Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - April 4, 2009, Athens, Alabama
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Tanner twister confirmed
By Kelly Kazek
One day shy of the 35th anniversary of the worst tornado outbreak in the nation’s and Limestone County’s history, a tornado struck the same area, forecasters confirmed Friday.
The tornado that struck Tanner late Thursday afternoon had 80 mph winds and ranked EF-0 on the scale used to measure twister intensity, said Steve Shumway with the National Weather Service in Huntsville.
In 1974, two twisters, an F4 and an F5, struck Tanner on one evening during an outbreak in which 148 tornadoes struck in 13 states.
Thursday’s tornado touched down on Ingram Road just east of Sandlin Street and southwest of
Weather investigators have confirmed Thursday tornadoes in three other Valley locations -Limestone on Ingram Road, Madison at Butler High School and Morgan in Lacey's Spring.
Tanner crossroads, Shumway said.
“A house also sustained initial damage from the tornado at this location and continued to snap large trees as it moved toward Stewart and Rosie roads,” Shumway said.
Residents on Stewart Road reported trees down and minor damage, according to Limestone County Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Daphne Ellison. The trailer of a tractor
trailer rig was overturned near the south end of the road.
Ellison said a barn roof was damaged and a nearby mobile home sustained minor damage on Ingram Road.
The Dempsey home near Tanner was struck by an uprooted tree. No one inside the home was injured.
Shumway siiid tornadoes confirmed in surrounding counties included a 105 mph EF-1 at Lacey’s Spring in Morgan County and an 85 mph EF-0 at Butler High School in Madison County.
Weather investigators worked much of the day Friday to confirm the multiple reports that came
See Twister, page 2A
Walking tour in May
See Mooresville, Limestone County's picturesque village.
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Villanova guard Scottie Reynolds, who spent much of his youth in Athens, hit the winning shot in a 78*76 win over Pittsburgh last Saturday to send his team to the Final Four.
SPORTS, PAGE IB
Authorities searching for suspects in robbery
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A Tanner mother and son were robbed and assaulted Friday morning, and the two suspects remain at large, said a Limestone County Sheriff's Department official.
The two suspects are described as black males ages 35 to 40,one of them muscular, wearing blue jeans and camouflage coats, said Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt.
The robbery occurred in the 11000 block of Caroline Drive.
“The suspects entered the residence and asked for the lady of the house,” McNatt said. “They started asking her where the money was and then assaulted her.”
The two men allegedly stole a 9-millimeter handgun and an unknown amount of cash, he said.
The woman, whose age was unknown, was assaulted and tied up with telephone charger cords, and her 20-year-old son was hit in the head, he said.
“It may have been a list, we are not sure with what — he had a knot on his head,” McNatt said.
The robbers told the mother and son to remain in the bedroom and then lied, he said.
“They were afraid and waited
See Robbery, page 2A
Young and old travel through history with Teddy Roosevelt
By Karen Middleton
There was a little fidgeting, but that’s to be expected from adolescents.
But for the most part, actor Joe Wiegand’s Athens Middle School audience enjoyed their ride through history Friday with the adventures of the nation’s 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt, in Wiegand’s one-man show, “T.R.”
Students, teachers and adult members of the public came to hear about Roosevelt’s days on the frontier, as a member of the Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War, hfs days in the White House and his unsuccessful bid for a third term as presi
dent as an independent party candidate.
Speaking in a high, nasal, but commanding voice, Wiegand recreated the magnetism of the president who seemed larger than life.
“T.R.” described a father who taught him social responsibility by taking him to visit an orphanage that was the home to newsboys. The boys sold newspapers on the street for 1 cent each, most of which went to the newspaper company.
He went hunting with his father and brothers, but the trees were blurry. His lather took him for an eye examination and he
See Roosevelt, page 3A
NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS
Actor Joe Wiegand channels America's 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt for an Athens Middle School audience. They learned about the childhood, career and connection to Gen. Joe Wheeler of ''T.R." through the performance.
Preparing for disaster
Athens Fire & Rescue and Athens-Llmestone Hospital paramedics put into action the emergency operations plan Friday behind the hospital as part of a drill with students from Limestone County Career Technical Center serving as patients and family members. Periodic exercises prepare the hospital staff to respond to disasters In the community and to work with other responders. The exercises are evaluated and critiqued to identify opportunities to improve the hospital's response plan and additional training needs.