Town Hall Meeting to be held on Courthouse Amendment

* MARK THE DATE *
On Thursday, October 11, 2018, a community forum/town hall meeting will be held from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Clay County Farmer’s Market to discuss the amendment that will be on the November 5th ballot. 

This amendment states to vote yes or no to holding state court in the courthouse for as long as it is habitable.

The amendment has been the subject of much controversy due to lack of knowledge on this matter. Hopefully, this meeting will shed some light for the citizens so they can vote with knowledge.

The meeting will be conducted by a guest moderator and security will be provided. All citizens are encouraged to attend. 

The Silent Casualties of War; Johnny’s Story

By: Tammy Andrews

Every year, we give thanks, show our appreciation, and pay our respects for Veterans everywhere, past and present.  This one day a year seems like such a meager gesture for their honorable service to our country.

And sadly, we see and hear about the casualties of war that seem to occur every day. From the 624 acres of Arlington Cemetery, which is filled with the 400,000 graves of the men and women who gave their all over the last 150 years, to the soldiers who arrive in a pine box every day, draped with an American Flag after losing the fight to ongoing war in third world countries who know nothing more than to fight every day.

These brave men and women can never be repaid for their service to our country, for it takes a spectacular human being to put their life on the line every day for our freedom.  While casualties of war are expected along the way, it still hurts our hearts to see a life cut short.

But what about the silent casualties of war? The ones who are so eat up on the inside with battle scars that they never recover and eventually succumb to the internal injuries. Sometimes the greatest wounds a veteran carries are the ones you can’t see, for the war isn’t over for some just because the guns stopped firing…. 

On September 12, 2014, Johnny Ray Johnson became a silent casualty of war at the tender age of 23 when he took his own life, ending years of a tormented soul all because the weight of heavy combat was too much for him to bear.  He was a fun loving, happy person, loved by all who knew him, a loyal and loving son, faithful friend, and an exceptional soldier. He had a big heart, and loved fighting for his country, but he was never built to become the callous war machine he needed to be when the situation called for it…and he didn’t know how to lay it down either, when it was all over.

It had always been Johnny’s plan in high school to become a career Marine. After begging his mother, she reluctantly signed for him to enter the Corp at age 17. So, after graduating from Clay County High School, he was off to Basic Training on Parris Island. He set out with an eagerness to save the world, but the boy who would return would never be the same….

Soon after Johnny completed his Basic Training, he returned home and it was then his mother, Donna Wesley had noticed a difference in him. “It was if the light had gone out of his eyes” she said. But when she would try to talk to him, he would just shake it off with “I’m just shell-shocked, it just happens to some people and I’ll get used to it.”

After his Leave, Johnny went back to active duty, serving 8th and I at the White House for the next 2 years, which included ceremonial events, guard duty for the White House and diplomats. The greatest task of this duty he took to heart was with laying a fallen soldier to rest. He took special care of the military families who had lost a loved one, because that’s just the kind of person he was.

Johnny enjoyed his assignment in D.C., and was offered it again, but he felt it was his duty to fight, just like he had planned when he signed up, so he went up for deployment.

Johnny was deployed to Afghanistan soon after, where he would spend a little over seven months in heavy combat zones. Johnny came home after his deployment, but he was never quite the same.

Johnny seemed even more troubled when his step father, Jerry Wesley was stricken with cancer of the head and neck in the midst of his active duty. He seemed to be riddled with guilt because he wasn’t able to be there with the only man he had ever known to be his father.  Johnny came home whenever he could, and each time he did, his mother watched the fun-loving son that she had always known fade away a little every time. And as much as she tried, he would not talk about it.

When his troubles threatened to overcome him, Johnny reached his breaking point and just wanted out of the Corp, no matter the cost.  Johnny decided the only thing to do to end his torment was accept an Administrative Separation, and hopefully leave the pain of war behind him. He lost his GI Bill and healthcare, and part of his VA Benefits.  But the voices of war continued on in his head, and his shoulders were weary with haunting battle scars he couldn’t seem to shake.

