Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - January 9, 2005, Athens, Alabama
Take a look at Broncos Vs. Colts and Vikings vs. Packers, inside Sports 45See shore, see shells
Sanibel Island, Fla., is famous for its shell-filled beaches. See Destinations 6CThe News-QmnerServing Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tr.\dition and Future
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The winter estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are popular attractions in Fort Myers, Fla. See Destinations
Hey, Sound Off:
Granted it was the first morning of 45 mph while raining along US. 72 west of Athens, but 1) 1 saw no State Troopers on the road and 2) it could be creating another situation that wasn’t considered. Many cars and especially large trucks were still at higher speeds, some slow traffic in both the passing and outside lanes which creates a worse “zig-zag” of traffic with speeds now ranging from 45 to 65-plus.
There will always be cars stopped in the passing lanes waiting to turn across oncoming traffic because there is no center turn lane. Our buses are going to run Monday back to school... someone think about it... please! 1 hope the governor, in trying to help, hasn’t created yet another problem for us there. Plans and actions for the proper fix of that stretch west of Athens could and should be started now.
More Sound Off Valley, 6a
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Officers will be given due process
Chief: Sexual misconduct case will be settled within ‘a couple of days’
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\\'s-courier.com Athens Police Chief Wayne Harper said Saturday he will decide in the next couple of days if action should be taken against three Athens policemen who are the subject of an internal investigation of sexual misconduct while on duty.
“1 will make that decision and if 1 decide action is necessary, each officer will be notified and then given due process of the law that will include a closed hearing,” Harper said.
Sources tell The News-Cowier that criminal charges against the officers are unlikely at this point and at least one of the three being investigated may be innocent of any wrongdoing. “I just can’t comment on that right now,” Harper said. “1 will make the decision in a couple of
See Officers, Page 2A
Local woman wants investigation into death authorities say not suspicious
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ianJie(Ujathensne\\s-courierxoin Lesa Farris is teary eyed when she speaks of her deceased father.
Thomas Wayne Davis was found dead on the living room floor of his Flanagan Road home May 1, 2004. The coroner's report lists Davis' cause of death as “probable natural processes.”
Farris, however, belie\es otherwise.
“I know it’s foul play involved,” Farris says. “I’m 100 percent sure someone killed my daddy.” Thomas Wayne Davis was last seen alive around 7 p.m. on April 29, Two days later, according to the coroner’s report, a friend became concerned after realizing Davis hadn’t been outside for a couple of days. That friend went into the Davis •
See Death investigation, Page 3A
Lesa Farris with a photo of her father, Thomas Wayne Davis.
Readers asked for stories of people who made a difference
The theme for The News-Coiirier s annual magazine edition, published in February, is “People Who Made a Difference.”
As we have in the past, the staff' encourages readers to submit stories they have written about someone who made a difference in their lives.
To submit a story you have written, e-mail a copy to [email protected]
or send to 410 W. Green Street, Athens, Ala., 35611.
In addition, members of our staff will be writing stories about some of the people who have made a difference to all of Athens and Limestone County.
To nominate someone as the subject of one of our staff-written features, please send a name to one of the addresses listed above. If you know the per-
See Readers, Page 2A
Beer Sales = Tax Revenue
Kathy Richardson, an employee at Brad’s Market, sorts a stack of Bud Light beer Friday.
Alcohol impact $1.1 million in Athens
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sonnyt^aihensnews-cowier.com It’s been a year since the first beer was sold in the City of Athens and since that time the city has collected approximately Sl.l million in additional tax revenue.
Athens City Clerk John Hamilton said alcohol sales over the past year account for S424,522 and revenue from the city’s 8-percent sales tax has increased 9.6-percent or $593,000 from $6,180,309 to $6,773,428.
“It has had a tremendous impact and we have benefited greatly by this,” said Athens businessman Carl Hunt. “We knew' this was going to happen and it has.”
Hamilton said alcohol sales tax alone has accounted for $369,356 over the past year with alcohol license application fees, alcohol city privilege licenses and ABC store sales tax accounting for another $55,000.
Athens voters approved the legalized sale of alcohol in the city on Sept. 9, 2003 and it took four months to go
through the licensing process before the first beer was sold.
Limestone County itself remains a dry county although the names collected on a petition by those who successfully got the Athens issue on the election ballot, remains. Alcohol sales tax revenues in Athens are earmarked for the city’s General Fund with a large portion of the tax money going to schools.
Opponents of legalized alcohol sales in Limestone County already have organized to fight a feared effort to put a wet-dry referendum on the county' ballot. There is no known move at the moment, though, to call for a countywide vote.
Records in the Athens City C Icrk’s office show that in fiscal year 2002 when Athens was a wet city, Athens collected $5.8 million in 8-pcrcent sales tax. In 2003 that increased slightly to $6.1 million.
In 2004, the year the first drink was sold in the city, the tax increased to nearly S6.8 million.
Courtesy photo Tammy Zimmerman, left, gets a hug from Tracy Clemons, whose mother was killed in 1980 by Zimmerman’s mother. According to Jimmy Fry, the women pledged to be friends at a taping of the Montel Williams Show.
TV show airing Monday unites daughters of victim, killer
\\s-cuurier,coni An episode of The Montel Williams Show in which a local murder is discussed by the daughter of the victim and the daughter of the woman convicted of murder will air at 10 a.m. Monday on Fox 54. The show features the story of Geneva Clemons, who was murdered Jan. 21, 1980, and her infant son kidnapped. Clemons' husband, Larry, and her daughter, Tracy, were interviewed for the show, as well as Tammy Zimmenuan, w'hose mother Jackie Sue Schut remains in Tutw iler Prison, convicted of Geneva Clemons’ death.
Jimmy Fry, who prosecuted the case when he was Limestone County District Attorney, was also interview'ed for the show.
“They (Tracy and Tammy) are brought together for the first time as adults and compare their experiences, which in some ways were very similar,” Fry said in an e-mail.
Tracy was 5 when she witnessed Schut shoot her mother on the front porch of the Clemons family home. Schut took Tracy’s infant brother James and handed him through the car window to her then-7-year-old daughter Tammy.
Tammy was 14 and Tracy 12 when both girls testified at Schut's trial. Schut, along with her husband Harold Lee, was convicted of murder and kidnapping.
Fry said authorities believed the Schuts were involved in a baby-selling ring.
James survived after the Schuts abandoned him beside a road in Hartselle. He continues to live in Limestone County but did not appear on the show.