Clay County BOE Meeting Summary- May 18, 2017

The Clay County Board of Education met Thursday, May 18 for the regular monthly session.
Agenda items approved during this session approved were as follows:
Approval for the Central High School Band and Auxiliaries to perform on a cruise to Nassau, Bahamas during Spring Break March 24-28, 2018, at no cost to the Board.
Personnel Action Items Approved Included the Following:


  •  Kathy Crenshaw as Central High School Teacher, Effective June 1, 2017
  •  Laura Endress as Central High School Teacher, Effective June 1, 2017
  • Ada Hardy as Bus Driver, Effective June 1, 2017
  • Barbara McLean as Elementary Teacher at AES-
  • Part Time – Summer
  • Kevin Cornin as Driver Education Teacher
  • Laura Endress as Credit Recovery Teacher
 Contract Services for 1/2 day (School Year Aug. 2017  –  May 2018)
  • Kathy Crenshaw at Central High School – 1/2 day
  •  Laura Endress at Central High School – 1/2 day


Item #4 – To change our current endorsements from “Advanced” to “Honors”,   was tabled pending further review.

 The next scheduled Board meetings are June 1, 2017 and June 29, 2017. April financials will be available at the June 1, 2017 meeting. 

Ashland Dispatcher Suffers Indirect Lightning Hit

Below is a press release issued from Ashland Police Chief Joseph Stanford:

On May 20, 2017 during the storms that came through our area, the Ashland Police Department received damages from an indirect lightning strike.

Our dispatcher, Amber Nickolson was talking to the Clay County E911 dispatcher when lightning struck the light control box on the corner of AL-9N and AL-77S. The strike caused a surge to travel into the police department and damage several appliances in the dispatch area, along with causing injury to Ms. Nickolson.

Ms. Nickolson did not initially report the injury, rather did her job getting her officer en route to multiple calls before asking for treatment. She finally did call and request that someone relieve her so that she could go get checked out.

She was treated and released from Clay County Hospital, and the damages to the police department was minimal.

LPD Recover Stolen Firearm in One-Vehicle Accident

 Below is a press release issued by Lineville Police Chief Shane Dunnagan:

 On April 29, Officer responded to an accident on Hwy 9 near Shine Salon. When Officers arrived, they found a Buick Terraza rolled up on its passenger side against a tree.
Officers made contact with the two occupants who were not injured. Thru the investigation Officers were able to determine that the vehicle left the road to the right on the Northbound side of the highway. The driver over-corrected and the vehicle crossed both lanes of traffic and flipped when it hit the curb on the Southbound side.
A witness at the scene told officers that the passenger in the vehicle had gotten out with a gun. At the scene, Officers recovered a pistol that had been stolen from a firearms dealer back in September. See related article here:
43 yr old Oranda Dinkins from Montgomery was arrested and charged with Felon in Possession of Firearm and Receiving Stolen Property 2nd. The driver of the vehicle was also arrested on a Probation Violation Warrant out of Calhoun County.
Also, on April 28 around 6:00pm, Lineville Police Department served a search warrant on Hwy 49 in Lineville. Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Ashland PD, and Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in serving the warrant.
Melissa Easterwood and Rolando Roundtree were arrested at the scene on drug charges. In the residence Officers found Methamphetamine, Marijuana, and other Drug Paraphernalia.

Clay County Board of Education meeting 4-27-17

The Clay County Board of Education met Thursday, April 27, 2016 for the regular monthly session with a relatively short agenda.

All financial statements from the month of March 2017 were approved, as well as the previous monthly minutes.

The Career Tech Students from Central High School gave presentations at the Board meeting on the current curriculum and course offerings.  The students did an outstanding job of presenting and explaining the value of these courses.  Afterward they served refreshments that had been prepared by the Family and Consumer Science students.  A Special Thanks to Ann Thompson, the Career Tech Teachers, and the Students for this presentation.

Board members approved a resolution requesting that the state of Alabama sign the deed returning the Vocational School property back to the Clay County Board of Education.

