News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news


2 injure each other, end up in jail

ATHENS — A fighting couple went to jail Tuesday after injuring each other.

Athens police Capt. Marty Bruce said officers found Alicia Carmelia Faith Welch, 21, of 29440 Ardmore Park, Apartment 11, Ardmore, at the home of her boyfriend, Courtney Johnson, 30, of 108 Ash St., with a cut on her forehead and nose.

“Welch told officers Johnson beat her about the face and drug her across the yard,” Bruce said. “She swung at Johnson with a steak knife but was not sure if she cut him.”

Johnson’s mother turned him in Tuesday night when she called police to report he had a small puncture wound on his chest, Bruce said.

“Johnson said he left the area because he was afraid of going to jail,” Bruce said.

Police charged each with third-degree domestic violence. Welch is out of jail on $1,000 bond. Johnson was in jail Tuesday in lieu of $1,000 bond.

Bruce did not know what sparked the fight.

- Holly Hollman

Items needed for Enterprise workers

The Morgan County Volunteer Center is seeking items for volunteer workers helping with tornado relief efforts in Enterprise.

The center’s executive director, Mary K. Braddock, said she will travel to Enterprise on Thursday to work at the volunteer reception center. She hopes to deliver some needed items.

“They’re in desperate need of work gloves, disposable masks and safety glasses. Volunteer workers are running out of them,” Braddock said.

Donations of items or money to purchase items must be made today. For more information or to make a donation, visit the volunteer center at 708 Sixth Ave. S.E. or call 355-8628.

- Seth Burkett

Moulton charges man with theft

MOULTON — Police arrested a man Monday after he allegedly tried to steal almost $3,500 worth of electronics from Moulton’s Wal-Mart Supercenter.

David Bryan Hodges, 28, of East Avalon Avenue, Muscle Shoals, allegedly put four laptop computers, two portable DVD players, a pre-paid cell phone, a pair of sunglasses and linesman pliers in a shopping cart at about 4:45 p.m., said police.

He tried to escape with the goods through the garden department but was detained by loss-prevention employees who immediately notified police.

Police charged Hodges with first-degree theft of property. The Lawrence County Jail released him Monday night on $2,000 bond.

McWhorter said Hodges is also a suspect in a similar theft at the Wal-Mart in Russelville.

- Kristen Bishop

Club meat shoots run through April

LACEY’S SPRING — The Tennessee River Coon Hunters Association will continue hosting 90-foot meat shoots every Saturday morning at 9:30 through April except for April 14, according to Herb Fields.

To reach the clubhouse, take Fields Road off U.S. 231 at the caution light. For more information, call Fields at 881-4603.

- Ronnie Thomas

Falkville honors police, firefighters

FALKVILLE — The Falkville Town Council on Tuesday presented citations to members of the Police Department and the Falkville Volunteer Fire Department for their services Feb. 19.

That day, they worked a fatal house fire in Falkville and an accident at a railroad crossing at Lacon that killed a propane truck driver.

Honored were Police Chief Chris Free, officers Johnny Howell and John Dickson, Fire Chief Eric Sawyer, Assistant Fire Chief Mike Butler and firefighters Clint Thrasher, Mike Wilson, Amanda Wilson, Bill Wilson, Heather Parker, Scotty Culbreath, Peggy Howell and Lance Stidham.

- Ronnie Thomas

Key Cave hunting to be re-assessed

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge has announced that a draft hunt plan and environmental assessment for Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge in Lauderdale County is available for public review.

The plan describes alternatives for managing hunting at Key Cave, a satellite refuge established in 1997 and managed by Wheeler refuge.

The 1,060-acre refuge includes upland hardwood forest, native warm season grassland and cropland. It provides habitat for nesting and migratory birds, such as dickcissel and short-eared owl, as well as other resident species such as squirrel, raccoon and opossum.

Copies of the draft plan can be requested from the refuge. The plan also is available at or

Written comments, requests for the plan or questions can be directed to Steve Seibert, assistant refuge manager, at 2700 Refuge Headquarters Road, Decatur, AL 35603 or 353-7243 ext. 28. Send e-mail comments to The comment period ends April 5.

- Paul Huggins

2 guilty of Wheeler misconduct

A Decatur man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to one count of indecent exposure and one count of public lewdness after being cited by U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers in July on charges of sexual misconduct at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge.

A federal jury also convicted another Decatur man last week for similar conduct at Wheeler.

Michael R. Hollis, 48, pleaded guilty to one count of indecent exposure and one count of public lewdness. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 30.

A jury convicted Julian B. Burnett, 54, of Decatur last week of one count of indecent exposure and one count of public lewdness. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 20.

The men were among 28 people cited last summer by officers of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after public complaints of sexual misconduct on several Wheeler trails.

Several defendants have testified that an undercover agent solicited their conduct. Only one has been acquitted.

- Eric Fleischauer

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