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Athens News Courier: Thursday, February 5, 2009 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - February 5, 2009, Athens, Alabama                                 Visit us online   www.enewscourier.com   Inside  Today  Country  royalty  honored  Barbara Mandrell, Roy Clark and Charlie McCoy will become the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, with induction ceremonies slated for spring.  PAGE 8A  Bombing  targets  doctor  A car bomb explosion critically wounded the head of the Arkansas panel that licenses and disciplines doctors, detonating in his driveway as he was leaving for work.  PAGE 3A  Get (he news with your morning coffee  SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720  69847 00001  McLAIN TRIAL SET FOR  NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS  The law and accounting offices of John McLain , above, are at the corner of Washington and Marion streets.  Local attorney charged with sex abuse, kidnapping to be in court  A trial is set to begin Monday in Madison County Circuit Court for an Athens attorney who was indicted in September on charges he sexually abused two young girls.  John Hamilton McLain, a former accountant who later obtained a law degree and opened an office downtown, will be tried in Judge Jim Smith’s court.  Prosecutors from the state Attorney General’s office will try the case.  McLain, 49, of 1706 Foxcroft Drive, was indicted on two counts each of enticement, second-degree sexual abuse, second-degree kid  napping and unlawful imprisonment of two minor girls.  McLain was initially arrested by Athens Police in July after two girls, 12 and 13, allegedly told their parents that McLain had offered them a ride home. Reportedly, the girls were picked up near a mall in Madison County.  McLain allegedly then took the girls to his home in Athens, where he kept them for seven hours and exposed himself to the girls and inappropriately touched one of them, said Police  See McLain, page 2A  Witness: ‘Ruckus,’ gunshots cut short the party  By Karen Middleton  karem&athemnews-courii r.com  Shawn Gatlin of Athens noticed the stocky black man’s distinctive shirt that December night in 2006 at T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant in Huntsville and told his date, Melissa Smith, she should get one like it.  He said the black T-shirt had printed on it, “Who’s the boss?” and it was patterned with images of $100 bills.  The next time he saw the shirt was when he heard a “ruckus” at the bar, turned and saw the man who was wearing the shirt holding a pistol and tiring at several people at the bar. He froze;  Jamal Wo0(is  his date dove under the table.  Gatlin was the first witness to testify Wednesday in the capital murder trial of Jamal Rovdrick Woods, 23, who is accused in the Dec. 17, 2006, shooting deaths of Tanqueray “ rank” Beavers, 21, and Thurston Tlimer, 27, both of Athens. Woods is also accused of attempted murder in the wounding of Au-tora “Tory” Rogers, an Athens man who accompanied Beavers and T urner to the restaurant, and bystander William “Tim” Relifoid of Hazel Green, who had just stopped by the restaurant for a  See TGIF, page 2A  Legislature considers harsher punishments for cockfighting  NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS  Two state lawmakers are trying to strengthen Alabama’s cockfighting law - currently the weakest in the nation.  By Jean Cole  jean®a thensncws*courier. com Alabama’s cockfighting law is the weakest in the nation, according to the Humane Society of the United States Two state lawmakers hope to change that during the legislative session that began Tuesday.  Sen. Hinton Mitchem, D-Union Grove, and state Rep. Cam Ward, R-Al-abaster, will propose a bill that, if passed, would make cockfighting a felony punishable by one to 10 years in prison.  Currently, a conviction for cockfight-ing — a sport that pits roosters bred for aggressiveness in a pit for the purposes of gambling and entertainment Z — carries a fine of only $25 to $50.  Law-enforcement officials in Athens  and Limestone County say cockfighting occurs infrequently here.  In April, a Limestone County man found two bloodied, dead roosters along the road ditch near his home and believes they may have been used for cock-fighting. Bobby Turner said the cocks appeared to have had their spurs — the natural protrusions on their feet — filed down for fighting. In some cases, spurs are filed down and fitted with razor-sharp spurs for fighting.  But, filed or trimmed spurs do not necessarily mean the roosters were used for cockfighting, one expert said.  After seeing a photograph of the birds, D’Renda Lewis with the Alabama  See Cockfighting, page 3A  Local shelter requests pet lovers give dog beds for Valentine's Day  By Jean Colt:  jeaH@a thensnews -courier.com  Chewy, the mostfy-German Shepherd pup, lies on his towel at The Dog Pound in Athens and dreams of the girl in the next pen.  She’s a tan fox terrier named Loma with dreamy brown eyes.  With Valentine’s Day looming, Chewy  sure would like to win her over while the two of them wait to be adopted.  If he had 50 bucks, he’d buy her a soft, dry, elevated dog bed to sleep on instead of the cold — sometimes wet — concrete floors and towels to which they’ve all grown accustomed.  See Dog beds, page 3A  An example of a dog bed from  COURTESY OF KURANDA.COM  Kuranda  Index  Business......................5A  Classified.....................4B  Comics.......................  Ledger .......................6A  Obituaries ....................2A  Marvin E. Adcock Carrie Ann Cook Anne Marguerite Kuhn Seibert  Sports ........................IB  Weather ......................2A  I Sk\  Online edition  Check out local businesses at The News Courier's online marketplace at  enewscourier.com  filôt LOCAL  Thursday, February 5, 2009  Local athletes celebrate National Signing Day PAGE IB  Courie  ■/is    and Limestone County: A    Comm and future   

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