News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news


Christmas parade in Decatur Dec. 3

The 2007 downtown Decatur Christmas parade will be Dec. 3.

This year’s grand marshal is Jeff Dunlap, director of Decatur Parks and Recreation, in recognition of his dedicated public service to Decatur and Morgan County.

A $100 cash prize will go to the best-decorated parade entry in four categories: best float, best car/truck, best walking unit and best animal.

Parade entry forms are available at www.decatur, or by contacting the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce. The deadline to enter is Nov. 26.

In case of bad weather, the parade will move to Dec. 6.

Paul Huggins

Sheriff’s employees go to hospital

ATHENS — MedFlight took two Limestone County Sheriff’s Department employees to Huntsville Hospital within hours of each other Wednesday morning.

Sheriff Mike Blakely said deputy Tim Craig had a heart attack while at work. He had stents put in at the hospital.

Lt. Mike Tucker passed out at his home and was in critical condition with bleeding on the brain. Blakely said it may have been a stroke or aneurysm.

“It’s been a rough time on us lately,” Blakely said.

Lt. Randy Bates is home from Huntsville Hospital after battling pneumonia and surgery to remove spots from his lungs. Deputy Ron Crouch also recently had a tumor removed, and deputy Tom Gilbert had knee surgery.

holly hollman

Operation seeks volunteers

Operation Breadbasket Assembly seeks volunteers and donations to help it feed hundreds of shut-ins and needy this Thanksgiving.

The annual event, started by Progressive Christian Outreach Ministry, used 114 volunteers to deliver meals to more than 650 Decatur residents last year. The effort could do even more this year because Progressive has two new partners: Austinville United Methodist Church and the Neighborhood Christian Center.

Austinville UMC will serve as the kitchen, distribution center and dining hall this year. It will serve the free dinners Thanksgiving Day, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Organizers request cash donations or cans of green beans, corn and sweet potatoes, packages of dressing, bottled drinks, pre-made desserts and even turkeys. Donors can bring items to Progressive church, 635 Memorial Drive S.W., weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To get on the delivery route or to sign up to volunteer, call 340-2020.

Paul Huggins

Storm hampers search effort

The Morgan County Rescue Squad suspended its search for a missing man because of storms that moved into the area Wednesday evening.

Rescue workers have been combing the Tennessee River near the General Electric plant in hopes of finding Jeffrey Todd Palmer, 43, of Neel. Palmer apparently disappeared Friday after taking his kayak onto the river for an arrowhead-hunting expedition.

Rescue squad Lt. Danny Kelso said rescuers broke at about 7 p.m. and will begin their fifth day of searching on Thursday morning.

Kelso said teams will no longer be dragging the river, as the main area of interest — a slough near the GE plant — has been exhausted. Rescue workers found Palmer’s kayak, jacket and vehicle keys in the slough Sunday.

Kelso said rescuers discovered no further leads Wednesday.

“We feel like we’ve searched that area well, and now we’re going to concentrate on searching down river. We’re going to be doing that by river patrols and also by having helicopters in the air,” Kelso said.

Seth Burkett

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