But he was plagued with the haunting memories and night terrors that were always there and nothing seemed to help. He began a dangerous downward spiral to forget this pain, but that only made matters worse. He eventually opened up about a couple of disturbing events to his mother of where he had to take a life at one time, and another where they were under an ambush situation involving heavy fire and he had to call in for air support. In the mass confusion, he was worried that he may have given the wrong coordinates. He was haunted that possibly innocent lives were lost in this situation.

Johnny was formally diagnosed with PTSD (Post-Traumatic- Stress-Disorder) only a week before he died. He was prescribed an anti-depressant, but would not live long enough to see if this would cure his pain. Five days later, his parents would find him in his home with a gunshot wound straight through the heart, as if he were trying to free the pain once and for all from this area. Donna performed CPR on her son until first responders could arrive, but it was too late. “In my heart, I knew it was too late, but I had to do something, I couldn’t just stand there”, she said.

johnny 3

After Johnny’s death, Donna was surprised to receive a letter from one of Johnny’s fellow soldier’s, who had served by his side and apparently knew him well. She shed tears while reading this letter, but was comforted to know that somewhere in the world, was a person who actually did know what kind of wonderful man her son really was. The long letter went into detail about the comraderies they had shared throughout most of their military career and how much Johnny meant to him and all those he served with.

***Donna, I’m writing your family this letter to let you guys know how much your son meant to me. When I found out about Johnny, I broke and I wanted nothing more than to be with Johnny’s family and friends sharing stories about how he touched all of us. Your son was a great person and one of my best friends. I am so lucky to have known him and I miss him every day. He was one of the most selfless men I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Johnny was like family, he was my brother. ***

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One of Johnny’s best friends, who enlisted at the same time, but actually ended up being sent off two weeks later than Johnny due to a recruiter mix up, so they got separated along the way, summed it up with these words: “A tender heart goes one of three ways in the Corp. Either it becomes frozen or later thaws, but partially dead, like mine. Or it becomes replaced with hate and discontent, or it is freed from this heartless world by death.”

Pre-military, Johnny Ray Johnson was a cheerful, joyful person who always into some kind of harmless mischief and looking for a laugh. This boy is the one who Donna tries to cling to in her memory, but it is hard to do when she can’t get the images of the haunted man who took his own life out of her head, all because he didn’t know what to do with the shell of the person he had become. It’s a bitter struggle for her every day. “It’s a day to day struggle, and sometimes it’s minute to minute” she says.

johnny 1

Donna sums up her views on her son’s death with these remarks: “It might not be right, the way Johnny went about it, but it’s the only way he knew how to handle it. It’s so hard for veterans to get help they need to overcome the programming that is needed to build a good soldier. I understand you have to have a certain amount of toughness about you, but you got to find a way to undo it before they throw them back out into society, where it’s a different world. They need to be re-assimilated and rebuilt in order to survive in the world and none of this happens.   What they’re doing is just not enough and something needs to change.”

My son was not the only one who suffered from PTSD, and lost the battle. There are others out there who need help, so they don’t feel they have to take the same extreme measures my son did. And after everything he went through, my son was denied a military presence at his burial and would not have even received a flag, had it not been for the insistence of my son- In- law. Johnny has paid the ultimate price for a system flawed. “

Editor’s note: Let me just say that I have the utmost respect for those who serve in the military, but this was a story I thought needed to be told. You can argue and say that maybe Johnny just wasn’t cut out to be military material, and maybe that’s true to an extent, but he wanted to serve his country and that’s a trait to be admired. The problem is that these are kids we are sending into combat, and we expect them to immediately become men. Inside every soldier who has been at war are visions he/she cannot silence. You may not see the churning from the outside, but it’s always there.

God Bless our Soldiers for everything they do for us just so we can taste the sweetness of freedom.  It seems a mere Thank You is not enough.

