Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - December 11, 2009, Athens, Alabama
New fossils shed light on dinosaurs PAGE 5Ae News CourierServing Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future
Friday, December 11, 2009
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History in the making?
Running back Mark Ingram hopes to become the first Heisman Trophy winner in University of Alabama history.
SPORTS, PAGE IB
The economic recovery is likely to draw strength from exports such as farm products, autos, aircraft and industrial machinery - all of which helped lower the nation's trade deficit in October.
Mini Page 5A
Daniel E. Bowers Maurine Rochelle Elsie Steebnan
NEWS COURIER/KAREN MIDDLETON
Greater Limestone Chamber of Commerce BRAC Committee Chairman Lakin Collins, left, who also serves as Limestone County's representative to the Tennessee Valley BRAC Committee, welcomes Redstone Arsenal Garrison Commander Col. Robert Pastorelli Thursday at Athens State University.
Next wave may come in 2015
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karcn/J utliciisiK'w s-courur.coin How well the area responds to the inllax of BRAC transfers by 2011 might determine whether Redstone Arsenal is the site of another round of BRAC moves in 2015.
This is according to Redstone Garrison Commander Col. Robert Pastorelli, who delivered a BRAC update Thursday at Athens State University as the guest of the Greater Limestone Chamber of Commerce BRAC Committee and ASU.
Pastorelli said that 2,063 of a predicted 4,651 of BRAC jobs moving here ftom Northern Virginia are presently filled on Redstone Arsenal, but that doesn’t totally account for the influx. The FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tbbac*co <uid Rrearms and NASA have or are in the prcx^ess of building liuge test lacilities on the arsenal.
While 2009 has seen a relati\'e lull in the number of BRAC transfers, it’s because $435.2 million in new constnicTion is ongoing to ac*-commodate the jobs. I le said 2010 is e.xpected to see the largest number of BRAC moves.
“T’he largest command concerns are roads, schools and medical services,” said Pastorelli. “On the issue of roads, there is a tremendous traffic backup already at Gate 9, the main gate, sometimes all the way down 1-565.”
Pastorelli said roads throughout the Tennessee Valley, and especially in Madison County and two-lane feeder roads in adjacent counties will have to be upgraded to meet the demand of traffic thiU BRAC will bring.
Not all of these vehicles packing our interstate highways cmd secondary ro<rds will be driven by Northern Virginia transferees, he said.
I le said that in “direct growth,” it is predicted that 5,5(X) ctrntractor jobs will result from the moves, and in “indirect growth” it is predicted that the moves would require 9,5(X) jobs in such fields as teaching and firefighting to support community grow^th.
See BRAC, page 7A
'Big Murder' arrested in cocaine bust
Limestone County authorities on Thursday arrested a local man whose street name is “Big Murder” after receiving tips on his id-leged drug activity, said Sheriff' Mike Blake-
Christopher Albert Randolph, 32, of Bonnie Doone Apartments was cTiarged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana.
Blakely said Randolph was arrested following a routine traffic stop on Simderfer
Road near the apartments.
“When the officers stopped him, they smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming fixrm the vehicle,” the sheriff said. Upon searching the car, officers found a marijuana cigarette. Fifteen grams of crack cocaine was found in Randolph’s pocket, Blakely said.
“He is someone we’ve received numerous complaints about so our officers were watching him,” the sherift said.
— Kelly Kazek
Vets MusetuTi onianieiit on sale
By Karkn Middleton
Now is the time to own a Christmas ornament that commemorates what has become one of the top tourism spots of North Alabama.
The Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives is introducing this season its first Christmas ornament. The glass ornament is available at $10 each in
jewel-tone red or blue with an image of the old L&N Freight Depot in which the museum is housed.
The museum was officially dedicated on Veterans Day 2002 and has since become not only an award-winning tourism location but also a favorite gathering place for patriotic observances
See Ornament, page 3ADraf’i:r Flrnitvri
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Tim'K B’eddiwy, /.fotuess & Fox Spniiigs • Sfaiwed Gêoss Pükeês MetaR Bed - Tutik, Queek, t'Juä‘256-729-Ho9H
Trial to get under way for suspect in shooting over a bull
Jury selection begins Tuesday
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Jury selection begins Tuesday in the trial of a man accused of shooting another man follow ing a fight over a bull and leaving him paraly/ed. District Attorney Kristi Vails said.
Jerry Odum Pope, 58, of 19848 East Limestone Road in Toney, w^as charged March 29 with first-degree assault, after a witness told authorities he shot his neiglibor, Arthur “Jiimes” Ckirdner, once in the chest at Gardner’s home at 19908 Fiist limestone Rocid.
The tw^o men w^ere appcirently arguing that Sunday iiftemoon alxrut Ciardner’s bull getting out <md mixing with Pope’s cattle, limestone County Sherift Mike Blakely said at the time.
“'fhis led to Gardner hitting Pope with a stick,” Bkrkely snid. “Pope then prcxluced a hiuidgun imd shot Gcudner once in the chest.
See Bull, page 7A
Limestone County DA'S Office facing 10 murder trials
By JI AN G)i.K
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The limestone County Districl Attorney’s Office is facing 10 murder cases in the new’ yeiir and beyond.
District Attorney Kristi Vills siiid she imd her assistants frive five arp-itid muitler cases and five murder cases to try beginning next year. Some of the murder cases are scheduled for trial and some are not. Some are scheduled but will have to be moved because they overkp. Some w^ill be tried if a grand jury finds there is adequate evidence to do so.
Here are details of the pending cases;
• Mario Alberto Flores, 28, of 1413 Fifth Ave., Athens, is charged with capital murder and first-degree robbeiy' — along with Antonio Perez Ramos — in the Dec. 27, 2008, shcxiting of Pedro Ramos, during a robbeiy attempt. His trial date is Feb. 22, 2010, l^fore Limestone Circuit Judge Bob Baker. Ffor now', his is the first murder trial scheduled for ne.xt year. His defense attorney is ffobert Patterson of Huntsville. FTo-res remains in jail.
Three men charged in separate murders are schedule for trial the week of March 1, 2010, before limestone Circuit Judge Jiunes Wocxlrtxif Jr. Two of those trials w ill have to be rescheduled unless a plea is entered.
• Randall “Bingo” Clem. 42, of
See Trials, page 7A
I'Ve e k i a y i i s n c h S p e c ia I