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View Sample Pages : Athens News Courier, March 03, 2005

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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - March 3, 2005, Athens, Alabama Package complete Underclassmen add to talented Golden Eagles squad in search of state title TbeNe Around the world Piney Chapel students learn about different cultures during Read Across America 5A Courier Till RSDu, Marc h 3. 2005 Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future eneu scourier.coni 50 Cem s Poke Sallet time A preview of this year’s Poke Sallet Follies. Coming Sunday Share your photos The News-Courier is looking for old photos of farming operations and farm families to'publish in a special section on the history of agriculture in Limestone County. Call Sonny Turner at 232-2720 for information. mm Hey, Sound Off: With the storm that came through Monday, Feb. 21 that snapped utility poles on north Lucas Ferry Street, our Athens Utility crews worked day and night to restore power to the residents. Oftentimes, this group of people is overlooked for its work. They work in all types of weather, long hours and are around high voltage. We would like to say thank you for restoring the power so that we could have church service Wednesday night. More Sound Off Valley, 5A Get the news with your morning coffee Subscribe to The News-Courier 232-2720 Index Classified ... , 4-7B Comics..... .......8B Ledger ...... 11A Mini Page .. 14A Movie Listing. .....3A Obituaries ... 2A Claudia S. Kobeck Willie Mae Matthews John A. Zehner Sports ..... 1-3B Daily Bible Moment ^ee then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools hut as wise. Ephesians 5:15 intdtone 322 Hw>.3l\'Athiiis 25^232-1051 Obil liBf 256-771-0934 69847 00001 BTanner man ‘drug kingpin’ lawmen say News-Coiirier/Kim Rynders A federal drug enforcement agent at the scene of a drug bust Tuesday in Tanner. By Phil Willis [email protected]' Area law enforcement agencies contend the Tuesday arrest of drug kingpin Kelvin “Blue” Hines of Tanner will shut down the primary source of cocaine lor Limestone County and eliminate as much as 20 percent of the drug entering Madison County. The massive drug bust, designated Operation Blue Thunder, was the culmination of a two-year investigation. Area law enforcement officers Tuesday served search warrants on nine different locations in Limestone, Morgan and Madison counties. As a result. Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said, six key members of a major drug trafficking organization have been arrested and are being held without bond on federal drug traft'icking charges. Kelvin “Blue” Hines of 19573 George Washington Street, Tanner, is described by authorities as head of the organization, which allegedly moved large amounts of cocaine from Texas into Limestone County. Also arrested was his twin broth- See Kingpin, Page 2A State calls for audit of county water board By Sonny Tlrnlr V onny(^athen sn e u s-co uri er co m Limestone County's five-member legislative delegation has called for a state audit of the books of the controversial Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority. The audit, which would go back five years, is sought in conjunction with a request by the Limestone County Commission which wants authority, among other things, to dismiss some members of the water board. Limestone County Commission Chairman David Seibert was in Montgomery Wednesday to meet with the county’s legislative delegation to ask for a countywide vote of the people to change the laws governing the county water board. Seibert was armed with legislation the Alabama House and Senate adopted in 1998 changing the way the water board members are appointed and removed m Walker County. See Audit, Page 8A DA asks Riley to post reward in hit-and-run By Sonnv Tlrnlr somn ’(Wathensnews-courier. com Gov. Bob Riley is being asked to post a reward for information that will lead to the arrest of the person who is responsible for the hit-and-run death of a Decatur man last week in Limestone County. Athens Police Lt. Floyd Johnson said Limestone County District Attorney Kristi Vails has asked the governor to offer the reward in hopes it will lead to the arrest of the hit-and-run driver. “We’re still running down possible leads, but we have no suspects,” Johnson said Wednesday. “We’re pretty confident now that it is someone who knew they hit him.” At first, police were not sure if the motorist who struck Royce Dale Ramsey, 42, of Harrison Street, Decatur, knew it because the conditions on U.S. 31 South that night were horrible with dense fog and rain. But Johnson said police now believe the driver committed a crime since he has not come forward. Ramsey was on his bicycle heading north toward Tanner Crossroads when he was struck from behind and killed. His body was found in a ditch across from Swan Creek Trailer Park. Ramsey was on his way to visit his wife w'ho lived in Tanner. The two had been separated for months, police said. They added Ramsey was known to use his bicycle for transportation. Police said the investigation shows that a red vehicle might have been involved in the death based on the redish smears of paint found on the bicycle. That vehicle also could have its right front turn signal broken out, police said. New direction for wellness _    News-Courier/    Kim    Rynders Dru Andrews, left, an East Limestone Wellness Center employee, shows member Connie Crouch how to use equipment at the new facility located at Capshaw and East Limestone roads. Hospital opens wellness center in East Limestone By Tashi.a Lovell [email protected]' People in East Limestone searching for a place to beef up and lose those extra pounds can enjoy most of the qualities of the Athens Wellness Center in a facility a little closer to home. The East Limestone Wellness Center is up and running on the corner of Capshaw and East Limestone roads. After a family practice had been at the location for a year, staff of Athens-Limestone Hospital began looking at other needs the community might have. In the spring of 2004, they began a focus group in the East Limestone community, in which they had meetings and sent out surveys. One of the biggest needs determined was a An open house will be held at the East Limestone VCdllness Center at Capshaw and East Limestone roads from 2-4 p.m. Sunday. wellness center. The focus group consisted of business and community leaders. See Wellness, Page 2A Book damage attributed to pedophile Hundreds of books housed in libraries in Athens, Decatur and Huntsville have been damaged to the tune of thousands of dollars — apparently by pedophiles cutting pictures of children from the books for superimposition over nude photographs, according to an Athens Police Department detective investigating the disfigurements. Staff at the Athens-Limestone County Public Library first noticed damages to books last summer. Detective Trevor Harris said. The vandal did not simply cut out the pictures with scissors, he said, but rather flattened the spine of the book and trimmed out an entire page with a razor blade, “Unless you were looking at the page numbers chronologically, you would never notice they were missing,” Harris said. After examining damaged books at the local library and at the Wheeler Basin Library in Decatur, Harris set up a system for checking returns for missing pages before putting them back on the shelves. He also arranged for librarians to notify him upon finding any damage so that he could obtain a search warrant to track the last person known to have checked out the damaged book. See Pedophile, Page 3A ;