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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - September 22, 2009, Athens, Alabama                                 The News Courier  Serving Athens and Liine^stone (Aninty: A Слтшптйу oi'Tradition ¿\nd Future  50 c4‘ii(s  Tuesday, September 22, 2009  Visit us online   www.enewscourier.com   Inside Today  Discovery back home  Space shuttle Discovery lands safely in Florida  PAGE 2A  Celebrating Southern gospel  Mayor Dan Williams proclaims a day for Southern Gospel Music in Athens  VALLEY, PAGE 4A  Subscribe  Get the news with your morning eofiee  SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720  7    69    8    47    0.0001    6  Couple loses everything in Sunday night fire  By Karf.n Middi.k'io.n  kiircn utlwnsiH'w 'i-coiirkr.coni  An Owens community couple lost their home and all of their possessions Sunday night in a fire while they were at a church serv ice.  Charles “Buddy” Brymer and his wife Donna were attending Sunday night services at the Church of the Living God on San  dlin Road when a lightning strike possibly ignited a blaze at their mobile home on Finger Lake Way, just off Sugar Way.  Units from Owens and West Limestone volunteer fire departments answered the call, but were hampered by muddy roads resulting from several days of heavy rain.  “It was a total loss,” said  Owens Firefighter Teresa Lovell. “Not only did we have to fight the fire, we had to fight the mud getting to the fire and then getting out.”  There were no injuries reported.  Lovell said she called the Red Cross to secure accommodations for the couple Sunday night. However, Monday afternoon  Brymer said he didn’t know where he and his wife w^ere to spend Monday night.  “The Red Cross put us up at the Comfort Inn, but we don’t have anything lined up for tonight,” Brymer said. “We have no place to stay.”  Brymer said the home and  See Fire, page 3A  Ready to fiddle  NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS  Musicians from the 2008 Tennessee VaHey Old Time Fiddlers Convention participate tn a jam session at last year's event. The 2009 convention will be Oct. 2-3 at Athens State University.  Author Chris Goertzen launches Fiddlers weekend  By Gl y Mi Cl l hf  (jiicst writer The Athens State University Livingston Concert Lecture Series is offering an educational event as an added treat for those arriving early for the 43rd annual Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention.  Chris Goertzen, author of “Southern Fiddlers and Fiddle Contests,” will speak at 7 p.m. Oct. 1 in Sandridge Student Center ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.  Goertzen’s book explores the phenomenon of American fiddle contests, which now have replaced dances as the main public event where American  fiddlers get together. Goertzen studies this change and what it means for audiences, musicians, traditions, and the future of Southern fiddle music.  For more information, call (256) 233-8126 or visit the Livingston Concert    Lecture    site    at   www.athens.edu/concert  lecture se  ries3 l.php.  Reservations are not necessary.  The convention gets underway Friday, Oct. 2, with gates opening at 8 a.m. On Saturday, gates open at 7 a.m. and convention events continue through Saturday night judging.  See Goertzen, page 3A  Help local soldiers through upcoming yard sale  By Jean Cole  jeaiiiS.atheiisnews-coiirier.cf)iii Stateside training is over, now members of the 203rd Military Police Battalion of Athens are serving in Iraq.  Of the 85 soldiers from the Athens unit now deployed to train the Iraqi military for its eventual takeover, 10 have babies on the way and a number are newlyweds, said Family Readiness^ Group chairperson Amanda Bailey.  “Some are going through deployment for the first time and they are struggling,” Bailey said. “A lot of families are not handling it well, especially with the kids.”  Athens and Limestone County residents can make it easier for the local battalion by selling their crafts or castoffs at a special event Oct. 17  in Athens to raise money to make life better for the troops and their families.  The Family Readiness Group for the 203rd will sponsor its second-annual Indoor Craft and Yard Sale from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the armory at 1402 Armory St.  Grafters and others can rent one of 30 vendor spaces for $25 each. Each space is 10 by 20 feet. Two tables and advertising will be provided.  “The spaces will go fast, so sign up quickly, ” Bailey said.  Proceeds from the sale for the spaces will be used to buy items for the soldiers and their families. For example, the money will buy a doll with the face of a particular soldier and pay for  See Yard sale, page 3A  Child abuse trial moved to December  By j FAN Coi F  Jeaii^ atheDsiiews-eourier.eoin  The trial of an Ardmore mother and her boyfriend for allegedly spanking her 6-year-old daughter so severely it left bruises on her buttocks and legs has been delayed until Dec. 14.  Melinda Leigh Barnes, 30, and Kevin Bruce Bennett, 33, both of 29775 Elkwood Section Road, were formally charged with felony child abuse in November 2008 by a Limestone County grand jury.  Both have pleaded innocent to the charges.  A trial had been scheduled Monday. The district attorney’s office was granted a continuance Sept. 10, a court official said.  An Ardmore schoolteacher detected the alleged abuse of the girl at school in August, records show.  The girl kept fidgeting in her seat, so the teacher asked if something was wrong. Limestone County Sheriff’s Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt said at the time.  “The girl wouldn’t complete her supper meals, so they spanked her and made her sit at the table, sometimes for eight hours at a time,” McNatt said. “The bruising was pretty bad.”  The teacher reported the bruising to the Department of Human Resources, which reported it to the Sheriff’s Department Aug. 31.  Limestone Sheriff’s Investigator Leslie Ramsey determined charges were warranted.  “Investigator Ramsey interviewed the 6-year-old and found she indeed had severe bruising on her buttocks and , legs,” McNatt said. “The boyfriend had spanked her and also her mother said she had spanked her.”  The couple was arrested Sept. 10. They were released from the Limestone County jail after posting a $5,000 bond each.  The child was removed from the home and placed with the DHR, McNatt said.  Limestone ups garbage fee  Limestone County residents will soon be paying SI more for garbage pickup.  Limestone County Commissioners on Monday approved a 50-cent increase in the garbage fee.  The hike will raise the county’s part of the solid waste fee to SI per household. The extra money will pay for the district litter crews.  Index  Obituaries ....................2A  Hazel HiU David Hubbard Claud Huber Edythe McCuUoch Catherine Neeley  Sports ........................IB  Classified ...................4-6B  In our Face  Join discussions of daily stories, current events, football and more on The News Courier’s Facebook page. Some comments made during the week are chosen to run on Wednesday’s Opinion page.  Join the fun!   

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