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Athens News Courier Newspaper Archive: January 28, 2005 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - January 28, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 Pet smart    Wild    horse roundup  A new page features information on the health    Scientists    study barrier island herds to help  and well-being of pets, coming Saturday hH|  y l!flpsave horses dating from Spanish explorers 7a  The News-Courier  Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future  JANUARY 28, 2005    enewscourier.com  50 Cents  Unmarked grave is identified  Union soldier buried next to Southern belle in Athens City Cemetery  News-Courier Kim Ryndcrs  Frank Westmoreland, above, funded the inscription on the back of Col. Robert Ross Townes’ grave marker. He is a descendent of Kate Lane’s sister, May Fearn Lane. The inscription reads, “Kate Lane Townes, At His Side.”  Bn Tashia Lon eli  rex(a a thensnews-courier, com  It Nvas a love affair that was considered taboo at the time, but now it's drawing what some might call well-deserved attention.  “It was a real love story." says Frank Westmoreland, a descendent of Kate Lane's sister. “They met in a tumultuous time here. As soon as he got an opportunity, even before the war was over, he came to Huntsville. They married in 1    8 6 4,”  Westmoreland says.  Until now the gravesites of Colonel Robert R. Townes, a Union soldier, and Kate Lane Townes, a Southern lady, have been left unmarked for decades.  Brian Hogan, grave registration officer for Camp 53 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in Huntsville, has spent months researching Townes in order to get a marker for his gravesite.  “He had no headstone; he had no marker." sa\s Hogan.  See Grave, Page 2A  Dedication  ceremony  A ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Athens City Cemetery. There will be a formal dedication including re-enactors.  Index  Classified 4-8B  Comics .........12A  Ledger..........14A  Movie Listing 8A  Horse Sense  7A  Obituaries 2A  Gertrude Black Kathleen Noah Cheatwood Sports .........1-3B  Bn Nancy Glasscock  nancy (aat hens new s-courier. com Dr. Nils Diaz praised the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant in Limestone County Thursday saying the once-troubled plant has been transformed into one of the best.  “Browns Ferry has been transformed into a very good operating plant,” the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman said in his visit to Browns Ferry. "I think that they should be congratulated on a job well done in making this plant what it is today.”  Diaz' tour of the Browns Ferry site is one of about eight nuclear plant tours he conducts during the year.  “1 used to do a lot more,” he said, adding that the NRC increased security following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. “ The last year I've been extremely busy bringing security levels in the nation where they should be. I try to take about a trip every month.”  The first of these changes was a security assessment that went underway Oct. 12,2001, fol-  See NRC, Page 2A  -  *     l!_  News-Courier Kim Rvnders Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Nils Diaz toured Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Thursday. He said that past problems with the plant have been corrected and predicts the country will see a gradual increase In power plants during the next several years  Bn Kelln Kx/jk  kelly(a athensnews-courier.com  Hugh Ball wants to see a united and economically healthy Limestone County.  After being named president Thursday of the Athens-Limestone Chamber of Commerce, Ball will have the opportunity to work toward that goal.  "My plan immediately is to do some homework." Ball Ball said following a lunchtime meeting of the Chamber of Commerce board. Ball was called to come join the meeting shortly after members voted unanimously to approve him as president.  “I'm already aware of the need to work on tourism," he said, indicating the subject that occupied most of the meeting.  Board chairman Johnny Marshall said Ball was chosen by a selection committee following the resignation of Susan Fogg.  See Chamber, Page 3A  Hoops action  The Limestone County Basketball Tournament resumed Thursday night. See game details.  IB  Annex open house  Limestone County Commission will host an open house of the Clinton Street Annex, which opened in November. The public is invited to the Feb. 9 event, which will be from 2-4 p.m.  i№(FF  Hey, Sound Off:  I just finished reading about the Athens police officers: one cleared one resigned one given 10 days off without pay. Whooppeee! 1 know no other place of employment that would tolerate this kind of behavior on company time or company grounds. I'll bet a school wouldn't put up with a teenager pulling such an act as this during school hours and on school grounds. I’m sure it is a zero percent tolerance. The officer should have been fired.  — A very concerned taxpayer  More Sound Off Valley, 5A  Get the news with your morning coffee  Subscribe to The News-Courier  232-2720  crowd calls for board’s resignation  By Phil Willis  phi ¡(a athensnews-courier.com  An audience of more than 100 people filled the 40-seat boardroom of the Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority as the embattled directors met in regular session Thursday afternoon.  Most of the crowd consisted of customers there to question the board about controversial Christinas bonuses and to call for members' resignations. Also present was a contingent of authority employees, most holding placards stating “I Support the LCWSA Board.” Numerous placards also were picked up by customers, who inserted "Do Not" between "I" and “Support."  Limestone County Commission Chairman David Seibert, who has called for the resignation of the entire board, also attended the meeting along with Commissioners Bill Daws and Tommy Raby. Several members of the audience, when called upon for comment, merely stated their support for Seibert and appreciation of his efforts.  Seibert, following the meeting, said he planned to introduce at Monday’s County Commission meeting a resolution enabling the commission to dismiss the current water board and replace it with a new board “with some accountability.” The resolution then would require passage as a private act of the State Legislature to become law.  “1 heard lots of questions asked, but few answers," Seibert said of the meeting. “1 knew 1 had lots of support, but it was good to hear it voiced.”  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  See Resignation, Page 2A  Ball named president of chamber  Daily Bible Moment  tyonoryour father and your mother.  '<Wt Con  Exodus 20:12  (< tajx'! I  322 Hw\. 31 V * Athens 256-232-1051 Obit Hm 256-771-11934  1,000 speeders ticketed  State troopers now watching U.S. 72 West with radar gun  Bn Sonny Ti rmer  sonny(a aihensnews-courier.com In a move to step up enforcement of traffic violations on dangerous U.S. 72 West, state troopers have issued more than 1,000 speeding and reckless driving tickets in the past two weeks.  According to records filed in the office of Limestone County Circuit Court Clerk Charles Page, those who have received  citations for speeding are paying fines and court costs of $158 each. Motorists who are ticketed for reckless driving, though, must make a court appearance before Limestone County District Judge Jerry Batts and are facing up to a year in jail and fines of $1,000.  “It's just aggressive enforcement by state troopers,” Page said Thursday of all the citations. "We collect the speeding  fines and I've noticed that the trooper captains. lieutenants and sergeants themselves are out there issuing tickets to v iolators.” The strict enforcement started last month after Gov. Bob Riley visited the U.S. 72 site west of Athens and instructed the state to post 45 mph speed zones on the highway during times of rain.  The governor, who was asked to visit the site by Sen. Tom Butler, D-Madison, promised then that something would be done to change the danger on that highway.  Three people were killed last month, including a young mother, her daughter and an Athens State University professor, in a tragic two-car accident on U.S. 72 just  west of the Shaw Road intersection. That accident occurred a few months after another wreck near the same location that killed two other people.  Butler sent a letter to Riley requesting immediate relief for what he called “death trap" conditions along U.S. 72 West between Athens and Lauderdale County following the wreck.  Five-year-old Ciara Marie May was a kindergarten student at Clements School. Both she and her mother, Lindsey "Nicole' Cardwell, 23, of Quinn Road, died when their car collided with a vehicle  See Speeders. Page 2A  Overflow  NRC chairman congratulates Browns Ferry on ‘job well done’   

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