News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Garbage truck
must go through

Police and emergency personnel staged a mock hostage situation as an exercise a week ago at the Morgan County Fairgrounds. But some things are too important to interrupt if it’s not a real emergency.

Gary Lloyd says a police officer manning a security checkpoint asked on the radio whether a garbage truck could enter the area on its rounds.

“Let him enter” was the response.

Camera in plain sight

The Daily’s “Hiding in plain sight” series about eyesores means some people pay more attention when photographers come to their neighborhoods.

Gary, our chief photographer, was driving around and said hello to a homeowner he knew — who said he was relieved that Gary was looking for somebody else’s place.

Another time, Gary was shooting an overgrown yard when a driver stopped, backed up and asked if he was with the newspaper.

When Gary answered yes, the man began talking about a neighbor’s home that he’d like to see put in the paper.

Cellular not so silent

Be careful whom you chastise over a ringing cell phone.

During a Decatur City Council meeting, a cellular device could be heard loudly over the voices, Evan Belanger reports.

Realizing it was his own, District 3 Councilman Gary Hammon said:

“I was sitting here wondering what idiot was letting his phone ring without answering it.

“I guess I found out which idiot it was, didn’t I?”

Moses was foster child

According to a report about United Methodist Children’s Home of Alabama and West Florida, one child with incarcerated parents had been mistreated and bounced from place to place.

The ministry helped him. He found a permanent place with foster parents.

Melanie Smith noted the encouragement the foster mother gave the boy, now a teen: The mom reminded him that Moses, the great hero of the Jewish people who led them out of slavery in Egypt, had been a foster child.

The children’s ministry operates group homes in Florence and Scottsboro and has foster care services through other programs in North Alabama.

Cool inspection job

Gov. Bob Riley’s legal adviser, Ken Wallis, answered questions about a $6,000 repair to a rooftop deck at the Governor’s Mansion at a meeting of a legislative contract-review committee.

The deck, with its heavy planter boxes, needed shoring up to be safe, he said. The committee approved the payment, M.J. Ellington reports.

The legal expert then had another thought.

“A better job might be pool inspector,” he quipped.

Earlier this year, the mansion’s aging swimming pool, shaped like the state of Alabama, got a new $75,375 gunite pool-within-the-pool.

The new pool stopped extensive leaks that threatened other structures at the mansion.

Thoroughly modern you

Bonnie McAlister passes on what the Internet says about how you know you’re living in 2007:

  • You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.
  • You haven’t played solitaire with real cards in years.
  • You have 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
  • You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
  • You pull up in your driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help carry in the groceries.

    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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