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Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - November 26, 2009, Athens, Alabama CT^T"^ PPV' CT"TA Ï\J KSC3 D / ! Kl CiThe News CourierServing Athens and Limestone County: A Community of Tradition and Future 50 centsThursday, November 26, 2009 Shuttle heads home Shuttle Atlantis undocked from the International Space Station Wednesday and headed home with one astronaut eager to hold his newborn daughter for the first time. PAGE 13A Subscribe Get the news with your morning coffee SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWS COURIER BY CALLING 232-2720 Index Business ........5A Classifieds.......4B Comics.........3B Ledger..........9A Lottery..........3A Obituaries .......2A Whuey Brown John Chandler Sr. Edd Griffin Billv Kvle Sports...........IB Valley...........4 A Weather.........2A t 69847 00001    6 MLK Committee announces 2010 essay theme The Athens/Limestone Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Planning Committee announces the theme for 2010; it is “How To Create Peace And Unity In The World.” The committee will hold its first planning meeting at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 30, at the Limestone County Commission Conference Room on Washington Street. Anyone interested in assisting with the planning of this holiday event is asked to contact Benard Simelton, (256) 426-6406, Limestone County Commissioner David Seibert or Mayor Dan Williams or just attend the meeting. Criteria and instructions: • No more than one page typed or written legibly by hand • A student and not an adult should write the essay (Counselors and parents may assist the students, but make sure it is the student’s words and thoughts.) • Essay will be graded on grammar, clarity, age appropriateness, and how well theme is developed. • Include student’s name, age and a phone number on the essay. • The age categories are 6-12,13-15 and 16-18. • The deadline to enter your essay is Jan. 11 • Contact Benard Simelton at (256) 426-6406 or 216-5668 for more information • The first place winner in each age group will read his or her essay during the program on January 18, at the Alabama Veterans Museum and receive a savings bond. The second and third place winners will also be recognized. • Mail completed essay to: MLK Essay Contest P.O. Box 1071 Athens, AL 35612 or turn in to Vicki Dowd at the mayor’s office. Visit us online Inside Today Chasing the Bear Nick Saban is successful and wildly popular among Alabama fans, who sport "S The Coach" bumper stickers on everything from pickup trucks to luxury sedans. He might be the state's most-adored figure since Bear Bryant patrolled the sidelines. SPORTS, PAGE IB Woman confesses to killing Police: Suspect had long-term relationship with her victim Biologist: Simfish should be listed as endangered Rare fish not seen at refuge since 2008 An Alabama biologist is trying to get a rare fish that may live near a Limestone County rock quarry deemed an endangered species so it can be protected. “There’s still time to save the spring pygmy sunfish, but only if we act fast to protect its habitat from careless development and unsustainable agricultural practices,” said Mike Sandel with the Center for Biological Diversity and Fisheries. Sandel petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Tuesday to list the spring pygmy sunfish as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. The fish had been living in Pryor Branch, located near Rogers Group rock quarry off U.S. 31 at Laughmiller Road in 2006 and 2007, according to Sandel. It was not located in Pryor Branch in 2008, according to Noah Greenwald, endangered species program director for the Center for Biological Diversity in Portland, Ore. The simfish is currently limited to a small stretch of Beaver-dam Creek in Limestone County east of Huntsville and is threatened by urban sprawl from metropolitan Huntsville, poor agricultural practices and streamside vegetation clearance, Sandel said. “The spring pygmy sunfish is only found on one place on Earth,” Sandel said. “And that one place is severely threatened by urban sprawl, pollution and poor management.” Some opponents of the quarry had asked the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to deny Rogers Group’s request for a permit to operate the quarry due, in part, to the rarity See Sunfish, page 3A NEWS COURIER/KIM RYNDERS Athens Police have charged an Arab woman with the murder of a local man. This is the scene Tuesday outside the home on North Jefferson Street, where the shooting of James Miller occurred probably sometime on Monday, according to police. Hope for Noah PHOTO COURTESY OF FAITH BLESSINGS PHOTOGRAPHY John David, Noah and'Jessica Crowe are seen in a family portrait taken before Noah's brain tumor was discovered. The family got news Wednesday afternoon that the surgeon thinks he was able to remove the entire tumor. ‘We are completely humbled,’ dad says as toddler recovers from brain surgery By Kelly Kazhk kelh ° athensnc*\v s-courii Like all moms, Jessica Crowe would sometimes become frustrated when her toddler, Noah, would call her repeatedly: “Mama, Mama, Mama.” But today, “Mama” is the only word Jessica wants to hear. “How ignorant I was,” Jessica wrote on the family’s blog Wednesday. “I just want to hear him say, ‘Mama.’” Noah, 21 months old, has not spoken since undergoing surgery Tuesday at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham to remove a large and fast-growing tumor from his brain. He remained intubated Wednesday afternoon and doctors were uncertain how the surgery would impact his motor and speech skills. How to help Updates on Noah's condition are being posted to the Web site A fund has been set up to help with the Crowe family's expenses. Visit any Compass Bank across North Alabama and look under the names •Jessica or Noah Crowe to make donations. Noah’s dad, John David, minister of music at Friendship United Methodist Church, said an MRI Wednesday afternoon gave the family an expected Thanksgiving blessing — the surgeon could no longer see the tumor. Before the scan, the surgeon was concerned See Noah, page 3A By Karen Middleton karen ¿a tlwnsnew s-couritr. com An Arab woman is in Limestone County Jail charged with the shooting death of a north Athens man, according to Athens Police Public Information Officer Lt. Floyd Johnson. “Last night [Tuesday at 11:35 p.m.] we arrested Lisa Mechelle Pate for the murder of James Miller,” said Johnson in a press release. “Pate is 40 years old and lives at 323 Apollo Road in Arab, Alabama. Pate was arrested without incident in Arab. See Killing, page 2A ;