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Athens News Courier: Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - March 15, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 Cookie dough  A local woman invests her cash in a collection of more than 200 cookie jars 5^  Getting their kicks  Athens High’s Lady Eagles capture Butler soccer tournament title in Huntsville jg  The News-Courier  ,Tuç;^AV, March 15,2005  Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future  cnewscourier.coni  50 Cents  ^0<yct  Becky Whitt of Athens  Subscriber of the day  Pincham to speak  Retired Justice R. Eugene Pincham — a graduate of Trinity school - will speak in Athens Saturday.  Wednesday  »{ff  Hey, Sound Off;  I am sick and tired of crooked, sneaky and underhanded politicians in Montgomery. 1 just read the comments from Rep. John Knight in an article in The News-Courier. In regards to removing $ 15 million of education monies that have normally been funded from the state’s general fund, he states, “1 can't come to the conclusion that we could take any more money out of the education budget.” Rep. Knight, shame on you! You and other politicians should not be taking any monies out of education revenue — S15 million or any other!  Streamline the state’s general fund, spend wisely and cut back! If you need help from the citizens let us know, after all that is what we all have to do with our personal finances!  More Sound Off Valley, 5A  Get the news with your morning coffee  Subscribt* to The Neti's-Courier  232-2720  Index  Classified 3-5B  Comics..........6B  Farm............6A  Ledger.........7-8A  Movie Listing 3A  Obituaries 2A  William Ross Bates Judy Carol-Blackburn Oneida Copeland Edna Pauline Poole Delia Holmes Stewart Sports  ........1-2B  Daily Bible Moment  kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love.  Romans 12:10  'fH'. (Un  }22Hw.31N*.Mhens 256-232-IH5I Obit lint 256-77MI9.34  69847 00001  Woman found slain in Tanner  10-year-old son reported stabbing, authorities say  By Sonny Ti rnf.r sonny(w,urliensnews-courier.com Limestone County investigators said Monday they believe a 28-year-old Tanner woman was murdered by her husband this past weekend because he suspected she was seeing another man.  “We had relatives to tell us that she had been seeing someone else and we believe they got into an argument  Local EMA to develop hazards plan  Citizens invitee to give input  over that and he stabbed and killed her because of it,“ said Limestone County Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt.  Arrested and charged with murder is Fernando Nolasco Mendez. 40, of 10420 U.S. 31 South, Tanner. That is the Swan Creek Community trailer park that was formerly Lawson's Trailer Park.  Dead at the scene was Marcaria Archundia Martinez, 28. McNatt said she was stabbed on the right side of her chest. She also had numerous stab wounds on her hands, authorities said.  The 10-year-old son of the couple dialed 911 at 1 ;21 a.m. Sunday to report that his father had stabbed his  mother and was still there waiting for law enforcement to arrive. When deputies arrived, they found the woman's body and took Mendez into custody and transported him to the Limestone County Jail w'here he remained Monday. He is charged with murder.  McNatt said authorities are continuing to investigate. He said the body has been sent to the Forensics Lab in Huntsville for an autopsy.  McNatt said it has been determined that Mendez, who was a bricklayer working with a Huntsville firm, is in this country illegally. He said Mendez does not speak English and authorities called in a translator to talk to the suspect.  Public meeting  The Athens-Limestone County EMA is seeking public opinion on the plan during a meeting at 2 p.m. today at the EMA office on .Market Street in Athens.  The Athens-Limestone County Emergency .Management Agency wants public input into a plan for dealing with natural hazards before a disaster strikes.  The purpose of the Natural Hazard  Mitigation Plan _  is to make Limestone County more resistant to natural disasters such as ftoods, tornadoes and earthquakes by taking steps to reduce risk to life and property from such hazards.  As an example of the risk  involved, preliminary research indicates that there have been at least 22 tornadoes in Limestone County over the past half century resulting in 18 deaths, 191 injuries and more than $13 million in damages.  