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Athens News Courier: Thursday, February 26, 2009 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - February 26, 2009, Athens, Alabama                                 AHS softball team opens season at new ball fields PAGE IB  Tbe News Courier  Sening Athens and Limestone County: A Conmiunity oflradition and hitiire  \ V  à»  Thursday, February 26, 2009  50 cents  Visit us online   www.enewscourierxom   Inside  Today  BACKS '  Valley home sales rank near top  A federal housing report says four Alabama cities -Decatur, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa and Montgomery - rank in Top 10 areas where home sale prices rose in 2008.  PAGE 7A  Coming  Friday  Students draw ads  Local kids helped businesses design ads for The News Courier. See their designs in the special Deslgn-an-Ad section.  COMING FRIDAY  Subscribe  (iet the news with your morning coiTet'  SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720  7    69847    00001  IN CONCERT "It's amazing because it's been going on for 30 years.'  - OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN SAYS OF THE POPULARITY OF HER FILM “GREASE"  COURTESY OF OLIVIANEWTON-JOHN.COM  Olivia Newton-John  After three decades, fans still ‘hopelessly devoted’ to Olivia  By Keijy K/SZFK  kclh io^athi ‘/is/je ws -c tx/ner. a»n  Olivia Newton-John sounds just as you’d ejq)ect her to: sweet, happy, friendly — like a modern-day Sandra Dee.  And just as she had no trouble playing a teenaged Sandy in the film “Grease” when she was 29, Newton-John would have little trouble passing for 20 years younger today, at 60.  More than 30 years after “Grease” made Newton-John a film icon, she says she is grateful to have had the experience and that new generations continue to discover and love the movie and its songs, such as “You’re the One That I Want” and “Hopelessly Devoted.”  “It’s amazing because it’s been going on for 30 years,” Newton-John said Wednesday by telephone. “I feel so fortunate to be part of something so large.”  The singer and actress will perform songs fiiom “Grease,” as well as her film “Xanadu” and her nearly three dozen CDs, at “An Evening with Olivia New ton-John” at 7 p.m. Sunday at  See Olivfa, page 2A  How to go  "An Evening with Olivia Newton-John" will be at 7 p.m. Sunday at Von Braun Center’s Concert Hall in Huntsville. For tickets, visit Ticketmaster.com, the VBC Box Office or call 1-800-277-1700. For the latest tour dates, music and news, visit OliviaNewton-John.com.  iiifc    tr*  Olivia Newton-John starred with John Travolta in "Grease in 1978.  New video technology speeds up court process  By Karen Middiihdn  kiUtn(^athensiH ‘ws-ttn irit t.< xnn An average of 40 inmates a week are transpcHted from the Limestone County Jail to the courthouse for an initial hear^ fc»: those who haven’t been released on bond.  According to jail officials it takes at least two jailers to get them ready for the trip, transport them in a van and guard them at the courthouse. Tlie process is both time and manpower-intensive, which leads to more ejq>ense for the county.  But a recent purchase of video  equipment has streamlined the process. County Commission Chairman David Seibert introduced the Cisco audioMdeo f^ne set being used by all four judges — Circuit Judges Jimmy Woodroof and Bob Baker, and Probate Judges Jeanne Anderson and Jerry Batts — and Circuit Court Clerk Charles Page to process new inmates.  Instead of having to reserve or dear a courtroom to process waiting inmates in their initial hearings, the judges can use the equiiwnent to connect directly  See Vidfo, page 3A  Joines: Hump in road caused accident  By Jf.yn Cx)IT  /('ill ¡^a( III 'iisiu 'w’s-ixnirii 'r.anu  ATHENS - A man on trial for reckless murder told a Limestone County jury Wednesday he had four beers but was not drunk when he hit a hump in the road causing his truck to malfimc-tion, dart to the right and cause the fetal wreck that killed a motorcyclist in 2006.  'The jury recewed the case a^nst Jerry Allen Joines, 48, of Elkmont at 3 p.m. and will continue deliberations at 9 a.m. Uxlay at the Limestone County Courthouse.  Joines is accused of being too intoxicated to drive and causing the wreck that killed Randall Guy Barksdale, 49, of20991 Edgewood Road on Aug. 2.  He took the stand Wednesday morning to tell jurors the uTeck was an accident.  “I tried to get out of his way and he just kind of drifted with me,” Joines said under questioning fix>m defense attorney Bruce  See Trial, page 2A  Athens to get $1M from feds  Jerry Joines  for sewer plant  A $1 million grant that will go toward water and wastewater inirastructure improvements for the city of Athens is among appropriations for North Alabama in the omnibus funding bill, said U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith, D-Alabama.  “Athens has needed a new wastewater treatment fecility for a long time,” Griffith said. “I was glad to see that Limestone County is beginning to see the inficistruc-ture dollars that it needs and deserves. Tliis is a step in the right direction, and I look forward to fighting for more ftmding in my position on the Transportation and  See Sewer, page 2A  NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNOERS  Limestone County Information Technologist David Freeman and Probate Judge Jeanne Anderson give a demonstration of a new video conferencing system that allows judges to administer an initial hearing to inmates in the jail without transporting them to court.  Index  Business......................5A  Classified .....................4B  Comics .......................3B  Ledger .......................9A  Lottery.......................3A  Obituaries ....................2A  Deborah McCullogh Kenneth Owens  Sports ........................IB  Weather......................2A  Lhrer Special - Tnesday  $2.99  Sc. Catisen Day ~ Wednesday  25% Off  AihmulocéMoH Only DUcoumt tqßpOes » Individual meals only  Online edition  Shop local businesses at The News Courier's online marketplace at  enewscourierxom  SHOIfJOCAL   

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