News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news


Decatur man accidentally shot in thumb

A Decatur man nearly lost his thumb Sunday after a gun in his friend's pocket accidentally discharged, authorities said.

According to a police report released Monday, Zeb Dennis Long, 25, and a friend were walking in a field in the 2000 block of Alabama 20 West at 12:56 p.m. They began "play wrestling" and a gun fired from the friend's pocket, police said.

A bullet struck the tip of Long's thumb. The report didn't indicate whether Long received medical treatment.

Robbers target Decatur man with no cash

A Decatur man told police Friday three assailants beat him and rifled through his pockets after he drove a paralyzed friend home.

According to a police report released Monday, Justin Knoblock, 24, exited his car at Fifth Avenue Southwest and Third Street at 8:30 p.m. He went to his trunk to retrieve his friend's wheelchair.

The men shoved Knoblock, threw him to the ground and kicked him, police said. Knoblock knew one of the men by name.

The assailants left when they found Knoblock had no money, police said. Knoblock didn't require medical treatment.

Man loses car, money in theft, robbery

A Cullman County man told police Saturday a family member took his car without his permission and two men beat and robbed him of $1,800 at a Decatur hotel.

Police said William Pettey, 53, rented room No. 133 at Home-Towne Suites, at 2125 Jameson Place S.W., in an attempt to reconcile with his former wife. Pettey accused her of taking his car keys between 2:30 and 3:15 a.m. Pettey then heard a knock at his door.

Two men, one known to Pettey, assaulted him, knocked him unconscious and took his money, police said. Pettey reported the incident at 7:40.

Police found Pettey's car in a ditch on 14th Avenue Southwest. He declined medical treatment, police said.

2 teenagers robbed of cash at gunpoint

A lone gunman robbed two teens Friday as they parked their car at a Decatur home, authorities said.

According to a police report released Monday, the 16-year-old Hillsboro boy and his 17-year-old Decatur friend parked their car in the 2100 block of State Avenue Southwest about 9:30 p.m.

A man armed with a gun knocked on the passenger window, then opened the door and demanded money.

Police said the man fled with the teens' cash, and the victims drove to a nearby restaurant to report the incident.

Police described the man as black, about 6 feet tall and weighing 220 pounds. He wore blue jeans and a gray shirt. Police reported no injuries.

Deputies charge Hartselle man with theft

PUNKIN CENTER — Morgan County deputies arrested Thomas Lee Martin Turrentine Jr., 23, of Hartselle on a first-degree theft charge Sunday, when a victim on his way home from church saw a truck pulling his four-wheeler and trailer.

The victim told deputies he was following a truck, which was towing his trailer and four-wheeler down the victim's street.

The victim followed the truck, to make sure that the trailer and four-wheeler were indeed his and not just similar. Then he called deputies. The deputies said they began to follow the truck on Alabama 36 west of Hartselle, pulled the truck over and detained the driver, Turrentine.

The trailer and four-wheeler are worth about $7,200. Turrentine was released from Morgan County Jail on $1,500 bond.

Campaign accepts forms from charities

The Tennessee Valley Combined Federal Campaign will accept applications March 14 to April 14 from nonprofit charitable human health and welfare organizations that want to receive federal contributions.

The charities must be 501(c)(3) organizations to receive federal funds. The Valley campaign manages donation collection and disbursements from military and federal employees in Cullman, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marshall and Morgan counties, as well as Lincoln County, Tenn.

For more information or to get an application, call Melinda Seigler, CFC director, at (256) 536-0745, Ext. 108, or download the application from

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