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Athens News Courier Newspaper Archive: February 24, 2005 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - February 24, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 The dream ends    ,„u    o    r    lay  Rattlers lose late and are eliminated at    Newspaper    for    kids:    Find    games,    puzzles    and  Hanceville    jg    interesting    facts    on    today’s    MiniPage    12A  The News-Courier  Child’s Play  Newspaper for kids: Find games, puzzles and interesting facts on today’s MiniPage 12A  TiiiJRSDw, Fkbkuarv 24, 2005  SERvrNG Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future  enewscourier.com  50 (inis  What’s cookin’?  By 6 every morning, Suzanne Schrimsher is hard at work cooking breakfast: a few dozen sausage balls, pans of cinnamon rolls, muffins — whatever strikes her fancy. She shares a few recipes as Cook of the Week  9A  MCff  Hey, Sound Off:  Recently there was an article addressing the fact that Wal-Mart on US. 72 needs a traffic light. 1 do not agree with this suggestion since U.S. 72 is becoming too congested with traffic lights. There is already a traffic light at the U.S. 31 and U.S. 72 intersection and now people want another one at the entrance to Wal-Mart, which is about 50 yards apart. Plus the fact that there is already a traffic light at the other entrance, do we really need three lights within 200 yard stretch? Soon U.S. 72 will become exactly like the Beltline in Decatur where you constantly stop and go and are forced to wait at least five minutes on a light Just to cross the street.  More Sound Off, Valley, 5A  Get the news with your morning coffee  Subscribe to The Neu's-Courier  232-2720  Index     Classified......    4-7B      Comics.......    8B      Business......    11A      Ledger .......    7A      Movie Listing ..    ЗА      Obituaries.....    2A      Thomas Bailey      Opal Christine Chambers      Sports ........    1-3B     Daily Bible Moment  Hessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  y  ''H', Can  Psalm 32:1  ШшШч(е Шф!  322 Hwv. 31 N‘.Athens 256-232-IOSI Obit line2.A6-77l-09.34  7    69847*00001  Hit-and-run driver stiii unknown  Police checking out tips, possible leads in Monday night death  Bv Sonny Turnkr  ^ sonny@alhensnew s-couner. com Athens police were still searching Wednesday for the driver of a hit-and-run vehicle that struck and killed a Decatur man Monday night near Tanner.  “We've received a few tips — mostly from people who think they may have seen the vehicle and tag numbers and we are running those possible leads down,” said Lt.-Detective Floyd Johnson. “We even blocked off portions of U.S. 31 South near where it happened Tuesday night looking at several different vehicles that fit the profile.” Royce Dale Ramsey, 42, of Harrison Street Southeast, Decatur, was killed. Investigators said he was riding his  bicycle on his way to visit his wife who lived in Tanner when he was hit. His body was found in the ditch on the northbound lane in front of Lawson's Trailer Park. The bicycle was in the ditch a few feet from the body.  Ramsey and his wife, Angie, were separated said Limestone County Coroner Mike West. She lived in the Tanner community and he lived in an apartment complex. He was a father and worked at Phase II Electric in Decatur. Investigators were told that Ramsey often used his bicycle for transportation.  A passerby telephoned authorities at 11:20 p.m. Monday advising that he had spotted a body in the ditch in front of the trailer park. Johnson said when emergency  crews arrived on the scene they found the body. West said Ramsey died at the scene of massive head injuries.  “We're looking for the driver and the vehicle that struck him. Judging from the paint left on the bicycle it appears the vehicle that struck him is red and it may have the right front turn signal broken out.”  “We don't know what happened " Johnson said. “At this point we're not sure if someone just ran over him and didn't stop or that they struck him and got scared and ran away or that they hit him and didn't know it. Apparently it was foggy down there and it had been raining.”  Police said Ramsey was riding a blue bicycle. He was wearing a silverish colored rainsuit with a ball cap.  Wreck near Swan Creek  News-Courier/Kim Renders  A Chevrolet Tahoe slammed into an Alabama Department of Transportation truck around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Witnesses said the driver, Edgar Hernandez of North Carolina, was weaving on U.S. 31 north of Swan Creek Bridge just before he crashed into the DOT vehicle. Hernandez was removed from the vehicle and placed onto a stretcher by rescue workers while two DOT employees received treatment for injuries sustained in the wreck.  