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Athens News Courier: Thursday, July 16, 2009 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - July 16, 2009, Athens, Alabama                                 Bulldogs take third place in state tournament PAGE IB  The News Courie  Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Conununity of Tradition and Tuture  Thursday, Jufy 16, 2009  Visit us oNine   www.enewscourier.com   Inside ~Today-  Stimulus funds at work  K.\RH\ MlDDIKlON 'nsiH'w s-an irii r. (x m County officials said Wednesday that stimulus package funding backs most recent grants awarded to the county.  County Commission Chairman David Seibert said a recent $250,000 highway grant that was applied to completing work on the Wooley Springs Bridge was the result of stimulus funding.  “The project was estimated to cost $155,(KK) back when we started it in 2004,” said Siebert.  He said last month’s awarding of a $1{K),(K)0 grant fiDm the Appalachian Regional Q^mmis-sion, which requires a $122,(XX) county match, to install fiber-optic cable for video-conferencing between all county buildings and the EM A office, is a direct result of stimulus money being infused to granting agencies to which the county applies.  County Imgifitvr Richard Sanders said the Wcxiley Springs Bridge project ciualified Ix'cause, “That was the only project ready to go that met the timetable.” Hut Siinders saicl he’s sure there are more highway funds coming I Jmestone’s way as piul of stimulus flinding.  “/\11 the county engineers of Alabima iire put-  See Stimulus, page 3A  Roving the Valley for 35 years  Endeavour finally airborne  After more than a month's delay space shuttle Endeavour and seven astronauts thundered into orbit Wednesday on a flight to the international space station.  PAGE 3A  Sotomayor sidesteps questions  Sonia Sotomayor sidestepped volleys of Republican questions on abortion and gun rights Wednesday as she neared the end of a marathon Senate grilling on her confirmation as a Supreme Court justice.  COURTESY PHOTO  Jamie and Gloria Cooper have owned and operated WZTV-11 in Athens since 2003, but Cooper began his local broadcasting career 35 years ago and is remembered best for his "Country Rover" segments on WAAY-31,  Jamie Cooper looks back on more than 3 decades in TV  PAGE 2A  Subscribe  Get the news with your morning coffee  SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720  BV KARkN MlD»I.FIX)N kcin'iMiilhcnsncw's-iXHimT.cxnu The year was 1974 and Jamie Cooper, a 1971 graduate of New Hope High School had a two-year degree in broadcasting from Gadsden State College.  “But like most country boys I stiU pronounced finger as ‘fanger’ and thing as ‘thang,’” he said this week looking back on his 35 years in reporting human interest stories throughout the Tennessee Valley.  The owner and operator of the Athens-based ZTV-11 with his wife Gloria, the station now reaches some 125,000cable households and is the largest Class A (low power) station in the country, he said.  ^    I    “I’m    not digital yet,” he said. “I still  I IICIGX    broadcast    in analog, but the FCC says I have  Rii^inP«    c;a    sixyears    to go completely digital.”  Classifieds.......4B    Gadsden State, Cooper land-  Comics    .    !SB    edajob    on a Madison County garbage truck.  Ledger..........9A    ^    weeks before being  Lottery..........3A    by    Huntsville Educational    Television,  Obituaries.......2A |    bringing    home $300 a week.  Elizabeth Haggard Joseph Ray S^rts...........IB  Weaker 2A I Andretti not in car  “I worked there for about a year and a half and got married for the first time that year,” he said. “Adrian Gibson hired me in the foil of 1975 at WAAY Channel 31 and I was making $2.50 an hour. I really thought I had moved up to the big time.”  Cooper began as a photographer for the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts.  “Dick Van Valkenburg shot the footage and I processed the film,” he said. “I also woiked with a guy named Tony Reason who did human interest stories. I had a knack for talking to people and on weekends I shot stories that they ran as the last thing after the newscast, When Tony left I became The Country Rover in 1979.  “I went through so many newspapers every day to find odd things and shot the stories myself. I loved it. I would work abtiut ei^t hours per story and did hundreds.” Cooper said he has all of those stories from 1983 forward, but didn’t get permission  See Cooper, page 3A  7    69847    00001    6  SmI  EAL OF THE DAY OM/IDMPIACES  A road rally that rolled — and in a few cases roared — down Interstate 65 in Alabama and Teimessee on Tuesday did not include auto-racing legend Mario Andretti.  A Web site for Bullrun, an annual car rally that passed through North Alabama Tuesday, quotes Andretti saying about the 2009 event, “I’m more excited to do Bulh-un than when I won the Indy 500.”  In foct, the world-renowned auto racer was at home in his Pennsylvania ofiice and has never attended the annual rally, Andretti publicist Patty Reid said Wednesday.  “They made it up,” she said. “It’s not something Mario would ever say and he’s never spoken to these people.”  ticketed by trooper  She said she plans to contact the Web site developers and have them remove the statement attributed to Andretti.  The Web site also quotes NBA star Dennis Rodman saying, “Seriously, the best week of my life,” apparently about a past rally.  The rally, costs $20,000 to enter and sometimes draws celebrities, according to the Web site.  State troopers in Tennessee alerted Alabama state troopers on Tuesday morning to rally drivers heading toward Alabama on 1-65 in I^am-borghinis. Corvettes and other fost cars. State troopers here ticketed four drivers moving at speeds in the 80s and 90s, a trooper representative said.  — Jean Cole  Lhrer Special - Tuesday  $2.99  Si; Citizen Pay ' Wednesday  25% Off  Athens LccmtUm Only tHscetaU AHpTlff to individual meals only.  Limestone  homeowner  robbed wliile  asleep in bed  Woman, husband also charged with theft of pancakes  An    Athens  woman accused of breaking into a residence while the homeowner was sleeping and taking cash and keys has been charged with burglary and theft, police    records  show.  Cassandra Gilbert  Athens I’olice arrested Cassandra (filbert, 39, of 107 Hickory St. Tuesday on charges of second-degree burglary and third-degree theft of property.  Gilbert is charged with breaking into a home at 2111 Luke St. on July 7 while the homeowner was asleep, taking the keys to his vehicle and $220 in cash, said Athens Police Capt, Marty Bruce.  “4'he victim woke up in time to see Gilbert leaving his residence,” he said.  Gilbert Wits charged with third-.de-gree theft for allegedly shoplifting a 12 pack of Budweiser beer and four Baker pancakes from Mapco off South Jefferson Street on May 25.  Her husband, Ricky Levon Gilbert, same age and address, is also charged with third-degree theft ,of property in connection with that shoplifting incident, Bruce said.  Cassandra Gilbert was transferred to the Limestone County Jail and released after posting $5,000 bail.  — Jean Cole  Sheriff seeks leads on thefts of fencing, tools  limestone County authorities are looking for anyone who may have seen burglars removing $30,(KX) in fencing and tools from a kxal fencing company.  When employees of All State Fence at 26921 Old Alabama 20 arrived for work Tuesday morning, they discovered someone had cut a hole in the building, entered, raised an overfiead d(x>r and removed fencing, said limestone County Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt. Tools also were missing from a truck.  “It happened sometime between close of business Monday and when they opened Juesday morning,” McNatt said. ‘So far, we have no leads.”  Anyone with information is asked to call the Limestone County Sherifi'’s Department at (256) 232-0111.  — Jean Cole  Cotinect to the Internet from anywhere.  s vV'6-iesi ■'’€-’■^6'Vorif"'  :.3' pe'^ or;s'.'t/.'"(r'e ^  •Athens    Athens  FREE  Verizon Wireless UM175 Modern  MvSBffnmlwtabuvilktefcN«« SSe-vvMKHBe nwiM miMi» iM»r cMilbfi«».  Call mtodayf  1-800-NEW-LIIIE  //✓ WirefBss   

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