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The Tuskegee News
Tuskegee, Alabama
July 16, 2009     The Tuskegee News
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July 16, 2009

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c Photo by Jeff Thompson Notasulga Mayor Frank Tew. left and Macon County Commission Chairman Louis Maxwell, right, listen as Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) Director Joe Mclnnes speaks at an official ribbon cutting for a new bridge in Notasulga. After many delays Notasulga bridge back in operation By,JEFF THOMPSON Managing Editor Notasulga Mayor Frank Tew, who for years has vocally waned between feelings of frustration and under- standing when speaking'publicly on the subject of the town's downtown bridge, finally had the chance to sweep the issue under themat last week. "I've been giving bridge updates for five years and one month no.w," he said to a crowd during the official opening of the bridge Wednesday, July 8. "And finally I have a .good one to tell people. The bridge is 'open!" The 20-minute grand opening cer'e- mony was mostly business as state and local officials joined Notasulga citizens at a podium in the parking lot of the town's volunteer fire department. Speakers during the event included Tew, Alabama District 82 Representative Pebblin Warren and Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) Director (See BRIDGE, P. A-6) Clarissa Black Lee reaches century milestone Photo by Jacquelyn Carlisle 100-Year-Old Clarissa Black Lee Works on quilt at RSVP Center By JACQUELYN CARLISLE Community News Editor She came from the red prairie dirt of Perry County in East Alabama Where acres of land with cattle, hogs, corn, chickens, ducks, fruit orchards and the mighty cot-, ton were farmed• But Clarissa Black Lee was not going to be one that worked the land all of her life. No, the quiet and soft-spoken lady left that area to accomplish great achievements- -living to be 100 years old aft*er a career in education. "My parents had plans for us," said Mrs. Lee. "My brother and I were to get an education•" It'was still rare for Black Americans to become educated in the early 1900s. Mrs. Lee was born July 13, 1909 to Rev• James Black and Henrietta Lee Black in Uniontown in Perry County. It must have been in the stars for Lee to attend college• Out of the 29 students that graduated with her from high school, she was class valedictorian. "It was something. I had to write a speech and then give it at gradu- ation," said Mrs. Lee. She couldn't locate a picture she has of her in the center of her (See CENTURY, P. A-6) Commissioners hear complaints about roads By JACQUELYN CARLISLE Community News Editor Changing its meetings to 6:30 p.m. from 10 a.m. on the second Monday of each month was one of the first decisions the current Macon County Commission made. The reason was to give citizens more opportunities to address the commission• Citizens have respond- ed. especially at the Monday, July 13 meeting when they came by car loads. During a very crowded meeting at the commission chambers across from the Macon County Courthouse, several citizens com- plained about road conditions in the county• The Ellis brothers from the Town of Shorter spoke about the roads in • Tysonville Community. "Something needs to be done on County Road 97," said Jimmy Ellis. "The roads (Johnston Road, Bank McDade Road and Ellis Drive) need to be chip sealed and the trees cut back•" His brother, John, added that County Road 97 needs to be striped• "I do not want to be as long as my brother," John teased Jimmy, "but I do want to add the road to the Prairie Farm Center. It has deep holes in the driveway that need to be fixed." Citizen after citizen addressed commissioners about roads in other areas in the county that needed to be brought to their attention. "We are aware of most of your complaints," stated Chairman'Louis Maxwell• "And we will do what we can to address these concerns.". The commission can not take offi- cial action on citizens concerns dur- ing a meeting, unless they are on the agenda. However, the commis- sion equested county engineer (See COMMISSION, P. -6) • Photo by Jacquelya Carlisle Drowning victims mourned, remembered at funerals Family and friends of three Macon County men who apparently drowned in a Macon County pond while• fishing on Monday, July 6 gathered as the three were laid to rest Sunday and Monday in touching services. The funeral for Gregory "Big Show" Levett was held Sunday, July 12, at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church• A double service for Calvin Bell and Huey "Moon" Bennett was conducted Monday, July 13 from the Tuskegee University Chapel• Bennett was Bell's uncle. Bell was also the brother of Sgt. Aubrey Bell, the only military person from Macon County killed in the Iraqi War. Sgt: Bell died in action on Oct. 27, 2003 in Baghdad. Shown above is a scene from the double serv- ice for Bennett and Bell (flowers on his casket). Macon County coroner Hal Bentley believes the cause of deaths for the three is from drown- ing, but fs waiting on an official cause of death to be determined by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences. See complete obituary information on Bennett, Bell and' Levett on Page A-3 of today's Tuskegee News. Utilities Board members salaries increase based on opinion from AG By GUY RHODES Editor and Publisher Using guidelines addressed in an opinion from the Alabama Attorney General's office, members of the Utilities Board of Tuskegee (UBT) have approved pay increases for themselves. For several years board members have received as little as $50 a meeting, not to exceed $100 a month for annual pay of $1,200• The pay Schedule was the same for all members--three who are appointed and two elected. All serve four-year terms to run concurrently withterms Of Tuskegee City Council members. The Attorney General (AG) opinion dated May 6, 2009 dealt with three issues resulting from Macon County voters approval of a Constitutional Amendment on Nov. 4, 2008• The May 6 opinion outlined pay options for board members, deter- mined who can vote in UBT elections and how elected members of the board are to replaced in the event of a vacancy. The opinion stated the board's three appointed (See UBT SARIES, P. A-6) [_ .... if, tl| tm , Rll : ilill lllllllIllll:llllNIlllll Ilitlt III Illl Htlllllrll]ll llillll ,lt,,,l, il., i "l ,[ 'i ,l .....