Johnny left this world a Decorated Veteran;  serving in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom and had been awarded the Combat Action Ribbon (Afghanistan), Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with star and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Happy Veteran’s Day, Johnny, Thank you for your service…..


Multiple Units Respond to Woods Fire

Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018- Millerville Volunteer Fire Department responded to a woods fire on Gilpin Rd around 1:00 pm. Millerville soon requested mutual aid from Tri-Community and Forestry. Approximately 6 to 8 acres burned before containment.

Ashland Elementary Placed On Brief Lockdown

UPDATED INFO: Second Release Regarding Lockdown at School

On August 30, Officers from the Ashland Police Department along with deputies from the Clay County Sheriff’s department responded to a hang up call going into 911, that was reportedly made from some where near the Ashland Elementary School. Officers were unable to prove anything was actually credible, and the school was taken off of lockdown before the school was scheduled to be dismissed.


After further investigation, it was determined that a watch was used from within the school to call 911 several times and raised the alarm. The watch was confiscated by the Ashland Police Department, and the child in question was to be sought on Friday, August 31, for questioning.
Because there was never a threat made, and no persons were in danger the school was released back to administrators and will reopen on Friday morning at regular time.

 Chief Stanford has said that the safety of the children and faculty are one of his top priorities and will work with school administrators about addressing any issues that may arise. The Ashland Police Department is committed to helping provide a safe atmosphere for our children to come and learn and continue to grow.

Around 2:06 pm Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, Clay County E-911 received several hang-up calls. The dispatcher as able to answer the phone before the caller could hang up, and received some information that prompted a response from law enforcement.

After the loss of connection, 911 pinged the cell phone number, which was in proximity of Ashland Elementary School. School officials were notified and a standard lockdown protocol was put into place. Ashland Police Officers and Clay County Sheriff Deputies responded to the school.

Ashland Elementary

With the help of school officials, staff and police officers, every classroom was checked, every student was accounted for and everything was in good order.

This matter is under investigation so no other information can be released at this time. If more information becomes available, it will released.

Ashland Police Chief Joseph Stanford would like to thank all of the Officers, Clay County Sheriff Deputies, school officials and staff  as to how this situation was handled.

Superintendent sent this message out to AES parents via schoolcast:

This afternoon, Thursday, August 30, 2018, Ashland Elementary was placed on lockdown due to a potential threat that was received through a phone call placed with 911. The Ashland Police Department, along with Clay County Sheriff department responded and ensure the school was secure and safe. Classes resumed to normal shortly afterwards. Any and all possible threats to our students, faculty and schools will be taken seriously and fully investigated. I want to thank our school faculty and students for following the safety plan procedure. Also, thank you to our law enforcement officers and agencies for their quick response to this potential situation.”


MORRISON ELECTED ALABAMA JR CATTLEMEN ASSOCIATION 2018 PRESIDENT

Montgomery, AL.- On Saturday, July 21, 2018, Michael Morrison of Lineville, was elected President of the Alabama Jr. Cattlemen’s Association at the 2018 AJCA Round-Up. Michael has been a member of AJCA since he was 9 and has been on the Executive Board for 3 years. He is the first person ever from Clay County to hold this prestigious office.

Michael has participated in numerous activities through AJCA, such as exhibiting registered show cows, livestock judging, and leadership activities. He currently attends Gadsden St. Community College where he is an Ambassador. He plans to transfer to Auburn University in the Fall of 2019. He is the son of Mike and Laraine Morrison.

CLAY COUNTY YOUNG FARM FAMILY NAMED BEST IN ALABAMA

Chris and Jordyn Upchurch of Clay County were named Alabama’s 2018 Outstanding Young Farm Family (OYFF) at the Alabama Farmers Federation’s 46th Commodity Producers Conference in Montgomery Aug. 4. Their Rockin U farm in Lineville encompasses over 300 acres, 130 cows and three poultry houses.

