Monday, June 30, 2008

Wednesday in The Star

Check out Tuesday's Anniston Star for these stories:

At 12 a.m. Tuesday, the territory covered by Anniston’s short-staffed police department shrank, while the area covered by Calhoun County Sheriff’s Deputies grew. Several areas that have long relied on the city for protection will no longer be patrolled by Anniston police, including Saks, Golden Springs around Choccolocco Road, Central City, West 14th Street near the Thankful community, and Wellborn.Calls in the former police jurisdiction outside Anniston’s city limits are now handled by the Sheriff’s Office. Dan Whisenhunt will have this story and will explain what the change means for residents.

A Jefferson County judge Monday put the pending decertification of local lawyer Ray Bryan on hold so he can review the case and make a judgment by the end of the week. Nick Cenegy will have this story.

There's a neighborhood meeting planned to discuss the future of the homes at Noble Park, the historic houses next to Anniston High School. Hannah Dame will be there and will report on what was discussed.

Friday, June 27, 2008

This weekend in The Star

Check out The Anniston Star this weekend for these stories:

On Saturday:

An Anniston High School parent is getting students and parents involved in the community and trying to get the community involved in the school. He's formed two new support groups for parents. Dan Whisenhunt has this story.

An 18-wheeler crashed off a bridge in Ohatchee Friday morning, killing two people. Andy Johns will have this story.

Andy will also have this story: The Randolph County District Attorney’s office will investigate complaints of voter fraud in a county commission primary race.

On Sunday:

Megan Nichols takes a look of the issues facing Anniston as an election approaches. What do current council members and candidates think about it?

The Weaver Police Department recently got a new Dodge Charger, one of the first to go into services locally. With Ford discontinuing the once-standard Crown Victoria, many departments are deputizing new types of vehicles. Nick Cenegy looks at the changing police car through history.

Dan Whisenhunt will visit the Piedmont Freedom Festival and Camp Fasola in Anniston.

And on Monday:

Drought conditions have improved and there is no burn ban, but fireworks can still be dangerous. How are sales this year compared to last? Andy will look at this story in advance of the fourth of July.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Friday in The Star

Check out these stories in Friday's Anniston Star:

We'll check in with the old Calhoun Theater in downtown Anniston. Is there any movement on on a plan to do anything with it? Hannah Dame has this story.

We'll also check in with the status of summer nutrition programs for kids.

Alex Scarbourough-Anderson writes about local reaction to the Supreme Court decision on gun ownership. The Court struck down a Washington, D.C., law that prohibited handguns in the city. What do local folks think about the ruling?

The latest visitors to the Carver Branch Library's summer reading program are the JSU drama department who encourage reading and show the kids how words can be put into action. Alex also has this story.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thursday in The Star

Coming Thursday in The Anniston Star:

Judicial candidate Ray Bryan hosted a press conference on the courthouse steps over the election he won earlier this month. Nick Cenegy was there and will let you know what was said.

There are new plaintiffs being added to a lawsuit against the Anniston board of education over the way it hired Superintendent Joan Frazier. Dan Whisenhunt will have this story.

Jacksonville gets quiet in the summertime when all the students head out of town. What do locals think about the summer calm? Alex Scarborough-Anderson will check in with folks in Jacksonville about the summer months.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Tuesday in The Star

You can find these stories in Tuesday's Anniston Star:

It's been awhile since we've had any substantial rain. Is the drought worsening again? Hannah Dame has this story.

Local attorney Ray Bryan may not become circuit judge, despite having won the June primary election, according to state Republican Party officials. Alabama Republican Party Executive Director John Ross said the party’s candidates committee has moved to decertify Bryan for failure to file forms required by the state’s Fair Campaign Practices Act. Nick Cenegy will have this story.

The Anniston City Council has on its agenda tomorrow night a few education issues: one calls for a referendum on a measure allowing the city to spend money on NextStart scholarships. The other calls for redirecting money it already gives the Anniston City Schools Foundation if the board of that group is not reconstituted. Dan Whisenhunt will preview what's on the meeting agenda.

Nick will be at the Stop the Violence meeting tonight. What will be discussed at the meeting?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer approaches ...

