Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - December 27, 2005, Athens, Alabama Alabama’s Idol A year of stories ‘American Idol' runner-up Bo Bice A look back at some of the stories featured in our releases his first album 44 Lifestyles section in 2005, coming Wednesday The News-Courier Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition vnd Future f i ESPAY, December 27, 2005 enewscourier.com so a CrCrd. ms&X/tvinQ Odessa Weems Subscriber of the dav Post-Christmas sales strong Retailers slash prices to generate second round of holiday shopping NEW YORK (AP) — Armed with gift cards and a zeal for bargains, shoppers returned to the nation’s malls and stores Monday for a second round of the holiday shopping season as retailers hoped for a post-Christmas sales blitz. Many stores stymied by shoppers procrastinating even longer than last year are relying even more on the post-hol-lday business to meet their modest sales goals, and wooed customers w ith deeper discounts, expanded shopping hours and fresh regular price merchandise. They're largely aiming their efforts at the growing numbers of gift card holders who are expected to spend their new found money more generously, (lift card sales are recorded as sales only when they're redeemed. “Retailers have recognized that December has 31 days." said Marshal Cohen, chief analyst at NPD Group Inc., a market research firm based in Port Washington, N.Y. In fact, in an effort to prop up profits, a grow ing number of stores such as Coach Inc.. Target Corp., and American Eagle Outfitters Inc. rolled out some spring merchandise while KB Toys Inc. was pushing new versions of Barbie and the funky Bratz dolls. Consumer electronic chains such as Best Buy Co. Inc. were highlighting CDs. DVDs and video games in their advertising. counting on shoppers to feed the gadgets they received for the holiday. ‘i'm looking for new merchandise." said James Coffey, who was among the early shoppers at Town Center Mall in Charleston, WVa. He was hearing gift cards including one from Sears. Roebuck and Co. and another for the mall, aiming to spend as much as $300. Still, most shoppers were clamoring for a deal. "1 wouldn't pay full price today for anything." said Misty Watters, who snapped up discounted Nike sweat pants and T-shirts at McCain Mall 111 North Little Rock. Ark. “We re looking for anything on sale,” said Jennifer Westfall, of ( harleston, WVa., who brought her mother and 7-year-old daughter to the local Charleston Mall. “Only cheap-o markdowns.” Westfall found several deals, including a $130 cocktail dress for $20 and childrens clothes discounted 00 percent. Meanwhile, at the Robinsons-May store in suburban Canoga Park, Calif., See Shopping. Page 3A ( ourtesy phot« >s Above, Sherri Bassham holds her cat, Blaze, at her Athens home. Pictured at the Opryland Hotel at left during a road trip to Nashville are. in front from left, Jennifer Laxson (kneeling), Andrew Lynn and Devin Thompson; in back from left, Blair Bassham, Brandy Wooten, Sherri Bassham, Holly Talley and Jason Jones. Others on the trip but not pictured here were Lee Michael and Meg Bidwell. Hey, Sound Off: Is it fair when residents, developers and builders base their home and business investments on the long-term planning, good faith and word of the City Council only to learn that the zoning they had counted on may be changed at any time? Such is the case at Summit Lakes subdivision, where the progress of developing what could be one of the most beautiful areas in Athens is held hostage by the possibility that the entrance to the subdivision could be rezoned or a variance issued to allow a parking lot. The City Council could remove the uncertainty for everyone concerned by going on record as being for or against rezoning residential property on Lindsay Lane north of U.S.72. More Sound Off Valley, 4A Index Classified 4-6B Comics..........3B Ledger..........6A Lifestyles 5A Obituaries 2A Tillman English Ashford Wilma Brooks Ruby C. Doming Don Allen Forte Billy D. Fontenot Matthew Adam Garland Gertie B. “Pete” Higgins Flo Holt Jones Blaiden Dale Norman Arthur Souza Sports.........1-2B Valley ..........4A Weather.........2A Daily Bible Moment hen desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. James 1:15 Limestone Chapel l^t. ~‘Wt :.V»u 322 Hm. 31 N* Athens 256-232-1051 Obit line 256-771-0934 69847 00001 Giving the gift of fellowship Minister's wife establishes ministry on ASU campus B\ Charlotte Fulton Special to The News-Courier When Sherri Bassham learned that Jimmy, her husband of 33 years, was to become pastor of F irst United Methodist Church of Athens, her first thought w'as, “There’s a college in Athens. That's great!” Bassham has a particular passion for college ministry, and a history of building such ministries on college campuses. Already, she has a Wesley Fellowship group established in Athens, with a core membership of about 15. The group meets for Bible study at 8 p.m. each Monday in the Bear Cage in the Sandridge Student Center of Athens State University, and since the beginning of the school year has sponsored a booth at the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention and at the ASU Halloween Carnival. Also at Halloween, the group sponsored a scary outdoor movie on campus at ASU. Dinner and a movie at the Basshams' is now a monthly event, and one of the groups most recent outings was a road trip to Nashville to see the ice sculptures and Christmas lights at Opryland Hotel. Bassham who works strictly as a volunteer — also stays in touch with local youth attending college elsewhere, e-mailing them Bible lessons and prayer concerns, hoping to get them actively involved while they're home for holidays and summer break. “It’s a tough age,” she says. “They're young adults, but they still need someone to listen, to love them unconditionally. They need a shoulder; they need someone to hear them See Ministry, Page 3A How to go The Wesley Fellowship will sponsor Karaoke Night at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 30, in the Beasley Center of First I nited Methodist Church of Athens. The event is free and open to all people of college age, regardless of whether they attend college. Slick road blamed for Christmas Eve fatality A Limestone County man on his way to fill his car with gasoline died Christmas Eve when his car slid off rain-slicked Alabama 251, an official said. Matthew “Adam” Garland, 22. of 21428 Oakland Meadow Road died when his car hit a tree at 12:32 p.m., just south of Van Dyke Road, said Assistant Coroner Andy Jackson. His home was in Oakland Meadow Subdivision off Alabama 251. Jackson said Garland’s wife said he left his home two minutes before the accident to get gas. Jackson said the rain apparently played a factor, causing Garland to lose control of the car in a curve. A w itness told Jackson he saw the car skid sideways before leaving the road. Garland was employed at Morgan Metals. Kelly KazekJ Managing Editor Passing through Athens News-Courier/Kim Rynders The Athens Cracker Barrel is a busy place as travelers make their way home after the holidays. Above, from left; Ray Moss, Monica Moss and Nick Jenks, all from Rogersville, rock on the porch of the restaurant and talk with Mellanie Keys, of Waggoner, Okla., and Caroline Upton, a server at the restaurant.