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Athens News Courier: Friday, January 7, 2005 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - January 7, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 Friday, ,| \m vm 7* 2(105  enewscourier.com  Index  Classified 4-5B  Comics..........6B  Headlines ........4A  Ledger ..........5A  Obituaries........2A  Elmer J. Motteler Carmen Jones Southard Rogers Hubert Wa'ker  Religion........7-9A  Sports .........1-3B  Daily Bible Moment  Hove the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength.  Mark 12:30  t L c\  Ski, j# 322 Hwv 31 V Athens .    256-232-1051  -<W,Céiw    OI,i( lim 256-771-0934  69847 00001  Hanging up his badge  Elkmont Police Chief Jack Caldwell, the town’s only full-time officers, has announced his retirement effective at the end of January.  Elkmont’s Jack Caldwell retiring after 37 years of patrolling streets  By Nanc y Glasscock   nuncy@athensnews-courier.com   After 37 years in law enforcement Elkmont Police Chief Jack Caldwell has announced his retirement which will be effective this month.  “With my age, it’s just time for me to get out," he said. “I’ve enjoyed it. You have to, to do it in this day and time.”  In 1967, Caldwell received a phone call from then  Limestone County Sheriff Buddy Evans who asked Caldwell to become an officer with the Sheriff's Department. At that time Caldwell had recently moved from Harland County, Ky., where he was employed with the Brock Candy Company to Limestone County where he raised a family with his wife, Martha.  See Retiring, Page 2A  • Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future  No intent, no probe  State attorney says grand jury action halted investigation  By Sonny Turner  sonny@athenSnew's-courier.com An attorney for the Alabama Ethics Commission said Thursday the state did not conduct an investigation of the Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority as requested by a grand jury because it had no legal right to do so.  “The ethics law says you must have intent and when the grand jury ruled there was no intent and no billed it, that shot it in the foot to start with,” said Hugh  Evans. “It was closed and sent back up there.”  Four years ago, evidence of possible wrongdoings involving members of the water board and its manager. Bobby Chandler, was presented to a Limestone County grand jury. Although the grand jury returned no indictments, it recommended the matter be turned over to the State Ethics Commission. Limestone County District Attorney Kristi Vails made that request two days later.  All four remaining members on the water board were asked to resign Wednesday because Limestone  County Commission Chairman David Seibert said the public has lost confidence in the board. The board has been the center of a controversy ever since it was reported on Christmas Eve by The News-Courier that the board approved Christmas bonuses to its 46 employees, including a whopping $15,000 bonus to Chandler who is paid SI00.400 a year.  Commissioner Tommy Raby said he testified before  See Probe, Page 2A  Saturday’s back!  The News-Courier’s Saturday edition returns tomorrow morning  Courier  Hey, Sound Off:  Has anyone stopped to think about how far $35,000 would go to doing ^^landscaping on the lawns of the Limestone County Water customers, which they destroy in fixing small leaks in the lines on their side? Maybe board members should ride around the county and look at the damage that is done while fixing these leaks. Not only did they do tremendous damage to our - yard, one of them walked across our driveway with muddy boots. It took a pressure washer to remove the stain. They send a huge backhoe to do what two men and a shovel could do. Maybe with the increased rates they can give themselves a larger bonus in 2005.  More Sound Off Valley, 5A  Get the news with your morning coffee  Subscribe to The  232-2720  New sign shows speed limits on U.S. 72 West have been lowered during unsafe driving conditions.  State begins project to widen U.S. 72  $200,000 contract awarded to start widening highway  By Tanjie Nash  ta nj ie@ a th ensnews-courier.com  It’s been just less than a month since the rainy morning when Jenita Smith, Nicole Cardwell and Ciara May lost their lives in a grinding crash on U.S. 72 West.  The Dec. 9 tragedy drew quick attention from state legislators as area residents cried out for relief from a spate of such accidents in recent years along the same stretch of highway. On Dec. 10, Sen. Tom Butler, D-Madison, pledged to expedite plans for an engineering study of the 15-mile stretch from Athens westward to Lauderdale County.  The following week Butler and Gov. Bob Riley arrived at the Clements Volunteer Fire Department headquarters, where they announced plans to install a center turn lane along the highway, lower speed limits and increase law' enforcement presence in the area.  Meanwhile, the governor said, speed limits along the heavily traveled stretch w'ould be decreased from 65 to 60 mph; 45 when raining.  Signs were posted a week ago proclaiming the new speed limits and, on Thursday, a $200,000 contract was awarded for engineering services to get U.S. 72 improvements under way.  The Birmingham firm of Consoer Townsend Envirodyne will perform a study of the corridor, prepare field surveys, right-of-way plans and road-  See Highway, Page 2A  Cute, curious critters  Owners of Calypso JAM Farm say their miniature donkeys make great pets 6A  Record at last  Four years after the fact, former Athens High defensive back Jason Dement now has the state record for the longest interception returned for a touchdown.  IB  Outgoing judge recognized for years of service  Committee readies to choose designer for Athens City Hall  Limestone County Circuit Court Judge George Craig was honored for 18 years of service Thursday at a reception in a circuit court room of the Limestone County Courthouse. Craig will officially leave the bench Jan. 16.  “George has been a great friend of mine,” said Circuit Court Judge Jimmy Woodroof. “He’s been a great associate to what I’m trying to do here as a circuit judge.”  Woodroof presented Craig with a gavel honoring his service to Limestone County.  Craig said he was “humbled and See Judge, Page 2A  News-Courier/Kim Rynders Athens attorney Jimmy Corder and Decatur attorney Bingham Edwards speak to Circuit Judge George Craig Thursday at a reception in his honor at the Limestone County Courthouse.  B\ Tanjie Nash  tanjie(a athensnews-couricr  In 1955. a new City Hall building was erected in Athens on Hobbs Street between Marion and Jefferson streets. The one-story structure — designed by the architectural firm of Turner & Nortlungton — has housed municipal offices and the city’s police department since then.  On Thursday, members of the Athens City Council along with Public Works Director James Rich, began the process of choosing an architect to design a new building to be located on the same site. City leaders heard proposals from three different firms on Thursday: Cribbs of Birmingham; Barge, Waggoner, Sumner & Cannon of Nashville;  See Architect, Page 2A   

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