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Athens News Courier: Wednesday, January 12, 2005 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - January 12, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 Dewitt MVP  East Limestone’s Dewitt is named Class 4A, Region 7 Most Valuable Offensive player jg  neNeu)  Urgent energy  Athens High School Golden Eagles turn up the heat to pull away  IB  mner  Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future  i Januar\ 12, 2005  cnenscourier.coiii  50 CiM S  Meet the Mallettes  Steve Mallette, Athens’ only dermatologist, moved with his family to Athens. Meet the Neighbors  1C  Child charged  Athens police charge 10-year-old boy with assault in rock-throwing incident.  Hey, Sound Off:  I’m so tired of hearing everyone complain about the Limestone County water employees. Those men and women got a well-deserved bonus.  How many of you have needed them, no matter what time of the night or day, no matter how cold or hot, in rain and ice, to fix a leak or main line break caused by someone’s carelessness?  I can understand the fuss about the $15,000 bonus for someone already making $100,000 a year, but most of the workers barely make enough to live.  A lot of you have gotten an appreciation bonus before so back off.  More Sound Off Valley, 5A  Get the new s with your morning coffee  Subscribe to The Seu's-Cout'ier  232-2720  Index     Classified ...    5-8B      Comics.....    4B      Headlines ...    4A      Health    7A      Ledger .....    9A      Sports .....    1-3B     Daily Bible Moment  'e/ out of your couììiìy, froìiì your family, and from your fathers house, to a laud that I will show you.  w  ■im Cefi"  Genesis 12:1  .122 H»». 11 N* Athens 256-232-1051 Obit line 256-771-0034  7    69847    00001  Two new schools eyed  County may build elementaries in Elkmont, Ardmore  Bv Sonny Ti rnf:r  sonnyt^alhensnew's-courier.com The Limestone County Board of Education has approved plans to construct new $10 million elejnentary schools at Elkmont and Clements and may be looking at renovating schools at Ardmore, West Limestone and Tanner within the next couple of years.  “We’ve got portable classrooms at Elkmont and  Water board fights ouster  4 remaining members refuse to resign posts  By Phil Willis  phiKa’athensncw's-cuuner.com  The embattled Limestone County Water Authority Board of Directors, meeting in a Tuesday afternoon called session to address “urgent issues,” approved the hiring of an attorney to help them fight a forced resignation.  County Commission Chairman David Seibert last week called on board members to resign, contending they lost the trust and respect of the people by granting large Christmas bonuses to employees in the wake of recent rate increases for customers.  “The people have lost trust and respect for this board. Their creditability has been damaged and 1 don’t think that will change. 1 think we need a new board,” Seibert said.  Board members Tuesday unanimously approved retaining local attorney James Moffatt for legal representation in the affair. County Attorney Mike Cole normally served as the authority’s attorney, but has an obvious conflict ol' interest in a legal battle between the two governmental entities.  The water board by a 4-1 vote just prior to the holiday, gave Its 46 employees a $500 Christmas bonus and approved a $15,000 bonus for .Manager Bobby Chandler, who has since resigned. Those bonuses came in conjunction with two rate increases for authority customers.  Board Member Nancy Stevenson, who has since resigned for “personal reasons,” was the only board member to vote against the bonus.  All four remaining board members —'Chainnan Bobby Gilbert, Alton Robison, Leslie Bagsby and George Binford have indicated they have no inten-  See Ouster, Page 2A  Clements and both those areas are growing rapidly,” said Limestone County Superintendent of Education Dr. Barry Carroll.  The new schools are in the board’s five-year capital plan for 2007 along with renovations at Ardmore. West Limestone and Tanner at both the middle schools and high schools.  But Carroll was quick to point out that the construc  tion of those new schools hinge on the passage of an extension of the 8.5 mill tax before voters countywide Lcb. 15th.  The 8.5 mills issue comes up before voters every 20 years. Carroll said it brings in $2.6 million annually to county schools.  See Schools, Page 2A  Ncws-Cuurier Kim Rynders  Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority Board Chairman Bobby Gilbert, left, during a special called session Tuesday, reads a prepared statement in reaction to an “uninvited” meeting Limestone County Commissioner David Seibert and Commissioner Tommy Raby held Monday with water employees. Looking on are water board members, clockwise, George Binford, Alton Robison and Leslie Bagsby.  Chandler salary highest in county  By Phil Willis  phiI(Ojalhcnsne\\'s-couneKcom A survey of the salaries of local government officials and employees shows former Limestone County Water Authority General Manager Bob Chandler to be by I'ar the highest paid individual.  figures furnished by the county show Chandler, prior to his recent retirement.  drew an annual salary of $104,500, plus a controversial $ 15,000 Christmas bonus which led to his retirement.  Next on the pay list is County Engineer Richard Sanders, whose $44.66 per hour pay rate works out to $92,892 per year. Base pay for the position is $32.36 per hour, with Sanders making and additional $12.30 per hour from cost-ol'-living raises enacted during  his tenure on the job.  Limestone County Emergency Management Agency Director Spencer Black and County Administrator Pam Ball, both of who also work for an hourly rate, draw approximately $55,497 and $54,905 per year, respectively.  The salaries of elected officials are  See Salary, Page 3A  20 cars entered, 1 jailed  Police find stolen items stashed in ditch and bushes  By Sonny Tlrner sonny (O^ATHENSNEWS-COlRIER.COM  IJmestone County authorities Tuesday arrested a 24-year-old Athens man who they believe is responsible for breaking into at least 20 vehicles earlier in the day at homes on Parker Road just west of Athens.  “Barking dogs woke up one resident and he looked out his window and observed an individual breaking into his car,” said Limestone Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt. “The resident hollered and the man took off. The resident ran after him and chased him down. Deputies arrived a short lime later and took the man into custody.”  Franklin Rogers, 24, of 12019 Lukers Way, Athens, is facing multiple charges of breaking and entering a vehicle, McNatt said. McNatt said the suspect lives in an apartment complex nearby.  Following the arrest, McNatt said the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department received a number of calls early Tuesday  See Cars, Page 2A  Sauirrel man...  News-Courier/.Amaiida Siniard  Bobby Duncan, of Athens, feeds a hungry squirrel Tuesday afternoon. Duncan says that he started feeding the squirrels pecans and peanuts last spring and has probably fed them over 100 pounds of nuts throughout the year.  8 selected for HOF induction  2005 class will be hcncred in May at ASU ceremcnies  By Sonny Tlrner  souny(a athensnews-coiirier. com  The 2005 class for the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame has been selected and include eight former players, coaches and supporters of athletics over the years in Limestone County.  The new class was selected Monday during a meeting of the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame board of directors. The Hall of Fame is sponsored by The Nen'.'i-Coiiner  The new class will be inducted sometime m May during a banquet in the ballroom at Athens State University. .A guest speaker has not yet been named.  Once a date has been selected for the banquet, tickets will go on sale.  The 2005 class are as follows;  ■ Keith Askins; The former Athens High School star went on to play basketball at the University of Alabama and the Miami Heat in the NBA. Askins is now an assistant coach with the Heat.  ■ Debbie Blakely: Described as a “pioneer of women’s sports in Limestone County” her coaching career started in 1974 at Tanner High School and she went on to coach for 26 years at Tanner, West Limestone and Ardmore High Schools in basketball, softball and volleyball. Along the way, she won tw'o state championships.  ■ Wallace Biillington: The former Athens  See Hall, Page 2A   

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