Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - September 17, 2009, Athens, Alabama Advance tickets on sale for renewal of AHS-Flasl rivalry PAGE IB The News Courier SiTviiig Athens ¿ind Liiiiestone County: A (A)nìiììuiìitv oí I nidition und Future 50 cents Thursday, September 17, 2009 Visit us online www.enewscourier.com Inside Today Fly me to the moon A privately built rocket vying for NASA prize money lifted off in the Mojave Desert before an engine problem forced its builders to call off the attempt. PAGE 2A Outside the Chase Kyle Busch, the driver who dominated the 2008 regular season -only to have almost everything go wrong in the Chase, will be building for next year while the top 12‘battle for the title. SPORTS, PAGE IB Subscribe (iet liic' news with your morning ooiiec' SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720 7 69847 00001 Deal won’t save plant Fn>m iiiid wire n‘i>oi1s Brazilian beef prcxlucer JBS SA is set to become the world’s largest meat maker with tw^o deals announced Wednesday, one that takes struggling Texas chicken prtxlucer Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. out of bankruptcy protection. But the local Pilgrim’s Pride plant will still close Oct. 6 as planned. Some of the local plant’s 650 w'orkers will transfer to other Alabama plants but others are l(X)king for work. They had hoped new's of Pilgrim’s Pride’s impending sale to JBS w'ould allow them to keep their jobs. How'ever, a union spokesman who requested anonymity, said Wednesday that won’t happen. “The (Athens) facility is cilready slated for closure, so at this pt)int, I do not know' of any different plan for the plant,’’ said Pilgiim’s Pride spokesiTicm Bay Atkinson. “We understimd that it is rciilly painful what the employees iire going thR)ugh but it is piirt of w'hat w'e have to do to get the compimy back on track,” said Atkinson. “We had to fcx?us on reducing costs imd making sure we are running pkints at capacity really makes it more efficient.” JBS said it will buy a majority stiike in folgrim’s Ihide for .S8(K) million, in a dciil that includes paying oft' l^lgrim’s IMde’s creditors in lull and distributing new stix;k to current shareholders — something unusual for a compiuw in bimkruptcy protection. Hlgrim’s Ifoide will sell 64 percent of the sttx:k in the reorganized company to JBS for $8(X) million in cash, implying a total company v'alue of $1.25 billion. E.xisting sharehold- See Deal, page 3A A different view of* the world Shock victim remams senous Bv Ei)i) I).\MS ikI ^ ¿itiiensnrw s-a)iin(‘i.a>in NEWS COURIER/ KIM RYNDERS Painting instructor William McDonald of Tupelo, Miss., right, helps ninth-grader Blanca Vega with her painting as ninth-grader Imani Davis looks on. McDonald led a one-time oil painting class for 60 Elkmont High School students this week. The classes were funded by the "Changing Lives Through Art" T.R.A.I.L. grant. Art class gives students a chance to see what they Ve been missing By Jennifer R. Hill Jeiinili‘ii^ cithensncws-coiihrr.i'oni As soon as Rhonda Hall, a bookkeeper at Elkmont High School, started taking oil painting classes she looked at the world differently. She sees the shapes, the shadows, the colors of the trees, the clouds, the Earth in new' w'ays. Hall said. Though there are currently no art classes offered at Elkmont she wanted to bring her passion for the arts to the students with whom she shares her days. Hall said. Hall led an effort to apply for the T.R.A.I.L. grant that gave 60 Elkmont students a chance to take a one-time oil painting class field trip. The grant is entitled “Changing Uves Through i-Vrt,” and that’s w'hat Hall hopes the class does. “I hope for some of [the students] it’s going to spark that interest and opens their eyes to things they didn’t know before,” Hall said. Because space w'as limited, students interested were required to apply for the class by submitting a small paragraph about w'hy they wanted to participate. “Art has always been my true passion. I don’t See Art, page 3A An out-of-state electrician has improved from critical to serious condition in a cardiac unit at Huntsville Hospital after suffering a high \'oltage electrical shock Tuesday night while working in the Athens High Schcx)l gv'mnasium. Athens Police Department records identify the man as 23-year-old Justin Biyan Scott. He is part of a team of contract workers with Essential Energy Service Inc. out of Clayton, N.C. I’he firm, w'hich has corporate headquarters in Denton, Ic.xas, is installing energy efficiency packages in city schcxjls. A spokesman at corporate headquarters said a corporate representative was in Athens Thursday to gather information on the incident and would be given a message to call the Courier. No call was received by deadline. Sct)tt was working on the second level of the gym at the top of some bleachers Tuesday around 6:30 p.m. w'hen he received an electrical shock of about 270 volts, according to scanner reports. He reportedly sat down on the top of the bleachers and collapsed shortly after. A coworker called 911 and Engine No. 1 at city hall was first to respond. “The man was in full ar- See Shock, page 3A Athens, East Limestone students named National Merit semifinalists By Jn\N Q)ee ^ Jem tin ‘nsnews-i r tuner, eitiu Three Limestone County students — two fix)m Athens and one from East Limestone — have been named semilinalists in the 55th annual National Merit Scholarship program. They are among 16,000 semifinalists competing for a scholarship. More than 1.5 mfflion juniors nationwide took the PSAT tests last year to qualify for the program. About 90 percent of the semifinaUsts move to the finalist level, and about half of those will win a scholarship. Carley HoveU, a 17-yeaiM)1d senior at Athens Carley Novell Jillian Lann Justin Sandlin High School, said she worked “really hard” to try to become a semifinalist. “I had no free time before the test,” she said. Hovell, the daughter of Lee and Diana HoveU of Athens, plans to attend the University of Alabama next year, like her two sisters — Brittany, 20, and Candice, 19. Carley hopes to pursue a degree in chemical and biological engineering and become a biomedical engineer w'orking in cardiovascular prosthetics. “I’ve always been interested in cardiovascular engineering and cardiovascular health, and with so many people hav'ing cardiovascular problems, it seems like a good field.” In addition to being a top student, Carley plays See Merit, page 2A Index Business......................5A Classified .....................4B Comics.......................3B Ledger .......................7A Obituaries ....................2A Franklin Clem Bryan Jackson Marguerite Moore Sports ........................IB Valley ........................4A t The features you love. The brand you trust. Have it alt with ffie BlackBerrv- Tour ' BlackBerry« Tour $199.99 In our Face - 32 Mog.apixol C.-imer'Ì . Visua! 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