News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news


Decatur's Web site offers virtual tour

Newcomers to Decatur can take a virtual, online tour of the city following Monday's launch of videos on the city's Web site.

From the home page of, click on "City of Decatur Movies" to view clips of the city's amenities, including parks and recreation, museums, festivals, shopping, dining and accommodations.

Other videos tout education, real estate, and business and industry. Mayor Don Kyle offers a welcoming note on the city's behalf.

McWhorter Communications coordinated the video launch with CGI Communications after receiving City Council approval last June.

- Chris Paschenko

Burglars caught with wire, police say

Officers caught a pair of thieves leaving the scene of a burglary Sunday morning, Decatur police said.

After pulling the car over near Saddlehorn Bend Southwest, Officer Keith Hornbuckle and Sgt. Mike Moore "saw what appeared to be house wiring sticking from under the seat," said Lt. Chris Mathews, a police spokesman.

That discovery led them to find found $200 worth of copper pipe stashed in the car's trunk, Mathews said.

Investigator Chris Delgado said police determined the car's occupants, Jamie Michelle Murphy, 24, and Kelly Doyle Bryant, 24, had burglarized a house under construction in the 4000 block of Saddlehorn Bend.

Police charged Murphy, of 112 Crestline Place, Hartselle, and Bryant, of Lawrence County 17, Mount Hope, each with third-degree burglary. Morgan County Jail released both on Sunday on $750 bond each.

The property was returned to the owners, Delgado said, but according to a police report, about $2,000 in damage was done during the removal of the copper wiring.

- Seth Burkett

Clements senior finalist in program

ATHENS — A Clements High School senior is among 1,300 students in the nation who were finalists in the National Achievement Scholarship Program.

On Monday, the Limestone County Board of Education recognized the student, Jarred Gill, for his achievement.

The program, operated through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, is an academic competition for black American high school students.

Every finalist competes for 700 scholarships that are awarded on a regional basis. Each scholarship's amount is $2,500.

- Holly Hollman

Board wants vote on sales-tax boost

ATHENS — The Limestone County Board of Education wants the county to hold a countywide referendum on a sales-tax increase in mid-August.

Probate Judge Mike Davis had said the vote likely would be Aug. 7.

The board has sent the County Commission a letter asking that the vote be Aug. 14 because school does not begin until Aug. 9.

"We believe holding the vote on that date could have an adverse effect on the outcome," the letter states.

The board is seeking a 1-cent sales tax increase, which would raise sales to 7 cents on the dollar in the county and 9 cents in Athens.

- Holly Hollman

Moulton gets aid to renovate theater

MOULTON — Moulton Mayor Ray Alexander announced Monday that the state has set aside $50,000 to help the city renovate the historic Star Theater in downtown Moulton.

The theater on Market Street showed its last film more than 30 years ago and appeared to be forgotten until the city purchased the building for $12,500 in January 2006.

The city spent $25,000 to repair its roof in September and still have many more repairs to make before the theater can be used.

Alexander said in September that the building will be able to seat 650 and will be used for movies, plays, concerts and dance recitals.

- Kristen Bishop

Decatur opposes de-annex issue

The Decatur City Council opposes any measure by the state Legislature, which could take property from a city against its will.

In a 5-0 vote, the council approved a resolution expressing the city's "great concern" on any state-imposed de-annexation.

The Legislature could vote this week on a measure to remove 263 acres of prime commercial land from Madison. Madison Mayor Sandy Kirkindall said that if the measure passes, Huntsville would likely annex the property.

Kirkindall has worked with a local developer for more than a year to build a major retail center south of Interstate 565.

- Chris Paschenko

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