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February 07, 2013  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Road by hostage site expected to be named for Charles Poland

By Thomas McMahon


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A stretch of highway in Dale County, Ala., may soon bear the name of slain school bus driver Charles Poland.
<p>A stretch of highway in Dale County, Ala., may soon bear the name of slain school bus driver Charles Poland.</p>
DALE COUNTY, Ala. — A half-mile stretch of U.S. 231 here may soon bear the name of slain school bus driver Charles Poland.

The roadway around the site of where Poland was fatally shot in the line of duty last week would be designated the "Charles 'Chuck' Albert Poland, Jr., Memorial Highway."

Poland was killed while protecting his passengers from an armed intruder, who then took a 5-year-old boy hostage for nearly a week.

The Alabama Legislature this week passed a resolution to name the highway stretch in honor of Poland.

"The Legislature wishes to honor the memory of the slain Dale County bus driver, Chuck Poland, for his heroic actions on January 29, 2013, during the Midland City hostage crisis," the resolution reads.

Signs or markers with the "Charles 'Chuck' Albert Poland, Jr., Memorial Highway" designation would be placed and maintained on the roadway.

The resolution has been sent to the governor for approval.

The Legislature also passed a resolution of condolence, mourning Poland's death and celebrating his life.

Meanwhile, the municipal court judge for Midland City wrote a letter to President Obama asking him to honor Poland with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

"I would humbly ask you, as the President of the United States, to bestow upon Mr. Poland's family, posthumously, the National Medal of Freedom," Judge William Matthews Jr. wrote. "Mr. Poland was only doing his job when he was gunned down on his bus. He was protecting the lives of the 21 children he helped escape through the back door/escape hatch when the intruder entered his bus."


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