As the OYFF, the fourth-generation farmers received over $70,000 in prizes and will compete for the national Achievement Award at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual convention in New Orleans in January. From left are Federation President Jimmy Parnell, Jordyn and Chris.

Escaped Inmate Back in Custody

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The escaped Inmate worker, Shannon Dewayne Waldrop, who walked off job detail at Clay County Jail around 5:30 am on July 14, 2018 is now in custody. Waldrop turned himself in to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, August 18, 2018. This is a late breaking story and I still don’t have all the details. More information to follow soon…


UNAUTHORIZED COURTHOUSE MEETING CONCERNING REFERENDUM BRINGS FIRM RESPONSE FROM COMMISSION

On Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 6:30 pm, a meeting concerning the future of the courthouse was held to in the the Clay County Courthouse with concerned citizens packing the benches of the Hugo Black courtroom.

This meeting was called by Courthouse officials to address the referendum  that will be on the Clay County ballot in the upcoming November election. This Act, SB81, was first introduced into the House by State Senator Gerald Dial which passed through Legislation to be placed on the Clay County Ballot for citizens to vote on in the November election.

BODY:SB81

By Senator Dial 

ENROLLED, An Act,
     To propose a local constitutional amendment for Clay County relating to the location of the state courts; to prohibit the removal of the state courts from the present location at the historical Clay County Courthouse.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:

    Section 1. The following amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, is proposed and shall become valid as a part of the Constitution when all requirements of this act are fulfilled:

PROPOSED AMENDMENT
   (a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares:
        (1) The Clay County Courthouse is a neoclassical revival structure that was designed by C.W. Carlton and completed and dedicated in 1906. The building is surmounted by an impressive two-story high rotunda with a domed roof and cupola that is topped with a sculpture holding the scales of justice.

      (2) The courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 21, 1976, and was restored in 2006 with donations and grants from federal, state, and local governments.

      (3) The courthouse houses the Justice Hugo L. Black Courtroom, designated by the Clay County Commission on April 12, 1993.(b) Upon the ratification of this amendment, the state courts located in Clay County may not be moved from the present location at the historical Clay County Courthouse, provided the structure is standing and habitable.

     Section 2. An election upon the proposed amendment shall be held in accordance with Sections 284 and 284.01 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Sections 284 and 284.01 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, and the election laws of this state.

     Section 3. The appropriate election official shall assign a ballot number for the proposed constitutional amendment on the election ballot and shall set forth the following description of the substance or subject matter of the proposed constitutional amendment:

   “Relating to Clay County, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, prohibiting the removal of the state courts from the historical Clay County Courthouse.

  “Proposed by Act _________”This description shall be followed by the following language:
          “Yes ( ) No ( ).”

Constitutional
Amendments
Courts
Clay County
Courthouses
Counties

Welcoming everyone present in the courtroom was Judge John Rochester, who was very quick to point out that this was not to be a political meeting, nor would it be used as a method to bash the County Commission. Rochester stated this was merely an opportunity to educate the public on the proposed amendment that if passed, would mean that all state courts would be always be held inside the this historic Courthouse, as long as the building remained habitable.

Judge Rochester

Rochester’s speech highlighted some brief history of the on the Courthouse, which was built on 1906 and withstood many eras in time, including the Great Depression, World War I, all the way through Afghanistan. “With every conflict going on along the way, this Courthouse has remained safe. The intent when the courthouse was built over 100 years ago was that the state court would always be held in this courtroom and I think that should always be honored. This is the people’s Courthouse. You built it, you pay for it, and you maintain it. Someone else may be designated to do those tasks, but its still yours.”

