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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - June 17, 2005, Athens, Alabama Friday, Ji né 17, 2005 cnewscou 50 C FATS Index Classified 3-7B Comics..........8B Headlines 4A Horse & Farm 7A Ledger ..........6A Lifestyles  8A Obituaries 2A Helene Marie Mclntire Bessie C. Sweeney Leroy B. Thompson Religion 9-11A Sports.........1-2B Valley ..........5A Weather.........2A Daily Bible Moment W/ax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. Matthew 21:31 (OJ: It#    322 Hwv. 31N • Athens „    256-232-1051 '*mam    Obit line 256-771-0934'Graham’s last word? Billy Graham, 86, says revival in New York may the last he attends, Religion Hay. hay, hay The Hampton family is busy baling hay, Horse & Farm 9AThe News-Cotiner Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future 1 Courtesy photo Michael Moyers (yOCv Kenneth McCoy of Athens Subscriber of the day Tiger outlook New Ardmore Football Coach Ken Adams hopes his young squad can build on the momentum of the last three seasons IB Hey, Sound Off: I have never seen so many people complaining about and condemning so many things that they do not understand. Property tax, or any tax, must increase with inflation in order to continue to provide the same level of service. If we did not have reappraisal of property values, and we did not have sales tax levied as a percentage of sales, the tax amounts of 50 years ago — or even 25 years ago — would not pay to gravel a dirt road. Just to put this comment in context, I do not hold public office, nor do I aspire to hold public office. More Sound Off Valley, 5A See Encounter, Page 2A Get the news with your morning coffee Subscribe to The NeusCourier 232-2720Did Arlene bring disease? Farmers fear storm may have spread soybean rust By Sonny Turner [email protected] Limestone County farmers are concerned that Tropical Storm Arlene might have brought a soybean disease to'the county last weekend. But local agricultural experts said tests on the local soybean crop Wednesday show the crop is apparently safe. “I was at the Belle Mina (experi mental substation) Wednesday doing some checks and tests on our soybeans and didn’t find any disease,” said Limestone-Madison County Extension Coordinator Mark Hall. “The farmers are scared because this is a disease that left untreated can wipe out the soybean crop.” It’s called “Soybean Rust,” said Hall, and it was found in the state last year. The disease is widely known with major problems in the southern counties of the state, experts said. “It is a disease that will reduce the yields significantly,” Hall said. Arlene dumped several inches of rain on Limestone County as the storm moving inland and on into the Tennessee Valley from the Gulf Coast last weekend. It did no damage here although it did bring in gusty winds. Hall said Limestone County has approximately 15,000 acres of soybeans planted this year which is down from the 18,000 acres a year ago. He said that may be because the farmers “are worried about the rust” potential. Arlene did cause some “drown out” due to heavy rains on Limestone County’s 70,000 acre cotton crop, Hall said. But other than than, the cotton crop is looking good. High winds from the storm caused some corn in the county to lean, but much of that will rebound, experts said. Limestone County farmers lost 15 to 20 percent of their cotton a year ago to Hurricane Ivan and that amounted to more than $500,000 in damages countywide. Ivan brought several inches of rain and winds in excess of 50 mph to Limestone County in 2004. Man robbed, I v'/T-'    .    fi beaten after an encounter with prostitute Confiscated snake frozen By Sonny Turner [email protected] An Athens man who says a prostitute picked him at his home late Wednesday night and drove him to an area in Athens where they were to have sex, was robbed and beaten by three men who police believe were partners in the crime with the woman. Police said Francisco Diaz, 33, of 1303 East Elm St., Athens, was treated at Athens-Limestone Hospital with a broken rib and cut over his left eye that took 13 stitches to close. Investigators said he was beaten with sticks and robbed of a small amount of money. “He said a white female prostitute came to his home and picked him up for sex and she drove him to Commercial Drive off Experts: Snake venomous but not dangerous By Sonny Turner [email protected] A cobra confiscated from the home of a Limestone County man Wednesday has been frozen, state game officials said Thursday. “We froze it,” said Capt. Johnny Johnson with the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “We’ll hold it for evidence once the case comes up in court Aug. 5.” Johnson said authorities were afraid the snake might bite someone and because they could not find a zoo in this area that wanted it, decided it was best to “put it down " Turner “Snake Man” Roberts, 61, of Nuclear Plant Road, Athens, was arrested See Snake, Page 2A Soldier home from overseas talks to MOM Athens woman becomes ‘abusive’ after demanding she be arrested By Sonny Turner [email protected] A 48-year-old Athens woman who showed up at police headquarters Wednesday “demanding to be arrested,” ended up in jail not because of her demands, but because of her abusive behavior before the four officers who were there to help her. “She just started throwing the tape dispenser and other stuff from a desk and she became hostile and abusive to one of our female officers,” said Capt. Marty Bruce. “That is when she was arrested for disorderly conduct.” The woman, Pamela Compton Barksdale, of 160 Sycamore Place, Athens, showed up at police headquarters at Athens City Hall at See Abusive, Page 2A News-Courier/Kim Rynders Johnny McDonald tries to move the snake confiscated from a Limestone County man Wednesday. The snake, seen close up in inset, was frozen and will be held as evidence. By Karen Koenders Special to The News-Courier Karen Koenders is founder of the local organization Moms On-a Mission, which gathers and ships supplies to troops overseas. She often writes about her interactions with soldiers who return home. Courtesy photo Michael Moyers and a fellow soldier were photographed while on watch through another soldier’s night vision scope. “Proud to be an American” is the thought that kept entering my mind as I listened to Michael Moyers tell me the story of the time he spent in Iraq. Michael, who returned to Athens recently, has spent about half of his 33 years serving his country. He has been around the world — Kosovo, Bosnia, Germany — and he also served during Desert Storm. While See Soldier, Page 3A ;