Athens News Courier, January 14, 2009

Athens News Courier

January 14, 2009

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Issue date: Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pages available: 45

Previous edition: Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Next edition: Thursday, January 15, 2009

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - January 14, 2009, Athens, Alabama Get ready: Harlem Ambassadors/^^coming to town PAGE IBThe News Courier Sen ing Athens and Limestone County: A Coninninity oi Tradition and Future Г)0 (viils Visit us online w¥rw.enewscourier.coin Inside TodayDeficit hits new record The federal government already has run up a record deficit of $485.2 billion in just the first three months of the current budget year. Economists say the imbalance for the year could top $1 trillion. PAGE 5AAre you going to inaugural? The News Courier wants to interview local people who plan to witness this historic event. CALL JEAN COLE AT 232-2720Special col ectors' edition Coverage of Tuesday's historic inauguration will appear in a special edition of The News Courier . Wednesday, Jan. 21. Reserve additional copies today. CALL 232-2720 69847 00001Wednesday, January 14, 2009 perfect 10 Forecasters predict temps to dip to 10, with wind chill of 9, by Thursday night Bv K\hkn .Mii)I)I.kk)N kiuviiTi utlicasnvw s-aniricraiiii Limestone County residents might be shivering now, but wait until Thursday night. Our teeth will be chattering louder than Spanish castanets. “It’s going to get extremely cold.” said National Weather Service forecaster Kurt Weber in Huntsville. “Temperatures Thursday night are expected to dip to 10 degrees, and with the wind-chill factor, it will feel like from 1-to-O- degrees above zero.” Weber said Thursday’s cold front wx>uld be the second to assault the area this w eek. The first front was e.xpected to move in Tuesday afternoon, bringing with it possible snow' flurries but no accumulation. Thursday’s highs are expected to climb just into the lower 30s. but with the wind chill it will feel more like 15 to 25 degrees, Weber said. Toward night, w^hen the front comes in, temperatures are expected to plunge to 10 imd only warm up to 25 by Fridiw afiemtxm, he said. Residents are strongly encouraged to take special precautions with elderly friends ;ind neighlxirs and animals. Be sure to check on the elderlySee Weather, page 3A Teacher cuts likely NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS Tanner High School senior Heather Smith and sophomore Jacob Chandler place books in their lockers Tuesday between classes. Limestone County Schools will have to cut between $2.5 million and $4.2 million from the fiscal 2009 budget, which will mean cutting some teachers. Proration may be less than forecast but county predicts layoffs needed Bv Jkan 0)1.f i('iinFiidhrnsiic\\s-anirkr.a)in Some limestone County teachers will likely lose their jobs due to state and Itxal budget cuts, they just don’t know yet how many. “Will there be some teacher cuts? Yes,” said Limestone County Schools Assistant Superintendent Mike Owens during a school board meeting Monday. “But we can’t estimate how' many. The people who plan the budget have made cuts and we are bare bones now. About the only place we can look is salaries, which makes up the bulk of the budget.” Board Member Earl Glaze told board members “the word on the street was that we w'ould lose 40 to 60 teachers due to prora-tion.” Glaze has also said the number may be closer to 20 or 25 teachers. Limestone County Schwl Superintendent Dr. Barry Carroll told board members, “1 don’t know any estimate on how many teachers we would lose.” The system employs more than 1,1(K) employees and approximately Ш) certified personnel. At issue is how much Limestone Schtxrls will have to cut from the fiscal 2(X)9 budget and whether the state board of education raises the ratio of students to teachers in the classroom. In December, Gov. Bob Riley declared 12.5 percent proration of the state budget due See Proration, page ЗА Limestone schools set fees for use of facilities Bv JFA.N C()1.F /< vi/i ^ id In 'I ¡SI It s-< » Hint r.i'iiiii Some travel bail teams tmd other groups without ties to Limestone Qxinty Schix)ls will have to pay a fee to use sports fields, classi\x)ms. gymnasiums and cafeterias at limestone County Sch(X)ls. Sch(X)l board members voted 6-1 Monday to change the policy on using sch(X)l buildings and giviunds. One of the changes was to set the following specific fees for use by non-sch(X)l-related gniups or orgiuiiza-tions; • (iym-SKK) • Cafeteria and kitchen, w'hich requires a paid lunc:lmx)m stafi'er -$75- • CXitd(X)r sports fields - $50 • Cafeteria - S40 • ClassrcKirn - $i3() The previous jxilicy required individuals, groups and organizations without ties to the schixis to pay w hatever the schcxils dc^emed fair. The new' policy sets specific fees. Most of the gniups who use the facilities have ties to Limestone Qiunty Sch(X)ls imd w'ill be* exempt from the fee, limestone Giunty Assistant Superintendent Mike Owens said Tuesday. Those without ties, such as a travel team with only one Limestone County player, will have to pay the fee. “We tiy to determine if the request is a sch(x)l related event,” said Limestone Q)unty Schcx)ls Superintendent Dr. Barry Carroll. “If it is, we do not charge a fee. If an outside gn)up chaises admission and the funds are not school related, such as booster clubs, parent-tcacher organizations and student groups, then a fee will be chaq^ed.” Board member Bryant Moss cast the dissenting vote on the pniposed policy. He said unless outdœr facilities are monitored around the clock, the polky' ci)uld not be enforced imd, therefore, it would be unfair to the majority of users. “I think I know the reason whySee Fees, page 2A East gym torn down, building of new facility set to begin BvJt:\NO>ix jvHii iitlK‘mtH'\vs-i-(Hiritr.(X)in The old red bam at East Limestone High School is gone. Superintendent Dr. Barry Carroll made the aimouncement with a litde humor Monday during the regular meeting of the Limestone County school board. He turned to Board Member Earl Glaze, who represents residents in the East Limestone area and said: “I’m going to try to hold Mr. Glaze down as I say that the old gym at East Limestone has been tom down.” The state fire marshal shut down the 50-year-old, dilapidated gym in October because it was unsafe. It had been used for middle school physical education classes. Sch(X)l board members agreed to build a replacement, which will soon be underway. Companies hoping to win the job of building the new, competition-size gym on the old site met for a pre-bid inference Tuesday at the Central Office. TTiey asked questions about the architectural plans and other needs in order to place bids, w'hich will be opened Jan. 20. SchiX)ls have already paid $3,8(X) to rid the gym of asbestos, a federal safety requirement, before it was raz.ed, and $32,800 to demolish it.Index Classified..................... Comics....................... Health .......................8A Ledger ....................... Lifestyles .....................1C Obituaries ....................2A Gaston Lee Blankenship Jimmy Lee Bryant Sedrick Allen Johns Sports ........................1® NA/ashington Street Diner One Block East of Athens Square 1 OO Washington St. Breakfast Cooked to Order Great Plate Lunches Served from 1 1 :OOam-2:OOpm Open 6:OOam til 2:00pm Mcan.-Fri. • 6:OOom tf 1    Sot Take Out Orders - Call Check out our Doily BÌum Piote Spoeto! ^^.^3Online editionShop local: Visit The News Courier's online marketplace at wrnmjmmwcoumrxmSHOyOCAL ;

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