Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Athens News Courier

Location: Athens, Alabama

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - July 6, 2005, Athens, Alabama Festive scenes More images from Monday’s Freedom and Firecracker festivals inside today 7A Tourney continues Dixie Youth Baseball teams from area square off at Sportsplex jg The News-Cou VVi r)M si)v\, Ji iA 6, 2005 Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future cnenscoii rier.com SO Cem s ^o-o-d' Vickie Bozeman of Athens Subscriber of the day Sign removal Commissioner plans to remove signs from rights-of-way. Hey, Sound Off: What is up with cell phone use? 1 have one and 1 use it all the time, but 1 make an effort not to use it when it disrupts other people’s lives. 1 have been to two movies in the past month. Both times cell phones not only rang during the film, but the owners actually picked them up and began speaking in normal tones of voice while others were trying to watch the movie. A theater is not your living room. You should be courteous of other viewers — especially when you pay nearly $9 per person, plus snacks. Just because we have access to such wonderful technology these days is no reason to abuse manners and common courtesy. More Sound Off Valley, 5A Get the news with your morning coffee Subscribe to The Neu's-Courier ^ 232-2720 Index Classified...... 4-8B Comics........ ..3B Headlines...... 4A Health ........ 8A Ledger ........ 6A Obituaries...... 2A Margaret Marie Drop Louise Lewis Sports........ 1-2B Valley......... 5A Weather....... 2A Daily Bible Moment Het US continii-ally offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:15 W.É# 322 Hnv. 31 N* Athens .    256-232-1051 Obit line 256-77I-W34 7    69847'00001    6 Veterans claim ‘disrespect’ Officers with vets groups te commissioners articles unfair By Sonny Turner sonny@athensnews-courier.com Three ranking officers with the three Limestone County veterans organizations came before the Limestone County Commission Tuesday claiming a series of articles printed in The News-Courier last week about their use of bingo funds were disrespectful to the veterans. They also said the articles questioned the abilities of countv commis- sioners. “We feel like we have been disrespected and it questioned your abilities,’’ said Roy Coulter, adjutant/quartermaster of VFW Post 4765. “1 ask do you (commissioners) have any problem with the way we spend our money?’’ Coulter, Vietnam Veterans Commander Michael Davis and Lee Liveoak with the Disabled American Veterans, all told of how those organi- zations have no source of income other than bingo. “It’s none whatsoever,’’ said Coulter. The articles that appeared in three consecutive editions of the newspaper told how much money was raised from bingo games and where much of the money was going. Those figures were on record at the County Commission office as reported by the veterans organizations. The way the bingo legislation was set up five years ago, the bulk of the money is required to go to charity. The articles pointed out that much of that funding goes into the day-to-day operations of the veterans organizations. “We are accountable to the Internal Revenue Service on all of our funds,” said Liveoak. “We are accountable e to you with out bingo funds.” The veterans officials mentioned three scholarships that were awarded last month to county students as the result of bingo totaling $4,000. They also said the figures quoted in the paper were “gross" rather than net amounts and they felt the articles “were an attack." “Bingo was through a legislative act drawn up and voted on by the people," said Commission Chairman David Seibert. “Do we want that act See Veterans, Page 2A Winn-Dixie may have new owner From staff and wire reports A conglomerate of Delaware-based BI-LO, LLC and Southern Family Markets Acquisition, LLC has submitted joint bids to purchase Winn-Dixie stores in Athens, Florence and Meridianville, according to an Associated Press report. The bankrupt supermarket giant W'inn-Dixie Stores Inc. announced Friday it has reached preliminary agreements worth $38.7 million to sell 79 of its stores, including the one in Athens just off U.S. 31 North, to 20 buyers who plan to continue to operate them as grocery or liquor stores. In motions filed in federal bankruptcy court. Winn-Dixie said the agreements are preliminary and could be replaced by better offers that may be received at an auction to be held July 18-19 in New York. The aggregate purchase price is for leases and equipment at the 79 stores. The agreements include a provision to hire Winn-Dixie employees, who are losing their jobs with the company’s decision two weeks ago to close or sell 326 stores and cut 22,500 jobs. Winn-Dixie also is asking the bankruptcy court for permission to conduct closing sales for those store they were unable to sell at auction, beginning in August. U.S. District Bankruptcy Judge Jerry Funk is expected to rule on the motions at a hearing scheduled July 27-29. Traffic lammed on 1-65 C ourtesy photo by Tony Cingsby Northbound traffic on Interstate 65 was backed up for miles from Athens northward Tuesday because state troopers said state construction crews were working on the interstate. Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said traffic was backed up most of the afternoon for at least five miles and alerted his deputies to avoid that area if at all possible. County seeks inspection o atop roofs 11 older schools By Tashia Lovell tashia@athensnew.s-courier.com The Limestone County School board approved in a meeting Tuesday night Superintendent Dr. Barry Carroll’s recommendation to have roofs of many Limestone County schools inspected. “We feel like we have some roof problems,” Carroll said. He said that the need is felt to have an expert come in and identify problems with the roofs to many schools. Out of the 13 county schools only 11 would be included in the inspections due to the newness of Cedar Hill Elementary School and Creekside Elementary School. In other business the school board approved the following personnel items: new positions; .5 Language Arts teacher at Ardmore, .5 Language Arts teacher at Clements, and .5 Language Arts teacher at Tanner; new personnel; Mitzi Gilbert at Clements, Sabrina Estes at Clements, See Roofs, Page 2A New's-Courier Kim Rynders Ryan Nelson of the maintenance department at Peppertree Apartments helps clear debris Tuesday after lightning struck the apartment complex Monday. None hurt when ightning strikes aoartment attic Bv Kfllv k\/Fk kellvia athcn.snews-couner.com .Athens firefighters responded quickly to a fire caused by a lightning strike Monday, dousing a blaze at Peppertree Apartments before it eould spread. Firefighters responded to a call at 2:28 p.m.. arriving at the apartment complex at 1418 I ast Elm Street within minutes, said Assistant I ire t hief Danny Southard. Six units were on the scene for an hour and 17 minutes, he said. “The fire was contained to the southernmost portion of the attic of that building," Southard said. “.A w itness stated he saw lightning strike the roof line and we did see evidence of that, fhe guys got in there extremelv quick and contained the fire." No families were displaced by the fire, according to David Morrow, president of the Birmingham finn that owns the complex. “It sounds as itTt s only minor damage," Morrow said by telephone fuesday. Daphne Ellison with the l.imestone County Emergency Management Agency said no one reported the lightning stnke, or any other storm-related damage, to the agency Monday. House fire starts on stove In an unrelated incident Monday, .Athens firefighters responded to a 1:29 p.m. call from 1213 Sommerest Drive where residents reported a stove fire. Four units were on the scene for 41 minutes. Southard said. Damage was contained to the stove w ith minimal smoke damage throughout the home. Firefighters remained on the scene to ensure the fiunily’s safety. “When we hav e something like that we usiuilly go ahead and remove the stove from the residence," Southard said.