... and burgers and dogs are hitting the grill for the Star newsroom's weekly feasts.
Yum, almost time for lunch.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thursday in The Star

You can find these stories in Thursday's Anniston Star:

The U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee has proposed a 2009 budget that doesn't cut the CDP's budget by 25 percent. There's a hearing tomorrow. Megan Nichols has this story.

Megan also looks into efforts to get film incentives passed in the state, a move that could benefit McClelllan.

Dan Whisenhunt profiles a Jacksonville High School program that allows seniors to conduct independent studies or enroll in college part time.

Dan also checks in with the status of expanding career tech programs in Anniston.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wednesday in The Star

These are some of the stories you can find in Wednesday's Anniston Star:

Nick Cenegy has a follow-up on the 28 drug indictments we covered in yesterday's Star.

A project to turn a rail spur into a connection from McClellan to the Chief Ladiga Trail could be delayed. The rail line is jointly owned by the JPA and the city was to manage the bidding process for removal of the tracks. But now the JPA is not sure it is satisfied with the bids. Megan Nichols has this story.

One Randolph County Commission candidate is contesting results in this month's primary election. The difference was seven votes. Andy Johns has this story.

Ode to a copy editor

Monday's New York Times editorial page included a piece by Lawrence Downes, In a Changing World of News, an Elegy for Copy Editors.
Downes' ode to copy editors included this:
As for what they do, here’s the short version: After news happens in the chaos and clutter of the real world, it travels through a reporter’s mind, a photographer’s eye, a notebook and camera lens, into computer files, then through multiple layers of editing. Copy editors handle the final transition to an ink-on-paper object. On the news-factory floor, they do the refining and packaging. They trim words, fix grammar, punctuation and style, write headlines and captions.
But they also do a lot more. Copy editors are the last set of eyes before yours. They are more powerful than proofreaders. They untangle twisted prose. They are surgeons, removing growths of error and irrelevance; they are minimalist chefs, straining fat. Their goal is to make sure that the day’s work of a newspaper staff becomes an object of lasting beauty and excellence once it hits the presses.

Reading those words early Monday morning, one name came to mind: Alan Cochrum, a copy editor at the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram, at least he will be until Friday. According to an e-mail he sent me this morning, Alan is a victim of recent cuts at the McClatchy Newspaper chain, which owns the Star-Telegram.
I worked with Alan several years at the Fort Worth newspaper. He was exacting about prose, searching out and destroying poorly written copy. The old joke about copy editors is that they tend to pose revelatory questions like, "Does anal retentive have a hyphen?" Yep, that's Alan.
But he often saved the newspaper from embarrassing mistakes. He once caught a guest columnist (who would later become a Bush administration political appointee - naturally) plagiarizing a little-known passage by C.S. Lewis. Commas, and their placement, were very important to Alan. He took the job of guarding over newspaper copy (read: stories) very seriously. He took it to a level that often frustrated the rest of us, even those who love the language and its proper usage. Still, it's a valuable service. One done with equal fervor by many hard-working journalists here at The Star.
The Times' Downes concluded Monday:
As newspapers lose money and readers, they have been shedding great swaths of expensive expertise. They have been forced to shrink or eliminate the multiply redundant levels of editing that distinguish their kind of journalism from what you find on TV, radio and much of the Web. Copy editors are being bought out or forced out; they are dying and not being replaced.

With the news of Alan's pending departure from the newspaper he worked at for 20 years, that passage has more poignancy Tuesday than it did Monday.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tuesday in The Star

You can find these stories in Tuesday's Anniston Star:

Federal prosecutors and Calhoun County law enforcement agencies announced this morning that a four-year undercover investigation netted 26 people for alleged involvement in an Anniston and Oxford area drug ring. Two more have been charged but are still at large.

Megan Nichols checks in with City Manager George Monk. He told her last week that he was planning to make a decision concerning whether he will stay in his position, accepting a six month contract extension, or will leave at the end of June.

Andy Johns checks in with the Jacksonville trees. Will Alabama Power appeal a judge's ruling that said they couldn't cut them down?

Friday, June 13, 2008

This weekend in The Star

Check out this weekend's Star for these stories:

On Saturday:
Megan Nichols takes a look at flag day and also explains proper flag display and handling.

Megan also has a story about the Anniston City Council's discretionary funds. What are they used for and what's the philosophy behind them?

