News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news


Athens Man critical after hitting pole

ATHENS — An Athens man was in critical condition at Huntsville Hospital on Tuesday after sideswiping a telephone pole, hospital and police authorities said.

Athens police Lt. Trevor Harris said the driver, Larry D. Kirby, 45, collided with the pole on Roy Long Road just east of the railroad tracks near U.S. 31.

The wreck occurred Monday at 10:10 p.m.

Harris said MedFlight transported Kirby. He said Kirby was unable to speak to officers and the cause of the wreck still is under investigation.

A hospital spokeswoman said Kirby is in the neuro-intensive care unit.

- Holly Hollman

No weapon found at Moulton school

MOULTON — An anonymous tip that a student brought a weapon to Lawrence County High School was false, Moulton Police Chief Lyndon McWhorter said.

“We checked a couple of lockers and didn’t find anything,” McWhorter said.

The school notified the Police Department after a female called the school Tuesday morning, the chief said.

The school held students in their classrooms while officers checked through lockers.

LCHS Principal Joe Lang was not available to comment.

- Deangelo McDaniel

Unemployment drops in March

Morgan County unemployment rates dropped to 3 percent in March, a half-percent below February rates and six-tenths of a percent below year-ago figures.

Limestone County was at 2.7 percent, down from 3.2 percent the month before. Lawrence County was at 3.3 percent, down from 3.9 percent, according to recently released figures by the state Department of Industrial Relations. Madison County was at 2.5 percent, down from 3 percent in February.

Statewide, the unemployment rate in March was 3.4 percent, compared to 3.3 percent in February. In March 2006, the state unemployment rate was also 3.4 percent. Statewide, nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased by 14,000 jobs in March. Nationally, unemployment in March was 4.4 percent. It was 4.5 percent in February.

Average hourly earnings in manufacturing, at $15.69, were down eight cents from last month and up 43 cents over the year. Average weekly earnings of $629.17 were down $3.21 from February and up $9.61 over the year. Average weekly hours were 40.1.

- Eric Fleischauer

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