Local Family in Need after Home Destroyed by Fire

Tuesday, March 13- A midday blaze today  destroyed a home on 4th Street East in Ashland. The fire was reported to 911 by a passerby who saw smoke billowing from the house.

Homeowners, Lee Roy and Kacie Brown were both at work when they were informed that their home was on fire. They both arrived on the scene to find emergency personnel battling the fire, which had fully engulfed the house. Most of the home was burned, with some of the structure suffering water and smoke damage beyond recognition. 

No one was home at the time the fire occurred, however two beloved family pets did perish. All of their belongings were destroyed. Cheaha Music is doing a gift card drive for the family. You can drop off anytime there between the hours of 12-6 pm  Monday-Friday, 9-1 Saturday. For more details, please call 256-252-1023. Here are a list of the clothing sizes needed:

Female: size 20 pants, 3x shirt,size 9 underwear, Short socks 10, 10 1/2 shoes

Female: Large shirt, size 10 pants, 7/8 panties, 36 B bra, size 8 1/2 shoe

Male:  3x tshirt, 48 pants, 2x boxer, size 11 shoe

Male: 2x sweatpants, 4x shirt, 2x boxer, size 13 shoe

All donations are appreciated. Clothing or item donations can be dropped off at Ashland Mapco or Attorney Keith Warren’s Office on the Ashland Square.


Delta Home Owner Fires Shots at Prowler

Press Release Issued by Clay County Sheriff Ray Latham:

On Sunday Evening March 4, 2018, at approximately 7:35pm, Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a residence in the 600 block of Center Hill Road in the Lineville/Delta area.

The home owner at the address informed deputies a prowler had been seen in the rear of their residence near a lighted shed, then moving to a location near a camper within the vicinity of the shed.

One of the family members stated they fired shots at the unknown individual, with several family members giving chase through a wooded area. Deputies arrived on the scene and began an investigation into the incident reported.

Assisted by Lineville Police, Ashland Police and the Clay County Rescue Squad, Law enforcement personnel began a search of the area where the prowler was last seen.

A neighbor provided an ATV that assisted deputies to search a large area with a heat seeking device (FLIR). The search continued to just before midnight, when law enforcement efforts produced negative results. At press time, the investigation is continuing.

Sheriff Latham again thanks the assisting agencies for their cooperation and assistance to deputies at the scene. Let us not forget the importance of our 911 personnel, Sheriff’s and Municipal Communication Officers that aid our law enforcement officers daily by providing the most accurate information to officers responding to critical events across our county. They too are true professionals and are to be commended.

Two Successful SAR Missions for CCRS; Members Receive Awards

Clay County Rescue Squad Operations Officer Brian Andrews gives report of week’s events:

Clay County Rescue Squad wants to thank three of our members for their many years of service and dedication to the Rescue Squad and the community. These three men have given of themselves for the good of others. They have sacrificed time with their families and many nights of sleep to help those that were in need. Each one of them have given over thirty years of service and still continue to serve today. They are a prime example of what makes Clay County the volunteer county. They were awarded with Lifetime Membership Awards in the Clay County Rescue Squad on February 22nd, 2018. Thank you Richard “Ricky” Farr, James Rodney Cheaney, and Jerrold Denson for everything you do and for what you mean to the Rescue Squad and Clay County.


We are about to enter our busy season again. So we’ll start with our usual good news.

Last week, CCRS responded to two missions (4 so far for FY2018) in the Talladega National Forest. The first was for 2 females that got off the Pinhoti Trail on a loop hike. No injuries, had food and water. But the trail can be tricky at times, especially after Fall leaves, animal trails to distract, and all the fallen limbs and trees from snow/ice that you have to go around at times. Luckily, they had cell service and were able to dial 911 and also send their location to our Operations Officer as a backup to verify. It took a bit longer than normal to access them due to downed trees and covered trails, but we remained in constant contact with them and were able to handle everything rather quickly.

The second was for a female at Devil’s Den area. She and her mother were hiking and wading on Friday in the creek. The daughter was startled by 2 small snakes and when she jumped to avoid them, she slipped and cut her foot. CCRS was called in and Shinbone VFD was asked to assist. TNF Officer Dodd and a couple of TNF employees also assisted. We were able to treat her injury and assist her back out where she was to be taken to a local hospital for further treatment by personal vehicle.