There were 40 personnel action items approved, which included some of the following:

Resignations / Retirement
Karen Carr as CHSCC Teacher effective April 11, 2017
Peggy Mitchell as bus driver effective June 1, 2017
Teresa Brown as CNP worker at CHS effective June 1, 2017
Cynthia Dunaway as AES Teacher effective June 1, 2017
Donna Burton as Librarian at LES effective June 1, 2017
Elda Pumpelly as Reading Coach Lineville Elementary effective June 1, 2017
Open Positions
Teacher – Ashland Elementary
Librarian – Lineville Elementary
Child Nutrition Worker – Central High School
Bus Driver – Clay County Bus Shop
Teacher (2) Lineville Elementary
Summer Program:  Marsha Hammond as Special Education Teacher/Bus Aide
 Ada Hardy as Bus Driver/Classroom Aide
On a final note, Superintendent Walker, along with the Board members congratulated Dr. Charla Deleo for recently earning her doctorate degree.
Central High School Graduation is May 18, 2017
The last day for K-11 students will be May 25, and for Teachers May 26
Our next regular Board meeting will be May 16, 2017, at 4:00 PM in the Board Room.


Child Abduction Ends on Good Note

Tiarra Ingram

Below is a press release issued by Lineville Police Chief Shane Dunnagan on the missing one year old child that took place on Thursday, April 20, 2017.

On April 20th Lineville Police Department began a search for a missing 1 year old. At approximately 10:28 am, the mother walked in the Police Department and stated that she and her 1yr old son were with her cousin, Tiarra Ingram, when they pulled up at the Lineville Post Office. The mother went in the Post Office and when she returned, her cousin ( Tiarra) and child were gone.

A month ago, Police were looking for this same subject for three days before she was found near Cheaha State Park. A nationwide broadcast was put out along with other media outlets, to locate these individuals. Lineville Police, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, and state choppers were all trying to locate Tiarra using the tracking device she received after the last incident.

At 1:50pm, Cleburne County Sheriff’s Dept. advised they found video of the vehicle turning left on Hwy 431 off Hwy 9 around 11:34am.

At 2:28pm Lineville Police received a call from Atlanta PD stating they found Tiarra and the baby walking down Joseph Lowery Blvd. in Atlanta.

Tiarra and the baby were transported to the hospital for precautions, and were both in good health. The baby was released to his mother and Tiarra is undergoing mental evaluations.

Saying Good-Bye to Our Hero…

Picture, if you will,  a beautiful church sitting up on a hill. At the doorway of the church sits a green tractor tricycle, with lovely flowers adorning the back. A colorful array of flowers fill the pulpit, where people stand, some sitting, who are present to pay their final respects to the bravest little boy they have ever known. Some are sniffling quietly, while others allow the tears to flow freely, and some just struggled to keep their composure.

And in the center of the pulpit sits a small white casket, with a green tractor embroidered on the back. And there inside the sea of white lie Eli Sims, the smallest cancer warrior many had ever known. No one would ever guess by looking at his sweet, angelic face that this child had fought more battles in his short three years on this Earth than most men had seen in a lifetime. There are no marks on the outside of his thin little frame, yet if we could see on the inside, it would confirm the battle scars of his brief Earthly presence.

At Eli’s  feet, lie two handmade cards from his older brothers, Noah and Colin, along with two rubber bracelets that read “Prayers for Eli”. Standing beside the casket are two of the strongest people you will ever meet, and not by choice, I assure you. Throughout the last 16 months, Kelcey and Jason Sims have clung to their undying faith in God to get them through the nightmare that cancer put their son through, and their family. If one had never met these wonderful people, they would not be able to see the tiredness in their eyes or  the pain in their hearts, but I could and it was all I could do to get through our brief condolences without breaking down like a baby.

Behind Kelcey was a recliner, which had to be brought in since she was still recovering from her second surgery, after complications from a hernia repair several weeks ago. She will still undergo more surgeries too in the near future. What these parents have went through will change their lives, and the lives of their children forever, for the loss of a child is something that cannot be explained…at any age.

And of course, nearby as always was their family, close friends, and their church family. What a support system this family had! It was nothing short of inspirational the way this tight-knit congregation had enveloped the Sims’ family with love, prayers, and faith. I’m quite certain this family could not have made it without them. That’s what a difference a devoted church family can make in your life and Barfield Baptist has an amazing one, without question.

