Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - October 6, 2009, Athens, Alabama
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
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SubscribeConstruction to begin soon on event center
Improvements to new school intersection 2 weeks away
By Jean Cole
Construction workers will begin making safety improvements to the intersection in front of Blue Springs Elementary School in two weeks, an official said.
A subcontractor for Pearce Construction Co. of Huntsville will begin extending a drainage line under U.S. 72 West at Hardy Road then add right and left-hand turn lanes on both roads.
The improvements are aimed at making the intersection safer, both now and when the kindergarten-through-fifth-grade feeder school for Clements High School opens in June 2010.
The school’s architect, Jim Hartsell of Davis Architects, told Limestone County school board members during a meeting Monday that work on the school is back on schedule following heavy rain earlier this year.
“This has been some of the worst rain I have ever seen in North Alabama,” Hartsell said. “But we are right back on track for a June 2010 finish.”
Workers already have the roofs, brick and windows for the third-, fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms installed, and both parking lots are finished, he said.
Improvements to the intersection can’t begin soon enough for motorists. The stretch of U.S. 72 between Athens and the Lauderdale County line has nO median dividing the four-lane highway and no barriers. There are also few turn lanes along the stretch, which has contributed to frequent accidents along the roadway, including more than 30 deaths in 15 years.
The Alabama Department of Transportation has given the schools $220,000 toward the intersection work. ALDOT is
See School, page 2A
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By Karen Middleton
Construction will begin on the Limestone County Event Center as soon as county officials can secure a building permit from the city of Athens, according to a Cooper Construction manager.
Tommy Day, Cooper construction manager, will be on-site throughout the renovation of the old Pilgrim’s Pride warehouse. He said Monday some demolition work has begun, but actual construction cannot begin until officials get the permit.
The 18,000-square-foot warehouse is off Pryor Street adjacent
See Construction, page 2A
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Cooper Construction Manager Tommy Day looks over renovation plans to convert the old Pilgrim's Pride warehouse, in background, to the Limestone County Event Center.Visit us online
Man who shot Athens police officer and 2 sisters is sentenced to prison
By Jean Cole
)athensi]e\vs-a>urit‘r.a)m The Athens police officer who was shot while responding to a domestic incident last year said he spent a lot of time second-guessing himself but, mainly, considers himself fortunate.
“I was very lucky,” said Lt. Trevor Harris. “It missed all of the organs. And although it went through, it didn’t cause me any disability. I went back to work a couple of weeks later. Although it was uncomfortable, I’m glad to be here.”
Harris talked about the shooting following Monday’s sentencing of the shooter.
James “Patrick” Toney,
40, of 1716 Lucas St. in Athens pleaded guilty Monday morning to one count of attempted murder and two counts of first-degree assault in the case, said District Attorney Kristi Vails.
Limestone County Cir-cuit Judge Jimmy Woodroof Jr. sentenced Toney to 25 Lt. Trevor Harris years for shooting Harris plus two concurrent 20-year sentences for shooting
his former girlfriend, Stephanie Cosby, and her sister, Katie Cosby.
Both sisters were in agreement on the plea agreement and the sentences, Vails said.
“I was certainly satisfied with the sentences,” said Harris, who attended the sentencing along with his wife, Carol. •
Toney will be taken to Kilby Correctional Facility in Montgomery, Vails said.
Toney surrendered to Athens Police following the shooting.
See Shooting, page 3A
Clements Colts go for another region win
SPORTS, PAGE 1B
Batts speaks at NARFE meeting
VALLEY, PAGE 4A
Athens State University’s Gayle Davis presents the 2009 Fiddle Champion trophy to Adam French of Leitchfield, Ky., Saturday night at the 43rd Annual Tennessee Valley Old-Time Fiddlers Convention.
Junior fiddler takes win
Adam French won his first ever “Fiddle Champion” title at the 43rd annual Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention at Athens State University Saturday night.
French, of Leitchfield, Ky., won the title by winning the “fiddle off” which traditionally pits the top fiddlers from the junior and senior divisions. Wayne Jer-rolds, Savannah, Tenn., finished runner-up. French, who won the junior fiddle division, earned the convention’s top prize of $1,000.
The convention is sponsored by the
Athens State University Foundation and the Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce. The convention has contributed more than $500,000 to Athens State to fund student scholarships and university projects.
Here are complete results of convention competitions:
First place, Jim Kerims, Hartselle; second, Isaac Vick, Lyles, Tenn.; third, Ray
See Fiddlers, page 3A
French is ‘fiddle champ’