Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - June 2, 2009, Athens, Alabama Youth League play heats up with summer temps PAGE IB The News Couri Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future Tuesday, June 2, 2009 Visit us online www.enewscourier.com Armed robber hits Citizens Bank Report released on crash NTSB: Aircraft in fatal collision at Calhoun was made in China By Karfn Middleton kareu a atln -\\ s-< xnirier.coin The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a preliminary report on a May 23 plane crash on the Calhoun Community College campus that killed one man. The mid-air collision, between a I lazelwood RV-8, piloted by Steven G. Raddatz, 41, of'Tuscumbia, and what was at first identified as a vintage World War II Russian Yak. piloted by B.J. Ken-nemore, 59, also of Tuscumbia, caused Raddatz’s plane to spin out of control and crash in front of the Science Building, killing him. What one witness identified as a Yak flown by Kennemore has been clarified by the NTSB to be actually an experimental Nanchang China CJ-6A. The CJ-6A was manufactured bv Nanchang See Crash, page 3A Dealer: GM can 'regain its footing' From staff, wire reports An Athens Chevrolet dealer expects to feel the pinch of the General Motors reorganization but not as much as some other dealerships, an official said. General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as part of the Obama administration’s plan to shrink the automaker to a sustainable size and give a majority ownership stake to the federal government. If successful. GM will emerge as a leaner company with a smaller work force, fewer plants and a trimmed dealership network. GM’s bankruptcy filing is the fourth-largest in U.S. history and the largest for an industrial company. The company said it has $172.81 billion in debt and $82.29 billion in assets. Alex Nafe, general sales manager at Champion Chevrolet Chrysler Dodge in Athens, was disappointed by the news but said the local dealership will carry on. “Champion won’t feel the effects as badly as some dealerships because of our long-term commitment to the community and our huge satisfied customer base,” Nafe said. “We will continue to sell and service Chevrolets tor the citizens of Limestone County for many years to come, with the same commitment to customer satisfaction as always.” The reorganization won’t be easy but it will be an opportunity. “It presents challenges for everyone associated with it." Nafe said. “But we have to look at this is a great opportunity for CM to regain its footing in the marketplace and to be a profitable and See GM, page 2A COURTESY PHOTO A photo captured by a surveillance camera in Citizens Bank shows hooded man in black robbing the bank shortly before 5 p.m. Monday. At press time the robber had not been apprehended. Inside Today A male dressed in all black and presumed to be carrying a handgun, robbed the Citizens Bank and Trust off U.S. 72 East shortly before 5 p.m. Monday, according to Athens Police Capt. Marty Bruce. A blurry bank surveillance photo shows a hooded male, but gives little indication of his race. He was last seen by bank employees heading east on U.S. 72 toward Interstate 65. “The robber told the teller to ‘give me the money,” said Bruce. “The robber was believed to be armed with a handgun.” Bruce said witnesses reported that the robber fled with an undisclosed amount of money in a newer model Dodge extended-cab pickup. The search continued into the evening for the suspect. Further description of the pickup included that it has a chrome brush guard. Police checked a black Dodge Ram parked on the side of 1-65 and they were See Robbery, page 2A More graduation photos Athens Bible School VALLEY, PAGE 4A Coming Wednesday Delmore Days Fest The annual bluegrass festival named for the popular brother duo is June 13. Find out more in a story COMING WEDNESDAY Subscribe Get the news with your morning coffee SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720 ‘Just a blip in history’ NEWS COURIER/KAREN MIDDLETON Frances Box, left, and her daughter, Julie Lea, are remembering the loss of their son and brother, Thomas Belue Box, who died June 3,1969, in the collision of an American destroyer on which he was aboard and an Australian aircraft carrier in the South China Sea off Vietnam. Survivors of ships’ collision continue fight for recognition By Karen Middleton /can 'nA’athei isi tew s< r >urii r. com It was already June 3 off the coast of Vietnam, but it was still June 2,1969, on this side of the world when the Box family learned their 21-year-old son had gone to the bottom of the South China Sea w ith 73 of his shipmates. Seaman Thomas Belue Box was aboard the destroyer U.S.S. Frank E. Evans when the Australian aircraft carrier Melbourne sliced it in half dur ing Operation Sea Spirit exercises at the height of the Vietnam War. Dr. Dan Box died in 2004 alter 35 years of trying to get his son and the others who died with him recognized as Vietnam War casualties. Their names are not included on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Today, on the 40th anniversary of the collision, Thomas Box’s mother, Frances, and his sisters, Julie Lea and Sara Green, will pass the day quietly as they do every anniversary of the tragedy that robbed the family of its only son. They will phone each other and they’ll receive a condolence call from the widower of their other sister, Janie Hamner, who died a little over a year ago. “40 years ago...In a way it seems like yesterday,” said his mother. “But kxrk at all that’s happened since then. Box See Thomas Box, page 3A Index Classifieds.......4B Obituaries.......2A Sarah Beasley Elizabeth Pyron Vonda Sue Scroggins Col. John J Stratford Jr Dorothy R. Wagner Emma Weigart Sports...........2B Ad r production, news staffs win 20 press awards The News Courier advertising, production and news staffs won 20 awards in the Alabama Press Association Better Newspaper Contest, including second place for General Excellence, the overall award given for outstanding performance in both categories. In the Better Newspaper Contest, the advertising and ad production staffs won the sweepstakes award in their division, and the news staff won first place for best local news coverage, two coveted honors. These awards are in addition to the 23 awards the news staff" received last week from the state’s Associated Press. “Producing a local, community-focused newspaper requires talent and dedication, which our team demonstrates on a daily basis,” said Publisher Ann Laurence. “To be recognized with these honors by our peers is truly an outstanding accomplishment. This is all about hard woric of the staff. Our newspaper family will continue to provide the best in local news, sports, and advertising mediums for customers, See Awards, page 3A NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS Members of The News Courier advertising and ad production teams are, seated from left, sales representative Brenton Sheppard, designer JDrew Downs; back row, production manager Kayla Taylor, sales clerk Ann Fudge, classified manager Angie McElyea, sales representative Heather Casillas, sales representative Angie Christopher, and sales manager Shannon Elliott. Members of The News Courier's editorial staff are, seated from left, managing editor Kelly Kazek, sports writer Ashley Hargrove; back row, copy editor Edd Davis, reporter Jean Cole, photographer Kim Rynders, reporter Karen Middleton, page designer Phil Willis, and lifestyles editor Jennifer Hill.