Thursday, September 29, 2005

Athens News Courier

Location: Athens, Alabama

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - September 29, 2005, Athens, Alabama How sweet it is Many uses of honey showcased on today’s food page Groomed to be Green Tanner iineman Joseph Taymon was born to be a Rattler    IB The News-Cmrier Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future Гни RSI)\Y, Sep I EMBER 29, 2005 enewscourier.com Josephine Woodson of Athens Subscriber of the clay Mentor a child Big Brothers Big Sisters is looking people to mentor children with a parent in prison. Coming Sunday »(ff Hey, Sound Off: About 50 years ago, 1 worked in a plant in Decatur. We carpooled going to work. If a man lived out of town, he met us in town. If they passed close to your house, they picked them up. We enjoyed car-pooling, and saved money. Usually it was from two to four people in a car. Today, this generation is living so fast, so selfish, and independently, they don’t want to share anything with anyone. How long has it been since someone bought you a cold drink? Nearly everyone is looking after themselves. Try carpool-ing to work. You save money and you may enjoy it. More Sound Off Valley, 5A Index Business........12A Classified 5-10B Comics..........4B Headlines  6A Ledger ..........7A Lifestyles ........9A Mini Page ......14A NASCAR.........2B Obituaries 2A William Floyd Bland James Aubery Chambers Robert L. Defoe Lowell Ray Williams Opinion .........4A Sports.........1-3B Valley ..........5A Weather.........2A Daily Bible Moment ^K'hey answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. John 8:39 322 Hwv,31 s*Athens' 2S6-232-IÜ5I übil line 256-771-W34 7    69847*00001 2 die on Cottonbelt Road Young woman, driver ejected from vehicle By Sonny Turner sonny@athensnews-couner.com What caused the car to leave Cottonbelt Road and go off an embankment sometime during the night Tuesday is a question that may never be answered. Limestone County authorities say only the driver and his passenger know the answer and both were killed in the wreck that occurred in a curve at Steele’s Bottom. The two killed in the accident were identified Wednesday afternoon as Bryan Randolph Miller, 25, of Lester, and Ashley Brook Wright, 20, of Bellview Road Florence. Limestone County Coroner Mike West said a volunteer county firefighter was traveling Cottonbelt Road Wednesday morning when he noticed some skid marks on the highway and stopped to investigate. That is when he found the wreckage in a pasture below. “We think they were headed to his mother’s home in Lester,” said West. “But we do not know yet how the two were acquainted or why they were together.” West said authorities had trouble identifying the victims, who both were ejected from the car and See Fatalities, Page ЗА Photo Courtesy Shane Jackson This is the vehicle that ran off Cottonbelt Road and crashed sometime during the night Tuesday, killing two people. The car left the road, crashed down an embankment, hit a tree and came to rest in a pasture. The wreckage was not discovered until 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. Home, Sweet, Camper News-Couner/ Kim Ryiulers Above, Laurie Orth, Carolyn Kline, Lyle Kline and Robert Kline, are staying in campers at Joe Wheeler State Park after Hurricane Katrina. They are from St. Bernard Parrish In Louisiana and fled before the storm hit. They stayed in several locations before coming to Joe Wheeler. Katrina evacuees move into FEMA camp set up at Joe "Wheeler park By Tashia Loveui. tashia@athensnews-courier.com Within the past month, the way Lyle and Carolyn Kline live their lives has changed. The Klines, of St. Bernard Parrish, Louisiana, are currently living in a camper at Joe Wheeler State Park due to Hurricane Katrina. Before Hurricane Katrina hit their hometown, which is approxi mately 12 miles outside of New Orleans, Lyle and Caroline tied the storm. “I’ve been on the water all of my life,” Lyle said. “1 know weather.” They left St. Bernard Parrish on the Sunday before the storm and fled to Tifton, Georgia and stayed in a hotel. From there they See Wheeler, Page 3A Donate to campers Anyone interested in helping families at Joe Wheeler State Park can drop off needed items at the old Watson’s Steak House building on U.S. 72 in Rogersville. For information call (256) 247-3307. Plan may let city workers retire early DROP would allow retirement at 55 with 25 years of seiwice B^ SONNN I t RNER sonnv{ci uthcnsucws-couricr.com The .Athens C'ity Council is considering an optional retirement program that will allow city employees to be eligible for retirement at age 55 provided they have 25 years of serviee. The program is called DROP, which is Deferred Retirement Option Plan. DROP is an optional program which offers qualified active members a way to continue to work while accumulating funds in a DROP account to be distributed at retirement. State Retirement Systems spokesman George Frost met with Mayor Dan Williams and members of the council Monday and explained the program. City otTicials said if Athens implements the program it will cost the city approximately S5().0l)0. Frost said the participation period for DROP is for a minimum of three years, but not more than five years. Once the employee has completed the three-year minimum requirement, he or she is eligible to receive either a lump-sum payment or make a direct rollover of the entire account to a qualified plan. "It will benefit the city as a whole.” said Frost. "It will allow you to keep your more experienced and know ledgeable employees for three to five more years.” If an employee elects to go on the DROP program. Frost says if they decide to stay three more years past the age of 55, it will pay them 50 percent of their salary for each of the three years. “It's great for the employee,” said Councilman Johnny Crutcher. “1 can see where it’s a benefit for the employees,” said t'ouncil President Jimmy Gill. “But on the other hand it hurts us too.” The initial cost to the city is .39 percent of See Retirement, Page 3A Delohi seeks $6 billion in help from GM By Sonnv Turner sonnv@athensncn's-couriercom The troubled Delphi Corp., the biggest U.S. supplier of auto parts that owns the south Limestone County plant, is asking General Motors Coq3. for an aid pai. kage worth $6 billion to help avoid a bankruptcy filing. That was the latest news Wednesday from Detroit, Mich, where newspapers were quoting “people familiar with the situation.” Delphi aims to use the cash from GM to reduce expenses by offering some longtime workers bonuses to retire, quit or accept lower pay, the people said. The money would also be used to pay for pensions and health care for the retirees, they said. GM, the largest customer and former parent of Delphi, is considering a request for assistance, said spokesman Jerry Dubrowski, who wouldn't confirm the amount or other details. GM's deci sion will hinge in part on concessions it wrests from the U,\W, the people said. CiM is asking unions to help trim S5.6 billion in annual health-care expenses. “The problem for GM's labor negotiators is to show the board of directors See Delphi, Page 3A