News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news


Athens professors design sculpture

ATHENS — Cherokee parents, a young girl, baby and dog walk along a trail covered in ruts and the footprints of other Cherokee.

Local artists are capturing this scene for posterity in a bronze sculpture.

Athens State University faculty members Gail Bergeron and Pamela Keller are creating it for the Trail of Tears Interpretive Center in Pulaski, Tenn., on U.S. 64.

The Trail of Tears is the route that follows the forced removal of the Cherokees from the eastern United States to Oklahoma.

In September 2006, a joint federal and Tennessee state grant funded the Trail of Tears Interpretive Center Rest Stop that is to include the memorial, which Keller and Bergeron are designing.

The artists now are forming the sculpture in clay, and will then cast it in bronze, a process that takes about nine months.

They expect to unveil the piece in late 2008.

- Holly Hollman

Helicopter spotted was from Redstone

A helicopter seen hovering and flying in tight circles over Southwest Decatur on Thursday and Friday was a UH-1 Huey on a training mission from Redstone Arsenal, according to a Redstone public affairs officer.

“It was scheduled for testing there, which usually means training,” said Lira Frye. “When I checked on it, they said, ‘We wondered when someone would ask about that.’ ”

Many people who saw the craft maneuvering called The Daily and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department.

The UH-1, according to a military Web site, is an armed, twin-engine helicopter used for command and control, re-supply, casualty evacuation, liaison and troop transport. The twin-piloted craft is 57 feet long, with a rotor diameter of 48 feet. It can fly up to 140 mph.

- Eric Fleischauer

Man hangs self on golf course

A man found dead at the Point Mallard Golf Course apparently hanged himself, Decatur police said Friday.

The 25-year-old, whose name was not released, was a maintenance worker at Point Mallard, said Lt. Chris Mathews, a police spokesman.

Other maintenance workers found his body hanging from
a tree near the course’s 11th hole at 11:02 a.m., according to Mathews.

Mayor Don Kyle said the city would make counseling available to the employees as soon as possible.

- Seth Burkett

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