News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Local Marine in crackdown on insurgents

Cpl. David A. Hughes, 25, of Decatur is among U.S. Marines clamping down on insurgents in the area of Gharmah, Iraq.

The Marines set up random checkpoints and search vehicles, according to a news release from the Marine Corps.

They look under hoods, in trunks and inside. They lie on their backs to see under vehicles, climb into truck cabs and scale ladders. They inspect every crack and every locked item. They question individuals.

"I feel we're doing our job," said David, a vehicle commander. "We're not going to catch someone every time, but it helps break up terrorist activities."

Lucky catch

Bob Strehle Sr. of Brooksville told Ronnie Thomas about Independence Day 1944, when his ship, the USS David W. Taylor, sank a Japanese submarine by dropping 11 depth charges.

As the crew began looking for debris from the sub, the I-10, the Taylor's chief fire controller, Edgar E. Newman, saw something floating in the water and raced back to the fantail to fish it out.

"It was his own wallet that had fallen from his pocket," Bob said. "What a lucky Fourth for him. What a lucky Fourth for all of us."

Executive summary

Decatur Mayor Don Kyle and Hartselle Mayor Dwight Tankersley just graduated. So did Hartselle Councilman Mark Mizell.

They completed the Alabama League of Municipalities' Elected Officials Training program, Martin Burkey reports.

They studied topics including council meeting procedures, parliamentary procedure, the Open Meetings Act, public records, ordinance drafting, powers of municipalities, ethics laws, conflicts of interest, duties of mayors and council members, tort liability, annexation, zoning, subdivision regulation, municipal revenues and spending, the competitive bid law, personnel and insurance issues, and regulatory powers of cities.

Don said you can sum all these things up in two words: red tape.

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. This column appears Sundays and Wednesdays.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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