Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - November 5, 2009, Athens, Alabama AHS faces Boaz Friday in first round of playoffs PAGE IB The News Couri Sening Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future . - -.W.- Visit us onlRie www^iwwscourierxom Inside Today UNA looks for perfect season The University of North Alabama Lions meet West Alabama Saturday in hopes of going 10-0. SPORTS, PAGE IB Elevator to space hits snags A laser-powered robot failed to complete its climb up a long cable dangling from a helicopter Wednesday in a $2-million competition to test the potential reality of the science fiction concept of space elevators. PAGE 6A Subscribe (Jet the news with your tnoniin^ eoiit*e SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720 Index Business ........5A Classifieds.......4B Comics..........3B Ledger..........6A Lottery..........3A Obituaries.......2A Trudell Cryar Joy Elliott Thomas Lindner Audrey Lindsay Sports...........IB Valley ....4A Weather.........2A Thursday, November 5, 2009 Deputies seize $60K in pot Cooperative effort nets 6 for trafficking marijuana By Karen MH)DiJm)N karvniji>athi‘nsiH‘\vs-a)urier.œm About $60,(XX) in marijuana is off the streets, after a Wednesday morning bust. A cooperative effort by Limestone Clounty drug agents, Lawrence CJounty SherifiTs Department, Madison Police Department Canine Unit and the Madison (Jounty SherifiTs Department netted six arrests for trafficking in marijuana. Sheriff Mike Blakely said drug investigators followed a lead out of Lawrence CJounty that led them to a home in Plantation East off Mooresville Road, which they placed under surveillance. Between 10:30-11 a.m. Wednesday oflBcers saw a car with a Washington state tag visit the residence of Tommie Edward Allen Jr., of 24925 (^een Anne’s Lace Drive. Blakely said officers arrested the visitors, Jose See Bust, page 3A NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely, center, shows a stash of some 48 pounds of marijuana, two handguns and $3,500 in cash confiscated from an east Athens home Wednesday. At right, is Lawrence County Sheriff Gene Mitchell, whose department tipped Blakely about possible drug activity, and at left is narcotics officer Lance Royals. Jailhouse rocks NEWS COURIER/KELLY KAZEK Former jai coming down piece by piece The old jail is coming down. The Limestone County Commission awarded the contract for demolishing the circa 1970 jail to MC Contracting for $166,330 on Monday. On Wednesday workmen began bringing down the structure. The photo at right was made at mid-afternoon and the top photo was made at late afternoon. The site is fenced off to keep bystanders from being struck by falling debris. The office portion of the structure is being retained for renovation and possible use as Limestone County Board of Education offices. NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS Athens native 1 of 2 to receive orientation award 7 69847 00001 6 Josh McKenzie, 23, son of David and Angela McKenzie of Athens, and a University of South (Carolina student in the Higher Education and Student Afeirs Master’s program, is one of two interns in the United States to receive the Outstanding NODA Intern Award. NODA is the National Orientation Directors Association, the organization for all professionals working with new student programs and orientation. NODA hosts internships for graduate students in institu Josh McKenzie tions across North America. Every year there are two interns selected to receive the award out of the hundreds of institutions that take pjart in the process. McKenzie served as thç NODA intern at (Jeor^ gia Southern University for the 2009 summer. “It was a very intensive internship finm May 11 to July 24,” said McKenzie. “I had a lot to do in a short amount of time. I supervised the orientation leaders wfio run the program and worked with par^ ents’ orientation.” A 2004 gi*aduate of Athens High School, See Award, page 3A honored for videotaping hearings for cost savings By Jflvn Qrij^; jt'iUh^iithcnsiH'ws-i'ourifr.coin Limestone County’s efforts to reduce the cost of transporting criminaLs to the courthouse by using video cameras to conduct hearings has earned it a government award. Limestone recently won the Smart (Jovemment award from the Revenue Discovery System, a Birmingham-based gov-emment-seivices company that helps state and local governments find money through tax administration, revenue discovery and recovery, and compliance and examination. TTie award government agencies that take steps to enhance growth, cut costs and improve the environment. The award was given to both the 39th District CJourt and the Limestone County jail for using video and computer technology to conduct hearings. This eliminates the need to transport prisoners to hearings, which reduces the county’s staffing and tiansport^on costs. Video hearings are also safer because prisoners remain in jail to hear charges and enter their pleas. The county uses technology created by Cabinet NG and Cisco Systems to link prisoners with a judge. The ^stem also allows the SheriflTs Department to transfer documents that are signed electronically by See Hearings, page 3A Man, 55, charged with rape of girl, 14 By JtAN Qrit: Saying she was repeatedly raped and then silenced with threats and cash, a 14-yearxrld girl has accused a 55-year-old Elk-mont man of the crime. Deciding to break her months-long silence, the unnamed victim recently told an individual “that something had happened to her over the summer,” said Limestone County Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt. Investigator Leslie Ramsey interviewed the girl and learned the alleged offender had forcible sex on three different occasions during July and August in Limestone Cbunty, McNatt said. “Each time, the offender would teU the victim not to tell and that if she did she would also be in trouble,” McNatt said See Rape, page 3A Austin Nichols Jr.