December.
Wood-family-Chicken-Soup-for-the-Soul-new“We love this wonderful family,” said Patrick, who is looking for to Saturday’s book signing.
Learn more about the story and see the video aired on 11 Alive when Parker was 2-1/2 which will bring a tear to your eye at www.parkersstory.com where you can see more about the “inspiring journal of the boy who beat the odds.”
The boy with a will to survive and his family will be at Little Hootie’s from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday with a limited number of copies of the book available for Parker to sign. Books can be ordered through the family and from Amazon. The book retails for $15.
Little Hootie’s Cafe and Dippin’ Parlor is located at 73 City Square in downtown Hoschton.

Jefferson veteran makes Honor Flight to nation’s capital

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Post Commander Gene Bennett said the Honor Flight through Honor Flights of Conyers is a chance to send a comrade – a hero – to see the monument for which he is partly responsible. Joe Ogletree was selected to make the Honor Flight with Mike Buffington as his guardian. See more scenes in the gallery below.

Post Commander Gene Bennett said the Honor Flight through Honor Flights of Conyers is a chance to send a comrade – a hero – to see the monument for which he is partly responsible. Joe Ogletree was selected to make the Honor Flight with Mike Buffington as his guardian. See more scenes in the gallery below.

Jefferson native Joe Ogletree, a veteran of the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War, is the second member of the American Legion Post 56 to be honored with an Honor Flight to visit war memorials in Washington D.C. this year. Post Commander Gene Bennett said the Honor Flight through Honor Flights of Conyers is a chance to send a comrade – a hero – to see the monument for which he is partly responsible. His guardian for the Wednesday, April 29, flight from Atlanta with 24 other vets is fellow Legionnaire Mike Buffington and, on Tuesday, April 28,they were escorted from Jefferson by motorcylists of the Pendergrass and Braselton Police Departments, the Jefferson Police Department and Legion Riders. In the nation’s capital, the group will see the Korean Memorial, the Vietnam War, the Iwo Jima Memorial and the changing of the guards at Arlington National Cemetery. Chaplain Wayne Brown prayed for a safe trip before the convoy departed  from the parking lot of First Baptist Church in Jefferson.

American Legion Honor Flight Joe Ogletree

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Braselton hosts International VIP tour-goers

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Braselton town officials, State Sen. Frank Ginn and staffers of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) joined dignitaries of the Georgia Consulate Corps for a photo in front of the fountain at Chateau Elan winery during the 2015 International VIP Tour.  See LeAnne Akin's photo gallery below.

Braselton town officials, State Sen. Frank Ginn and staffers of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) joined dignitaries of the Georgia Consulate Corps for a photo in front of the fountain at Chateau Elan winery during the 2015 International VIP Tour. See LeAnne Akin’s photo gallery below.

Three wineries, including Chateau Elan Resort & Winery, were on the 2015 International VIP Tour held last week as the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) showcased Northeast Georgia.

The Town of Braselton served as one of the hosts for the April 15-17 tour. Also spotlighted on this year’s tourism and economic development tour was Dawsonville, Dahlonega, Young Harris, Sautee Nacoochee, Cornelia and Gainesville.

On Friday, Braselton Mayor Bill Orr, Braselton Town Council members Tony Funari and Peggy Slappey and State Sen. Frank Ginn posed with GDEcD staffers as they dignitaries representing 28 countries of the Georgia Consulate Corps before they stepped inside the winery for a special luncheon.

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BABY QUEST: Rescue of ponies adding flavor to farm life

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Katie Phillips is greeted by Journie and Rolo, two of the discarded nurse mare foals rescued from Last Chance Corral in Athens, Ohio. This filly and colt were brought to Going for Broke Farm along with another filly named Manni. The Baby Quest is being followed on Facebook by many interested persons. See more scenes in the photo gallery (below) by LeAnne Akin.

Katie Phillips is greeted by Journie and Rolo, two of the discarded nurse mare foals rescued from Last Chance Corral in Athens, Ohio. This filly and colt were brought to Going for Broke Farm along with another filly named Manni. The Baby Quest is being followed on Facebook by many interested persons. See more scenes in the photo gallery (below) by LeAnne Akin.

Going for Broke Farm in Jackson County is alive with springtime activities which animals bring and Cindy Phillips and daughter Katie traveled to Athens, Ohio in March to add to the family’s menagerie of two dogs, four chickens, three cats, two goats and now seven horses.
Cindy Phillips learned last year about the nonprofit Last Chance Corral which seeks to place discarded nurse mare foal and the family’s ”Baby Quest” got underway.
Katie, like her mother, has always had horses – she was riding before she walked and learned to pull up on the leg of a horse — but wanted the experience of helping a mare raise her baby. That plan was on track until her special pregnant pony was lost to colic while at seven months. The blow was devastating but the family grieved, planted memorial rose bushes over the grave near the barn and then refocused and prayed.
“With lots of prayers, we knew we wanted to do some good with this,” Cindy said. “And everything fell into place” even when a planned trip to Switzerland could have thrown a monkey wrench into the pony plans if some colts became available. No ponies in December and it turned out that the first group of colts went to other adoptive home and the second group had no ponies suitable for equestrian ventures which Phillips is actively involved in.

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