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Athens News Courier: Friday, July 10, 2009 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - July 10, 2009, Athens, Alabama                                 AP Poll: Fans feel priced out at the 1 »allDark PAGE IB  The News Courier  Visit us online   www.enewscourier.com   Inside  Today  Nashville mourns slain QB  Fans turned out by the thousands Thursday, donning Tennessee Titans gear on a steamy hot day for the chance to honor slain OB Steve McNair.  SPORTS, PAGE IB  More U.S.  families  homeless  The face of homelessness in the United States is changing to include more families and more people who live in the suburbs and rural communities.  PAGE14A  Index  Classifieds.......4B  Comics..........3B  Ledger..........9A  Lottery...........3A  Mini Page  5A  Obituaries 2A  Evelyn Campbell Barrie Rogers  Religion........lOA  Sports  IB  Valley...........4A  Weatner.........2 A  69847 00001  StR'vJiig Athens cind Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future  50 cents  Friday, July 10, 2009  G.L bill benefits expanded  Bv JE.\^ CoLt: ¡(‘¿iiMhthviisncws-countT.coni When the new G.L Bill begins Aug. 1, the well-known education program for veterans should be the best thing since pockets on a shirt, said Veterans Services Officer Mike Davis for the Veterans Affairs office in Limestone Countv.’  It will pay tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, a $1,000 annual stipend for books and supplies and other benefits for 36 months to those who have served 90 days of active duty.  Many of the soldiers who came home from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War could not have afforded a college  education without the G.L Bill. Troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan will now get the same opportunity.  “The effects of war are not always immediately obvious when they step off that plane,” said U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith, D-Alabama, in explaining the need for the bill. “They are coming back with a  great deal of disability. Sometimes visible, sometimes invisible.”  To be eligible, the service member or veteran must serve at least 90 total days on active duty after Sept. 10, 2001, and remain on active duty or be honorably:  See G.i. Bill, page 7A  The magical Mr. Potter  Bird basket Double-walled basket Raku fired  COURTESY PHOTO  Above, Athens native James C. Watkins, a renowned ceramics artist who will return to Athens July 18 to help raise funds to preserve the site of his alma mater, Trinity High School, works on one of his artworks. At right, two of Watkins’ works that will be displayed at the event.  Guardians Double-walled cauldron Raku fired  Organizers prepare for ceramics artist event to benefit Trinity School project  By Kkli.y Kazek kt'llyifiulln^nsDt^ws-courier.coiii Organizers are busily preparing for an exhibit of works by Athens native and renowned ceramics artist James C. Watkins that will be held downtown July 18 in the Club House Café.  The exhibit — as well as a book signing, and a fundraiser breakfast and dinner — were planned by Watkins’ friends and former classmates as a way to help raise awareness and money to preserve the site of Trinity High School on Browns Ferry Street, which also once was a Union fort called Fort Henderson.  How to go  Artist James. C. Watkins will be on hand for three events July 18: A breakfast, book signing and dinner, all downtown at the Club House Café. Tickets are $20 for breakfast; $50 for dinner. Ceramics also will be displayed. Call Carolyn Robinson Williams at (256) 232-8347 for information.  This year marks 40 years since Watkins graduated from the historic allblack school.  Proceeds from the day’s events will  See Potter, page 7A  Whitt wíU be the next police chief  in Ardmore  Bv K.\KI N Mll)Dl,i:iX)N hin ‘II nut In ‘iisiu ‘ws-iin nil it »11 Sgt. I^avid Whitt, a 25-year veteran of the Athens Police Department, was cho-SCTJ Ardmore’s new police chief Thursday by a vote of the joint councils of that state-line town.  “The councils voted for me, but we’re still in negotiations,” said Whitt.  If Whitt and the councils of Ardmore, Ala., and Ardmore, Tenn., can come to an terms on salary, Whitt will take over at the beginning of 2010 when long-time Police Chief William “Doc” Oliver retires.  There were two candidates few the job imtil Thursday when state Rep. Mac Mc-Cutcheon, R-C!apshaw, withdrew his aj>-plication because of questions about the ethics of holding tw'o paying public oflBces.  “There were some political issues and some ethical,” he said. “My work in the Legislature is near and dear to me.” McCutcheon had sought an opinion from Attorney (Teneral TVqy King on the legality of holding both positions.  “I couldn’t get a firm yea or nay,” he said. “Unless it is above board and ethical the best thing to do would be to withdraw.” Both McCutcheon and Whitt got their start in law enforcement at the Ardmore Police Department. McCutcheon went on to work for Huntsville Police and Whitt for Athens Police.  “On March 25,1 had my 25th anniver-saiy with Athens Police,” said Whitt. “This is where I got my start as a reserve officer for two years. I was hired in Athens by (the late) Chief Richard Faulk. This is like coming home to me. I still live up in this area.” While at Athens, Whitt worked for three years in investigation and was a D.A.R.E. officer for many years. He is cui> rently a patrol sergeant. He has been mai?-ried for nearly 26 years to June Whitt.  “I’m glad for the community of Ardmore that this is over and they can move forward,” said Whitt. “This has been a long process and I think everyone is ready to move forward.”  Ardmore's Crape Myrtle Festival set for Aug. 29  Ardmore, the city that straddles two states, will host its 17th annual Crape Myrtle Festival Aug. 29.  From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., the streets of Ardmore — both on the Alabama and Tennessee sides — will be filled with arts and crafts vendors, food, and children’s activities.  The event, which will be at John Barnes Park on Ardmore Ridge Road in Ardmore, Tenn., also will  feature live entertainment, to be announced.  Attendees are asked to bring lawn chairs.  On Aug. 22, the Annual Crape Myrtle Festival Beauty Pageant begins at 9 a.m.  The pageant is hosted by the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce and includes categories for all ages.  Call (256) 423-7588 for information and forms to register for the pageant.  Democrats welcome candidate  NEWS COURIER/KAREN MIDDLETON  Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ron Sparks, right, chats with Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely and Athens City Councilwoman Mignon Bowers while in town Thursday for a reception at the Sheriff's Rodeo Arena. Sparks, second term Commissioner of Agriculture, touted what he calls the “Life Start Education Lottery," which he says would fund college educations for most Alabama students. He vowed to not raise taxes on working men and women.  Bfe PftPPy’S  PiZZA  RaqftrHvtlln, Ai 75(i 74 7 Íüb 7  Liver Special - 'nieeday  $2.99  Sc. Otii» Day ' WedoMisday  25%Off^  Athmu LoeaäoH Only О1мсот1001Ше$ёоШ¥йШтёёк4т1у   

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