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Athens News Courier: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - January 11, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 Гис&Рлу, January 11,2005    enewscourier.com    50    С    ems  Index  Classified 3-4B  Comics..........6B  Headlines  4A  Ledger ..........5A  Obituaries 2A  Garland Dale Asbell Marion “Sarge” Bailey Odessa Bright Calvin Lee Burnett Debra Mae Frank Howard Cleo Hone W.E. “Bill” Kirkpatrick Jean Theresa McElyea Glen Spencer  Sports .........1-2B  Daily Bible Moment  transgressions are multiplied before You, and our sins tes-tify against us.  у  Isaiah 59:12  322 Hwv.31 N «Athens 256-232-1051 Obit line 256-771-0934  Board vows to fight annexation  News-Courier/Kim Rynders  Limestone County School Superintendent Dr. Barry Carroll looks over maps of recent annexations by the city of Huntsville in Limestone County.  Attorney: Huntsville took school board land  By Phil Willis   phil@athensnews-courier.com  The City of Huntsville's recent annexation of more than 600 acres in the Capshaw community includes approximately 10 acres of land owned by the Limestone County Board of Education — an oversight which could nullity the property grab.  Limestone County officials already arc questioning the legality of the annexation, which they feel is an unlaw-  What it means  If board-owned land was taken illegally, entire annexation “chain” along creek could be void.  ful “lasso” annexation because it extends along Limestone Creek rather than a roadway. If the school board  property is removed from the annexation, the line along Limestone Creek is broken. Because the annexed property is not contiguous to any other portion of the Huntsville City Limits, it would then, apparently, have to be rescinded.  At the request of Limestone County Superintendent of Education Dr. Barry Carroll, school board attorney Byrd Latham has sent a letter to Huntsville City Attorney Peter Jofffion requesting  See Annexation, Page 2A  Counterfeit bills    Mo excuses  Athens police are investigating the pass-    Elkmont coach Steve Britton says Devils  ing of two fake $20 bills.    5A    will fight until leading scorer’s return jg  The News-Coun  Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future  See City, Page 2A  Miller named to top post at Owens School  Bv Phil W illis  phiKaathensnews-courier.com  Owens Elementary School has a new principal. effective Wednesday.  The Limestone County School Board, at its Monday night meeting, approved Cleo Miller, formerly a special education teacher at Creekside Elementary, for the post.  Board member Bryant Moss questioned the wisdom of making such an appointment in midyear rather than filling the post on an interim basis until the beginning of the 2005-06 school year. Moss said he believed the board would receive more applications at that time.  But Schools Supt. Dr. Barry Carroll told Moss he felt it was in the best interest of the school to go ahead w ith a permanent appointment at this time as there were qualified candidates available.  "I just didn't think it w'as a good idea to appoint an interim principal,” Carroll said.  The board unanimously approved Miller’s appointment.  In other business, the board directed its attorney, Byrd Latham, to draw up a contract with the Clements Volunteer Fire Department leasing it board-owned property at the Blackburn Community Center. Board member John Wayne King said the department had approached him with a request to buy the property so it could build a new station to place a fire truck at the site.  See Owens, Page 3A  Hey, Sound Off:  Why is the Athens City Council suddenly concerned over Huntsville's annexations?  A couple of years ago members of the Athens City Council discussed these very issues that have come true.  At that time no one seemed to care not even the mayor. The mayor was the head of a committee then and did nothing! Seems like now we already have the cart before the horse and it’s not much that Athens and Limestone County can do.  We should have listened to those council members then. Anti-plan groups should have been more concerned w ith Huntsville and Decatur’s comprehensive plans and elections instead of Athens’.  More Sound Off Valley, 5A  Water manager resigns  Bobby Chandler leaves post after public outcry over $15,000 bonus  By Nancy Glasscoc k  nancy@athensnew s-courier. com  Bobby Chandler resigned from his position as Water Authority manager Monday, following recent controversy surrounding Christmas bonuses to the Authority’s 46 employees, including a $15,000 bonus to Chandler who is paid $ 100,000 a year.  