Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - August 13, 2009, Athens, Alabama
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Thursday, August 13, 2009
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City says: Pay to play
Will demanding business licenses for bands, singers run performers out of town?
By Jennifer R. Hill
Many performers, especially local bands and performers, may not know they’re breaking the law by performing “gigs” in Athens. However, the City Clerk’s office recently sent out notices to local venues to inform them of Athens City Ordinances requiring business licenses for each act performing for profit.
The ordinance is one that has been on the
books for years, but seldom enforced, until recently, revenue accountant for the City Clerk’s office, Peggy ffitts, said.
Originally, the business license fee for performers was felt to be too steep, at a rate of $100 per date or $400 per week, she said.
Now, according to schedule 13 of section 18-324 of Athens City Ordinances, the annual license tax is based on gross receipts instead of time, Pitts said.
The fee for local bands and entertainers, per year, routinely runs about $00, Iritts said.
Nevertheless some local business owners and performers feel that the business license fee is unreasonable, especially when performers from surrounding areas are guests in town.
Requiring each performer or band to purchase a business license, when it’s usually not re-
See Bands, page 3A
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Senior lineman Jacob Holt provides leadership on the field for Coach Barry Daniel’s Clements Colts.
SPORTS, PAGE IB
Smaller newspapers faring well
Newspapers are hurting all over the United States, but the pain is less severe at small publications that fill in an information gap in communities no one else is covering.
BUSINESS, PAGE 5A
Obituaries 2 A
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A lightning strike temporarily disabled computers Wednesday at City Hall and damaged a television set in the living quarters of the tire station.
Financial Manager Evan Thornton said firefighters were watching TV when lightning struck during a storm at about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday and they unplugged the set they were watching. However, lightning apparently entered through electrical or cable lines and hit a second TV and a piece of equipment that operates the Internet throughout city systems, including for computers at the police station on Hobbs Street.
“It was a $2,000 piece of equipment,” Thornton said. “But we had a backup and we had it running again by 9:30 a.m.”
Thornton said computers in the building are protected from lightning so they were not affected by the strike.
Local business owner trying to be nice when Jmad manr stole truck
Honoring a stranger
NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS
What should you do when grass is more than waist high on the grave of a person you don’t know? If you are a good Samaritan like Steve Morris of Athens, you get on your hands and knees and clear it. Morris was visiting Roselawn Cemetery with his girlfriend when he ran across the grave, which according to two ladies also visiting the cemetery has been overgrown for quite a while. Morris, who owns T&S Unlimited Contractors, decided to handle the job on his own and clean up the gravesite.
NEWS COURIER/JEAN COLE
Jeff Carr of Athens was closing up shop Tuesday when a man stole his $10,000 truck and led police on a high-speed chase on Interstate 65 and U.S. 72. "You read about this kind of thing and you see it on TV, but it’s a whole different feeling when it happens to you," said Carr.
By Jean Cole [email protected]
Jeff Carr was about to close up shop and head out the door Tuesday when a man walked up to the Pepsi machine at Athens Radiator, fished into his pocket for some change and realized he was a little short.
“I always tiy to be nice to people,” said Carr, who owns the shop at 18977 N. Jefferson St. “So I told him I would just go inside and get him a drink from the fridge.”
Carr left the man — who he described as “clean cut and nice talking” — standing by the machine next to his white, GMC Sierra truck. The truck was covered with Athens Radiator signage and featured a yellow smiley face on the gas tank lid and a decal reading “Romans 2:38” on the back windshield.
See Mad man, page ЗА