News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news


Athens announces work on U.S. 72

ATHENS — Use caution on U.S. 72 near the interstate this week.

The Athens Public Works Department announced it is working on U.S. 72 east of Athens-Limestone Drive and west of Interstate 65 to prepare that area for a traffic signal and turn lanes.

Also, work continues on Huntsville-Browns Ferry Road between Gray and Bowers roads.

Limestone County is repairing the Limestone Creek bridge, east of Tanner. Motorists should use Mooresville, Gray, Burgreen and County Line roads and U.S. 72 as alternate routes.

- Holly Hollman

Blue Ribbon Day for Judy Jester

MOULTON — Businesses in Moulton and area residents will honor slain teacher Judy Jester on Wednesday by displaying a blue ribbon on their doors or mailboxes.

The Judy Jester Memorial Committee started Blue Ribbon Day in memory of Jester, who died after being brutally beaten by a student Oct. 30, 2005. Demetrick Young, then 15, has been charged with murder and is awaiting trial.

Blue ribbons can be purchased at Terryís Florist in Moulton and House of Antiques, Flowers and Gifts in Town Creek. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Judy Jester Scholarship Fund.

- Kristen Bishop

Decatur councilman injured in wreck

A Decatur City Councilman injured in a Tuesday wreck on a highway known for interstate-speed collisions was recovering at home.

Ronny Russell, District 4 representative, said he suffered a gash to his forehead and a sore chest when his airbag inflated, following the accident on Alabama 20 near Bibb-Garrett Road.

Tonya Russell said her husband was returning to Decatur shortly after 2 p.m. when he collided with a dump truck that entered the highway. An ambulance took him to Decatur General Hospital.

The car sustained major damage to the engine compartment. Russell said her husband is expected to make a full recovery. It wasnít known if the driver of the dump truck was injured.

- Chris Paschenko

Police cars bid below budget

Decatur police could soon drive 12 shinny, unmarked police cars off a local car dealerís lot if the City Council approves the deal.

Jeff Fussell, the cityís purchasing director, said Lynn Layton Chevrolet offered the lowest bid, $218,958, on 12 2007 Impala sedans all equipped with unmarked-police-car specifications.

Lynn Laytonís offer was $21,041 below the cityís estimated budget.

The council could vote on the purchase at its April 16 or May 7 meeting, depending on how quickly the dealer must order the cars.

- Chris Paschenko

Clean Up and Learn Day at Wheeler

The Friends of Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge invite the public to join them Saturday for Clean Up and Learn Day.

The group will clean up the shoreline and parking area around White Spring dike. Afterward, it will lead a seven-mile mountain bike trip through the refuge and see spring wildflowers, waterfowl and possibly deer. Because the trail is bumpy, organizers advise using mountain bikes instead of road bikes.

The cleanup starts at 8:30 a.m. and should last an hour.

The dike is south of Arrowhead Landing in Mooresville. From Interstate 565 take Exit 2 and go south to Old Alabama 20 and turn right. Go 0.6 miles and turn left on Arrowhead Landing Road, which you follow 1.6 miles, then take the left fork for 0.6 miles to the landing.

For more information, call 350-6639.

- Paul Huggins

Firefighters host free egg hunt

THACH — Volunteer firefighters will play the Easter Bunny on Saturday.

Oak Grove-Thach Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a free Easter egg hunt for children up to 12 years old.

The hunt will be at the fire station at Alabama 251 and McKee Road, between Athens and Ardmore.

About 70 children participated last year.

The firefighters will give away live bunnies and toys.

- Holly Hollman

School fundraiser gets fast response

After an article in Sundayís The Decatur Daily about Somerville Road Elementary trying to raise money for new playground equipment, a delighted Principal Dee Dee Jones said the response was immediate.

Jones said the schoolís PTA got about $1,000 in orders from its ham and turkey sale. The PTA is selling the ham, $38, and turkeys, $28, as part of effort to raise $80,000 for handicap-accessible equipment.

The school wants to replace playground equipment thatís been in use since the late 1940s or early 1950s.

Call 552-3033 if you would like to place an order or contribute to the playground fund.

- Bayne Hughes

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