Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - March 12, 2009, Athens, Alabama
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Motive for murders?
South Alabama law enforcement agencies report gunman responsible for the worst mass shooting in state history had a revenge list of former employers.PAGE 8A
Pastor of Cullman County church has run up against the sensibilities of conservative North Alabama community with a month-long focus on sex.
Tigers’ Barber relies on quickness, not bulk PAGE IB
e News Courier
Sen ing Athens and Lhnestone County: .4 Conmninity of Tradition and FutureSubscribe
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Thursday, March 12, 2009
Rain, cold but no freeze
By Kw i -Y R\zfk
The bright yellow of daffodils and white blooms on the Bradford pear trees likely will survive this week’s cold snap because a freeze is un-ikely, a forecaster said.
Temperatures will hover near 34 degrees tonight and Limestone County hopefully will avoid a freeze, said Robert Boyd with the Nation-
A Huntsville forecaster said temperatures should reach 44 degrees today and dip to about 34 tonight. Chance of rain is about 50 percent.
al Weather Service in Hunts\ille.
Boyd said low's were expected to be around 36 degrees Wednesday night and then highs today
may only reach about 44 degrees.
A few miles north, near Columbia, Term., freezing temperatures w^ere likely, Boyd said.
“Thursday night may be the best chance of rain,” he said. “It may be around a 50 to 60 percent chance. It looks like it’s going to be a wet day on Friday, too.”
See Cold, page 2A
Good economic news?
NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS
An upscale Mexican restaurant will open this month in downtown Athens. While some cities and states are seeing businesses close, Limestone County has several business developments expected to boost tax collections in 2009 and 2010.
limestone County better off than some, official says
By Jean Cole
¡cuii<S\itfwnsne\vs-a)uricr.cont During the Great Depression of the 1930s, some of the residents of No Man’s Land — the panhandle of Oklahoma — canned tumbleweed for sustenance after years of drought and dust storms starved livestock and left land barren.
During the recession of 2(X)8, Athens and Limestone County are not only fairing better than No Man’s Land, the city and
county are fairing better than much of the nation and better than many other counties in the state. They have new business developments — and new tax revenue — on their horizons, according to Limestone County Revenue Commissioner Brian Patterson.
There will be no canning of tumbleweed here.See Economy, page 2A
Committee carves up FEMA funds
By K.\ren MiDDLtrroN
A local committee found Wednesday that equitably dividing $33,463 in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds among local agencies was a daunting task.
They found the funds don’t stretch as far in economic hard times.
Local agencies are increasingly burdened by the needs of homeless individuals and families who have lost jobs or had their homes foreclosed or both.
One agency that has seen a jump in homeless
people is the Decatur Salvation Army.
“We have increased our capacity because we are seeing more people coming down to Decatur from Limestone County,” said Sgt. David Craddock, who oversees the Decatur facility. “We are extending stays because of the housing crunch.
Craddock requested $2,000 in FEMA funds to help serve the Athens people he temporarily houses.
Craddock said in the past year Decatur Salvation Army has housed 20 individuals fromSee FEMA, page 3A
Homeowner catches burglar on tape
according to Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt.
Emerson is accused of stealing $1,500 in power tools and other items, including a McKita brand electric drill, a Dewalt brand electric drill and saw, a Poulan brand chainsaw. Craftsman brand tools, a window air-conditioning unit, a sprayer and a computer monitor.
TRe items are still missing, and Lt. Brad Cur-nutt and Investigator Randy Burrows are investigating the case.
— Jean Cole
A thief caught on tape stealing frum a Bethel Road home has been arrested and charged with burglary, an official said.
Kenneth Dewayne Emerson, 46, of 23733 Pressnell Road, Lot 1, was arrested Tuesday by Limestone County Sheriffs deputies and charged with third-degree buiglaiy, a felony. He is being held in the Limestone County Jail in lieu of posting a $2,500 bond.
A home’s security camera captured Emerson as he broke into the home at lease twice on Feb. 27,Food Bank volunteer responds to eviction
By Kaken Midi)i fix )N
A volunteer for the Athens-Limestone Food & Shelter Program says the Family Resource Center Ixxard shouldn’t have had a say in evicting them from their offices.
The News Courier published a story a week ago saying the Family Resource Center Board voted to ask the ftxxl bank to move because of occasional unavailability of people to hand out fbtxl and “mismanagement of volunteer pei-sonnel.”
LiUura Aldridge, who has volunteered at the Food & Shelter Ifrogram since August, provided a axpy of a contract for office space signed l3y limestone County Commission Chairman l>avid Seibert and food bank director Mike Ford, which states that the Ftxxl and Shelter Ifrogram has use of the office space in the Family Resource Center thnxughout the remiiin-der of this fiscal year.
The County Commission provides the food bank quarters in the Family Resource Center suite of offices rent-free and with free utilities.
“Yes, they have let us stay in the Resource Center, but they have refused to help with program funding or anything else,” said Aldridge.
Aldridge questioned why if the fbcxl bank’s contract for office space was with the county, it was the Resource Center board that made the decision for them to leave.
“The resource center board has no legal control over ALFS,” said Aldridge. “It is just another tactic to take control of ALFS ... Now, according to Mr. Jackson (resource board member RxxJney Jackson), Mr. Seibert is not going to honor this
See Volunteer, page 2ABiodiesel owner scrapping plans for second plant
By KaRILN MlDDLFIXlN
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The lights are back on at Athens Biodiesel.
Owner Melvin Kilgore confirmed late Tuesday that he had reached a payment agreement with Athens Utilities and power had been restored to the plant on l^t Airport Road.
Athens Biodiesel is feeing a number of economic woes, including three lawsuits filed in Limestone County Circuit Court for “contract disputes.”
Kilgore also acknowledged that he is behind on his $15,000-to-$16,000 payroll and a March 13 payroll might also be in question.
“We haven’t yet (raised payroll funding), but we are stiU very hopeful,” said Kilgore.
Kilgore said he is down fixxm 13 employees to nine.
“The employees who are staying have nrade the decision, have made a commitment to the plant and getting it ninning,” said Kilgore.
Kilgore, who announced the plant in 2006 with his wife and business partner, Beveriy Kilgore, said the lack of buyers forSee Biodiesel, page 2A