Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - July 31, 2009, Athens, Alabama
Vick still trying to find NFL team to give him a chance PAGE IBThe News CourierSen ing Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future
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Friday, July 31, 2009
Kids flock to school
The sounds of basketballs bouncing and kids yelling fills the halls of Cowart Elementary School's gym as kids turn out for basketball camp.
SPORTS, PAGE IB
Bad bridges assed up or repairs
Thousands of unsafe or decaying bridges must wait for repairs because states are spending stimulus money on spans already in good shape.
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AG intensifies probe
By Karen Middleton
knwn(&a( hensne ws-courier.com
Investigators with the Alabama Attomey General’s Office who are looking into an alleged drunk driving ticket-fixing attempt by an Athens Police supervisor — reportedly Capt. Tracy Harrison — have made a second trip to Athens to review municipal and circuit court Yecords of old traffic cases, Mayor Dan Williams said.
“I think what they’re looking for is mon
ey,” Williams said. “If they found that, it would be illegal.”
Williams is the first to suggest that the Attorney General’s office investigation might involve allegations of payoffs.
A local television station on Thursday publicly identified the supervisor under investigation as Harrison. Other sources have privately named Harrison. The mayor would say only that the supervisor under investigation is a police captain. The department’s
only captains are Harrison and Marty Bruce.
When called by The News Courier Thursday evening and asked if he is the captain under investigation, Bruce said “No” and then said a television station had identified the supervisor.
Harrison, who is currently on family leave, did not return a telephone call for comment.
See Probe, page 5A
Like Christmas in July
NEWS COURIER/KIM RYMOERS
Owens Elementary Special Education teacher Anna Taminack, left, and school counselor Jan Holt sort through a large contribution of school supplies from WHNT-TV's Tools for Schools program.
Owens gets boxes and boxes’ from Tools for Schools program
By Karen Middlcton kareni^a I lu ^iisiiews -('ourier. com It was like Christmas came early for administrators, counselors and teacher of Owens Elementary School this week as they sorted through boxes and boxes of new donated classroom materials.
School officials answered a letter last school year inviting them to be a participant in the WHNT-Channel 19 and Huntsville Stars-spon-sored Tools for Schools program.
Principal Cleo Miller said Thursday that the school didn’t have to do anything special to qualify and she believes the only other school in the Limestone system to participate was Johnson Elementary.
WHNT and the Stars began the program five
or six years ago by partnering with local businesses to put out collection bins for back-to-school items. Some businesses and organizations held book and supply drives to collect items.
Increasingly, parents are asked to provide classroom necessities for their children. And, for some, it is a financial hardship.
“We are a Title I school but I don’t think that had anything to do with it,” said Miller. “A lady from Chaimel 19 called at the beginning of last school year and asked if we wanted to participate. 'Ihen they named thè date of a Huntsville. Stars game and told us to show up and collect our supplies.”
See Tools, page 5A
Rick & Bubba vs. Athenian editor generates debate over free speech
By Jennifer R. Hill
When July’s edition of The Athenian — the Athens State University student newspaper — hit the stands recently, a storm began to build and culminated Thursday morning in a heated discussion on a nationally syndicated morning radio talk show.
“The Rick & Bubba Show,” heard locally on station 106.1 WTAK, is hosted by Rick Buigess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey.
The eruption of calls and discus-
sion Thursday morning was sparked by an editorial titled “Rhetorick for ratings promotes domestic extremist terrorism,” written by the collegiate newspaper’s student editor, Aletha Pardue.
In the article, Pardue describes as “propaganda” the type of views discussed on “The Rick & Bubba Show” and on FOX News. ,
The “right-winged propaganda,” she said, fuels domestic extremist terrorism like the June 11 shooting of a black officer at the Holocaust Mu
seum in Washington D.C.
“... It is sad that the United States of America, which is supposed to be based on tolerance, has to fight radicals such as these,” Pardue stated in her editorial. “Unfortunately, they do exist, and I believe that their hate is amplified by the rhetoric being preached on television and radio stations across the country. The bile that is being spewed in the name of ‘informing the pubUc’ is built up to in-
See Debate, page 5A
reports possible problem at utility
By Karen Middleixin
Jim Moffatt, a member of the Limestone Qxunty Water and Sewer Authority, informed the News Courier Thursday that the Alalxama Department of Environmental Mant^ement is conducting an investigation of possible violations at the utility.
Mofiatt said the vioktions reported internally to bt)ard president Maik Yarbrough involved reporting requirements of overflows during heavy rainfalls.
“This report was the first time we were made awure of these possible violations and we immediately began an internal investigation,” said a news release delivered by Mofiatt. “The chairman has ordered our board attorney and our engineer of record to fully investigate these charges. The authority has informed ADEM of this situation and we are sharing the results of our investigation with their staff and cooperating fully with them on this matter.”
Mofiatt said the engineer has told Yarbrough that the violations “are nothing that couldn’t be fixed.”
“The authority has always strived to operate in an environmentally safe and responsible manner,” the release
See ADEM, page 5A
Tanner hosting annual tractor and truck pull
The ground will be shaking and black smoke will fill the air tonight in Tanner as fondly named machines such as The Dirt Donkey, Old “JR,” Cujo, and the Nite Rambler, and others compete in The 33rd Annuel Alabama Championship Tractor and Truck Pull.
The tractor puU is set to begin tonight and Saturday at 7 p.m. behind Tanner
See Tractor, page 5A
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