Friday, March 4, 2005

Athens News Courier

Location: Athens, Alabama

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - March 4, 2005, Athens, Alabama Good luck liyP Golden Eagles state Final Four ПеМе today in Birmingham s-Cmrier Гкпш, Млксн 4, 2005 Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future enen scourier.coni 50 Cents Ride ’em cowboy ШШГ‘' Young brothers becoming avid horsemen, starting with ‘stick pony’ races Horse Sense, 7A mm Hey, Sound Off: Hats off to the Athens Post Office. Just about every day as 1 go by, there is a young woman out picking up litter from their property. The. Post Office always looks neat and clean. Thank you to all our businesses that take such pride in their establishments. If all businesses and residents followed this example, our entire city would look more inviting, and we would all benefit. More Sound Off Valley, 5A Get the news witli your morning coffee Subscribe to The News Courier 232-2720 i index ^Classified .. . 3-7B IComics....... 8B Religion...... 9-11A Movie Listing ... 8A Ledger ....... 2A Obituaries..... 2A Thurman “Sonny” Beegle Sports ....... 1-2B Daily Bible Moment urely goodness and mercy s^llfollow me all the days of my ItfB: and / will du>ell in the hbiise oj the Lord fomver. Psalm 23:6 ne %haj>el 322 Hwv.31 N* Athens 256-232-1051 Obit line 256-771-0034 69847 00001 Brookhill parents want out Group claims school source of kids’ illness; hope to make temporary move to church Bv Kei.ly Kazek kelhicdathemnews-conrier.com Several parents at a meeting at Brookhill Elementary School want to move students into temporary housing at a local church immediately because they say the school is causing their children to have nose bleeds, headaches and fungal rashes. “I think it’s time we were moved out,” said Brenda Gail Boyd a member of a committee formed to help solve the environmental mystery plaguing the school. “You may have people start taking their children out anyway.” Boyd was addressing Barry Hamilton, who represented the Athens City School Board at the parent meeting. The parents’ meeting was held at the same time as a called school board meeting. Hamilton said he would pass along parents’ concerns to Superintendent Dr. Orman Bridges. Parents said the church offered use of its facilities as a temporary measure to keep Brookhill’s 220 students in school for the remaining 12 weeks of the school year. Brookhill’s students were housed at the church temporarily in 2(X)0 when mold detected at the school was thought to be the cause of student’s illnesses. However, if students are moved this time, it’s possible they may not ever return to Brookhill. See Brookhill, Page 6A Officials: Consider other sources before labeling lealth issues ‘epidemic’ B^ KELt.v Kazek kelly@athensne\\s-couner.com Parents say the number of children who are sick at Brookhill Elementary School is too high and worry something in the air is making them sick. But two health officials say parents should consider all possible sources before considering health issues at the school “epidemic.” See ‘Epidemic,’ Page 6A Church backs off parking plan Bv Phil Willis phil(ajathensne\vs-courier.com Lindsay Lane Baptist Church has “no desire to pursue” controversial plans to purchase land in a neighboring subdivision to convert into a parking lot to serve future growth of the denomination, according to the Rev. Dusty McLemore, long-time pastor there. A large crowd of residents from the East Hampton Subdivision just north of tiie church turned out to protest the proposed construction during the Monday night meeting of the Athens City Council. McLemore blamed a lack of communications for the contretemps. “No one contacted us to get any information about our plans,” he said. “But the plan was no secret. We just completed the plan a month ago and it has been presented to our congregation and approved. Copies of it have been available in our foyer for a month. I had no idea people would get so upset.” McLemore said he only learned of the planned protest around lunchtime Monday, when a Huntsville television crew contacted him to find out See Church plan, Page 6A News-Courier/Phil Willis Dusty McLemore, senior pastor of Lindsay Lane Baptist Church, is anxious to meet with neighboring residents upset about church expansion pians to ensure the homeowners nothing wili be done against their wishes. State offers $5,000 reward in murder case Bv Sonny Turner sonnv@athensnews-courieKcom Gov. Bob Riley has notified Limestone County District Attorney Kristi Vails that the state is offering a $5,000 reward in connection