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Athens News Courier: Saturday, June 27, 2009 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - June 27, 2009, Athens, Alabama                                 Reliance Bank fireworks festival sei Schedule in Sunday’s edition  The News Courier  Serving Athens and Limestone County.* A Community of I i adit ion and I ut un  50 cents  Saturday, June 27, 2009  Visit us online   www.enewscourier.tom   Inside  Today  GM brings Spring Hill uncertainty  Workers at General Motors' soon-to-be-idled assembly plant in Tennessee held out hope for a reprieve, but now it's back to the waiting game. GM’s decision Friday to build a new small car at a Michigan plant likely is a death knell for the Spring Hill plant.  PAGE 5A  Jackson had heart attack  Michael Jackson apparently suffered a fatal heart attack Thursday, but police still seek the doctor who was with the pop icon during his last minutes and pumped his chest in a vain .attempt to save him.  PAGE 4A  Subscribe  Get the news with your morning coiiee  SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720  Manufacturer buys local site  By Karen Middlcton  karefid^atheiisnews-cxmricr.Lvni  American Leakless Company LLC has purchased 11.7 acres in Martin Luther King Industrial Park to build a new manufacturing facility.  The company doing business in Athens since 1992 as McCord Leakless Sealing Co. as a join venture between Nippon Leakless and Federal Mogul, announced earlier this year that it was dissolving to form American Leakless.  The company secured from the city abatements of all state and local non-education taxes  for 10 years and all non-construction related sales taxes in early May.  The 10-year abatement in ad valorem taxes would be $24,433 and one time sales tax abatement of $52,500.  There is no one being hired immediately, but American Leakless officials said they would take 40 of the 90 employees that worked for McCord Leakless to the new industrial site.  The two companies agreed to separate the production of sealing products, according to Limestone County Economic Development As-  sociation president Tom Hill.  Federal Mogul will continue to' operate in its current location at 1500 Freeman Avenue.  Friday, the City Council unanimously voted to sell the tract in MLK Park to American Leakless for $253,256.18.  “WeVe come a long way to this point,” said American Leakless CEO Toshio Horiuchi.  “We are excited about building our new factory here.”  See Industry, page 3A  Index  Classifieds ..     4B  Comics..........3B  Ledger..........7.A.  Lottery..........3 A  Obituaries.......2 A  James    Hacker  Sports...........IB  Weather.........2A  Hams of all ages on call today  COURTESY PHOTO  Jacob Romine, KJ4HJ0, is one of the youngest members of the Limestone County Amateur Radio Emergency Service Club. Above Romine, 12, practices his radio skills.  County commission proclaims today as Amateur Radio Day  By Jennifer R. Hili.  ¡eiuufer&aUieiisiwws-tvurier.Luni The Limestone Amateur Radio Emergency Service Club has been on “The Net for almost 20 years now.  The local net is a circuit of about 20 members who make contacts by ham radio during severe weather and crisis to keep communications going between emergency workers, officials and media ouUets.  ARES primarily provides weather spotting and emergency communication for the Limestone County Emergency Management Agency, the National Weather Service and the North Alabama Skvwam.  During an emergency the club activates two people to the EM A office and the rest of those on the net serve as spotters, club president and emergency coordinator Joe Ivey  How to join  To find out more about the services of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service Club or how to join, visit its Web site at  www.n4sev.net .  said.  Today the group will gather in the parking lot of the EMA located at the comer of Hine and Market streets for a field exercise. The exercise is a “contest” for ham radio operators across the nation to test their communication skills. Operators will set up around 10 a.m. in a simulated emergency situation. Each operator will receive points for every contact they receive during the exer-  See Radio, page 2A  Dog that fled after wreck recovered  By Jean Cole  jean@athetosnews-cvurier.coin  Baby the pit bull wiggled and whined when he was reunited with master Cody Wallace after nine days lost.  “I was never so happy to see anyone in my life,” said 17-year-old Wallace, whose red-nosed pit bull named Baby fled the scene after Wallace wrecked his truck June 17 off Fort Hampton Road.  “I just loaded him up with dog biscuits and weenies and baloney,” Wallace said. “I must have given him about a half a box of dog treats.’  Tillman Mill Road resident Billy Adams tele  phoned Wallace Friday morning to tell him he had a dog on his front porch that matched the lost dog in the photograph and story in Thursday’s edition of The News Courier.  Wallace told The News Courier by telephone how the two were reunited Friday, pausing fre-quendy to praise his best buddy, who was sitting beside him.  “He’s a good boy ... he was lost,’ Wallace told Baby.  Adams told Wallace the dog on his porch had See Dog, page 3A  Man charged with growing, processing marijuana  An Athens man was arrested for allegedly growing a marijuana plant and drying another at his home off Carey Road, an official said.  Brandon Heath Moss, 27, of 22646 Carey Road, was charged Thursday with possession of a controlled substance, first-degree possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, said Athens Police Capt. Marty Bruce.  Police searched his home Thursday and  found the marijuana, several different controlled substances and drug paraphernalia, Bruce said.  Moss was transferred to the Limestone County Jail, where he also had a charge of second-degree theft - an outstanding warrant or a charge from another law-enforcement agency.  He was released after posting a $13,500 bond.  — Jean Cole  Hot temps make fires risky, even after rains  From stall'and wire report s  Despite all of the rain that has inundated Alabama this year, unwavering high temperatures are cooking ground cover in some areas, making burning a worry.  City and Limestone County residents therefore should be careful when burning.  What was supposed to be a controlled bum Tuesday on undeveloped land in south Mobile County turned into a wildfire that had burned about 4,(XX) acres by Thursday. The Alabama Forestry Commission is investigating.  Gaiy Cole, a regional forester, said it’s so dry despite plenty of rain because a string of 100-degree days has sucked all the moisture out of the ground.  Officials said Cahaba Forestry Services had a three-day permit for a prescribed bum on the undeveloped land.  Cole said a permit was issued, despite the dry conditions, because the Forestry Commission had not issued a fire alert.  “Burning could be a risk with the temperatures so high, but we are not under a bum ban,” said Athens firefighter Tommy Lewis, at Station 1.  Unlike residents in some cities, Athens residents are allowed to bum as long as they get a permit first from the Fire Department.  But just because you can doesn’t mean you should.  A resident reported a grass fire out of control about 3:40 p.m. Friday at Som-merest and Booker Drive in Athens.  Unidentified man dies in Leqqtown Road house fire  By Jean Cole lentil ¿itIn 'nsnens<xwritr.com The state fire marshal is trying to determine the cause of a Friday afternoon house fire that killed a man on Leggtown Road, northwest of Elkmont, an official said.  The body, which had not vet been identified, was taken to the forensic lab in Huntsville for autopsy.  A passerby saw the house on fire at 29326 I^eggtown Road about 1 p.m. and telephoned 911.  “When we arrived, about 40 percent of the home was fully engulfed in flames,’ said Elkmont Fire Chief Jeft McMunn. “We entered and did a search and found the owner inside. We removed him, but it was too late.”  Firefighters entered the home through a window in the den of the trailer that had been converted to a home and removed the victim through the same window, McMunn said.  About 20 volunteer firefighters from Elkmont, Owens, West Limestone, Piney Chapel and Ardmore battled the blaze but it didn't take them long to knock it down, McMunn said.  Some firefighters were still at the scene at 7 p.m. to assist the fire marshal in his investigation.  McMunn did not know much about the victim. He said he is believed to be a Vietnam War veteran who lived alone in the home.   

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