News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news


Grass fire crosses Tennessee line

ARDMORE — A grass fire in Ardmore on Thursday afternoon crossed the Alabama/Tennessee state line.

Local firefighters and forestry service workers from Alabama and Tennessee helped fight the fire.

According to Oak Grove-Thach volunteer firefighter Darrell Blankenship, the flames were not high but stretched from behind Dekko in the industrial park and across the state line to near Dog Days Flea Market.

The cause is unknown.

- Holly Hollman

Poll favors push for better mileage

The government should increase pressure on automobile manufacturers to get better gas mileage, in the opinion of Daily readers who answered an online poll.

Fifty-nine readers (75.6 percent) expressed that opinion, while 19 readers said not. The unscientific, two-day poll ended Friday at www.decaturdaily

Reader Michael Wascom of Decatur said the government should do more, but it's not likely during the current administration headed by President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney because both are "oil men."

"Cars can and do get good gas mileage," Wascom wrote by e-mail, "and they do not have to be weak, small and underpowered.

"Case in point is my 2002 Corvette Z06 with 405 horsepower. I can average 19 miles per gallon in the city and on the highway 27.6 mpg. So yes, it can be done, and some cars are doing it just fine."

On Wednesday, the heads of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler joined in asking Congress to reconsider a proposal to increase fuel-economy standards.

They claimed it would be harmful to the automobile industry.

Man charged with sexual abuse

Decatur police have charged a Wisconsin man with sexual abuse of a child younger than 12.

The suspect's ex-wife said she learned of the alleged abuse after she had divorced him, police said.

Joseph Gene Hernandez, 42, remained in Decatur City Jail awaiting transfer to Morgan County Jail. His bond will be $100,000.

An investigation revealed that a girl who is now 14 was abused at age 10, police said.

Police obtained an arrest warrant for Hernandez charging him with sexual abuse of a child less than 12.

- Paul Huggins

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