Rochester went on to say that they were very proud of the history behind the courthouse, which included the following: ” One of the largest crowds we’ve ever had was the meeting of the African-Methodist Episcopal Church Bishops and had their meeting here, with Bishops from three different states. At the times, this was unheard of, but we’re proud of it. When women first were able to vote, they came to this courthouse to do it. When African-Americans and women were first able to serve on juries, they did it here. That’s some of the history of this place and we have to protect and support it. If we’re allowed to maintain state offices here by the voting people on Nov. 6th,  then the courthouse will remain open and we will have many, many opportunities for long-term funding thru grants to protect this place. I think its important to preserve it for our future generations.”

Other who spoke on behalf of the amendment were District Judge Jim Malone Circuit Judge David Law, Talladega Probate Judge Billy Atkinson, Revenue Commissioner Ronald Robertson and Clay County Commissioner Ray Milstead, District 3 . 

Yesterday, at Monday’s County Commission meeting, Commissionershad a firm response to the unauthorized meeting, to which four of the five commissioners were not even aware of until the last minute on that Tuesday.

Commissioner Bennie Morrison opened the discussion with this statement:

 In regards to so much misinformation coming out from the meeting on the courthouse on Tuesday night. First off, I’d like to make it clear that this is my response and not a statement made by the Commission as a whole. Those of you who instigated this meeting should be ashamed of yourselves. Not once have one of you attended a commission meeting to discuss the financial issues and responsibilities going on with the courthouse. There’s a lot of misinformation going around regarding the amendment to “save the courthouse” that is going to be on the November ballot. I have a copy of  the Amendment right here and you can feel free to look at it, but  that’s not the case. There’s not anything on here about saving the courthouse. It’s an Amendment to prevent the state court from being removed from the courthouse. I think it is absolutely saddening that they would have a meeting that was centered around something that we are physically and financially responsible for with this Board of Commissioners and four of the Commissioners be excluded from that meeting.

 This county does not belong to a small “click” of people. It belongs to every taxpayer. Everybody’s got the same voice and some people need to learn to treat it like that. If anybody’s  got any questions about what’s going on and what we do out here financially,  we meet the second Monday of every month. Anybody can come to see how we do things, how we spend the county’s money, how we preserve as much of it as we can and the struggles we go through and the people we fight on a daily basis. This is not about politics, this is just a small, rural county trying to get by on a daily basis with the crumbs that fall down on a state level.  It’s despicable to me that someone would form a group and just tell virtual lies about what’s going on and spin it into something that it’s not. To my knowledge, it has never been spoken in this chamber that anyone wanted to tear down the courthouse. But if anyone knows anything about that, please inform me because I’m unaware. We’re not trying to do anything secretive here. We all got elected and we are just trying to do our job as best we can. 


Here is more from Morrison’s formal statement not discussed at the meeting: Your group may meet secretly at night, but we meet publicly each month to discuss these and other issues. And for those of you who perpetrated the blatant lie that any commissioner had ever mentioned tearing down the courthouse, you are the problem. This is not politics. This is a small rural county that is struggling to keep its head above water. When any group lies to achieve their goal, it really speaks volumes to the character of those involved. Answer me this. Why would a group of individuals violate the law in order to push their agenda. Because that is what has just happened. Their was a resolution passed to ban after hours use of the courthouse. They violated that. Not to mention violating the laws pertaining to political meetings on county property. So to put this in perspective, this group has decided they are above the laws in our county. Leaders are defined biblically as those who listen. This little group that is pushing this agenda is not a group of leaders. Leaders don’t meet in secret. We all answer to someone higher. Seems to me that some of these folks around here have forgotten that they answer to the law. If they focused more on doing the jobs they are elected to do instead of trying to exert power, we would all be better off. And for the record. Stop lying to the public and telling them there is a amendment on the ballot to save the courthouse. There is no such thing. The proposed amendment clearly states that it is to prevent to movement of the STATE court from the courthouse as long as it is.

