Friday, March 11, 2005

Athens News Courier

Location: Athens, Alabama

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - March 11, 2005, Athens, Alabama 37th Annual Musical Explosion begins at 7 tonight at ABS The News-Cmrier I KID\N. \| Sk( nil, 2IMI5 Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future enewscourier.com ^<y<yc( Lany Brown of Athens Subscriber of tlie day in NT Uey, Sound Off; I am a Brookhill parent and I am NOT for closing or moving the school. I believe that our school has the best faculty and staff of any in our system but I do not believe that we should shut a school down without testing that proves we have a problem! Are we seriously considering moving 218 students without any scientific data? So far, by an unscientific tally we seem to have 15-20 sick children and very concerned parents. What about the other 200 children'.’ I thought the parent group was advocating more testing. Now 1 am dismayed to hear that we are actually calling for closing the school? Wow! Whal a huge jump! In the past three weeks, one of my children has had a bright red itchy, mysterious rash and another one has had to have blood work done for allergy testing but neither one of them attend Fkookhill. We also should remember that we live in the I’ennessee Valley, one of the worst places to live in regards to allergies and upper respiratory problems. 1 have obsened lately that anything can now be attributed to the school. We don’t need to emotionally rush to have action for action's sake. I urge our city leaders to wait and to give the tests time to be performed. More Sound Off VaUey, 5A Index Classified 3-7B Comics..........8B Religion ........9-11A Movie Listing 8A Ledger..........12A Obituaries 2A Rosemary Ann Raiz Thomas Smith Elgie Wright Sports .........1-2B Dailv Bible Moment et us uot grow iveufy while clouig good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9 ^(fabel 322 Hwy.3l M Athens 2.S6-232-10JI Ohil line 256-771-«9.W 69847'00001 President comes calling But many rally against his SS plan By Phillip Rawls Associated Press Writer MONTGOMERY — Democrats and labor rallied against President Bush’s Social Security plan Thursday and predicted it will become the issue that reverses Republican gains in the South. The Alabama Democratic Party and the Alabama AFL-CIO organized the rally on the Capitol lawn in response to Bush’s visit to Montgomery to promote his Social Security proposals. The rally attracted about 400 people who chanted, “We’ll remember in 2006.’’ “We’re here today to preserve our heritage — the heritage that was given to us by organized labor, the Democratic Party and our grandparents’ generation. We are not going to let them take it away from us,’’ state Democratic Party Chairman Redding Pitt told the crowd. Joe Reed vice chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party, said “This could be the issue that turns around the South for the Democratic Party. Economic issues always tied the South to the Democratic Party.’’ Shortly before the rally began, the Alabama Senate voted along party lines to pass a resolution opposing Bush’s plan to allow Americans under 55 to divert part of their Social Security taxes into personal investment See Bush, Page 3A President Bush waVes as he arrives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery Thursday. The house that comnassion will builc New home for Kirbys is^^ dream Iqome true S    By    Tashia    Lovell tashia@athensnews-courier.com Rimni^ water is an amenity most haven’t had to do with-^ |)ut fifr very long. But for one Athens family it has been a ^Ivay of life for decades. Alberta Kirby has lived in a small house on Plato Jones j^^^treejt in Adiens for nearly 60 years. She has never had an inside toilet and has never had running water inside her ^^ome. “It’s been pretty hard trying to keep a fire and keep warm ¿nd pay the bills,’’ Kirby said Thursday of her experience living in the house. According to family friend Cynthia Phillips, Kirby and her 55-year-old daughter, Shirley, lived in the home until ,»ifi0№ary when membcrsr of Phillips’ church made it possible for them to move into temporary housing at Higgins Court. They had used a two-eyed hot plate for cooking and a pot-bellied stove to heat the house, Phillips said. Antioch Cumberland Presbyterian Church of America does a food bank every third Saturday and that’s how See New home, Page 2A News-Couner/ Kim Rynders Alberta Kirby sits in front of the home she has lived in for almost 60 years. Her ceiling is falling, above, in the living room and bedroom of the home. Grand jury clears local woman in man’s death By Sonny Turner sonny@athensnews-coitner.com .\ Limestone County grand jury has cleared a known Athens prostitute of any wrongdoings involved in the death last year of a 64-year-old Athens man. Evidence in the death of John Henry Brumitt was presented this week to the grand jury and it was dismissed Thursday. The 18-member panel “no billed” the case against Jacklin Mitchell, 41, of 1711 West Elm St., Athens. Preliminary results of an autopsy show Brumitt died from a heart attack, the grand jury was told.    Jacklin Mitchell Brumitt, of Country Corner Road, Athens, was found in a ditch beside .Acorn Hill Circle in late December. Police were called to the scene because someone reported a fight early that morning between a man and woman. When officers arrived Mitchell was running from the scene and Ofr'icer Michael Cash gave chase. When Sgt. Frank Murphy arrived as back- See Cleared, Page 2A Limestone Sports Hall of Fame tickets are now available Tickets for the 2005 induction banquet of the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame will go on sale today at The Nev^'s-Courier. Eight people will be inducted May 14 during the arinual banquet at the ballroom at Athens State University. Tickets are $20 eagh or $100 for a table of four. Tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis. The Hall of Fame Board of Directors has set aside 16 tickets for each inductee and their families. Those tickets will be available until April 1. After that date, the tickets will be offered to the public. “We are now offering tickets to the public and to the families of the inductees,” said HOF President John Wayne King. “We wanted to make sure the ftim-ilies of the inductees are not left out and we decided to set aside tickets for them to purchase.” The 2005 induction class includes fonner Athens High and NBA basketball star Keith Askins; former Limestone County coach and athlete Debbie Blakely; former Athens and Abilene Christian University coach Wallace Bullington; former Athens coaching legend Ferman Elmore; former Athens athlete and coach Brub Hamilton; fomier West Limestone star athlete Tommie Smith; former Limestone County athlete and coach Morris Schrimsher and fonner Tanner volunteer coach Rip Swanner. Advisor: Chamber should hire tourism director By Phil Willis phil@athensnews-courier. com As the site of the intersection of the major north-south and east-west arteries through North Alabama — Interstate 65 and U.S. 72 — Athens is in an ideal location to attract tourists, a visiting tourism expert told the Tourism Council of the Athens-Limestone Chamber of Commerce Thursday afternoon. “You want those visitors passing through Athens to stop and put their heads in bed,” said J.P. Parsons, tourism director for the Greater Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. Parsons has served Jackson County in that capacity for two years. His first task upon taking the job, he said, was to compile a 5-year marketing plan and an inventory of attractions. The top attractions in the county, he found, are mountains, lakes and unclaimed baggage — a reference to an unclaimed baggage store in Scottsboro that annually draws some 1 million visitors. Statistics show that 18 percent of visitors have a primary interest in shopping, Parsons explained, while almost 10 percent are looking for outdoor recreation — two areas in which North Alabama excels. Since the events of Sept. 11, 2001, Parsons said, travel habits in America have changed, with people taking shorter vaca tions closer to home. Rapidly increasing gas prices are now' beginning to contribui? to the trend, he said. Because of that, tlj^ tourism directpf sV^ extra efforts ipust ^ directed at those people headed dovOa Interstate 65 to the beach to get them lb stop in Athens. One of the best ways to do that, according to Parsons’ boss. Chamber President See Tourism, Page 2A