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Athens News Courier: Sunday, March 13, 2005 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - March 13, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 Brain teaser  Home cookin’  Local family finds friendly people, booming business in Rogersville  Test your word knowledge with the Sunday    Local    family    finds    friendly    people,    booming  crossword    22a    business    in    Rogersville  The News-Cour  Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future  Sunday, \1ar( h 13, 2(»05  e new SCO u rie r.c о m  One Doi.uar  Gilbert Boyd of Clements  i^’'\Siibscriber of the day  Kitchen to combat  Local museum takes a look at women’s roles in the military.  1C  Hey, Sound Off:  Since garbage service has now gone up to $ 129 per year...the question needs to be asked...again. Why must county utility customers pay for a service they do not want, need or use, in order to keep the electricity on?  With everything going up left and.figirtf the county coiiiliission should acknowledge the fact that somd'people do not use this service and, therefore, should not be forced to pay for it.  To force someone to pay for an unwanted service in order to prevent an undesired consequence is by definition...extortion.  This situation demands the county commission's immediate attention.  More Sound Off Valley, 6A  Get the news with your morning coffee  Subscribe to nife News-Courier  232-2720  Index     Classified____    , ,1-IOD      Crossword .,    12A      Church Bulletin.    ,.. .12A      Ledger ......    14-15A      Movie Listing ..    ., .11A      YesterYear____    13A      Obituaries —    2A     Leona Blakely Myrtha Duncan Smith Brenda Kay Stanford Sports .........1-4B  Daily Bible Moment  US lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us.  Hebrews 12:1  •fWi a»«  Шт(Ш пе ^^ШаЬе1  322 Hwy.3IN*AtbeRS 256-232-1651 ОЬН11м256-Л1-(1934  Audit reveals gifts, trips, luxury  state now being asked to again probe water board  By Sonny Turner   sonny@athensnews-courier.com  The last time the books and operations of the Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority were audited by the state, auditors found a number of questionable practices including the use of water board credit cards to purchase gifts and the use of county equipment for personal gain. The State Department of Examiners of Public Accounts audit also hit hard at the Authority’s former manager, Bobby Chandler, saying  Chandler used Authority money to pay his son ^r work never performed, bought a chain saw with water money as a gift and even took a deep-sea fishing trip with a private Tennessee contractor who later purchased an engine that went into Chandler’s private vehicle.  The audit was conducted from a period covering Oct. 1,1997 through Sept. 30,1999. Up until this weekend it was never made public.  The News-Courier obtained a copy of the  audit Friday.  “We’ve never seen it before,” Limestone County Commission Chairman David Seibert said this weekend. “To my knowledge, this audit was never made public, but it should have been.”  The Alabama Bureau of Investigation also conducted an investigation of water board practices, the audit said and findings from that investigation and that of the audit itself were presented to a Limestone County grand jury in 2000.  The grand jury “no billed” it and asked that Limestone District Attorney Kristi Vails present findings to the State Ethics Commission. She did and the Ethics Commission later refused to investigate because they said they had no legal right to do so since the grand juiy had already ruled  there was no “criminal intent” involved.  Another audit of the Water Authority is now being called for by Limestone County’s legislative delegation. But Water Authority members said last week they believed the S100,000 it would cost to conduct the audit is money that could better spent elsewhere.  Seibert and the Limestone County Commissioners are asking legislators to give the commission the authority to fire board members, power they do not now have. Seibert has charged that he believes the water board has lost the “trust and confidence” of the public and has called for the resignations of three members who were on the board last year when the board gave huge Christmas bonuses to Chandler and board employees.  See Audit, Page ЗА  House OKs $1M to fund Tanner exit  By Sonny Turner   sonny@athensnews-courier.com   The proposed Tanner interchange got another boost Friday when the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington D.C. approved a $ 1 million appropriation to the project.  That brings to $5 million the total funding approved for the interchange to be located at Interstate 65 and Huntsville-Brownsferry Road just east of Tanner Crossroads. The entire Tanner project is estimated to cost $5.5 million.  “As North Alabama continues to grow, our inirastructure must be prepared to meet our area’s future demands,” said Cramer. “North Alabama will gain a great deal from this transportation bill.  “Included in this bill are a number of vital round projects that are important to our area’s economic recruitment,” Cramer said. “Once completed, these roads will help reduce traffic problems and increase safety. I am pleased that my colleagues supported this bill on the floor today.”  The funding was included in the six-year surface transportation reauthorization bill. It was approved out of committee last weekend. The Senate is scheduled to consider its transportation bill next week.  “This project is extremely important to the economic development and overall growth of Limestone County,” said Cramer.  Limestone County Commission Chairman David Seibert said last month that engineering work on the Tanner interchange has already started and plans call for project to be bid out sometime in the near future.  The U.S. House also approved $7 million Friday for the west extension of 1-65 toward Decatur in the Decatur annexed portion of South Limestone County and the extension and widening of Alabama 36 in Hartselle.  Tickets available for ‘A Rainbow of Flavors’ event  By Charlotte Fulton charlotte@athensne\i’s-courier.com  Tickets are selling fast for the Taste of Home Cooking School set for April 14 at Athens Middle School.  More than half of the 1,000 tickets have sold -many of them going to ticket-buyers in places like Murfreesboro, Fayetteville, Trinity, Hartselle, Florence and Decatur who’ve attended Taste of Home Cooking Schools before and have learned about the Athens event from “Taste of Home” magazine.  “We want to be sure the people of Athens and Limestone County get their tickets, too,” said Kim Rynders, who heads the cooking school committee. “We encourage them to go ahead and buy their tickets while they are plentiful. These cooking schools traditionally sell out well in advance.”  Tickets at $8 each are available at The News-Courier. A portion of the proceeds will go to Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful.  Home economist Michelle Roberts promises to whip up some exciting new recipes fit for brunches, limches and dinner parties as well as some quick-and-easy meal solutions requiring only 15-20 minutes of preparation time. In addition to the food demonstrations, there will be a goody bag for each guest; copies of the récits to be prepared; lots of door prizes; and before the main event, , booths to browse.  This year’s cooking school theme is “A Rainbow of Flavors.” Don’t miss out on this flavorful event.  Exolosion of talent at ABS  News-Courier/Kim Rynders  Tina and Bill Swindell perform at the Musical Explosion this weekend. The Musical Explosion was held this past Friday and Saturday night and will also be held on the next Friday and Saturday night. Performers from all over entertained the crowds at the Athens Bible School gym.  Gracie  at the,  crossroads  Local girl prepares for next phase of medical treatment  By Melanie Walker   melanie@athensnews-courier.com  The community has seen Gracie Holland grow and develop from an infant struggling with the devastation of Crouzon’s Syndrome complicated by encephalitis -  Donations to help fund Gracie Holland's surgerv' can Ix? made at Redstone Federal Credit Union.  C ourtesy photo  Grade Holland, who turns 10 years old today, undergoes her 25th surgery March 25.  enduring 24 surgeries by the time she was 9 years old. All the while, she has won the hearts of members of the community with her happy-lit-tle-girl attitude,  her hard work at school and her tund-rais-ing eftbrts for other children with medical problems.  Now Gracie, who turns 10 today, is facing her 25th surgery March 25. This high-risk suqjery will be performed by a  See Gracie, Pago 3A   

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