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Athens News Courier Newspaper Archive: May 24, 2005 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - May 24, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 Ready for summer  Athens Municipal Swimming Pool set to open for Memorial Day weekend 5^  TheNe  Local runners excel  Limestone athletes perform well in Moulton’s Jesse Owens 10K 9A  ■Courier  Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future  pyvCTt/hVPiVi  Tom Bullington of Athens  Subscriber of the day  Real monuments  Retiring state transportation official oversaw construction of 1-565, I-459, Guntersville bridge.  5A  Hey, Sound Off:  Our Limestone County engineer has stated that trucks hauling rock from the quarry have done “in the multi-millions” in dollar amount damage to six county roads. This amount doesn’t include state highways (127-99) and bridges. As a result, the Limestone Commission adopted a resolution to restrict the maximum weight and trucks to 15 tons except for local deliveries. Why didn’t they do this before the first load was hauled out of the quarry? If anyone witnesses continual intentional disregard of Limestone County property devastation then call local law enforcement.  More Sound Off tomorrow  Get the news with your morning coffee  Subscribe to The News-Courier  232-2720  Index  Classified 3-5B  Comics..........6B  Headlines  4A  Ledger ..........7A  Lifestyles  6A  Obituaries 2A  Sarah Kennedy Baugher Douglas E. Downs Ronald L. Parris James A. Ratley Ruby Mae Smith Truman Lorena Tate  Sports .........1-2B  Valley ..........5A  Weather .........2A  Daily Bible Moment  ^E/he end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchfuI in your prayers.  o  •tWf 'W  I Peter 4:7  ilimtikme tykafxl  322 H»v. 31N « Athens 256-232-1051 Obit line 256-771-0934  69847 00001  Gas headed to $2.50?  Experts are predicting surge before Labor Day  By Tashia Lovell.   tashia@athensnews-courier.com   With the kick-otf to the summer travel season looming around the corner some may have been pleasantly surprised that gas prices have recently decreased in area.  AAA Alabama spokesman Clay Ingram said Monday that the average price for regular unleaded gasoline as of Friday in the state was $2.03.  However, according to a wire report, prices at the pump are heading back up as the peak summer season gets underway. Some predict prices to be as high as $2.50 a gallon by Labor Day.  But Ingram said that he has not heard anything about that and has no indication at this point that prices will get that high.  He said that there are indications that prices will go down this summer but added that anything can happen.  Ingram stated several reasons prices at the pump have decreased including OPEC production is up and refineries are operating at peak capacity. He said inventory is at some of the highest levels ever.  Gas prices have already dropped five cents during the week last week, Ingram said.  He said normally, as Memorial Day approaches, customers see an increase at the pump. For example, in 2004, the national average per gallon was the highest Memorial Day weekend.  “Hopefully we’ve already hit that (peak),” he said.  The 2005 peak for gasoline so far was hit in April.  News-Courier Kim Rynders  Marjorie Reece is an employee at Bob Quick Mart in Athens. Monday their gas prices were as low as $198.9 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline.  How about some cooperation?  News-Courier/Alissa Clark  Contestants in the Saddle Bronc competition try to get a saddle on a untamed bronco. Saddle Bronc was just one of the many competitions in the Limestone County Sheriffs Rodeo Friday and Saturday night at the Sheriff’s Rodeo Arena. For rodeo results look inside the sports section 1B.  Police still awaiting FBI report  By Sonny Ti rner   soHny@athensnews-courier.com   Athens police are still awaiting laborutt ry results from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Virginia that investigators hope will identify the vehicle that was involved in the hit-an-run death in February of a Decatur man.  Capt. Marty Bruce announced on May 2 that police have a suspect in the death of Royce Dale Ramsey, 42, of Harrison Street Southeast, Decatur, but needed results from the crime lab before can make an arrest. That man, police say, is from Athens.  “We’re hoping the FBI lab will identify the vehicle that hit him,” Bruce said Monday. “But just when those results will come back to us we don’t know. We are still waiting.”  The red vehicle police believe is the hit-and-run vehicle has been impounded. A man 111 his late 20’s is the suspect and police have questioned him although they say he has not admitted to being the driver.  Police received information that the man may have been involved and had been searching for the car and located it prior to May 2. The car was impounded and evidence e from it was taken and sent to the laboratory to be analyzed.  Bruce said the car the suspect was driving the night Ramsey was killed while riding his bicycle on U.S. 31 South near Tanner was not his. Police have not said whether the man borrowed the car or if was  See FBI, Page 2A  State officials visiting with Sweet Sue staffers  By Sonny Turner  sonny@athensnews-courier. com State industrial officials are expected in Athens today to talk with workers at Sweet Sue Inc., a plant of 175 that will be closing June 3.  “I think they are coming in to talk revolving around the employees and making them aware of the services available,” said Athens-Limestone    Industrial  Development Coordinator Tom Hill. “I’m trying to touch base with some of the folks in the poultry business in this area, hoping they might be interested in locating here.”  It was announced this past weekend that Sweet Sue, one of Athens’ largest and oldest industries, is closing w ith its operations being moved to Augusta, Ga.  The Athens canned chicken facility is owned by Conners Brothers in Toronto, Canada.  Conners Brothers announced that its U.S. operating company, Bumble Bee Seafoods, LLC, is closing Sweet Sue and moving production into its Castleberry’s canned meat and canned chicken facility in Augusta. The company further announced that all qualified Athens employees would be offered a position at the Castleberry’s facility, as well as relocation assistance.  “This is a complete surprise to all of us here in Athens,” Athens Mayor Dan Williams said this weekend. “We knew the plant had been sold to Bumble Bee with Conners Brothers, but we didn’t know they were going to close it down. This is going to hurt.”  Sweet Sue employs approximately 175 workers and was one of Athens’ first plants dating back more than 50 years. It was first owned and operated by the late Jim Beasley.  Friends, family gather to honor ‘Miss Sarah’ who just turned 101  By Arvid Me Gi ire  Special to The News-Courier  She walked in on her own, visited with her guests and enjoyed a meal which was topped off w ith a huge two-layered cake with a large 101 candle on it.  Sarah Ferguson turned 101 on May 20 and Saturday, her Sarah Ferguson friends and family gathered at the Catfish Cabin II Restaurant in Athens with her to celebrate her birthday.  A DVD was shown on a large television screen entitled “In Her Own Words” and there were 35 friends and family attending.  Born in DeKalb County, near McMinnville, Tenn., Miss Sarah’s parents, Leroy and Octie West, moved to Athens when she was a child. The family lived in the big house on Forrest Street  and Lindsay Lane.  But as an early teenager. Miss Sarah and her family moved to Belle Mina where she learned the rigors of cotton farming — planting, chopping and picking. It didn’t take her long to decide that this was not her future vocation.  At Belle Mina, she experienced her first ride in a Model T automobile. She recalled the ride she and her cousin took from the local store to her home.  She joked and said he was so excited about the ride that he told his mother, “We were going so fast 1 could not see the telephone posts. It is amazing what one can’t see w'hen traveling 15 to 20 miles per hour.”  On the matter of discipline, Miss Sarah said that when her mammy said “bug,” I would start scratchin!”  She also recalled as a child she enjoyed playing games such as “Fox and Geese,” "Drop the Handkerchief” and  See Miss Sarah, Page 2A   

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