News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news


Athens cemetery used for parking

ATHENS — Those buried at Athens City Cemetery may be unaware that drivers are using their graves as a parking lot for special events, but their living loved ones are not happy.

City Councilman Johnny Crutcher said Tuesday that during May’s annual Christian music festival, SoulStock, patrons parked on graves at the cemetery, which resulted in a broken tombstone. The cemetery is across the street from Athens State University, where the concert takes place.

Crutcher asked Parks and Recreation Director Ben Wiley to block access to the cemetery during such events.

- Holly Hollman

Thieves steal school’s computer

Thieves broke into Decatur Heritage Christian Academy’s child-care building and stole an old computer during the Memorial Day weekend.

Headmaster Scott Mayo said they broke a window to gain entry. They overturned several items as they looked for something to steal, but didn’t take or damage anything else.

The damage and the investigation forced Mayo to cancel the first day of summer camp, which he said should resume Wednesday.

- Bayne Hughes

Vandals break school’s windows

Someone broke two windows during the holiday weekend at Julian Harris Elementary School.

Principal Hank Kimbrell said someone threw a rock and broke a pane on a double-pane window next to the rear entrance. The second pane was not broken. The second window broken was part of an adjoining classroom. Neither rock penetrated the school, so the alarm did not go off.

- Bayne Hughes

Man arrested twice for making meth

LACEY’S SPRING — Narcotics agents arrested four people in a raid Friday, charging one with making methamphetamine for the second time in six months, said Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett.

In addition to the charge of first-degree manufacturing a controlled substance, Kevin Joseph Blake, 32, of 470 Buster Owen Road faces charges of possessing marijuana, possessing drug paraphernalia and two counts of possessing a controlled substance. He remained in Morgan County Jail on Monday in lieu of $77,800 bond.

Three others arrested during the search of Blake’s residence face misdemeanor charges of loitering in a drug house.

Agents with the county Drug Task Force said they will ask a judge to revoke Blake’s bond on previous charges.

- Seth Burkett

Man cuts wife’s son with pocketknife

BELLE MINA — Tempers flared at a holiday outing in Belle Mina that ended in a man allegedly cutting his wife’s son, a Limestone investigator said.

Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt said Walter Malone, 55, of 11465 Caroline Drive, Athens, was at the outing on Fennell Lane with his common-law wife Monday. He said the two got into a minor argument and the wife’s 31-year-old son intervened.

“The fight between her son and Malone escalated with Malone cutting the son in the abdomen with a pocketknife,” McNatt said.

Huntsville Hospital treated and released the son with five stitches. Malone is in jail charged with second-degree assault. Bond was not set Tuesday.

- Holly Hollman

Athens considers funding DARE

ATHENS — School officials won’t fund the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, and city leaders are debating whether to fund it and keep it in schools.

Athens City Council President Harold Wales said school officials have told him they have other priorities. “I told them it would be up in the air whether we kept it or not,” he said.

Councilman Ronnie Marks said the council could take half the cost of the program, about $2,000 a month, from the allocation the city gives the school system from alcohol revenues. The city can fund the other half.

Councilwoman Milly Caudle asked if there is a way to measure the program’s success.

Police Chief Wayne Harper said schools nationwide are dropping DARE because grants fund school resource officers but not DARE.

- Holly Hollman

Half-price tuition for Triana workers

Calhoun Community College is offering a 50 percent tuition waiver for workers recently unemployed as a result of layoffs at Triana Industries in Madison.

Triana employees may use the waiver for training or re-training beginning with the summer 2007 semester and ending in spring 2009.

The waiver is restricted to former Triana Industries workers not eligible to receive funding under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 or similar state and/or federal assistance programs and for whom substantial tuition assistance cannot be secured from other sources.

Qualifying employees may still enroll for the second summer short term, with classes beginning June 29. For more information, call 306-2595, 306-2626 or 306-2976.

Athens depot OK’d to become archives

ATHENS — The city plans to sell its half of a former train depot.

On Tuesday, the City Council approved selling its half of the depot to the Limestone County Commission for the expansion of the county archives. The county houses the archives in its half of the former L&N Depot on Washington Street. The city will sell it for $150,000, which is the price it paid for it.

The Fraternal Order of Police had been leasing the city’s half for $5 a year. Athens Police Chief Wayne Harper offered space at the police station for FOP meetings.

- Holly Hollman

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