Similarities found in armed robberies in area since July 9
Investigators from police forces in Anniston, Oxford, and Talladega County and City met Monday to pool information on what they believe could be a related rash of armed robberies at local businesses. Up to eight robberies committed since July 9 — five in Anniston, two in Oxford and one in Munford — have distinct similarities, including the description of the offenders, who are two short black men in their early 20s.
Jacksonville smoking ban prompts questions
JACKSONVILLE — This week marks the halfway point in the slow death of the smoky bar. With six months having elapsed since Jacksonville’s anti-smoking ordinance passed and six months left before it takes effect, many affected businesses remain uncertain how to proceed. Ordinance 447, passed last February by the city council, will effectively ban smoking in all public areas, except restaurants and bars that install air filters.
Jacksonville eyes annexation of subdivisions in school zone
JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville school and city council officials are talking about forming a committee to consider annexing subdivisions that lie outside city limits but that have access to city schools. Councilman Jeff Shelton, who has led the effort, outlined the idea to expand the city limits at a Kiwanis meeting Wednesday. The Jacksonville school system currently has a $150,000 shortfall after a proposed property tax increase failed in a January referendum.
Pre-kindergarten programs lauded – but where are they?
The dream was of universal pre-kindergarten in Alabama: a spot in a quality program for every 4-year-old. These days, the Office of School Readiness would settle for something more modest: one state-funded pre-kindergarten in every county. Even that remains elusive. With enrollment totalling around 900, OSR preschools serve just 1.5 percent of the state’s 4-year-olds. Calhoun County, the 10th-largest county in Alabama, doesn’t have a program through the readiness office.
What’s there to do around here …?
Jacksonville – When Antonio Davis and Justin Lord look around town, they see what isn’t there, and they see what could be.This is what they’d like to see: a movie theater, bowling alley, skating rink, youth-friendly retailers and students filling those establishments on the weekends. Last week, clearing their throats and bearing a prewritten speech, the two juniors at Jacksonville State University shared that vision with the Jacksonville City Council. “We’re trying to encourage retention for students over the weekend,” Davis said in an interview after the meeting. Like Lord, he is a finance major serving as a vice president in student government. “But there’s nothing here for them to do.
Israel Finds allies among Christian Zionists
Available in PDF only
JERUSALEM — Like many evangelical Christians, David Parsons looked at the establishment of the state of Israel and saw the hand of God. Sitting in the veritable castle of gleaming limestone that houses the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ), Parsons has come a long way from his hometown of Kill Devil Hills, N.C.
‘We Love the Jewish People’
PETACH TIKVA, Israel — It’s not your typical mission trip. The volunteers from Alabama are taking tickets, not handing out tracts. Sure, they’re helping people, but it’s in finding parking. And the faith shared inside the Baptist Village gates is a very particular one: the gospel of baseball. The dusty bleachers are packed with gun-slinging, tanned soldiers, alongside Orthodox Jews with headscarves and babies. Cheering is in Hebrew, English and Spanish. A Mexican-Jewish baseball player misses the ball and swears in Arabic about somebody’s mother.
Before the first day: Elementary school orientation prepares parents with release forms, checklists
It’s a time-honored dialogue. “What did you do at school today?” “Nothing.” At kindergarten orientation last week, teacher Tammy Magee was adamant on one point: “I guarantee you that there will never be a day where your child does nothing.” Still, when it comes to kindergarten, some kids are less than verbal. Parents left the orientation armed with a list of specific questions that potentially could unlock the silence: Was there something nice you said to a friend today? What good book did your teacher read to you today? Are you going to make tomorrow even better?
2 city-owned trucks stolen in Jacksonville
An 8-foot chain-link fence proved no deterrent to the theft of two Jacksonville city-owned pickups. In a work session prior to the City Council meeting Monday night, Mayor Johnny Smith briefed council members about the thefts of Ford pickups used by the Recreation Maintenance Department. The first truck, a 1997 Ford model, was stolen about three weeks ago.
‘Left behind’: Anniston Cold Case Unit reopens unsolved 1972 murder case
Published August 8th, 2005
On her bad days, Tina Morgan wants to sleep at the cemetery, at the grave of the father killed when she was only 4. It’s been three decades since Billy James McCarley died by a single bullet, but his daughter still dreams of his face. Now 36, Morgan keeps carefully preserved the documents piecing together bits of her father’s life: the birth certificate marked Cleburne County; notice of the Purple Heart received for wounds in Vietnam; poetry written about holding dead friends’ bodies in his arms at war. The papers cannot tell her what she most wants to know: Who killed her father?
This story appeared on page one. Click here to view this story as it appeared in the Anniston Star.