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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - May 7, 2009, Athens, Alabama Lady Eagles back in state tourney 3rd straight year PAGE IBShe News Courier Serving Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future 50 cents Thursday, May 7, 2009 Jurors death impacts Woods’ sentence By Karen Middleton [email protected] Wednesday brought another strange twist in the capital murder conviction of Jamal Woods for the December 2006 murders of Tanqueray “Tank” Beavers, 21, and his cousin, Thurston Turner, 27. you saw iUij^t jgy,, 0*MikL„ew» at Madison County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Heather Douglas said Woods, 25, would be sentenced the week of June 8, but because of the death of an original Woods’ juror, a new jury will have to be impaneled to hear the sentencing phase. Jurors could choose as punishment either death by lethal injection or life in prison without the possibility of parole. The female juror became ill and incapacitated after the jury returned the unanimous verdict against Woods on Feb. 13, thus delaying the sentencing phase. Douglas said while the state is asking for the death penalty, the DA’s office could ask for life without the possibility of parole if the state moves for Circuit Judge Laura Hamilton to hear the sentencing phase rather than a full jury- “We haven’t gotten a day or time for the sentencing hearing, at which time See Sentencing, page 2A Happy Days event reset for May 14 An event hosted by The News Courier with a Happy Days theme set for today will be postponed due to the potential for bad weather. It will be reset for Thursday, May 14. DETAILS, PAGE 10A NEWS COURIER/KELLY KA2EK On County Line Road, about four miles south of U.S. 72, utility crews work to right a pole that was struck Wednesday morning by what a witness at Animal Health Care Center across the road said was a tornado. The billboard and a nearby tree, located on the Limestone County side of the road, appeared to have been struck by twisting winds. Witness watches twister strike County Line Road By Jean Cole jt [email protected] *nsnews-( ■oiim r.eom Monnie Neeley was at woik about 9 a.m. Wednesday morning when she saw sheets of rain suddenly twist into what looked like a tornado — later confirmed — in the field across from her workplace. “k was standing at the window and, at first, it looked like sheets of rain in the field across the road,” said Neeley, who is office manager of Animal Health Care Center at 11055 County Line Road, the dividing line between Madison and Limestone counties. “Then I noticed it started twisting and the dirt and debris were going up into it.” She ran to the storm shelter, a cin-derblock room inside the business. “When it started to twist the building started popping and the wind picked up. It did not sound like a freight train. In See Twister, page 3A NEWS COURIER/KELLY KAZEK The top of a tree, sheared at the same angle as a series of trees along a path, sits atop of what looks to be a maintenance building at Timberline Apartments on Wall Triana Highway in Madison. The storm that hit this complex, which witnesses described as a tornado, appeared to have been on a path from Huntsville-Browns Ferry Road in Limestone County. Visit us online From its bamboo floors to its rooftop deck, the new industrial-chic home not your regular mobile home. PAGE 8A Inside Today Clayton unveils the '¡-home'Index Business........ 5A Classified .....................4B Comics.......................3B Ledger .......................9A Obituaries ....................2A Tekla Davis Adele Jane Ivey Bessie Vickers McDonald Sports ........................IB Weather......................2ATigers, UAB sanctioned Auburn basketball, UAB football fail to meet NCAA academic standards. SPORTS, PAGE 2BSubscribe Get the news with your morning coffee SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720 Investigators seek public s help finding two suspects in robbery By Jean Cole [email protected] The Limestone County Sheriffs Department needs help in finding two men suspected of stealing cash and Newport cigarettes at gunpoint from a convenience store in eastern Limestone County Tuesday night, an official said. The robbery occurred about 7:55 p.m. at Abby’s Mini Mart at 19230 E. Limestone Road at the comer of Copeland Road, said Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt. The suspects, who were wearing ski masks, entered the store, one of them with a handgun drawn, and demanded money from the male clerk, he said. The armed suspect was described as 5 feet, 8 inches tall with a muscular build wearing blue jeans, a white T-shirt and ski mask, McNatt said. His accomplice was described as 6 feet, 3 inches or 6 See Robbery, page 7ALetter Carriers' food drive coming Saturday By Karen Middleton [email protected] Saturday, citizens across the nation will have a chance to combat hunger. The National Association of Letter Carriers, in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service, will conduct its 17th annual food drive, “Stamp out Hunger,” on regular Saturday mail routes. “People may place their non-perishable foods in a plastic bag either hanging on the mailbox or placed at the mailbox,” said local postal worker Ben Tuberville. See Drive, page 2A Today is the last day to purchase Concert is Sat. May 9th @8pm Advance tickets @ Railroad Bazaar $15 Advance • $25 at GateOnline edition Be sure to check out the slideshow from the inauguration of Dr. Robert Glenn at Athens State University under Photo Gallery at Garden tour to give view of ‘literary lawns’ By Bebe Shaw Guest Writer Note: Below is a continuation of Bebe Shaw's description of gardens on this year's Friends of the Athens-Limestone Public Library Garden Tour. See Wednesday's edition of The News Courier for part 1 of this story 208 West Hobbs Street, First United Methodist Church, “Garden Sanctuary Billie Murphree then walks me through the fence and across the street to her “other garden” at the Methodist Church, whose See Garden, page 7A If you missed it, be sure to check out the slideshow from the Cars on the Sguare event under Photo Gallery at 69847 00001 Fire guts house on Marion Street A young man helped his grandparents escape a burning home at North Marion Street without injury Wednesday but several family pets died in the blaze, said Athens Fire Chief Danny Southard. “They heard a popping and crackling sound” and discovered the front bedroom was on fire just before 3 p.m., Southard said. The names of those who were home at the time of the fire were See Fire, page 7A NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS A fireman hoses down a portion of a North Marion Street home Wednesday following a fire where a grandson helped his grandparents escape unharmed but some family pets perished. A fire official said the home was left uninhabitable. ;