Archive for the ‘Local’ Category
By William T. Martin
Members of the area’s law enforcement community paid tribute to fallen members of their ranks in a ceremony at the Madison County Courthouse Monday morning.
The annual ceremony honors the twenty one officers from the Huntsville Police Department and Madison County Sheriff’s Department who have died in the line of duty since 1880.
The hundreds of law enforcement officers gathered at the south end of the courthouse were joined by family and friends of the fallen officers and members of the general public.
Following an opening prayer from Madison County Sheriff Blake Dorning, local officials praised both the men and women in blue who protect the public everyday and those officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their communities and profession.
“Today we honor those who have fallen and through honoring (them) we also honor those who serve,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.
“We honor each of you today for your sacrifice, for your work, and for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Today is a special day in Huntsville.”
HPD Chief Henry Reyes spoke of how law officers represent the “thin blue line” between criminals and the public and how officers realize each tour of duty could be their last.
“It is not any easy job but it is a calling that our law enforcement officers are very willing to do,” said Reyes.
“We fully understand that we may not come home to our loved ones (and) we must never forgot those who gave their lives for us.”
Following the remarks a cross was brought forward and placed at the marker.
Then 21 flowers were pinned on the cross, one for each officer who died in the line of duty.
The flowers were placed by an officer, family member or friend of the deceased.
After the pinning ceremony Madison County Sheriff’s deputies fired a 21-gun salute. This was followed by the playing of bagpipes and a closing prayer.
(From release) The City of Madison now has an attractive new map to guide residents and visitors around the city. The map was a joint partnership between the City of Madison, local businesses and the City Map Project, Inc. Local businesses purchased advertisements to fund the production while the City Engineering Department provided all street and facility information. 7,500 maps were produced in total with each business that advertised receiving 25 of the new maps in a ready to display box to be placed at their business.
(From release)Two intersections in the city will be upgraded to 4-way-stop status on Wednesday. Here are the details:
(From release) Two distinguished Alabamians inspired a group of more than 500 graduates of Alabama A&M University Friday during a spring commencement program in Louis Crews Stadium on the 134-year-old campus.
In addition to presenting Huntsville, Ala., native Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery with the honorary Doctor of Humanities degree and the Presidential Medallion, the University selected journalist George E. Curry to deliver its commencement address.
(From release) On Monday, May 11, 2009 at 10:00 a.m., the Fraternal Order of Police, T.L. Blakemore Lodge #6, and Madison County law enforcement agencies will present a special “Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony”. The event will be held at the south side of the
Madison County Court House.
By William T. Martin
A self-described homeless man is safe and dry after being rescued from the roof of a Huntsville Utilities pump station building in a flooded area west of the Whitesburg Bridge near the Tennessee River.
Raymond E. Lemieux, 55, was brought to Ditto Marina Landing around 12:30 p.m. Thursday after spending a day and a half atop the building.
According to Huntsville Fire Department District Chief Jamie Jones, a person called 911 by cellphone around 10:30 a.m. to report a man stranded atop a small building in a swampy, flooded area around 1/4 mile west of the Whitesburg Bridge.
Emergency crews responding to the scene were hampered by the fact that Ditto Marina Landing was largely inaccessible due to high waters on the Tennessee River.
Crews had to borrow a flat-bottom boat to get from the entrance road to the marina area itself. There they switched to a larger pontoon boat and a smaller Zodiac boat to reach the man.
“He wasn’t injured,” said Jones, “He was just trapped in that water. I guess it came up…and he couldn’t get out.”
Lemieux spoke to reporters following his ordeal.
(From release) The City of Madison is rapidly cleaning up in the aftermath of the EF-2 tornado that struck the City yesterday morning leaving an 11 mile by 75 yard path of damage. Based on damage assessments, there were over 45 separate reports of damage. Of those 45 reports, 6 buildings sustained damage that made the buildings uninhabitable. All 6 buildings are located within the Madison Haven Apartment Complex.
(From release)At approximately 9:48 AM, Madison Police Officers responded to the report of an armed robbery at Title Cash located at 3705 Sullivan St.
The black male offender was reportedly carrying a semi-automatic handgun when he entered the business demanding money.
A man has been rescued from atop a small building near the Whitesburg Bridge after he was stranded there for nearly two days by rising waters on the Tennessee River.
Full story follows shortly.
By William T. Martin
A fast-moving storm system blew through western Madison County Wednesday, spawning a possible tornado that damaged an apartment complex and nearby homes.
The storm, which is already being called an F-0 tornado, hit around 9 a.m.
Hardest hit was the Madison Haven apartment complex.
Numerous large trees were felled, several of which were snapped off about 20 feet off the ground.
Other were simply blown over or pulled up by their roots.
Two buildings in the complex had trees lying against them while debris, including limbs, lawn furniture, trash cans, and other items, was scattered through the area.
No injuries were immediately reported.
Police quickly blocked off the area as sightseers jammed Wal Triana Highway, the main road through the affected area.
Power was knocked out in a large area of the city and Madison County.
In the nearby Liberty Manor neighborhood some homes had roof damage while many others had trees knocked down.
West Madison Elementary School, which sits between the neighborhood and the apartment complex, apparently suffered no damage although some trees on the property were downed.
To west, in an area off Browns Ferry Road near Balch Road, several homes were damaged by falling trees.
Traffic in the area was blocked for a time as crews worked to clear several trees that had fallen on the road.