Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Athens News Courier

Location: Athens, Alabama

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - January 25, 2005, Athens, Alabama Above and beyond    ^    County tourney action Two Athens City School teachers are    It 'M    Limestone County basketball tournament honored as this year’s best    Jflk    /M    .    gets    under    way    at    Elkmont    High    IB The News-Cou Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future Tuesday, January 25, 2005    enewscotirier.com Index Classified..... . .4-7B Comics...... . . .8B Ledger ...... ... .7A Farm........ ...6A Movie Listing .. . . .ЗА Obituaries____ . . .2A Shelley Monique Brunner Mable Odell Norton Ruby Lee Thompson Sports ....... 1-3B Daily Bible Moment tongue is a little member' ancl boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles. y См»" James 3:5 îiimedene ftinf)?! 322 Hwv. 31 \* Athens 256-232-1051 Obit line 256-771-0934 69847 00001 Hey, Sound Off: The comments made by a member of our water board simply pour salt on an open sore: “...our primary source of income comes from costumer rev- Bible School opposes sell of alcohol at Minute Man Work begins on U.S. 72 •    News-C'ourier/Amanda    Siniard State Department of Transportation workers temporarily block U.S. 72 Monday in preparation for work to begin today on Swan Creek Bridge. Eastbound traffic will merge into the westbound lanes while work is completed over the next several months, according to the local Emergency Management Agency. Drivers are asked to use caution in the area. 1 officer suspended, 1 cleared Members of Oak Grove CME Church recall the church’s history as they prepare to move into a new phase. Wednesday Chief declines to name officers accused of sexual misconduct By Sonny Ti rner sonny@athensnews-courier.com One officer was suspended for 10 days without pay Monday and another was cleared of any wrongdoing by Athens Police Chief Wayne Harper, who ended a two-month investigation of sexual misconduct in the department. Harper did not identify the officers saying that doing so would “hinder or interfere with their effectiveness to do their jobs.” He said three officers involved in the internal investigation denied being involved. One officer, Lt. Lee Kennemer. resigned from the force last week. He identified himself to the media as one of the officers being investigated, but said he was innocent. Harper said Monday “evidence was there” against the officer who is faced with the 10-day suspension. But the chief added the investigation showed no evi dence the third officer was involved. The investigation began after four women accused the three officers of having sex with them while on duty. They say the officers offered them favors and money for sex. “Our investigation shows that we had only one incident that actually occurred here in the jail and that involved one woman and one officer.” the chief said. “All the cases were not the same and not all of the accusations involved the jail.” Harper said the investigation showed the suspended officer was involved with one woman on two different occasions. But he said it occurred while the officer was in uniform. Harper said the decision was his, and Mayor Dan Williams concurred. Kennemer, who resigned a week ago, is 110 longer an employee and there will be no personnel action taken against him. Harper said. Kennemer said the accusations against him and the two other officers came from four women he described as women who police have arrested numerous times for drugs, alcohol and theft. He said some have been involved in prostitution. “It's retaliation against me because I did not allow this one female to sign her own bond while she was in jail.” Kennemer said. “She got mad at me about that and she brought the others in and they started making these sexual accusations." enue and government grants.” The revenue being referred to is dollars directly from out of my pocket and you would think that the board would be very sensitive to how "our” money is being thrown out. Also, where does the board member think the money for grants is being generated? If the water board real- By Tanjie Nash tanjie@athensnews-couner. com The Forrest Street parking lot entrance to Minute Man convenience store lies 60 feet from the edge of the Athens Bible School playground. At least that’s the measurement ABS coach Bill Murrell cited Monday night in addressing the Athens City Council. Murrell was just one of several ABS parents and faculty members who attended Monday’s meeting in opposition to a request from The Spencer Companies for licensing that would permit the sell of alcohol at the Minute Man See Alcohol, Page 3A Residents hope petitions will keep hospital rehab unit open BY S<)NNY Tl RNER sonmia athensnews-couricr.com Petitions containing the signatures of more than 500 residents will be presented to the Athens-Limestone Hospital Board urging the board to keep the hospital Cardiac-Pulmonary Rehab Unit. “We understand that consideration is being given to close this unit as it allegedly duplicates facilities at the Wellness Center.” the petition states. “Such is not the case. This unit is a rehabilitation unit utilized by cardiac and pulmonary patients whereas basically healthy people use the Wellness Center.” Part of the cardiac pulmonary rehabilitation at the hospital is being transferred this spring to two area wellness centers, said Andy Jackson, the hos- See Hospital, Page 2A Woman charged with using steak knife on husband Bv Sonny Tt rner sonnvta athensncws-couricr.com A 34-year-old Athens woman was arrested Sunday, accused of stabbing her husband in the right arm with a six-inch steak knife. Angela Gallegos, of 17919 West Washington St., Athens, was arrested and charged with second-degree assault. Police said she stabbed her husband Florencio Perez Gallegos, 39, during a fight between the two. “She said her husband came home angry and claims he was choking her when she grabbed the knife and stabbed him,” said Lt.-Detective Floyd Johnson. “But he tells a different story,” Johnson said “claiming that she stabbed him while they were at the kitchen table having coffee.” Johnson said police have not yet determined why the two were arguing, but the investigation was continuing Monday. Perez was taken to Athens-Limestone Hospital by ambulance and was listed in stable condition, police said. The incident was reported to investigators at 2:59 p.m. Sunday. Second-degree assault is a felony offense, Johnson said. Oak Grove CME ly feels that the number of complaints is “infinitesimal,” then let The News-Courier do a survey of their readers and find out what the people in Limestone County really think about this board. More Sound Off Valley, 5A Principal asking to be transferred from Brookhill due to sickness City schools superintendent says school is free of mold By Sonny Tirner sonnytg athensnews-coiiricr.com Brookhill Elementary Principal Janet Poole is requesting to be transferred because she says Brookhill may be hazardous to her health, school officials said Monday. Athens City School Superintendent Dr. Orman Bridges said Poole wants out of Brookhill because the principal believes something in the school is making her sick. “I don't know' what it is, but yes something in that building is affecting me.” Poole said Monday. “When I go in there, two minutes later I’m sick. When I leave and go home it seems to get better.” Bridges said some believe the problem causing Poole's illness is mold. But Bridges said a mold analysis of the building shows it to be mold free. “The last two (tests) we've conducted out See Brookhill, Page 3A Get the news with your morning coffee Subscribe to The Netvs-Conrier Songs of the Golden Age The Golden Age Band entertains visitors Monday at the Athens Senior Center. Above, Gilbert George, Kathleen Carr, Charles Compton, James Miller and Ray Wolfe delight listeners. At right, James Miller plays his guitar and sings. The band regularly performs at local senior centers. News-Courier Kim Rvnders mm