Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - January 29, 2005, Athens, Alabama
Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future
Saturday, January 29,2005 cnewscaurier.com_ " 50 Cents
All about pets
A page featuring information for pet owners
Debuts next Saturday
Mayor Dan Williams is the subject of a roast at 6:30 tonight, a fund-raising event for CASA. Lt. Governor Lucy Baxley is a guest speaker.
Hey, Sound Off:
Congrats and hats off to the State Troopers — 1.000 tickets in two weeks, good job! Now, how about our local law enforcement?
1 bet they have less than 10 percent of that total. Traffic enforcement in Athens and Limestone is a joke. Market Street, Lindsay Lane, Pryor and Alabama 251 are whatever speed you want them to be.
Just watch the speeders, red light and double line runners, etc. When was the last time you saw a police or sheriff patrol with someone pulled over?
More Sound Off Sunday
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Zona Luvenia Elder Bill R. McCall
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Daily Bible Moment
'e who observes the wind will not sow, and be who regards the clouds will not reap.
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AFD may get gift of needed fire equipment
Hollywood mogul giving aid to seven cities around state
By Tanjie Nash
In November, when Athens Fire Chief Cliff Christopher got a phone call from a movie producer in California, he thought the film producer’s oifer must be too good to be true.
“Every once in a while something happens that’s just unbelievable,” Christopher told members of the Athens City Council during a Friday afternoon work session.
The chief went on to say that since that initial call and with permission from Mayor Dan Williams, he has been in correspondence with Nebula Filmworks Executive Producer Wayne Heyman-Hanks.
Heyman-Hanks has chosen Athens as one of seven cities in Alabama to which he wishes to donate a substantial amount of firefighting equipment.
Christopher said he’s studied Heyman-Hanks’ donation program and can’t find any reason to believe it isn’t too good to be true.
“He’s trying to help cities in Alabama that may need help with fire equipment because he’s from Alabama.” Christopher said. “It’s just a wonderful thing.”
Heyman-Hanks, who was reared in Center Point in northeastern Jefferson County, has chosen Anniston, Athens, Auburn, Boaz, Dothan, Florence and Scottsboro for his project.
Each recipient is required to maintain a Light Force response team as part of the program.
“Light Force response means that every call is responded to with a tiller truck and an escort truck,” Christopher said. “You’ve got everything you need from rescue to firefighting capabilities to just a Band-aid.”
However, because Athens Fire Department currently does not have adequate space to accommodate this requirement, a second option has been made available. Christopher said.
Athens is instead being offered two engines
See Fire, Page 2A
Longing for soldier’s return
18-year-old teens arrested after night of drugs, crime
New s Courier Kim Rynders
Nicki and Carter Austin (pictured) are staying with Nicki’s parents while her husband, Pfc. E3 Michael Austin, is stationed in Baghdad. Mike is expected to return in March and it will be his first time to see Carter.
Athens mother raises new son while father serves in Baghdad
By Tashia Lovell
alex(a iithensnews-courier.com Ten-week-old Carter Austin has never seen his dad. Unbeknownst to the newest addition to the Austin family, his dad Pfc. E3 Michael Austin is serving his country in Iraq.
“I heard bombs going on while I was
on the phone,” says Mike's w ife, Nicki, of a conversation she and her husband had since his deployment in October of last year. “We were getting to talk three times a day. Now 1 haven’t heard from him in two, three, or four days.”
Since his deployment Nicki has given birth to their first son. Carter.
Nicki and Mike have been married a little more than a year and have only spent about three months of their married life together.
Even though Mike has only been deployed since October, his military
See Soldier, Page 2A
By Sonny Turner
Two 18-year-old Athens teenagers were in the Limestone County Jail Friday accused in a pair of armed robberies at two Athens stores.
Jeremy Young, of 23116 Alabama 99, and Ian Van Hunter, of 106 S. Houston Street, were being held without bond.
Lt.-Detective Floyd Johnson said the two, who are friends, spent the night in a motel room at the Bomar Inn Thursday night after
they robbed the Bud’s store at U.S. 31 and Elm Street. Then Friday, police said Young attempted to rob the BP Station at U.S. 72 at Cloverleaf Drive in Athens.
Young is charged w ith two counts of first-degree robbery. Hunter is charged with one count of first-degree robbery.
Johnson said investigators believe Young was the man who pulled a semi-automatic looking pistol on the clerk at the Bud's store late Thursday night and made off with an undetermined amount of money. Johnson
Jeremy Young !an Hunter
said police believe Hunter was waiting for Young in the getaway car.
“We think they went out and bought some crack (cocaine) and went back to the motel room and smoked it." Johnson said. “We believe also they bought some more crack before Young attempted to rob the BP Station
The female clerk at the BP told lawmen a man walked up to the counter w ith some items and advised her that he had left his billfold at home. She said when she advised him he had to pay for the items or put them back, he implied he had a gun under his sweat shin and said “give me your money.”
“She told him I’m not giving you a thing and she said he then replied that he was only kidding and ran out the door.” Johnson said the clerk told investigators.
Policeman Doug Duren later spotted the suspect jump from a second floor balcony at the Bomar Inn and when police moved in he fled tow ard the Staples store on U.S. 72 when he went inside. Police then followed him
See Robbery, Page 2A
Move to ease overcrowding in courthouse
By Tashia Lovell
alex(a, athensnews-courier.com Boxes in stacks waist high and files that can use a better home are a familiar site in the Limestone County Circuit Court Clerk's office at the courthouse. Until county offices moved to an annex on Clinton Street in November, there didn't seem to be much hope for a remedy to the overcrowding.
“We are getting more space but I don't know what the assignment will be yet,” says Circuit Court Clerk Charles Page Jr. He’s talking about a future expansion of the remaining offices at the courthouse, mostly state
See Courthouse, Page 2A
Lorene Hodges, who works in the Clerk's office, looks at a newspaper from 1976. Hodges has worked at the Limestone County Courthouse since 1967 and remembers the last time the courthouse was renovated.
Shot fired into Athens apartment
Athens police were searching for two men Friday who got into an argument in the parking lot at Bonnie Doone Apartments and one ended up firing a shot into an occupied room.
“We think we know’ who they are, but we’re still searching for them,” said Lt.-Detective Floyd Johnson. “We don’t know why they were arguing or w'hy the shot was fired.”
The incident occurred shortly after 9 p.m. Thursday night, Johnson said.
Investigators know that one man pulled a revolver during the argument and fired the gun. A bullet went into a room where people were inside playing cards in the living room, Johnson said.
But the detective said luckily no one was in jured as the result of the incident.
— Sonny Turner