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View Sample Pages : Athens News Courier, January 06, 2009

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - January 6, 2009, Athens, Alabama Tuesday, January 6, 2009 Obama’s back: President-elect returns to D.C. PAGE 5ACouriei Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and FutiIndex ..................4B ..................7A ..................2A Charles Christopher Boyd Wesley Coffman Cuba Jean Gassaway Vernie Bell Honea Mamie Graul Johnson Doris Black Loughnan Harry Neal Lowery Bobby Gerald Martin Princess Lorraine McCurry Randy Lee Seals ...................IB Washington Street Diner Oive Block East of Athens Square 1 OO Washington St. Breakfast Cooked to Order j, ' Great Plate Lunches Served from 1 1 :OOam-2:OOpm Open 6:OOam til 2:OOpm Mon.-Fn. • 6:OOam til 12:OOprr\ Sc*. Take Out Orders - Call 232-020S Check out our Daily Blue Plate Special $4.63Online edition Check out reader-submitted photos in slideshows under Photo Galleries at Send your amatuer photos for publication in The News Courier's print and online editions to [email protected] Be sure to include names of people in the photos and a contact number. Coming Wednesday 'Biggest Loser' contestant scales back ...and tells how to lose weight in 2009 LIFESTYLES WEDNESDAY Classified Ledger .. Obituaries Sports Visit us online East Limestone vs. Elkmont, plus other basketball action. For more, visit SPORTS, PAGE IB Xylene spill cleanup continues By Karen Middleton Cleanup continues of contaminated water and soil after a chemical pipeline running through the Owens community sprung a leak a week ago. The pipeline, which carries xylene, was shut down as soon as the leak was reported. It runs from the giant Whiting Refinery in northern Indiana, 20 miles southeast of downtown Chicago to supply Amoco BP in Decatur. The pipeline was installed in 1977. BP uses xylene in the production of terephthalic acid — PTA — which in its powder form goes into polyester fibers and plastic containers. Greg Thomas, whose pond from which his cattle drink was contaminated by xylene runoff from the leak, wondered Monday wben he would hear from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management whether his cattle w'ould be affected from drinking the contaminated water. “As far as my problems, l‘m still waiting on them to tell me something,” said Thomas. “They say the w^ater is at a safe level, but is it safe in the long run? I’m on hold right now. I wouldn’t sell any cattle now not know ing.” Attempts to reach Bruce Freeman in ADEM’s Decatur office were unsuccessful. Also, a message left for ADEM’s public information spokesman Scott Hughes in Montgomery wras not returned. Ron Rybarczyk of Toledo, Ohio. BP public affairs director in BP America’s pipeline unit, said the leak has been clamped off and See Xylene, page 3A InsideToday High school hoopsSubscribePrisoner accused of 1 ear of fellow inmate By Kelly Kazek kellv <r athcnsncw An 18-vear-old prisoner at Limestone County Jail is missing the tip of his right sar after it was bitten off by a fellow prisoner in a Saturday brawl, said Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely. as Breaking news at An investigation into the incident is not complete and charges had not been filed Monday in the case, he said. Not all witnesses have been interviewed, the sheriff said, but preliminary reports indicate Farroll Barber, 30, who was jailed about a week ago on a theft of property charge, was fighting with Julius Allen, 18, who was jailed at about the same time on charges of sodomy and possession of a controlled substance but has not been sentenced, when Barber bit See Ear, page 3AMan charged with abuse of 5-year-old By Jean Cole jeon a A 5-year-old Limestone County girl told her parents a visiting family friend entered her bedroom in the early morning hours Saturday, tried to remove her pajamas and then touched and fondled her. an official said. The girl’s report led to the arrest of Barry Mitchell Gant, 45, of 25689 Nick Davis Road, Athens, on a charge of sexual abuse of a child under age 12, a class B felony, said Limestone County Sheriffs Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt. Gant remained in the Limestone County Jail MondaySee Abuse, page 3A Get the news with your morning coffee SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720 00001 When giving taketh away NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS Salvation Army employees and volunteers sort through soaked items dumped on the parking lot over the weekend, where looters tore open sacks and strewed the contents, Sgt. David Craddock stands in the doorway, left, while employee Mary Wilbanks and store Manager Tina Henderson try to salvage what they can with the help of volunteer Jimmy Garrett. Salvation Army officials beg relief from dumpers, looters By Karen Middleton [email protected] A caramel colored suede jacket and fuzzy pink baby sleepers are among heaps of adult and children’s clothing that no one will ever wear again. They lay twisted and soaked among a broken table, naked, bent ribs of a patio umbrella and a bald tire in the Salvation Army parking lot. Sgt. David Craddock, Sal- / / It's obvious that 9 % some of the people ... just wanted to avoid a dumping fee at the landfill. But now I have to pay the dump fee and that takes money out of my programs." - Sgt. David Craddock, Salvation Army vation Army corps officer, stood in the damp cold Monday morning and shook his head with disgust. “We had this all cleaned up Saturday,” he said. “We think this was all dumped and rif-fled through by Sunday night ." Some of the items that had been dropped off in the parking lot would have been usable if they had remained enclosed in their plastic shopping bags. But looters had ripped open the bags and dumped the con-See Salvation Army, page 3A County approves medical services for inmates By Karen Middleton [email protected] Three Limestone County commissioners say it’s better to deal with a company they know rather than the low-priced option when choosing health care providers. Monday, the commission voted 3-to-2 to approve North Alabama Professional Medical Services for health care for county jail inmates at a cost of $393,663. Commissioners Gerald Barksdale and Gary Daly said they voted against the measure, because of the four companies who returned proposals, others charged less. “I would like to have given someone else a shot at it,” said Barksdale. “It all boils down to money!” said Daly. “And we are stewards of the taxpayers’ money.” However, Commission Chairman David Seibert said when he voted with Commissioners Bill Daws and Bill Latimer to break the tie vote, “Cheapest isn't always the best. This is a local company with local employees and everyone has been satisfied withSee Medical, page 3A ;