When Eli was diagnosed with Stage 4 Liver cancer in late December 2015, the very first thing this church did was hold a huge prayer rally. They coordinated fundraisers, helped with the children, and was never far away if the Sims’ needed a helping hand, physically, emotionally, or spiritually. 

For sixteen months, Eli fought a courageous, valiant battle. He was given every type of chemo out there to rid his body of this wretched disease. And nearing the end, when Jason and Kelcey were told there was nothing more they could do medically, they set out on another path to search for alternate means to save their son’s life. This journey took them to different states for clinical studies, but sadly, the end result was same….so they brought Eli home to spend his last days with his family. They watched as his little body grew weaker and weaker, until finally it could take no more. Eli passed on April 10, 2017, and even though it was expected to eventually happen, it still didn’t make it any easier. 

Tomorrow, Kelcey and Jason will lay their sweet baby to rest. I can’t even imagine their pain. I don’t think anyone can unless you’ve been through it and my heart goes out to them. Losing a child is not how the natural order of life is supposed to go, but we really never know what hand life is going to deal us.

Eli’s battle has touched more people than one can count and Clay County has rallied behind the Sims. I think I can safely say that hearts are breaking all over this county tonight for the loss of this little hero

Tomorrow, Thursday, April 13th,  those who wish to are welcome, and encouraged to join in forming a line along Hwy 9 from Benefield Funeral Home in Lineville to Barfield Baptist Church ( the route of the procession) beginning at 9:30 am.

The procession will begin at approximately 10:00 and will be led by two big green tractors, that Eli loved so much, fire trucks, and a police escort. So, please come join us and show love for our fallen hero and his dear family.  But remember to be safe. Please stay out of intersections and watch for traffic. This event has not been approved, nor will they be responsible,  by law enforcement, Benefield Funeral Home, or Barfield Baptist. We invite you to pay your respects, but we don’t want to see anyone hurt. 



Sheriff’s Office Investigates Sexual Abuse cases 

On March 18, 2017, Sheriff’s Investigators received a complaint of possible sexual abuse of underage children. The investigation began with an allegation of sexual misconduct in late 2016 and early 2017. That investigation led to more possible sexual abuse dating back to 1997.

Sheriff’s Investigators were able to piece together time frames associated with the alleged victims. In the early morning of March 30th, 2017, Sheriff’s Investigators and Deputies executed a search warrant at 631 Hayes Road, Ashland, Alabama and seized several electronic devices possibly associated with storage of child pornography.

Arrested was Christopher Kendal Smith, age 39 of Ashland, and Phillip Mills, age 32 of Ashland.  Smith has been charged with 3 counts of Rape 2nd and remains in the Clay County Detention Center with bonds totaling $300,000.00.

Mills was charged with possession of marijuana 2nd. Mills was committed to the Clay County Detention Center and later released on $12000.00 bond. This investigation is continuing with deputies following leads and collecting evidence of other possible victims, stated Sheriff Latham.

Investigators are urging persons with any knowledge of this or any other sexual misconduct activity to contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigative Division at 256 354 2176, Investigator Shannon House or Jason Freeman, as there is no statute of limitations on most sex crimes.

Former E-911 Director Faces Felony Charges

Marsha Spurlin

Former Clay County E-911 Director, Marsha Spurlin, was late to be added to the list of indictments handed down by the Grand Jury on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Spurlin has been charged with Theft of Services 1st and Theft of Property 1st.

Spurlin was terminated from Clay County E-911 in January 2016, and although the reason for her termination was never specified, there were allegations of misconduct, misappropriation of funds, and abuse of authority.  Shortly after her termination, an investigation was launched into alleged wrongful activity of the former Director by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

According to the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts State Audit for this time frame, this wrongful activity is confirmed in great detail. The report names Spurlin doctoring her time card for overpayment of hours,  and giving herself a raise without consulting district, among several other issues . Below is a description of a charge made by Chief Examiner on audit report:

The Director was responsible for communicating to an outside payroll service the approved amounts of compensation to be paid for each employee. The Director instructed the payroll service to pay her additional amounts which were not authorized or approved by the District. These unauthorized amounts include an additional 13.33 hours in addition to her normal salary, 10.42 hours of overtime, 65.33 hours of holiday pay, 20 hours of leave sold and an excess amount received from a one-time salary increase. Additionally, the Director increased her base salary without authorization or approval of the District.

