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Athens News Courier: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - April 15, 2009, Athens, Alabama                                 Don’t forget: Income ^x^ taxes are due today  The News Courier  Serving Athens and Limestone County; A Community of Tradition and Future  50 (-('ills  Visit us online   www.enewscourier.com   Inside  Today  Local teams in playoffs  Four teams from • Limestone County extend baseball season into the state playoffs.  SPORTS, PAGE 1B  Follow The News Courier  Find us at News Courier and get information and updates  Gas prices expected to rise...  ... But not too much.  With summer approaching, prices forecast to reach average of $2.30 per gallon.  PAGE 5A  Wednesday, April 15, 2009  7    69847    00001    t  Can’t pay? Here’s help  IRS advises how to avoid penalties  WASHINGTON (AP) - It’s here, April 15, the deadline for filing income tax returns, and the IRS has some reassuring words for procrastinators, especially those who can’t pay what they owe: Don’t panic.  The agency also has some advice: File a return anyway, or at least file for an extension.  “The worst thing you can ever do with the IRS is ignore them,” said Jackie Perlman, an analyst with the Tax Institute at HfirR Block. “They don’t like to be ignored.”  The Internal Revenue Service ex-  On the Net  Internal Revenue Service:  http://www.irs.gov   pects to receive more than 20 million tax returns this week. The agency had received about 102 million as of the end of last week.  With job losses mounting and the economy in shambles, the IRS has promised to be kinder and gentler to those who are struggling to pay their tax bills. The agency is offering to waive late penalties, negotiate new payment plans and postpone asset seizures for delinquent taxpayers who make a  See IRS, page 3A  Taxpayer Tea Party still planned here on Saturday  The motto for organizers of Saturday’s Taxpayer Tea Party is “Give Me Liberty. Not Debt.” While dozens of cities across the nation are holding similar events today, the local event is at noon Saturday off U.S. 72 in the parking lot of the former ChuChu’s Restaurant. The grassroots movement began when CNBC reporter Rick Santelli made statements on television opposing the Obama administration’s bailouts.  Cities began holding “tea parties” in February with today marking the largest grouping of events. Another large grouping is planned for July 4 but events are scheduled throughout the year. The keynote speaker for the Athens event is Will Anderson, the host of a talk show on WBHP-AM radio.  Still beating strong  NEWS COURIER/KAREN MIDDLETON  Richard and Judy Phillips celebrate each day of life since Richard received the transplanted heart of a 17-year-old boy five years ago. It is their mission to encourage others to become heart donors.  Heart transplant provides man second chance at life  By Karen Middleton karen@athensnews-courit r. com In this time of year, many celebrate regeneration of the Earth, but for Richard Phillips every day is a celebration of the new life he was given 5 1/2 years ago.  That’s when he received the transplanted heart of a 17-yearmold GuntersviUe high school boy.  He says he’s feeling great and just returned a few days ago from a checkup at the Kirkland Clinic of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital.  Phillips, 67, who retired as principal of Johnson Elementary School 12 years ago, never tires of telling the story of his rebirth after nearly dying after his heart was irreparably damaged by an arthritis drug that has now  See Beating, page 6A  Cody Duncan  Weekly farmers market returning to Ardmore  By Jean Cole jean@athensnews-courier. com In Ardmore, where the old ballpark once stood, farmers came from all around each Saturday to sell fat tomatoes, shiny yellow squash, fuzzy green beans, sweet corn and other produce from the backs of their trucks.  The weekly ritual, together with the place, served as a touchstone for the community, bringing people together to talk, buy vegetables and return each week.  The tradition fell by the wayside for a few decades but it will return April 25 with the opening of the new Ardmore  farmers market.  Nostalgia prompted Marvin Biggerstaff and Brenna Bonner to bring the farmers market back to Ardmore.  “I have a lot of fond memories of me and my dad — Mabron Biggerstaff — going to  See Market, page 3A  Limestone burglaries, thefts rise  By Jean Cole jean o athensncws~couricr.com  The Limestone County Sheriff’s Department has seen an increase in the number of thefts and burglaries in the past month, said Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt.  Athens Police Department’s numbers are running about the same, an official said.  Whether the slight increase in county thefts and burglaries is due to poor economic conditions or the ease with which thieves can fence their wares to buy drugs, McNatt does not know.  “It could be either or both,” he said.  Athens Police Captain Marty Bruce said thefts and burglaries in Athens remain unchanged.  “We haven’t really seen an increase in the last month,” he said. “Things are running about the same as usual.”  What residents want to know is how they can prevent thefts and burglaries.  In most cases, thieves kick open or pry open a door or break  See Burglaries, page 3A  Hail pelts county Monday afternoon  Hail pelted the county in several locations Monday afternoon, but according to Daphne Ellison, spokeswoman for the Emergency Management Agency, there was no reported damage.  Ellison said that residents in Tanner and Country Club Acres reported dime and quarter-sized hail.  “They also reported dimesized hail at Cracker Barrel, in the Shanghai Community near Sportsman’s Park, and at Ardmore,” said Ellison. “We had reports of two funnel clouds around Elkmont and Ardmore, but nothing touched down.”  Ellison said the EMA had multiple reports of trees blown down from the “gravity waves” that  See Hail, page 6A  Washington Street Diner  One Block East of Athens Square  1 OO Washi ngton St.  Breakfast Cooked to Order Great Plate Lunches  Served from 1 1 :OOam-2:OOpm  Open 6:OOam til 2:CXDpm Mon.-Fri. • 6:CXDam til 12:OOpm Sat.  Take Out Orders - Call 232-0203 Chock out our Doily Blue Plate Special $4.63  Index  Classified.....................4B  Comics.......................3B  Health .......................8A  Ledger .......................7A  Lifestyles .....................1C  Obituaries ....................2A  Jerry Lee Chapman Charles Henry Vaughn  Sports ........................IB  Weather........ 2A  Chevron DEAL OF THE DAY  SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 3   

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