Leaders pleased with Shelby remarks

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 4, 2003

The consensus is in: U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby’s remarks Monday morning have been weighed and measured, and he has not been found wanting.

Mayor James Perkins Jr. commented on the proposed I-85 corridor &045;&045; one of Shelby’s points during the speech. Perkins said that a resolution in support of the route south of U.S. Highway 80 has been passed by the City Council. The Dallas County Commission has also passed a similar resolution.

Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman Jr. said that efforts to get the interstate built in the desired area need to be accelerated.

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As it stands now, Huffman said, it would take 10 to 15 years to complete the corridor once construction is approved.

Huffman also said that the Black Belt has a lot to offer businesses, such as land, railroad accessibility and an untapped work force.

Probate Judge Johnny Jones said that the Dallas County Commission has stated its support for the corridor route that extends from Montgomery through Lowndes County and close to both Craig Field and South Dallas Industrial Park.

Concerning education, Shelby said that he was disappointed by an article that stated Alabama was cutting back on funding in that area. Perkins agreed.

Shelby said that it became clear that education was under funded after speaking with Selma City Schools Superintendent

Dr. James Carter and finding that some students don’t have textbooks for their classes.

A possible war with Iraq, though, seemed to be the issue of the day.

Huffman said he felt that war was inevitable and that it was only a matter of time before it begins. He added that the situation in Iraq should have been resolved during the Gulf War.

Huffman also said that we should know Wednesday whether or not Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. That’s when Secretary of State Colin Powell is expected to provide evidence to the U.N. Security Council of Iraq’s failure to abide by the conditions of surrender imposed in the aftermath of the Gulf War.

If America has the opportunity to stop Iraq from attacking other nations, as it did in that war, and doesn’t take advantage of it, then what kind of people would we be, Huffman asked.

Jones agreed that war was inevitable and would happen in the near future. He added that it would take unusual diplomatic tactics at this point to keep the country out of war.