As always, we want to thank everyone involved in these SAR missions because we can’t do it alone. This week it includes our CCRS members, several CCRS auxiliary members, Clay County Sheriffs Dept, Cleburne County Sheriffs Dept, and Shinbone Volunteer Fire Dept.

Clay County Safe Schools Task Force is Formed

Life as we know has changed. This world we live in has become one where evil and mental issues seem to be taking over with a vengeance, leaving us all at risk at any given moment, especially our children. Every day, there seems to be a school shooting or incident taking place all over the nation. The most recent, Parkland, Florida, where seventeen children and teachers shot to death by a student with obvious mental issues. And in the aftermath, it was discovered that there were warning signs there all along.

Life here in Clay County has always been like a touch of Mayberry. You walk down the streets and everywhere you look, you smile and wave at people you know, and perhaps engage in conversation. The crime rate is low here, thanks to our law enforcement, who do everything in their power to stay on top of things. People who come and go here always say that coming back to Clay County is like taking a step back in time, but things are slowly changing. That evil that we see in the outside is slowly beginning to invade our peaceful little world here. So, how do we handle that?

Back in our day, there were no threats to us when we went to school that these children face today. Now as a parent, the very thought of sending your child to school not knowing what dangers may await them leaves you with a helpless and terrifying feeling. School should be a safe haven to our children, one where evil and tragedy can never strike. But that is no longer the case and it leaves us all a little uneasy. So, how do we handle that? How do we keep our children safe from harm? Sadly, there is no reassurance that we can, but it doesn’t mean we won’t do everything in our power to ensure that it won’t.

Recently, there were a couple of incidents that suggested our schools could be at threat that set a plan in motion for Darlene Alldredge. Darlene was a member of the Calhoun County Safe School Task Force that formed in after the Columbine shooting in 1999 and felt we needed a program like that here in Clay County. After a few calls, a meeting was arranged.

This meeting was held last week, and Clay County Safe Schools Task Force was formed. Attending this meeting was Benny Morrison, District 1 Commissioner, Ashland Police Chief Joseph Stanford, Lineville Police Chief Shane Dunnagan, Clay County Chief Deputy Henry Lambert, Central Sr. High Principal Russell Hatchcock, Ashland Elementary Principal Jarred Wesley, Rodney Denson, Darlene Alldredge, and Tammy Andrews.

Some of the many topics discussed during this meeting stemmed from preventative measures, learning those warning signs from a disturbed student, how to make students more aware of any pending problems, how to make the campuses more secure, and forming a plan of action, among other things. It was a very informative session, where many recommendations were made. Of course, there will be more meetings to follow, but the Core Group was formed and everyone was in agreement that something needed to be done to ensure our chidren’s safety.

Please keep in mind that this is a work in progress, but the foundation has at least been laid, and we are in the process of forming committees to implement the ideas made at this initial session.  As soon as everything is in place, you can expect a public assembly for all parents and concerned citizens for more information. We feel confident that the community will embrace this program and hopefully become active in it. More information will be released at a later date, but we encourage you to like our Facebook page to keep up with the latest: https://www.facebook.com/Clay-County-Safe-Schools-Task-Force-430485787382122/

Our children’s safety is a highest priority.


Lineville Police Chief Addresses Rumors of School Shooting

This statement was released by Lineville Police Chief Shane Dunnagan concerning the rumors of a possible school shooting at Central High:

Over the weekend, Officers received information about a comment that was made after the school shooting in Florida. Although it was not a threat that was made, nothing can be taken lightly in dealing with the safety of our children.

Officers looked into the situation and though they didn’t find a credible threat, we have placed Officers at each school to ease everyone’s mind and to help ensure you that your children are safe.

Clay County Chamber of Commerce Holds Annual Meeting

The Clay County Chamber of Commerce’s  annual meeting drew a nice crowd on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at the Central High Cafeteria. Those is attendance enjoyed a nice meal catered by Young House BBQ in Lineville and some left with several nice door prizes donated by local businesses. 

