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Athens News Courier: Saturday, January 15, 2005 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - January 15, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 ■ Tanner reigns supreme  Rattlers secure No. 1 seeding for county tournament  News-Courier  Serving Athens and Limestone Coi    Community    of    Tradition    and    Future  Saturday* January 15, 2005  enewscouner.com  50 Ces fs  On a mission  This young Athens couple hope to make a difference as local youth pastors. In Lifestyles  Sunday  »OFF  Hey, Sound Off:  It is good to know our county commissioners are trying to bring the Limestone County Water Authority under the county’s control.  What a strange situation that was, the water authority had it their way all the way, no one to answer to. Maybe that will change soon, as it should.  I cannot understand what the great attraction of being on the water board is. The present board members are willing to endure innuendos, harsh criticism and degrading remarks just to remain on the board after being asked to resign. Surely they know that most on the Limestone County citizens side with the commissioners. There must be some hidden reason for them insisting to remain on the board.  More Sound Off Sunday  Get the news with your morning coffee  Subscribe to The Neu s-Courier  232-2720  Index  Classified 5-7A  Comics..........4A  Ledger ..........3A  Lottery ..........3A  Obituaries........2A  Louise Clinard Ingrid S. McClung Tony L. Tucker  Outdoors.........5B  SEC Preview  2B  Sports .......1-5B  Weather .........2A  Daily Bible Moment   ] e shall he like a tree planted hy the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river.  Jeremiah 17:8  îdimedme ((iubel  322 Hwy. 31N • Athens 256-232-1051 Obit line 256-771-0934  69847  00001  Water board members up for renewal likely to be replaced  By Sonny Turner   sonny@athensnews-courier.com   David Seibert says it’s apparent all four remaining members on the Limestone County Water Authority do not intend to resign as he has requested. But he said Friday two new board members will*likely come on board Marth 1.  “I have received no word or any indication that any board member will resign,” said Seibert. “But I do know we will have two new members on board in March.”  Nancy Stevenson who recently resigned from the board will be replaced along with longtime board member Leslie Bagsby whose term expires Feb. 28. Bagsby, though, has asked to be reappointed.  District 1 Commissioner Tommy Raby will recommend to commissioners who he wants to replace Stevenson and it will be up to District 4 Commissioner Bill Daws to recommend whether Bagsby is reappointed. Daws has said that he will recommend a new board member for that post.  Seibert called on all remaining board members to resign because he said he believed they had lost the trust and respect of the public after it was announced the board approved big Christmas bonuses for its manager and employees at a time when the board was considering increasing water rates to customers.  Water Authority Manager Bobby Chandler resigned this week from his position saying he was quitting to take a position in a private sector of the state.  Chandler, who was paid more than $ 100.000 over the past year, was given a S15,000 bonus, a bonus he said he did not ask for. Water Authority employees got a $500 bonus.  Seibert said he does not disapprove of the bonuses although he thought the $15,000 given to Chandler was excessive.  Seibert said the county commission can not legally force the water board members to  See Board, Page 3A  Council closer to launching city hall project  By Tanjie Nash  tanjie@athensnew ) s-courier.com Members of the Athens City Council took steps on Friday toward reining in a multitude of options as they prepare for construction of a new City Hall.  Meeting with Bob Gray of Cribbs Architecture, the council requested a proposal outlining logistics, cost and timeline for the project, which will require temporary relocation of some city offices.  Gray plans to have such a proposal ready in time for the council’s Feb 28 meeting, if not the Feb. 14 meeting.  Meanwhile, the council will decide  probably at its next meeting Jan. 24 — whether to use a construction manager for the building project or simply allow Cribbs to oversee the project.  Martin & Cobey Construction of Athens is under contract with the city to serve as construction manager for a new Public Safety complex. Plans for construction of such a building on city-owned property at the US. 72/lnterstate 65 interchange were scrapped last year after bids came in at just more than $6 million. The project was budgeted at $3.8 million.  See City Hall, Page 3A  Councilman ‘embarrassed’ by unkempt appearance of Athens Utilities building  By Tanjie Nash   tanjie@athensnews-courier.com  For about five years now, the Athens Utilities Department — wfnch encompasses the electric, water and wastewater, and gas departments has operated without an official department head. Tom Craven served in that position until his retirement.  Since then, the position has remained vacant.  On Friday, when several members of the Athens City Council — accompanied by representatives of an architectural firm toured the Utilities Department’s Wiikerson Street facility, Councilman  See Utilities, Page 2A  Tell us about Tocal people who changed your life  The theme for The News-Courier s annual magazine edition, published in February, is “People Who Make a Difference.”  As we have in the past, the staff encourages readers to submit stories they have written about someone who made a difference in their lives. To submit a story you have written, e-mail a copy to kelly(§ athen-snews-courier.com or send to 410 W Green Street, Athens, Ala., 35611.  In addition, members of our staff will be writing stories about some of the people who have made a difference to all of Athens and Limestone County. To nominate someone as the subject of one of our staff-written features, please send a name to one of the addresses listed above. If you know' the person’s telephone number, please include it.  Stories should be no longer than about 1,000 words. Deadline for submissions is Jan. 31. If you have questions, call Managing Editor Kelly Kazek at 232-2720.  The Huntsville Bomb Squad, top, searches for explosives on property off U.S. 72 Friday afternoon. Officials were called to the scene after Gary Brinkman told the property owners he had booby-trapped a shed in which he lived. Sheriff Mike Blakely, above, said the suspect contends he is a Vietnam veteran and is paranoid schizophrenic.  Man makes terror threat  Investigators find no bomb  See Bomb, Page 2A  By Nancy Glasscock   nancy@athensnews-courier.com  Local law enforcement officials and a Huntsville bomb squad searched for explosives beside the former location of Crossfire Paintball off' U.S. 72 Friday afternoon after a local man said he booby trapped a shed he was liv ing in.  Limestone County' Sheriff Mike Blakely said Gary Brinkman was arrested for making a terrorist threat Brinkman  Jerry Batts sworn in as district judge  Sets his goals to ‘do justice, walk humbly with Lord’  By Nancy Glasscock   nancy@athensnews-courier.com   “I never did this with a jury,” said a teary-eyed District Judge Jerry Batts Friday as he was sworn in at Limestone County Courthouse.  Batts, a Democrat, defeated Republican Don Mansell for District Judge Place 2 in November. He is replacing Bob Baker.  “That’s one of the most respected people in the state of Alabama,” said longtime friend Paul Reeves.  “I am here today because of you,” Batts said to the packed circuit court room. “Family members that have supported me and encouraged me all my life. My mother and father sacrificed for  See Judge, Page 2A  News-Courier'Kim Rvnders  Local attorney Jerry Batts speaks to James Bridges at Batts’ swearing in ceremony as District Judge Friday at the Limestone County Courthouse.   

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