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Look Back ... to eminent domain allowed for bypass, 1996

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It was big front-page news on May 2, 1963, when a nearby textile manufacturing company announced plans to become the first firm to locate in Anniston's new industrial park.

May 2, 1946, in The Star: A beloved and highly regarded former pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Anniston has died in Jacksonville, Fla., the city where he'd made his home following his retirement last summer. Dr. Melton Clark, who had served First Presbyterian from 1932-1945, was 72 when he was stricken with a heart attack this morning. Dr. Clark was renowned for his scholarly and inspirational sermons, and his efforts and initiative helped bring about a Boy Scout program for Anniston’s black youngsters. He was active in several other areas of Anniston civic life, too. He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters. Also this date: Friends of Richard “Happy” McMillon, a popular employee of the Jitney-Jungle grocery store on 12th Street, will be happy themselves to know that he has finally escorted his English war bride back to their new home here in Anniston. She is the former Doreen Carr of London and she arrived in New York on the Queen Mary last week. “Happy” met her in the port city and they enjoyed a short vacation together before returning to Anniston. With Mrs. McMillon was the couple’s four-month-old daughter, Carolyn, whom “Happy” had never seen before. The couple first met in April 1944. They now make their home at 16 West 29th Street but plan to build a new home in the near future.

May 2, 1996, in The Star: The Alabama Highway Department has won a major battle to take land from Anniston’s water board to build a five-lane bypass to connect the western part of the city to Interstate 20. Circuit Judge Joel Laird yesterday ruled that state highway officials are within their rights to use eminent domain to seize, with compensation, a 10-acre section of the water board’s property off Coldwater Road. On May 20 a jury is expected to decide what that compensation will be. Also this date: Calhoun County Circuit Judge Malcolm Street Jr. ruled yesterday that two great-nieces of Susie Parker Stringfellow —  whose will established the institution that later became an Anniston hospital — had not been cheated out of their claim to the property because they had willingly relinquished their rights many years ago. Decades earlier, Mrs. Stringfellow bequeathed to the city what was then her home with the provision that it be returned to her heirs if it were ever sold. In recent years there’s been talk of such a transaction, but the heirs sued before it could take place.