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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - June 18, 2009, Athens, Alabama Poll: Americans fear rising health care costs PAGE 2AThe News Courier Serving Atliciis cind Liincstonc County: A Coniniunity of'Tnidition ¿md Fulurc 50 (‘(.‘IllsThursday, June 18, 2009 Visit us online Inside TodayBusiness brisk at U.S. Open Like other sports, golf has felt the impact of recession. Some tournaments have lost title sponsors, and the PGA Tour - with events structured as nonprofit organizations which donate proceeds to local charities -estimates its giving may decline some 14 percent this year., SPORTS, PAGE IBLaunch delayed until July For the second time in less than a week, a potentially dangerous hydrogen leak Wednesday forced NASA to delay shuttle Endeavour's launch to the international space station, this time until July. PAGE 3ASubscribe Cel tlu‘ news with your iiioniinji colicc SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720Index Business ........5A Classifieds.......3B Comics..........4B Ledger..........7 A Lottery..........3A Obituaries 2A Jeffery Wilde Coats Jr. Charlotte Joan Doucette Nina Skipworth Nina Craig Starnes Jeanette Swanner Peggy Carol Taylor Sports...........IB Valley...........4 A Weather.........2A Carroll seeks signal Schools superintendent asks ALDOT to reconsider ByJkanCoik jciin<ilcllh(‘nsnv\ys-(x)uricr.(x)in The head of Limestone Qiunty Sch(X)ls has asked the state transportation director to reconsider putting a traffic light at the entrance to Blue Springs Elementaiy School. He has also asked him to decide whether the state can help the schools pay for drainage, turn lanes and other improvements needed at the future sch(x>l site at U.S. 72 and Hardy Road. School officials and motorists are worried about the potential traffic accidents on 72 during construction of the new schtюl and after it opens in 2010. 'The busy, undivided, fourlane highway lacks continuous left-hand turn lanes and has been the site of more than 30 deaths in 15 years. The latest, Gerald Bums, 64, died June 9 of injuries suffered in a June 3 accident in which he rear-ended a fiiel truck on 72 that had slowed to turn left into the school-construc-tion site. In a June 10 letter to Transportation Director Joe Mclnnes, Superintendent Dr. Barry Carroll conveyed his worries about the safety of 72 and Hardy as he did in the letter he wrote Mclnnes four months earlier on Feb. 10. Mclnnes called Carroll on I'ues- day to tell him he w'ould kx)k into the situation and respond to him in writing. Carroll decided to w'rite the sec*-ond letter to Mclnnes to ask him to reconsider his department’s rejection of a request to install a traffic signal at the sch(X)l intersection. I’he sch(x)l had been told traffic volumes did not meet DCJf criteria for a signal. Cam)ll had said in his first letter that the schcxils expect 650 studentsSee Signal, page 2B Builders in the spotliglit 7    69847000Ü1    6 NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS Lynn Persell, of Lynn Persell Home Builders Inc., shows off the home at 25612 Caldera Drive he built for this year's 2009 Parade of Homes, which starts Saturday and continues next weekend in Athens and Limestone County. Paracie of homes proceeds wil fund Tech Center scholarships By Jean Cole iciuii^itthciisnt‘\\s-a)uncr.ix)in If you are in the maricet for a home or just like to borrow ideas from other homes, you will enjoy the annual Parade of Homes. I’he event — sponsored by the Athens/Limestone Homebuilders Association — will showcase 22 homes in Athens and Limestone Qiunty. It runs two weekends — this Saturday and Sim-day and June 27 and 28. Homes will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Stop by The News Courier office at 410 W. Green St. in Athens from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays to pick up a magazine featuring home plans and ad dresses. Here are the 22 stops on the parade, follow'ed by directions to the subdivisions where they are located; 1.) Jimmy Biyan LLC, Park Place subdi\ ision, 803 Box St. 2.) Flagship Development LLC — John Furline, Brookhill Terrace subdirision, 20692 Sabrina Lane 3.) Winter Homes LLC — Kenny Winter. Cane-brake subdivision, 23362 Founders Circle 4.) ABC Builders — Bryan Abernathy, Cane-brake subdivision , 23558 Piney Creek Drive 5.) ABC Builders, Canebrake subdivision, 23526 Piney Creek Driv eSee Parade, page 3B Athens iTian dies in cycle accident BV Jl AN G)l I ¡(Xlll^ ¿lll)Cll^lli'\\S-lxniritr.