A new age of technology is about to dawn on Clay County. In the past, we would have to wait until Wednesday to get our news, the day our local newspaper came out. But that’s all about to change…
Beginning Oct. 1st, get your local happenings as they occur by subscribing to http://www.claycountyweb.com/, a site that will cover local breaking news, a calendar of events, sports scores, business spotlights, tidbits of local history, human interest stories, obituaries, public service announcements, etc.
So, for the very low cost of just $3.95 per month ( to be deducted monthly from debit/credit card), you will have all of the news at your fingertips and no more waiting. That’s just 75 cents more a month than you would pay for the Clay Times-Journal, which is just a weekly paper.
Besides staying up to date on local news, there are also other benefits of being a subscriber. All subscribers will be able to submit any information they wish to share of community interest, such as events, weddings, engagements, school or business related, or even human interest, at no charge. Simply click the submit button to share your information or call Tammy-256-283-4281.
This page will remain active, with clickable links of stories/news to Clay County Web website but a subscription will have to in place to read further details.
In the past, I have tried to keep you all updated on any breaking news, or news of interest that pertained to Clay County and sometimes surrounding counties. But I have fallen short sometimes in these areas due to work, because let’s face it…we all have to make a living, and I am no different. By adding a small subscription fee per person, I will be able to focus completely on keeping everyone up to date on local news and events.
I hope you will all “tune in” to Clay County Web as we embark on a new era. If anyone has any questions on subscriptions or advertisement on Clay County Web, please feel free to message me. Please also share with your friends, especially those who live out of town who still like to keep up with their roots. This website will be perfect for them.
The question of a mass-casualty incident occurring in Clay County is not just an if…it’s a when. And as with anything, preparedness is always the key. Today, Central High Sr. High students were able to get a glimpse into the makings of a deadly accident scene as some students actually took part in a mass-casualty exercise.
(Photo gallery below)
The makeshift scenario of a car loaded with students that had rear-ended a school bus full of students due to texting while driving, causing the bus to get pushed into an oncoming train, was set up in the parking area in front at the Baseball field at Central High School on Sept. 24th with students and faculty present.
Just before the test exercise began at 9:45 am, Clay County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Willis spoke to the students about the importance of this drill and how your life could change in an instant by texting and driving.
As the test exercise drill began, you could hear the chilling sounds of the student’s screams in the bus as students began to pour out of the bus drenched in fake blood, running and screaming wildly as the emergency personnel began to arrive on the scene. A triage station was quickly established, as the wounded were freed from the wreckage and carried out on backboards and tagged after a patient assessment was performed. They were placed in the appropriate areas in triage to be transported. The wounded were taken via ambulance to Clay County Hospital by extent of injury.
- Red- Immediate ( Life-threatening)
- Yellow-Delayed (Serious, Non life- threatening)
- Green-minor ( walking wounded).
In the end, there were 18 injuries, with 2 dead at the scene. It was an eye-opening experience for all who observed.
The following organizations played a key part in the exercise:
- Clay County Rescue Squad
- Lineville Fire Department
- Ashland Fire Department
- Lineville Police Department
- Ashland Police Department
- Clay County Sheriff’s Office
- Clay County Coroner Dale Rush
- Clay County Hospital
- Clay County Emergency Management Agency
- Clay County 911
- CHS Health Science Students
- CHS Drama Club
This Mass Casualty Exercise sponsored by Clay County Healthcare Authority.
All of this information is still unconfirmed at this time and I will update it when I get the official info.
It is my understanding that a suspect taken in custody sometime around 1:00 AM this morning escaped from the back seat of the police car in front of the Randolph County Jail.
The suspect in question, last name Smith is all I have at this time, was being transported to the Randolph County Jail, when the escape occurred. Smith was not going quietly and had already had to be tased three times, but still somehow managed to get his handcuffs from behind him to the front and kicked out the back door window of the car. Smith was then re-handcuffed behind his back and had his feet tied up, but still somehow managed to pull off the escape.
Smith ran toward the 1st Avenue area and a search ensued. A thermal imagery chopper was brought in, as well as tracking dogs, but there was no sign of him. The last word I got was that Smith’s whereabouts are still unknown at this time.
