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Athens News Courier: Thursday, January 13, 2005 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - January 13, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 NASCAR innovations  Tear-away windshield coating used for racing now used for Army’s Blackhawks  Rattlers strike back  f Tanner High boys bounce back from first loss for county and area win over Clements IB  The News-Coutier  Thursday, January 13, 2005  Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future  eneuscouricr.com  ‘Old-timey’ cookin’  Cook of the Week Ruby Naylor serves up chicken stew, sweet corn and banana pudding  9A  UK Off  He>, Sound Off:  The News-Courier headline “City ponders gun awards at retirement.” Do politicians not understand that the taxpayer does not want to fund every free item that can be thought of?  This is similar to the water authority Christmas bonuses. These guns and equipment are furnished by the taxpayer so that the police can protect and keep law and order.  If the mayor and council want to do this why stop here? Let all city employees who drive city-provided cars or trucks have them at the end of their career, give the employees their desks, chairs, computers, etc. 1 guess the mayor will want his taxpayer car when he is out of office.  This mismanagement and giveaways of the taxpayers monies must stop now!  More Sound Off Valley, 5A  Get the news with your morning coffee     Index          Classified.....    .4-7B      Comics.......    8R      Business......    11A      Ledger ........    . .10A      Movie Listing ...    7A      Obituaries.....    ?A      Jimmie Ray Moore      Sports .......    1-3B           Daily Bible Moment  ^ batever ings are lovely, batever things x j  of good port... meditate i tbese things.  Philippians 4:8  'H'i f.W  me ( { . na  322 Hwy.31 N ‘Athens 256-232-1051 Obit line 256-771-0934  69847 00001  County wants water control  Resolution may be headed to legislative delegation  Sonny Turner  sonny@athensnews-couner.coni The Limestone County Commission is expected to adopt a resolution soon asking the state Legislature to change the way the Limestone County Water Authority operates and requiring it to answer to the commission.  "We’re looking at our options and it looks attractive to me,” said Chairman David Seibert who has already called for the remaining four members on the water board to resign. “We'll adopt a resolution and give it to our local legislative delegation to consider.”  Boy, 7, accused of sexual assault on school bus  Police have asked DHR to help investigate case  By Sonny Ti rner   sonny@athensnews-coitner.com   Athens police are investigating the sexual assault of a 6-year-old Athens girl by a 7-year-old boy while both were riding on a city school bus.  Lt.-Detective Floyd Johnson said the mother of the child filed a complaint with police after her daughter told her about the incident that occurred last Thursday while the students were riding the bus after school. Johnson said the incident was reported to police on Friday.  "We were told the 7-year-old sexually assaulted her with his hands and we're investigating,” Johnson said.  "We've asked the Limestone County Department of Human Resources to enter the investigation because we believe they could help because of their experience in dealing with children.”  Johnson said the mother told investigators that she has complained before to Athens school officials about the 7-year-old “hitting on her” daughter in a sexual manner.  The girl is in the first grade and the boy is believed to be a second-grader, investigators said.  The investigation is expected to take several more days and will involve DHR officials, said Johnson.  The girl was not hurt, but was examined by a doctor, Johnson said.  Woman says man sexually assaulted her  By Sonny Turner   sonny@athensnews-courier.com  A 25-year-old woman told county investigators Tuesday that a man entered her home and assaulted her sexually.  The woman, who lives in western Limestone County, said the attack occurred while her husband was away at work and while her 4-year-old child was in bed asleep.  "She said the man came to her door and she recognized him as an acquaintance of the family,” said Limestone Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt. “The man then forced his self on her, attempting to remove her clothing. He did not rape the woman, but did sexually abuse her.”  McNatt said the woman told investigators she started screaming and crying as the man attacked her and that her 4-year-old came into the room and started to scream and cry. The man then left the house, she said.  The investigation is being headed up by Investigator Randy King who is questioning a 29-year-old man about the incident.  McNatt said the man could be arrested and charged with sexual assault within the next few days.  Proposed is a change that would require the water board to answer to the commission. As it now stands, that board answers to no one although members are appointed by county commissioners.  Members of the water board, who receive S200 each per meeting with the board chairman paid $300 per meeting, have refused to resign even though Seibert says they have lost the respect and trust of the public ever since it was made public the board gave its employees and manager big Christmas bonuses at a time when it is increasing water rates to residential customers.  Water Authority Manager Bobby Chandler resigned this w eek, ( handler received a $15,000 bonus, while employees  got $500.  "This is sticky,” said State Senator Tom Butler. “I'm sort of dismayed at the whole thing.”  Butler said he has not yet been approached by commissioners asking for a change, but will work for it once it is  requested.  "I know the water board has made some progress in the See Water control, Page 2A  Subscribe to The News  Trying to take the sting out  News-Courier/Kim Rynders  Health Department nurse Mary Jo Ghadimi tries to keep the pain to a minimum as she gives immunizations required for 1-year-old Monica Vargas. Monica’s father, Samuel Vargas, took her to the Limestone County Health Department for her shots. She is also the daughter of Teresa Nava.  News-Courier/Kim Rynders The New Limestone County Sheriff’s Department and Detention Center will open on March 7.  New jail set to open March 7  By Sonny Ti rm r   sonny@athensnews-courier.com   Work on the $9 million Limestone County Sheriff's Department and Detention Center is now complete and Sheriff Mike Blakely said Wednesday it will officially open on March 7.  Blakely said jail staff' and other employees are now in training and will be ready when the facility opens. He said some 150 to 180 inmates will be moved into the new facility over a period of days in early March.  An open house at the new' detention center is planned for Feb. 27 from 2-5 p.m. and everyone is welcome, the sheriff said.  “The training we’re going through and the moving will take the better part of two months,” Blakely said. "But come  Match 7 all that should be completed and this will be our first day of operation at the facility.”  I he detention center is located on East Elm Street in the northern section of Athens. The existing jail will likely be turned over to the City of Athens which will move its officers and jail there while a new Athens City Hall is being built.  The new jail will house 288 inmates at capacity when  fully opened.  The county has already hired 13 new employees to work at the new jail. Some of those employees are now in training. The\ were hired based on recommendations from the sheriff and his staff.  The 13 were among three dozen who applied for the corrections officer positions.   

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