Anniston used to have a curfew. Reviving some form of a curfew has come up as an idea at recent Stop the Violence meetings. Nick Cenegy takes a look at the history of curfews in Anniston.

On Sunday:

Todd South's final story for The Anniston Star is an analysis of declared candidates, issues and recent history in Oxford's upcoming municipal election.

We'll have coverage of Juneteenth as well as Music at McClellan's finale and a father-son lookalike contest at Quintard Mall.

Reporter Todd South rides into the sunset

Instead of a cake, a card and the usual going-away trappings, Anniston Star reporter Todd South had another idea. He asked the newsroom if we could help him fulfill his dream of getting together for a game of flag football before he left for his new job in Chattanooga. So we found ourselves sweating and tossing the old pigskin Thursday evening at the football field at McClellan.

We learned many things. 1. A 43-year-old (me) has no business wrestling around with these 20-something reporters. Ouch! I'm sore. 2. As is his natural ability, Todd has the knack for getting people together. 3. Todd thinks differently; who else wants a football game for a going-away party?

What we already knew: Todd is a top-notch person, a fine reporter with a bright future and a heck of an athlete. I will miss him. This newspaper will miss him. I wish him well and encourage him to keep in touch.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Thursday in The Star

Check out Thursday's Star for these stories:

The tomato salmonella scare is affecting local restaurants and grocers, some of whom are not getting shipments of tomatoes from their suppliers. Others who rely on locally or regionally grown produce say their shelves still are full. Hannah Dame has this story.

Alex Scarborough-Anderson has a profile of the Opportunity Center program that refurbishes donated, used medical equipment.

Rep. Mike Rogers has inserted language into the defense authorization bill, still to be passed by the Senate, that would require military working dogs to be bred in the U.S. Are there potential contracts in this for Auburn's Canine Detection Training Center at McClellan?

The Disabled American Veterans Chapter of Piedmont is trying to raise money to fix/replace a defaced memorial to fallen soldiers at the veterans' park. Andy Johns has this story.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wednesday in The Star

Coming Wednesday in The Anniston Star:

Nick Cenegy takes a look at the cost of the circuit court race between Ray Bryan and Mannon Bankson. One expert on political finance says Calhoun County bucked a trend of even more expensive, increasingly negative judicial races.

As students buckle down to catch up over the summer, some of them will also be plugging in and logging on at Jacksonville High. The school is using a new online summer school curriculum to share resources with other schools, making it cheaper to offer classes during the summer. Alex Scarborough-Anderson has this story.

The Anniston City Council meetes. We'll see if there's any news regarding the city manager contract. George Monk has said he hasn't decided whether he will accept a six-month extension.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Tuesday in The Star

You can find these stories in The Anniston Star on Tuesday:

Controlled burns are underway at Talladega National Forest. That's why you've been seeing smoke. Andy Johns has this story.

Roanoke is expected to gain an interim mayor at tonight's council meeting. Andy will report from there as well.

Attorney General Troy King has asked the state supreme court to set an execution date for James Callahan, who was convicted of murdering JSU student Rebecca Howell.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Friday in The Star

You can find these stories in Friday's Star:

Veterans of the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps will gather at Cheaha Saturday for a reunion. Andy Johns examines the group's legacy, talks with a CCC veteran from Lineville, and highlights what local projects they worked on.

The Lineville-based group Servants in Faith and Technology are hosting students from around the world this week. Hannah Dame visited with them to find out what students are learning.

The Foothills Community Partnership, approaching the end of its cleanup of lead contamination in the area, is giving a big gift to the Community Foundation of Calhoun County. Megan Nichols has this story.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Thursday in The Star

Check out Thursday's Anniston Star for these stories:

Todd South checks in with the chemical weapons incinerator in Anniston. That last VX-filled projectiles were recently destroyed - as the incinerator clears another milestone we'll take a look at any discussion on what will happen when all the weapons are gone.

The city's nuisance abatement program for homes has been around for awhile. Now it's being expanded to take in junk cars on private property that violate city code. Megan Nichols has this story.

Residents say long-term problems with Lake Louise caused by construction of the nearby Eastern Parkway had led the contractor to drain the lake in an effort to clear out sediment.