Small Alabama town relies on prayer to face bus driver's death, 5-yr-old's kidnapping - InfoNews

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Small Alabama town relies on prayer to face bus driver's death, 5-yr-old's kidnapping

A sign encouraging prayer for a 5-year-old boy being held hostage, hangs on a fence surrounding Midland City Elementary school Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2013, in Midland City, Ala. Authorities say Jim Lee Dykes, 65 — a decorated Vietnam-era veteran known as Jimmy to neighbors — gunned down a school bus driver and then abducted a 5-year-old boy from the bus, taking him to an underground bunker on his rural property. The driver, 66-year-old Charles Albert Poland Jr., who was shot trying to protect children on his bus, was buried Sunday. (AP Photo/AL.com, Joe Songer)
February 04, 2013 - 12:42 AM

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. - The rural town of Midland City, Ala., has long relied on a strong Christian faith to get by. Now those beliefs have been strongly evidence in the days since a gunman killed a school bus driver, nabbed a 5-year-old boy off the bus and fled with his hostage to an underground bunker.

Police say Jim Dykes killed Charles Albert Poland J. before escaping with the kindergartener. On Sunday, more than 500 people paid final tribute to Poland, hailing him as a hero for protecting the other children on the bus.

Fliers imploring people to pray for the little boy have been put up along with ribbons outside the boy's elementary school. And residents have gathered for candlelight vigils each night to pray for the child in the close-knit Alabama community.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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