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Athens News Courier Newspaper Archive: April 15, 2005 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - April 15, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 Today is tax day  Don’t forget to file your federal and state income tax returns today  Lightning strikes  In third year of existence, Limestone Lightning football team takes TAFL title jg  The News-Courier  Рн1Пл%, Агк(1 15, 2005  Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future  Fred Ferguson of Athens  Subscriber of the day  In appreciation  A luncheon to honor administrative professionals will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs.  Coming  Sunday  mm  Hey, Sound Off:  This is in response to the recent Sound Off articles concerning senior citizens in Limestone County who find they must choose between purchasing their prescription medications and purchasing food.  There is a program available for those low income seniors, 60 and older, who do not qualify for full Medicaid, and do not have any prescription drug uovei-agè.  It is called SenioRx and information is available at the Athens-Limestone Senior Center, 912 West Pryor Street (233-6412). This program is free and is designed to help qualifying seniors who have no other assistance with their medications.  More Sound Off VaUey, 5A  Gel the news with your morning coffee  Subscribe to The Sews-Courier  232-2720  Index  Classified.......3-7B  Comics..........8B  Headiines  4A  Ledger ..........6A  Obituaries........2A  Lankford Cain Sr. Alvie Louis Leach  Religion.......9-11A  Sports .........1-2B  Valley...........5A  Daily Bible Moment  When I am old and grayheaded,  0 God, do not forsake me, until  1 declare Your strength to this generation.  Psalm 71:18  imétene  322 Hw>.3IN>All>eRS 256-232-1051 Obit Hoe 256-771-0934  69847 00001  City may pay to hold inmates in county jail  By Tashia Lovell   tashia@athensnews-courier.com   County Commission Chairman David Seibert said he expects a proposal for Athens inmates to be housed in Limestone County Detention Facility will be approved.  “Everybody’s on board,” Seibert said Thursday.  The purpose of the agreement is for Limestone County Sheriff’s Department to provide space and services at the county jail specifically for the housing of city prisoners. If the agreement is approved, it will be effective for a term of three years from the effective date.  The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Facility has been housing prisoners about a month. The new facility is said to have the capacity to house more than 280 inmates.  Athens Mayor Dan Williams said the city council has received the proposal and expects discussion of this issue, but perhaps not a vote, at the council’s meeting April 25.  “We don’t need to build another jail...not in my opinion,” Williams said.  He said the contract needs to work out in a way the city can afford to house city inmates there.  “It’s just going to be a matter of coming together,” Williams said.  In the agreement, the sheriff would still have legal custody and charge of the county jail and all prisoners except as otherwise provided by law.  See Inmates, Page 2A  Man charged with abusing 2-year-old  Bruises discovered during hospital visit  Alert workers at Athens-Limestone Hospital noticed severe bruising on the legs of a 2-year-old boy and called local child welfare officials, which led to the arrest of an Athens man.  Kenneth W. Robison, 41, of 21168 Edgewood Road was arrested Wednesday and charged with child abuse, according to Limestone County Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt.  Robison was charged following interviews with Investigator Brad Cumutt, McNatt said.  “Through interviews, it was determined that Mr. Robison had spanked the child and used excessive force in doing so, which left pretty severe bruises on his legs,” he said.  The boy, who is nearly 3, was at the hospital for an unrelated reason. After noticing bruising, hospital personnel called the Limestone County Department of Human Resources.  “DHR contacted the Sheriff’s Department,” McNatt said.  Robison was taken to Limestone County Jail, but was released on 5,000 bond, McNatt said.  ASU hosts forum on Schiavo case  The Center of Religious Studies and Ethics of Athens State University will host a public forum entitled, "Perspectives Concerning Life and Death Issues" on Thursday, April 21 at 7 p.m. The forum will be in the Founders Hall Chapel.  The forum will feature four distinctive perspectives - medical, legal, religious and ethical -dealing with the rights to life and death. The forum was conceived following the lengthy debate over the Terri Schiavo case in Florida. A question and answer period will follow the participants’ remarks. Information and copies of living wills will be available at the event  Leading the discussions will be: Connie Priester, founder of Elder Law Firm in Huntsville; Dr. William Jones, an Athens physician in practice at East Limestone Family Medicine; the Rev. Clarence Johnson, pastor of the Poplar Creek Missionary Baptist Church and adjunct professor at Athens State; Dr. Tony Moyers, professor of religions studies at Athens State. Dr. Moyers is the author of “Wanderings” a book on moral values.  enewsco« rier.com  Kindergartners check into ‘Let’s Pretend Hospital’  As a community involvement project, Athens-Limestone Hospital once again invited more than 900 local kindergarten students for its annual Let’s Pretend Hospital Program. For the seventeenth year, this 45-minute skit is helping children understand more about a hospital and what they can expect if they are admitted as patients.  “The goal of the program is to assure the children that our hospital is a friendly place filled with kind people and equipment designed to help them feel well. It is an experience that should create a sense of familiarity an confidence that will ease the anxiety of a visit to the real hospital should it be necessary,” say^ Felicia Lambert, the hospital’s public relations official and narrator for the program.The program relies on volunteers, including those from the hospital. Limestone Career/Technical Center Health Services students and coordinator Jill Adams, Calhoun Community College nursing students and people from the community.  Participating this week were, top photo, Limestone Career/Technical student Hannah Britton, who is checking on “patient” Peter Lochmaier from Brookhill Elementary School. At right, Hugo Bates is the pretend doctor who examines Better’s throat.  Replacing failing computer system a top priority for Athens police chief  By Phil Willis   phil@athensnews-courier.com  Looking over departmental resources preparing for a mid-year budget review, Athens Police Chief Wayne Harper found the city council has met most of his needs.  “They’ve been pretty generous with us this year,” Harper said.  But one need still outweighs all others, the chief said, and that is the need for a new computer system.  “We are running on borrowed time,” he said of the existing computer system.  “Pretty soon there’s going to come a day when I have to call city hall and tell them the computer system is down.”  Harper has presented the council with options to address the police computer needs. Leasing the equipment needed to provide the department with computer-aided dispatch and computerized records management would cost an estimated $140,000 for software and an additional $36,000 for the associated hardware needed to run the new programs, the chief reported.  The requested new computer equipment, Harper said, “shouldn’t be a problem to move with us” when the Police Department relocated to a proposed new headquarters. A building committee appointed by the council currently is evaluating potential sites for the new structure.  Harper also has four staff positions to fill — two police officers, one animal officer and one dispatcher. Those positions are included in the current budget.  See Police, Page 3A  News-Courier/Kim Rynders  Linda Shields and Barbara Newman help prepare prize packages for Kids Day in the Park at the Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful headquarters this week. The Do-Da parade begins at 9:45 a.m. Saturday and runs from the Limestone County Courthouse Square to Big Spring Park. Kids Day in the Park kicks off at 10 a.m  Events helc Saturday for Kids Day  By Tashia Lovell  tash ia@athensnews-courier. com  Whether you are young or old, the Dogwood Festival has something to offer you this weekend.  The Do-Da parade begins at 9:45 a.m. Saturday with the opening ceremony for Kids Day at the Park beginning at 10 a.m. at Big Spring Park.  “There is no cost to get into Kids Day,” said Lynn Hart, with Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful, which hosts the event.  The event includes the Dogwood art awards, pet show, finger painting and fire safety house, as well as children’s games and activities.  See Kids Day, Page 2A   

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