with the Jan. 29 execu-tion-style murder of 32-year-old Andres Flores Galicia. Limestone County Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt said Thursday the governor posted the reward after the DA requested it last week. McNatt said investigators still have no solid leads or a suspect in the slaying. Authorities said it appears, though, that robbery was not the motive for the killing because when Galicia was found dead in a ditch off Mooresville Road he had money in his pockets. The $5,000 reward is for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved in the killing. In addition, the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department is offering a “substantial reward” for similar infonnation, McNatt said. Galicia, of 1208 Broadus Ave. S.E., Decatur, was shot execution-style on the outside of his vehicle and it is likely he fell into the ditch where his body was later found. A preliminary autopsy on the body shows that Galicia was shot three times in the head at close range, apparently with a .45 caliber handgun, McNatt said. Investigators believe Galicia drove to Mooresville Road got out of his vehicle and was shot to death. When a deputy found his vehicle it was still running. Dunk it Rich News-Courier/Kim Rynders Athens High School senior Maggie Carter will be among the students attending today’s state Final Four in Birmingham. She will probably have her “Dunk It Rich” sign with her as she cheers on the Golden Eagles. “Rich” refers to AHS superstar Richard Hendrix. Poole offered Cowart spot By Phil Willis phil^athensnews-courieKcom Brookhill Elementary School Principal Janet Poole, who is suffering from health problems she believes are caused by the school environment, has been offered a voluntary transfer to the position of principal at Cowart Elementary. Schools Superintendent Dr. Orman Bridges Jr. recommended the transfer at the Thursday night meeting of the Athens City School Board. Poole did not accept the transfer Thursday night. Bridges said she had not been given any time frame in which to make a decision. The superintendent declined comment on what position Cowart Principal Randy Murphy might be reassigned to should Poole accept the transfer. “If she accepts, we will look at the situation then and see what best might be done,” he said. Poole declined comment on the transfer proposal, stating she had been told “to channel everything through the central off'ice.” Bridges, however, denied having issued any gag order. “We wanted to ensure a clear line of communications at the school, with the possibility of the media and parents calling and being given different information.” he explained. “It was getting very confusing, so we are trying to centralize information from the school, to make sure everyone hears the same thing. But away from school, she or any other staff or faculty member can talk to anybody about anything.” Several Brookhill students also apparently have developed medical problems related to the school environment. Bridges said testing still is under way to try to determine what might be causing the illnesses, but thus far no evidence has been found of a recurrence of the mold and fungus which caused a temporary shutdown of the school during the 2000 academic year. “Testing indicates there’s more spores outside than inside,” he said. When Brookhill students became ill from the mold and fungus five years ago, classes were See Poole, Page 3A Road rage on 1-65 leads to man’s arrest B\ Tashia Lovell tashia@athensne\vs-courier.com A case of road rage didn't end so well for an Athens man Wednesday morning. Richard Emmett Lanahan, 34, of 14989 Bay Hill Drive, Athens, was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment and throwing an object at an occupied vehicle after a state trooper using an unmarked car spotted the road rage, three miles south of Athens. According to police reports. Trooper Mike Kesler was traveling south on Interstate 65 when he noticed occupants in a pick-up truck and a BMW arguing with each other. Lanahan, the driver of the pick-up, was also said to be “flipping off” the driver of the BMW. State Trooper spokesman Curtis Summerville said Lanahan swerved toward the BMW and threw an object at the car. That object was some type of bottle. “It’s a class C felony,” Summerville said. “The minimum fine is $500 and/or a year in jail.” According to Summerville, it appeared to that one driver didn’t want to let the other pass by fast enough. Lanahan was arrested and transported to the Limestone County Jail. He has been released on a $2,000 bond.