News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, JULY 24, 2005

Steve Stewart

One more risky night won’t hurt

After finding what he thought was a box of explosives in his basement, a Decatur man called police to investigate.

Chris Paschenko said while awaiting a federal agency to arrive the next day to investigate further, police told the man he might want to consider staying in a hotel.

The man said he'd been living above the suspicious package for 50 years, and one more night wouldn't matter.

Federal authorities determined the box contained signal flares.

Mum's the word

Few things are anticipated as much as a new restaurant, and few so closely guarded as a new business.

The Decatur City Council rezoned 1.82 acres on the east side of U.S. 31 South, south of Southfield Drive Southeast, from local business to general business.

Property owner Charles Sutton said he plans to open a restaurant there.

What kind? Councilman Ray Metzger inquired. "Food and beverages," said Charles. "The Olive Garden type?" Ray quizzed. "Just the personal type," Charles said, eliciting laughter but no further inquiries.

Caring customer

An angel watched over DAILY Metro Editor Regina Wright one morning as she got gas at a Bud's convenience store on Somerville Road Southeast on the way to work.

Not long after she arrived at her desk, a station attendant called to tell her a customer found her credit card on the ground near the pumps.

She told Ronnie Thomas she paid with the card at the pump. She was sitting in the car, about to put the card back into her billfold, when she realized that she had not gotten her receipt. She jumped out, forgetting the card was in her lap.

Regina was all right until Ronnie reminded her of the consequences she might have suffered if not for the caring customer.

"If a thief had picked up the card, he could have shared it with all of his friends. I dare say, half of Decatur might have gassed up before you would have missed it and stopped payment," Ronnie said.

"You've said quite enough," Regina replied.

International project

Some American and French divers are proving that the two countries can work together.

Ed Semmes of Huntsville, whose great-great-great-grandfather, Raphael Semmes, was admiral of the CSS Alabama, told Holly Hollman that French and American divers have designed a patch to commemorate their expedition. They are retrieving artifacts from the ship.

The warship lies below the English Channel off a northern French port. That's where it sank after a battle with a Union warship.

The divers' patch includes a rendering of the CSS Alabama and the words "2005 Expedition."

Ed's father, Oliver, said, "This is a hallmark of country-to-country cooperation on peaceful endeavors."

Send stories for You Don't Say to or call Weekend Editor Steve Stewart at 340-2444. Or write P.O. Box 2213, Decatur, AL 35609. DAILY staff members contribute many of the items you see here.

DAILY Weekend Editor Steve Stewart compiles and edits You Don't Say. If you have an item of community interest, call Steve at 340-2444, e-mail him at, or write to You Don't Say, THE DECATUR DAILY, P.O. Box 2213, Decatur, AL 35609. DAILY staff members contribute many of the items you see here.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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