Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - December 25, 2005, Athens, Alabama
М^ггз? CKristmasThe News-CouríerSer\ i\G Athens and Limestone Coi ntn: A Commi ntt> oe Tradition and l i ti
RESi NDAV, Dkcembkr 25, 2005
Sulxscribcr of the clav
He>, Sound Off;
1 read Sound Off every time 1 get the paper. I didn't realize there were so many complainers in our tow n. Some of these people need to get a life. My Sound OtT is about changing the name of our streets and highways to Martin Luther King. I think there is enough alread). And he was only a man who ma\ do some good, hut I think he also did some bad.
We had a w ar years ago that a lot of people want to forget. I think there were lots of heroes in that war and World Wars I and II and all the other wars since then.
And now e\ er\ day we turn on the TV. we see another few young faces who ha\e lost their iive-s. i think they are all our heroes. 13iit we can't name streets after all of them. So 1 think our streets should be left as they are. Martin Luther was not some kind of god he was just a man.
So let him rest. Think about all the men that did great things for our country that never that never have even been giving the honor that they deserve.
More Sound Off VaUey, 6A
Ciet the new s with voLir morning coffee
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'lory to Cod i)i the highest, cmd Oil eciilh peace, good u'ill toivard men.
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A Christmas tale
Yes, Santa, there are Virginias
Once upon a Christ
Kki 1Л Kazek
It was Christmas eve. I was placing the last of Shannon's gifts beneath the tree when I was surprised to see Santa Claus, sitting, head bowed, in a chair beside mv fireplace.
■As startled as I was to see the old boy. I was more surprised by his long face.
“W hy. Santa, what's the matter?” I asked, going to kneel beside him.
He sighed, turning tw inkle-less eyes toward me. He began to speak then shook his head, as it the effort was too great.
"What. Santa, what?”
"It's the children, you see." he said.
"Iheir lists seem to get longer each year. .\-boxes and laptops and iPods. I'm just not sure 1 believe the true spirit of C hristmas exists in the hearts of children any longer. Do they know about giving, like that little girl Virginia, who wrote in to the newspaper so many years ago? Please, tell me. are there still Virginias?”
I took his hands in mine and said; "Santa, you have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. In this great universe of ours, where commercialism and materialism are so readil>' \ isible accessible on telev isions and computers and cellular phones and Blackberries — it may seem that compassion and caring and neighborliness are v irtues of the past.
"But you of all people know you must believe beyond what you see on those lists.
“\'es. Santa, there are still Virginias — they exist as the Christmas spirit that lives in children's hearts.”
1 pulled out my new spaper and began to point to stories and photos.
“That spirit exists in the hearts of the
See Virginias, Page 2A
Now s-( (Hii ic! .li'miiE'T I h||
Will Pyburn visits Santa recently in Athens. Santa was lending his ear to passersby outside the Que Lindo Styling Salon on Washington Street.
Limestone residents share fondest (and funniest) Christmas memories
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karentyathensncw s-courier.com Christmas memories can last a lifetime. .A survev of Sews-Courier employees and a few others in the community show that Christmas is a physical experience as well as spiritual. Christmas memories are heart-tugging. side-splitting, thought-provoking, eye-misting, mouth-watering and sometimes a pain in the well . you know. So anyway. Merry Christmas. Ncws-Coiiricr style.
We found that some ot our ftuidest memories involve sibling rivalrv. lake Vdverlising Manager \le\ Smith's warm, fuzzy offering, for msianee.
"My mom had seven kids in 10 vears. I had three brothers and three sisters.” said .Alex. "Mv sister. Deborah, was always the I'avorite. I mean she was a real prima donna. So mv brothers and I on this one Christmas w hen she w as 10 got this big box of dirt and
See Memories, Page ЗА
Delphi workers hear SOS call to ‘rank and file’
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C.\J/I .Veve.s .Service LOC'KPDRT. N.^'. - Soldiers of Solidarity wants the Niagara Frontier to join the fight for workers' rights.
SOS. a privately organized labor group spawnetl from Delphi's bankruptcy declaration in October, will host a "rank and file” meeting for all working people not just IX’lphi workers Jan. 8 in Lockpoil.
Organizer Gregg Shotvvell. a Delphi machine operator in Coopersv ille. Mich.,
says SOS is aimed immediately at getting rank-and-file Delphi employees to resist corporate-forced concessions, but people from all walks are welcome to join a broader effort.
“The Delphi situation resonates with lots of people,” Shotwell said. “Pensions are threatened. Health care is threatened. People are losing their buying power.”
SOS started after Shotwell called a meeting of rank-and-file Delphi workers in Grand Rapids, Mich., to talk over enormous concessions that Delphi CEO
Workers ill \cw York iorinecl vSoldiers ol .Soliciariu following Delphi's hank-ruptey. The group meets Jan. 8 in Lockport.
Robert S. .Miller said would be needed from United Auto Workers to salvage the company as it goes through bankruptcv.
Delphi workers weren't the only ones who came, Shotvvell said.
“ leamNiers. teachers, nurses ... showed up. too. All of them are feeling the pressure. W hatever hap|vns to us is coming to other .sectors, not just automotive but probably across the board."
Shotwell got a Lockport meeting started through an unnamed local llelphi employee. Initial reaction has been positive, he said.
“I've heard from Delphi workers in Roche.ster. workers at American .Axle in
See Delphi, Page 2A
Elkmont Police Chief Donnie Johns with FOP “Officer of Year” award.
Elkmont chie::' named FOP’s Officer of Year
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aiheusnews-eoiiriereom Elkmont IVlice Chief Donnie Johns has been named by the Limestone County Fraternal Order of I’olice as its “Officer of the ATar.”
Johns was recently honored during the FOP's annual banquet at the Catfish Inn.
Johns has been chief at Elkmont for the past 18'months. He is retired from the C'lty of Athens w here he spent 26 years as a firefighter, policeman and collector with City Utilities.
“This award means a lot to me because it comes tiom my fellow officers, Johns said. “Since I've been at Elkmont I try to work with the city and county as much as possible.
“I've always tried to treat people the way 1 would want them to treat me.” Johns said. “,At Elkmont. we don't have a lot of crime and it's quite and easy going. I really enjoy my job.”
Joluis entered the law enforcement field follow ing in the foot-
See Officer, Page 2A