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Athens News Courier: Sunday, September 25, 2005 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - September 25, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 Tide, Tigers win  Alabama struggles with Arkansas, Auburn rips Western Kent jb  Chamber newsletter  News and events from the Limestone County Chamber of Commerce, inside  News-Cmrier  Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future  Нгмш, Si I4FMBI H 25, 2005  eiiewsco u ner.cora  On к l>oi I лк  ^crctd'  Charles Nelson of Athens  Subscriber of the day  Htv, Sound Off:  As ve all know we, the United states, have a deficient prtblem, and we are part of thi problem. Our local paper pointed out that we are about to receive $500 ООО from other taxpayers by route of the federal government for a walking/bike path. Why do we need federal funds? The people of Omaha or Boston won’t be using our bike paths so maybe they shouldn’t be expected to help pay for them. Another pork project, 1 guess.  Sen. Shelby announced $75,000 for the Limestone fire department. Several other departments are getting thousands of dollars from Sen. Shelby. This is a prefect example of throwing 4Попеу at a problem that may not even exist. Once again this is a local project and should be paid for with local money.  1 have a feeling if these projects were paid locally they would not be so desirable and may not even be requested or would cut back too local funding only.  More Sound Off Valley, 6A  Daily Bible Moment  faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inhehtance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  Hebrews 11:8  Юп  322 Hv»v.3l N • Athens' 25fr-232-lU51 Obit line 256-771-0934  7    69847C  ooc  Rita batters coast     Index          Classified.....    1-160      Crossword.. .    9A      Ledger .......    8A      Obituaries —    2A      Peggie F. Phillips      Kathy Jean Sanders      H. Milton Newby      Other Views ..    5A      Our Opinion...    4A      Sports.......    1-4B      Valley ......    6A      Weather.....    2A           Residents relievec storm proved less threat than Katrina  BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) — Hurricane Rita pummeled east Texas and the Louisiana coast Saturday, triggering floods and demolishing buildings, yet the dominant reaction was relief that the once-dreaded storm proved far less fierce and deadly than Katrina. Authorities pleaded with the roughly 3 million evacuees not to hurry home too soon, fearing more chaos.  “Be patient, stay put,” said Texas Gov. Rick Perry. “If you are in a safe place with food water, bedding, you are better remaining there for the time being.”  In any other hurricane season, Rita might have seemed devastating. It knocked out power for more than 1 million customers, sparked fires across the hurricane zone and swamped Louisiana shoreline towns with a 15-foot storm surge that required daring boat and helicopter rescues of hundreds of people.  But the new storm came in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, with its 1,000-plus death toll, cataclysmic flooding of New Orleans and stagger-  See Rita, Page 3A  AP Photo  A Lake Charles firefighter rides in the bucket of a tractor as he and other firefighters look to rescue victims from flooding in Lake Charles, La., Saturday afternoon after Hurricane Rita made landfall and brought flooding to the area.  Helping others  Courtesy photo  Above, Travis McElyea, is In Picayune, Mississippi, where he recently went to help restore power. Seven other Athens Utilities employees also went on the trip.  Athens utilities crews spend 10 days restoring power in south Mississippi  By Tashia Lovell   tashia@athensnews-courier.com   Eight Athens Utilities employees have recently returned from a trip to Picayune, Mississippi where they helped work to restore power.  Travis McElyea, local employee, said that they left for the trip Friday, September 9 and returned Monday, September 19.  During the stay, utilities employees stayed at an old warehouse where cots were available for the workers to sleep.  McElyea said that everything needed was supplied at the camp. They had everything they needed to live.  He said that there were probably 400 men staying at the camp. He said that there were linemen from at least 25 states.  Utilities employees aided Coast Electric, a company that serves three counties in the area Hancock, Harrison and Pearl River Counties.  Before the group had gotten there people had been without power for 18 days.  He said that they were glad to be able to go and help.  All who traveled in this effort from Athens Utilities w'ere; Marcus Smith, Darrin Russell, Danny Wallace, David Jones, Chris Helms, Donnie Powers, Torey Putman and Travis McElyea.  Knife used in burglary identified  BA .SONNA I I RNH4  sonnvUi athensnews-coiirieKcom  Athens police belie\e they have identified the knife used in a burglar> at an .Athens business Tuesday night and that the knife, which was left at the scene, could lead to the arrest of the people responsible for the crime.  Sgt. Tre\or Harris said this weekend that investigators have received a number of telephone calls since the knife was recovered at the scene of the burglary and police are "tracking dow n leads."  "W'e think It is a fantasy knife and this particular one is known as a  Cobra." Harris said. "This type of knife usually comes from a mail order and is worth between SI5 and S30." the investigator s,ud.  Burglars stole a large amount of cash and lewelry from La Mexicana at 202 South Jeft'erson Street, but left the knife behind.  The knife was described bv Harris as a long, curved-bladed weapon with a stvle similar to brass knuckles with metal spikes sticking out the front. Harris said the knife could be used to punch, slice or to stab with. He said investigators believe it was used bv the burglars to pry open an air conditioning unit in a w indow so the burglars could gam entrance into the building. Pohce believe the tip of the blade ot the kiiife was bent and was used to prv on the air conditioning unit.  The burglars entered the business through the hole in the w indow that the air conditioner had sit in. Harris said the vv indow is at least fiv e feet off the ground.  Police would not sav how much money is missing although they did indicate several hundred dollars m cash was stolen.  C ourtesy photo  The knife found by police is known as a Cobra.  Residential garbage rates going up by a buck  By Karen Middleton   ancnews@pclnet.net  The Athens City Council is considering a proposal to increase residential garbage rates by $! per month for the next three years to try to offset a more than $200,()00-per-year deficit in the Sanitation Department.  Sanitation Manager Earl Glaze and Public Works Director James Rich asked the City Council to increase rates by $ 1 per month for three years on top  of the built-in annual 3-percent inflation increase.  Mayor Dan Williams said that the city currently subsidizes each of its 7,000 household garbage customers at nearly $7 per month to receive garbage, trash and recycling pickup. Wdlliams said the eventual goal is to have the Sanitation Department run as an unsubsidized department, but first decrease the annual $208,151operational deficit.  “We just have to find a way to catch  up,” said Williams.  Glaze and Rich gave the city several different scenarios for closing the deficit and getting the department to be self supporting, such as the Electric or Water and Wastewater departments.  If the council takes no action, residential rates will automatically increase based only on the inflationary 3 percent, meaning current monthly rates ot $11.14 will go to $11.47 in October. Should rates remain level, m 2015, res  idents would be paying $14.97 per month and the Sanitation Department would be operating at a $450,945 deficit.  One option proposed by Glaze and Rich would tack on the SI per month for three years and increase the annual inflationary increase at 5 percent. Under that proposal, residents would be paying $22.58 per month and the  See Garbage, Page ЗА   

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