(X)lll An Athens man who loved his teenage daughter and liked to hunt was killed in a motorcycle accident I’uesday night on Bilker Hill Road in w'estem Limestone County. His passenger w^as treated at Athens-Limestone Hospital iind released, a hospital spokeswoman stiid. leftery Wade Cfoats Jr., 39. olT9135 Elkton Road died of severe head injuries after losing control of his motorcycle alxiut 10:55 p.m.. seven miles w'cst of Athens, according to a state tnxiper and the Limestone County coroner. Coats was an eleclrical maintenance man for ATI Wiih Chang, a specialty metals and chemicals company in Madison, hut he is remembered as a husband, father imd hunter. “He w’as my husband and he loved my daughter, Shana. ” said his wife, Donna. “She is a junior at Elk-mont High School. They loved to ride that motorcycle. He took her to the shooting nmge at Sw’an Creek. She liked to practice with dift’er-ent guns. He liked to hunt deer, tuikey and other animals.” Coats was driving his motorcycle along Baker Hill Road with passenger. /Misha Gee, 32, of/\thens, a relative of his brother, when the accident (X'cun'ed, the trixiper said. “He was headed north on Baker Hill Road and came on a curv'e and apparentlySee Fatality, page 3B ADEM: Latest xylene spill test results soon By K.\he:n Midi)IJ<:ix)n kiirciiiSuthrnsucw's-ixniriir.ixnn Mandy and Greg Thomas might not have long to wait for official water-test results from a jtylene spill in their neighborhood. The News Courier reported Tuesday that the couple, who have 40 head of Beefmaster cattle, have not gotten official word on whether the water in their pond is safe for their cattle to drink after a BP Amoco pipeline carrying jQ^lene fixim upper Indiana to Decatur ruptured across Alabama 99 from their farm six months ago. The spill released thousands of gallons of the chemical into the environment. • This week, Thomas reported seeing a filmy sheen on rivulets of water running through his cattle pasture. He said he’s afraid to sell his cattle until he knows if they have been contaminated. Ronald D. Rybarczyk, BP director of Government* fir Public Afiairs, said it was the company’s belief that the results of groundwater testing would be communicated direcdy to Thomas and other area formers fixim the state. “Ongoing sampling of the ponds has revealed only low levels of xylene, all within the standard for drinking water; these low levels would indicate that it is highly unlikely for the jtylene to create a sheen or film on the pond’s surfoce,” said Rybarczyk. “Both BP and ADEM (Alabama Department of Environmental Management) have sampled nearby private drinking water wells on separate occasions and none of the tests on drinking water wells has detected any xylene in the water. Any need for additional sampling of drinking water wells will be determined by ADEM.” ADEM spokesman Scott Hughes said three ponds have been sampled and a second round of groundwater testing finrn 10 to 12 wells installed throughout the general vicinity of the spill had been conducted this week. “Of the three ponds that were sampled, one showed a low concentration of xylene.” said Hughes. “.\nd that was below the drinking water standard for humans, which is 10 parts per million. I believe the j^lene in the pond was 4 to 7 parts per million. “As for as from an exposure jxith-way to the ponds, there should be noSee Xylene, page 3B Deployment ceremony set at ASU Friday rhe public is reminded to come out for a deplovinent ceremony for 80 members of the /Mhens-based 203rd Military Police Battalion at 4 p.m. Friday at Beasley Field at /Vthens State University before they leave for Iraq. The unit will undergo training Ix'fore heading to Iraq for R-ansition tnuiiing with Iraqi police. The battalion will depart from Huntsville International /Mrport Sunday. Maj. Rolxirt J. Cook, executive officer of the 203rd,See Deployment, page 3B ;