• 75°
franklin county times

Could new city law go up in smoke?

By Staff
SMOKE BREAK – Ricky Rash taps ashes off his cigarette Wednesday while enjoying a cup of coffee at the Waffle House near the Baymont Inn &Suites just south of the Interstate 20/59-22nd Avenue interchange. The Meridian City Council voted 3-2 on Tuesday to ban smoking in public places including restaurants like Waffle House. Photo by Kyle Carter / The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
November 4, 2004
Ricky Rash works construction in Meridian and stops by the Waffle House two or three times a day to eat, drink coffee, talk with friends and smoke a few cigarettes.
Rash, 44, of Hickory, said he won't make as many stops at Waffle House if the city's Smokefree Air Act, which would ban smoking in Meridian restaurants and attached bars, becomes law on Dec. 2.
Rash's comments came one day after the Meridian City Council approved the smoking ordinance by a 3-2 vote. Besides restaurants, the ordinance would ban smoking in such places as sports arenas and museums.
The ordinance also would prohibit smoking within 25 feet of an open window of a restaurant, museum or sports arena.
First-time violators and their owners would face a fine of up to $100. The proposal awaits the approval of Mayor John Robert Smith who has not said whether he will sign or veto the ordinance.
Councilmen Mary B. Perry of Ward 2, Barbara Henson of Ward 3 and Bobby Smith of Ward 5 voted for the Smokefree Air Act. Councilmen George Thomas of Ward 1 and Jesse E. Palmer Sr. of Ward 4 voted against it.
Residents like Rash will have their first opportunity to discuss the ordinance at a 9 a.m. Tuesday meeting in Meridian's municipal courtroom at the downtown police station.
Mayor John Robert Smith called the special meeting on Wednesday.
The city council made several changes to the ordinance before giving final approval. Tuesday's meeting will allow residents to learn about the details and offer their opinions.
While the ban is aimed primarily at restaurants and attached bars, it also will include health care centers, polling places, licensed child care and adult day care centers, libraries, museums and other establishments that are already prohibited to allow smoking by state statute.
Ashley G. Bell, a state advocacy and health alliance director of the American Heart Association, said she hopes the ordinance remains in place.

News

PHOTOS: Community turns out for Phil Campbell Festival

Franklin County

University of Alabama announces spring graduates

Franklin County

Dean’s, president’s lists students named for UA spring term

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Hugh Plott

Galleries

PHOTOS: Inaugural downtown Russellville Art Crawl winners

Galleries

PHOTOS: Russellville Public Library holds princess, pirates bounce party

Franklin County

Northwest Shoals Community College signs 24 students in FAME class

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Tony Chard

News

Car show benefit helps raise needed funds

News

Russellville High School varsity cheerleaders attend UCA cheer camp

Franklin County

NWSCC receives $18,000 in grants from Dollar General Literacy Foundation

News

Russellville equine therapy visits library program

News

Steam locomotive delivery to Red Bay delayed, arrives July 1

News

Local author holds book signing at RPL

Franklin County

Former Russellville resident performs ‘Miracle Worker’

News

Presenting: Miss Phil Campbell

Franklin County

All American Tang Soo Do students recognized

News

Russellville High School students sign to pursue fine arts careers

Franklin County

Football Funday, special needs probowl take place June 15

Galleries

PHOTOS: RMS students take the stage for spring sing

News

Russellville member named among finalists for GFWC Jennie Award

East Franklin

East Franklin Junior High celebrates May 21 graduation

Belgreen

Belgreen Class of 2024 celebrates graduation

Franklin County

Local churches plan Vacation Bible School programs

x