News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news


Decatur council OKs Flint sewer bid

The Decatur City Council on Monday approved a $157,397 bid to install sewerage in Flint, but the Utilities Board must also approve the project before the contractor breaks ground.

Councilman Gary Hammon said the city and residents funded two-thirds of the project.

The Utilities Board is expected to vote Wednesday on an expenditure for the remaining third.

City Engineer Mark Petersohn has said that Randy B. Terry Inc. could begin construction in early February.

Fred Vengrouskie, a supervisor with the Morgan County Health Department, has said Flint has the largest concentration of homes in the county with failing septic tanks.

Chris Paschenko

Firm gets increased tax abatement

A Decatur packaging plant received City Council approval Monday to abate non-educational-related taxes to help its expansion plans.

Barney Lovelace, attorney for National Packaging Co., said Monday the plant, which packages sweeteners, is investing $16.25 million in building expansion, equipment and payroll.

“The abatement will still be for 10 years,” Lovelace said. “Only the size of the abatement has increased.”

Chris Paschenko

Traffic signal timing to be reset

Decatur traffic signals will be reset soon to improve flow through the city’s two busiest thoroughfares.

On Monday, the City Council approved a project to reset the timing of traffic signals on U.S. 31 and Alabama 67 to Kathy Lane Southwest.

The state Department of Transportation allocated $20,000 toward the project, Mayor Don Kyle said.

Councilman Ronny Russell said lights were reset to accommodate traffic flow about 13 or 14 years ago.

The project is expected to cost between $85,000 and $90,000, officials said.

Chris Paschenko

Man fails to register as sex offender

ATHENS — The Limestone County Sheriff’s Department arrested a Minnesota man Friday for failure to register as a sex offender.

Daniel Scott Smithrud, 42, was living in his van. Officers charged him with failure to follow the Community Communication Act. He is in Limestone County Jail with no bond set.

Bayne Hughes

Boy found; murder suspect still sought

A 16-year-old last seen with a murder suspect was found this weekend, but the Tanner man wanted in the shooting at an Athens apartment is still at large.

Capt. Mary Bruce said 16-year-old Castillo “Poo” Carthen’s aunt brought the boy to the police station this weekend. Investigators interviewed and then released the teen with no charges.

Bruce said his department is still looking for Jarvis Werner Hines, 20, of Tanner. He is a suspect in the Dec. 14 shooting death of Donnell McCullough, 64, at Houston Court Apartments on Ninth Avenue. The incident occurred just after midnight.

Bruce said investigators have some leads and still believe Hines is in the area. Anyone with information on Hines should call Athens police at 233-8707.

Bayne Hughes

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