Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - December 2, 2009, Athens, Alabama
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Sening Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
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McLain, Spikes lead lough Ds
Alabama's Rolando McLain and Florida's Brandon Spikes could play key roles when the top-ranked Gators and No. 2 Crimson Tide meet Saturday in the SEC Championship game in Atlanta.
SPORTS, PAGE IB
The White House will make at least one change in security screening practices for invitation-only events after an attention-hungry couple crashed a state dinner.
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APD Reserve officer arrested
By Karkn Middlcton
Athens Police Chief Wayne Harper called the incident, “an unfortunate thing that happened.”
Sunday Harper learned of the arrest of one of his reserve police officers and relieved Johnathan Pratt of duties and retrieved the department’s equipment.
A Limestone County Sheriff’s deputy
stopped a car for speeding in which Pratt, 25, was a passenger Saturday night. According to reports, the deputy found prescription pills in the car.
The county report stated that Pratt said he had a prescription for the pills found on him. But there were other pills in the car for which there was no prescription.
“He came to see me on Monday,” said Harper. “He said he really felt bad about em
barrassing the department and that hopefully there will come a time when he can get on the force.”
Harper said Pratt had been a reserve for about a year when he came to the department after having been laid off ifom a Huntsville industry.
“We did a background investigation and, of See Reserve, page 3A
Remembering Pearl Harbor
NEWS COURIER/KAREN MIDDLETON
"The Glenn Miller Band" tuned up Tuesday nignt praciicinq тог a iriouie to Pearl Harbor veterans Dec. 6 at the Athens Senior Center. "We Interrupt This Program..." will consist of a cast of 70, many of whom have acted in the popular Poke Sallet Follies. Proceeds from the 2 p.m. show go to benefit the Veterans Museum.
Vet s Museum show dedicated to Tanner soldier
By Tkrksa Todd
Ciu'st Writer Gil Crutchfield of Tanner, a soldier in the 25th Division “Wolfhounds,” was near Pearl Harbor early morning Dec. 7, 1941, when he heard loud explosions and saw black clouds rising over the harbor.
The 25th Division “Wolfhounds” participated in what was the first American action of World courtesy photo
War II when the Japanese attacked Hawaii’s Tickets for the 18-by-24-inch orig-Peaj-l Harbor ¡nal oil painting, "Day of Infamy,"
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day that will live in infamy. ticket outlets for the Dec.
6 Pearl Harbor tribute perform-See Pearl Harbor, page 2A ance at the Veterans Museum.
Barksdales prison death still mystery after report
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A prison system report on a state inmate’s death covered almost 800 piiges without answering the one question that made the case such a disturbing mystery: What caused the bruises that prompted a dcx-tor to think the inmate had been beaten?
The Department of Corrections on Monday released its lengthy investigative report on the 2004 death of Farron Barksdale. I'he inmate was found unconscious in a cell, days after he arrived at a state prison to serve his life sentence for the murder of two north Alabama poUce ofii-cers.
A summaiy of the 795-page report showed investigators talked to numerous correctional officers and medical workers about Biirksdale’s final days at Kilby prison near Montgomery. But the investigation foiled to conclude what caused the multiple bruises that made a doctor at a hospital say the inmate had been beaten on Aug. 11, 2(X)7, after he was found unresponsive in his cell.
An autopsy blamed Barksdale’s death on pneumonia, a blcxxi disorder and hyperthermia, or excessive body heat. It said his elevated temperature was likely brought on by anti-psychotic medication and noted the temperature was above 100 degrees for four days straight when he collapsed.
Sarah Geraghty, a lawyer for Bailcs-dale’s mother, said the public might never know all that happened to Barksdale inside Kilby prison.
“I think the department made an honest and valid attempt to determine the cause of death,” Geraghty said. “I do not think the department made an honest attempt to determine the cause of the massive bruising on Mr. Barksdale’s bodv.”
Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett said the department did its best to investigate both Barksdale’s handling by prison officials and his death. I’he report clearly showed there was no evidence he was
See Barksdale, page 6A
Bundle up, cold weather moving in
By Karen Middleton
ka rvni&'a t hensm ■ ,s -courier, com “It will be a rude introduction to the winter season,” said Huntsville Weather Service forecaster Brian Carcione of the cold front moving into the area Thursday.
“We’ve got an area of low pressure forming over Texas and Louisiana that it going to move into this area,” said Carcione. “There’s a 100-percent chance of rain for tonight and 90 percent for Wednesday.
“Most of the heavier rain will be to the south so there’s no flood danger for here, but it will usher in much colder air.”
He said high temperatures for Thursday would be in the low-to-mid 40s with lows in the mid-20s.
“It’s going to be well below normal,” said Carcione. “The normal for the first week of December is usually a high of 55 and a low of 36, but we’ll be about 10 to 15 degrees colder. But that is not unusual, because we’re getting into the depth of the cold season.”
The forecaster said he’s keeping an “eye out” for winter precipitation problems.
“Definitely, bring in your plants if you haven’t already done so,” he said. “We’ve been hit with a freeze on a couple of nights, but that was just flirting. This will be a hard freeze and your plants would have a hard time weathering this.”
Pet owners are also encouraged to make arrangements to keep them warm during the next few nights.
Gifts to, from libraiy' make holidays bright
By K\ri;n Middij'ion
Wondering what to give that hard-to-buy-for person on your. Christmas list?
Look to Athens-Limestone Public Library for answers.
“We had someone call that said they wanted to give a Christmas gift in honor of two neighbor children,” said library Director Susan Todd. “So they gave a contribution to the Library Foundation for the new library in the children’s names.”
The Library Foundation is trying to raise more than $4 million to renovate
See Library, page 3AWILLidm G. Ma^pHewsAttorney At Law
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