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Athens News Courier: Thursday, December 3, 2009 - Page 1

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   Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - December 3, 2009, Athens, Alabama                                 SEC title game showcase for Heismaii hopefuls PAGE IB  e News Courier  Sen ing Athens ¿ind Limestone County: A Comnninity ofTrudition ¿ind Future  50 cents  Thursday, December 3, 2009  Visit us online  wvrw.enewscourier.com  Inside  Today  Wildcats get big win at borne  West Limestone gets welcome home-court win, defeating rival Lauderdale County Tigers 52-48.  SPORTS, PAGE IB  Romano  tackles  drama  Ray Romano debuts Monday in "Men of a Certain Age," his first role since "Everybody Loves Raymond," a TNT series centering on three emotionally-flustered middle-age pals suffering through divorce and other midlife crises.  PAGE 9A  Subscribe  Get the news with your morning coiiee  SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720  Index  Business ........5A  Classifieds.......4B  Comics..........3B  Ledger..........8 A  Lottery..........3A  Obituaries.......2A  Andrew Harris Jr. Patsy Hill Arthur Suiser  Sports...........IB  Valley...........4A  Weather.........2A  7    69847    00001    6  7 nabbed in drag bust  By Jean Goi.e  jvaini^^'athcDsiwws-courk'r.coin  Lt. Lance Royals, Investigator Josh McLaughlin — along with Sheriff Mike Blakely, Chief Deputy Randy King and members of the sheriffs Special Response Team — arrested seven Athens residents following a stakeout Tuesday night at Union Court Mobile Home Park at 15586 Shaw Road.  The arrests netted more than 9 pounds of marijuana and about $2,300 in cash.  “We had been watching them and had made several buys in the last couple of weeks,”  Royals said.  Armed with a search warrant for 35-year-old Rodrigo Martinez, who lives at Ix)t 15, investigators arrived around 7:15 p.m. and watched  while Martinez visited another trailer in the lot. Royals said. When Martinez returned to his home, investigators closed in and arrested Martinez and six others, he said. They remained in the Limestone County Jail Wednesday.  “Rodrigo had several trailers out there where he stashed marijuana,” Royals said.  Investigators confiscated 1 1/2 pounds of marijuana and an ounce of cocaine from his home plus $2,200 to $2,300 in cash from his person, he said. While searching other trailers, investigators found more marijuana bringing the total to about 9 pounds.  Total value of all the drugs is $8,000 to $9,000, Royals said.  See Bust, page 2A  NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS  Lt. Lance Royals displays more than 9 pounds of marijuana, about $2,300 in cash and rock and powder cocaine Limestone County Sheriff's officials confiscated Tuesday night.  Ripley s goes for six  NEWS COURIER FILE PHOTO  For the fifth-straight year, the Friends of Ripley last year won the $1,000 grand prize in the Reliance Bank Christmas Parade. Their Winter Wonderland float featured Jack Frost blowing snow and a gigantic snowman that could turn his head and wave.  The 6th Annual Reliance Bank Christmas Parade held tonight  BYjtiNNIEKR R. HiLl  J(‘nnifci-<^a(h(‘nsiu'\\s-((nirirr.a)in  The Reliance Bank Christmas Parade is tonight in Athens and the big question in the community is — will Friends of Ripley’s parade float be able to dazzJe the crowd again and win the grand prize for the sixth straight year?  It will be hard to beat Ripley’s 2008 Winter Wonderland float, which was adorned with Jack Frost and a gigantic snowman that blew snow over the crowd.  The buzz around town is Friends of Ripr  ley will add live reindeer to their parade float this year. How^ever, attorney Brian C.T. Jones, who won the first place prize last year, and the 110 other entries, will surely give them a run for the money.  The parade begins at 6 p.m. at Athens High School.  Grand Marshal Carl Hunt and honorary grand marshal Emily Watson will lead the parade as it heads w'est from the high school up Hobbs Street, turns south on Jef-  See Parade, page 3A  Hunter Bauer blood drive scheduled Dec. 20  The annual Hunter Bauer Memorial Blocxi Drive will be from ncx)n to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20 at the First United Methodist Church Beasley Center at Marion and Biyan streets.  Hunter, an Athens Middle Schcxil Ibotball player, died Dec. 20, 2004, from Methicillin Resistant Staphyloccxxius Aureus — MRSA — a drug-resistant staph infection, which is carried even on the skin of healthy people.  The oi^ganism enters the blocxi when the skin is broken. Depending on the strain of the staph, it can be resistant to most known antibiotics. Frequent  victims of the infection are young, physically active athletes in contact sports such as fcxitball. Bacteria can spread easily through cuts and abrasions and sldn-to-skin contact.  This year’s goal is 133 pints, according to one of the oi^ganizers, Cathy Brett.  “This is actually the fifth anniversaiy of his death,” said Brett. “Hunter’s classmates are now fi:eshmen in college. They are looking forward to seeing each other at the blcxxl drive and hope to see this as an annual reunion.”  — Karen Middleton  Lisa Pate  Shooting  suspect released on bond  By Jean C’oi.e  je'ath^ ath(‘nsin‘\vs-c(>urit'r.('()iu  An Arab woman accused of fatally shooting an Athens man — possibly because he attempted to end their relationship — is free on bond and is scheduled to be in court next week.  Lisa Mechelle Fate, 40, of 323 Apollo Road, w^as freed from the Limestone County Jail Tuesday after posting $500,000 bond, an official said.  Her preliminary hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 15 before Limestone County District Judge Jerry Batts, according to court records.  Pate is accused of shooting James Ellis Miller, 59, in the abdomen wuth a 9-millimeter handgun sometime Sunday, Nov. 22, at Miller’s home at 18508 N. Jefferson St., according to a report filed by Athens Police Officer Daniel McNatt and assisting officer William C. Clem.  Pate was arrested at home tw^o days later without incident. Although she initially denied shooting Miller, Pate confessed to the crime after three hours of questioning, said Public Information Officer Lt. Floyd Johnson.  Police believe Pate and Miller had been in a long-term relationship and that, alter an argument, she shot him.  See Released, page 2A  2 charged in thefts at store, churches  By Jean Coi f  JcaiKaathi'nsncws-couricr.coni Two out-of-towmers were arrested Tuesday in connection with a burglary at a Limestone County grocery store and the thefts of a car, a pickup truck and air-conditioners from several churches, an official said.  The case began with the recent thefts of air-conditioning units from churches at the edge of Lauderdale County, said Limestone County Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt.  In following up on those thefts, investigators with the Anderson Police Department and the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department went to the home of Matthew Dendy, 21, of  See Thefts, page 2A   

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