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SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2007
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AREA NEWS IN BRIEF

Decatur arrests 6 on drug charges

During two different investigations on Friday, Decatur police arrested six people on drug charges.

One of the probes started in July and ended with the arrests of Melissa Ann Stokes, 23, of 1510 Marion St. S.W. and Dennis Wayne Turner Jr., 23, of 316 11th Ave. N.W., police said.

Investigators charged both with distribution of a controlled substance. They were released after posting $1,500 bonds each.

In a separate investigation, officers charged Joy Rachelle Cowley, 38, of 211 Seventh Ave. S.W. with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. She was released on $1,250 bond.

Three people were charged with loitering in a drug house. They were released on $500 bond each.

- Deangelo McDaniel

Memorial service for Nancy Stevens

A Decatur church will have a day of remembrance for a Decatur woman found dead two years ago. The memorial for Nancy Stevens will be at Union Grove Primitive Baptist Church, 522 13th Ave. N.W., Aug. 18 at 6 p.m., according to a relative, Diane Wiggins.

Motorists near Tupelo, Miss., found Stevens’ body on Aug. 8, 2005. The 46-year-old woman was last seen alive in Decatur. In February, Gov. Bob Riley increased a reward for information about her death from $5,000 to $10,000 at the request of District Attorney Bob Burrell. A coroner in Lee County, Miss., determined that Stevens died of manual asphyxiation. Stevens, 46, was a 1977 graduate of Austin High School. She attended Union Grove church.

- Melanie Smith

Alabama troopers out in full force

If you are a speeder, you probably will want to slow down this week, especially if you’re traveling on state highways.

In an initiative called “Take Back Our Highways,” the Alabama Department of Public Safety is placing all available troopers on duty Monday through Friday.

The increase in traffic deaths prompted the initiative, DPS Director Col. J. Christopher Murphy said.

Traffic deaths in Alabama increased by 5 percent in 2006, which had the highest level since 1973. This increase came at a time when traffic deaths nationwide dropped 2 percent.

About 561 troopers will be on the road, including about 200 new ones.

Troopers will mainly target violations that cause crashes and make crashes more severe, Murphy said.

These include speeding, failure to yield the right of way, following too closely, driver inattention and driving under the influence.

- Deangelo McDaniel

Calhoun, Wallace offer health classes

Wallace State-Hanceville and Calhoun are partnering this fall to expand community college health program offerings.

Wallace State will be teleconferencing radiology and pharmacy technology classes to Calhoun, while Calhoun will be teleconferencing its surgical tech program to Wallace.

While Wallace programs have been available to students at Calhoun and other community colleges around the state through the school’s State Health Linkage program, the reciprocal nature of this partnership with Calhoun is new.

- Bayne Hughes

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