Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - January 9, 2009, Athens, Alabama
Sooners, Gators face off for national title PAGE IBiaiie News CourierStrving Athens imd Limestone County: .4 Connniinitv of Tnidition mid Future
50 centsFriday, January 9, 2009
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Continuing jobless claims rise
The number of people continuing to seek unemployment benefits has risen sharply, according to government data released Thursday, indicating laid-off workers are having a harder time finding new jobs as the recession enters a second year.
How did bio reptiles fly/
A biologist thinks he has the answer. The prehistoric beasts didn't launch like birds, they leapt off all four legs.
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Inmates well fed
Judge releases Morgan County sheriff held for not properly feeding prisoners
By K,\rkn MiDi)ir:ix)N
Thursday, Limestone County Sherift' Mike Blakely defended the practice of Alabama sheriffs of keeping excess hmds left over Irom feeding inmates.
Sheriffs in 55 of Alabama’s 67 counties operate under the Depres-sion-era system allowing them to
make money operating their jail kitchens. The law pays sheriffs S1.75 a day for each prisoner they house and lets the elected officers pocket any profit they can generate.
It’s the same state law in place since 1939 that landed Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett in federal lockup for a night. Bartlett testified that he had kept $212,000 over
three years fi*om surplus meal money.
Bartlett is being sued by inmates represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon had court security arrest Bartlett alter testimony by Morgan County in
mates that they were underted and were fed aimdogs three times a day for two months.
Clemon said Bartlett would be held until he ciune up vrith a plan to feed the jail’s 3(X) inmates nutritious rneiUs. The judge ordered Bartlett released Thursday after the sheriff's attorney, Donald Rhea, fexed Clemon a meal plan proptYsal.
Bartlett had testified that as a cx4st-cutting measure he purchased
See Inmates, page 2A
Facelift for Calhoun
NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS
Carlos Garcia of Cobblestone Masonry Contractors mixes mud for the entrance to Calhoun Community College on Thursday. The Limestone County campus is undergoing a $3 million improvement to its exterior - including a brick and wrought iron entryway, electronic marquis, cross-campus brick walkway, lighting and extensive landscaping.
Brick path, magnolia trees give campus updated look
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By J FAN CxYiJ^
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Want to see a 1970s, strip mall-style community college turn into a more stately institution of higher learning?
Drive by Calhoun Community College oft' U.S. 31 in Limestone County and you will be surprised.
Gone is the outdated Calhoun sign, the electrical poles and lines, the entrances too few to number and parking that resembled a roadside used-car lot.
In its place is a redbrick wall with a wrought-iron gate, the beginnings of a modem electronic sign or marquis, a mile-long cross-campus brick path, additional parking, lighting and hundreds of
magnolia trees, evergreens and other plantings.
“We are really excited about it,” said Calhoun Public Relations Director Janet Kincherlow-Martin, who has worked for the arllege for 20 years.
The changes were inspired by President Dr. Marilyn Beck.
“It was her when she came to Calhoun,” Kincherlow-Martin said. “One of the first improvements she wanted to make when she came to Calhoun was the appearance. ”
“It looked like it did in the ’60s and ‘70s, with flat buildings,” Kincherlow-Martin said. “A lot ot colleges look like that - like high sch(X)ls. She
See Calhoun, page 2A
Jan. 26 trial date set for TGI Friday s murder case
By Kj 1.I Y Kazkk
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The trial of a man accused of killing two Athens residents and seriously injuring a third is set for Jan. 26 in Huntsville, said a spokeswoman for the Madison County District Attorney’s office.
Attorneys are working toward this triiil date tor Jamal Woods but “court matters are subject to change tor various reason and it’s a possibility that date c“ould change,” said Heather Douglas.
WtK)ds, 23, of Huntsville is charged with capital murder in connection with the Dec. 17, 2006, shtxfting at TXT I. Friday’s restau-
See Trial, page 2A
County: Road where school bus wrecked private drive
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IJmestone County Commissioners would like the county to maintain an unpaved road where a school bus carrying eight students sunk into the muddy shoulder just short of a 15-fcx)t ravine Wednesday aftemixrn. But the road is privately owned imd county and state laws prevent the county fi-om upgrading it, says Limestone County District 4 Commissioner Bill Daws.
Kimberly Wixxi told The News
See Road, page 2A
Library offering free telecommunications for military families
By Jhnmfi;r R Hiii.
Broadband is an intimidating service to the com-puter-saw'y and technologically challenged alike. The high-speed wireless
telecommunication, still unavailable to many rural areas, allows individuals across the world to see and hear one another, in real time, via the Internet with a few quick clicks of a mouse and a Web camera.
However, pubic libraries are now making broadband
service available fiee to military families thanks to the Broadband Initiative introduced last year by Gov. Bob Riley.
As part of the initiative, the Connecting Families h-braiy program was introduced in December, vvdiich allows Alabama families with loved-ones deployed overseas in the military to communicate via broadband. Ihe program is a partnership between the public
See Broadband, page 3A
NEWS COURIER/ JENNIFER R. HILL
Athens-Llmestone Library Director Susan Todd and Systems and References Librarian Kristie Bahro lead Kaye Gordon of Athens in .i tutorial Thursday on how to use the Broadband Internet service for the ConnectI.ng Families program. Athens City Mayor Dan Williams was on hand for the tutorial to learn more about how to communicate with a public works and building inspection employee, Capt. Eric Waddell, who is currently deployed to Baghdad with the Army.