Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - May 16, 2009, Athens, Alabama
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TVA. to drop electric rates
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -The Tennessee Valley Authority will trim electric rates again on July 1, effectively erasing a huge boost approved last year to offset the high cost of coal and natural gas, officials said Friday.
It’s the third straight quarter the nation’s largest public utility has reduced its fuel cost adjustment charge as prices for gas and coal for its power plants continues to decline.
For an agency hit with a potential
$1 billion coal ash cleanup in Tennessee and a North Carolina court ruling that could force it to spend millions more on cleaner smokestacks, the action afforded a moment of “good news for ratepayers,” TVA President and Chief Executive Tom Kilgore said in a statement.
The latest reduction represents a 4.1 percent drop in wholesale power charges to TVA distributors serving some 8.7 million consumers in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and
It will mean a savings of $2 to $5 a month for the typical TVA residential customer, who now pays around $93 a month for an average 1,000 kilowatt hours of eleWricity, TVA spokesman Jim Allen said.
Friday’s announcement marks the last step in removing the largest component of a 20 percent overall rate increase that took effect Oct. 1, TVA’s largest single-year boost since the 1970s.
Of that 20 percent increase, 17
Having an Exceptional time
NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS
Alex Roberts of West Limestone, above, twirls a lasso above his head Friday while he eyes the prize - a wooden calf at the Limestone County Sheriff's Exceptional Rodeo.
Exceptional Rodeo is treat for kids with special needs
The Limestone County Sheriff’s Exceptional Rodeo offers people with special needs and others a chance to rope a calf, ride a bull and enjoy other modified rodeo events.
It was held Friday morning as part of the sheriff1 s 27th annual rodeo at the sheriff s arena off Alabama 99, northwest of Athens.
One participant, Luke Stutzman, 4 1/2, of East Limestone, took a shine to the pony rides, racking up six rides Friday, one on a Shetland pony named Billy, led by 2005 Miss Limestone Rodeo Queen Lillie Sledge of Killen.
When storms were predicted Friday afternoon, the crowd dispersed and deputies and other rodeo volunteers dropped and tied tents faster than professional calf ropers.
NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS
McKenzie Walton of West Limestone was glued to the wooden bull at the Exceptional Rodeo, returning repeatedly for rides after stopping briefly for a face painting. "I had a fun time here bull riding, roping a calf, riding a horse and getting my face painted blue and green," she said.
percent was tied to a fuel adjustment charge that can rise or fall depending on the price of fuel for TWA power stations and TVA’s cost of buying electricity from other utilities.
The remaining 3 percent was for fixed costs and added to the rate base.
TVA’s part-time board of directors approved the rates last year as part of TVA’s $12.6 billion budget for
See Rates, page 2A
Seibert: If quarry bills challenged, court order to be sought
By Jean Coi e
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Limestone County Commission Chairman David Seibert says he will seek a court order to stop work at the proposed quarry at Tanner if Rogers Group decides to challenge four laws passed to halt such operations.
Seibert said during a press conference Friday that he called Rogers Group Division Vice President Randy Butler Thursday and asked the company to cease operations at the site off Laughmiller Road. Butler said he would need until Monday to respond because he needed to consult with company officials.
“This quarry is in violation of all tour bills signed Monday by the governor,” Seibert said in a written statement he issued for the press conference. He said if Rogers Group doesn’t agree to cease work, he will file an injunction in Limestone County Circuit Court to stop it. If Rogers Group decides to challenge the four laws in court, Seibert said he believes he could get work stopped until the case was decided.
The four laws ban a new quany or a relocated quarry within 2 1/2 miles of a public school or the ro-
See Quarry, page ЗА
White doubtful Riley approves TVA payments
By Karen Middleton
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State Rep. Henry White, D-Athens, said Friday that a bill he cosponsored with a caucus of representatives from areas served by TVA that would put more money in local agencies’ coffers would not pass the governor.
Under existing law, 5 percent of the in-lieu-of-taxes payments made by TVA are distributed to dry counties and municipalities that are not served by TWA.
House Bill 637 would reduce that current distribution and increase payments to counties served by TVA.
See Payments, page ЗА
Tip leads to arrest of 2 men, recovery of missing property
By Jean Cole
A tip from a neighboring police department helped Limestone County authorities arrest two men and recover property missing from Cullman, Madison and Lawrence counties, an official said.
The Limestone County Sheriffs Department arrested Shawn Nicholas Ferguson, 35, of 9747 Lucas Ferry Road, Tanner, on a charge of second-degree receiving stolen property, and John Kaleb
Gillespie, 20, of 109 Blueberry Circle N.W., Decatur, on two counts of third-degree burglary, records show.
“Lt. Brad Cumutt and Investigator Jay Looney were working past burglaries and received information from Decatur Police that a person charged with burglary knew about our burglaries,” said Limestone County Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt. “The investigators interviewed the person at Decatur Police Department and ob
tained enough information to get a search warrant for a home on Lucas Ferry Road on Wednesday. They arrested Ferguson and found some property in his home that was stolen from Limestone County as well as property from Cullman County, Madison County and lawTence County, including a laptop computer, a guitar and two or three flat-screen TVs. That led to information that
See Burglary, page 2A