Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - January 26, 2005, Athens, Alabama
-W,Roasting Mayor Dan Tf Gibson leaves ArdmoreDon’t forget to get your tickets to a roast Ife, Ardmore High’s head football coach Barry
honoring Mayor Dan Williams 5^ Gibson announces his resignation IBThe News-CourierServing Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and FutureWednesday, January 26, 2005 s 4 _ ■. enewscDurkr.com
News-Courier Kim Rynders
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chief Council Chip Cameron, with microphone, fields questions from the audience during a Tuesday afternoon meeting at Athens State University. The public meeting was a part of the relicensing process for all three reactors atTVA’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, called to discuss the environmental impact of extending the lifespan of the reactors another 20 years beyond the initial 40-year licenses granted in 1973,1974 and 1976.
NRC holds impact hearings
B\ Phil Willis
phi ha athensnews-courier.com Extending the license of TVA’s Browns Ferry' Nuclear Plant to allow it to produce electricity for an additional 20 years beyond its initial 40-year licensing period would have far less env ironmental impact than would any alternative energy source. Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials stated during a Tuesday afternoon public meeting at Athens State University.
NRC set the meeting as a part of the relicensing procedure for all three reactors at the Browns Ferry plant. Initial 40-year licenses were granted for Units 1, 2 and3 in 1973, 1974 and 1976, respectively. TVA has requested those license be renewed for an additional 20 years. The Tuesday meeting dealt solely with the environmental impact ,of the requested permitting extension.
Dr. Mike Sackschewsky, team leader for the environmental impact review’ conducted at the Brow ns Ferry plant by NRC.
See NRC, Page 2A
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Members of Oak Grove CME recall their church’s history.
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Lawsuit alleging VFW insurance violations settled
Bv Sonny Turner
Sonnyta athensnews-courier. com
The State Insurance Commission has settled its lawsuit against the Alabama Veterans of Foreign Wars for violating insurance transactions and that will result in the reimbursement of approximately $42,000 to VFW posts statewide.
But the VFW, in the settlement reached on Jan. 5, states that it “in no way intended to violate any insurance law or regulation and that it desired to resolve all matters” related to the order of insurance bonds.
VFW Quartermaster Travis Whaley was indicted by a Limestone County grand jury in October on charges of insurance fraud. Whaley’s trial is set for April in Limestone County.
Whaley, of Alexandria, is the man who ordered the removal of two members of the local VFW, Limestone Commander Larry Truman and District Commander Jim Manley, both of Athens.
The indictment stems from surety bonds sold to the Limestone County chapter.
Manley said Tuesday that settlement by the insurance commission means the Limestone County Post 4765 will receive approximately $1,200 as its share of the settlement.
Officers not given polygraph
12.5 acres purchased for water expansion
Bv Melanie Walker
melanietg athensnew s-courier. com Anticipating growth and trying to stay one step ahead of the rapid expansion in Limestone County, the Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority has purchased land in southwestern Limestone County off U.S. 72 West at Little F.lk Road for a water sewer treatment plant.
The land, which was purchased in June 2004 at an approximate cost of S200.000. includes a 12.5 acre parcel, two houses, a barn and a garage.
“The water board felt this was a perfect area on the western side of the county," said acting general manager Greg Holland. “It made sense to purchase the land while it was available at an attractive price before growth drove the price up.”
The board approved a request for plans during the early fall and engineering design drawings are being put together by Hethcoat and Davis of Nashville, Tenn.
The southwest Limestone location lies near a deep water source on the Elk River, one of few such spots still available, according to Holland. While access across a TVA easement will be necessary, Holland anticipates it will only be a formality.
“This area of the county will have the next large influx of population,” Holland said. “There are already plans for a new school in that area and houses will follow shortly behind wherever a school is built. Planning for growth now means that we can stay ahead of the needs of our customers.”
The water treatment plant would prov ide potable water for users in the western part of Limestone County. The two houses on the
See Water expansion, Page 2A
Hey, Sound Off:
As a lifelong citizen of Athens and Limestone i County and a customer of the Limestone Water Authority for many years;
1 commend the board for taking the action they did in granting the bonuses for the staff and director.
David Seibert appears to be from the old school that taught leaders to work people hard and w hen they do a good job reward them w ith more hard work. If that is the philosophy w ith which our county is governed then we are in our last days. People need to know when they do a good job and we need to be w illing to “put our money where our mouth is.” To ask for the resignation of the full board is asinine. I do not personally know anyone who works for the Water Authority and can only imagine how they feel by being attacked in the media. Wake up. Limestone County, move into the present and be thankful that we have such a forward thinking and caring Water Authority Board.
said. But the mayor said the city’s handbook allowed for the city to demand the polygraph if investigators thought it was necessary.
The mayor identified Lt. Anthony Pressnell as the officer who wus suspended for 10 days Monday. But he did not identity the other patrolman because he said there was no evidence to indicate that officer did anything wrong. That officer was cleared of any wrongdoing. The mayor said he thought Pressnell should be identified because there are other lieutenants on the force.
“We suspended but did not fire Lt. Pressnell due to the circumstances involved,” the mayor said. “What he did took place away from Athens City Hall and it was something of a consensual nature although it did occur (one time) while he
w as on duty."
The mayor said an incident in which an Athens policeman was fired “a few months back” involved a sexual affair that occurred in Decatur and while the officer was on duty.
“He did what Pressnell is accused of doing, but much worse,” the mayor said.
Pressnell has been with the department approximately 10 years and is now' a first-shift supervisor, the mayor said.
All three officers are denying any guilt, the mayor said.
The investigation began after four women accused the three officers of having sex with them while on duty. They say the officers offered them favors and money for sex.
Williams said one female who accused the patrol officer
See Polygraph. Page 2A
Mayor Williams names suspended lieutenant
Carmen Tipps and her dog Jack share a very special bond after he saved her life.
Local dog who saved owner’s life inducted into Animal Hall of Fame
By Tanjie Nash
tanjie(a athensnews-courier. com This Saturday Jack Tipps of rural Athens will be the recipient of a most prestigious honor.
He’ll receive his award during an extravagant ceremony at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.
Dress for the affair is black tie.
Jack, however, will wear his standard everyday attire
a thick, fuzzy coat of fur.
Certainly no one w ill mind Jack’s casual appearance. For not only w ill he be among the guests of honor but he also is, of course, a dog.
On Saturday Jack w ill be one of three new inductees into the Alabama Animal Hall of Fame. Jack, an Alaskan mala-
See Hero, Page 3A
By Sonny Turner
The three Athens policemen involved in a two-month internal investigation involving allegations of sexual misconduct did not take a polygraph test, but that’s something the city had considered, Mayor Dan Williams said Tuesday.
After Lt. Lee Kenncmer resigned last week, the two remaining officers being investigated were not administered a lie detector test because there was no need for it, the mayor