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THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2007

Athens parents asked to attend softball league meeting over All-Star selections

By Holly Hollman 340-2445

ATHENS — Parents upset over selections for the All-Stars 10-and-under softball team can voice complaints and question the association's board Thursday.

Athens Parks and Recreation Director Ben Wiley said the board will meet at 6 p.m. at Cowart Elementary's ball field.

Parents have called Wiley and Mayor Dan Williams about the board allegedly conducting two drafts to comprise the team, which resulted in some girls first making the All-Stars team and then hearing they did not.

"All (Wednesday) I've been trying to investigate what really took place," Wiley said. "Hopefully, that will all come out at the meeting."

Williams said he'll wait and see what Wiley and the meeting uncover before deciding what, if any action the city should take.

In January the mayor threatened to have the city take over running the recreation league after he received complaints that the league had been financially supporting the local travel ball organization, North Alabama Explosion. There also were complaints that travel ball games and practices interfered with league play.

Although it is a city league, a parent board currently runs the local association.

Parents with children who play for both entities denied the complaints were valid and said travel ball was self-sufficient and scheduled games around recreation ball.

Williams gave the city league's board a year to prove it can operate separately from travel ball.

"But I think this latest complaint may again be rec and travel ball related," Williams said.

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