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Athens News Courier Newspaper Archive: October 16, 2005 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - October 16, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 Town evacuated  Train derailment, explosion forces thousands of people from homes  Tide wins again  Alabama claims a tough win over Ole Miss to remain unbeaten IB  The Nevns'Courkr  Si MMY, 0( TOBKR 16,20(15  Serving Athens and Limestone Colnty; A Comminity of Tradition and Flti re  cnewscouner.com  Onk Doi.lXr  Bill Blac of Athens  Sulxscriber of the ciav  SSIIftFF  Hey Sound Off:  Hope you will print this. I have lived in Limestone County all my life and enjoy reading your paper every day. But I think you need to change your name to the whine box or something else. Seems that is all anybody can do is whine about every thing. Now it’s the 4-way stop signs on Lucas Ferry Road. Why bother you still don't stop you just slow dow n enough to do a Alabama rolling stop. Wake up the sign means just that STOP.  Hey, Sound Off:  To the person who wrote calling l.imestone County school parents w ho use Sound Off cowards. 1 say they are not cowards but concerned parents who want to express their views on our school leaders without fearing retaliation towards our children. It is sickening to see how some of the parents fawn over a principal at school events. I guess these are the same people that write these “Glory to the King” letters for whatever ulterior motives. I’m glad I’m not one to cower to these otTicials but to challenge them face-to-face about questionable issues. Thank you News-Courier for providing the Sound Off section. I don’t think the people who use it are cowards and I hope you print this letter.  Index     Classified.....    1-160      Crossword.....    13A      Ledger .......    ...9A      Lifestyles ____    , .1-4C      Obituaries.....    2A      Dwight W. Huber      Cloyd Petty Pepper      Other Views ..    5A      Our Opinion____    4A      Sports.......    1-6B      Valley .......    6A      Weather......    . , 2A     Daily Bible Moment  here is a fhenci who sticks closer than a brother.  Proverbs 18:24  '<Wt  322 H»>. 31 V • Aibens 256-2.32-1051 OWt liiw 256-771-0934  .7    69847    00002    3  A SCENE OE FALL  ^O-Crct  New's-Courier'Kim Ryndcrs  Two-year-old Tucker Weatherford reaches for the little boy staring back at him from the water. Tucker took an early autumn stroll through the almost dry creek bed. He is the son of Greg and Sandra Weatherford.  Mayor: Workers still may get raise  Tight city budget puts COL pay hike in question  SO^^^ fl RNKK  sonn\'((iiUhc}isnc\vs-courk'KCom  .Athens Mayor Dan Williams said Wednesday the city’s SIS million General fund budget does not include cost of living raises for its 300 employees, but that doesn't necessarily mean those employees w ill not recei\e a pay hike this year.  “We're going to look at that on a monthly basis, and I'm thinking by November we'll know more about it," the mayor said. "This year we're ha\ ing to look at what we can do fmanciall).  .At this pmnt I tion't know if we will be    ________  able to do that."    Dan    Williams  A year ago. the cit>' gave its employees a 3-percent cost of living .salaiy increase, and those employees who have not yet topped out received merit raises, tlie mayor said.  "If we are able to give the employees a 2-percent cost of liv ing raise it will cost us $91,000 a year and a 3-per-ccnt raise wiU cost us S144,()(H) a year," Williams said. "We’ve got a tight budget and we've got to look at putting some surplus back in the budget."  The Athens City Council on Monday night adopted the 2006 Fiscal Year budget. Anticipated revenue is $18,280,000 w'ith expenditures listed at $18,015,000. That leaves a $265,000 surplus that the mayor says might not be enough.  Of the 300 employees, the mayor says approximately 100 are already topped out and cannot receive merit raises. However, tho.se employees still quality' for any cost of living raise the city might give.  “Those who qualify could receive up to a 6-percent raise from cost of living and merit raises," the mayor said. “I hope ev erything works out so we can raise our employees. We'll know more a little later."  Weather, gas prices dampen -iddlers crowd  Bv Karen Middleton  ancnew's@,pclnet. net Rising gasoline prices and dropping temperatures kept some music fans away from the Fiddlers Convention, according to Athens State University spokesman Rick Mould.  Attendance was dowm by about 3,000 at the 39th Annual Old Time Fiddlers Convention Oct. 7 and 8.  “We had from 10,000 to 12,000 to attend,” said Mould. “It was probably down because w'e had fewer campers and that is because of the gas prices. We had a good crowd on Saturday, but the weather on Friday was a drastic, dramatic change.”  See Fiddlers, Page 3A  News-Courier Cheryl Rowe  Charlotte Cochran, Gina Kelley, Randy Newman, Dianne Newman and Phillip Webster, known collectively as Midway to Pittsburgh, jam during a break last weekend at the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention at Athens State University, Attendance was dgwn a bit at this year’s event, a shortfall officials attributed to rising gas prices making the trip more expensive  Federal funds will build new Pleasant Point Senior Center  B\ K.AREN .Middleton  ancnews@pclnet. net County officials learned Friday that they have been awarded a $232,000 federal grant to build a new Pleasant Point Senior Center.  Limestone Council on Aging Director Helen Carter said the new building is sorely needed.  “They were meeting in this old school and the building had major problems,” said Carter. The wall was pulling away from the floor and we were afraid of the building collapsing around them.”  Carter said that about 154 seniors met at the building and Blackburn Road Baptist Church  See Funding, Page 3A  Health Department has flu vaccine for high-risk people  Bv T.ASHiA Lovell  tashia(<^thensnew'S-courier.com  “At this point we have plenty,” said Donna Shelton, certified registered nurse practitioner and clinic supervisor at the Limestone County Health Department regarding the influenza vaccine.  Flu vaccines are already available for high-nsk persons at the department on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.  The vaccine will be offered to the general public on Oct. 26, 27, and 28 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the health department.  For people who are not covered by Medicare or Medicaid the vaccine will be $2.  Shelton recommends getting a flu  Available now  The general public can get vaccines at the Limestone County Health Department on Elm Street on Oct. 26,27, and 28 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Vaccines are already available for high-risk persons on Wednesdays this month.  shot. However, even those who do get a flu shot can get a light case of the flu.  According Shelton, if you experience upper respiratory symptoms you need to be cautious whom you are  See Vaccine, Page 3A  County cuts bus idle time  Bv Jenmftir Hill  JennifeHajiJthensnexvs-courier.coni  Limestone County Schools Transportation Department is working on undeitaking conservation of diesel fuel by reducing the amount of time the buses stay idle, reducing the miles of the routes as much as possible, and placing drivers and routes in the same vicinity. Many of the bus drivers keep the buses at their home. This is to protect from vandalism and to help save money by beginning and ending at their home.  “We try to put the drivers and the routes together geo-graphically,”said Limestone County    Transportation  Supervisor Darryl Adams.  The Board of Education has also asked the teachers in the school system to make sure field trips are only of an educational nature. Field trips are usually paid for by the classes and no field trips have been cut due to gas prices yet.  Recently, the supervisors of transportation for the various counties in Alabama met with officials of the State Transportation Department, in Montgomery, to discuss various details of conservation of diesel fuel and efficiency in routes, among others things.  “We were told that for every penny that diesel goes up, it costs the state $100,000,” said  See Buses, Page 3A   

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