Chairman Ricky Burney agreed with Morrison and followed with this statement: ” I first learned about the meeting at the last second.  I want to know who set this meeting up after the 4:30 mark after the courthouse was closed. I think the commission should have been asked first. There is where we are now. If any organization can have a meeting after the courthouse is closed, then I need to take a key and unlock the door for everybody else. I do not agree that just one group can have a meeting whenever they want and others cannot. I don’t care who they are, where they come from,  what color they are. In my personal opinion, these people responsible should have been arrested because it’s a violation of the law. I don’t care if you’re a judge, a lawyer, or a county commissioner. If you do it, it’s wrong. For the commission to sit back and allow this happen, what are we going to do the next time? We need to stand up and follow this law since we’re the ones who set this. I’m fine with opening the courthouse up after 4:30 too, but if we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it for everybody. Because I don’t like to be shut out when somebody else was given the opportunity to go in. We can’t back off because of who the person is, just got to do what you got to do. Another situation that really concerns me is the Hugo Black Courtroom. Now, I don’t know who named it that,  and I’ve been trying to go through the minutes to find out, and people can call it what they want to, but we need to make sure that everyone knows that this is the Clay County Courthouse. It may not matter to nobody else, but it matters to me and some of the people I represent.  Now, I want it recorded in the minutes that this is the Clay County Courthouse and not the Hugo Black Courthouse. 

Commissioner Donald Harris said he was on the Courthouse Security Committee and he wasn’t even informed about about the meeting.

County Attorney Greg Varner’s response: It is my opinion that the County Commission has control over the Courthouse. I think that the Commission has the authority to do so and I stand by that position. Several months ago, in the minutes, it is recorded that after some discussion, Commissioner Morrison made a motion for a policy prohibiting the use of the Courthouse after hours for non-court activities. This was seconded by Commissioner Greg Denney. The motion was passed unanimously. That notice of the resolution was then placed on the courthouse doors on April 9,2018.  However, Judges are allowed to have meetings pertaining to their offices. 

My suggestion going forward to move this in a positive way. I’ve always felt that the commission was put in a very difficult position. It’s very easy for us to say “save the courthouse” but you were all put in the financially figuring out how to do that. I think it’s time that all the stakeholders from the courthouse to the commissioners  to every person involved that we come together for the purpose to find a long-term solution to do this.

Editor’s note: People, please educate yourself on this amendment so that you know what you’re voting on. 

BOE Meeting Summary 8-06-18, LES Selected as Governor’s Bicentennial Schools

The Clay County Board of Education met Monday, August 6, 2018 with a relatively short agenda. The following agenda items were approved in this session:

  •  Approval to declare 3 commercial reach in freezers and 2 commercial coolers at Ashland Elementary surplus and advertise to take sealed bids on each* Bids will be opened August 29, 2018 at 10:00 AM at Central Office.
  • Approval of 17 Personnel Action items, which included some of the following:
Employ:
  • Erika Laverick as Speech Language teacher
  • Summer Martin as Collaborative teacher at Lineville Elementary School
Contract:
Susanne Mullinax as half time Gifted teacher for the 2018-2019 school year
Transfer:
Alison Todd as 1/2 Speech/Language teacher and 1/2 School Psychometrist

For Your Information:
• The next Board Meeting and FY 19 Budget Hearing will be August 30, 2018 at 4:00.
• The second FY 19 Budget Hearing will be September 6, 2018.
• The ETF (Education Trust Fund) Advancement and Technology allocation plan has been approved.

The Board will now begin the process of requesting quotes for renovating Ashland Elementary School’s boys and girl’s bathrooms and installing security doors at the entrance of Central Junior High School. Any remaining funds will be used to replace inefficient heating and cooling systems.

Congratulations to Lineville Elementary School for has been selected as Governor’s Bicentennial Schools!

Clay County Schools representatives, Superintendent Billy Walker, Dr. Charla DeLeo, Principal Tim Pilkington, and Mr. Brad Jordan honorably represented Clay County and District 3 on behalf of Lineville Elementary School, a Bicentennial School.
On August 3, 2018, Governor Kay Ivey announced the 200 Alabama Bicentennial Schools. Each school received a $2,000 grant to support a year-long project designed to strengthen connections between campuses and their communities.
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In summer 2019, the 200 schools will submit final reports on their projects, and three schools per Congressional district will be designated Alabama Bicentennial Schools of Excellence.

