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Athens News Courier: Wednesday, November 9, 2005 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - November 9, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 Black Belt prairies  Rare native grasslands in south Alabama next tourist attraction?  6A  Darby’s drive  Alabama runner motivated by doubters, peers    jg  The News-Cou  _ Serving    Athens    and    Limestone    Colntv:    A    CoMMi    Nrn    of    Tradition    and    Fin    re  Wednesdw. Xom mbi r 20(15  enewscou rier.com  Albert Norton of Athens  Siil^scriber of the da\'  Stress reliever  Meredith Munyon helps with respite care, temporary relief for parents and caregivers of individuals with a disability or special health care need.  swntdf  Hey, Sound Off:  What is wrong with all of our elected representatives mostly in Washington?  To get elected they promise us the world then they forget about us and think on themselves and big business.  They turn against the people that elected them (mostly the middle class and poor) and pass legislation that only hurts our way of living.  It seems that this administration wants everyone but the very nch to be very poor. Well 1 believe their will be a big change in 2006 and 2008 unless they pass a law where one president can hold office forever.  Let’s pray that the senate and congress change their rubber stamp cote and for the right thing for the American Citizens.  So to “our" senators and gongress members please do something that helps instead of hurts.  More Sound Off G)ming Thursday  Get the news with your morning coffee  Subscribe to The \ews-Courier  232-2*’20  -A  Index     Classified____    6-8B      Comics......    4B      Ledger ......    13A      Health    8A      Movie Listing .    2A      Obituaries____    2A      John Franklin Mitchell      Sports.......    1B-3B     Dailv Bible Moment  diving been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 5:1  Limestone Chapel  322 H»T.31N'Alhe«s 25i-232-l05l Obit line 2.^771-0934  15,000 in black out  By Karen Middi.eton  ancne\\'s@pclnet. net More than 15,000 .Athens Utilities customers were left in the dark for about an hour Tuesday morning when a mechanical glitch tripped a breaker, according to Electric Department Manager Gary Scroggins.  Scroggins said that a lightning arrestor failed, causing the station breaker to operate and shut down the main 160,000-volt substation on Elkton Road at about 5 a.m.  Scroggins said that .Athens receives power feed from TVA at four of its substations, but the one where the failure occurred supplies the entire city.  “Most customers in .Athens and west of .Athens went out," he said. “.Areas east of .Athens, Ardmore and Elkmont were not affected."  Scroggins said power was restored to all customers by 6 a.m. He said that sensors control the breaker and detect danger when a large amount of power is present and shut the substation down to protect equipment.  Police investigating Post Office van(jalism  By Sonny I t rner  sonny^ athensnew s-coiirier.com .Athens police are investigating the Sunday night vandalism at the Athens Post Office where at least 10 mailboxes located inside the post office were damaged.  ( apt. Marty Bruce said investigators have not yet determined if any mail was taken during the incident although at least one box was found open.  See Post Office, Page 2A  Missing  teenager  ocated  unharmed  Police say a missing 17-year-old Limestone County girl has been found unharmed, her mother was told Monday.  The missing teenager, Patricia Wood, called authorities to report that she is okay. Her mother, Katie Vanderford, said Monday she is relieved that her daughter is okay although she has not talked to her.  Vanderford said Friday that she feared her daughter, who was reported missing Oct. 28, might be a victim of foul play.  The teenager, last seen at her mother's home at 17223 Harwell Road, Athens, left driving her silver 1992 Lord Taurus. That vehicle, though, was found abandoned on the side of the building at Bob’s Quick Stop at the corner of Lucas Ferry and Brownsferry Road.  “She called the district attorney to say that she is okay,” Vanderford said Monday. “She was due to come down to Wendy's to pick up her check." The teen is employed at the fast-food restaurant.  The Limestone County Sheriff's Department was investigating the teen's disappearance, but Limestone (Thief Investigator Stanley McNatt said this past weekend that he did not believe foul play was involved in her disappearance. Wood has a history of running away from home, investigators said.  “She did it again, but this time she did not call me to say that she was okay,” her mother said. “I was afraid something had happened to her and 1 feared she was not taking her medicine.”  Sonny Turner  Dodgeball tournament set locally  For the second year in a row; the Brawlroom Blitz Extreme Dodgeball Tournament will be held Nov. 26 in Limestone County, offering a wild time to not only the players but for some lucky audience members as well.  The tournament, to be held at Calhoun Community College’s gymnasium, has drawn interest from as far away as New York City and Wisconsin.  One team in particular from New Orleans, which lost virtually everything in the Hurricane Katrina, is traveling to Limestone to capture the Brawlroom Blitz championship trophy and cash awards.  The one-day tournament features three divisions: children 8-12; teenagers! 3-17, and adults 18-plus.  Church groups, law enforcement, corporations, friends and families, and sports teams can  See Tourney, Page 2A  UST A SWINGING  New s-Courier Kim Rynders  Joe Sims pulls back on the swing while he tries not to get kicked in the face and gives Lucas Griffin a thrill. The weather was just warm enough to make it a pleasant day.  Six unions form group to right Deiphi wage cuts  By Dee-Ann Di rbin  AP Auto Writer DETROIT — Six unions that represent workers at Delphi Corp. said Monday they’re banding together to fight proposed wage and benefit cuts at the auto supplier, a sign of strained relations that could lead to a strike.  Delphi, the largest US. auto supplier, filed for bankruptcy protection last month. It has asked its unions to accept wage and benefit cuts of up to 60 percent as part of  its restructuring.  “We are outraged by Delphi's attempt to use the bankruptcy process to dictate the radical destruction of the living standards of America's industrial workers," the unions said in a joint statement.  The unions represent 33,650 active Delphi w'orkers. The vast majority are represented by the United Auto Workers, the International Union of Electrical Workers-Communications Workers of America and the United Steelworkers. The International  Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the International Association of Machinists and .Aerospace Workers and the International Union of Operating Engineers also represent about 200 Delphi hourly workers.  Delphi spokeswoman Claudia Baucus said the company is continuing to negotiate with its unions for a solution that will make Delphi a v iable company.  See Delphi, Page 2A  That time of year  News-Courier Kim Rynders Athens resident Marjorie Riggins had lots of leaves to rake Tuesday since they are changing colors and dropping fast. It's that time of year and It’s a pretty steady job at the moment. •  Shelby secures funding for many area oro ects  WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), chairman of the Commerce, .lustice. Science and Related Agencies Appropriiitions Subcommittee (CJS). today announced conference committee approval of important projects in North Alabama included in the Fiscal Year 2006 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill. The bill will soon be voted on in the House, and the Senate will consider the bill following House approval.  Earlier this year. Senator Shelby assumed the chairmanship of the CJS Appropriations Subcommittee. Thb subcommittee’s jurisdiction includes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the .Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Departments of Commerce and Justice among others.  “1 believe our bill strikes an important balance in funding by providing resources for all of the agencies and programs contained in this bill,”  See Shelby, Page 3A   

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