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Holiday travelers face higher prices

It’s the season for travel, and that means gasoline, cars and airplanes.

Stephanie Woods, manager of the Chevron at Broad Street and Jefferson Davis Avenue, said that business at her store has been slow in the past couple of weeks. She attributed the slowdown to the shopping season and to the fact that people might not have the money right now.

Woods said that the price of regular unleaded at her store was $1.43, up from $1.38 just a couple of days ago.

Woods also said that Chevron’s main office receives a fax with a list of what the gas prices should be set at, and the office relays that information to the individual stores.

A cashier at the Texaco on Broad Street said that a gallon of regular unleaded there was $1.36.

“It hasn’t been up in a month or two,” she said of the price.

She also said that the volume of people coming into the store and buying gas changes throughout the year. However, she did estimate that business would probably increase as it got closer to Christmas.

Janice Hall, a cashier at the Citgo just outside Selma on U.S. Highway 80, said that gasoline at her store was currently $1.49, and that it had been that for a couple of months.

Hall also expected business to increase as it got closer to Christmas, but didn’t believe it would be busy on Christmas Day itself.

While Hall didn’t yet know if the store would be open on Christmas, she did say that Thanksgiving this year was slow.

Lt. David Evans of the Selma Police Department said that there were a few things people should remember while driving during the holidays.

Evans said that everyone should be a defensive driver. He added that people should be aware of other cars even though they may not be aware of you.

Evans said that one of the biggest causes of motor vehicle accidents was driving while fatigued. He said that if you get tired while driving, stop the car, get out and walk for a little bit or even take a short nap.

Evans also said that the police department was scheduling saturation patrols during the holiday period.

A saturation patrol, Evans explained, is when several officers focus their efforts on one area of town. He said that it’s been effective in stopping problems in those areas.

Holiday traffic, though, isn’t just limited to cars.

According to Phil Perry, Executive Director of the Montgomery Regional Airport, traffic through the airport is slightly higher than it was this time last year.

Perry attributed the increase in traffic to low airfares, but also because more time has passed since the Sept. 11 tragedy.

Perry said that there were a few simple things everyone could do to make security checks at airports go smoother.

Perry suggested keeping the number of carry on bags at a minimum, and also to pack as lightly as possible. He also advised to check as much of your luggage as possible.

Perry also said not to bring wrapped Christmas gifts with you on an airplane, and especially don’t have any with strange items. Perry gave the example of steak knives wrapped up as a Christmas gift. He said that would probably cause you to miss your flight.

Perry also said to be prepared to take off all metal items as you go through the metal detector. He said some things people often forget to remove are belt buckles and steel toed shoes.

“They’ll slow you down a little bit,” Perry said.

Perry said that in most cases getting though security should take 10 minutes or less.