Sunday, May 3, 2009

Athens News Courier

Location: Athens, Alabama

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - May 3, 2009, Athens, Alabama Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future dollar Sunday, May 3, 2009 RV s, BOATS & VEHICLES Jerry King Company 1613 1 Oroy Blvd. • Athen», AL 33611 230*0402 QNC Member Change out your old ayetom with • NEW High Efficiency Hoatpump tod^yl| ttk —    «    * «-» » -* —«- A^ntuib^aivi 1гщ    лтеееерноещрлрщте veeapee nn Cell fw Detelkl Which locals are man enough to be nurses? PAGE 9A The News Courie Visit us online www.enewscourier.com Inside Today Hot cars on square The Athens Car Show filled the streets of downtown Athens with hot rods and custom cars. PAGE 17A House bill may quash Tanner quany By Jean Cole jean P'athensnews-courier.com For the first time in two years, state lawmakers representing Limestone County seem optimistic that bills designed to block the proposed quarry at Tanner could be approved as early as Tuesday. Similar bills failed to pass in 2007 and 2008. But conditions have change this year, said Sen. Tom Butler, D-Madison. The Senate already approved the four bills when they were introduced a week ago by Butler and Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur. On Thursday, the House Legislation Committee unanimously approved the four bills allowing them to come before the full House for a vote — possibly Tuesday. “This is a big step,“ said Rep. Henry White, D-Athens. “It is a courtesy of the House that if the local legislative delegation is in unison on a bill, as we are, that you let it go through.” If approved, the bills would prevent Rogers Group Inc. from relocating its quarry at Cross Key to a 120-acre site at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Laughmiller Road. Rogers Group wanted to move its operation to be closer to growth in the county and to Interstate 65 interchange at Huntsviile-Browns Ferry Road. The company had already received air and water permits from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and had begun some site work. On the cusp of a vote, Butler explained that teamwork and quick action got the bills where they are. Along with Butler, Orr and White, the local delegation consists of Rep. Mac Mc-Cutcheon, R-Capshaw; and Micky Hammon, R-Decat up An unexpected change helped move the bills forward. Last year the committee, which decides which local bills move out of committee for a full vote in the Senate, voted 3-2 against similar bills designed to block the quarry. Why would a lawmaker reject a bill that would block a quarry' in another county? McCutcheon explained that quarry companies and the gravel companies that rely on them don’t like to see local bills blocking quarries because they fear it would set a precedent in other See Quarry, page 3A Congressman to address at ASU commencement Loc inveì toi Read about Brad Pullum's invention on the Meet the Neighbor page PAGE 14A Index Classifieds 1C Crossword 19ALedger 18A Lifestyles........9A Obituaries 2A Cleo Eastep Flanagan Doneü Johnson Lewis Saralyn Lutz Opinion.........4 A Sports...........IB 69847 00002    3 Summer completion set for Tanner interchange By Karen Middleton karen@a thensnews-eourier. com Work is intense in the final months of construction on the Tanner interchange. Johnny Harris, division engineer for the Alabama Department of Transportation, said this week that motorists can look forward to accessing the interchange by mid-summer. “The latest report I got was that it would be completed by mid-summer,” said Harris. “There was a little bit of a utility delay, but they cleared that up and they’ve been working pretty good.” Work consisted of raising the Huntsviile-Browns Ferry Road bridge over Interstate 65 and building up the base to begin paving before the access ramps could be built. That necessitated the closure of the busy east-west secondary road for several months. The bridge was also widened to allow for turn lanes to the ramps. The transportation department decided to do the project to improve the evacuation route from Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, but a side See Interchange, page 2A Congressman Parker Griffith will be the keynote speaker at Athens State University’s spring commencement at 7 p.m. Friday, May 8 at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville. Approximately 600 students will march, encompassing both the fall and spring graduating classes for the academic year. Griffith is a retired physician and small-business owner. He was elected to the Alabama State Senate in 2006. In 2008, Griffith was elected to his first term in Congress where he serves on three House committees — Transportation & Infrastructure, Science & Technology and Small Business “Congressman Griffith is a part of Athens State — he is certainly no stranger to our campus,” stated Athens State President Bob Glenn. “It is certainly apropos that he relay his message of congratulations and words of inspiration to these students beginning new stages in each of their lives.” Athens State’s commencement ceremony is free and open to the public. For more information call (256) 233-8126. Rep. Parker Griffith S0ULST0CK Rains can’t stop the soul Thousands of devoted fans of Soulstock turned out Saturday amidst rain and overcast skies to listen to their favorite gospel bands at Athens State University’s Beasley field. This is the 11th year for Soulstock and the free event included bands Seventh Day Slumber, Rush of Fools, Matt Papa, John Waller, Elkmont native Sarah Reeves, Thalon, Among the Thirsty and Hello August. Above, Thalon, from Clanton, get the crowd into the music. Guest speaker was Matt Pitt from the popular Christian youth organization The Basement. Below, Betty Staggs, Christen Stevenson, Danielle Krieger and Heather Tingle enjoy the music. NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS Storms don’t dampen Christian music event