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View Sample Pages : Athens News Courier, February 10, 2005

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - February 10, 2005, Athens, Alabama Chow to Titansuse offensive coordinator Norm Chow is joining the Tennessee Titans    jg Area tournaments Elkmont, West Limestone advance, but the \1 Colts fall just short IBThe News-CoutierThiîrsdw, Fkbruarv 10, 2005Serving Athens and Limestone Colntv: A Commlmty of Tradition and Future 50 ( IMS Cook of the Week Helen Hickman learned to spice up her cooking during her childhood in Texas. 9A Local band on TV Limestone County's Lanny Rose Band will be featured at 8 tonight on the Military Channel, which is airing the documentary “In riic Shadow Of The Blade.” SSUfffF Hey, Sound Off: It is not hard to believe that the Athens hospital is in financial problems. Just look at the incredible spending that the hospital performs. A new wellness center in East Limestone? What about Clements. Ardmore and South Limestone? Is it just the money area of Limestone County the hospital is worried about? We welcome a Madison hospital. And yes, nurses will go there. The pay and benefits are worth the transfer for some. iMore Sound Off Valley, 5A Cel ihe news wilh your morning coffee Subscribe to The Sews Courier »71^^ 232-2720 Index Classified 4-7B Comics..........8B Business........13A Ledger..........11A Movie Listing 3A Obituaries 2A Johnnie Jane Loggins Mary Evangeline Thompson Kim Wilson Sports .........1-3B Dailv Bible Moment 'he Word hecdnie Jlesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory. John 1:14 m 322 Hhv. 31 N* .Athens' 256-2.^-1051 Obit line 256-771-09.34 7    69847    00001    6 Sheriffs office on the move Some offices open Monday at new facility Bv Sonny Tiuner [email protected] Effective Monday, administrative offices at the Limestone County Sheriffs Department will be operating from the new $9 million Limestone County Detention Center although the new jail will not officially open until March 7. Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said administrative offices that will open Monday at the new facility include those in the investigative division, the secretary who handles evictions and civil papers, bookkeepers, the supervisor of personnel offices, the school resource supervisor, patrol captains and lieutenants and the department’s office manager. Dispatchers, jailers and inmates will not make the move to the new facility until the weekend of March 7, the sheriff said. “We’re doing this in stages to make the transition See Sheriffs office, Page 2A News-Courier Kim Rynders Limestone County Sheriff’s Department Investigative Assistant Kay Worsham will be one of the department’s employees who will change offices Monday. The rest of the staff and inmates will move to the new jail by March 7. Sheriff sets new jail policies that take effect soon H\ SONN\ IIRNER sonny^ aihensnews-coiiner. com Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely says there will be no visitation at the Limestone County Jail for inmates during the month of March due to the move to the new' jail. “We apologize, but we feel like this is a necessity to get all the bugs worked out at the new facility," the sheriff said. Inmates are now allowed a two-hour visit once a month. Those visits are conducted on weekends, jail officials said. Another change Blakely says will take place .March 1. Effective then, jail personnel will no longer accept packages brought in to the jail for inmates. This is a permanent policy, the sheriff said. Be said once the new jail on East Elm Street opens March 7, inmates will be allowed to make purchases at the commissary at the new jail. Another change coming, the sheriff said, is that new inmates at the jail will have 72 hours to receive personal items. Once the 72-hour period expires, those items will no longer be accepted. Good for the neighborhood New city ponds to help flooding in West Athens Bv Tasuia UOVEI 1 tashiu(^athensne\\' The west side of Athens has had to deal with ffoodwaters for decades but there's a solution in the making. Detention ponds are currently under construction. A detention pond is, “a holding ponci watershed that collects water when you have heavy, heavy rains,” said Athens City C’ouncilman Johnny Crutcher. The detention ponds detain the water until the storm is over. City Public Workers Director James Rich took councilmen Harold Wales and Crutcher to the sites of the ponds Wednesday to educate them on the subject. Right now the city has one seven-acre pond in operation off West Hobbs Street behind Hobbs Street Church of Christ. Two more are under construction on Elm Street. “We intend for those to be complete by this summer,” said Rich. The ponds will be approximately 80 acres combined. A fourth, which has not been approved by the city council, is proposed to be in the Market Street and Jackson Drive area. In 1979, the city of Athens determined that four detention ponds needed to be constructed. “It was recommended back in the mid 60’s that we needed to do something about the drainage,” said Ncws-Couricr/ Kim Rynders Athens City Councilmen Harold Wales and Johnny Crutcher visited detention pond sites Wednesday with Public Works Director James Rich. Crutcher. However, it has only been recently that the process to construct these ponds began. According to Rich, time and money has slowed the process for the detention ponds. The two ponds under'construction on Elm Street cost approximately S750,()()0. Five hundred See Flooding, Page 2A The difference If a pond always has water in it, it is a retention pond. A detention pond is typically empty except during and shortly after rain. Rails-to-Trails final phase is near: Martin Ba Nan( a Gi.assc ck k nancy(a In 1989 the recreational runners and road racers of Athens needed a place to train. “We put on the Fiddlers Run and things like that and we kept making money and needed a place to run,” said Richard Martin, who helped bring Rails-to-Trails to Elkmont. After a walking jogging trail was built around Athens High School. Martin said fitness and nature enthusiasts still needed a place to go. Soon after. Martin became aware of Rails-to-Trails, a Washington D.C. based non-profit group offering advice for converting abandoned railroad tracks into nature trails. He found the old Decatur to Nashville railroad bed that passes through Elkmont to be the ideal location. Now, 12 years after the first property was purchased from CS.X Transportation to begin construction of the 1 1-mile nature trail, Martin says the trail will soon enter the final phase before completion. “It's in a tremendous stage,” he said. “We’re finishing up everything. The trails have been almost asphalted, down to the Tennessee state line.” Martin said the trail needs $.^0,000 for completion of the final phase from Hays Mill to Piney Chapel. “Everything focuses on Elkmont,” Martin said, adding the trail will also attract history enthusiasts. “It was the main supply line from Nashville to Decatur.” Martin said Union Colonel Eli Lilly who served during the Civ il War and later started Eli Lilly and Company Pharmaceutical Manufacturing was also captured and sent to prison in the area. The first phase of Rails-to-Trails in Elkmont began with the purchase of property from Hays See Rails, Page 2A Limestone hosts open house at new annex Bv Tashia Lovell [email protected] “It’s been wonderful. We have so much more space and we’re able to have more privacy,” said Limestone County Revenue Commissioner Brian Patterson of the new Clinton Street Courthouse annex. After months in operation, an open house was held at the annex Wednesday. The facility cost more than S3 million and houses most of the offices that were previously housed at the Limestone County Courthouse. The annex has been open since November. The offices now' housed in the Clinton Street annex are the offices of the Probate Judge, state Driver's License Division, License Commissioner, Revenue Commissioner, and the County Voter Registrar. “It’s been a positive adjustment.” said Limestone County Probate Judge Mike Davis. He says his employees are able to serve the public more effectively. “It’s been most enjoyable to watch people come in. they’re just so tickled with it...” said Limestone County License Commissioner Greg Tucker. Most who attended the open house were pleased with the facility. “I'm just glad we are finished,” said Limestone County Commission Chairman David Seibert. “One of the things I’m most proud of is we have room for future growth,” Seibert said. An additional 3,000 square feet are available for expansion at the annex. ;