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Athens News Courier Newspaper Archive: January 6, 2009 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - January 6, 2009, Athens, Alabama                                 Tuesday, January 6, 2009  Obama’s back: President-elect returns to D.C. PAGE 5A  Couriei  Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Futi  Index  ..................4B  ..................7A  ..................2A  Charles Christopher Boyd Wesley Coffman Cuba Jean Gassaway Vernie Bell Honea Mamie Graul Johnson Doris Black Loughnan Harry Neal Lowery Bobby Gerald Martin Princess Lorraine McCurry Randy Lee Seals ...................IB  Washington Street Diner  Oive Block East of Athens Square  1 OO Washington St.  Breakfast Cooked to Order j, '  Great Plate Lunches  Served from 1 1 :OOam-2:OOpm  Open 6:OOam til 2:OOpm Mon.-Fn. • 6:OOam til 12:OOprr\ Sc*.  Take Out Orders - Call 232-020S Check out our Daily Blue Plate Special $4.63  Online edition  Check out reader-submitted photos in slideshows under Photo Galleries at   www.enewscourier.com   Send your amatuer photos for publication in The News Courier's print and online editions to  kim@athensnews-courier.com . Be sure to include names of people in the photos and a contact number.  Coming  Wednesday  'Biggest Loser' contestant scales back  ...and tells how to lose weight in 2009  LIFESTYLES  WEDNESDAY  Classified Ledger .. Obituaries  Sports  Visit us online   www.enewscourler.com   East Limestone vs. Elkmont, plus other basketball action. For more, visit enewscourier.com  SPORTS, PAGE IB  Xylene spill cleanup continues  By Karen Middleton  karen0athensnews-courier.com  Cleanup continues of contaminated water and soil after a chemical pipeline running through the Owens community sprung a leak a week ago.  The pipeline, which carries xylene, was shut down as soon as the leak was reported. It runs from the giant Whiting Refinery in northern Indiana, 20 miles  southeast of downtown Chicago to supply Amoco BP in Decatur.  The pipeline was installed in 1977. BP uses xylene in the production of terephthalic acid — PTA — which in its powder form goes into polyester fibers and plastic containers.  Greg Thomas, whose pond from which his cattle drink was contaminated by xylene runoff from the leak, wondered Monday  wben he would hear from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management whether his cattle w'ould be affected from drinking the contaminated water.  “As far as my problems, l‘m still waiting on them to tell me something,” said Thomas. “They say the w^ater is at a safe level, but is it safe in the long run? I’m on hold right now. I wouldn’t sell any cattle now not know ing.”  Attempts to reach Bruce Freeman in ADEM’s Decatur office were unsuccessful. Also, a message left for ADEM’s public information spokesman Scott Hughes in Montgomery w r as not returned.  Ron Rybarczyk of Toledo, Ohio. BP public affairs director in BP America’s pipeline unit, said the leak has been clamped off and  See Xylene, page 3A  Inside  Today  High school hoops  Subscribe  Prisoner accused of 1 ear  of fellow inmate  By Kelly Kazek  kellv <r athcnsncw s-couricr.com  An 18-vear-old prisoner at Limestone County Jail is missing the tip of his right sar after it was bitten off by a fellow prisoner in a Saturday brawl, said Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely.  as Breaking news  at  www.enewscourier.com   An investigation into the incident is not complete and charges had not been filed Monday in the case, he said.  Not all witnesses have been interviewed, the sheriff said, but preliminary reports indicate Farroll Barber, 30, who was jailed about a week ago on a theft of property charge, was fighting with Julius Allen, 18, who was jailed at about the same time on charges of sodomy and possession of a controlled substance but has not been sentenced, when Barber bit  See Ear, page 3A  Man charged with abuse of 5-year-old  By Jean Cole jeon  a  ndnHisnews-courier.com A 5-year-old Limestone County girl told her parents a visiting family friend entered her bedroom in the early morning hours Saturday, tried to remove her pajamas and then touched and fondled her. an official said.  The girl’s report led to the arrest of Barry Mitchell Gant, 45, of 25689 Nick Davis Road, Athens, on a charge of sexual abuse of a child under age 12, a class B felony, said Limestone County Sheriffs Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt.  Gant remained in the Limestone County Jail Monday  See Abuse, page 3A  Get the news with your morning coffee  SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720  00001  When giving taketh away  NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS  Salvation Army employees and volunteers sort through soaked items dumped on the parking lot over the weekend, where looters tore open sacks and strewed the contents, Sgt. David Craddock stands in the doorway, left, while employee Mary Wilbanks and store Manager Tina Henderson try to salvage what they can with the help of volunteer Jimmy Garrett.  Salvation Army officials beg relief from dumpers, looters  By Karen Middleton   karen@athensnews-courier.com   A caramel colored suede jacket and fuzzy pink baby sleepers are among heaps of adult and children’s clothing that no one will ever wear again.  They lay twisted and soaked among a broken table, naked, bent ribs of a patio umbrella and a bald tire in the Salvation Army parking lot.  Sgt. David Craddock, Sal-  / / It's obvious that 9 % some of the people ... just wanted to avoid a dumping fee at the landfill. But now I have to pay the dump fee and that takes money out of my programs."  - Sgt. David Craddock, Salvation Army  vation Army corps officer, stood in the damp cold Monday morning and shook his  head with disgust.  “We had this all cleaned up Saturday,” he said. “We think this was all dumped and rif-fled through by Sunday night ."  Some of the items that had been dropped off in the parking lot would have been usable if they had remained enclosed in their plastic shopping bags.  But looters had ripped open the bags and dumped the con-  See Salvation Army, page 3A  County approves medical services for inmates  By Karen Middleton   karen@athensnews-courier.com   Three Limestone County commissioners say it’s better to deal with a company they know rather than the low-priced option when choosing health care providers.  Monday, the commission voted 3-to-2 to approve North Alabama Professional Medical Services for health care for county  jail inmates at a cost of $393,663. Commissioners Gerald Barksdale and Gary Daly said they voted against the measure, because of the four companies who returned proposals, others charged less.  “I would like to have given someone else a shot at it,” said Barksdale.  “It all boils down to money!” said Daly. “And we are stewards  of the taxpayers’ money.”  However, Commission Chairman David Seibert said when he voted with Commissioners Bill Daws and Bill Latimer to break the tie vote, “Cheapest isn't always the best. This is a local company with local employees and everyone has been satisfied with  See Medical, page 3A   

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