Mar 10 2007

Shelby visits county

Clanton Advertiser

By Brent Maze

Sen. Richard Shelby said he would try to do everything he can to help get signals and crossbars to help with railroad crossings accidents in Thorsby.

"It makes sense for us to get something done at these dangerous crossings," he said in a meeting yesterday at Clanton City Hall with local residents.

Congress appropriates 80 percent of the money that state receives from transportation. Shelby hopes the state will be able to use some of the money for the crossing, like it did for a crossing in Jemison.

Thorsby Mayor Tom Bentley who was present at yesterday's meeting said the town need help as soon as possible.

"The biggest thing we need is funding," Bentley said.

Shelby finished up his tour of all 67 counties in Alabama with a stop at Chilton County. He answered questions from local residents, which covered a variety of topics including the the war in Iraq, immigration, a proposed cut to the National Weather Service, prescription drugs and the threat of China. At least 30 people attended the meeting yesterday.

Shelby said he supports the troops in Iraq with his vote.

"I will always support any vote that will help the troops," Shelby said. "I don't want us to be run out of Iraq."

On immigration, Shelby said the current immigration laws should be enforced.

"We already have laws. They just aren't being enforced," Shelby said. "We need to enforce the laws we already have. If you give illegal immigrants amnesty, what will that mean to the people who became citizens the legal way?"

Shelby was originally scheduled to speak in Clanton last month, but a special called vote in Washington was called on the same day at the last minute.

He said he enjoys coming to Chilton County whenever he gets the chance. The grandparents of the four-term senator were originally from this county.

"I love coming to Chilton County," Shelby said. "I appreciate all the support that Chilton County has given me over the years."