Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Athens News Courier

Location: Athens, Alabama

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - April 27, 2005, Athens, Alabama VV i DM siUY, Aprii 27, 2005 enewscoiirier.com ; W.D. Gordon of Athens Subscriber of the day < Hey, Sound Off: It is tempting to ridicule city leaders or the recreation department concerning the problem of parking at the baseball complex, but ridicule is often seen as an attempt at humor. The situation is not one to joke about. It is a fact that there are more people coming to the complex each night than there is room to park, and some of the parking is a full 200 yards from the gate. While it may do me good to get the exercise, I walked with a grandmother the other night who had to keep stopping before moving on toward the field. Why have such an asset as the complex and then not provide parking? I understand the architects want to hold onto green spaces. Why not have temporary parking which is covered in gravel for now and could easily be recovered in the future when it is needed for other activities? Athens takes great pride in being a family oriented community. Do whatever it takes to allow grandparents, parents and children to enjoy the parks. After all, it is a baseball complex and soccer complex, not an architectural project to save grass. More Sound Off V5A Valley, Index Classified 4-1 OB Comics..........3B Ledger..........10A Health...........7A Movie Listing 3A Obituaries 2A Oliver Boyd Dernell “Nell” Boyd Scott Hargrove ' Sports .........1-2B Peaches survive late April frost Vegetable crops damaged by cold By Tashia Lovell tashia@athensnews-courier.com Although temperatures in late April have been the coldest in approximately 40 years, the fruit crop has survived, local experts say. County Extension Agent Doug Chapman said temperatures dropped lower in 1983, but that was earlier in the month of April. According to the National Weather Service in Huntsville, the lowest temperature in Limestone County over the past few days has been 34 degrees. The peach crop is among the survivors this year in Limestone County. “We have no fruit damage,” See Peaches, Page 2A News-Courier Tashia Loveli Wes Isom checks the peach trees Tuesday at Isom Orchard on U.S. 72. News-Courier/Charlotte Fulton A Vested Interest ‘Life preserv er has new meaning in war hero’s story At left, Lifford French plans to donate the WWII life vest — or “life preserver” — to the Alabama Veterans Museum on Pryor Street. An image of French’s WWII plane on the wall behind him was painted by Karen Middleton for the museum. At top is a view of the plane after the explosion (another man sits in the turret). At right, French poses in his flight jacket during WWII. Courtesy photo Local man’s WWII life vest found in France By Charlotte Fulton charlotte@athensnews-courier.com Eifford French tore open the FedEx package he d been watching for all week. Inside was a “Mae West ” - a life jacket such as he and fellow airmen wore on World War II bombing missions. In case they bailed out over water, they were to release their parachutes and, when they hit water, inflate their Mae Wests, staying afloat in hopes of being rescued. The sight of the jacket, stenciled with his name and serial number, brought a rush of memories. The temperature inside the top turret of the Flying Fortress was well below zero, making French grateful for the leather, fleece-lined flight jacket that kept him reasonably warm. Moments later, the 22-year-old gunner, on his 11th mission to bomb German-held positions, had another reason to be thankful for the protection the jacket afforded. As the B-17 crossed the English Channel on its way to a target in Nancy, France, the aircraft took a direct hit on the nosecone, at the position of the navigator and bombardier. The resulting explosion blew out the side windows of the cockpit and part of the Plexiglass dome in the top turret. “Fire broke out in the cockpit and came on to the top turret where I operated,” French, now 84, recalls. “It burned the cockpit upholstery and the partition between the top turret and the bomb bay, where bombs hung. It scorched transfer hoses that passed through the wall, carrying 100 octane gasoline.” The co-pilot, navigator and bombardier bailed out. According to procedure, the pilot quickly pulled out of formation lest his plane explode, damaging other aircraft in the tight, almost wingtip-to-wingtip formation. As Pilot Henry Putek released his bombs over an unpopulated area of France, the doors of the bomb bay locked into an open position / French and Putek - for whom bailing was not an option because his parachute had burned used fire extinguishers to put out the See Life vest, Page 3A Daily Bible Moment ou were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:20 •'W. <w 322 Hwy. 31N • Athens 256-232-1051 Obit line 256-771-0934 A walk through time Holes to fill It’s time for the annual Walking Tour    Alabama and Auburn close Spring of the historic town of Mooresville jç with questions in backfield    jp The News-Courier _Serving    Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future 69847 l 00001 Two Athens women charged after fighting with baseball bat, gun By Sonny Turner sonny@ athensnews-couricr. com Two of three Athens women who got into a fight Friday night over a man have been arrested because police said one female pulled a gun and the other a baseball bat. Miranda Lanettie Lucas, 26, of 1009 Pat Ingram St., Athens, and Andrea Michelle Shoulders, 27, of 720 Westmoreland Ave., Athens, were both charged with the misdemeanor offense of menacing. Both have posted bail bond and been released from Athens City Jail. Athens Police Capt. Marty Bruce said Lucas pulled the gun on Shoulders and Shoulders then got a ball bat and threatened her with it. Bruce said the women started arguing over a boyfriend. The fight occurred at a home at 2096 Booker Drive. Detective-Lt. Floyd Johnson said no one was hurt in See Fighting, Page 2A As a part of the Kindergarten Rodeo at Owens Elementary School, kindergarten and first-grade students participate in activities and relay races. On Tuesday, Chris Murrah, at left, is participating in the chuck wagon races in the gym. Andrew Pettus, right, is racing his stick horse. The school has been having the rodeo for several years. Owens Elementary students celebrate the rodeo News-Courier/ Tashia Lovell