It is unknown why Smith was taken into custody at this time, but he is a convicted felon, after given a 15 year sentence, for assault and attempting to elude approximately 15 years ago. Randolph County Schools are still on lockdown at this time. More updates to follow. Again, this is all unconfirmed information and I am waiting on official word from Randolph County Sheriff’s Office.
Below is an official press release issued by Clay County Sheriff Ray Latham
On Sunday afternoon at approximately 6pm, Clay County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a possible homicide on Pinhoti Trail in the Cheaha Mountain area near the State Park. Several agencies were on the scene due to the uncertainty of the location of the crime. Further investigation and the location of the crime scene showed that the crime had taken place in Clay County just off the Pinhoti Trail near the State Park. Investigators have charged Loren Daniel Bunner age 20 of Vincent, Alabama with Murder. Bunner is currently in the Clay County Detention Center on $150,000.00 bond.
Due to the on-going investigation, no further information is available at this time. Sheriff Latham extends special thanks to the Oxford Police Department, Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville State University Forensics, U.S. Forestry Agents, Cleburne County Search & Rescue and the Clay County Search & Rescue for their assistance during this investigation.
On August 14, 2015, the Sheriff’s Office investigated allegations of sexual misconduct of a minor. Charged in that investigation was Richard Walter Logan age 65 of Cragford, Alabama, charged with Sexual Abuse 2nd. Further investigation brought additional charges against Logan. On August 24, 2015, Investigators charged Logan with 2 counts of Sexual Abuse of a Child under 12. Logan remains in the Clay County Detention Center with bonds totaling $30,000.00.
On August 29, 2015 at approximately 1am, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a location of stolen items taken in a burglary that had occurred recently in Clay County. Investigators were able to recover some of those items in the Ashland area which resulted in the following persons being charged. Christopher Shawn Spivey age 18 of Cragford is charged with Burglary 3rd and Theft of Property 2nd with bonds set totaling $10,000.00. Also as a result of that investigation, charged was Heflin Wayne Spivey, age 39 and Kisha Marie Logan Spivey, age 35, both of Cragford. Each has been charged with Receiving Stolen Property with bonds set at $5000.00 each. All remain in the Clay County Detention Center.
Press release issued by Clay County Sheriff, Ray Latham
On Sunday afternoon at approximately 6pm, Clay County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a possible homicide on Pinhoti Trail in the Cheaha Mountain area near the State Park in Clay County. Sheriff’s Investigators have charged 20 year old Loren Daniel Bunner of Vincent, Alabama with Murder. Sheriff Latham states that this investigation is currently on-going and a more informative press release will be provided once the investigation is completed. Bunner is currently in the Clay County Detention Center under a $150,000 bond.
More to come later. Stay tuned…
Below is a press release issued by Ashland Police Chief Joseph Stanford on Saturday’s lewd incident arrest.
On August 21, 2015, the Ashland Police department received a call about a man involved in lewd behavior in the Dollar General parking lot. Officers responded and searched for the suspect but was unable to locate the person responsible. Officers from the Lineville Police Department advised our officers of a similar incident that had occurred in their jurisdiction, who the suspect was.
On August 22, 2015, the Ashland Police Department received two separate calls about similar behavior at two locations. The witnesses were able to identify the male involved was identified as Adam Waldrop, age 30, of Lineville. Warrants were obtained for his arrest in the cases, and the other agencies in the County were notified of the charges.
At approximately 5:30 PM, Mr. Waldrop was located in Lineville’s police jurisdiction and officers attempted to apprehend him. The suspect was able to evade capture for a short time before being apprehended by law enforcement. He was captured a short time after, and was taken into custody by an Ashland Officer and was transported to the department for processing.
The suspect was charged with Indecent Exposure and Harassment, and transported to the Clay County Detention Center, where he is currently being held on $2000 bond.
Ashland Police Chief Joseph Stanford would like to extend appreciation to the departments that assisted in the apprehension of the suspect. Any further questions regarding this should be forwarded through his office. He can be reached at 256-354-2122.
The following press release was issued by Lineville Police Department Chief Monty Giddens involving this same individual
On August 19, 2015 Lineville Police Department received complaints of Indecent Behavior in Fred’s parking lot about 8:30am and another Incident of the same nature in Dollar General parking lot about 2:35pm the same day.
