Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - December 20, 2009, Athens, Alabama
Letters to Santa and Christmas Greetings Inside today
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Sunday, December 20, 2009
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The News Courier selects the 2009 All-Area football team, representing Athens and Limestone County athletes.
SPORTS, PAGE IB
Weather fit for Santa
A blizzard moves up the East Coast, dropping up to 20 inches of snow and creating weather only Santa could love.
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7 6984.7 00002 3Hudleston enters Dist. 5 raceMayor Dan Williams also likely to be GOP candidate
By Keuy KAZt:K
'¡ism “h s-aiurii r. ann Although Mayor Dan WTlliams said on a television show Friday morning he expects a good race against the latest person to file for the Fifth District seat in the Alabama House of Representatives, Williams later confirmed he has not formally announced his caijdi-
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•as Breaking news
\Wlliams appeared on Jamie Cooper’s show on ZTV-11 with Don Hudleston of Athens, who has filed with the Republican Party as
a candidate for the House District 5 seat. Incumbent Heniy White, D-Athens, has said he will seek re-election.
\Wlliams would run as a Republican.
“I’ve indicated all along I might run,’^ the mayor said Friday. “I’m
See Race, page 7A
Cheerleaders show true spirit
Cheerleaders at East Limestone High School recently collected about $1,000 worth of toys and bikes for the U.S. Marine Corp Reserve Toys for Tots Program.
East Limestone squad forgoes gift swap to aid children in need
By JtiAN Q)iii jviUi'SHthviisiU'ws-ixiurit'r.aini
A dozen junior varsity cheerleaders at East Limestone High S<!hool used the $15 to $20 they would have spent on Christmas presents for each other and instead bought gifts for needy children.
Not to be outdone, their sister cheerleaders on the varsity squad got on board and, together, the 24 cheerleaders helped collect about $1,000 worth of goodies, including eight bicycles, for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Each year, the Marines collect new, unwrapped toys and give them as Christmas gifts to children in need.
“It didn’t take a lot of time,” said Joy
Chandler, whose daughter, Emily, is a cocaptain on the junior varsity squad. “TTiey started Dec. 1 and went about two weeks.” The cheerleaders put a toy box at the high school and one at nearby Creekside FU-ementary School, and they collected toys in the drop-ofli and pickup lines at the school.
They also put a spare-change jar at the Chandlers’ restaurant, Terranova’s, in Huntsville.
Chandler commended the squads for showing true Christmas spirit.
“We don’t want them to be prima donnas,” she said. “We want them to focus on someone else.’’
See Spirit, page 7A
Christmas, New Year's closings, garbage collection schedule changes announced
Athens City offices will be closed Thursday and Friday and on Jan. 1.
Limestone County offices will close Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and on Jan. 1. County Commissioners will vote at a Monday ni^t meeting whether to also dose on New Year’s Eve.
State offices will be dosed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as well as New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Athens City garbage collection for the week of Dec. 21 - 25: For those whose garbage is typically picked up Hiesday or Wednesday, your collection day will be Monday.
For those whose regular scheduled collection day is Thursday, your collection day this week will be on
For those whose collection day is Friday, your collection day will be Wednesday.
Athens City garbage pickup for the week of Dec. 28-Jan. 1:
For those whose garbage is typically picked up Tbesday, your collection day will be Monday. For those whose regular scheduled collection day is Wednesday, your collection day will be Tbesday For those whose collection day is Thursday, your collection day this week will be Wednesday. For those whose collection day is Friday, your collection day this week will be Thursday
See Closings, page 7A
BP: Leak caused by lightning; site cleanup continuing
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Lightning has been identified as the cause of a pipeline break oft Alalxima 99 last December, which caused 2,(KM) gidlons of :itylene to spill into a ditch iuid pond, a BP official said.
BP, which owns the multi-state pipeline, had the dairuiged pipe microscopically tested to determine the aiuse so the company c'ould try to prevent it from recurring, said Ronald Rybiirczyk, BP government and public aftairs spokesman. The results of that study were released F riday.
“The metallurgical imalysis of the damaged section of pipe shows that tlie most likely cause of the daniage was an eledri-cal dischiuge, consistent with an event such as lightning striking the line at iuioth-er location, and the charge exiting the line at this point in Limestone County,” Rybirr-czyk said.
. To safeguard against future strikes, BP has installed more anode protection along the pipeline, he said.
“BP’s top priorities remain the safety of our nearby neighbors and the sale operation of the pipehne,” Rybarczyk said.
The jtylene leak in the western Limestone County conrmunity triggered fear in many residents. One artde owner who lives across the road from the spill site wns worried about selling his livestock without a written assurance of safety finm BP. Other residents, including students at West Limestone County High School, worried about inhaling jtylene, which tliey stiid smelled like paint thinner. And mimy worried whether the chemical had contaminated the groundunter.
As for water safety, testing shows tire Jtylene levels in the pond are well within state quality standards — even for drinking water, Rybarc/yk said.
Alabama’s limit for jtylene in drinking water is 10 parts per million.
The latest sampling at the Alabaniii 99 site shows the level in the fxjnd to be 0.4 parts per million or less that l/20th of tliat level, Rybaroy^c said.
Sampling shows there have never been traces of jtylene in area drinking water wells, he said.
With the cause of the pipe rupture identified, BP is now moving from the initial cleanup phase to further remediation at the site.
“We are further characlerizing the site to determine what cleanup measuies will be most eftective fixjm this ptiint forward,” Rybarczyk said. “Trenches are still in
See Leak, page 7A
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