Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - May 28, 2009, Athens, Alabama
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Thursday, May 28, 2009
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New City Hall in future
By Karfn Middleton [email protected]
A new City Hall is likely in Athens’ future. Wednesday, Athens City Council President Ronnie Marks said the refinancing of a 1999 $4.5 million bond issue to get lower rates and the borrowing of $5 million in new money would allow the city to replace the 50-yeai*-old City Hall.
Athens Police and the Public Works Department have both moved out of the City Hall.
The city also approved refinancing a $3,305 million 1999 bond issue for Athens City Schools and borrowing $5.5 in new money. City Board of Education member James Lucas said the new money for schools is not specifically targeted for any one thing but a list of needs.
On the municipal side, money will also go toward building a new fire station No. 3 in Martin Luther King Jr. Industrial Park off Roy Long Road. No. 3 is now lo
cated off Lucas Ferry Road in the base of a water tank, which leaks and is crowded.
Athens water and sewer customers will be paying higher rates to help pay off the debt service on building a new wastewater treatment plant. The council approved rate increases for potable water and sewer service. Minimum use customers, of which there are
about 1.600 in a system serving 9,600, will pay $1.96 more per month, hut average-use customers, who are using about 6,000 gallons per month, should see an increase of $4.60 for combined water and sewer, according to Water/Wastewater Department Manager John Stockton.
Athens Square upgrade
See City Hall, page 3A
What rival principals will meet on the links?
See which local high school chiefs will have a battle on the golf course - all for charity, of course
SPORTS, PAGE 2B
No, a local convict and the inmate he escaped with are still on the lam
VALLEY, PAGE 4A
Winners of a talent show that included kids from all county schools
VALLEY, PAGE 4A
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to cut 30
By Jean Cole
jean nlhens new's-courier.com
A year of disappointing tax collections statewide will force Limestone County Schools to cut about 30 teachers heading into the new school year.
“It’s just a sad and unfortunate situation but it is what it is,” said Limestone County school board Member Bryant Moss.
The cuts will save about $1.87 million in a year when schools statewide have had to cut their budgets because state funding for schools came in lower than expected — also known as proration.
School officials arrived at 30 by first cutting all first- and second-year teachers, first- and second-year non-certified employees and all year-onlv staffers. Then they will transfer 18 teachers from the disbanded Reading Initiative program into various teacher openings. They will also transfer most of the 14 employees from soon-to-close Reid Elementary School. Finally, they will rehire the bulk of those it fired Wednesday minus the 30.
School board members began the process Wednesday by voting to essentially fire 179 employees, including 80 teachers, 74 staffers ranging from bus drivers to instruction aides, and 25 temporary or year-onlv employees.
“The bulk of them will be rehired over the summer,” said Assistant Superintendent Mike Owens.
Some will be rehired at the June 2 board meeting, Owens said. The bulk will be rehired at the June 22 board meeting, he said.
The rest will be rehired at one of
See Teachers, page 2A
3 charged in drug bust
Three Athens residents are facing charges in connection with a drug bust in Limestone County, an official said.
Limestone County Sheriff’s drug investigators arrested the two men and one woman Tuesday and charged each w ith first-degree manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, said Limestone County Chief Investigator Stanley Mc-Natt. The first two charges are felonies and the third is a misdemeanor.
Those charged include Randall De-wayne Bivens, 35,of 18129 Hightower Road; Patrick Orion Dildine, 33; and Beverly Shea Ziegler, 29, both of 9911 U.S. 72 West, Lot 3.
Each was being held in the Limestone County Jail in lieu of posting a $6,0(X) bond, records show.
— jean Cole
The Boss Hill stew is a Limestone County May tradition and a place-to-be-seen for candidates on election years. This year, rainy weather delayed the stew until Wednesday. While there were few politicians lining up for a bowl of chicken or goat stew, locals came out to enjoy a bowl while the sun shown. Above, Andy Davis stirs a pot of stew while Jimmy Cox waits to ladle out a couple of bowls. At right, Boss Hill wears a cap with his name so everyone will know he is the one and only “Boss.”
Attorney: Motion for new trial for Jamal Woods 'procedural'
Still the boss
By Karen Middleton [email protected]
Defense attorney Alan Mann said the motion for a new trial for convicted murderer Jamal Woods is a procedural move destined to get the case before an appeals court, which is the legal right of defendants convicted of a capital crime.
Jamal Woods could have been sentenced to death for the Dec. 17, 2006, shooting deaths of Athens men Tanqueray “Tank” Beavers and Thurston Turner and the seri
ous wounding of two others in TGI Friday’s, but instead he received life plus 119 years in the penitentiary.
The 24-year-old Woods was convicted of capital murder in February.
The motion was filed Tuesday, 12 days after Woods’ sentencing. Mann said the filing would be the last official act of his firm.
“Typically, the trial judge will deny the motion and then it will
See Woods, page 3A
Delayed but not stopped