News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Easy solution for the high cost of gas

Decatur City Councilman David Bolding has an undoubtedly popular solution to the city's financial problems.

Martin Burkey says that Mayor Don Kyle told the council he's worried that high oil prices will do more than hike the city's budget for gasoline, oil and tires for city vehicles.

Residents who spend $20 more per week on gas may spend $20 less on other things that generate taxes for the city, the mayor said. Over a year, it could cost $852,000 in sales taxes.

"Everybody needs a raise," Bolding suggested.

Wrong choice of victim

People have a way of telling on themselves, like a Huntsville man who apparently had too much to drink before he crashed his van into an off-duty police officer's truck.

According to a report retrieved by Chris Paschenko, the man drove away after the afternoon accident on Sixth Avenue Southeast.

The officer chased and stopped the man, and police charged him with driving under the influence and having no driver license or proof of insurance.The man's blood-alcohol level registered twice the legal limit of .08. Police reported no injuries.

In a different light

National Public Radio reported that two New Orleans evacuees were engaged to be married when Hurricane Katrina hit. On their big day, the man and woman sat, unmarried, inside Houston's Astrodome with family members.

After hearing of the couple's plight, Texas businesses donated everything relief workers needed to throw the wedding of the century in front of 30,000 guests. The unlikely choice for wedding director was a New Orleans homeless woman, who did the job with professionalism and proficiency.

"Mother Nature often teaches us about our inhuman nature," Jay Wilson comments. "Katrina made everyone homeless, and they saw this woman in a different way. Should we really wait for a national disaster to make this change in our own hearts?"

Cotton is versatile

Who needs a billboard when black spray paint and stacked cotton are handy? On the U.S. 72 roadside in the Coxey community west of Athens, messages spray-painted on the stacked cotton greet motorists like Holly Hollman.

One has a smiley face.

Another has "100% Cotton" painted on it.

The other two read, "Buy Cotton!" and "If it ain't cotton, don't wear it."

Full-course meal

Decatur police had two separate theft reports on the same day that seemed like a logical combination.

One report showed three T-bone steaks taken from a Sixth Avenue Southeast grocery store, while another told about three cans of Bud Light stolen from a Spring Avenue Southwest convenience store.

It makes Paul Huggins wonder whether they were a coincidence or acts of conspirators.

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.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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