Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - May 31, 2005, Athens, Alabama Star in trouble Portrait of a teacher Wreck with Waltrip reveals friction Athens Intermediate School students capture surrounding Earnhardt Jr. jg their teachers' images, coming Wednesday The News-Courier Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future Tuesday, May 3L 2005 v tnewscourier.com 50 Cents O'Crct Nelva Reed of Athens Subscriber * of the day Fiddlin’ scenes More images of Sam McCracken Days blue-grass festival inside today. 5A Hey, Sound Off: To the person who thinks we don't need a new state constitution — typical attitude of the uninformed. Why do you think Alabama is virtually last in every category comparison of other states? Our antiquated constitution, regressive tax structure and outdated political system is what's holding our state back. People like you, with your “that's the way it has always been” attitude are another redson Alabama is not progressive: We need to break up the Montgomery strangle hold on this state, and give our own communities more self-determination. Of course, if you had your way, we would still be drawing our water from wells, riding mules on dirt roads, and reading by candlelight. — Ready for a change More Sound Off Valley, 5A Get the news your morning Subscribe to The Neus-Courier 232-2720 Index Classified — 3-5B Comics....... RR Headlines..... 4A Ledger ....... BA Lifestyles..... 8A Obituaries..... ?A Sports....... 1-?B Valley ....... BA Weather...... 2A Daily Bible Moment 'Ql/he cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the Word. Mark 4:19 '^.me&fone ((Afd 322 H»v. 31 N* Athens 256-232-1051 Obit line 256-771-0934 69847 00001 News-Courier/Alissa Clark Veterans somber, celebratory on Memorial Day Above, Bill Duncan gets a laugh with Louis Lafliszar at the Alabama Veterans Museum Memorial Day Ceremony Monday morning. During the ceremony commanders of local VFW and the Auxiliaries placed floral wreaths in remembrance of fallen soldiers. There was also an empty chair in honor of POW/MIA with a red rose. Left, Ralph Padgett lowers his head in prayer at the Invocation during the Alabama Veterans Museum. The National Anthem was sang by Ryan Leffel of Athens Baptist Church. Mothers, wives and sisters of fallen soldiers were recognized with roses and roll call of deceased veterans was read. U.S.forces mistakenly detain top Iraqi leader BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) — The U.S. military nearly set off a sectarian crisis Monday by mistakenly arresting the leader of Iraq’s top Sunni Muslim political party, while two suicide bombers killed about 30 police, and U.S. fighter jets destroyed insurgent strongholds near Syria’s border. Northeast of Baghdad, an Iraqi military aircraft crashed Monday during a mission with four American troops and one Iraqi on board, the U.S. military said. It was not immediately clear what their condition was or even what kind of aircraft it was. A spokeswoman for the U.S. military in Baghdad Sgt. Kate Neuman, said the four Americans were military personnel. And on Memorial Day, the U.S. military said American soldier Spc. Phillip Sayles, of the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, was killed in an attack Saturday in the northern city of Mosul. As of Monday, at least 1,657 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The arrest of Iraqi Islamic Party leader Mohsen Abdul-Hamid, his three sons and four guards did little to help efforts to entice Iraq's once-dominant Sunni community back into the political fold. The Sunnis lost their influence following Saddam Hussein’s ouster two years ago. Many believe the Sunni fall from grace, and parallel rise to power of Iraq’s majority Shiite population, is spurring the raging insurgency, driving many disenchanted Sunnis to launch attacks that have killed more than 760 people since the April 28 announce- See Iraq, Page 3A Athens Middle School students make their mark with picnic table project News-Courier/ Kim Rynders Pictured clockwise from top, David Solomon, Cynthia Quiroz, Sarah Solomon, Courtney Collins and Brock Bret stand with a picnic table painted as a part of a school project at Athens Middle School. They same group from the eighth grade art class is shown above right. By Tasiiia Lovell tashia(q,a thensnews-courier.com Janet Strain, art teacher at Athens Middle School, has been putting some of her students to work. Within this school year more than 20 art students in her eighth grade class painted 25 picnic tables that will be used at the school. Strain said that is was a project done for the students to eat lunch on. The students worked in teams and each table has a theme. The idea was to choose a famous person who made a contribution to society. Among the famous names chosen were, Bo Jackson, Paul “Bear” Bryant, Ronald Reagan, Pablo Picasso, Ray Charles, and Helen Keller. “The whole table has to do with the person,” Strain said. Strain said the whole idea began when See Project, Page 2A W.A. Hardiman Typhoon-fighting firefighter retired but still working at 81 By Sonny Ti rner sonnyCaathensnews-courier.com He’s a quite, gentle man who doesn't mind work even though he's been retired as a city firefighter since December, 1989. W.A. Hardiman of Old Coffman Road, Athens has a lot of stories to tell in the 20 years he fought fires for the City of Athens all beginning at the age of 45. But it's not fighting fires that this story is about. It's a typhoon and it came during World War II in the Pacific Ocean near Japan. Hardiman was just a youngster then, but it seems like only yesterday when he talks about it. "The best I can remember I was on the top deck of the ship when it hit," Hardiman recalled. "In 30 minutes we lost the bow. I was scared yes, but I really didn't know what was happening immediately." Hardiman was in the Navy and on the ship "Pittsburgh" when the typhoon hit. It was June 4, 1944. History has it that Pittsburgh began to fight a typhoon which by early next day had increased to 70-knot winds and 100-foot waves. Shortly after her starboard scout plan had been lifted off its catapult and dashed onto the deck by the wind Pittsburgh's See Typhoon, Page 2A Courtesy photo W.A. Hardiman poses at home with a fire extinguisher.