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Athens News Courier: Friday, December 30, 2005 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - December 30, 2005, Athens, Alabama                                 Tanner tourney Hello, 2006  Tanner High School’s Rattlers host Locals share their traditions,  Christmas basketball tournament IB resolutions for the new year  ews-Courier  Frii)v>, Dfî fmbfr 30, 2005  HENS AND Limestone Coint\: A Cîemmim ia oe Tradh ion and Fi 11  RK  enewscourier.coin  -0  f^&o-d i-n/O-'vLh,  Nellie  Reece  Suiwcriher of the clay  Year-end stories  A chronology of events from 2005. as well as greetings from local businesses. appear in a special section.  Inside today  mm  Hey, Sound Off:  I’eople never cease to amaze me. Recently, when going to a krcal restaurant, I pulled in and noticed that all the parking spaces were taken — mainly because one woman had parked sideways, taking two spaces. But the woman parked sideways was beside her car and noticed me waiting to park, so I figured I would not have long to wait. W f4)ng.  The woman looked at me. then got back out of her car to walk over and speak to another woman parked nearby and admire her baby.  She knew people were waiting to park but continued to chit chat. I don’t understand why people never consider others.  More Sound Off Valley, 5A  Get the new.s with your morning coffee  Subscribe to The \ews-Couner  232-2^20  Index  Classified 5-8B  Comics..........3B  Ledger..........5A  Obituaries 2A  Dale Corrin Causey Edna Springer Favors Bonnelle King Anna Louise Moffatt Thomas Marion Vickers Sports.........1-2B  Daily Bible Moment  ifjh/ the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.  1 Timothy 6:12  Limestone Chape  ¿‘•el    322    Hwv.    31    N*    Athens  256-2.32-1051 Obit line 256-771-0934  69847  00001  Aubama’s Top 10 Stories of 2005  50 C KM s  Phillip Morris shows the spot where his home stood in Bayou La Batre before Hurricane^Katrina stmck!''  Hurricane Katrina tops list of state’s biggest events this year  Ba I hk .\ss()( iath) Pkfss  The top ten stories of 2005 in Alabama;  1. Hurricanes: Katrina and Co. strike while .Alabama s beach resorts are still recovering from Ivan. With coastal Mobile County battered, thousands ol evacuees from Katrina and Rita fill ■Alabama shelters, hotel rooms, FFiM.A trailers.  2. Missing: Mountain Brook teen Natalee Holloway disappears on the final night of a senior class trip to Aruba. Her distraught family and friends are frustrated in their search for answers as a made-for-cable-T\' mystery unfolds on the Caribbean island.  3. Innocent: Fired HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy is acquitted of all criminal fraud charges in a widely tollowed trial in Birmingham. The jurv acquits Scrushy despite a parade of former company officials testifying he led a S2.7 billion accounting fraud at the medical services chain.  4. Remembering Civil Rights: Heroes and heroines of the movement were recalled in memorials upon the deaths of Rosa Parks and Vivian !VIalone Jones and the kickotf celebration of the 50th anniversary ot the Montgomery bus boycott.  5. Ciovernnient corruption: Former Gov. Don Siegelman is indicted along with Scrushy and two former Cabinet members as a government corruption probe moves from Birmingham to a Montgomery federal grand jury. Siegelman claims the latest charges are a Republican  See Stories, Page 2A  AP photos  Tears roll down the face of Beth Twitty as she stands with her husband George “Jug” Twitty during a prayer meeting in support of families with missing children in this Thursday, Dec. 8, file photo at the Governor’s Mansion in Montgomery. Twitty's daughter, Natalee Holloway (inset) has been missing since May 30.  Teenagers charged in thefts, vandalism  Bv .SONNV ITrnfk  somiyia oihcnsucws-couriCKctm  Athens Pidice arrested four l imestone C’ountv teenagers Thursday and charged them with vandalism and thefts at severaMoeations m .Athens and I imestone Countv.  Police said the vandalism includes the spray-painting of gang gratfiii on city streets, buildings and other areas m the city and county.  Ivvo 15-year-(dd and two lb-year-old hovs were released in the custody ot their parents Thursday. Police said three of the boys attend Tanner High School. Fhe other is a resident of the Tanner area.  The four were arrested after .Athens policeman. Dame! McN'att. noticed a truck with its headlights on at Craig's M.iehine Shop at McClellan and Marion streets shortly after midnight.  “When he pulled up. Officer McNatt noticed one person run and jump into tlie bed ot the truck and tlie driver took otT." said ( apt. Marty liruce. "He stopped the vehicle at Me( lellan and .letferson and found two juveniles riding in the bed of the truck, and one had a can of spray paint in his pocket."  Bruce said olfieers continued to investigate and found where gang gralfiii had been spray-pamted in the middle of the street on Monroe Street and on CS.X Railroad eqmiiment m that area.  Officers also found more sprav paint, boxes of candy and sports drink m possession of the teens. Those items later were determined to have been stolen.  The teenagers are facing a series of charges that involve burglary, theft and criminal mischief  Limestone County authorities have also charged ail four w ith enminal mischief in connection w ith the spray painting of signs in the Tanner area.  Bruce said city investigators Sgt. Trevor Harris and Jay Looney determined the teenagers were involved m the break-m of a concession stand at the .Athens Sportsplex where the candy and a sports drink were stolen. He said estimated damage to the concession stand IS S2,200.  fh uce said investigators have also charged one ot file 15-year-olds with shoplifting from Wal-Mart Wednesday night.  He said m addition, police believe one of the 16-year-oId boys is responsible for spray-pamtmg the doors ot Athens-Limestone Public Library.  Red Cross keeps tabs on locally donated funds  B\ Karfn .Middlf.ton  karen(^athensnews-couher.com  With three national directors in the past six years, the Red Cross has gone through some tough times. The latest rap came for perceived slow response times in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  Now, 49 people face federal indictments for bilking at least S200,000 in Katrina funds out of a Bakersfield. Calif, emergency call center.  The Bakersfield site is the largest of three Red Cross centers set up to handle hurricane calls. Others are in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and Falls Church, Va.  Operators provided qualifying victims with a personal identification number they then presented to receive aid funds from Western Union, authorities said; however, many of those receiving aid were friends and relatives of the operators and not hurricane victims.  Red Cross hired 14 employees of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Spherion to operate the site and none of the operators charged with giving out fraudulent aid money were Red Cross employees.  Local Red Cross Director Kathy Harland said the Limestone County organization goes through a series of “checks and balances” to make sure all funds donated or raised here are distributed as they are intended.  It s so sad that in a time of disaster with so many people hurting and in need there are a few-bad apples out there,” said Harland. “I just can’t  See Red Cross, Page 3A  Preparing for busy holiday weekenc  Athens Police Lieutenant Anthony Pressnell, left, and officer Michael Cash look over an Athens map to discuss where DUI checkpoints will be during the holiday weekend. Athens Police will be conductinq roadblocks Dec. 30 and Dec, 31. Extra officers. Including reserve officers, will be on duty.   

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