Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - August 19, 2009, Athens, Alabama
Are you ready for some football? Gridiron Guide Coming Sundaye News CourierServing Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Visit us online
Disc qolf enthusiasts gather
Professional Golf Association's Southern National Tournament to be held this weekend at the Athens Sportsplex.
SPORTS, PAGE IB
Biscuits like mama
Drop biscuits, a variation on traditional Southern hoe cakes, create a treat that's crispy on the outside and soft as a cloud on the inside.
LIFESTYLES, PAGE 1C
Brenda Austin George Morgan
7 69847 00001 6
Home invasion turns fatal
Authorities: Ardmore man shot by intruders after escaping from bonds
^as oreaking new
By Karfn Middleton
Investigators are releasing few details into a Monday night home invasion that claimed the life of a 29-year-old Ardmore man.
Madison County Sheriffs Department Public Information Officer Brent Patterson said Tuesday that Erik Spencer Hawkins died when he was shot during a struggle with two intruders.
Patterson said Hawkins and his girlfiiend, whom authorities did not name, returned to their 158 Coggins Road residence at about 9:35 p.m. and were accosted by two black males in the garage.
The girlfriend told investigators the intruders forced them into the house and demanded money, which they turned over. The intruders tied up Hawkins,
at www.enewscourier.com but he worked his way loose and fought with one of the intruders and was shot in the abdomen. The assailants fled on foot.
Hawkins was later declared dead at Huntsville Hospital.
Patterson said Hawkins’ girlfriend, who was not harmed in the incident, told investigators they did not know the intruders. Patterson confirmed that they wore masks; however, he said he
could not divulge how much money they got away with or the type of handgun used to shoot Hawkins.’
“That’s all part of the investigation,” said Patterson.
Sgt. Charles “Chuck” Zeissler is the lead investigator on the case, he said.
Madison County authorities continue to search for the suspects.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Madison County Sheriffs Department at (256) 722-7181.
Martha Griggs and her son Gilman cross the bridge on the walking trail that extends from U.S. 72 to the Athens Sportsplex.
Athens, Limestone seeing benefits of stimulus funds
By Jean Cole
Athens will spend its share of federal eco-nomic-stimulus money to extend a city walking trail.
Limestone County will spend its share by improving a bridge, helping create an events center, improving energy efficiency in county buildings, linking county computers via fiberoptic cable and buying video equipment for use by law-enforcement officials.
The money for both governments comes fipom the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. 'Ibe act, approved by Congress in February, set aside $787 billion to stimulate the econony in the wake of the recent
downturn. It includes federal tax cuts, expansion of unemployment benefits and other so-dal-welfere provisions along with domestic spending on education, health care and infrastructure — such as paving and on energy savings. Alabama is set to receive about $3.31 million of the total.
Athens recendy received $384,725 to extend the walking trail along Forrest Street, according to Public Works Director James Rich, who applied for the money.
The trail wiU connect the U.S. 31 walking trail at Forrest Street to the Swan Creek Trail and will parallel Forrest to the intersection of
See Stimulus, page 6A
CEO says health care reform bad for smaller U.S. facilities
By KARblN MlDDlTnX)N
Athens-Limestone Hospital Administrator and CEO Cary Payne said Tuesday that Barack Obama’s health care reform plan that calls for a public option to compete with private insurers is bad for small hospitals.
“The current plan wül hurt smaller hospitals,” said Payne. “Of course, there are advantages and .disadvan-t^es to federally run programs. There was some of the same type of opposition in the 1960s to President Johnson when he pushed through Medicare and Medicaid.”
Payne said currendy 56 percent of patients admitted to Athens-Lime-stone are on Medicare and Medicaid.
“Ten percent have no insurance and it’s even higher for those who we are seeing in the Emergency Room where it’s 34 percent who don’t have insurance,” said Payne. “We’ve had a foirly good increase in people using the E.R. for regular medical care.”
Payne said Medicaid reimbursement does not totally cover the cost of services at hospitals and physicians’ offices.
“If another (government plan) comes on board that is a mirror image, people will drop their private insurance, vdiich does provide equitable reimbursement,” he said.
Payne said, as it is, some physicians are not accepting Medicare and Medicaid patients.
“With the shortage of primary care physicians we already have, this would be a problem,” he said.
See Hospital, page 3A
Six Limestone residents heading to state Masters Games
By Jean Cole
jeiuK^^athcnsnews-cxniriir.c'om Six Limestone County residents are heading to the state level of the 2009 Masters Games after taking top score in at least one of their events at the district level.
The Masters Games of Alabama is an annual event in which citizens 55 and older compete in events, including basketball fiiee-throw, three-point basketball, horseshoe throw, shuffleboard,
table tennis, softball throw, Frisbee and Nerf ball throw, swimming, dominoes, checkers, tennis, bowling and billiards.
Top finishers in each age group and event advance to the state games to be held in Florence the first week of October.
The district competition continues this week in Huntsville, with bowling and billiards competitions yet to be played.
The following Limestone County residents
have won in at least one category and wiU head to the state meet:
• Ron Altergott, 65 to 69 age group
• Maurine Cahela, 75-79 age group
• Janice Miller, 60 to 64 age group
• Fred Mitchell II, 60 to 64 age grmip
• Regina Pierce, 55 to 59 age group
• Shirley Yarbrou^, 65 to 69 age group
See Masters, page 3A
wUc^rc off earing 20-30% off for nè^^Ìients! ! !Minin Vi ( )‘f Cmss
■ WHi lo i;i /■ ; /1 :i iji I M- ^ ^
We offer: Manicure^- • in- ', • Any: ■ Naii. Ä Cu-,tom Acrylic Colors • Wax;nu
115 Clovprleaf Dnvi? Athens, AL. 35611 • 232-8553fiinoiillvoiiiy W
AMpiimnie *AHpavmCNerd/e 1/
Hir» « pw • Athen» Ree CIr, Ud SI N