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View Sample Pages : Athens News Courier, December 15, 2009

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - December 15, 2009, Athens, Alabama Chargers win will earn playoff berth PAGE IBThe News CourierSening Athens and Limestone County: A Cominunity of Tradition and Future Tuesday, December 15, 2009 50 cents Visit us online www^ Inside Today VA patients most likely female Hospitals report most vets being treated are women. PAGE 5A Obama meets with banks The president asks bank executives to tighten financial industry. PAGE 3A Subscribe (iet the news with your tnorning coiiee SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720 Index Classifieds 4B Comics..........3B Ledger..........4A Obituaries 2 A Patsy Craig Carl Fincher Dorothy Hobbs David Robinson Ronald Welch Sports...........IB 7    69847    00001 T\^ rates to drop again Fuel cost adjustment will mean decrease of $1 to $3 per bill KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Rates for Tennessee Valley Authority residential customers will drop between $1 and $3 in the billing period that starts Jan. 1 due to another reduction in fuel costs. The change reflects more hydroelectric generation because of rain and a reduction in projected future costs. TVA began the fiscal year Oct. 1 with an 8 percent general rate increase but because of reduced fuel adjustment costs, customers are still pay ing less than a year ago. There have been five drops in the fuel cost adjustment cost this year. TVA uses the fuel cost adjustment to help recover fluctuating fuel and purchased powder costs. The Tennessee Valley Authority is the nation’s largest public utility with nearly 9 million customers in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. Rodeo named top event COURTESY PHOTO BY PAUL CAIN limestone Comity Sherifi’s Rodeo honored by tourism association The Southeastern Tourism Association recently named the Limestone County Sheriff's Rodeo among its Top 20 events. Every May for the past 27 years, crowds pack the Sheriff's Arena at Alabama 99 and West Elm Street to see bull and bronc-riding competitions, barrel racing, parade and clown antics. The event raises funds for Sheriff's Department eguipment. Cogongrass, the 'new kudzu' eating away state's farmland By Jf:an Qjij-jeaii^Jathensiu *\i s<'ouricr.a)in Like the red marauders in the movie “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes,” a noxious grass is creeping its way across Alabama. Authorities say the monster weed — called cogongrass (which rhymes with Logan grass) — secretes a chemical that lolls other plants, slices through the roots of rivals, resists most herbicides and scofís at fire. ‘It’s much worse than kudzu,” said Dr. Leland Cseke, a molecular biologist and assistant research professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Even worse, people in cXher states are planting a garden-vaii-ety ornamental grass that can revert to cogongrass like Dr. Jel^^ll into Mr. Hyde, he said Authorities have dispatched a task force of agents armed with herbicide-filled backpacks and other equipment to fi¿it it This isn’t a spoof on a low- PHOTO COURTESY OF CREC LEACH, INTERNATIONAL PAPER, BUCWOOD.ORG. This aerial view shows invasive cogongrass taking over Alabama farmland. budget horror flick. Cogongrass could cause ecological and economic disaster in this state and others if it isn’t corralled. Cseke and 1993 UAH graduate Sharon Talley — the College of Science’s 2009 distinguished alumna — are studying the genetics of the grass in hopes of preventing that. Cogongrass — which was brought to the states in 1912 in material used to pack oranges — See Grass, page 3A City unveils Sportsplex master plan By Karen Midui eton ka rt'ii (a) a t h on snews-co uricr. com Right now, it looks like a master wish list as Parks and Recreation Director Ben Wiley unveiled the proposed master plan for enlarging the Sportsplex. In July, the Council paid $24,000 to hire local civil engineer Taz Morrell to work with Wiley on drawing up a master plan to enlarge the Sportsplex off U.S. 31 North with the goals of accommodating travel ball teams and at the same time provide adequate facilities for local teams. Council President Ronnie Marks cautioned in a work session before Monday’s City Council meeting that, “As funds become available we’ll look at implementing the plan.” With that caveat, Wiley presented an aerial view of the Sportsplex with proposed structures outlined, but he had no dollar figure on how much the improvements would cost. The plan • North parking lot to accommodate the north four-field pod near the main entrance and the swimming pool complex; • Small pavilion for swim meet spectators to be used in off-season for private picnics and outdoor meetings for the public; • Large pavilion for company picnics in an area where Cancer So- See Sportsplex, page 3A you saw ¡yipt ^ *» Dreakii^ news at Names of couple killed in five-car wreck released By Kelly Kazek kcllyi^ Two Toney residents were killed and four others were injured Saturday in a five-car pileup in Limestone County, a state trooper said. The accident occurred at about 6:50 p.m. on Old Railroad Bed Road, 10 feet west of Huntsville city limits. Names of the victims were released Sunday. Richard Doty, 66, who was driving a 1999 Oldsmobile, was killed in the wreck, as was a passenger in his car, Doris Doty, 62. Both were wearing seat belts. Another passenger in the car, Christine Doty, 14, of Toney, was injured. She also was wearing a seat belt, the trooper said. Because the wreck occurred on the Limestone-Madison county ine, officials initially called Madison County Coroner Bob Berryhill to the scene before it was determined Limestone County had jurisdiction. Limestone County Coroner Mike West said he did not receive a See Wreck, page 3A ;