News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news


Blakely recommends deputy replacement

ATHENS — The Limestone County Sheriff's Department is losing a chief deputy with more than 20 years law enforcement experience.

But Sheriff Mike Blakely said he'll recommend a replacement who has 20-plus years on the job.

Blakely said he is asking the County Commission to name Lt. Randy King acting chief deputy. The commission will vote on that recommendation at its Monday meeting.

If approved, King will train with Chief Deputy Jim Landers until Landers' retirement July 31.

Landers served as a jailer, deputy and investigator before becoming chief deputy in 1989.

He was Rogersville's police chief from 1989 to 1991 and then returned to the Sheriff's Department.

After Landers retires, King will take over as chief deputy.

King has worked in narcotics with the Sheriff's Department and now is in the investigative unit.

Holly Hollman

Florence police captain linked to child porn

A federal grand jury indicted a Florence police captain for allegedly using his home and work computers to send child pornography, U.S. Attorney Alice H. Martin announced Wednesday.

Basil Kenny Stanley, 49, of Killen faces three counts charging him with possessing and mailing or transporting child pornography from May 2005 to January 2006, Martin said.

If convicted of all charges, Stanley could face a maximum sentence of 10 years and a minimum of five years in prison and a fine of $500,000. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of computer equipment used in commission of the alleged crime.

Stanley remains under house arrest with strict limitations, Martin said.

Seth Burkett

Athens to get funds for distance learning

ATHENS — Athens High School is getting state funds to expand its curriculum.

Gov. Bob Riley announced that Athens is one of 44 schools that will receive money to offer distance learning courses through the state's ACCESS initiative.

ACCESS delivers Web-based courses and interactive videoconferencing courses to selected schools.

The program will reach 10,000 Alabama students.

State Superintendent of Education Joe Morton said ACCESS helps small and rural schools provide a comprehensive and challenging curriculum. State and federal money support the project. The state received funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission and Delta Regional Authority.

Holly Hollman

Place 3 Supreme Court candidate to speak

ATHENS — A candidate for Alabama Supreme Court Place 3 will speak at tonight's Democratic meeting.

The Limestone County Democratic Party will meet at 7 at the Sheriff's Rodeo Arena on Alabama 99.

Candidate and Presiding Circuit Judge for the 26th Judicial Circuit, Al Johnson, will be the guest speaker. All Democrats and Democratic candidates are invited.

For more information, call Jackie Thompson at 233-1051 or Pam Wallace at 230-6118.

Holly Hollman

Ex-nightclub Next Level burglarized

Someone broke into the former Next Level nightclub, destroying an estimated $4,600 in property and stealing about $2,000 worth of change and liquor, police said Wednesday.

The burglary, reported Monday night by club owner Dewayne Hicks, is believed to have occurred between June 22 and Friday, police said.

The burglar apparently entered the building through air-conditioning ducts, damaging them in the process. Gaming machines, pool tables and a liquor cabinet were apparently damaged during the thefts of change and liquor.

The club on U.S. 31 South closed at the beginning of June following a brief run under the name Next Level. It was formerly Frankie J's Hot Spot.

Seth Burkett

Hartselle selling timber on I-65 property

HARTSELLE — City leaders here are wasting no time in moving forward with developing 18.8 acres near Alabama 36 and Interstate 65.

The council has declared timber on the land it purchased from NBC Inc., a family-owned corporation, as surplus property.

"We're going to solicit proposals to sell the timber," Mayor Dwight Tankersley said. "There's not a lot of large timber. It's mostly small pine trees that are good for pulp."

For additional information, contact City Hall at 773-2535.

Deangelo McDaniel

Limestone OKs funding fishing tourney

ATHENS — Limestone County commissioners say they're for funding fishing.

On Wednesday, Tourism Director Jeannette Rich asked the county to verbally agree to spend $10,000 if Athens can host an American Bass Anglers tournament in August 2007.

The Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce will apply this week to be a site. The tournament would be at Cowford Landing on the Tennessee River, a site jointly maintained by the commission and Athens City Council.

Rich said a regional tournament would have an estimated $705,000 impact on the city and county in generated taxes and retail sales. The cost to host the tournament would be $20,000, with the commission and council splitting that cost. That pays the $10,000 fee to ABA, meals for anglers, lights and setup.

Holly Hollman

4 illegal aliens indicted after re-entry

Four illegal aliens were indicted Tuesday for illegally re-entering the United States, according to U.S. Attorney Alice H. Martin.

The four, all from Mexico, had been previously deported and were arrested in unrelated cases throughout North Alabama. One had been deported twice. Another had been deported three times, Martin said.

If convicted, each could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Seth Burkett

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