Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Athens News Courier

Location: Athens, Alabama

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - February 8, 2005, Athens, Alabama Second season Local high school basketball teams get new life in area tournaments jg Pet Connection Special weekly page debuts today 12A The News-Cmrier TuESDAv; February 8,2005 Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tr \i)ii k)\ and Future Seeing red It’s time for the red hot Chili Challenge, an annual fund-raising event hosted by Hospice of Limestone County Wednesday JjWffF Hey, Sound Off: 1 am so proud of the way the students of Tanner High School come together during tough times. You can tell by their reaction to the death of a beloved classmate that they really care for each other. As a former Tanner High student, 1 have witnessed, firsthand the way the whole school wants to be there for each other and comfort each other, not only during times of tragedy, but during happy times too. 1 am truly proud to have been a student at Tanner High and to be associated with such great students, teachers and faculty. More Sound Off Valley, 5A Get tlie news with your morning coffee Subscribe to The Netvs-Courier 232-2720 Index Classified 3-7B Comics..........8B Farm page 6A Ledger ..........9A Movie Listing 3A Obituaries 2A Dorothy Hall Roy A. King Lula Mai Mahan Edward McMunn Patrick Benjamin Small Sports .........1-2B Daily Bible Moment li^ove suffers long and is kind. 1 Corinthians 13:4 mélNie Ют 322 HwY.3IMAIbens 256-232-1051 Obit line 256-771-0934 7    69847    00001 Local cotton tops in Alabama Bv Tashia Lovell tashia@athensnew's-couner.com Limestone County _ has bragging rights for yet another year. “We’ve had a very, very good year,” said Charlie Burmester, Extension Agronomist. “Limestone County is the largest producer of cotton in the state.” Limestone County has been the largest producer for as long a Burmester    can remember, at least 20 _ or 25 years, maybe more. He says the acreage in the county is over 60.000. “We had a lot of people make between a bail and a half and two (bales to the acre),” Burmester said. Statewide the acreage is 550,000 with an average of 729 pounds per acre. Farmers to meet I.irne.stone and Madi.son County cotton farmers are invited to a cotton meeting from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday at tlie Tenne.s.see Valley Experiment Station in Belle Mina. The focus will he on a variety of topics including production, fertility and weed control. He says this figure is the second highest in the last 10 to 15 years. _ This, he says, is very surprising considering the damage    from Hurricane Ivan last summer. “It affected    south Alabama a whole lot worse,” said Regional Extension Agent Mark Hall. “A lot of cotton wasn't fully opened. It (hurricane) didn't hurt that cotton at all.” “We did sure ive the hurricane fairly    well. _ Burmester    said.    “It    didn't seem to amount to a great loss for us." Hall says the loss was about 100 pounds an acre hut that would he on the high end. Rain is also a factor in the production of cotton. It all depends on when See Cotton, Page 2A Fall’s harvest was one of Limestone’s largest. File photo News-Courier Tashia Lovell Students from Athens Middle School performed a skit at the Limestone County Commission meeting Monday as a part of a project to encourage a “Yes” vote in the Feb. 15 school tax election. From left are Whitney Brown, Carley Novell, Austin Parks, and Emily Sulcer. AMS students ask commission to support school tax renewal Bv Sonny Tirner sonny@alhensnews-courier.com It’s not often Limestone County Commissioners are asked to give up their seats on meeting day, but that is exactly what happened Monday at the Clinton Street Courthouse Annex. And it was for a group of Athens Middle School seventh graders who were there to spread the message that they support the upcoming ad valorem tax measure that will go before voters coimtywide on Feb. 15. Sherry McEwen's Social Studies class went live with their presentation on why they thought the 8.5 See Tax renewal, Page 8A Republicans support tax renewal to fund schools B^ Sown Tirner sonny(a athensnews-coiirier.com The Limestone County Republican Executive Committee has voted unanimously in support of the renewal and continuation of the ad valorem tax issue before voters coimtywide Feb. 15. The 8.5 mills, established more than 60 years ago. goes entirely to city and county schools. “This is not a new tax, but the continuation of a tax that was established in Limestone County over 60 years ago.” said L.imestone Republican Chairman .lim Burden. “Voters residing in Limestone County will have three difl'erent ballot .styles. The style ballot issued will depend upon where the voter lives within the county.” "If these taxes are not renewed I feel sure it would impact our school sv stem in a negative manner.” said Burden. "The Limestone County Republican Executive Committee urges voters to join us in voting for continuing these school taxes for another 20 years." Ballot style 1 will be for a coimtywide vote not covered by the other two ballots. The ballot will contain three amendments for school taxes. The first amendment is for 4.5 mills, the second is for one mill and the third is for three mills. The tax total is 8.5 mills for voters. Ballot style 2 will be for residents of Limestone County residing in portions of the county anne.xed by Huntsv ille. Madison and Decatur cities. It will contain two taxes for schools, one for 4.5 mills and for one mill. They w ill not pay as much as the rest of the coimtv. They pay only 5.5 mills. Ballot st) le 3 w ill he for city of Athens residents. They also w ill vote on three amendments for school taxes, the same as style 1. Their tax total would also he 8.5 mills. Those residing in the cities pay three mills less than the rest of the county. County School Board hears Superintenden t tax concerns By Phil Willis phil@athensnews-cou rier. com Despite constant reassurances voters will renew an ad valorem tax package earmarked for local schools in a special referendum next Tuesday, Limestone County Schools Superintendent Dr. Barry Carroll told school board members Monday night he will be worried until the results are tabulated. ‘i’m asking everyone in the school system to get out and support this measure,” Carroll said. “Spread the word and tell everyone you know to get out See School Board, Page 8A One step at a time Ncws-C'oiiricr ,Amanda Siniard Michael Miller takes advantage of a short break In the rainy winter weather for a visit to Big Spring Park this past weekend. Local woman still recovering from dog attack Phil W illis phil@ athensnews-courier com Connie David once loved dogs and had kept dogs as pets for most of her life. But that was before a dog nearly tore off her arm about a year ago. Two surgeries later - with at least two more to go - David will enter into mediation Thursday to try and reach a settlement with the man who brought the dog to her home and keep the case out of court. The dog in question was a 95-pound German shepherd. The petite David, seeking a large dog for protection after the death of her husband. found the animal listed online at www.petfinders.com . It was owned by an Elkmont couple and available for adoption through the Limestone County Humane Society. See Dog attack. Page 8A