News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news


Athens police look for 2 robbers

ATHENS — Athens police are searching for two armed men who robbed a Hispanic store Sunday.

Two black males with handguns walked into Tiendo Guatalamateca on North Jefferson Street and demanded money from the clerk, police said.The duo then fled on foot. The clerk described the men as about 6 feet tall, weighing 140 pounds. One had a black ski mask and the other a red ski mask.

Anyone with information can call police at 233-8700.

- Holly Hollman

Man allegedly steals acquaintance's car

ATHENS — A man staying at an acquaintance's home allegedly stole his host's car while his host was sleeping, Athens police said.

Kevin Dwight Steelman, 30, of 12118 Nave Road, Lot 4, Tanner, allegedly drove the 1997 Mazda Miata valued at $6,000 to a home on Hays Mill Road on Saturday, according to police reports.

Officer Charlie Clem found the vehicle Saturday night on Hays Mill Road and arrested Steelman for first-degree theft of property.

He is in the Limestone County Jail on $5,000 bond.

- Holly Hollman

Athens teacher finalist for award

ATHENS — An Athens teacher is a finalist for Alabama Elementary Teacher of the Year honors.

The state Department of Education selected eight elementary teachers statewide as finalists, including Debbie Elmore, a fifth-grade teacher at Athens Intermediate. Elmore is the Athens City Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year. Elmore said her teaching methods include giving her students hands-on projects and pushing them to assume leadership positions.

The state will award the top teacher at a reception in Montgomery on May 9. That recipient will be a candidate for National Elementary Teacher of the Year.

- Holly Hollman

Decatur officer commended

Decatur police Chief Ken Collier commended an officer for his actions while stopping a suspicious vehicle earlier this month.

Collier said Officer Keith Hornbuckle's quick response April 1 led to the arrests of two burglars on Saddle Horn Bend Southwest. Several construction sites in the area had recently had copper wiring stripped from them by thieves, Collier said.

Hornbuckle responded in two or three minutes to the out-of-the-way location in the midst of a thunderstorm and hard rain, according to a commendation statement filed by his superiors.

Sgt. Mike Moore, whose actions also were noted, spotted burglar tools and what appeared to be copper wire inside the vehicle. Moore contacted the subdivision's developer and learned a construction site had just been burglarized. Copper wiring missing from the site matched that found in the vehicle.

- Seth Burkett

Record arrests for bad checks

A roundup of bad check writers resulted in 38 arrests, more than any previous roundup in Morgan County, District Attorney Bob Burrell said Monday.

The 252 warrants executed during the roundup represent more than $24,000 owed to local merchants and courts, Burrell said.

Twenty officers from the Morgan County Sheriff's Department and Decatur, Hartselle and Falkville police departments participated.

- Seth Burkett

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