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View Sample Pages : Athens News Courier, June 12, 2005

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - June 12, 2005, Athens, Alabama Pooled resources Athens Swim Team hosts a meet Saturday    IBMission minded The Jernigans put their efforts into Disaster Relief. Meet the Neighbors icThe News-CourierSi Mvvv, Ji nk 12, 2005Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future enewscour One Doi i \r Judy McCrary of Athens Subscriber of the day It Off Hey, Sound Off: I witnessed something frightening Thursday afternoon that I hope will make all parents take note. I saw a boy, about 11 or 12, riding his bicycle along Hobbs Street. He was riding on the side of this four-lane road during rush hour — and there is virtually no curb. Cars were hav ing to go around the boy’s bicycle. I watched with my heart in my throat as he suddenly stopped and I could see he was about to cross all four lanes to the other side. The problem was, there was no way he would see the cars traveling west (I was traveling east) because his view was blocked by traffic. He started across and, 1 watched, terrified in my rearview mirror as he nearly rode into the path of an oncoming car. At the last minute, he saw the westbound car and stopped his bike — in the middle of the road! I watched until the boy was safely across near Beasley Field, but he should not have been in such a dangerous situation. I really thought he would not survive that moment and his parents probably know nothing about how much danger he was in. More Sound Off Valley, 6A Index Classified .....1-20D Crossword 11A Other Views  5A Our Opinion  4A Ledger..........9A Obituaries........2A Sylvia Jean Bailey Bobby Lee Crowe Robert Benjamin Putman John William Smith Sports ........1-4B Get the news with your morning coffee Subscribe to The Neu s-Courier 232-2720 Daily Bible Moment in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7 Mm^ne 322 Hwy. 31 N* Athens 256-232-1051 Obit lint 256-771-0934 7    6984700002    3 Ex-principal sues school board Gartman alleges give proper notice Bv Tanjie Nash [email protected] Pat Gartman, the principal whose methods have created controversy at two elementary schools in Limestone County, has filed a lawsuit against the Board of Education after board members in May did not renew her contract. The lawsuit, filed June 1 in Limestone board did not of non-renewal County Circuit Court, alleges the board violated state code by not notifying her of the non-renewal in the mandated timeframe. Gartman, whose probationary contract as principal began July 8, 2003 and was slated to end on the last day of the 2004-2005 school year, was initially seated as principal at Creekside Elementary. Last year a group of teachers and parents at the school lobbied the board for Gartman s removal and she was transferred to Piney Chapel Elementary. During the 2004-2005 school year, a group of teachers and parents from that school also called for her removal even as another group lauded her skills. The Board of Education voted unanimously May 24 to terminate her contract. However, according to wording in her contract, “the Superintendent and Board may choose not to offer a new, renewed or extended a vote made at least 90 days before the end of the three-year contract term.” That wording is apparently based on the three-year contracts signed by others principals, since Gartman s initial contract was not for a full three-year period. The suit cites C ode of Alabama 16-1-1 in that “the school year ends on the thirtieth day of June each year." Gartman’s suit seeks “all remedies available...under the law of the State of Alabama, including but not limited to a non-jury, expedited evidentiary hearing by the Circuit Court.” Crying fowl News-Courier/Kim Rynder^ To celebrate the end of a successful Vacation Bible School at Friendship United Methodist Church, members of the pastoral staff agreed to take part in an event Friday in which they attempted to catch a chicken. The children raised money to fund mission projects overseas, food for the local food pantry, school supplies for local children and reading glasses to be sent overseas. At right, Assistant Pastor Steve Doming holds up a chicken after he caught it (the chicken was unharmed). What the four participants did not know was that even if they completed their goal of catching a chicken, the children would spray them with silly string. Above, Contemporary Music Director John David Crowe yells after being sprayed. Storm brings more misery to Alabama’s coastal areas From Staff, Wire Reports GULF SHORES, Ala. — Missouri tourist Kim Wiese had four hotel rooms booked away from the beach just in case Tropical Storm Arlene damaged the home near the surf she had rented for two weeks.' “There are 15 of us. We come every year, but this is the first time for bad weather ever. The waves are so big,” said Wiese of St. Louis. Turns out she didn’t need the hotel rooms. A weakening Arlene made landfall Saturday afternoon on the Florida-Alabama coast, soaking vacation plans but driving only a few people into storm shelters in an area battered by Hurricane Ivan nine months ago. The storm could possibly bringing as much as four inches of rain to North Alabama, forecasters say. Rain began in Athens late Friday night and continued See Storm, Page 2A Teen said a victim of ‘something bad’ during beach visit ORANJESTAD. Aruba (AP) — A judge ruled Saturday that police can continue to detain three young men arrested in the disappearance of an Alabama honors student, including one who reportedly admitted “something bad happened” to the woman they took to the beach after a night of drinking. The girl’s family said Saturday that no body has been found. Antonio Carlo, the lawyer representing a 17-year-old Dutch student reported to have been kissing Natalee Holloway in the back seat of a car before she went missing, said he’s confident his client is “100 percent innocent.” “My client has not confessed to any crime,” he told The Associated Press. Prosecutors refused to comment on the statement by Deputy Police Commissioner Gerold Dompig, who told The Associated Press on Friday night that the man who made that admission was leading police to the scene. He refused to identify which of the three young men who took Holloway, 18, to a northern beach the night she went missing made the statement. Police refused Saturday morning to say if they discovered anything overnight to solve the mystery of what happened to Holloway, last seen in the early hours of May 30. The judge ruled Saturday that the detention of the three young men was legal Holloway See Aruba, Page 3A News-Courier/ Kim Rynders Bruce Gant sits outside his home in Limestone County looking at the re-appraisal information he recently received from the Limestone County Revenue Commissioner’s office. Property appraisals fact of life By Karen Middleton [email protected] net Apparently there’s some Limestone County folks upset over this year’s property re-appraisals that are as much as 18 percent higher. They had until Friday to appeal the numbers. But we’re a grow ing community, and as much as the tax bite hurts, Alabama property taxes remain among the lowest in the nation. Amendment 373 of the Constitution provides that all real and personal business property will be assessed at 20 percent of its fair market value. That is, for property with a fair market value of $1 million, the assessed value would be $200,000. The combined state and local millage rate would then be applied to the assessed value. Section 214 of the Constitution limits the state millage rate on both real and personal property to 6.5 See Property, Page 3A » ;