Thursday, July 28, 2005

Athens News Courier

Location: Athens, Alabama

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - July 28, 2005, Athens, Alabama Southern accents Missy McNatt adds a twist to traditional dishes as today’s Cook of the Week 9A New coach at EL Phil Cavnar’s brother, Mike, takes over at East Limestone IB The News-Cou Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future Thursday, July 28, 2005 enewscourier.com 50 Cents d' Mary Nalley of Athens Subscriber of the day Weatherize homes The Community Action Partnership is accepting applications for the Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program. 5A Hey, Sound Off: I'm glad the police have started to clean up ^ome of these old houses around here. We have some drug houses around and when you have drug houses, you get trouble. You have cars coming in all day and all night and you can't sleep at night. Sound Off policy: Not all items sent to the Sound Off column are published. Items that mention a person or business by name are discarded, unless the person mentioned is a public figure and the item is not a personal attack on that person. Items that have not been published within one month are typically discarded. Send items to kelly@athensnews-couri-er.com. More Sound Off Valley, 5A Get the news with your morning coffee Subscribe to The Seu s-Courier 232-2720 Index Business 11A Classified 5-8B Comics..........4B Headlines 4A Ledger .........10A Obituaries 2A Christopher L. Chambers Roy Leighton Malone Ruth H. Ratley Opinion .........4A Sports.........1-3B Valley ..........5A Daily Bible Moment $lnci being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. ~‘Wt CiIM Hebrews 5:9 • menton? 322 H «y. 31 N »Athens 256-232-1051 Obit line 256-771-0034 69847 00001 County: Contract’s good deal Mayor asks for better price to house inmates; Seibert says $35 is cost By Kelly Kazek kelly@athensnews-couner.com Everyone was polite at a joint meeting Wednesday of Athens and Limestone County officials, with discussions of progress in the city-county relationship culminating in jokes and laughter. But old feelings rose from beneath that genial surface when discussion turned to the reason for the meeting: a contract for city inmates to be housed in the new county jail on Elm Street. Mayor Dan Williams said city officials are not asking for a free ride, but they want the best deal or they will be forced to consider building a new city jail. County Commission Chairman David Seibert said the county is already offering the service at cost and there is no room to negotiate. “I sort of resent the fact that I read in the paper we’re just drawing numbers out of the air,” Seibert said. “You know where we got these figures. We had a basis for it.” Those attending the meeting at the County Commission offices on Washington Street included Seibert, “I’d love it if we could do it for free. ...$35 a day is a fair price. There are plenty out there who would like to buy bed space at a higher rate than the City of Athens.” Sheriff Mike Blakelv Williams, the four county commissioners, City Councilman Johnny Crutcher. Sheriff Mike Blakely and Police Chief Wayne Harper. Both sides pointed out past favors done for the other entity. Williams said the city offered the empty utilities building on Jefferson Street for use as a coun ty jail annex when the old jail was overcrowded. The county paid only the cost of utilities for its use. Blakely and Seibert said they appreciated temporary use of that building. Seibert then said that the county jail already houses all felons — including those arrested in the city — and that 60 percent of the teens housed at the county juvenile facility come from inside city limits. They are housed at no cost to the city. The proposed three-year contract that has been negotiated over several months states that the city would pay $35 per day per inmate, plus $4 daily for meals. County Administrator Pam Ball said See Contract, Page 3A Agencies ask for slices of the county pie Series of hearings reveal lean budgets Wednesday By Karen Middleton ancnews@pclnet. net It’s a fat-free budget, but even the lean cuts are costing more nowadays. Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely was the first official to present what he called “fat-free budget” requests to the County Commission in a Wednesday work session. In fiscal year 2004-2005, the sheriff’s appropriation made up 52 percent of the county’s overall budget. Blakely’s requests include: Sheriff’s Office, $2,476,826, up from this year’s $2,400,626; Jail, $1,676,267, down from$l ,798,291; School Resource Officers, $428,941, up from $347,898; Work Release, $137,381, up from $134.884; and Courthouse Security, $130,312.03, up from $127,565. The sheriff's total request was for See Budget, Page 2A Woman injured after man yanks her hair to pull her into car By Sonny Ti rnf.r sonny@athensnews-courier.com A 25-year-old Decatur woman was treated Tuesday at Decatur General Hospital from injuries sustained in an apparent beating at the hands of her former boyfriend. Limestone County Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt said the woman told investigators that the man grabbed her by the hair on her head and pulled her into his vehicle at a store at the corner of U.S. 72 and Hine Street in Athens Tuesday morning. McNatt said the woman told investigators he hit her several times with his fists and then drove her to Cowford Park in southwest Limestone County where he beat See Injured, Page 2A Crossing safely News-Courier Kim Rynders With school starting in just a couple of weeks, the city of Athens has been working in cooperation with Athens City schools to make sure crossings, striping and parking lots are ready. Public Works Director James Rich said that protection is the main issue for this project. Kay Hobbs of the Athens Street Department, above, works on re-striping the Brookhill Elementary parking lot. The department will be trying to complete projects at all city schools before classes start. HOW DOES HER GARDEN GROW — AND GROW? Michelle Swaim shows just how tali her grandmother’s sunflowers grow. She and and her grandmother, Agnes Swaim, live on Smith-Vasser Road in Harvest. BF worker who collapsed suffered no contamination B\ Kelly K \zek kelly(a athensnews-couhercom Authorities put out an alert on police scanners Tuesday night that a Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant worker may have been contaminated, but the report stemmed from the worker’s collapse while at work and not an accident, said plant spokesman Craig Beasley. The man was not contaminated, he said. The worker, whose name is not being released because of medical privacy issues, was treated at Decatur General Hospital. Beasley said he did not know the man’s condition Wednesday. The man was working on the refuel floor when he “passed out” between 10 and 11 p.m., Beasley said. An ambulance was called and medical techni cians carried the man on a stretcher. Employees are required to pass through contamination monitors at plant exits but because the man was on a stretcher, he could not be monitored. Beasley said. “When that happens, we have to count them as potentially contaminated” he said. The man was checked for contamination with a portable detector upon arrival at the hospital. “There was no contamination,” Beasley said. “He was not working in contamination area of plant.” Beasley said the incident is not classified as an accident, but rather as a medical emergency. He said he does not know what caused the man’s collapse, but mentioned heat as a possibility.