Saturday, May 16, 2009

Athens News Courier

Location: Athens, Alabama

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - May 16, 2009, Athens, Alabama Lady Tigers battle for state softball title PAGE IB The News Couri Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future Saturday, May Î6, 2009 Visit us online www.enewscourier.com Coming Sunday Harvest horse wins big purse Does Graits Sock Lady have what it takes to go all the way? Find out in a story ... COMING SUNDAY Class of 2009 The News Courier celebrates local high school graduates in a special section. Class photos, graduation schedules and special congratulatory ads inside. COMING SUNDAY Subscribe Get tin 1 news with your morning coffee SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720 Index Classifieds.......4B Comics..........3B Ledger..........4 A Lottery..........3A Obituaries 2A Wayne Boyd Margaret Meller Melville Nye Sports............IB Weather.........2A 7    69847    00001    6 TVA. to drop electric rates KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -The Tennessee Valley Authority will trim electric rates again on July 1, effectively erasing a huge boost approved last year to offset the high cost of coal and natural gas, officials said Friday. It’s the third straight quarter the nation’s largest public utility has reduced its fuel cost adjustment charge as prices for gas and coal for its power plants continues to decline. For an agency hit with a potential $1 billion coal ash cleanup in Tennessee and a North Carolina court ruling that could force it to spend millions more on cleaner smokestacks, the action afforded a moment of “good news for ratepayers,” TVA President and Chief Executive Tom Kilgore said in a statement. The latest reduction represents a 4.1 percent drop in wholesale power charges to TVA distributors serving some 8.7 million consumers in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. It will mean a savings of $2 to $5 a month for the typical TVA residential customer, who now pays around $93 a month for an average 1,000 kilowatt hours of eleWricity, TVA spokesman Jim Allen said. Friday’s announcement marks the last step in removing the largest component of a 20 percent overall rate increase that took effect Oct. 1, TVA’s largest single-year boost since the 1970s. Of that 20 percent increase, 17 Having an Exceptional time NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS Alex Roberts of West Limestone, above, twirls a lasso above his head Friday while he eyes the prize - a wooden calf at the Limestone County Sheriff's Exceptional Rodeo. Exceptional Rodeo is treat for kids with special needs The Limestone County Sheriff’s Exceptional Rodeo offers people with special needs and others a chance to rope a calf, ride a bull and enjoy other modified rodeo events. It was held Friday morning as part of the sheriff 1 s 27th annual rodeo at the sheriff s arena off Alabama 99, northwest of Athens. One participant, Luke Stutzman, 4 1/2, of East Limestone, took a shine to the pony rides, racking up six rides Friday, one on a Shetland pony named Billy, led by 2005 Miss Limestone Rodeo Queen Lillie Sledge of Killen. When storms were predicted Friday afternoon, the crowd dispersed and deputies and other rodeo volunteers dropped and tied tents faster than professional calf ropers. NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS McKenzie Walton of West Limestone was glued to the wooden bull at the Exceptional Rodeo, returning repeatedly for rides after stopping briefly for a face painting. "I had a fun time here bull riding, roping a calf, riding a horse and getting my face painted blue and green," she said. percent was tied to a fuel adjustment charge that can rise or fall depending on the price of fuel for TWA power stations and TVA’s cost of buying electricity from other utilities. The remaining 3 percent was for fixed costs and added to the rate base. TVA’s part-time board of directors approved the rates last year as part of TVA’s $12.6 billion budget for See Rates, page 2A Seibert: If quarry bills challenged, court order to be sought By Jean Coi e jt VIII а ¿¡tin 7/s/«*И s-( 1 (Hiril ГЛХПП Limestone County Commission Chairman David Seibert says he will seek a court order to stop work at the proposed quarry at Tanner if Rogers Group decides to challenge four laws passed to halt such operations. Seibert said during a press conference Friday that he called Rogers Group Division Vice President Randy Butler Thursday and asked the company to cease operations at the site off Laughmiller Road. Butler said he would need until Monday to respond because he needed to consult with company officials. “This quarry is in violation of all tour bills signed Monday by the governor,” Seibert said in a written statement he issued for the press conference. He said if Rogers Group doesn’t agree to cease work, he will file an injunction in Limestone County Circuit Court to stop it. If Rogers Group decides to challenge the four laws in court, Seibert said he believes he could get work stopped until the case was decided. The four laws ban a new quany or a relocated quarry within 2 1/2 miles of a public school or the ro- See Quarry, page ЗА White doubtful Riley approves TVA payments By Karen Middleton кип т( а ЫЫ 7/s/« 'us-/ xturii r.com State Rep. Henry White, D-Athens, said Friday that a bill he cosponsored with a caucus of representatives from areas served by TVA that would put more money in local agencies’ coffers would not pass the governor. Under existing law, 5 percent of the in-lieu-of-taxes payments made by TVA are distributed to dry counties and municipalities that are not served by TWA. House Bill 637 would reduce that current distribution and increase payments to counties served by TVA. See Payments, page ЗА Tip leads to arrest of 2 men, recovery of missing property By Jean Cole jeaii@atliensnews-courier.com A tip from a neighboring police department helped Limestone County authorities arrest two men and recover property missing from Cullman, Madison and Lawrence counties, an official said. The Limestone County Sheriffs Department arrested Shawn Nicholas Ferguson, 35, of 9747 Lucas Ferry Road, Tanner, on a charge of second-degree receiving stolen property, and John Kaleb Gillespie, 20, of 109 Blueberry Circle N.W., Decatur, on two counts of third-degree burglary, records show. “Lt. Brad Cumutt and Investigator Jay Looney were working past burglaries and received information from Decatur Police that a person charged with burglary knew about our burglaries,” said Limestone County Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt. “The investigators interviewed the person at Decatur Police Department and ob tained enough information to get a search warrant for a home on Lucas Ferry Road on Wednesday. They arrested Ferguson and found some property in his home that was stolen from Limestone County as well as property from Cullman County, Madison County and lawTence County, including a laptop computer, a guitar and two or three flat-screen TVs. That led to information that See Burglary, page 2A