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Athens News Courier Newspaper Archive: September 29, 2009 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - September 29, 2009, Athens, Alabama                                 Tide’s Hightower to miss remainder of season PAGE IB  The News Courier  Serving Athens ¿md Liinestone County: A Coininunitv ofTnidition ¿uid Future  50 cents  Tuesday, September 29, 2009  Visit us online   www.enewscourier.com   Inside  Today  Rivers run gets laughs  Even for his Chargers teammates, it was quite a sight seeing Philip Rivers score a touchdown Sunday on a 5*yard run.  SPORTS, PAGE IB  Cell phone shows teen beating  Cell phone footage showing a Chicago mob beating a student with railroad ties has resulted in the filing of murder charges against four teens.  PAGE 3A  Index  Classifieds 4B  Comics..........3B  Ledger..........4    A  Lottery..........3A  Obituaries 2A  Gladys Irene Bowlin Susanna Dickey Chance Georgia Osoline Dollar Ruby Irene Head Shawn James Michels James Houston Ricketts J.D, Sandlin Helen Louise Slaton Ben Studstill III Louise Bradford Wallace Lillian Daniel Winston  Sports...........IB  Valley...........4A  Weather.........2A  7    69847'00001  Soap Box Derby sought  By K.\ri;n Middi fixxn  hm    ntlh 'nsnrw s-onihtr. (-oin  An event remembered with joy by many of today’s adults might be coming here.  A group of Boy Scout leaders approached the Athens City Council Monday with a proposal for the city to host Soap Box Derby.  Pack 24 Leader Tim Green said he has woriced out a budget and will soon tile papers to obtain the North Alabama franchise for Soap  Box Derby. The pack recently raced three cars in the Tullahoma derby.  “This would be through the All-American Soap Box Derby Association of Akron, Ohio,” said Green. “If we buy the franchise it will be for all of North Alabama. No one else can put on a derby. They will have to come here.”  Green presented cost estimates showing that he and co-leaders Mark Durm, Scott Henry, Allen Sandlin and Travis Vines would need a  start up budget S3.KX) and yearly operating expenses of 86,350 with revenue of 89,4(K). Included in the start-up cost is the purchase or construction of scales, car jacks, and starting ramp.  Green did not ask the council for any funding, which Green said w’ould come through sponsorships and vendor fees, but rather a commitment for manpower through the Parks Department.  See Derby, page 5A  Rush-hour relief coming  NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS  During rush-hour light changes, traffic bottlenecks everyday at the intersection of U.S. 72 and South Jefferson Street in Athens. A plan is under way to widen 72 under the CSX Railroad overpass to alleviate backups.  Grffith: Funds in pipeline for 72 underpass widening  By K\rf:n MiDDi.t:roN karviKOc{tlH‘nsnt‘\\s-c()iiricr.a)in Twice a day in Athens, rush-hour traffic stacks up at the intersection of U.S. 72 and Jefferson Street and stretches all the way back to Clinton Street. But help is on the way, according to Rep. Parker Griffith.  The congressman Parker Griffith was in town early Monday to reassure local officials there is $450,000 set aside in the Department of Transportation budget to  widen U.S. 72 under the CSX Railroad overpass, aUowing for smoother traffic flow.  “Safety is a constant concern on our roads, from the Shoals to Jackson County, and everywhere in between,” Griffith said. “Improvements to U.S. 72 wiU help us reach our destination faster and, more importantly, save lives. Thousands of our children travel to school along Athens’ section of 72, and it is in need of several widening projects. This is the first step to opening up the highway - a project both state and feder^ officials have been talking about for years.” The underpass squeeze is just one of the  See Underpass, page 3A  Tim James visits Athens today to pian 2010 gubernatorial fundraiser  Tim James - son of former two-term Alabama Gov. Fob James Jr. - will be in Athens today to prepare for a fundraiser for his gubernatorial run.  James, a Republican candidate in the 2010 governor’s race, will meet at about noon at the Clubhouse Café downtown with a group of key supporters to prepare for a fundraiser he hopes to have in November.  According to his campaign Web site,  www.timjames2010.com , he has five common-sense plans to increase the number of jobs and im-  prove economic development, including;  • Giving Alabama small businesses the same incentives for growth that are used to recruit out-of-state companies.  • Capturing Alabama’s renewable energy mother lode.  • Deploying Internet broadband statewide.  • • Improving roads and bridges for all of Alabama.  See James, page 3A  The features you love. The brand you trust.  Athens  Athens  Whistleblower wins suit over firing by nuclear plant contractor  BIRMINGHAM. Ala. (AP) - A painter who was fired after coinphiining about a potential safety threat at a nuclear power plant in north Alabama won his whistleblower lawsuit against a lennessee Valiev Authority contractor in a decision made public Monday.  A Department of Lilx>r reriew board sided with James Speegle of luscumbia five years cifier he w^as dismissed by Stone & Webster Qmstmction Inc. while working at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant near Athens.  Speegle, 43, contended he was fired for raising concerns about possible safety problems at the phuit’s Unit 1 reactor in 2004. Unquiiliiied workers wnre doing a sloppy job that could have resulted in paint clogging an important cooling system, he argued.  The company said Speegle was fired for cursing a supervisor during a meeting, and an administratfre law judge sided with the company. But the review board overturned that decision, sending the case to a judge to decide how much compensation Speegle should receive.  “It’s been difficult,” said Speegle, a lifelong painter now' working on a project at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. “It’s g(X)d to see it hopefully coming to a close.”  A spokesw'oman for Stone & Webster, Gentry Brann, said the company was disappointed the board opted “to overrule the decision of the arbitrator who conducted the hearing in this case, considered all of the evidence, and ruled in the company’s fovor.”  Stone & Webster is a division of ’Fhe Shaw Group Inc., based in Baton Rouge, La.  See Lawsuit, page 3A  Tanner man charged with automobile theft  A Tanner man was arrested and charged Saturday with third-degree robbery in connection with a car theft, according to Athens Police Capt. Marty Bruce.  Timothy    Lee  Robinson, 48, of 19833 George Washington St. is accused of stealing the 1996 Saturn of a 20-year^ old acquaintance with whom he was riding, he said.  Robinson took the  , . ,    ,    .    Timothy Robinson  vehicle wmen they  were stopped and the victim was out of the  car at Hine Street and U.S. 72, Bruce said.  The victim reported the theft.  Officer Michael Cash arriyed, stopped the vehicle and arrested Robinson, Bruce said.  He was transferred to the Limestone County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of posting a $5,000 bail bond.  — Jean Cole  BlackBerry^ Tour S199.99  CaDitstodajft  1-800-NEW-LINE  S2GS9S 7M*-S70   

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