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Athens News Courier: Thursday, April 2, 2009 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - April 2, 2009, Athens, Alabama                                 Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of I nidition and buture  Thursday, April 2, 2009  Get ready to plant cool-season veggies PAGE 4A  The News Couri  Hearing scheduled for suspect in shooting of nephew  By Jean Cole  jean a ;i t hensi ie\ * s -couricr.com  An Ardmore man charged with fatally shcxfong his nephew after trying to prevent him from driving drunk is scheduled to  appear Tuesday  KeithGeorqe  in Limestone G)unty District Court.  Keith Daniel George, 35, of Oak Grove Road is scheduled to appear before District Judge Jeanne Anderson at 1:30 p.m.  George is accused of shooting his nephew — Russell “Rusty” George Jr., 26, of Ardmore — in the calf, chest and thigh just alter midnight on March 16 during a family barbecue at 26768 Third Street in Ardmore, said Sheriff Mike Blakely.  At Tuesday’s hearing, the judge will determine it there is good cause to bind the case over to a grand jury for consideration for indictment. The judge will determine if she believes the crime occurred  See Trial, page 3A  Work on Maples Bridge to begin  By Karen Middleton  karein<* athensm ‘ws-crmrier. ami  The w heels are in motion at last to begin work on Maples Bridge.  At Wednesday’s Limestone County Commission work session county engineer Richard Sanders said if all the legalities are worked out by the regular commission session Monday, he will present for approval the detour plan ol county roads to be followed while the Alabama Department ol Transportation replaces the decking on the bridge that spans the Elk River on Alabama 127.  A month ago, Johnny Harris, chief engineer of the ALDOi Northern Division office in Gun-tersville, said he was ready to let bids for the project with work targeted to begin some time in June.  The bridge, l>etween Elkmont and the Tennessee state line, has lain in a state of partial completion for more than a year and frequent  See Bridge, page 3A  Visit us online   www.enewscourier.com   Inside  Today  Workers to see more on checks  Coach Cat new top 'Cat  Kentucky athletics board approves contract to make new head basketball coach John Calipari the highest paid in the nation with an eight-year, $31.65-million package.  SPORTS, PAGE IB  Economic reports encouraging  Construction spending fell for a fifth straight month in February, but results were better than expected and, along with other economic reports, suggest upswing may be near.  BUSINESS, PAGE 5A  Subscribe  Get the news w ith your morning coffee  SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720  Index  Business ........5A  Classifieds.......4B  Comics..........3B  Ledger..........6 A  Obituaries.......2A  Benny Lott Mary Lou Moore Jerry Donald Tucker Sr.  Sports...........IB  Weather.........2A  7  1,1  69847 00001    6  Blakely: Tools financed drug habit  City to charge for driveway pipe materials  By Karen Middleton   karen@athensnews-eouriiT.com  City of Athens officials are all for progress, but certain lands are costing them money.  Mayor Dan Williams said Public Works Director James Rich has proposed a policy that would allow the city to collect from builders the cost of gravel to install driveway pipe.  “It costs the city about $300 in gravel, plus labor, every time we install a pipe,” said Williams. “This will allow us to charge people for the material used.” Williams said that during 2008, the city installed 19 driveway pipes in city rights of way. While the resi-  dent or homebuilder supplies the pipe, the city has borne the cost of installation.  “The price of gravel has gone up,” he said. “You can’t buy a load now' for under $300. It cost us $5,700 in gravel for 19 driveways.”  Williams said 11 of the 19 were homebuilders.  “If those fees had been in place we could have gotten our money back from them,” he said.  The mayor said construction was down in 2008, but foreseeing a time when the economy rebounds, he said it would cost the city much mole in pipe installations as construction picks up if a policy is not in place.  Taxpayers could see as much as $44 a month for single filer in next paycheck  Workers in Alabama and throughout the nation will see an increase in take-home pay on their next paycheck.  Effective April 1, workers earning less than $95,000 a year will have less federal tax withheld from their paychecks — up to $44 a month for a single tax filer and up to $89 a month for joint filers.  That is just one of the benefits of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, which lawmakers recently approved.  U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith, D-Huntsville, said the middle-class tax cut — one of the biggest in history — won’t cure all the recession ills but it will help.  “These are economically challenging times, and everyone acrriss North Alabama is watching their wallets and worrying about how' they are going to keep  food on the table,” Griffith said. “This, of course, will not cure all the ills of our current recession, but it will help to know that we will be taking home more pay. With spending levels at all-time highs these days, this is a step in the right direction, but we have to continue to work to return to an America with a healthy economy.”  Griffith said he introduced a bill this month that would place a moratorium on capital gains taxes for two years. He also said he co-sponsored legislation with both Democrats and Republicans to cut taxes on health insurance for small business, starting a family and buying a new vehicle.  The tax credit amounts to $400 for See Checks, page 3A  Recovery tax act brings more than just payday relief  Here are some other benefits in the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act:  • Money back for new vehicle purchases: Taxpayers who buy certain new vehicles in 2009 can deduct the state and local sales taxes they paid.  • Increased transportation subsidy. Employer-provided benefits for transit and parking are up in 2009.  • Up to $2.400 in unemplovment benefits tax free in 2009. Individuals should check their tax withholding.  • Net-operating-loss carry back. Small businesses can offset losses by  See Payday, page 3A  NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS  Limestone County Investigator Randy Burroughs, left, Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt and Chief Deputy Randy King survey the many toolboxes, saws, drills and other items seized Wednesday. The arrest of three men and the recovery of stolen merchandise clears more than 15 to 20 theft cases, an official said.  Sheriffs arrests, property seizure clears more than 15-20 theft cases  By Jean Cole  jeanP'athensnews-courier.poin Missing a power tcxrl, saw, fridge, chef knives or some lumber?  The Limestone County Sheriff’s Department may have it.  Sheriff' Mike Blakely and his deputies seized between $5,000 and $10,000 worth of tools and other items Wednesday believed to be stolen over the past few months from area porches, yards .and homes under construction, the sheriff said.  They expect to charge Kenneth Dewayne “Boozer” Emerson, 45, of 23733 Pressnell Road, Lot 1, in Athens with multiple counts of theft for allegedly stealing enough loot to fill a truck bed and trailer parked Wednesday afternoon in the  jail garage.  “This arrest clears more than 15 to 20 theft cases,” said Limestone County Sheriff s Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt.  Emerson allegedly stole and fenced the items “to support a $500 a day crack habit,” the sheriff said.  In one case, workers reported their tools were stolen while they were on their lunch break. Blakely said.  “He said he tried to stay withm a few miles of his home because he only had a few gallons of gas in his truck at a time, and driving around was too much overhead,” the sheriff said.  See Thefts, page 2A   

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