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Athens News Courier Newspaper Archive: May 3, 2005 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - May 3, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 Keeper of the bells  Local resident Mildred Thomas has more than 400 bells in her collection  Soccer star  Lady Eagles’ Daron selected to play in State Sports Week  IB  The News-Courier  Tuesday, M ay 3, 2005  Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future  enenscourier.com  50 Cents  CrQ-ci    twO  Bobby Osburn of Harvest  Subscriber of the day  Day of Prayer  The City of Athens will celebrate the National Day of Prayer with a short service at noon Thursday.  Police ID hit-and-run suspect  Hey, Sound Off:  To the people that think there are plenty of parking places at the Sportsplex they evidently arrive well before 5:30. Yes. I am one of those that received a ticket. Arriving at the park at 5:30 the only spaces available in the stripped areas were over halfway in the lot close to the soccer field. Having no warning that tickets were being given I parked inside the lot beside the curb on the pavement with plenty of room for any vehicle to pass.  There was no sign stating "No Parking"! 1 am an arthritic grandmother that wants to support her grandchildren but cannot walk a quarter of a mile carrying a chair. "Get there early and sit on the bleachers", you say.  My achy bones won't allow me to spend that extra time at the park and 1 need the back support, therefore, I can't sit on the bleachers for long periods. More spaces are needed closer to the fields but in the meantime maybe those that say there is an abundance of parking spaces can leave the close spots for us old folks!  More Sound Off Valley, 5A     Index          Classified____    . .3-5B      Comics ......    fiB      Ledger .......    9A      Obituaries ____    .. .2A      Christine Greer Haaker      Larry Dale Lovell      Margaret Marie Tussey      Edward Marshall White      Sports ......    1-2B     Daily Bible Moment  'be eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.  Deuteronomy’ 33:27  \unw  -'Wt Ctm  i_  322 Hot. 31 V • Athene 256-232-1051 Obit line 256-771-0934  69847  00001  No arrest yet in incident that killed Decatur man  By Sonny Ti rner  sonny@nthensnews-courier.cotn Athens police investigators announced Monday they have a suspect in the hit-and-run death in February of a Decatur man who was struck and killed while riding his bicycle along U.S. 31 South of Tanner.  “We have impounded a red car and we have a suspect although no arrest has been made yet,” said Capt. Marty Bruce. “The man is in his late 20s and we have  Attorneys: Proposed jail contract weighted in county favor  talked to him although he hasn’t admitted anything.” Bruce said the suspect is from Athens.  “We received information that this person may have been involved and we had been looking for the car and we located it Wednesday night,’’Bruce said. “We impounded the car and took evidence from it and sent it off to the lab to be analyzed.”  The results of those tests are being awaited by police.  Police have been searching for a suspect since the mid-February hit-and-run that killed 42-year-old Boyce Dale Ramsey.  Bruce said the car the suspect was driving that night is not his car, but did not elaborate.  “if it turns out he is the hit-and-run driver we have  an indication why (he fled), but I had rather not get into that right now.”  Gov. Bob Riley last month month offered a $5,000 reward for information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Ramsey’s death. Up until this past week police received a number of tips, but none that led to a suspect.  Ramsey, of Harrison Street Southeast, Decatur, was killed when he was struck from behind while riding his bicycle on U.S. 31 South on his way to visit his wife, Angie, who lived in Tanner .  The two had been separated for months. He lived  See Suspect, Page 2A  By Karen Middleton  News-Courier Reporter C ity attorneys Shane Black and Anne Burrows told the Athens City Council in a Monday work session that a proposed contract to house city prisoners in the Limestone County Jail is “broadly favorable to the county and not the city.”  Acting Mayor Jimmy Gill requested that the attorneys discuss the areas of concern with Police Chief Wayne Harper and have a new contract ready for possible approval at the next council meeting on Monday night.  The city is proposing to send “overflow” prisoners for housing in the county jail. Harper says overflow prisoners are any that cannot be accommodated in the 11-bed city jail. Harper said the situation becomes particularly acute when he must jail a female.  “One female prisoner takes up the room of three to four males because you can’t mix them,” said Harper. “When we have to segregate them, we sometimes have to let some males go early.” Burrows called “vague” and too broadly written a section that specifies that the county jail would not accept prisoners who are seriously ill. visibly wounded, injured or those having a blood alcohol level of .30 percent or greater.  “You need to nail this down what is considered seriously ill,” said Burrows. “You need clearer guidelines”  Further areas of concern in the proposed county contract is the specification of housing in “any and all facilities in Limestone County owned, controlled, or operated by the County or Sheriff.” “The contract doesn’t provide for prisoners to be housed in the new'jail, just ‘any’ and ‘all’ facilities in Limestone County,” said Burrows. “It could be, as read, as the old jail, the new or the jail annex. Also, there is no provision for juveniles, which is a growing area of law enforcement.” Councilman Harold Wales said he wanted to correct any conception by the county that the city had definitely decided to “get out of the jail busi-  See Contract, Page 2A  Sign ordinance: It’s good, but is it enforceable?  B\ Karen Middleton  News-Courier Reporter A specially appointed committee did a masterful job of rewriting the city’s sign ordinance, but officials agree it’s not worth the paper it’s written on if the law is not enforced equitably.  "If we adopt an ordinance we can’t police, I question whether we’re doing anyone any favors,” said Councilman Ronnie Marks in a Monday City Council work session.  Rod Huffman of the Athens Planning Commission was a member of the committee that rewrote the ordinance to make it readable to the average citizen.  “We were trying to achieve clarity,” said Huffman. “We were trying to put language out of the lawyerly talk and into something easier to understand. We did this largely by taking definitions out of regulatory context and regulations out of definitions.”  Huffman said credit goes for the lion’s share of the work on the document to committee member Caryl Shaw. He said the rewrite grew out of the city's Comprehensive Master Plan. “It  See Ordinance, Page 2A  Train derails in Ardmore  News-Courier/Alissa Clark In top photo, Rick Rice with R.J. Corman Derailment Service surveys the damage after a CSX Railroad train derailed Sunday morning at First Street in Ardmore. Directly above, Rice and a coworker make plans to move the cars.  Authorities say spilled substance no danger  By Kelly Kazek   kelly@athensnews-courier.com  At 7:17 a.m. Sunday, fire crews received a call that possible hazardous materials were leaking from a CSX Railroad car that derailed from the tracks on First Street in Ardmore.  “Before we were even on the scene, we were able to get word it was a granular dry substance,” said Assistant Athens Fire Chief Danny Southard. “It wasn’t any type of gas or anything like that.”  See Derailment, Page 2A  Planting and growing  News-Courier/Kim Rynders  Becca Nave plants a pot of flowers in a container Monday at her home on Pryor Street. The seven-year-old loves planting and growing flowers. Becca is the daughter of Jimmy Don and Karen Nave.  Librarians challenge book ban  By Tanjie Nash  tanjie(a athensnews-courier.com A group of librarians from Limestone County Schools have issued a challenge to members of the school board.  The librarians, represented by Creekside Librarian Janet Saczawa at Monday night’s Limestone County School Board meeting, want each board member to read the book “Whale Talk” from cover to cover.  “It is obvious to many of us that some of the board members have not read the book in its entirety,” Saczawa said. “In doing so, you have violated your own board policy, IFA, which states that you will read the material being challenged in its entirety, not just Xeroxed copies of the offending passages.”  At a March 7 meeting the  See Book ban, Page 3A   

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