News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2007

Area News In Brief

Julian Newman to get classrooms

ATHENS — The Athens school board approved construction projects Thursday at Julian Newman Elementary School and Athens Middle School.

The school board approved a contract with Lee Buildings to build a gym and add two classrooms at Julian Newman for about $1 million.

The school board also approved adding a lane at Athens Middle for buses in the south parking lot off Christine Street for $48,683. Funding both come from capital project money Athens gets from the state.

Bayne Hughes

Calhoun to receive $150,000 for center

U.S. Rep. Bud Cramer, D-Huntsville, announced that the House Appropriations Committee approved $150,000 to establish a robotics center at Calhoun Community College. The funding is in the Fiscal Year 2008 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill.

Cramer said the center would serve as a national and international model providing hands-on instruction on robotics for various sectors, including health care to automotive.

The Hudson-Alpha Institute of Biotechnology in Huntsville is getting a $231,000 appropriation for its new facility that’s under construction.

Bayne Hughes

Chief investigator injured in wreck

Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt of the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department is recovering from a wreck with an 18-wheeler Tuesday night on Alabama 157 about 3 miles south of Leighton.

Troopers said the wreck occurred about 9:45 p.m. McNatt and his pastor, Randall Hammock of Hayes Mill Church of Christ, and trucker Terry King were taken to Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital in Florence.

Lt. Brad Curnutt of the Sheriff’s Department said McNatt had a concussion, a cut on his forehead and a shoulder injury.

“I talked to him this morning, and he said he was real sore but he’s feeling better,” Curnutt said.

Curnutt did not know when McNatt would return to work.

Bayne Hughes

Priceville getting playground grant

PRICEVILLE — State Sen. Arthur Orr said Thursday that Priceville will receive a $50,000 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund through
the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

Orr, R-Decatur, said the grant, 20 percent of which Priceville will match, is for the purchase and installation of additional playground equipment and a poured-in-place handicap accessible rubber surface at Veterans Park on Alabama 67.

Mayor Melvin Duran said he appreciates the efforts of Orr and other members of the local legislative delegation for support in securing the grant. He also thanked Cheri Blankenship with North-central Alabama Regional Council of Governments for submitting the grant.

Duran said most of the money will go toward upgrading the larger of the park’s two playgrounds.

Ronnie Thomas

Teen could face charge of rape

ATHENS — Authorities are investigating a possible second-degree rape case between a 16-year-old and a 13-year-old.

Lt. Brad Curnutt of the Limestone Sheriff’s Department said the “consensual sex” allegedly occurred just after midnight Wednesday.

Charges have not been filed, but he said the age of the participants is the concern in this case.

Bayne Hughes

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