The report can be read in its entirety at:

Image result for clay county alabama 911

Spurlin’s bond has been set at $20,000 for these felony charges. Her arraignment will take place on April 26, 2017.


Clay County Grand Jury Report- April 11, 2017

The Grand Jury report for April 2017 is as follows:

  • JESSIE DEE WATERS – Burglary, 3rd Degree
  • EDWARD CRAIG ATCHLEY – Paraphernalia Misdemeanor, Possession Controlled Substance
  • SHONTONIO QUINTAVI BATTLE– Theft of Property 1st
  • MICHAEL AARON BOYD –  Use/Possession Drug Paraphernalia, Pistol-Carrying without License, Possession of Controlled Substance
  • CHARLES JAVORIS BROWN-Escape 3rd Degree
  •  DONALD DAKOTA CAMPBELL – Possession Forged Instrument
  • AMANDA SUE CAMPBELL – Identity Theft
  • JOSHUA CODY CULLARS – Theft of Property 1st, Burglary 3rd Degree
  • BRANDI LYNN DELANEY – Driving while Revoked, Switched Tag, Paraphernalia Misdemeanor, 2 Counts Possession of Controlled Substance
  • WOODROW DOUGHERTY– 10 Counts Possession Forged Instrument
  • JADARIUS DEONTE DRUMMONDS – Strangulation/Suffocation, Domestic Violence 3rd-Assault 3rd, Violation Domestic Violence Protection Order
  • GAVIN JENNINGS EAST – Discharge Gun OCC Building-Vehicle
  • JOHN WILLIAM EDMONDSON -Theft of Property 2nd, Possession Marijuana 1st, Del/Sale Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Controlled Substance
  • AUDREY BRANDY FOWLER –  5 Counts Possession of Forged Instrument
  • GLENN ADRAIN – Burglary 1st Degree, Domestic Violence 2nd Degree
  • BRANDON CORTEZ GLENN – False Reporting to Law Enforcement
  • LAMAR GLENN – Assault 2nd Degree
  • SKYLAR CHRISTIAN GLENN  -Discharge Gun OCC Building/Vehicle
  • NATHAN ALEXANDER GODWIN – Paraphernalia Misdemeanor, Possession of Controlled Substance
  • THOMAS RAY GRAVETTE – Possession of Controlled Substance, Use/ Possession Drug Paraphernalia
  • CHRISTOPHER WAYNE GRIFFIN – Pistol-Certain Persons for, Use/Possession Drug Paraphernalia
  • RICHARD MATTHEW HALL – Possession/Receive Control SU
  • CECIL STEPHEN HAYES – Use/ Possession Drug Paraphernalia, Possession Controlled Substance, Pistol in Vehicle
  • CINDY MARIE HICKS HAYNES -Burglary 3rd Degree, Theft of Property 1st
  • AUDREY ANDRETTE HEARD – 3 Counts Possession Forged Instrument
  • STEVEN RAY HUBBARD – Domestic Violence 3rd- Harassment, Throw Deadly/Danger/Missle, Possession Controlled Substance
  • GLORIA ELIZABETH HUNT – Identity Theft
  • JAMES MELVIN JENKINS JR – Break/Enter Vehicle, Theft of Property 2nd
  • JONATHAN LEE JONES – 2 Counts Sex Abuse- Child Less 12 year old
  • RICHARD ALLEN KENT – Possession Marijuana 2nd, Possession Controlled Substance
  • AARON MICHAEL MAPLES – Pistol-Certain Persons For, Burglary 3rd Degree, Theft of Property 2nd Degree
  • TANNER BLADE MARTIN – Theft of Property 1st, DUI-Controlled Substance
  • ROBERT NEIL MASHBURN – Theft of Property 3rd Degree
  • ASHTON CAIN MCARTHUR– Sorna Violation
  • STEVEN LEWIS MITCHELL – Discharge Gun OCC Building/Vehicle
  • LARMIE CASEY MIZE – Possession Controlled Substance, Use/Possession Drug Paraphernalia, Possession Marijuana 2nd
  • DECARLTON LYNN NELSON– Theft of Property 1st, Burglary 3rd Degree, Possession Controlled Substance, Drive w/ Suspended, Open Container Violation
  • TERESA LYNN SAPP– Possession Marijuana 1st, Possession Controlled Substance
  • MARSHALL LARRY SPATES– Theft/Deception 2nd
  • MARSHA LUKER SPURLIN – Theft of Services 1st, Theft of Property 1st
  • TERRY FERNANDO TAYLOR– Theft of Property 3rd Degree
  • JOSHUA RAY THORTON– Use/Possession Drug Paraphernalia, 3 Counts Possession Controlled Substance
  • NICHOLAS WESTON TURLEY– Possession of Controlled Substance
  • MATTHEW DYLON WATTS– Discharge Gun OCC Building/Vehicle
  • WILLIAM MORRIS WHATLEY II – Use/Possession Drug Paraphernalia, Possession Marijuana 2nd, Possession Controlled Substance
  • JANNY BUTLER WHITE– Sorna Violation
  • JOSEPH COREY WILBANKS– Paraphernalia Misdemeanor, Possession Controlled Substance
  • KEVIN WAYNE WILLIAMS –  Three (3) Counts  Sorna Violation