Later that day, approximately 3:47pm, Lineville Police made contact with the person they believe to have committed these acts at the intersection of Highway 49 and East College Street in Lineville. Officers arrested Edward Adam Waldrop for Public Lewdness and Indecent Exposure in relations to the two earlier incidents. Mr. Waldrop was transported to Lineville Police Department where he later made bond and was released.
On August 22, 2015, Ashland Police Department contacted Lineville Police Department and advised they had warrants for Edward Adam Waldrop for similar acts that had occurred in their city earlier. Lineville and Ashland Police went to Mr. Waldrop’s residence at 64974 Highway 49 where he was taken into custody and transported to Ashland Police Department.
On August 5, 2015 at approximately 12:03 pm, Lineville Police Department received a call from an employee at Mapco about a suspicious person outside their store. Lineville Police Department immediately dispatched two officers to that location.
From the time the initial call call and officer arrival, they got details of what had just occurred and the description of the suspicious person, who is now the subject.
Officers began searching the area for the suspect and asked for assistance from City Maintenance and Water Board employees and set up a perimeter from Hwy 9, Hwy 49, Wesobulga St and South St.
Clay County Sheriff’s Department sent a couple of deputies and members of the public even began assisting. After a lengthy search and foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody around Mitchell St. and Jackson Springs Road area.
Those arrested were Darius Lavon Hale, a 19 yr old male from Childersburg, Alabama. Mr. Hale was charged with Theft of Property 2nd and Attempting to Elude. Mr. Hale was taken to the Clay County Jail and bond was set at $7500.
After an investigation, Haley Carin Caldwell was also charged with Theft of Property 2nd and taken to Clay County Jail and her bond was set at $5,000.
After the investigation, we believe the victim, who was a juvenile and his information will not be released, had agreed to sell his phone to the suspects. This agreement was reached through social media. All along, the plan was to steal the victim’s phone and turn around to sell it.
To make things worse, we believe Mr. Hale was armed with a hand gun. This is a perfect example of how dangerous it is to use social media when dealing with people you don’t know. You can never be sure what their intentions may be.
We do want to thank the Clay County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance. We also want to extend special Thanks to City employees, outside the Police Department, as well as member of the public who helped us with the search that led to the arrest. Thankfully, we were able to get the suspect into custody and no one was hurt.
By: Tammy Andrews
It’s funny how particular events will stand out in your mind and remain plastered there throughout your lifetime. It is with a sad heart that I bring you this story. It one of a beautiful person who fought many battles throughout her short life. She will forever be known as one of life’s greatest warriors to me…
In 2009, I covered an accident when I was working for the Clay Times-Journal that I will never forget. The one-vehicle accident occurred on Thursday, May 21 around 9:00 PM. After receiving the call that I needed to go get a picture, I set out with my camera in hand to Crooked Creek Bridge area on Hwy 49S, where the accident scene was filled with rescue and volunteer workers, who were actively working to free the trapped occupant.
Working wrecks like that was always the worst part of the job for me, because I always felt it was a violation of privacy for the victims and their families, not to mention, because it was such a small town, I usually knew the victim(s). This time was no exception. To this day, I still hate working accident scenes.
I soon learned that the entrapped victim of the vehicle was Donna Kennedy, the sister of a friend of mine and a lady I knew and interacted with a great deal because she worked as a cashier at Fred’s.
While emergency personnel worked feverishly to free Donna, I sat and waited for my photo op, because I wasn’t going to take a picture while she was still entrapped in the mangled vehicle, just in case her injuries were life threatening.
Donna’s vehicle had come to rest basically “between a rock and a hard place”, I was told, because it had rolled on its side and was up against a tree in such a manner that tested the resourcefulness of the emergency personnel. This was a situation that if wasn’t handled appropriately, could result in even more injuries for Donna if failed. It was a task that would take hours to free her from the wreckage and all hands were needed.
Donna remained conscious within the confines of the wreckage while the vehicle had to be cut away from her piece by piece. CCRS President Ricky Farr referred to Donna as a “real trooper” because she was awake and talked to them the entire time. “I can’t imagine how she felt, being trapped that way, I’m sure she was scared to death but she kept talking”, said Farr.
A Lifesaver had been paged out and was waiting to fly her out. Omniflight personnel joined in the rescue, and as soon as they were able to get to her, still entrapped, did as much as an assessment of the patient. An IV was started and a backboard carefully put in place to free Donna from her nightmare. She was then flown out.
