Bentley responds to Toomer's tree poisonings

Gov. Robert Bentley (Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011, WBRC video)
Gov. Robert Bentley (Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011, WBRC video)

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Gov. Robert Bentley is urging Auburn and Alabama fans to be calm in wake of the two oak tree poisonings  at Toomer's Corner. Bentley came to Birmingham Thursday to address a luncheon on healthcare reform. Bentley told FOX6 News he was upset the trees were vandalized.

"I think it's sad to so many people who take football to the extreme that they do. Toomer's Corner means a lot to people at Auburn," Bentley said.

Gov. Bentley had just learned that Harvey Updyke had been arrested and charged with the crime. Bentley says the man should be punished according to the law.

"We need to also feel this is an emotional issue for the people of Auburn. This is like someone coming down and destroying Denny Chimes or Coach Bryant's statute down at the stadium," Bentley said.

Many Auburn fans are upset that the trees will be more than likely will die due to poisoning. The governor is urging Auburn fans not to retaliate in any fashion against the University of Alabama. The governor is asking both fan bases to not let their emotions to get the best of them. "I want people to be very controlled in their response to this. We need all to realize people do things they shouldn't do," Bentley said.

Gov. Bentley has lived in Tuscaloosa, graduated from the University of Alabama and is an Alabama fan. He understands the passion of both sides. The governor also admits there is a dark side of that passion. "We have people on both sides of the issue not very stable," Bentley said.

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