The Athens-Limestone County EMA is seeking public opinion on the plan and will conduct a public meeting for this purpose at 2 p.m. today.  The meeting will be at the offices of the EMA in Athens,  A questionnaire is available for people who would like to provide more detailed comments.  The Athens-Limestone County EMA is being supported in this effort by the Alabama Emergency Management .Agency and technical assistance is being provided by the Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments.  People who would like to obtain a questionnaire or would like to make a statement about their concerns or ideas regarding how to deal with natural hazards are invited to contact Jeffrey Pruitt.  Call Pruitt at TARCOG at (256) 564-9105 or send an e-mail message to jpruitt(a^adss.state.al.us.  Vlan freed after being stuck in BP restroom  By Sonny Tlrnfr  sonny@,athensnews-couriercom  He went in to use the bathroom, but before he got out police were called to rescue him.  That’s what happened Saturday night to an Athens man who got trapped inside the rest room at the BP Station at the corner of U.S. 72 and Hine Street.  “The clerk called and officer Johnny Morrell responded,” said Athens Police Lt. Floyd Johnson. “The clerk said the man was stuck in the bathroom and all efforts to get him out of there had failed. The door would not open.”  Johnson said the clerk told of how he even removed the door knob in an effort to open the door. But that failed, too, he said.  “When officer Morrell got there he couldn't get it open either, so he had to use force and it finally opened,” Johnson said the officer’s report of the incident stated. “1 know the guy was happy to get out of there.”  Bridge repair creates U.S. 72 bottleneck  KEEP  News-Couner/Kiin Ryndcrs  The westbound bridge over Swan Creek will be closed until mid-November as road crews work to replace the deteriorating structure.  Bridge to re-open in eight months  By Kelly Kazlk  kellytyatliensnews-couriercom Drivers traveling west on U.S. 72 toward Athens will be diverted onto the eastbound bridge over Swan Creek until at least mid-November, according to a spokesman for the Alabama Department of Transportation.  The eastbound bridge was marked for replacement after an engineering study found it to be “structurally deficient” and potentially unsafe, said Johnny Harris w ith the state DOT.  The project, which began when w'orkers built a new lane to divert traffic in January, is scheduled to take 300  days, Harris said. The eastbound bridge was closed to traffic last week.  Harris said the westbound bridge does not need to be replaced.  “The bridge on the other side was in better condition,” he said. “We don’t have any plans to replace that one at this time.”  For the first week since drivers in each direction have had to merge into one lane, traft'ic has ftowed fairly smoothly.  "Hopefully, it won’t be too incoinenient,” Harris said. “A lot of local folks will find alternate routes.”  News-Courier'Nancy Glasscock  Alabama First Lady Patsy Riley speaks at a forum for drug awareness at Athens Middle School Monday night. Riley and guest speakers Kevin Wanzer and Candy Stevenson introduced Red Line, an answering service that allows Athens students to leave messages about drug or alcohol use for police.  Alabama’s First Lady attends dmg awareness orum at AMS  By Nanc y Glassc oc k   mmcy@athemnews-couricr.com   Last month a group of Athens parents and teachers concerned about the use of alcohol and illegal drugs in schools wanted to inform the community of a potentially dangerous situation and create a connection between students and police.  The group, headed by Title IV Drug Free Schools Coordinator Lucinda Bassham and Athens City Schools parent Susan Trent recently helped police establish an answering service called Red Line, which students may access to leave information about drugs in schools. Once the service receives messages, Athens Police Capt. Marty Bruce is paged to check the messages.  Alabama First Lady Patsy Riley and speaker Kevin Wanzer introduced Red Line at a fonim promoting drug awareness Monday night at Athens Middle School.  Riley said striving for popularity steers some students toward alcohol and drug use.  “Popularity can be a drug when you’ll do anything, say anything, run with any crowd, even  See Riley, Page 2A   

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