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View Sample Pages : Athens News Courier, December 13, 2009

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - December 13, 2009, Athens, Alabama Celebrations! A Holiday Entertaining Guide PAGES 23-26A e News Courier Visit us online Inside Today Tiger's terrible 2 weeks Where was Woods at 2:25 in the morning? How could he wreck his Cadillac Escalade so badly coming out of the driveway? Was it possible he could have been drunk or on drugs? Then came the bizarre revelations. PAGE14A GOP denied on filibuster The Democratic-controlled Senate Saturday cleared away a Republican filibuster of a huge end-of-year spending bill. PAGE 3A Index Classifieds 1C Crossword 19 A Ledger.........19A Letters..........5A Lifestyles........9A Lottery..........3A Obituaries.......2A Reeder Barnett Stephen Keith Marion Long Opinion.........4A Sports...........IB Valley...........6A Weather.........2A 7    69847    00002    3 Serving Athens iind Limestone County: A Coininunitv of Iradition and Future One dollar Sunday, December 13, 2009 Court upholds McLain verdict From staflrcfHuis John Hamilton Mcl^n V, a former Athens attorney and accountant convicted in February of sexually abusing two teen girls, wiU not be leaving Kilby Correctional Facility anytime soon. An Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals judge on Friday upheld the verdict of a Madison County Circuit Court jury that found Mcl^ain, 51, guilty of sexual abuse, enticing a minor and unlawful imprisonment. He was arrested in July 2008 after he admitted he picked up the girls, ages 12 and 13, near Madison Square Mall on University Drive after midnight, then drove them to his Athens home where they spent the night. The girls testified in February that they left their homes following argu ments with their families and initially asked Mcl^ain to drop them at the theater behind the mall but it had closed. They testified McLain then drove them to Monte Sano Mountain to see the lights of Huntsville, where at one point he traced with his finger the ring connecting the two cups of the 12-year-old’s See McLain, page 7A John McLain Shopping without a clue? Here are some ideas NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS Kmart Toy Department Manager Sherry Coffman said Twiiignt Barbies are a sellout at the Athens store. There are a few ‘‘Kens" of the Twilight series remaining. Sales remain strong and indicate a reviving economy. Zhu Zhu Pets, Silly Bandz, ‘Twiliglit’ dolls are among this seasons most popular toys By Karkn Middlkton karcn atlu'nsiH' If your child asked for a Zhu Zhu Hamster for Christmas, we wish Jolly Old St. Nick luck in finding the toy that rivals in popularity the Tickle Me Elmo craze of several seasons back. Stores have been sold out for sometimes weeks, and manufacturers are having a difficult time keeping up with demand. It might be easier to buy a living hamster and resign yourself to cleaning out the cage once a day. Zhu Zhu models Mr. Squiggles, Pipsqueek, Num Nums and Chunk with their accessories — funhouse, hamster wheel, adventure ball, garage and skateboard — might be off the shelves See Toys, page 7A COURTESY PHOTO Zhu Zhu Pets among hardest to find. NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS Rubik’s Cube makes a comeback. NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS Kids collect and trade Silly Bandz. $450K appropriation will finance widening of U.S. 72 at underpass By Kkli y Kazkk k('lh’^ftathi'iisn('\vs-i‘()uricr.a)ii) The first step in improving a traffic “bottleneck” in Athens was approved Thursday by the U.S. House of Representatives. Partial funding — $450,000 — was appropriated in an Omnibus bill H.R. 3288 to widen U.S. 72 beneath the CSX railroad trestle at the Jefferson Street intersection. Mayor Dan Williams said Friday the city requested help with funding the project, which is expected to cost $2 million. The city will be adding matching funds, he said. “It’s a bottleneck, the lanes going under the bridge,” he said. “It gets real crowded there.” Wiliams said the railroad has no plans to remove and rebuild the bridge, which would be a major undertaking, so the initial plan is to build lanes to go around pillars supporting the bridge. U.S. Rep. Paricer Griffith, D-Alabama, said the project is important for growth. “Improving our roadways is essential to ensure the safety of our children traveling to school and to encourage growth of Limestone County,” he said. “The first step is opening up our highway, and this project does just that. This project vvdll create jobs and help us make See Underpass, page 7A Case of Arab woman accused of murder going to grand jury By Juan Cxmi^; /(‘curS at In 'nsncws-i-outii r.ann The case of an Arab woman accused of fotally shooting an Athens man wth whom authorities believe she was having a relationship, will go to the grand jury sometime next year. Monday’s scheduled prelimi-naiy hearing for Lisa Mechelle Pate, 40, of 323 Apollo Road, has been waived by her attorney, Brian Jones of Athens, according to Limestone County District Attorney Kristi Vails. The case will now go to the grand jury, though the See Pate, page 7A Lisa Pate Jerry King Company 1613 1 Groy Blvd. • Alhens, AL 35611 230-0402 QNC M«mb*r Wi ^ YiMt Urn Ik Ц Chjunfe out yottT    with a NBW Hifh E£^»eiMy H««t{Huap todio'^ tAv»ii«№ CaUior D«taiW ;