Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - October 1, 2009, Athens, Alabama
GM to shut down Saturn after Penske walks away PAGE 8AThe News CourierServing Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future
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'Do what we do'
Auburn buys into slogan of new football coach Gene Chizik -and it's working for undefeated Tigers as they prepare to face Tennessee Vols Saturday in Knoxville.
SPORTS, PAGE IB
Health care focus on abortion
Senate panel rejects bid to strengthen antiabortion measure, threatening support for overhaul.
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Charles Abies Jewell Bennett Oscar Edmonds Bettie Forte Ellen Lobue Pauline Pressnell Esther Smith Bobby Joe Solomon
7 69847 00001
DOC to release report
Corrections officials will not appeal court ruling on Barksdale lawsuit
From St ail and wire reports
MONTGOMERY- State prison officials said Wednesday they will not seek further court review and will release reports about inmate assaults and the death of a prisoner convicted of killing two Athens police officers.
Prisons spokesman Brian Corbett said attorneys assisting the Alabama Department of Corrections recommended that prison
officials not ask the Supreme Court to rehear the case.
The Supreme Court ruled Sept. 18 that corrections officials had to make public internal reports on inmate assaults at Donaldson Correctional Facility and from the probe of the death of inmate Farron Barksdale in 2007. Barksdale died after being found comatose in his cell at Kilby Correctional Facility near Montgomery. He was transferred to
Kilby to serve a life term for killing two Athens police officers in 2004.
His mother, Mary Barksdale, has settled a wrongful death lawsuit she filed against the state contending that excessive heat, coupled with anti-psychotic drugs he was taking, led to her son’s collapse. She received $750,000 in the settlement. However, she still sought access to records about her son’s death.
Her attorney was pleased with the DOC’s decision.
“We think it is the right decision, and we look forward to the Department of Corrections complying with the order to open the records,’’ said Jake Watson of Huntsville. “We think it benefits the Barksdale family, the community of Athens and the community of citizens in the state.’’
lee DOC, page ЗА
Spooks get the boot
Organizers of the Goodsprings Haunted House, some of the residents of which are seen here from past Halloweens, learned this week from the State Fire Marshal the popular October attraction for the last 27 years will have to close because it doesn't meet codes.
Fire marshal puUuig plug on Goodsprings Haunted House
By Kakfn Miudlfton
This Halloween season there are real ghostbusters about and they’re not the funny ones from the movies either.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office has pulled the plug on a 27-year-tradition in the Goodsprings community by saying organizers can no longer operate the wildly popular Goodsprings Haunted House.
The state says the turn-of-the-century farmhouse on Persimmon Tree Road that has been the scene of thousands of young folks being deliciously traumatized for nearly 30 years has numerous code violations, among which is no fire suppression system and outdated wiring.
But, gosh, it looks so darn scary that organizers hate to give up the old place. According to the
See Haunted, 3A
Officials believe man found in Ardmore, Tenn., business, died of heart attack; autopsy pending
An Ardmore, Ala., man found dead in an Aid-more, Tenn., business likely suffered a heart attack, an oflBcial said Wednesday.
Bobby Jpe Solomon, 58, an automobile salesman who owned his own business, was found in the men’s room of the Last Chance tavern about 5 a.m. Tbesday, an official said.
The business is located off Pleasant Hill Road, just over the Alabama border with Tennessee.
Officials do not suspect foul play.
“Tbey believe he had a heart attack,” said William “Doc” Oliver, police diief in Ardmore, Ala. “Tliey sent his body to Nashville for an autop^ by the state medical examiner.”
Oliver declined to name the victim but a tavern employee said it was Solomon.
Because the death was unattended, agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Ardmore Police Officer Тепу Johnson are investigating.
The funeral for Solomon will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Ardmore Chapel Funeral Home in Ardmore, Ala. Wsitation will be from 6 to 9 toni^t at the funeral home.
Solomon was bom Aug. 6,1951, in Elkmont and was married to Wanda Pressnell Solomon. See page 2A for the frill obituary.
— Jean Cole
Council backs off plans for city hall
By Karen Middi.fton
karen(S at hensnews-courier.com After being ready Monday to approve an architect for the construction of a new municipal building, the Athens City Council abruptly changed course Wednesday, saying they would wait one to three years for the project.
The plan started to come undone at Monday night’s council meeting when in a work session before the regular meeting Councilman Harold Wales asked that an agenda item to approve an architect be tabled for further consideration because he had received a telephone call that caused him some concern about Council President Ronnie Marks’ recommendation of the Decatur firm of Godwin Barnett.
“I would like to delay this for two weeks until I can check something out,” said Wales.
Marks said the firm would not have been “invited to the table” if it hadn’t checked out.
“We invited four to the table and I think all of them did excellent presentations,” said Marks. “If they were not good we wouldn’t have invited them. This is not an easy decision, but if we are to move forward with this then we need to get started.”
On August 24, the council met in a work session with the architectural firms of Krebs Architecture of Birmingham; Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood of Birmingham and Huntsville; CMH JVc-
See Council, page 6A
Low suction shuts down Unit 2 reactor
ATHENS (AP) - A reactor at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant was shut down Tuesday after a pump iailed, which caused cooling water to drop to a level that was too low for the unit to continue operating.
’The reactor was at 100 percent power at the time of the shutdown.
Workers were trying to determine what caused the pmblem inside Unit 2, said plant spokesman Craig Beasley.
OperatorTs manually shut down the reactor while it was operating at full power late Tuesday, according to a report filed with the Nuclear Regulatory C’ommission.
Water that’s used to cool the reactor dropped more than 50 inches because of the pump problem, according to the report, but Beasley said the nuclear fuel rods never were ejqx3sed because the unit contains “several hundred” inches of water.
“Those units have tremendous operating margins,” he said.
Other pumps were used to return the reactor water to normal levels.
The reactor, which went into commercial operation in 1975, will remain shut down until workers determine the cause of the suction loss.