Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Athens News Courier

Location: Athens, Alabama

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - April 14, 2009, Athens, Alabama Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future 50 cents Tuesday, April 14, 2009 Index Classified .....................4B Comics.......................SB Ledger .......................5A Obituaries ....................2A Mary Sue Hunt Blankenship Ann Browning Dorothy Williams Samuel Wayne Woods Sports ........................ Weather  ...................2A ABS splits against Westminster, Let* PAGE IB The News Couri Send us your photos The News Courier wants to publish your amateur photos. Send them to Kelly Kazek at kelly@ athensnews-courier.com or bring to 410 W. Green St., Athens, Ala., 35611. Subscribe Get the news with your morning coffee SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720 69847 00001 Reading program running on empty Bv Karen Middleton karen athensnews-courier.com The Learn-to-Read Council taught 38 individuals basic reading skills, 65 people in English as a second language, and tutored 14 in after-school reading, but the agency might soon have to close its doors for lack of funding. Rhonda Andrews, director of Learn-to-Read, addressed the Athens City Council Monday, asking for a $5,000 appropriation to make it through to the end of the fiscal year. “If funds are not found the program will come to an end,” said Andrews. “If we have to shut down, where will the students go? Andrews said statistics show that one in five people are functionally illiterate. In a county the size of Limestone, that means as many as 15,000 people might not possess the reading skills to process the most basic of documents. Mayor Dan Williams asked if local illiteracy is a result of the educational systems. She said some of the older students had to drop out of school when they were young to help support their families, and some students are dyslexic. “Some of them are special education students who dropped out in the sixth or seventh grades,” she said. Andrews is the only paid employee of the agency that has been in operation since 1987. “Restrictive” funding comes to the agencies through businesses and is relegated to supplies, com- See Council, page 2A Visit us online www.enewscourier.com inside Today Is first dog a rescue? The twists and turns of a Portuguese water dog's journey to the White House makes for the kind of intrigue that political junkies and the highly opinionated dog world delight in. PAGE 3 A ANATOMY OF A ROBBERY Athens woman remains determined to help children with cystic fibrosis By Karen Middleton karen(0athensnews-eourier.com Amy Carter, 31, announced this week her independent fundraising campaign for cystic fibrosis has accumulated $948. Amy, the daughter of Steve and Carol Carter of Athens, was bom with cerebral palsy and also suffers from reflex sympathetic dystrophy, an autonomic nervous system dysfunction, which causes burning and severe pain. She currently is a resident of Limestone Health Facility. Amy was a child of 9 when she read Frank Deford’s book, “Alex: The Story of a Child,” about his daughter’s struggle against and eventual death from cystic fibrosis. Deford, the former head writer for Sports Illustrated, served as national chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for 16 years. His daughter, Alex, died of the disease in 1980 at age 9. See Determined, page 3A Ford retires as director of Food and Shelter program By Karen Middleton kareiK a athensnews-courier.com Citing complications from recent surgeries on his ankle and neck, Food and Shelter Program Director Mike Ford has retired. “I had ankle surgery in October and cervical-disk surgery in January and neither is responding,” said Ford. “I can’t last all day working.” The Food and Shelter Program moved to Tanner over the weekend. Food bank volunteer Laura Aldridge will serve as See Ford, page 3A Breakfast Cooked to Great Plate Lunches Served from 1 1 :OOam-2:OOpm Open 6:OQam till 2:OOpm Mon.-Fri. • 6:OQam til 12:OOpm Sat. Take Out Orders - Call 232-0205 Chock out our Doily Blue Plate Special $4.63 Suspect in robbeiy of Eastside Pharmacy still at large By Jean Cole jean@athensnews-courier.com Billy Cannon Jr. figures God gave him the peace to make it calmly through Friday’s armed robbery. He was working behind the counter at Eastside Pharmacy about 1 p.m. when a white man wearing blue jeans, white tennis shoes, a blue hooded jacket, a red-billed baseball cap and gold-framed glasses entered the store at 22335 U.S. 72 East in Athens. “He ran in the front door with his gun drawn and ran right up on us,” said Cannon, who has owned the store for 18 months. “He told us, ‘Get down! Get down! I will shoot!”’ Then the suspect ordered Cannon to, “Give me all your oxycontin - fill up the bag.” While Cannon filled the bag with the narcotic painkiller, a female customer who was at the counter making a purchase, quickly gathered her items and her purse from the counter while keeping watch on the armed gunman who, at one point, aimed the gun at her. “After he got the bag, he ran out of the store,” Cannon said. “The whole thing took under five minutes.” The suspect fled in a silver and blue, older-model vehicle behind Valley Imaging and then left the area on Bab Daly Road, See Robbery, page 2A Amy Carter 2 charged in separate drug arrests, both involving methamphetamine Chevron DEAL OF THE DAY S€E OVH AD Ùh PAGE I COURTESY PHOTOS Eastside Pharmacy and Compounding owner Billy Cannon released these surveillance photos in hopes someone would recognize the person who robbed his business at gunpoint Friday. By Jean Cole jean0athensnews-courier.com A motorist’s alleged failure to yield for a pedestrian at a crosswalk resulted in his arrest on a drug charge Saturday by Athens Police, an official said. Chad A. Williams, 28, 19240 Airfield St. is charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, said Capt. Marty Bruce. See Arrests, page 3A Chad Williams    Konia    Williams