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Athens News Courier: Friday, July 22, 2005 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - July 22, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 Day of the cowboy  Congressional resolution sets aside day honoring true American icon  Taking a loss  TVA writing off $3.9 billion investment at Bellefonte 5A  The News-Courier  Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future  Friday, July 22, 2005    enewscourier.com    5(1    Ci    vis  Was it a tornado?  Ted Downs of Tanner  Subscriber of the day  Hey, Sound Off:  Enjoyed your update on the possible candidates for the Carter spot.  I actually live in Madison County, but close to the Limestone line, and try to keep up with politics on both sides of the border.  I’d like to make a suggestion on party identification. Why not say that candidate so and so is a Democrat or is a Republican, instead of using the expression “run as a Democrat” or run as a “Republican.” 1 suggest that because 1 think a politician asking for votes ought to identify himself with a party, instead of saying he or she is. in effect, using the party as a vehicle to achieve office.  If a politician does not want to be named as a member of a party, then he or she should run as an independent, and leave the political parties to those willing to identify themselves as Democrats or Republicans.  I think it would strengthen politics and strengthen government in Alabama if we had registration by party. Then, in the primaries, those who are Democrats could make their choice for nominees, and the Republicans could do the same. Why should someone who identifies himself or herself as an independent, without belief or allegiance to either party, choose who a party’s nominees are?  Index  Classified ......4-6B  Comics..........3B  Ledger.........12A  Headlines 4A  Obituaries........2A  Oleta Bailey Jean M. Cravens Benjamin Dan Eubanks Johnnie Pearl Long  Religion 9-11A  Sports ........1-2B  Dailv Bible Moment  'be Lord, the Lord Ciod, merciful and gracious.  Exodus 34:6  kj  C»h"  medine tjjLuwf  322 Hw\. 31 N • Athens 256-232*1051 Obil line 256-771-W34  :    *69847    00001  m ri#Wi|iOMI W» I MittWHIfr lit*  High winds, heavy rain strike Athens Country Club area  Bv Sonny Turner   sonny@athensnews-courier.com  Shelia Sparks said she heard a loud noise and headed for cover.  “It popped and we ran,” she said. “I don’t know if it was a tornado. But it sure was a lot of high wind.”  The Lionheart Christian Center she and her pastor husband, Richard Sparks, own and operate in the old Athens Country Club building off Hatfield Drive in Athens, was hit by what some believe was a tornado at approximately 3 p.m. Thursday.  Damage was minor, but the storm caused a stir.  “I had just arrived and 1 was met by pieces of awning blowing across the parking lot,” said Athens Golf and Country Clubs Rodney Talley. “1 think it was just straight line w inds with a lot of rain.”  The golf course itself received some tree and water damage.  “We’ve got a lot of water on the No. 8 hole,” said Talley. “It will be cart path only there for awhile.” Talley said the storm itself was moving from west to east, but the wind hit the Country Club coming from the southeast.  “Me and our secretary Connie  See Storm, Page 2A  News-Courier/Alissa Clark  Rodney Talley shows the No. 8 hole at the Athens Golf and Country Club course that was under water after the Thursday afternoon thunderstorm.  News-Courier/'Sonny Turner  They call it a steer saver and it’s made up from a homemade device that is pulled by a Ford Tractor with the cowboy riding high in the saddle device being pulled by a 4-Wheeler. Tffet is the way the cowboys at Bill Legg’s home practice their steer wrestling. For more about these local cowboys turn to the Horse and Farm section inside. From left are Bill Legg, Sheriff Mike Blakely, Charlie Simmons, Bill Kelley and Clint Legg.  Athens  motel  robbed  Suspect is arrested after car quits on him  Bv Sonny Turner  son ny@athensnews-courier, com  A man who robbed the Sleep Inn Motel in Athens Wednesday night was caught Thursday after the car he drove from the scene quit on him a short distance away.  “He had been scene driving all over town in that old car and we had two officers to spot him in it. One suggested that it might be him and sure enough it was,” said Lt.-Det. Floyd Johnson.  Arrested and jailed for first-degree robbery is Milton McDonald, 41, of  Board approves Quad Plex site for Alternative School  Bv Tashia Lovell  tashiaQ.rathensnews-courier.com  The Athens City School System Alternative School is another step further in being ready to go for the upcoming school year.  The Athens City School Board approved in a meeting Thursday night the lease of the first floor north wing and conference room at the Quad Plex at a cost of $1,000 per month. The lease period begins Aug. 1, 2005 and expires July 31, 2006.  The Alternative School will be ready when school starts.  The school board also approved an expansion of the grading period within the system. They will all be under a nine- week grading period instead six. However, some grades were already under a nine- week period.  According to Athens City Schools Superintendent Dr. Orman Bridges, Jr. the continuation of annual testing at Brookhill will start again today or next week.  In other business, the following personnel items were approved: Principal Employment Contract Garner Ezell; Contract exten-  See Alternative, Page 2A  The Open in Athens  News-Courier/Alissa Clark Former Athens High School star golfer Andrew Medley, now with Auburn University, will be among those participating in the Alabama Open Tournament beginning today at Canebrake. See Sports for details,  See Robbery, Page 2A  Inmate caught before escape  Bv Sonny Ti rner  sonny(a athcnsnews-couricr.com  A 46-year-old Limestone County Jail inmate apparently watched the movie “Escape from Alcatraz” starring Clint Eastwood because this week it was discovered that he too was planning a similar daring escape.  “It could have been a major jail break, but our jail staff does a great job and one of our correctional officers discovered what was happening," said Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely.  Herbert Cleatus Latham, of Reform, the same inmate who escaped late last year from the county jail annex on East Elm Street and stole a tractor-trailer truck, was attempting his escape this time by using a piece of metal to remove mortar from a block inside his jail cell.  That is the same way Eastwood, who was playing Frank Moms, and two other inmates started their escape route from Alcatraz years ago. The only difference is they succeeded although all three apparently drowned in the choppy waters outside the prison. Their bodies were never recovered.  “We had Latham in maximum security and he made a shank out of a piece of metal that we believe came from a knee brace that another pris-  See Inmate, Page 2A   

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