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Athens News Courier: Friday, May 22, 2009 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - May 22, 2009, Athens, Alabama                                 Athens High Academic Achievers PAGE 9A C c)  The News Goffier  Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future  50 cents  Friday, May 22, 2009  Visit us online   www.enewscourier.com   Inside  Today  Home, but not free  Suspended NFL star Michael Vick arrived at his Virginia home in a car with blackout curtains Thursday after being released from federal prison to begin home confinement and try to resume his pro football career.  SPORTS, PAGE IB  Injunction filed to halt quarry  By Jean Cole  jt'cin a  'athensnew s-courier.tvm Five Limestone County residents and the County Commission are seeking an immediate haJt to quarry operations near Tanner, as well as any monetary damages due, in an injunction filed Thursday.  The civil complaint filed in Limestone County Circuit Court claims Rogers Group has unlawfully “engaged in blasting, rock crushing and other  mining activities” at the property it owns off Laughmiller Road.  In the complaint, filed by attorneys oft Wilmer & Lee in Athens, the commission and property owners Judy Sanderson Page, who co-owns the mega site property off U.S. 31; James Newby Jr.; Traci McLin, Hope Carr and Andre Carr ask the court to do the following:  • Declare a nuisance the Rogers Group’s efforts to establish a rock quarry at the site, includ  ing blasting, rock crushing, road deterioration and increased traffic and air pollution due to loud trucks on the highways.  • Immediately stop the company from trying to establish a quarry at the site until a judge can decide whether an injunction should be made permanent.  • Permanently stop the company from estab-  See Quarry, page 7A  AHS coach’s methods said ‘hardnosed’ like the ‘Bear’  By Jean Coiii joaji^ athensnews-courier. com  Athens School Board President Larry Keenum compared the coaching methods of Athens High Schools softball coach Kelly Hendrix to those of legendary Alabama “football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant at his rigorous Junction, Texas, training camp of 1954.  He said Hendrix was hardnosed - in a good way - and that no change would be made.  Her job was not really on the line at Thursday’s school board meeting anyway so the board took no action.  Softball dad Greg McAlister has asked for space on the agenda to tell board members about his and a few other parents’ concerns about the coach. They have accused her of being uncommunicative and sometimes discouraging.  Keenum also said that the team was “half-way there” and that “we look for a chance to change,” meaning there was room for improvement.  His comments came after a lengthy board meeting in which some parents expressed sometimes-emotional support for Hendrix and some described her as refusing to communicate with parents and discouraging of their girls, some of whom ended up quitting the team.  Hendrix did not speak at the meeting except through her attorney, her brother Brian Hendrix. He cautioned unsupported comments could result in legal action.  In other action Thursday, the board vote 5-2 to approve the corporal punishment section of the systems student policy manual. Board members Beverly Malone and James Lucas voted against the policy’s inclusion - Lucas because he opposes corporal punishment and Malone because she believes the policy should include precautions and directives regarding children who have a medical condition, such as a kidney problem.  Memorial Day closings, garbage schedules  Limestone County and Athens City offices will be closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day.  Garbage collection schedules will not change in the county or the city the week of Memorial Day.  State offices also will be closed Monday.  GM's future rests with bondholders after UAW deal  DETROIT (AP) - The United Auto Workers struck a deal with General Motors and the federal government Thursday to cut labor costs, close factories and change the way retiree health care is funded.  The agreement could ease one of GM’s biggest problems: The cost of its work force. But the automaker is  still struggling with a crushing debt that may drive it into a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.  The deal is “the best news for everybody involved,” said Harlan Platt, a professor at Northeastern University in Boston who teaches corporate turnarounds.  “This is great for the workers be  cause some of their jobs will be there in the future. This is great news for the Obama administration because they’ve demonstrated they’re respecting contracts.” General Motors Corp., which has reoeived $15.4 billion in federal loans, faces a government-imposed June 1 deadline to finish a major re  structuring or be forced into bankruptcy protection.  The government has told the automaker to cut labor costs, close factories, shed dealers and brands, and persuade at least 90 percent of its bondholders to sign on for the stock-  See GM, page 7A  Subscribe  Get the news with your morning coffee  SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720  147 indicted in LA gang takedown  A Latino street gang waged a racist campaign to eliminate black people through attempted murders and other crimes, according to federal racketeering indictments unsealed Thursday.  PAGE 3A  Hospital opens expanded ER  A ribbon cutting was held Thursday for the newly renovated emergency department at Athens-Limestone Hospital. The hospital now has 17 beds instead of 12 and can accommodate patients quicker than before. Hospital Auxiliary president Carlos Ann Woodward wants to remind visitors to the hospital that all money raised in the gift shop goes back to the hospital to buy needed equipment.  1  More rooms, equipment in rebuilt facility  By Karen Middleton  kcM'iiiO athensiu s-couiii r.com Thursday, Athens-Limestone Hospital showcased its new Emergency Room designed to provide safer treatment and shorter waiting times.  What was estimated to be a $1 million makeover of the Athens-Limestone Hospital Emergency Room came in under budget at $750,000, according to Foundation Director Amy Golden.  See ER, page 3A  NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS  Athens-Limestone Hospital's Emergency Department has undergone a facelift recently. In top photo, a new room awaits a patient in the ER. Above, Martha Thomas, unit secretary; Joy Woodward, RN, and Joann Isom, RN, work in the new nurses station.  Online edition  Follow  newscourier  at twitter.com for updates  Index  Classified......... 4B  Comics.......................3B  Ledger .......................8A  Mini Page  ....................5A  Obituaries ....................2A  Cap Barrett Jr. Evelyn Dunnavant Jane Ellen Hill Gladys Loucille Kilpatrick Sports ........................IB   

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