Chamber CEO Tiffany Young gave a recap of some of the events the Chamber had participated in for the year of 2017, most recently, Christmas in the Park at Lineville City Park and the life-sized hand-painted Christmas Card Collection in conjunction with surrounding counties and East Alabama Tourism.

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Young spoke of upcoming events that would take place in the 2018 year, such as the Clay County Fair, which will be held on the weekend of April 12-14 at the EDC Industrial Park on Hwy 9 across from Airport Rd between Lineville and Ashland. This event will feature up to 18 carnival rides, vendors and attractions. Arm Bands can be purchased for this event available at the Chamber Office during business hours. Call 256-396-2828 for more information or visit their website: http://www.alabamaclaycounty.com

Young was also excited to announce the Chamber would be partnering  in the first Southeastern Agricultural Expo to held in conjunction with the Fair. Heading up this committee is Alicia Homburger, who spoke briefly on their expectations of this event, which main focus is to highlight and showcase the farmers of the county and the members of the Cattlemen’s and Jr. Cattlemen’s Association.

Kim Cain also gave a very brief description of the first Yellow- Meated Watermelon Festival to be held on August 11th and was hopeful to see a lot of community participation in this event.  

Afterwards, guests were very entertained by Award-winning country music singer and songwriter, Jeff Bates, as he shared details of his life story that included his hard-fought battle with drug addiction and how he overcame those demons with the help of Jesus Christ and his rise from the ashes to become a well-respected singer and songwriter. There wasn’t a person in the room who wasn’t touched by his story. For  more details of Jeff’s story, click here: http://www.claycountyweb.com/articles/country-music-artist-jeff-bates-to-play-at-historic-ashland-theatre/

The lovely evening was capped off by the presentations of awards for the 2018 year ( Pictures below).  We congratulate all of these winners:

  • Volunteer of the Year: Kim Cain
  • New Business of the Year: Cheaha Music
  • Business of the Year: The Clay Times-Journal

Appreciation awards  were also awarded the following businesses:

  • Young House BBQ
  • Court Square Cafe
  • First State Bank
  • TruCabinetry
  • Wellborn Cabinets

An appreciation certificate was also presented to Lee and Debbie Harrison for their loyal participation in each Chamber event.

It was a very enjoyable event and we commend Tiffany and her Board for their hard work in making this such a successful event. 




Clay County Alabama Candidate List

The qualifying deadline for candidates was Feb. 9th for the statewide general election on November 6, 2018.  Here are your candidates in the Clay County race:

Circuit Judge, District 40, Clay & Coosa Counties:


  • John Keith Warren
  • David Law

Clay County Circuit Clerk:


  • Julie Poe ( Incumbent)
  • Donna Mathews

Clay County Probate Judge:


  • Dianne Branch ( Incumbent)
  • Kevin Moon

 Clay County Sheriff:


  • Jim Studdard
  • Monty Giddens
  • Mike Burdette
  • Mike Watts


  • Henry Lambert
  • Jean Dot Alexander

Clay County Board of Education, District 1:


  • Blaine Lacy ( Incumbent)


  • Keith Harris

These candidates will face off in the Statewide Primary election that will take place on June 5, 2018, with the exception of Board of Education, District 1 candidates.




Suspect lead Deputies on Afternoon Chase

On Tuesday afternoon, January 16th, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a domestic disturbance off County Road 31 north of Highland. When deputies approached the residence in question, a white male, identified by deputies as Randy Earl Moore, was seen with rifle type weapon.

As deputies prepared to approach the suspect, Moore fled into a nearby wooded area. Information received from the complainant suggested Moore’s behavior as concerning and possible violent. Sheriff’s Deputies aided by Lineville Police Investigator Chris Mathews and Ashland Police Officer Michael Harris quickly set up a surveillance around the wooded area Moore was last seen entering. Within the hour, St. Clair Department of Corrections (DOC) K-9 Tracking Team was on the scene. Sheriff’s Deputies and DOC Officers spend the entire afternoon attempting to locate Moore.

At or around the 6 pm hour, Deputies were alerted to a possible sighting of Moore. Responding to the area in question, Moore was eventually located and taken into custody without incident.