As general manager of Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority, Chandler was paid $100,000 a year before the bonus.  Limestone County Commission  Chairman David Seibert announced Chandler’s resignation at a Monday morning press conference. He said he the large bonus was likely “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”  “We’ve received this morning the resignation from Bobby Chandler, the general manager,” Seibert said. “He’s resigning to take a position in a private sector of the state... 1 understand it would be another similar job.”  Seibert said members of the water board had not resigned, and that the county com  mission cannot legally force them to do so. He said a legislative act would be required to change that process.  “Until they resign, they're still a quorum,” he said. “I'm still waiting on a response.”  Members of the water board called a meeting at 2 p.m. today at the Water Authority on U.S. 72. A spokesman did not say what issues were on the agenda.  Seibert said assistant manager Greg Holland will take over Chandler’s duties as manager.  Four water board members — one position is open from a previous resignation were asked to resign last Wednesday.  Seibert said he recently spoke to board member Leslie Bagsby, who told Seibert he will not resign. Bagsbys term expires in  March.  “He mentioned he’d like to be reappointed” Seibert said.  Nancy Stevenson resigned in December after 10 years on the board. Chairman Bobby Gilberts term will expire in 2007. He has served on the board 15 years.  Bagsby, George Binford and Alton Robinson have each served 10 years on the board.  Robinson’s term will expire in February,  2009.  Seibert said he hopes to restore .confidence in the water board.  “I hope they can feel confident with that,” he said. “That's what I’m hoping to do. It’s been an excellent system and provided service to a lot of people.”  City ponders gun awards at retirement  By Tanjie Nash  tanjie(a athensnews-courier. com  When an officer of the law retires, should he be granted his gun. holster and belt as a keepsake?  Members of the Athens City Council pondered that question at length during a Monday work session before instructing a city attorney to research the matter before the council’s next meeting.  Black told councilmen that while Alabama law includes a provision for state law officers to receive their guns and holsters upon retirement, no such statute exists for municipalities. Presentation of these items to retiring officers is common practice in most areas, Mayor Dan Williams said. Still, the city must implement an official policy for making such presentation, he said.  “A way to address this is to make it part of the compensation package,” Black said.  Black has already drafted two ordinances — one awarding pistol, holster and belt to retiring off icers w ith at least 25 years of service and one allowing such officers to purchase these items. Both ordinances were put on hold until the Jan. 24 meeting.  In the meantime, councilmen hope Black will find a way to afford recent Athens Police Department retirees Thomas Townsend and Sgt. Jerry Crabtree the opportunity to acquire their pistols and holsters.  State statute disallows implementing retroactive compensation for time worked. Black said.  “There are a couple of ways to deal w ith this,” Black told councilmen. "Private organizations could contribute funds toward awarding these officers.”  Another option, he said is to declare the items surplus property and allow the retired officers purchase them.  Donations needed for victims of fire  Meet the doctor  Steve Mallette is Athens’ only dermatologist. Meet the Neighbors  Wednesday  69847  00001  A county woman and a 2-year-old were taken to the hospital after a mobile home in Driftwood Trailer Park off Zehner Road caught fire late Saturday night. Owens Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tim Toone said he did not know the woman’s condition, but the 2-year-old was taken for observation.  Toone said Clements, Tanner, Owens and Pleasant Grove firefighters extinguished the blaze by 10:30 p.m.  Saturday night. He said the fire was a total loss.  “I don’t think there was anything that could be salvaged out of the trailer,” he said.  Owens firefighter Teresa Lovell said the department is collecting donations for the Zehner Road family and others who have lost their homes to recent fires.  “A lot of times people want to donate money," she said. “The best thing to do is to take money to the Red Cross on Marion St. This is the fourth time we’ve had to have Red Cross and they’ve helped us every time.”    News-Courier/Amanda Siniard  This mobile home on Zehner Road burned Saturday night.   

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