Multiple Agencies Assist in Locating Missing Person

Press release issued by Lineville Police Chief Shane Dunnagan:
Just after 9pm on Tuesday March 21, family members of Tiarra Ingram reported to the Lineville Police Department that she had left her residence after having a seizure. Ingram was seen later that night around 11pm, but ran when she was confronted.
Officers and the Clay County Rescue Squad were unable to locate Ingram and continued to patrol the area along with family members who were also out looking.
The next morning a larger search party consisting of the Clay County Rescue Squad, Lineville Police Dept., Lineville Maintenance Department, and the Lineville Fire Dept. responded to search the area on foot and by four wheelers. The Randolph County Rescue Squad also responded with their K9 search dog. The ALEA (Alabama Law Enforcement Agency) Aviation Unit was contacted and sent a chopper to assist in locating Ingram. Ingram was not found to be in the area where she was last seen and the search was expanded.
A statewide broadcast, local news, and social media was used to spread the word of the missing person. Around 9pm,  we received our first call from a subject who had seen Ingram on the railroad tracks in the Highland Area earlier that day. Lineville Police and Clay County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area where they patrolled and walked the tracks, but Ingram was not found.
On Thursday night around 6:40 Jarred Henderson, a Cheaha State Park Ranger, located Ingram on Adams Gap Rd. Henderson contacted the Clay County Sheriff’s office and Deputy Shaddix responded and made contact with Ingram. Clay County Sheriff Ray Latham and his wife Beverly arrived on scene and Ingram was given food and water. Investigators from Ashland and Lineville along with the Clay County Rescue Squad also responded.
Sheriff Latham and his wife transported Ingram back to the Lineville Police Dept. where she was seen by paramedics and reunited with family. Ingram was transported to the Clay County Hospital where she was treated and released with no injuries.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office has gotten with the family and Equipped Ingram with a bracelet which can be used to locate in the event of a missing person. This equipment is used by the Sheriff’s Department normally on Alzheimer and Dementia patients and has proved to be a life saver.
This situation could have had a devastating outcome, but thanks to the many different agencies who responded, Ingram was returned home safely to her family.
Chief Dunnagan states “I want to thank all the agencies involved; Clay County Rescue Squad, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Lineville Fire and Maintenance Dept., Ashland Police Department, CSX, Cheaha Park Ranger, Ingram’s family, friends, and the concerned citizens in the community who called and help locate Ms Ingram. I would also like to give a special thanks to the Randolph County Rescue Squad and the ALEA Aviation Unit who responded to our County to help”.

The Nitty Gritty – Clay County News and Events