Friday, December 9, 2005

Athens News Courier

Location: Athens, Alabama

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - December 9, 2005, Athens, Alabama Clownin’ around ingling Bros. Circus is performing in Huntsville, an inside look Sunday Blockbuster deal Braves pick up shortstop Renteria from Red Sox IB Neivs-Courier Serving Athens and Limestone Coi nt\ : A Commi nitv of Tradition and Fi ti re Fridvv, De( ember 9, 2005 enewscourier.com 50 Cents ^cy&ci' fwOth/Ch/^ Audrey Moyers Siil')scriber of the day Nutcracker sweet Local students perform in performances of “The Nutcracker“ in Huntsville. 6a urn Hey, Sound Off: Concerning the renaming of Browns Ferry Street in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.: Why disrupt and inconvenience the people who have lived there for years to honor a man who has had more acclaim than any man in American history? The majority of people who travel this street either live there, are going to school or work or are hauling chickens or cotton. The same traffic travels this street every day. Most of the people traveling through our state do not have the faintest idea of the location of this street. If it is recognition and exposure you for for Dr. King, this would only be seen by the local people. More Sound Off Valley, 5A Get the news with your morning coffee Subscribe to The Seu's-Courier % 232-2^20 Index Classified 4-6B Comics..........3B Headlines 4A Ledger .........11A Obituaries 2A Lewis Downs Thomas N. Dunnivant Charlotte Dean Patterson Margaret E. Raney Religion 9-11A Sports.........1-2B Valley...........5A Weather.........2A Daily Bible Moment 31 is good for me that I have heeri afflicted, that I may learn your statutes. Psalm 119:71 imestone Chapel iPcM 322 HMV.31.\>AikeiK 256-232-1051 256-771-0934 7    69847    00001 Man charged in rampage Motive unclear in Elkmont man’s attack, authorities say B\ SONNV 11 RNFR sonny(aflthensne\\'s-couher.cum Limestone County authorities said Thursday thev’ have not detemiined why a 59-year-old Elkmont man became so irate Wednesday that he chased his daughter w ith a 2-by-4, beat the car she w as in w ith the board and threatened her tnend w ith a pocket knife. “We know he was highly intoxicated at the time and we we've been told this tvpc of behavior from him has happened before when he dnnking," said Limestone County Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt. “His daughter and a l-year-c1d baby who were inside the v ehicle w hen he beat out the back windshield were slightly cut by the broken glass. But they did not seek medical treatment.” Billy Joe Blankenship of 25777 Highland .\ve., Flkmont, was in the Limestone County Jail Thursday charged with two counts of domestic v iolence. two counts of reckless endangemient. public intoxication and second-degree criminal mischief McNatt said all those charges stem from the Wednesday attack at Blankenship's home. Deput> Jay Stinnett responded to the call for help at Blankenship's home Wednesday and tcxik the suspect into custody after the 10 a.m. attacks. McNatt said It all occurred in the vard at his home. McNatt said the daughter arrived at her father's home to find him highly intoxicated. “She said he became so irate that he started chasing her w ith the 2-by-4. He then pulled a pocket knife on her male friend who was with her at the time. “She said she grabbed the baby, w hich was her friend's grandson, and they got into the 2001 Pontiac Grand .\m. She said her father then started beating the car with the 2-by-4. He knocked out the back vv indshield and put dents in the car by hitting it with the big piece of board.” McNatt said Blankenship remained in the Limestone C'ountv Jail Thursday. He said a )udgc had not yet set bond. Bittersweet celebr.\tion ‘Home for the holidays’ just a state of mind for Katrina evacuees Bv Karen .Middleton Karen(wjathemneviS-couhet:com Salvaged Chnstmas ornaments from the attic of a flood-gutted Bay St. Louis, Miss., house will make the season bright for the Paul and Laura Tlien family in Athens, Ala. Shelly and Michael Underhill can’t go back to their W'aveland. Miss., home so they hope that her storm-displaced mother and 96-year-old grandmother can make it here from Florida. And all that James and Indra Chisholm’s 15-year-old daughter wants for Christmas is to go back home to Bay St. Louis—but there's no home there. The three families now call Athens home, some temporarily and some hope permanently. They are part of about 30 families living here and 24 families camped at Joe W heeler State Park who evacuated the Gulf Coast ahead of Hurricane Katrina. Uncertain futures characterize their lives in North Alabama but not self-pity. Laura Then (pronounced Thane) gets an update about hurricane evacuee services from United Way Director Kaye McFarland, left. Above are Indra and James Chisholm, and at right, Shelly Underhill. New.s Couricr/Kim Ryiulcrs and Tashia l.ovell "We have our Chnstmas decorations and we cleaned otf the salt water from some CDs, so we will have Christmas music," said Laura Then. “W’e told the kids that Christmas would be like Thanksgiv ing. It will be a time of family togetherness and being thankful. We've been talking a long time about what Christmas is and what it's supposed to be. It’s not about the shopping frenz>'. We must seize this opportunity to find the real meaning of Christmas.’’ After 17 years in Bay St. Louis, Then (pronounced Thane), a state license examiner, knew the drill well: Hurricane evacuation order, pack a two-day change of clothes, drive to a relative's small farm a few miles inland come back when the coast was clear. See Evacuees, Page 7A NRC fintds minor safety violations at Browns Ferry AP —A Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspection of the Unit 1 reactor at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant found only low safety violations, officials said. A paperw'ork problem was cited in one case and improper installation of four cable splices in another. The inspection findings were discussed Wednesday at the first public meeting between TVA and the NRC’s Unit 1 Oversight Panel. TVA is spending $1.8 billion to restart Unit 1, which it shut down in 1985 amid safety concerns. The restart process is 73 percent complete and startup is slated for May 2007. The NRC inspection found that workers failed to remove some thermal overloads. The plant’s licensing manager, Bill Crouch, said those overloads keep motors, which constantly open and close valves, from overheating. Crouch said some valves didn’t need to open and close continuously, so a work order asked workers to remove those thermal overloads. “The paperwork was misplaced, and we failed to remove them,’’ Crouch said. “The NRC See Violations, Page 3A Deck the rails New’s-Courier/KiiTi Rynders Selena Higginbotham hangs a Christmas wreath on the railing outside Beasley Cosmetic and General Dentistry on Hobbs Street. Businesses and homes are decorated across Limestone County in readiness for the Christmas holidays. Alabama 99 bri(jge work postponed By Kelly Kazek kellyCa.aihensnews-courier.com Replacement of Round Island Creek Bridge on Alabama 99 just past the rodeo arena has been delayed again, this time until spring, a city worker said. The bridge will be replaced by State Department of Transportation engineers, who initially planned to have work completed earlier this year. Athens Water Department workers will finish moving mains near the bridge before end of the year, said superintendent Howard Hopkins. “We’re relocating a 24-inch main on the east side and an eight-inch main on the west side of bridge,’’ he said. “We moved them because they were so close to the bridge.’’ Moving those mains, he said, will not affect customers. “It won’t affect quality or See Bridge, Page 3A