Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - December 6, 2009, Athens, Alabama
Tide rolls over Gators for SEC title PAGE IBThe News CourierServiiig Atlwiis ciiid I iinestone CÀniiìty: A Coiììiìiuiìitv of Iriidition ¿md Future
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Sunday, December 6, 2009
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Industrial areas lead job growth
Counties with the heaviest reliance on manufacturing income are posting some of the biggest employment gains of the nation's early economic recovery.
Scientists, lawyers mull robots
What happens if a robot crushes your foot, chases your cat off a ledge or smacks your baby?
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Mayor: No ordinance veto
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Athens Mayor Dan Williams said Friday the city’s Draft Historic Preservation Ordinance will stand as is, despite a petition drive to have it vetoed.
Monday, the mayor met with a group of residents from Athens’ three historical districts that presented a petition with 125 signatures, asking Williams to veto the most recently approved version of the ordinance.
The group presented a list of 11 grievances, which they say make the ordinance, in its present form, unacceptable to homeowners in the three districts — Beaty, Houston and Athens
On Nov. 23, the City Council voted 3-to-2 to approve an amendment to the ordinance that would give the city the option of a becoming a Certified I^ocaJ Government with the ability to designate for nomination certain buildings to the National Register of Historic Places. Officials say the designation would allow the city to apply for restoration grants for buildings around the square and elsewhere.
Councilmen Harold Wales and Jimmy Gill, who voted against the measure, say they had received numerous e-mails imd phone calls from residents protesting the lunendment.
Among the complaints of the residents op
posed to the measure, are not having been notified prior to the council taking the action, vague terminology such as “aesthetic”; unclear definitions of such items as “buildings, structures, site, object and work of art”; and the flexibility of the Historic Commission to adopt rules of procedure that are not subject to council approval.
Also iunong the grievances is the commission’s authority to designate structures for removal from an historic district, when the owners themselves cannot request removal. The residents also balk at the term “Certified Local
See Veto, page 7A
Christmas comes to Ardmore
Doc Oliver Dresides over loliday event
A clown riding on the Ardmore Masonic Lodge No. 24 truck waves to the crowd during the Ardmore Christmas Parade Saturday. At right, Santa and Mrs. Claus wave to the crowd. Retiring chief of police William 'Doc' Oliver was the grand marshal.
NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS
Seibert sees landscaping, more parking, better exterior for jail site-turned-school board office
By JiL^vN C^)ij;
The site of the old Limestone County jail off Green Street is getting prettier by the day.
For most Athens residents, anyway.
Demolition crews have razed all but the jail offices and county crews have hauled away the rubble, which will be used to control erosion.
Now it’s time to begin picturing what’s to come.
County Commissioners plan to restore the old offices for use by the Limestone County Board of Education.
“The next step is for us to start looking at getting an n architect to do the project and start looking at renovations,” said County Commission Chairman David Seibert.
'Fhat process will begin sometime next yeiir, but precisely when Seibert is unsure.
“We’ve just got a lot of stuff going on right now,” Seibert said. “We just got the jail tom down and we have the dental clinic starting and the event center imd the courthouse renovations.” Plans are to renovate the office portion of the old jail, which is attached to the Board of f]duca-tion office by a breezeway. Seibert said an elevator would be installed between the two office buildings. Outside, Seibert sees landscaping and more piu-king as well as im exterior finish of some sort to tie the two buildings together. iLe Board of Education is a red brick while the old jail officesSee Jail, page 7A
Board vote set Monday on building
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Limestone County school board members will vote Monday on whether to seek bids on building a new gym at East Limestone High Schcxtl.
I’he topic will be part of the bcYard’s regular monthly meeting at 6 p.m. at the Limestone County Career Technical Center at 505 E. Sanderfer Road in Athens.
East’s old middle-school gym, affectionately known as the “old red biim,” was demolished this year after being condemned by the fire marshal in 2008.
Hoard members set aside $3.5 million to build the new, competition-sizc gym this summer. However, the state education budget was cut due to lower-than-expected sales-tax collections forcing sch(X)ls statewdde to cut their budgets in a process called proration. The gym was put on hold.
I’he federal government has since made interest-free bond money available to schools, and this is w'hat the board may use to build a new gym at East.
A competition gym is one large enough to host tournaments with visiting teams, dressing rooms, bleachers, storage and concessions. Pkms for the new' gym include a basement that will hold weight-lifting equipment and two partitioned classrooms.
With one gym dow'n imd one relatively new' gym standing. East IVincipid Dennis Black had to figure out how' to schedule gym class for sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth-graders, who iire required to take gym, as w ell as many lOth, 11th and 12th-graders who chcx)se to
See Gym, page 7AToys for Tots drop-off locations announced
Kaye McFarlen, executive director of United Way of Athens imd limestone County, has imnounced the local drop-off points for Toys for lots.
The U.S. Miirine Cforps Reserve Toys for Tots IfrogTcun originated in 1947 to collect new, unwrapped toys during October. November and December each year, and distribute tliose toys as ChristniiLs gifts to needy children in the axnmunity in w hich the aunpaign is conducted.
The first year, Miirine reservists collected 5,(XX) toys to distribute in the Los Angeles area. CK'er the piist 62 years the program has distributed more than 4(X)See Toys, page 7A
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