Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - December 9, 2009, Athens, Alabama
East Limestone faces brutal schedule this week PAGE IBThe News CourieServing Athens and Limestone Countv: A Conmmnitv of Tradition and FutureWednesday, December 9, 2009
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Oiiidals break ground for Madison hospital
Letters to Santa due Friday
It's that time of year again! Because Santa Claus is so busy, The News Courier has offered to gather your letters to Santa, then publish them for him to see. Letters will be published in a special section Dec. 20. Bring letters to The News Courier, 410 W. Green St., Athens, Ala., 35611, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays, or drop them in the mail. The deadline to receive letters is 4:30 p.m. Friday.
NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNOERS
Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers said the new Madison hospital will employ 500 people and pump $500 million into the local economy over the next five years.
What will new medical facility mean for Limestone County?
By Karen Middleton kuwnif)athensne\ys-courier.com As groundbreaJdngs go, officials stand in a line, each with a shovel to ceremonially turn the first clod of earth to launch a construction project.
But those involved in building a hospital in western Madison County have been plowing the ground for 12 years.
In 1997, Huntsville Hospital purchased the property and secured the rezoning to build a hospital, but that was just the beginning of a long fight with other health care
providers for patient revenue.
But, at last, Tuesday with wind and rain whipping the plastic sides of a tent pitched off U.S. 72, officials of Huntsville Hospital, Athens-Limestone Hospital, Madison County, and the cities of Huntsville and Madison took shelter from the elements to birth a new hospital.
In late January, Huntsville Hospital got the state nod to build a hospital in Madison.
See Hospital, page 3A
McClain top LB in nation
Alabama defender recognized with Butkus Award, given annually to nation's top linebacker.
SPORTS, PAGE IB
NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS
Madison and Huntsville Hospital officials and government representatives line up to break ground Tuesday for the new Madison hospital off U.S. 72, which is slated for completion in 2012.
Index Roundabout solving intersection backup
Wanda Lother Thadine Roberts
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By Karen MiDDurroN karcn^athi'nsnt‘ws-t'()urier.a)ni A News Courier Facebook writer recently admitted that he was one of those opposed to the roundabout at Lindsay Lane/Nick Davis Road, but now, seeing how it is working to solve traffic problems, he’s all for it.
Public Works Director James Rich said Tliesday that he fiiequently hears such comments.
'Iliirteen months after the opening of the roundabout, local officials and residents now see the roundabout as the most efficient way to solve the ongoing problem of traffic backup at the intersection.
“Tire one thing I most often hear from everyone is ‘congratulations,’” said Rich. “People have accepted it really well. At first, there were some skeptics, and most of the cars moved through it very slowly and carefriUy.”
Rich said the roundabout does what it was designed to do — move traffic through more quickly, safer and efficiently.
‘“niere’s just a lot of positives about it,” said Rich.
Rich said his department workers have their eyes on a couple of more city intersections, but traffic volume doesn’t quite indicate they are ready for roundabouts.
“One of them is at Alabama 251 and North Lindsay Lane, “ he said. “Traffic volume might support a roundabout there at a later time. iTie other spot is at West Washington Street and Lucas Ferry Road. The volume and waiting times aren’t that great yet, but we will monitor them.
“But I do want to emphasize we have no plans, no funding and nothing on the drawing board for those
See Traffic, page 3A
Suspect in theft of 2 computers at Walmart is captured
By Jean Q)it;
jt ‘aii&atht 'usiH ‘ws-fourii r. com A man who dashed out of Athens Walmart with two computers in four days is focing theft charges, according to Athens Police.
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Anderson, 45, of 2230 Graham Ave. S.W, Decatur, was arrested Monday and charged with two counts of second-degree theft, records show.
He is accused of stealing a Hewlett- Packard Pavilion computer fix>m the store Nov. 17, according to Athens Police Public Infomiation Officer Lt. Flcyd Johnson.
Anderson allegedly placed the computer in a shopping cart and strolled out of the store without paying for it, Johnson said.
Security officers tried to stop Anderson but were unable to catch him before he left the parking lot, he said.
Officer Brandon McCuiston arrived at the scene and developed Anderson as the suspect in the case, Johnson said.
Walmart staff members told McCuiston that Anderson had taken another Hewlett-Packard Pavilion computer Nov. 14.
The computers, valued at a total of $1,196, have not been recovered, Johnson said.
Investigator Johnny Campbell handled the case and sought the warrants.
Wendy's reopening remains on hoid for another 75-90 days
Jt 'aiiifJu thcnsncw s-c'ourit r.ann If you have been craving a bowl of chili, hamburger or fi-osty fi-om Wencly’s, you will have to wait until the end of February or the beginning of March to buy one in Athens.
The city s only Wendy’s restaurant at 1603 U.S. 72 East — across fix)m Raceway — closed July 2 after a grease fire destroyed the building’s interior and part of the roof The closing left fans of the restaurant eager to know when the doors will reopen.
“Wendy’s of Bowling Green is starting construction now and is doing a major redo,” said Wench’s Director of Communication Kitty Munger. “When the restaurant reopens in 75 to 90 days, it will be a new restaurant design, and we will look forward to getting it back open and servicing the customers in Athens.”
Munger said it took time to get through the paperwork required for rie-building.
The restaurant was still undergoing internal demolition and cleanup in Sep tember. At the time, the dty engineer estimated reopening was three to six months away.
The July 2 closing put more than two dozen employees out of work.
The fire began in the fryer exhaust
See Wendy's, page 3A
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