Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - December 3, 2005, Athens, Alabama
High school basketball season in full swing, Page 1BWmws-CourierStR\ ING Athens and Limestone Col ntv: A Соммелеп of Tradition and Fin re
Saterday, December 3,2005
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IIe\, Sound Off:
To all of the people who are upset with the local retailers taking Christ out of Christmas by referring to the holiday season as a “holiday season.” 1 think you now know how the ancient (iermanie people felt when the Christian missionaries took their ^ ule Celebration away from them and transformed it into .lesus' birthday.
ril tell you whatTif it's that big of a deal to you to see and hear “Merry Christmas” all over the place this time of year, go to your church and stay there until after the first of the year, ^’ou can get all of tl)c Merry Christmas and religious symbolism that you can possibly stand, and then some.
And. hey. maybe you can ever get a jump start on Hasten I've heard a rumor that retailers are planning to remove the religious icons from the Easter displays and replace them with chocolate bunnies. You should picket.YV
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Lucindy Harris Milligan
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Dally Bible .Moment
'^ove suffers lo)ig CD id is kind; love does not envy: love does not parade itself is not piijjecl lip.
I Corinthians 13:4
,t22 Hw\. 31 Athens 256-232-1051 Obit line 256-771-09.34
New license system installed
Local commissioner’s office won’t issue permits Monday
On Monday. the .Alabama Department of Public Safety. Drivers License Division will be installing a new digital laser license system in the License Commissioner's OfYice in Limestone and Morgan counties.
.\ new machine will also be placed in the State DP OfTice in Athens at the Clinton Street Courthou.se .Annex.
The installation of the new digital laser license systems will be completed w ithin one dav at each location.
The State DP office in .Athens will close one day to allow for the installation and training of personnel. The License Commissioner's office w ill remain open on Monday, although the processing of driver licenses or ID cards will not be available.
The State Dl^ office m Decatur will be open on Mondav for testing and applications by new drivers or new residents to Alabama.
The .Alabama Department of Public
Safety. Drivers License Division is installing ncvs systems in countv licensing offices throughout .Alabama. By the end of the vear. all county licensing offices in .Alabama w ill receiv e new driver license systems provided by Digimarc Corporation. Digimarc was awarded a contract bv competitive bid with the .State of Alabama as primarv supplier for the hardware svstems, for the installation, and for training and support.
The new systems will also be installed in state cdLces ot DP examiners located in cities throughout Alabama.
State DP examiners are the approval authority for all new driver licenses, new temporary driver permits and state-
issued ID cards for .Alabama residents. State DP examiners also approve all license requests by new residents from out-of-state and license request changes such as adding endorsement for boat operators.
The installation project should be completed in all county license offices and State DP offices throughout North Alabama bv Dec. l.T
The installation of new digital systems m Alabama offices w ill accomplish several objectives bv the .Alabama Department of Public Safety:
The .svstems will bring the state in compliance with the mandate by-See License, Page 3A
UAW officia doubts Delphi deal is comina
From si vti andvmrf Rt poms
.A top United .Auto Workers official said Thursday he doubts an agreement will be reached w ith the bankrupt Delphi C'orp. and that the impasse could lead to a strike.
At a Thursday meeting in Detroit. Mich.. UAW Yice President Richard Shcximaker told union officials from Delphi's U.S. factories that includes two plants m l.imestone C ounty, that while he was encouraged by Cl M's pailicipation in talks with Delphi and the U.AW this week, he fears Delphi's demands for steep wage cuts and factory closings may still force the union to strike.
That was according to union officials who attended the closed-door meeting and reported f nday in the Detroit News.
ShcK’inaker said the situation “could be a lot easier if (j\1 .stays engaged." according to a UAW memo summarizing the meeting that was distributed to Delphi workers in C oopersville late Thursday night and read to the new spaper by a plant worker. “The job now is to try to save as many jobs and benefits as possible." he said.
The comments suggest Delphi and the UAW are still fiir apart on a deal, and show the union lowering its expectations about reaching a vv inning resolution.
The best we will probably be able to do is buy time for retirement and sitve some plants, said Sln3emaker. according to the memo, signed by U.AW ofT'icials in Saginaw. Mich.
The Limestone (.'ounty Delphi complex employs 2.100 people and some of those were on the picket line this week in an "informational" picket against Delphi C EO Steve Miller.
Delphi's six labor unions the UAW is its largest, representing 24.000 hourly workers have vehemently protested the auto supplier's demands for 60 percent pay cuts and plans to close a substantial portion of its U.S. factories as pail of its reorga-niziition.
In its Oct. 8 bankruptcy filing, Delphi blamed high labor costs inherited from its 1099 spin-ofl' from Cieneral Motors as a key rea.son for its declining foitunes and inability to stay competitive with other U.S. suppliers.
.Athens and Limestone County- off icials have said that if Delphi has to close its doors here, the affect will be devastating to the Limestone County economy.
Bridge nears completion
Ncws-C'ouricr Klin Rvndcrs
After months of construction work, the eastbound lane of U.S. 72 in Athens finally reopened to traffic on Wednesday, clearing a logjam on the busy thoroughfare.
One eastbound lane of Swan Creek Bridge open on U.S. 72
Bv K vRK.N .MlDDl kton
Karema athcnsneu s-coiirier.coni The eastbound lane of Swan Creek [fridge opened up to traffic without fanfare on Wednesday.
A woman w ho answered the phone in the .Alabama Department of Transportation office in Ciuntersville said that Division Engineer Johnny Harris would be out of the office until Monday and could not be reached for comment.
.Athens Mayor Dan Williams expressed surprise that the span was open. He said no one notified his office of the opening.
The $1.7 million replacement project began in
early January and was projected to have a late-November opening. Earlier this fall, Curtis Vinson with the ALDOT (iiintcrsville office had said the span would be opened by "the end of the year.”
The eastbound bridge was built in 1929 when U.S. 72 was a two-lane road. The westbound bridge was built in 1959, according to ALDOT records, and there are no plans to replace that span.
Howev er. Darnell Spencer of the ALDOT ITistrict office said officials will inspect the bridge decking of the westbound span and do some maintenance work, which he projected will be completed in a month.
Learning to use new equipment
. _ News-Couner, Tashia Lovell
Firefighters with Athens Fire Department and Decatur Fire Department participate in the last of day of practical Thursday before taking a test on Friday to become certified for apparatus operator pumper. They must score a 70 or higher to become certified. Lt. Daniel Ledford with Athens Fire Department was the lead instructor this week.
Parade о Lights helc at Wheeler State Park
The 30th Annual Parade of Lights will be held at 6 tonight at Joe Wheeler State Park.
Many local boat owners decorate their boats with Christmas lights and decorations and cruise First Creek in front of the resort lodge. The parade can be viewed on the river walk behind the resort.
Santa Claus will lead the parade and will be available to hear Christmas wishes in the lobby of the lodge after the parade.
For information call (256) 247-5461 or visit www.joe-wheelerstatepark.com.
Daniella’s In The Park Restaurant will serve a special buffet beginning at 4 p.m. today.