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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - August 4, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 Glass act  Pablo’s hosts show of former Athens resident’s glass creations  World class  Limestone’s Blue Thunder wins softball World Series  IB  The News-Courier  I ill rmhv. An.i si 4, 2005  Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future  e ilevv scouncr.corn  50 Cents  OiQ-CrJb  Bonnie King of Toney  Subscriber of the day  14 soldiers die in Iraq  Wednesday attack one of deadliest on Americans since start of Iraq war  BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) — Fourteen U.S. Marines were killed Wednesday when a huge bomb destroyed their lightly armored vehicle, hurling it into the air in a giant fireball in the deadliest roadside bombing suffered by American forces in the Iraq war.  A civilian translator also was killed and one Marine was wounded. The victims were from the same Ohio-based  Reserve unit as six members of a Marine sniper team killed on Monday in an ambush claimed by the Islamic extremist Ansar al-Sunnah Army.  The deaths brought to 23 the number of Marines killed in the past week in fighting along the volatile Euphrates Valley of western Iraq and marked one of the bloodiest periods for U.S. forces in months. In all, 44 American service mem  bers have died in Iraq since July 24 — all but two in combat.  A Marine officer, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons, said the attack occurred as troops were traveling in an armored amphibious vehicle to assault insurgent positions around a village near the Haditha dam, a longtime way station for foreign fighters infiltrating Iraq from Syria.  Suddenly, a thunderous explosion rang out and the vehicle flipped over in a fireball, he said. The surviving Marine scrambled from beneath the overturned vehicle, the officer said.  The Marines killed Wednesday were assigned to the 3rd Battalion. 25th Marines based in Brook Park, a Cleveland suburb, and attached to the Regimental Combat Team-2. Nine of them were from a single smaller unit in Columbus.  President Bush lamented the deaths of the 14 Marines, calling the attack a “grim reminder* America is still at war.  “These terrorists and insurgents will use brutal tactics because they’re trying to shake the will of the United States of America. They want us to retreat.” Bush  See Iraq, Page 3A  By Karen Middleton  ancnews@pclnet. net Limestone County District 2 Commissioner Gerald Barksdale says sitting down with commissioners from across the nation gives him a fresh perspective on handling problems in his own community.  Barksdale, who attended the National Association of Counties in Hawaii July 15- Barksdale 19 said Wednesday that every day of the trip was jam packed with meetings and seminars dealing with issues facing virtually all counties in the United States.  See Hawaii, Page 3A     Index          Business......    11A      Classified.....    5-8B      Comics.......    4R      Ledger .......    13A      NASCAR ......    ?B      Obituaries.....    ?A      Doris Mae Bassham      Edna Brewer      Theresa Ferrell      Richard Alvin Potter      Opinion ......    4A      Sports........    1-3B      Valley .......    BA      Weather......    2A     Daily Bible Moment  $&etter it is to be of an humble spirit wit the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.  Proverbs 16:19  cl    (o/afcl  SUJF .122 Hwv. 31 N • Athens  •fH'» (W  256-232-1051 Obit lia« 256-771-0034  69847  00001  4 injured in crash following argument  By Sonny Turner   sonny@athensnews-courier.com  Four people were injured early Wednesday when the vehicle in which they were riding overturned and crashed following a disturbance that started in Wal-Mart’s parking lot.  Athens Police Capt. Marty Bruce said the four were treated at Athens-Limestone Hospital and released.  He said the disturbance, which involved several groups of teenagers and young adults, apparently started because one of the people involved had been blamed for talking about some of the people in the group.  “The man accused of running the four off the road claims he was the victim,” Bruce said. “He said he was on his way home when they got behind his vehicle and started harassing him. But the wreck victims tell a different story. They say he was putting on his brakes trying get them to run into the back of their car and when they tried to go around him he forced them off the road and they wrecked.”  Treated at Athens-Limestone Hospital following the late night wreck near Elm and Hine Street were Bethany Michelle Baugher, 24, Shawn Austin Enzor, 19, Josh Brooks, 17, all of Athens, and Kenneth Allen Huber, 20, of Elkmont. Police said Baugher was the driver of the car.  Eric Lance Emerson, 20, of Anderson, was the driver of the other car involved but he was not injured.  Bruce said Emerson told investigators that he was driving through the Wal-Mart parking lot at midnight Tuesday when someone hollered asking if he was the one who had been talking about him.  “He said he left and came back and that is when a group of about six people were about to whip him,” said Bruce. “He said he drove off again and they followed him.”  See Crash, Page 2A  Home from Afghanistan  Mysterious tree with plate-sized leaves identified  B\ T.ASHIA L(W ELL  tashia(a athensnews-couher.com  It’s not what she wanted but it's what she got. i  Tula Anerton thought she was planting a hibiscus but ended up w ith an 8 foot. 6 inches tall unknown at least to her plant.  Anerton said that her sister-in-law gav e her the seed in the spring of 2004. The plant grew a little last season, but nothing compared to how much it grew this year. It’s now a towering tree.  “I’ve never seen anything like it," said Tula's husband Grady. "It’s about N feet tall."  Grady measured the leaves of the plant to be 18 inches long and 19 inches wide.  “I'd rather have something else,” Tula said. It's too close to the house for her liking.  Tula said-she has done a lot of gardening and has never seen anything like the plant.  “We're just leaving it there out of curiosi-  See Tree, Page 2A  MHMMiMMMMMMMMMmNIMINIIMNHHMMMMMMKHHHMIMMttHMMM  Hey, Sound Off:  I agree with the person who dislikes self-serve lanes at big retail chains.  They never hired enough people to man the numerous cash registers in the first place, and instead offered two to three open checkouts with the remaining ones closed.  Their solution to this was the self-serve lanes.  With the high number of people who have lost jobs and have been laid off due to corporate changes, I refuse to use self-serve lanes.  I will stand in a line to be waited on by a clerk any day.  If customers don’t, the few lanes which are manned by a real person will be replaced by a computer w ith automated checkout.  Then, there won’t be a choice.  I say real customer service beats out self-serve lanes any day.  More Sound Off Valley, 5A  Family decorates for homecoming  By Tashia Lovell   tashia@athensnews-courier.com   It’s has been a big year for Major Mark Hammond, of the United States Army, and he said that’s putting it mildly.  Hammond has been stationed in Afghanistan for a year and Saturday will be marrying his fiance, Mary Pressnell at their home on Lucas Ferry Road.  They have dated for about three years and have been engaged for 18-months and being away from each other hasn’t been easy.  “It’s been very hard,” Pressnell said adding that you never know how precious a phone call is.  But now, phone calls aren’t as necessary because  See Homecoming, Page 2A  Melanie McLemore, Drew Hammond and Lauren Hammond, top, get ready to welcome home Major Mark Hammond home from Afghanistan. Hammonds, above with Lauren and Drew, had been in Iraq for 15 months when his children and his niece went to Montgomery Tuesday to pick him up.  Get the news with your morning coffee  Subscribe to The  232-2720  Barksdale reports on Hawaii trip  News-courier/ Alissa Clark Grady Anerton looks at a mystery plant that has grown near his and his wife’s carport at their Athens home. At left, Anerton measures the width of a leaf from what was later identified as a Paulownia Tomentosa.   

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