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Athens News Courier: Saturday, August 1, 2009 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - August 1, 2009, Athens, Alabama                                 Tiger’s back with season-low 63 at Buiek Open PAGE IB  e News Courier  ^ Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future  50 cents  Saturday, August 1, 2009  Visit us online  www,«newscourier.com  Inside  Today  More funds for clunkers  House votes to rush $2B into the popular but financially strapped "cash for clunkers" program, heeding calles from consumers.  PAGE 6A  Shuttle  returns  Space shuttle Endeavour and its seven astronauts returned to Earth Friday, completing a long but successful construction job.  PAGE 2A  inscribe  Get the news with your morning coHee  SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720  imtex  Classifieds.......4B  Conucs..........3B  Ledger..........4A  Lottery..........3A  Obituaries.......2A  Regina Harrison Billy Joe Stovall  Sports...........IB  Weather.........2A  7 69847 00001 6  Mayor: Officer ‘well respected’  Dan Williams issues statement on subject of AG probe  Following a report Thursday night on Channel 19 naming an Athens police officer under investigation by Attorney General Troy King’s office, Mayor Dan Williams has issued his first formal statement on the matter.  While Williams previously has been quoted in various news outlets — both print and television — verifying the investigation and some details of the probe, he did not confirm the identity of the officer under investigation before this statement, which was released Friday afternoon to The News Courier.  Here is Williams’ statement in its entirety and as it was released:  “I am verifying through this press release that Capt. Tracey Harrison is the subject of an  "The investigators did their work and informed our chief of police Wayne Harper that a report would be issued later.  -ATHENS MAYOR DAN WILLIAMS  investigation by investigators of the State of Alabama Attorney General’s office. I have not verified his name to the press before this time because the investigators requested that details of the investigation not be released. Since his name has been linked to the investigation publicly, I feel that an official statement is due from the Mayor.  “The Attorney General’s office sent investigators to our local Police Department to investigate allegations that a supervisor in the Police Department had been involved in an effort to quash a DUI citation given to a person by an Athens City Policeman. The investigators did their work and informed our Chief of Police Wayne Harper that a report would be issued later.  “After several days the investigators returned to Athens and searched the Athens Municipal Court records and the records where City Court cases were appealed to the Circuit Court at Limestone County Court-  See Mayor, page 3A    - >  New rabies vaccine law outlined  NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS  Dr. Jack Goodman, Limestone County rabies officer, vaccinates a dog at Athens Animal Hospital at 1119 U.S. 31 South. The state's new rabies law, which took effect Friday, now requires ferrets to be vaccinated, as well as dogs and cats, and allows pet owners to use a vaccine that offers three-year immunity.  New rabies law adds ferrets, allows vaccine providing 3-year immunity  By Jean Cole  jean@athensncws-courier.coni  Beginning today, aU dogs, cats and ferrets in Alabama must be vaccinated against rabies once they reach 3 months of age, a Limestone County official said.  Veterinarian Jack Goodman, county rabies officer, said there are two major changes in the rabies law this year.  •    Ferrets have been added to the list of pets requiring rabies vaccinations.  •    Pet owners can now have their dogs, cats and ferrets vaccinated every three years rather  than every year as long as they use a vaccine that provides three-year immunity.  Bats, raccoons, skunks and other wild animals can carry the rabies virus and pass it to pets or to humans through their saliva.  “Though a small number of people have survived rabies, the disease is usually fatal if not treated with a series of sTiots to prevent the infection from taking hold,” according to the Mayo Clinic Web site.  Vaccinating’ your pets against rabies pre-  See Rabies, page 3A  Former  Athens  police  officer  arrested  By Kei.ly Kazek kclly^'athcusncws-couricr.coni A former Athens Police officer was taken into custody Thursday by Limestone County Sheriff’s investigators on a warrant from Madison County charging him with sexual abuse, a local official said.  ADEM: Limestone violations with wastewater plant  By Karen Middleton  karen@athcnsncws-courier.com  A spokesman for the Alabama Department of Environmental Management said Friday that the violations reported for the Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority concern a wastewater treatment plant.  “We have been notified that there are some opera  tions and maintenance issues by the Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority,” said ADEM spokesman Scott Hughes. “We are currently investigating those allegations.”  Hughes said he could not elaborate on the nature of the allegations but he did confirm they involved waste-  See ADEM, page 3A  >reaidiig news  at www,enewsco«ri«ix:<Mi|.  Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said his office received a warrant to pick up Arthur “Perry” Gooch, 37, of Autumn Lane. County authorities transported Gooch to the Madison County line and released him to the custody of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.  The warrant stemmed from a Madison County grand jury indictment, Blakely said.  Gooch was initially arrested in Huntsville on a charge related to a November 2007 incident when a woman, the wife of an acquaintance, accused Gooch of kissing her and running his hand up her skirt while they were near the dance floor of the club on the night of Nov. 3, 2007.  The case was dismissed by the Madison County District Attorney in February 2008.  In 2008, Gooch denied the'accusation but resigned from the force Nov. 9, 2007, after serving as a patrol officer for about five years.  A call to the Madison County District Attorney’s office to determine why the case was reopened was not returned Friday.  Gooch was taken to Madison County Jail and was released on bond.   

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