News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Go directly to jail but which jail?

Got a preference about where you go to jail?

If you break the law in Ardmore, geography determines which slammer you land in.

The Ardmore Police Department serves both its Alabama and Tennessee sides. The department has a jail in Ardmore, Ala., and used to have one in Ardmore, Tenn.

But Tennessee recently disbanded municipal jails. That means if you get arrested on the Tennessee side, you go to the Giles County, Tenn., Sheriff's Department.

"When they first changed the law, we used to could let at least the drunks sober up at our Tennessee jail, but the state stopped even that and said we have to send them all to the Sheriff's Department," Police Chief Doc Oliver told Holly Hollman.

That's just the way it is when you're a town in two states and four counties.

Compassion has its limits

During 18 years as director of the Committee on Church Cooperation, Joyce Ceci became known for compassion and humor. But she had her limits.

Joyce recalled one work-release prisoner who was helping in the CCC's warehouse. He was not to leave the site. Joyce left another staff member in the front part of the building and went to lunch.

On her way back, Joyce saw the man off the premises, talking to girls. He spotted Joyce and tried to sneak back to the warehouse, she told Melanie Smith.

Joyce promptly called him over, put him in her car and drove him to the detention center, despite his remorse. He had clearly broken the rules.

When an officer asked the prisoner what he'd done to get Joyce so angry, he hung his head and said, "I messed up bad."

Subdividing without houses

Sometimes the simplest answer is the best, as the Decatur Planning Commission learned recently.

It was considering a plan to subdivide a lot in the Chula Vista Ridge subdivision in Southwest Decatur. That worried subdivision resident Richard Smith, who said more houses could create drainage problems.

Planners explained that they have to use the word "subdivision" any time a property is split. In this case, it was to create common areas of 0.06 and 0.10 acres on either side of the subdivision entrance, Martin Burkey reports.

"They had to have a subdivision to adjust lot lines," planner Karen Smith said, hesitating momentarily, "... because they had to."

Adorable terrorists?

Paula Young, director of an animal shelter in Mount Vernon, N.Y., rescued four young rat terriers that were destined to be euthanized in New York City. She brought them home and placed a classified ad: "Twin Rat Terrorists; 11 months, adorable, full of fun."

Paula said she was just being honest, according to The Associated Press. Jack, Jackie, Milo and Dino "can be little terrors."

The jury was still out, last we heard, on Paula's advertising strategy. Only one of the puppies had been adopted.

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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