Tahoe slams DOT truck  B\ N.anca Gl.\ss(ock  nancv@athensne\\'s-conrier.com  Two Alabama Department of Transportation employees and the driver of a late model sports utility vehicle were injured Wednesday morning after a collision on U.S. 31 north of Swan Creek Bridge at about 10:30 a.m.  Athens Police said witnesses told  them the driver of the Tahoe didn’t slow down before slamming into the DOT truck the two employees were riding in.  “Apparently, from witnesses, the guy was all over the road” said Athens Police Officer Greg Lott.  The names of the two DOT employees or the extent of their injuries were not available at press  time.  An Alabama State Trooper spokesman said Edgar Hernandez of North Carolina was the driver of the Tahoe. Rescue workers put Hernandez onto a stretcher after the wreck. No other information on Hernandez's condition was available at press time.  See DOT truck. Page 3A  Teenager  arrested  for lying to police  H\ SONNA TlRNER  souuy(ii atlmisnew's-courier.com A 15-year-old Athens boy has been arrested by Athens police, accused of lying to officers about his mother's car being stolen.  “We finally got the true story out of him and he was lying all along." said Athens police Lt.-Detective Floyd Johnson. “He was lying because he was afraid to tell his mother that he was playing around and ended up totalling her car.”  The teenager vsas charged Wednesday vMth false reporting to law enforcement officers I le has been tumed over to Limestone County juvenile authorities for prosecution.  Johnson said investigators have determined the teenager, who told his mother he was showing the car to a friend uho wanted  See Lying, Page 2A  Two injured in kitchen fire  Ba Pun Willis  phiK^aihcnsnews-coiirier.com A Limestone County' couple warmed up more than supper W’ednesday night when a grease fire broke out in their kitchen.  The Pleasant Grove Volunteer Fire Department identified the victims as Brandon Finley, 27, and wife Sherry, 26, of 19717 Temperance Oak Road. According to  See Fire, Page 2A  City closed five roads Wednesday  B\ TaSHIA LoV ELI. tushia@athensne\\'s-couher.com  It’s a routine job but it could be an inconvenience.  “This is work we have to do,” said Athens Utilities spokesperson Ava Gilbert.  Four roads were closed Wednesday due to maintenance work and another road was shut down to repair storm damage from Monday’s severe weather.  According to Gilbert the road closings were released in case emergency vehicles had to travel those routes. Emergency workers could then use a different route in case of an emergency.  The Athens Water Department closed Fifth Street from Grace Avenue to Levert Avenue and Coleman Avenue from Fourth Street to Sixth Street.  According to Athens Utilities spokesman John Stockton, the city had a crew in the area of Fifth Street and Grace Avenue replacing a water valve and adding three new valves.  “We have very few valves in these old sections of town,” he said.  See Roads closed. Page 2A  News-Courier Kim Rynders  Workers were still busy Wednesday repairing utility poies that snapped and feli to the ground Monday on Lucas Ferry Road.  Hail damage claims coming in after storm  B\ Tashia L()\ ell  tasliiu(a athensncws-couner.com  The sight of hail falling .Monday afternoon was an unusual sight for area residents.  But some won’t soon forget it.  Chief Meteorologist Brad Travis with WAFF 48 News said that according to official reports nickel to quarter size hail fell in Limestone County Monday and that golf ball size hail fell in Madison County.  Some golf ball size hail could have fallen near the Limestone/ Madison County line, according to Travis.  And now some residents have unwanted proof that the storm did produce hail.  According to Tom Murphy, agency field consultant for State Farm Insurance, the insurance agency received hail damage claims on 50 homes in Limestone and Lauderdale Counties as of Wednesday afternoon.  There have been 114 automobile claims due to hail damage in the two counties that were reported to State Fann.  An employee with Martin & Hubbs insurance company in Athens said Wednesday that they could only think of one automobile claim in the area.  There has been some minor home damage See Damage, Page 2A   

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