The entire ordeal lasted for 3 hours. Donna suffered several broken bones, including several ribs, both wrists, an arm and one leg, with many lacerations. Her recovery was a long one…one she never really fully came back from.
Donna and her children would have another accident approximately 2 years later, when a deer that ran out in front of her causing her to flip her vehicle. Donna would never drive again.
Neither of these incidents were the first time she had a brush with death. In 2004, complications from a gastric bypass surgery almost took her life. In fact, she crashed several times on the table and some afterward. Her situation was a very critical one, but she was finally sent home after a lengthy hospital stay with a long recovery ahead of her.
Through every ordeal she survived, she never lost her sense of humor or her sheer will to live. She loved life, her family, and her children, Whitney and Hannah, more than anything else in the world.
Just recently, Donna went to the ER very sick, with breathing issues. She was diagnosed with pneumonia and sent home with medication. But she didn’t get any better.
The next night she would have to return to the ER with serious breathing problems. She was transported to UAB and further tests revealed Donna had a hernia on small intestine, which was the site of a very bad infection. The infection had also traveled to her lungs as well. She was medically sedated and put on a breathing tube. She underwent a five-hour surgery the next day to remove the hernia and rid her body of the infection. Doctors informed the family this infection could have possibly stemmed from a suture of her botched gastric bypass surgery eleven years before.
After the surgery, Donna was placed in a medically induced coma to allow her body to heal and fight off the infection in her lungs. With every obstacle she had overcome in her life, this one was the worst.
Sadly, this was one Donna would not overcome. Tests revealed she had suffered a series of strokes, causing her brain to stop functioning. She was considered brain dead and placed on life support. The family was given no hope at all, leaving them with one of the most difficult choices any family could ever make.
As many of you already know, Donna Kennedy passed away yesterday afternoon, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015, after she was taken off of life support. She was just 39 years old. And with all that had happened to her throughout her life, I’d venture to say she now wears the brightest, most beautiful set of golden wings that sparkle throughout the heavens.
What can I say about Donna? Well, I didn’t know her as well as some did, but I can tell you that she had this quirky sense of humor that would keep you laughing. She was a matter of fact kind of person and would tell you exactly what she thought. Every time she checked me out at Fred’s, I would leave there smiling.
Donna’s death comes just two months after her granddaughter, Allie, was laid to rest after a very premature birth. This broke Donna’s heart, but it is one of the few things that brings comfort to her family to know she is up there with Allie now, watching over her.
Funeral services for Donna will be Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 11:00 A.M. at Benefield Funeral Home in Ashland with Rev. Jim Wilcox and Rev. J. J. Burkhalter officiating. Burial will follow in the New Prospect Baptist Church Cemetery.
The family will receive friends at Benefield Funeral Home in Ashland on Tuesday, August 11 from 5:30 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. and until service time on Wednesday.
Donna had no life insurance. Clay County Cycle Club will host Benefit Bike Ride in her memory on September 19th. If anyone is interested in donating to the burial expenses, please contact Brady Pitts.
Rest easy, Donna, your fight is over and you will be sorely missed…
By: Tammy Andrews
A call to Lineville Police Dept was made today between 12 and 1 from Lineville Mapco stating that a black male, wearing a white t shirt wrapped around his head who was loitering and acting suspiciously. The clerk on duty said she became very uneasy when he came out from behind the building suddenly as she was taking her break.
Lineville Police Investigator Chris Mathews responded to the scene and was met by a frantic juvenile who claimed the perpetrator had just snatched his cell phone out of his hands. When the suspect saw Mathews, he immediately ran. The perpetrator was ensued on foot, and some in vehicles that led to a 45 minute chase.
Local authorities, city workers and some volunteers combed the perimeter of South St, Parker St, Hwy 49S and 9N searching for the suspect. He was spotted again running across Hwy 9 and crossed over to Jackson Springs Rd, before he was apprehended around the Mitchell Street area by some amazing teamwork.
Through the joint efforts of Lineville City Maintenance workers, Lineville Police Department, along with Lineville Police Investigator Chris Mathews, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, and several volunteers, surrounded the perpetrator, forcing his surrender.
Mathews wished to extend his gratitude to all these parties who helped make this capture possible. Clay County Rescue Squad was called to LPD to evaluate the suspect in custody and he refused transport.
More information will be released at a later date.