Citizens protest cutting of tree at Unicoi courthouse
Unicoi County Mayor Larry Rose is promising the county isn’t “going to cut down one tree” until citizens’ concerns are heard on a County Commission decision.
Commissioners voted 7-to-2 Monday night to remove about a dozen birch and pin oak trees on the courthouse lawn in Erwin. Commission member Glen Runion presented the proposal, calling the 32-year-old trees “old, shaggy, dirty and nasty.”
The telephones at the courthouse were ringing when county offices opened yesterday and by midday yesterday, someone had posted signs reading “Save Our Trees” and “Call Your Commissioner.”
Rose says he received “numerous calls” about cutting the trees.
Runion said yesterday it wasn’t just his idea to remove the trees. He says he was representing downtown merchants who complain about leaves from the trees blowing into their stores.
County Clerk Ruby McLaughlin says she wouldn’t want the trees cut down unless they were replaced by smaller ornamentals like dogwoods and shrubbery.
McLaughlin say she thinks that’s what Runion was intending, but said he didn’t get his point across.
Former coach says he took payoff in ‘Bama scandal
Former Memphis high school coach Lynn Lang says businessman and Alabama booster Logan Young bid on the college career of a football player and “took to it like water.”
Lang testified yesterday at the federal court trial of Young, who’s accused of paying Lang 150-thousand dollars to deliver defensive lineman Albert Means to the Crimson Tide program.
Lang is awaiting sentencing on a guilty plea to racketeering conspiracy. Lang said he began shopping Means around to various colleges when he realized in 1999 how many schools wanted him.
Means — who has not been charged with any wrongdoing — testified earlier yesterday that he let Lang pick the college he would attend in 2000.
Young is a millionaire who’s charged with bribery and money laundering.
Defense lawyer James Neal is expected to continue cross-examination of Lang this morning.