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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - December 23, 2009, Athens, Alabama Serena Williams Female Athlete of the Year PAGE IB The News Couri Sening Athens and Limestone County: A Community oflnidition and Future Wednesday, December 23, 2009 Visit us online www.enewscourierxom Inside Today Local hoops roundup Athens girls win opening game in Huntsville tourney SPORTS, PAGE IB Rehab aood for me heart Experts say sticking with post-heart surgery rehab boosts survival HEALTH, PAGE 8A index Classifieds 4B Comics..........3B Health..........8A Ledger..........6 A Lifestyles........1C Obituaries.......2A Phillip Haggard Judy Wells Sports...........IB 69847 000Ü1 Man charged in fatal wreck By Jhan Coi.k jcan&atheiisiH'ws-couricr.com State troopers believe alcohol and numerous other traffic violations caused a five-car wreck that killed two people on Old Railroad Bed Road on Dec. 12, and they have charged one of the drivers with reckless murder. Jose Guadalupe Ibarra Morante, 44, of 27558 Spruce Road in Toney was charged Monday with reckless murder and was being held without bond in the you saw oi at www.enewscmirier.com Limestone County Jail. Accident investigators believe Morante committed multiple traffic violations, including alcohol consumption and improper passing, which caused the collision that killed Richard Doty, 66, and passenger, Doris Cory, 62. “We believe there were multiple traffic violations and that alco hol was involved,” Summerville said. “We have witness accounts of the collision.” The trooper said Morante was passing several vehicles in his 2003 Cadillac on Old Railroad Bed Road, just west of Huntsville city limits, about 6:50 p.m. that Saturday, when he struck a 1999 Oldsmobile driven by Doty head on, killing Doty and Cory. Another passenger in Doty’s car, Chris- See Wreck, page 3A José Morante Sam Gibbons honored COURTESY PHOTO Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives Board of Directors President Jerry Crabtree presents a plaque to Col. Sam Gibbons for his many years as board treasurer at the museum's annual volunteer luncheon. Alabama Veterans Museum holds Volmiteer Appreciation Luncheon The Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives recently held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. Col. Sam Gibbons was honored for his many years of service as the museum’s treasurer as he now continues as a member of the board of directors. Linda Watson, who has logged many volunteer hours and is a board member, will be museum treasurer. Also honored at Tuesday’s luncheon was Jackie Greenhaw who volunteered to serve as the director of the Dec. 6 production, “We Interrupt This Program — Pearl Harbor Remembered.” The play was a tribute to Limestone County’s last remaining Pearl Harbor veteran, Gil Crutchfield of Tanner. Col. Mel McLemore sponsored the luncheon, which he does each year as well as participating in the Veterans See Volunteers, page 3A Elkmont teen arrested in burglary By Jkan Coi.f jcaiiiflHtlwnsiwws-courier.com A 15-year-old Elkmont boy has been charged with taking his parents’ car without permission and burglarizing Jeff’s Mini Mart on Alabama 99, an official said. More arrests may be pending, Limestone County Sheriff’s Lt. Brad Curnutt said Tuesday. The teen, whose name was you saw it news at www.enewscourier.com withheld because he is a juvenile, was arrested Monday on charges of third-degree burglary and unauthorized use of a vehicle, Curnutt said. He is accused of breaking into the store at 18461 Alabama 99 sometime Friday or Saturday and stealing jewel ry, cigarettes, cigars and baseballs caps valued at $2,000, records show. “We were led to him because of the unauthorized use of a vehicle, and that led to the burglary at the store,” Curnutt said. Authorities recovered some of the stolen items, he said. The teen was released to the custody of his parents. AP PHOTO Parker Griffith Griffith says switch to Republican party due to lealth care HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - A U.S. House Democrat who opposes the health care Reader response Page 5A yoasaw at www.enewscouner.C4Tm overhaul announced Tuesday he is defecting to the GOP, another blow to Democrats ahead of the midterm elections. U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith spoke to reporters at his home in northern Alabama, a region that relies heavily on defense and aerospace jobs. “I believe our nation is at a crossroads and I can no longer align myself with a party that continues to pursue legislation that is bad for our country, hurts our economy, and drives us further and further into debt,” Griffith said as his wife Virginia stood by his side. The 67-year-old radiation oncologist was narrowly elected last year in a district that includes Huntsville and Decatur. President Barack Obama lost badly there to Republican John McCain. Griffith also slammed the health care overhaul making its way through Congress. He was one of 39 House Democrats to vote against a version of the bill that narrowly passed. “I want to make it perfectly clear that this bill is bad for our doctors,” See Griffith, page 3A V\^ILLiam G. f^hews Attorney At Law Do you know someone who died without a will? Wills • Living Wills • Power of Attorney • Personal Injury 117 S. Marion St. Athens • 232-2310 “No represenlalion is macie thal ihe quality of the legal services to be pertbrmed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers." 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