Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Athens News Courier

Location: Athens, Alabama

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - July 13, 2005, Athens, Alabama Dirt is 4-letter word Students in junior gardening program learn to work with soil — not dirt jr Attracting attention Local softball stars hope to gain notice of college recruiters IB The News-Courier Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future YV kdnesd.v), July 13, 2005    enenscourier.com Index Classified 4-8B Comics..........3B Headlines 4A Health...........8A Ledger ..........6A Obituaries........2A Alvis W. Adams Opal P. Aycock Minna Lee Chittam Barbara J. Groce Judy B. Lanier Dura Adell Mackey Lawrence Massey Dolly Lee Nixon Lucy Robinson Sports .........1-2B Valley ..........5A Weather.........2A Daily Bible Moment jf or to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21 u c | Ê&métMie tijlabef 322 H»\. 31N • Athens ... „ .. -    256-232-1051 am ()Wt ,| Di 256-771-0934 7 1 EMA not the agency to call for 911 Similar names causing confusion for EMA, 911 H\ Kelly Kazek kelly(a athensnews-couriercom rhink finding a scrufty-looking stray dog in your yard is an emergency situation? W hat if you discover your toolbox was taken from a storage shed and want to report the theft? W hile these situations may bother or disturb you, they are not emergencies. Officials with two local agencies with the word “emergency" m their names w ant people to know how to define emergencies and what services each agency offers. Daphne Ellison with the Limestone County Emergency Management Agency said people continually confuse EMA with the ^ll board, which is called Athens-Eimestone County Emergency Management Communication District, \ recent report about the 911 board relocating its office to Elm Street has prompted See EMA, Page 3A crCrd ('wO'th/vn^ Steve Griggs of Athens Subscriber of the day HOUR Hey, Sound Off: I thought this was a country “of the people, for the people and by the people.” If this is so why do we have nine biased judges making laws for us instead of interpreting what the constitution says? The Congress has the power to overrule the Supreme Court, so what don’t they do it when it comes to such controversial things as birth control, the Ten Commandments, eminent domain, etc.? I believe anything that affects the whole country if it’s for the people — we should all vote on it. If two Supreme Court judges retire, why doesn’t Bush go along with just seven instead of nine? At one time, I believe the court operated w ith only three judges. If it could go back to only three judges, just think of all the money we would save. More Sound Off Valley, 5A Gas drive-offs on rise Hike in prices causing local drivers to steal more gasoline By Tashia Lovell tashia@athensnews-courier.com In her almost nine years of working in the gas station business, Raceway Manager Donna Ferrazas has experienced plenty of customers who fill up but don’t pay up. The increase in the price of gasoline has led to an increase in drive offs throughout the county. Ferrazas said she takes some precautions to help prevent gas drive-offs such as making eye contact with customers and speaking to customers as well as acknowledging their presence. Raceway, formally Racetrac, on U.S. 72 East in Athens is now under new ownership. Ferrazas said that the new owners have been tougher on the lawbreakers and will prosecute criminals. But when reporting a gas drive-off, police at least need a license plate number, or some identifiable information, which is not always easy to obtain. Ferrazas said some vehicles don't even have tags on them. Athens Police Capt. Marty Bruce said it’s hard to make a ease without information, such as a driver’s license or tag number, of a person who didn't pay for their gasoline. If police have a tag number, a suspect can be tracked down, but if it is an out-of-state vehicle, the offender cannot be extradited because the offense is a misdemeanor. The owner of Raceway, Sukhwinder Singh, said that cameras would soon be installed at the gas pumps at his business. For now, a Raceway employee monitors customers by walking around outside when it's busy at the pumps. There have been repeat offenders and a couple of people have even been banned from the property due to gas drive-offs. See Drive-offs, Page 2A CASA gears up for good, muddy fun By Kelp Kazek kelly(a athensnews-courier. com Some of the 52 teams signed up for this year’s CASA Mud Volleyball Tournament are spending their spare time practicing for Saturday’s event. Others, however, are using their time thinking up ways to prank the event’s announcer. Each year, an announcer tells team members whose turn it is to play and on which court. Last year, members of one team decided to call themselves “All remaining games are cancelled” so each time the team was to play, the announcer was forced to say the team’s name. “He would try to say it quietly and fast, like ‘allremaininggamesarecancelled,’” said tournament organizer and CASA Director Deb Kohihase w ith a laugh. “But every time someone would come up and say, ‘What’s that? I thought I heard you say all remaining games are cancelled.'” Although it hasn’t been proven, organizers suspect some of the same pranksters are members of a team this year called "Tornado w arning for Limestone C ounty until 4 p.m.” Should make for an interesting day — if the See Volleyball, Page 2A Fite photo Players in the 2004 CASA Mud Volleyball Tournament ‘p unis h” a teammate after a game. Get the news with your morning coffee Subscribe to The News-Courier 232-2720 Sweet Sue officials dispute gas claim Company owners say they don't owe city nearly $400K By Karen Middleton anenews(a pclne t. net An official of the American subsidiary of Toronto. Canada-based Conner Brothers Income Fund said Tuesday that the company disputes the claim of Athens Gas Department that the company owes $388,000 on a natural gas contract. On Monday Athens City C ouncilman Harold Wales said that when Conner Bros.’ Bumble Bee Seafoods, owners of Sweet Sue, moved the canned and pouch chicken operation to Augusta, Ga., in June, they left owing nearly $400,000 to the city on a contract for natural gas service for the coming year. “I’m sure they are reputable people and will pay what they owe on the contract,” said Wales. On Tuesday, John Stiker, executive vice president of the Corporate Division of Bumble Bee Seafood in San Diego, said that talks are ongoing with Athens Gas Department. “All I’ve been able to ascertain is that there is some dispute about the amount actually owed," said Stiker. “There is ongoing correspondence with Athens Utilities and that’s where it sits right now.” Athens Gas Department Manager Steve Carter was at a meeting in Gulf Shores and See Sweet Sue, Page 2A Authorities track suspect Evidence may lead to illegal dumpers By Tashia Lovell tashiaia athensnews-courier.com News-Courier Kim Rynders District 4 County Commissioner Bill Daws, left, and Limestone County Sheriff s Department Investigator, Mike Boyles, right, look at illegally dumped trash at the boat ramp off of Grigsby Ferry Road Tuesday morning. Beer cans, food containers and even a homemade crack pipe were found at the boat ramp Tuesday morning off Grigsby Ferry Road in western Limestone County . District 4 County Commissioner Bill Daws said illegal' dumping has been a problem in the area for the past couple of years. He said he was informed of the trash Tuesday morning after a nearby resident called him. While not typical, in this case the culprit could be charged w ith the crime. Daws said authorities don't always find a name on discarded trash. But Tim Hudson, supervisor of the Limestone C ounty Litter Crew, said that he saw’ a receipt in the trash. The Cingular Wireless receipt had a name and cell phone number on it. That wasn’t the only name found in the garbage. Prescription bottles, check stubs and even a library card were also found. But one name showed up repeatedly. Investigator Mike Boyles See Dumpers, Page 3A