Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - June 14, 2009, Athens, Alabama
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Dance Factory to mark 20th anniversary with recital at VBC.
LIFESTYLES, PAGE 9A
3 bears? Try 163,000
With black bear populations rising, run-ins have become almost commonplace - more than 15,000 in the past year in states east of the Mississippi River according to a survey of state wildlife agencies.
Gel the news with your morning coffee
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Weatner.........2 ASening Athens ¿inti Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future
Sunday, June 14, 2009
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Traffic volumes do not meet the DOT warrant criteria for a signal"
- response given for the deadly stretch of U.S. 72 where traffic to a new school soon will exit
State: Deadly stretch on U.S. 72 needs no signal
By Juan Cole jt‘hii °]athensnew s-<'ouritir.com The new elementary school set to open off U.S. 72 at Hardy Road won’t have a traffic light when school opens in 2010, an official said.
rI he Alabama Department of Transportation rejected Limestone County Schools’ request to install one at the intersection near Blue Springs Elementary School, school architect Jim Hartsell said Friday. Traffic numbers were not high enough to meet ALDOT criteria for a signal, he said.
However, other major improvements will be finished before the school opens, including:
• Widening 72 to add eastbound and westbound left-tum lanes
• Widening Hardy to add dedicated left- and right-tum lanes onto 72
• Installing school-zone flashing lights and striping on and around 72
Residents have already complained about the lack of signs warning motorists about construction already underway at the school site.
On Tuesday, 64-year-old Gerald Bums died from injuries suffered in a June 3 wreck in which he rear-ended a fuel truck that had slowed in the left lane of 72 to turn into the construction site.
Hartsell said construction-warning signs would be
See Signal, page 8AFrom turning clay to spinning it
Above left, members of the Athens Limestone Community Association, from left, Richard Martin, Carolyn Williams and Masheldia Green, look over a book about Athens native James C. Watkins, a renowned ceramics artist who will return to Athens next month to help raise funds to preserve the site of his alma mater, Trinity High School. Above, Watkins works on one of his creations, like the ones seen at left.
Trinity graduate, renowned artist to help raise funds for historic site
By Kelly Kazek A <7/\ a ¿it himsnews-courii*r.ct>111 When James C. Watkins was a boy growing up in Athens in the 1950s and ’60s, some would say he had the best of both worlds — he lived in a house in town down the street from school, but his family worked a farm in the county.
In other ways, his world gave him good and bad and it became what he made of it.
He attended all-black Trinity High School in the days of segregation and was born with the blood of an artist running through his veins at a time when not many possibilities or
much funding existed for artists — particularly in black high schools.
Watkins, though, had the support of his mother and stepfather — the only real dad he knew — Jeanette and Nelson Simmons Sr., according to the book “A Meditation of Fire: The Art of James C. Watkins,” by Kippra D. Hopper.
That support and the fire inside him led Watkins to success as an artist. Now a renowned ceramic artist whose work is included in the White House Collection of
See Artist, page 8A
How to go
James C. Watkins will be honored with a series of events July 18. Proceeds go to the Athens Limestone Community Association for the preservation of the Trinity High School site. Events include:
• Breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Club House Café in downtown Athens. Tickets are $20.
•A book signing follows from noon until 3 p.m. at the café.
• Dinner with Watkins will be from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Club House Café. Tickets are $50.
Tickets can be purchased at Pablo's on Market, The Club House Café or Carole Forêt Fire Art. For information call Carolyn Robinson Williams at (256) 232-8347 or Car-lyne Burrell Willis (256) 746-0762.
Farewell event planned for local unit
By Kelly Kazkk kt11\ °]uthensne\\ s-count>r.com It was 59 years ago that a battalion of the local National Guard was deployed to serve in a war overseas.
In the memory of Athens Mayor Dan Williams, it was the only guard unit ever deployed from here — until next Sunday.
Williams said the 1343rd Combat Engineer Battalion was called up for duty in the Korean Conflict on Aug. 14,1950.
This June 21, about 80 members of the 203rd Military Police Battalion will leave Athens and go to train before heading to Iraq to do transition training with Iraqi police.
Members of the community and family members of the deploying soldiers will attend a service at 4 p.m. at Beasley Field at Athens State University as a goodbye before they fly from Huntsville International Airport on Father’s Day morning.
“This is the second time in my
memory that our local National Guard Unit has been called upon to go to war,” Williams said. “I am delighted that the 203rd Military Police Battalion is being honored by our community with this deployment ceremony. We can all turn out to thank them and their families for the service they are providing to our nation during a time of war. They are our heroes and we appreciate
See Farewell, page 8A
Fugitives face more charges
DICKINSON. N.D. (AP) — More charges have been filed against four Alabama fugitives captured a week ago after a standoff in southwestern North Dakota.
Joshua Southwick, Ashton Mink, his sister Angela Mink and wife Jacquelin
See Fugitives, page 3A
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