These 21 schools will participate in commemoration ceremonies in Montgomery on December 14, 2019, the culmination of Alabama’s bicentennial.

 

Ashland Restaurant Owner Faced with Multiple Felony Drug Charges

July 25, 2018

PRESS RELEASE
On July 23, 2018 in the early morning hours, the Ashland Police Department, along with the Clay County Sheriff’s Department and Lineville Police Department, conducted a search warrant on the residence at 920 Peach Orchard Road, the house of Billy F. Campbell.

Upon entry Mr. Campbell was found and detained so that the search could commence. Once inside the home officers recovered large amounts of methamphetamine and marijuana, along with other narcotics and paraphernalia used for the processing, using, or sale of narcotics, as well as a firearm. 

Once the items were recovered Mr. Campbell was taken into custody and transported to Coosa County Jail for holding until all of the evidence was gone through. 

While searching the outside buildings of the residence, a liquor still, used in the making of illegal liquor, was found. At this point the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) alcohol division was called in to collect the still and prepare charges for the illegal still. 

After further investigation of the house it was determined that Mr. Campbell’s business may have been involved in the illegal drug trade, and a search warrant was sought for his restaurant.

Upon approval of a judge the search warrant was executed on the Blue and White Restaurant, on AL-77, in Ashland, and more methamphetamine and marijuana was found in the restaurant, along with more paraphernalia and several firearms.

After all of the evidence was sorted and weighed official charges were filed with the Circuit Clerk of Clay County, and Mr. Campbell was arrested for the following charges:
• Trafficking Methamphetamine, a Class A Felony
• Possession of a Controlled Substance, a Class D Felony
• Possession of a Controlled Substance, a Class D Felony
• Possession of Marijuana 1st Degree, a Class C Felony
• Felony Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class B Felony
• Felony Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class B Felony
• Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute, a Class B Felony
• Persons Prohibited to Possess a Firearm, a Class C Felony
• Persons Prohibited to Possess a Firearm, a Class C Felony
• Persons Prohibited to Possess a Firearm, a Class C Felony
• Persons Prohibited to Possess a Firearm, a Class C Felony
• Possession of an illegal liquor still, a Class C Felony

Below is a short list of some of the evidence that was collected from the scene:
• 163.3 g of Methamphetamine
• Approximately 1 g of Crack Cocaine
• 15.5 ounces of Marijuana
• 4 firearms

Warrants have been obtained for the arrest of Jason Campbell, Mr. Campbell’s son, but at the time of release he had not been apprehended. Contact had been made with the Drug Enforcement Agency, and they were looking into adopting the case.

Long-time Restaurant Owner Arrested in Large Drug Bust

Press Release issued on the execution of search warrants issued for long-time restaurant owner,  Billy Campbell’s home and business,  The Blue & White, in Ashland.

On July 23, 2018 the Ashland Police Department, along with the Clay County Sheriff’s Department and Lineville Police Department, conducted search warrants on the residence of 920 Peach Orchard Road, and The Blue and White Restaurant, located on AL-77 in Ashland.

Due to the amount of evidence that was collected at those scenes, the charges are still being discussed and decided upon. Once we have completed our investigations into this, and the charges have been filed we will provide more information.Chief Joseph Stanford would like to thank his Investigator Corey Dickinson, and Sergeant Micheal Harris, for their hard work in beginning this investigation, and know with their leadership this is just the beginning.

He would also like to thank Chief Shane Dunnagan, and Sheriff Ray Latham for their cooperation in the matter, because Chief Joseph Stanford knows that without support of our brothers in blue these types of operations could not happen.

The Nitty Gritty – Clay County News and Events