The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

January 29, 2014

'Fig' Newton retires from District 3 crew

By Kim West

— Jerry “Fig” Newton doesn’t have any big plans for his retirement, which is effective Feb. 1 after 15 years as a level-3 equipment operator for Limestone County’s District 3.

Newton, who was presented a retirement certificate from District 1 Commissioner Gary Daly during Wednesday’s County Commission work session, laughed when asked if he would sleep in after reporting to work by 7 a.m. each day for the past “15 years and one month.”

“I automatically wake at 4 a.m. every day,” Newton said. “I’m not planning to do anything except grow a garden.”

Newton said he intends to grow “just about anything” and share his harvest with his father, while canning or freezing the remainder of the garden crops.

“He’ll be 90 by the time the garden’s ready so I’m going to set him in a chair overlooking it and let him watch (during the harvest),” he said.

When Bill Latimer was elected as District 3 commissioner, he changed Newton from a temporary worker to a full-time employee for the county.

“He worked out really well for the county, and we’ll miss him,” Latimer said.

Latimer, who is not running for re-election, said there are no immediate plans to fill the vacancy, and will evaluate whether he needs to hire another equipment operator before the next commissioner takes office in January 2015.