Department store leaving Madison Square Mall for a new home at Bridge Street Town Centre. See page A3
We break news online
Saturday, September 29, 2012
No Bishop trial in brother’s death
Massachusetts won’t
try her in ’86 shooting
earlier ruled accident
By Brian Lawson
[email protected]
Amy Bishop will not face a
murder charge in Massachusetts for the 1986 shooting
death of her brother Seth, the
Norfolk County district attorney’s office announced Friday.
DA Michael Morrissey
said his office would withdraw the indictment issued
against Bishop two years ago
because her recent capital
murder conviction in
Alabama ensures that she
will be in prison for the rest of
her life.
“We will not move to have
her returned to Massachusetts. The penalty we would
seek for a first-degree murder conviction is already in
place,” Morrissey said.
Amy Bishop
Seth Bishop
Massachusetts does not
impose the death penalty.
Morrissey said that if circumstances were to change
in Alabama then prosecution
could take place, but that is
unlikely given that Bishop
this month waived her
appeal rights when admitting to killing three people at
the University of Alabama in
Huntsville in 2010.
Bishop, 47, a Harvardtrained biologist, was
rejected for tenure at UAH in
2009 and was reportedly
angry and distraught over
the decision.
During a faculty meeting
on Feb. 12, 2010, she stood
up suddenly and, without
saying a word, began firing a
9 mm pistol at her colleagues. Gopi Podila,
Stephanie Monticciolo,
Adriel Johnson, Maria Davis,
Luis Cruz-Vera and Joseph
Leahy were each shot.
Podila, Johnson and Davis
died. The other three were
wounded, two seriously.
Bishop on Monday also
received three consecutive
life sentences for the
attempted-murder charges.
After she was arrested for
the UAH shooting, Massachusetts authorities opened
an investigation into her
brother’s death.
The death of 18-year-old
Seth Bishop in the family’s
Braintree, Mass., home on
Dec. 6, 1986, had been ruled
an accident, and Bishop was
never charged with a crime.
After the UAH shooting,
Madison County District
Attorney Rob Broussard and
See BISHOP on A8
Era ends
at Times;
big shift
in focus
Giant pieces of Huntsville history
New media group launched as
many longtime employees leave
By Lee Roop
[email protected]
Friday was the last day of work for many
Huntsville Times employees, and Monday
is the first day for a new Alabama media
company that includes both familiar and
new faces in Huntsville and across the
Alabama Media Group launches its new
products and services Monday and immediately becomes the state’s largest media
organization. It was created to provide
news and information in the ways consumers increasingly seek it today: personal
computers, tablets and smartphones, as
well as newspapers.
The new company’s staff will post on up-to-the-minute breaking news,
sports, features and helpful information
about events and activities, and it will publish three editions each week of The
Huntsville Times, The Birmingham News
and The Mobile Press-Register.
There will be no newspaper on Monday,
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, but a
heftier Times – with expanded news, features and sports sections, more daily
comics and your favorite puzzles from
each prior day – will still appear in driveways and news racks on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Every day, journalists will
This photo shows the Madison County Courthouse that was replaced in the mid 1960s by the present-day courthouse.
(File Photo/Courtesy Huntsville Public Library)
Old courthouse columns give new appearance to garden
By Paul Huggins
[email protected]
Ed Voelker might have traded
decades of military and engineering experience for a chance
to talk to anyone who helped
erect three limestone columns at
their original site before they
were moved to Huntsvile Botanical Garden in 1991.
Voelker is the volunteer construction leader for the park’s
current effort to move and erect
five columns that once graced
the third Madison County Courthouse. The columns stood
downtown for 102 years, until
their removal in 1964.
The park features several
other columns in addition to the
three at the entrance, but each of
them features only three of the
four original pillar sections.This
will be the first time a column
with all four sections and the cap,
23 tons in all, will stand fully erect
in nearly 50 years.
The assembly began Friday
and will continue Monday.
“It’s nerve-wracking,” Voelker
said. “Nobody recently moved
them before. So everyone one of
us involved is scratching our
heads a little bit and going overboard a little bit to be careful with
These columns can’t be
replaced, added Harvey Cotten,
botanical garden vice president
See ERA on A8
and chief horticulturist. The historic aspect of the columns
makes them invaluable, of
course, but they also fit perfectly
with the garden’s mission to mix
Southern heritage with the city’s
high-tech growth, he said.
The garden has approached
the column move with slow caution.
Voelker said the moving and
set-up process has involved
some trial and error and general
knowledge of limestone strength
For ages, large masonry sections have been moved by
drilling a hole in the top and
inserting a lewis, a clamp with
reverse levers that holds a tighter
grip as weight increases. Garden
officials feared the old limestone
might have deteriorated to a
point where using the lewis
wouldn’t hold or would damage
The first alternative used
nylon straps. It worked fine,
Voelker said, but an examination
of the straps after unloading four
sections revealed the limestone’s sharp edges had frayed
the straps. Fearing the straps
could break, they tried another
Now they are drilling holes in
the column tops, inserting eye
bolts and securing them with
$1.00 newsstand
Huntsville, Alabama Vol. 103, No. 189, 28 pages Contents © 2012, The Huntsville Times
Friday night lights
The Bob Jones Patriots
come back
strong after
last week’s
upset loss
to Hazel
Green with
a big
over the
Saturday night lights
The No. 1 Alabama Crimson
Tide entertains the Ole Miss
Rebels at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN.
Alabama A&M hosts Grambling
in the Louis Crews Classic with
kickoff at 6 p.m. at Louis Crews
Workers arrange the columns from the old Madison County
See PAST on A8 Courthouse at the entrance to the Huntsville/Madison County
Botanical Gardens on Friday. (The Huntsville Times/Eric Schultz)
Harvey Cotten: C1
Another mystery solved.
Crossword C2, D8
77 59
Some clouds,
some rain.
Full report, D12