Saturday, March 26, 2005

Athens News Courier

Location: Athens, Alabama

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - March 26, 2005, Athens, Alabama A long way to go for Tigers Auburn wraps up spring practice looking little like the team that roared to a perfect 13-0 season in 2004. The News-Courier S vri RDvv, IVI VR( M 26, 2005 Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future fiiewscou cit'r.iHim 50 CiMii Deb Reynolds of Athens Subscriber of the day Holding out hope As Terri Schiavo’s body continued its shutdown Friday, the severely brain-damaged woman’s parents held out hope for help from Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and continued to press federal courts to order feeding tube reconnected 3A HIDOIT Hey, Sound Off: To that petty person 1 have this to say. 1 live next door to a person with cows, pigs, horses, dogs and chickens within 100 feet of my house. Try smelling all that while grilling and trying to eat on your deck or swim in youF.4W)ol. 1 would be thrilled to smell the smoke from a wood burning heater! You are probably the peron that sits at the table next to me in a restaurant and blows your nose like a foghorn and completely ruins my appetite. More Sound Off Valley, 5A (iet the news with your morning coffee Subscribe to The Neu's-Courier T" 232-2720 Index Classified 5-6A Comics..........6B Golf ............7B Ledger ..........4A Lottery ..........3A Obituaries 2A Alma Scott Clay James Robert Bland Ford J. Caudle James D. Ezell Martin Junior Green SEC Preview  3B Sports .........1-7B Weather .........2A Daily Bible Moment behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey. Zechariah 9:9 o '•Wt Êûmeât&ne 322 Hw>.31N*Aibens 256-232-1051 Obit line 256-771-0934 7    69847    00001    6 Woman jailed for tax fraud By Sonny Turner sonny@athensnews-courier.com A Limestone County woman was arrested Friday on multiple counts of income tax fraud evasion, theft and forgery — accused in a scheme to defraud her customers and the state and federal governments out of thousands of dollars. Evidence against the Athens woman was presented last week to a Limestone County grand jury. Those cases dated back six years to 1999. Rebecca Clinard Riehle, 50, of 26270 Wooley Springs Road, Athens, was arrested after she was indicted by the grand jury on 30 counts of fraud that involved accounting work she did on income tax returns for more than a dozen people. The woman, though, is not a certified CPA, authorities said.    Riehle “Basically she was preparing and filing false income tax returns that included false statements on dependent exemptions and itemized deductions,” said Charles Crumbley, an investigator with the State Department of Revenue in Montgomery. Authorities said Riehle was receiving income tax returns for her customers, signing and cashing the checks and giving those customers what she wanted them to have in return. “We’ve had a number of (income tax) preparers under investigation all over the state,” said Crumbley. “They are making bogus returns and it’s from the new age of electronic identity theft.” Riehle was jailed on 30 counts of income tax fraud, five counts of second-degree forgery, four counts of second-degree theft, four counts of income tax e\ asion and four counts of give false statements. Bail bond was set at $47,000. The indictments were issued after officials with the State Department of Revenue testified before the 18-member grand jury panel that Riehle was “aiding and assisting in the preparation of false (t\.;ome tax returns.” News-Couner/ Tashia Lovell Danny “Bozo” Vinson, above, has been with the U.S. Postal service for more than 30 years. ‘Bozo' retires Danny Vinson is honored by Dostal workers By Tashia Lon eli tashia@athensnews-courier.com Danny “Bozo” Vinson has worked with the U.S. Postal Service for more than 30 years and as of April 1 he is officially retired. By the way. Bozo is a nickname Vinson acquired from a co-worker in the 1970s because of the way the wind blew his hair. However, Vinson’s story is that he is a nice and funny guy. He spent some time working at the Decatur Post Office, but most of his service has been at the Athens Post Office. He has been a letter carrier A fitting job, you might say, for someone like Vinson who See Bozo, Page 2A Limestone couple arrested for drugs in Florence area By Tashia Lovell Tashia@athensnews-courier.com Two Limestone County residents were arrested Thursday morning on drug charges after the Lauderdale County Drug Task Force received information that the two had obtained a number of items used to manufacture methamphetamine. Brian Cody Courson, 23, and Keri Elizabeth McWhirter, 20, both of Elkmont, w'ere arrested by the Lauderdale County Drug Task Force. Both remained in the Lauderdale County Jail Friday night. Courson was charged with unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a controlled substance. McWhirter is charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Both were charged with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and carrying a pistol without a permit. “We had a phone call saying they were buying supplies for a meth lab,” Investigator Shane Blalock with the task force said Friday. According to Blalock, they were caught on their way back to Limestone County. The Times Daily in Florence reported Friday that authorities found numerous ingredients used in the production of methamphetamine, numerous drug paraphernalia, two handguns, and methamphetamine in the vehicle. Included in the items found were, red phosphorus, acetone, iodine, and pseudo-qjhedrine tab-lets, ingredients used to manufacture methamphetamine. Killen Investigator Terry Holden was near Brooks High School when he spotted the vehicle. Holden said the driver was going “pretty fast” and he got him stopped around Center Star on U.S. 72. Agents from the Drug Task Force were then called and made the arrests. 3 still hospitalized after wrecks Two victims of Thursday s three-car pile-up on Highway 20 at the Raceway gas station remained in the hospital. Frank Reid, 83, of Cleveland, Term., was in the neurology unit of Huntsville Hospital in critical condition. His wife, Lillian Reid, 85, was in Decatur General Hospital in the critical care unit in serious condition. The accident occurred when Reid’s SUV pulling a utility trailer pulled crossed the westbound lanes into the median leaving the trailer partially in the westbound lane. A pickup truck driven by Jeremy Brewer, 22, of Athens attempted to avoid the rear end of the trailer. A Freightliner tractor driven by Greg Gibbs of Susan Moore, also attempted to avoid both vehi cles but his tractor jack-knifed plowing into them. Reid had to be extricated from his vehicle and was transported by Mid-Flight to Huntsville Hospital. His wife was transported to Decatur General Hospital. Brewer was treated and released at Athens-Limestone Hospital. Gibbs sustained no injuries. In a separate incident, Zachary Tarpley, 15, of Clements sustained an injury to the back of his head when he wrecked while riding a four-wheeler on Holt-Springer Road on Thursday. He was transported by Med-Flight to Huntsville Hospital where he remains in serious condition in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Hendrix is Mr. Basketball .‘\P Photo Athens High School’s Richard Hendrix and Whitney Boddie of Florence pose with the Alabama Sports Writers Association Mr. and Miss Basketball awards in Birmingham. Hendrix has signed to play next season at Alabama although he may decide to enter the NBA draft later this year. Limestone garage explodes A garage at a home in Eastern Limestone County caught fire late Friday and was leveled when a propane tank inside the garage exploded. Several county volunteer fire departments responded and battled the blaze. All nearby residents were notified to stay away from the fire since residents notified authorities the propane tank was inside the garage. “It was really fireworks,” said one observer. “But it w'as over quickly.” The garage was located on Smith Road between Looney and Yarbrough Road. At about the same time, firefighters also responded to another house fire on Lace Lane near Yarbrough Road with minor damage.