Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - May 23, 2009, Athens, Alabama
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Shuttle landing delayed
Florida thunderstorms kept Shuttle Atlantis in orbit an extra day as the crew watched DVDs to pass the unwanted spare time.
Plot renews fears Islam will spread in prisons
The arrest of four Muslim ex-convicts in an alleged homegrown terror plot in the Bronx is renewing fears about the spread of Islamic extremism in the nation’s prisons.
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Rogers Group challenges laws
By Jean Cole jt ‘<in(a)u t hensnews-cxrurier. corn The company hoping to operate a rock quarry near Tanner will fight four state laws aimed at blocking it, the company announced
A day after Limestone County landowners asked the Limestone County Circuit Court to halt work — including blasting — at Rogers Group’s proposed quarry off Laughmiller Road, the company began trying to fight the
matter in court.
Company attorneys have filed a complaint for damages, declaratory judgment and injunctive relief with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama in Birmingham. The company also asked that the Circuit Court case be moved to federal district court.
At issue are the four state laws enacted May 11 to block the quarry off Laughmiller.
“We do not believe the new statutes apply to this site and have asked a federal judge to
decide that issue,” said Dan Rose, Rogers Group vice president and general counsel.
He said the laws single out Rogers Group without basis and are therefore unconstitutional.
“We followed the law and obtained all necessary permits, including a business license issued by the county itself,” Rose said. “We relied on the authority of those responsible for
See Quarry, page 3A
NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS
Above, Athens State University art professor Gail Bergeron gives quick instruction to Athens Middle School students Friday while they paint the underpass on Forrest Street. Below, AMS student Humberto Bahena paints an eagle.
AMS class paints railroad underpass on Forrest Street
By Karen Middleton
karental hensnew s -< -on tier, c r >m A place in Athens most noted for being the sticking point for tall trucks is shaping up to be one of the most beautiful spots in the city thanks to the artistic efforts of a group of Athens Middle School students.
Jennifer Rosso’s eighth-grade Talented and Gifted Class took part in a marathon all-day painting project Friday to beautify the railroad underpass on Forrest Street as a community project. The painting was rescheduled several weeks ago because of
By mid-morning the site was a beehive
of activity as students climbed scaffolding lent to the project by Martin & Cobey Construction. Others mixed brightly colored paints while Athens Police blocked off traffic from both ways on Forrest Street.
“I posed a question to them last fall on what they would do as a community project,” said Rosso. “One student — Humberto Bahena — likes graffiti like any other person his age, but he said when he sees graffiti walking through there, ‘It’s just not right.’”
See Underpass, page 2A
Rosales named National Merit Scholarship finalist
By Jean Cole [email protected]
Athens High School senior Rachael Rosales has been named a National Merit scholar, winning one of the nation’s most prestigious academic awards.
Rosales, the daughter 6f Greg and Ann Rosales, will receive one of the 8,200 Merit Scholarships awarded na
tionwide, taking home her share of the $35 million total scholarship distribution.
In addition to being named a National Merit scholar, Rosales has earned early acceptance into the medical school at University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she plans to study pathology, ac-
See Merit, page 4A
By Jean Cole jt ‘¿itif* ¿itht‘listii>ws-cowii1r.com Athens Police are investigating a report about a possible sexual predator approaching two girls at Athens Middle School on Wednesday and asking to “show him their moves.”
No arrests have been made but police have a suspect, said Capt. Marty Bruce.
“We are looking into an incident in which a 50-year-old man approached two students at the middle school and also walked into the school after hours,” Bruce said. “There is a possibility that we will make an arrest. We are looking at what chaiges we could bring against him.”
The schools were immediately alerted to look for him.
Here are details of the report filed by Det. Sgt. Dustin Lansfbrd:
A sixth-grader and a seventh-grader were sitting on the steps of the middle school gym about 5 p.m. Wednesday when a man approached them. The man asked them several questions about who they were and what they were doing. They told him they were on the dance team, and he asked them to “show him their moves.” He tried to touch the girls on their shoulders, which they refused.
A teacher saw the man and confronted him. The man identified himself as a state employee investigating some suspicious activity. When the teacher asked for identification, the man showed what appeared to be military identification card. His driver’s license was on the underside. When the teacher tried to reach for the ID, the man would not let her see it.
When the teachers asked the man questions about who he was, he would only mumble answers. Two teachers asked the man to leave several times. He left only after one of the teachers called 911. They obtained a description of his vehicle and a license plate number.
The man had previously approached a custodian at about 5 p.m. and had asked to see the principal or a teacher. He was told no one was there. He walked past the custodian and entered the school anyway.
Local NAACP hosts Centennial Concert
By Kelly K\zek [email protected]
In celebration of the National NAACP’s Centennial Celebration, the Limestone County chapter of the NAACP is hosting a concert June 6.
The event will feature gospel performers including the Gray Sisters from Decatur, Louetta King and The Soul Seekers of Louisville, Ky., and Melody Aires of Sheffield, with the Rev. Price King and Associates of Louisville as featured performers.
The concert will be at 6 p.m. at the Beasley Center at 202 Bryan St. in Athens. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.
Ticket outlets are Enstyle Apparel on Hobbs Street, Peave’s Music Center on N. Jefferson Street, Farmers Insurance Group-Rod Howell Agency on Alabama 127, or are available from the Rev. Hor-
See Concert, page 3A