Moore was charged with Domestic Violence 3rd, 2 counts of reckless endangerment, and one count of fleeing law enforcement.  Weapons recovered from Moore was a 30 cal. Carbine Rifle and a 9mm pistol. Moore remains in the Clay County Detention Center.

Sheriff Latham expresses a special thanks to personnel assisting in the apprehension of Moore. When faced with the knowledge that the suspect was armed with a long gun and pistol, law enforcement personnel maintained their professionalism and dedication to eliminate the threat to the surrounding community and keeping our citizens safe. It was with their continuing communication with various family members of the suspect that this incident was brought to successful ending without injury to any personnel.

Clay County Sheriff’s Office/ United States Marshals launch Operation Frozen Clay

Several months ago, Clay County Sheriff’s Deputies and the United States Marshals, Northern District of Alabama began an investigation into persons who were listed on the Clay County Sex Offender Register.

The investigation was aimed at compliance with registry requirements as stated by the Sex Offender Laws and their individual reporting requirements.  The Clay County Sheriff’s Office currently has 71 Sex Offenders that require monitoring by Sheriff’s Deputies.

On Thursday, January 11, 2018, that investigation was completed. Of the 71 sex offenders investigated, 68 were found to be in compliance and 4 were not.

Coy Lee Ingram

Arrested and charged with Sex Offender Registry Community Notification Act (SORNA) violations were: Casey Glenn, age 27 of Ashland; Coy Lee Ingram, age 52 of Ashland and Donald Hunter, age 51 of Lineville.

Casey Glenn
Donald Hunter

Additionally Fernando Rojas Hernandez remains a Clay County Fugitive on SORNA violations. Although Hernandez has ties to the Clay County area, he is believed to have fled to Cuba.  Should anyone have any information concerning the whereabouts of Hernandez, please call the Clay County Sheriff’s Office @ 256 354 2176.


During the investigation, United States Marshals and Sheriff’s Deputies obtained information that a fugitive sex offender from Florida had been seen in the central Alabama area, with possible sightings in Clay County.

On Friday afternoon, January 19th, Investigator Shanon House received information as to a location of the fugitive. Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a residence at 1969 County Road 7 were the fugitive, James Patrick Ostrander age 54 of Broward County Florida was located and arrested on local SORNA violations.

James Patrick Ostrander

Also charged was 66 year old George Willard Vix of Talladega. Vix was arrested on charges associated in the harboring, concealing or withholding information of a fugitive from justice. Ostrander had been on the lam since November 30, 2015, with several jurisdictions obtaining warrants since that time on Ostrander. Both Vix and Ostrander remain in the Detention Center with bonds totaling $45,000.00.

George Williard Vix

Sheriff Latham would like to commend Deputy Johnny Hamlin, Deputy Rick Shaddix, Investigative Supervisor Shanon House and the United States Marshal Service personnel on their work associated with the sex offender compliance registry in Clay County.

Traffic Stop in Ashland Leads to Drug Bust

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

On Saturday, January 20, 2018, at approximately 1:30 a.m., Sgt. Corey Dickinson noticed a vehicle driving on AL-9 N, and traveling at a high rate of speed. Sgt. Dickinson pulled the vehicle over and made contact with the driver.

Once at the window, Sgt. Dickinson detected a smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Sgt. Dickinson got the driver and three passengers out of the vehicle, and conducted a search of the vehicle.

Sgt. Dickinson was able to find four (4) bags of marijuana, one (1) hydrocodone pill (a controlled substance), two (2) pistols, and over $10k dollars in money. The subjects were identified as Jaleen Freeman-Jenkins, 24 of Clarksville, TN; Keshun Hester, 24, Clarksville, TN; Dorris Acree, 20, Clarksville, TN; Kamren Bennett, 19, Clarksville, TN.  

One of the pistols came back as stolen from Clarksville, TN, and all four subjects were charged with the following charges: 

  • 1 count each of Possession of Marijuana 2nd Degree 
  • 1 count each of Receiving stolen Property 3rd Degree 
  • Freeman was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance 
  • Bennett was charged with Possession of a Pistol without a permit 

Warrants were obtained and the subjects were still in the Clay County Jail at the time of release.  

The Nitty Gritty – Clay County News and Events