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View Sample Pages : Athens News Courier, January 29, 2009

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - January 29, 2009, Athens, Alabama Study: State pension funds creates 5,800 jobs PAGE 4AThe News Courier Serving Athens and Limestone County: A    and    Future 50 cents Thursday, January 29, 2009 Visit us online InsideTodayDeficits may cut deliveries While neither rain nor snow can stop the mailman, massive deficits could force the post office to cut one day of delivery per week, the postmaster general told Congress Wednesday.PAGE 7 AVerdasco, Nadal win at Aussie The way Rafael Nadal sees it, at least one good thing will come from the first all-Spanish semifinal in a hotly-contested Australian Open - at least a Spaniard will reach the finals.SPORTS, PAGE IB Subscribe Get the news with your morning coffeeSUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720 Index Business ........5A Classifieds.......4B Comics..........3B Ledger.........13A Lottery..........3A Obituaries.......2A Sharon Mary Ohlrich Sports...........IB Weather.........2A '69847 00001 Seating juiy delays trial By Karkn Middleton [email protected] An attorney for accused killer Jamal Woods said jury selection was expected to take all day Wednesday. Alan Mann, who is representing Woods in his capital murder trial in Madison County Courthouse, said attorneys hope to present opening statements today. “Jury selection is going rather slowly and it is my opinion that we will be doing well to have our final jury' seated by the end of the day Wednesday,” said Mann in an e-mail to The News Courier. “Hopefully we will open and begin testimony Thursday.” Once the trail gets started, Madison County Assistant District Attorney Don Rizzardi and Mann are expected to call some 40 witnesses to testify before Circuit Judge Laura W. Hamilton. The judge told potential jurors it might take as long as two weeks to present all testimony and evidence. Woods was indicted for two counts of capital murder in the shooting deaths of Tanqueray “Tank” Beavers, 21, and Thurston Turner, 27, both of Athens, at T.G.I. Friday’s in Huntsville on Dec. 17, 2006. Witnesses told investigators that Woods became jealous when Beavers spoke to Woods’ wife, Rotesia Horton Woods. He is charged with two counts of attempt ed murder in the wounding of Autora Frias Rogers, 23, also of Athens, and bystander William Reliford of Hazel Green. Rogers survived severe wounds and lay in a coma tor three weeks. Reliford was released after a short hospital stay. Prosecutors are asking for the death penalty. The case has also sparked a civil suit by Rogers, fteliford and the families of Beavers and Turner against T.G.I. Friday’s, contending that the establishment could have done more to prevent the shooting because the accused Woods had been drinking and left to retrieve a gun from his car and re-entered the restaurant. COURTESY PHOTO Jessica Elkins, a 15-year-old junior varsity cheerleader at Athens High School, died Dec. 26, 2007, after becoming infected with bacterial meningitis. A March 7 pageant at Athens Middle School Auditorium will help raise funds to benefit a memorial scholarship in her name. Pageant will benefit Jessica Elkins Memorial Scholarship By Jennifer R. Hill jenniferida thensnews -courier, com Live, laugh and love, an expression that embodies the personality of the late Jessica Michelle Elkins, is a phrase that her family, friends, and community use to remember her. Jessica, the 15-year-old daughter of Talbot and Michelle Elkins of Athens, was quickly taken by bacterial meningitis and after battling the illness for five days, died Dec. 26, 2007. She is remembered as a vibrant ninth-grade Athens junior varsity cheerleader, a teen that her family, friends and community, called their “sunshine.” • The Jessica Elkins Live, Laugh, and Love Memorial Scholarship, established in January 2008, is awarded through the Limestone Area Community Foundation. A pageant will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at Athens Middle School Auditorium to benefit the scholarship. There will be categories for all age groups. Keeping with the Live, Laugh and Love theme the community will have plenty of laughs after viewing the men of the ugly walk, and lots of love for the women in the grandmother’s division of the evening. “We wanted to make it a community event because she was such a loving spirit and everyone who knew it loved her,” said Theresa Owens, the event coordinator. Owens attends church with Jessica’s family at First Baptist Church in Athens. Owens is encouraging community and church members to take part in the See Pageant, page 3A DOC offers prison land, requesting Huntsville annexation From stall reports The Alabama Department of Corrections is trying to raise money for maintenance and capital improvements by selling more than 400 acres ol land adjacent to Limestone Correctional Facility, the DOC announced Wednesday. At the request of the successful bidder, thé DOC will petition the City of Huntsville to annex the parcels, according to the release. Three different parcels of land are for sale at Limestone, the largest totaling 185 acres with a minimum hid of $5,087,500. This land is adjacent to Parcel 2 containing 122 acres with a minimum bid of $3,355,000. Parcel 3 contains 120 acres with a minimum bid of $3,300,000. Limestone County Commission Chairman David Seibert said it is unusual for a state agency to be the e itity requesting the annexation. “I know how it’s going, so I can’t say I’m surprised.” said Seibert Wednesday. “It’s been happening all around. We’ve done about all we can do. Legislation that we had written never got introduced. I don’t know what’s left. This is the First I’ve heard of a state agency requesting an annexation. They must have a person who’s interested and is wanting to be annexed.” Previously, Gov. Bob Riley and Corrections Commissioner Richard Allen announced plans to sell more than 5,000 acres of unproductive properties across the state, including more than 400 acres in Limestone County at Limestone Correctional Facility. The DOC is offering land for sale to help offset approximately $90 million in deferred maintenance and capital improvement costs. Bids must be submitted for individual parcels only. Lands at Limestone have previously been used for farming. The DOC release cited substantial growth in the region, to include the addition of thousands of jobs associated with BRAC, making this a prime spot for real estate development, both commercial and residential. “This is the latest in a series of land See Prison, page 2A Satellite television shopper says he learned the hard way By Jean Cole jean a then snow s -courier, i om Craig Proctor likes to shop around for the best deal. Although he is a customer of Charter cable television, he decided one day recently to see if satellite television would be a better fit for him. “I like to look around once in a while to make sure I’m getting a good deal,” said Proctor of Trinity. “I called DirecTV and I called DISH Network. The gen tleman at DISH said he couldn’t give me a quote on their packages unless I gave them a major credit card or a debit card num-• her so they could figure the discount.” Although consumers are warned not to relinquish such information unless they plan to buy goods or services, Proctor did it. “I was naive,” he said. “I had to learn the hard way.” Proctor said when a cus- tomef-service representative at DISH told him he would be charged $399 for a satellite dish receiver, he told the representative he only wanted to rent one. “I told him, ‘Wait a minute, I don’t want to buy one in case it arrives damaged or in case I decide to move - it might not work where I was moving,’” Proctor said. “He told me they didn’t do that, so I told him I didn’t want the service.”Hie next div. Jan. 13. Proctor said he noticed $399 had been deducted from his account for the receiver. He said he called DISH Network and explained that he did not subscribe to the service and he wanted his money returned to his account. The customer-service representative said the money would be* returned in 7 to 10 days, Proctor said. “I told him, ‘It took you 5 See Shopper, page 3A ;