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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2005
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AREA NEWS IN BRIEF

Leaf trucks are on the way

Decatur City Hall has been fielding calls from anxious rakers, including residents in the Point Mallard area. Public Works Coordinator Julia Chenault said leaf trucks started running Nov. 3. They were off for Veterans Day on Nov. 11 and two days for Thanksgiving.

Public Works started running with two leaf vacuuming trucks and recently started running four on a Tuesday-Friday schedule that allows them to get to every section of the city about every two weeks, she said. Weather and maintenance issues with the trucks can affect that schedule, she said.

Crews were in the Point Mallard area Nov. 8-10. Crews began working overtime Monday, and two backhoes with dump trucks were also added to the effort, she said.

"Most of the leaves fell in the last two weeks," she said. "And it may very well be we haven't gotten there since people raked their leaves, but we can't be everywhere at one time. Be patient."

She noted that residents are required to put their leaves at the edges of their yards and not in the street or in the gutters where they can cause drainage problems or safety hazards for cars or cyclists.

— Martin Burkey

Man in jail pending gun charge

MOULTON — A Moulton man will remain in jail without bond until authorities decide if they can file a federal firearms charge against him.

Christopher Dewayne Corum, 28, of 20361 Alabama 33, a convicted felon, had a loaded rifle in his car when Moulton police arrested him Friday night, police said.

Police Chief Lyndon McWhorter said Corum also faces charges of driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia as a result of the stop.

State law prohibits felons from possessing a pistol, but not a rifle. Federal guidelines, however, prohibit felons from possessing a firearm.

McWhorter said he is pursuing the firearm charge because the rifle was loaded. Corum remains in the Lawrence County Jail.

— Clyde L. Stancil

Sheriff probes station robbery

LACEY'S SPRING — A woman punched a Lacey's Spring service station clerk Monday and snatched a case of pseudoephedrine tablets from behind the counter.

Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett said the female, in her mid-30s, walked into the Foodtown Service Station about 12:30 a.m. and left with a male accomplice in a green Chevrolet. The vehicle had a Madison County "47" tag and went north on U.S. 231.

Someone saw the female shortly after the robbery, but investigations haven't identified either suspect. Bartlett asked anyone with information to call investigator Pete Taylor at 301-1172.

— Chris Paschenko

Man pleads guilty to indecency

HUNTSVILLE — A Holly Pond man apparently will plead guilty rather than go to trial on public indecency charges stemming from a law enforcement surveillance operation at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in June.

U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith granted Kenith McGriff's motion to send the case back to U.S. Magistrate Court for plea and sentencing, a representative for the U.S. attorney's office said Monday. No date was set for the plea hearing.

McGriff, 56, was one of eight men charged in the surveillance operation. Officers allegedly observed the men involved in sexual acts. The others pleaded guilty and were sentenced to varying jail sentences, probation periods and fines and were banished from the refuge during probation.

Law enforcement officials said the cases are part of periodic efforts to crack down on sexual activity, drug deals and illegal hunting that discourages legitimate uses. The refuge is popular among hikers, school groups, bird-watchers and others.

— Martin Burkey

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