News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news


HSV jet blows tires, aborts takeoff

HUNTSVILLE — A U.S. Airways jet aborted its takeoff from Huntsville International Airport’s east runway Wednesday after blowing its two front tires.

The Canadair Regional Jet, bound for Washington, D.C., was carrying 50 passengers. Laura L. Gipson, public relations manager for the airport, said there were no injuries.

The tires blew during takeoff but before the jet left the ground, Gipson said. Authorities closed the runway temporarily while crews removed debris.

The cause of the tire failures is under investigation, Gipson said.

- Eric Fleischauer

ULA smoke from bad pump

Smoke billowed from the south end of the United Launch Alliance (formerly Boeing) facility Wednesday afternoon, but it had nothing to do with the rockets assembled at the plant.

Phil Marshall, ULA’s vice president of operations, said the smoke’s source was a heating and air conditioning pump that seized up in a building separate from the assembly plant. No one was injured and the incident did not damage any plant hardware, Marshall said.

The facility has a backup pump that began operating when the main one failed. Marshall expected the main pump to be replaced Thursday.

- Eric Fleischauer

Man gets 23 years in Athens slaying

ATHENS — Limestone County District Attorney Kristi Valls said admitted killer Anthony Dugger received a lighter sentence than his accomplices in the murder of a wrecker service owner because Dugger helped authorities make cases against his lover.

On Tuesday, Dugger, 32, of Athens received 23 years for pleading guilty to murder in the 2002 shooting death of Shane Jarrett.

Athens police said Jarrett’s wife, Melissa Jarrett, and Dugger were having an affair. Police said the couple hired Dugger’s cousin, Chad Reece of Elkmont, to kill Shane Jarrett.

Melissa Jarrett and Reece previously accepted plea bargains and are serving life with the possibility of parole.

- Holly Hollman

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