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Area News In Brief

Firefighting grants taking applicants

The application period has begun for the 2007 Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby announced Thursday.

The program funds projects to purchase new equipment, improve firefighter health and safety programs, and improve the effectiveness of firefighting and emergency response operations. Non-fire-based EMS organizations may also apply for the grants offered through U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The application period ends May 4. For more information or to obtain an application for the AFG program, visit

Paul Huggins

Junk citations begin in Athens

ATHENS — Starting Monday, Athens police will issue citations to court for residents who have junk vehicles. They will not issue warnings.

Capt. Marty Bruce said the department is devoting one officer per shift to enforce the junk vehicle ordinance and work with the city’s two code enforcement officers.

Violators will receive citations to appear in court and face fines of $100 to $500, plus up to six months in jail.

Bruce said a junk vehicle is one without a current license plate and one that cannot move under its own power. Police will also issue citations to both individuals and businesses for litter and weed violations, said Police Chief Wayne Harper.

Holly Hollman

Cat parade, author coming to library

Decatur Public Library invites cat lovers to bring their kitties to a Feline Fantasy Parade on April 9.

The parade is part of a visiting author program featuring Sondra Gray, who wrote “According to Punkin,” the story of a Persian mix she adopted after finding the stray in California. The cat joined her human as a trucker and helped foil a robbery.

Gray will autograph copies of her book from 3 to 5 p.m. and share Punkin’s stories at 6. The parade will follow the story time. Pet Depot will give prizes for a Punkin look-alike, a pet/
owner look-alike, best groomed and best trick. For more information, call 353-2993.

Paul Huggins

Athens church hosting blood drive

ATHENS — To honor a woman battling cancer, Athens First Baptist Church is hosting a blood drive.

The LifeSouth blood drive will be April 15 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the church’s Family Life Center. The event is in honor of Jean Cauthen.

All donors will receive restaurant coupons, a recognition item and free cholesterol screening. Donors must have photo identification, be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds.

Holly Hollman

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