Thursday, February 19, 2009

Athens News Courier

Location: Athens, Alabama

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - February 19, 2009, Athens, Alabama Visit us online www.enewscouiier.com Coming Sunday i Who are the Top 25? People in the community sent nominations and now the Top 25 Over 55, the people who helped .shape Limestone County, will be featured in a special publication. COMING SUNDAY Inside Today ... And the Oscar goes to Matilda If Heath Ledger is named best supporting actor at Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony, his daughter, 3-year-old Matilda Rose Ledger, will become the owner of the O^car statuette. PAGE 7A Subscribe Gt't tiu' lU'WS witii your inorning cofltv SUBSCRIBE TO. THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720 69847 '00001 Tanner stays in regional play with 69-44 win PAGE IB e News Courier Sen ing Athens and Limestone County: A Conmninity of Tradition and Future 50 ivnts Thursday, February 19, 2009 Chambers gets 25 years Confessed arsonist is sentenced for burning of Butler Building in Athens By Keliy Kazek kcIlyi&Xithcnsncws-courivr.cofli A man who admitted burning the former Butler Furniture building said in court Wednesday that he did it for love of his sister. Keith Chambers, 50, of Rogersville was sentenced by Judge Jerry Batts to 25 years in prison after he pleaded guilty in December to second-degree arson, or Getting fire to an unoccupied building. The building was located on Market Street near Athens Post Office. “I’m pleased with the sentence,” said Limestone County District Attorney Kristi Vails. Chambers, who h^ eight prior convictions ranging from theft to another second-degree arson conviction, coulu have been sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison under the habitual offender law, Vails said. In the early 1990s, Chambers was arrested for burglaiy and arson at the Chris-wood Golf Course off' Nick Davis Road. Batts gave the 25 years after Vails said in court that chambers crime resulted in more than just a burnt building. “It affected not just the people w'ho ow ned the building but the whole city,’’ she said. Athens City firefighters and numerous volunteer firefighters put their lives on the line on August 27, 2007, to put out the blaze, she said. Vails said Chambers told authorities about a week ago that he See Arson, page 3A More hoops action at Wallace NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS Elkmont boys, girls play today Elkmont High School students, above, cheer for the Red Devils at a recent game while Clements High School fans, at left, cheer for the Lady Colts at Wallace State on Tuesday night during the first round of the regional tournament. Elkmont girls play today at 3 p.m. at Wallace State and Elkmont boys play at 7:30 p.m. EHS students who would like to attend are allowed to check out of school at noon today and will need to show their tickets to have an excused absence, a school employee said. Clements girls play in the 2A regional finals Friday at 12:20 p.m. and Tanner boys play in the 2A regional finals at 2 p.m. Friday. Second unit shut down at Browns Ferry By Edd Davis ixMuthvnsiH '\vs-a)urii'r. mm A second reactor has been shut down at IVA’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Limestone County, the second shutdown this week. Plant spokesperson Craig Beasley said late Wednesday afternoon a problem with a fen system that cools the electrical connection between Browns Ferry and the TVA power grid prompted the shutdown at 3:51 a.m. Wednesday morning. “We are continuing to make sure we understand what happened and the corrective actions we need to take before the unit is restarted,” said Beasley. “The units are designed to shut down automatically and go into a safe condition if something unusual is detected. That’s what happened in this case.” A problem with a cooling system forced operators to temporarily shut down another reactor at the plant early Monday. A report filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said ojrerators had to manually shut down the Unit 2 reactor at Browns Ferry early Monday because of a problem with cooling water in an electric turbine. Die shutdown wasn’t considered an emergency. Engineers are also trying to determine what caused that problem. Browns Ferry is one of three TVA nuclear plants that generate about 30 percent of all the power the agency supplies in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi. North Carolina and Virginia. Woman claims she was bound, imprisoned by husband By Kei I y K\/Ek krllw^ idlwiisiK'ws-courior.ann A passerby picked up a woman Wednesday walking along Cotton Belt Road, her hands bound behind her with plastic zip ties. After telling Limestone County authorities she had jumped 10 feet from a barn loft where her common law husband had locked her, the woman discovered she had landed in trouble. Lindsay Erin Smith, 22, of 24021 Cotton Belt Road, was taken by the passerby to the Discount Food Mart on Salem Road, where someone cut the ties from her wrists and called the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department, according to Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt. Deputy Dean Murray responded and took Smith to the Sheriff’s Office. There, she told Investigator Leslie Ramsey that her common-law husband James Robertson got angry that See Imprisoned, page 3A Sentencing for Woods not set By Keei y K.yzek kclh'iS id hciisncws-a niricr.com The sentencing for a man convicted of killing two Athens residents and wounding two other men has not been set by Madison County Circuit Judge Laura Hamilton, her assistant said. The Madison County District Attorney’s office, which prosecuted the case, has not been notified of a new court date after the sentencing was postponed Monday because a juror was ill, a spokeswoman said. Jamal Wcxxls, 24, of Huntsville was convicted Friday, Feb. 13 of capital See Sentencing, page 3A NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNOERS/FILC Sentencing has not been set for Jamal Woods, shown above testifying last week during his trial. Index Business......................5A Classified.....................4B Comics .......................3B Ledger .......................9A Lottery.......................3A Obituaries ....................2A Louise Collier Garth Margaret Katherine Lloyd Sports ........................fff Weather ......................2A Lhrer Special - lYiMdaijr $2.99 St. CUMii 0>r - 25% Off AêhtmlêuHUmOtüy DiteomtëjflpÜnmkuÜyidMmlmeidionfy Online edition Visit The News Courier's online marketplace at enewscourier.com and click SHOHiOCAL