News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Shoplifting hazardous for teenager

A Decatur teen learned two lessons the hard way: Don't play with knives, and crime doesn't pay.

Decatur police said the boy was at Wal-Mart, trying to pry open an air pistol from its packaging, when he severely cut his hand.

"He ran up and down the aisles, asking for assistance," said Lt. Chris Mathews. "Store associates performed first aid until the fire department and ambulance arrived."

Police met the teen at the hospital and told the store how to file a juvenile complaint.

Chris Paschenko wondered if the boy was missing any digits following the botched five-finger discount.

Speaking good English

Jeremy and Alicia Nails of Decatur have returned from China with their newly adopted daughter, Addie Lu.

The proud dad bragged on how well-versed his 2-year-old daughter already is in the English language, Kate Klepper reports.

"She calls Alicia 'Mama' and me 'Baba' or 'Papa,' " Jeremy said. "We taught her to play peep-pie, say 'I love you' and my favorite is that she can say a big 'Roll Tide!' "

Ready at City Hall

Assistant City Attorney Kelly Butler is preparing to take maternity leave from Decatur City Hall.

The mom-to-be recently attended a meeting with representatives from six ambulance companies throughout the Southeast.

As the meeting began, Bobby Humphryes of Rural Metro of Alabama joked that he worked 25 years as a firefighter in Birmingham and never had to deliver a baby.

Chris Paschenko looked around the third-floor conference room, filled with paramedics and emergency medical technicians, and thought that Kelly probably couldn't be in better company except in a hospital.

Child labor

Citizens got into the lighthearted tone of a meeting of the Decatur Board of Zoning Adjustment on Halloween, as reported by Melanie Smith.

One applicant, asked if she had employees, replied that her children want to help in her home business but she refuses to pay them.

Instead of writing his name on an application as the owner of his home, one man wrote the name of his mortgage company.

Board members commended him on his honesty.

Want to write? Use a Bic

If your idea of a good pen is one that will write smoothly and costs a dollar or less, you won't understand the appeal of a $170,000 diamond-encrusted Montblanc fountain pen.

This one has 1,400 white and blue diamonds arranged to depict the Mont Blanc mountains. A 43-facet star-cut diamond tops it.

"You do not put ink in that pen. It's like owning a Ferrari that you don't want to drive," said Al Parish, a professor at Charleston Southern University in South Carolina who owns it. His whole pen collection is worth $1.2 million, according to The Associated Press.

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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