Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - February 11, 2005, Athens, Alabama
Late president honored
Commemorative stamp of Ronald Reagan available at post office. 5^
Horses get new role
Adopted wild mustangs to provide thrills at Georgia corporate retreat 7AThe News-CourierServing Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and FutureFriday, Fkbruary 11,2005
50 Ckm s
With liftoff just three months away, NASA’s new shuttle crew still awaiting decision on repair kit for spacecraft.
Hey, Sound Off:
Well, well, well thanks to our officials, a few bad drivers and cry babies we now have the longest speed trap in Alabama. 1 find it hard to believe that they lowered the speed limit to 60 mph and 45 mph when raining. Our Limestone speed trap is much larger than the ones in Rogersville and Killen combined. More people get killed on 1-65 in one day than ever on U.S. 72. One of these days the cry babies will want to have the speed limit lowered to 40 mph on 1-65 and our officials would probably Jump on it. Let’s get real and restore the speed limit as it was before. We do not need to find fault with any of our police officers or sheriff’s department because they are doing a very good job and don’t need cry babies cutting them down.
More Sound Off on Valley, 5A
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James 0. Long Kimberly Diane Wilson
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entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
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New hospital put on hold
Mayor, chairman and others state their case in Montgomery
melanie^athemnew’s-coufier.com For now the delegation led by Mayor Dan Williams, County Commission Chairman David Seibert, and Athens-Limestone Hospital CEO Phil Dotson can breathe a sigh of relief The move to build a hospital in the city of Madison has been put on hold ... at least temporarily.
Having spent hours studying the paperwork filed by Madison County Commissioner Dale Strong seeking a 60-bed hospital for Madison, members of the hospital administration and board of directors had sought for a way to stop the forward motion Strong’s petition.
“We filed a motion station that stated procedure had not been followed,’’ Dotson said. “Mr. Strong did get to address the State Health Coordinating Council, but the council did not make a mling, they did not make a vote, and they have delayed the outcome until a future date.”
The vote to give Madison a hospital has been continued until a future date.
The outcome of today’s meeting comes as a welcome reprieve to the members of the delegation, which traveled to Montgomery for the SHCC meeting. The up or down vote that could have been the outcome of the meeting would hav e opened the way for a Madison hospital and could have had a
negative impact on the A-L Hospital.
“It has always been our position that this would not be a good thing for the hospital,” Dotson said. “It could take patients and doctors away from the hospital without offering a significant benefit to the residents of Madison.”
Of particular concern to members of the A-L Hospital board has been a recent letter sent by Strong to his constituents, and also to residents in eastern Limestone County, stating his case for a hospital that would serve Madison. Monrov ia. Harvest. Toney, and West Huntsville.
See Hospital, Page 2A
Bv Sonny Ti rner
A young couple headed to the probate judge's office to get a marriage license ended up staying at the new courthouse annex a little longer than they intended Thursday.
The couple had to be rescued by firefighters from the Athens Fire Department after they got stuck in the elevator.
“They were in there for about 20 minutes before we could get the key to open the door,” said Athens fireman David Andrews. “They were stuck on the first floor.”
Athens Fire and Rescue receiv/ed the call at 10:13 a.m. and sent four firefighters to the scene. A key that was supposed to have fit the elevator door at the Clinton Street Annex did not work. But it was discovered that Athens-Limestone Hospital had a key to the elevator door and it worked.
The couple sounded the elevator alarm for help once they found out the elevator was not going to move and had locked them in. When no one was able to get them out, firefighters were called to the scene.
“As it turned out, we didn't have to tear up anything to get them out,” said Andrews. “They had been having trouble with the elevator, but I don’t think anyone had gotten stuck before.”
The couple was not identified. After they were rescued they proceeded to the office of Probate Judge Mike Davis to get a marriage license.
It’s a day in their life they won’t ever forget.
Director of tourism possibility for Athens
By Tashia Lov ELI. [email protected]
“This council has been tasked by the Chamber of Commerce to do a feasibility assessment for hiring a full-time director of tourism,” board member Price Boyd said Thursday at a meeting of the Tourism Committee.
This would be a first for Limestone County. Other surrounding counties already have paid directors.
“It could be a tremendous asset...it should be a well-sought-out individual,” said board member Grant Gilbert.
The board has a lot on its plate with upcoming projects and ideas. A director could be an answer to getting some ideas in motion.
One of the board’s upcoming projects is a tw o--wheeler bike trail in Limestone County for bicycles and motorcycles.
The trail would be more than 160 miles long.
“We’re going to put in for a grant for it coming this fall,” said board member Richard Martin.
The Huntsville Bicycle Club has marked it off and mapped it already.
included in the proposed area for the route are west Washington Street, New Garden Road, Thach Road and many other areas in the county.
One of the places the proposed trail would pass through would be the starting point of Rail-to-Trails.
Person of the Year
News-Courier Kini Rynders
Denny Koenders, publisher of The News-Courier, reacts with disbelief as he is named the Glenn Blackwell Person of the Year by the Boys and Girls Club of Limestone County at the organization’s annual banquet Thursday night.
Publisher honored at banauet
Bv Sonny Tlrner
\\'s-courieKcom The News-Courier Publisher Denny Koenders was named Thursday night as the Glenn Blackwell Person of the Year during the annual banquet of the Boys and Girls Club of Limestone County.
“He has done a lot for the Boys and Girls Club through The News-Courier and individually,” said Suzanne Rainey, executive director of the B&G Clubs of Limestone County. “He is an awesome asset to our community with his work and support of Athens and Limestone County.”
Blackwell, who was instrumental in helping get the club started years
ago, w'as the first recipient of the award in 1994. Blackwell, a local businessman, died in 1995 after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Koenders, a native of Castlewood, South Dakota, became publisher of The News-Courier in 2001 and since that time has become very active in the community including his support to the Boys and Girls Club.
Under his leadership, the newspaper has steadily grown and today it has been recognized as one of the fastest growing newspapers in the state.
“We can't say enough about him,” Rainey said. “Denny has been great for the Boys and Girls Club and is certainly deserving of this award.”
A packed house attended the banquet at the Beasley Center in First United Methodist Church in Athens.
Rainey said the annual event that included an auction raised as much as SI5,000 for the four clubs operated locally, including ones in Athens. Ardmore and Tanner, as well as a teen center.
Several specialty packages were auctioned by Donnie and Ronnie Cornelison, auctioneers from Ardmore. Packages included trips, dinners, cheesecake of the month, artwork, jewelry, garden items and more.
Members of the Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors were also recognized at the event.
Area robotics teams hold scrimmage to prepare for regional competition
By Nancy Glasscock [email protected]
Students, scientists and engineers gathered in Athens Thursday afternoon for what Project Director Dana Hobbs calls the debutant ball of robotics in north Alabama. Kelly Clarkson’s “Miss Independent” sounded through the speakers surrounding the playing field to kick off the preliminary event for regional and national robotics competitions this spring.
“1 started with Best Robotics which is a spin off of FIRST,” said Career Technical Robotics team member Trey Warren, who has participated in robotics for the last four years.
Warren was one of many students representing robotics teams from Limestone County Career Technical
See Robotics, Page 2A
News-Courier Kim Rynders
Siemens Scientist Grant Reeves and students Trey Warren and Steven Berthiaume help their robot navigate the playing field at FIRST Robotics Media Day Thursday afternoon. Project Director Dana Hobbs said the students spent six weeks building the robots in preparation for regional and national competition this spring.