Clay County Law Enforcement Make Drug Arrest

Press Release Issued by Clay County Sheriff Ray Latham:

On December 7, 2017, Clay County Sheriff’s Deputies initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling south on Highway 77 near Antioch Road. As Deputies approached the vehicle, the driver fled in the vehicle and continuing south on Alabama 77. A pursuit began as deputies attempted to stop the fleeing driver.

Ashland P.D. & Lineville P.D. was called to assist, as the vehicle was traveling into the Ashland area on Alabama 77. The vehicle was followed for several miles, turning onto Idaho Road, back to Antioch, then again on Alabama 77 where the driver lost control in a driveway off Alabama 77 and attempted to flee on foot.

Following a short foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody. It did not take long for deputies and police to realize the reason for the evasion. Arrested was Gerry Brannon Walker, age 36 of Talladega. Walker was charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, (ICE), Unlawful Possession of Marihuana 1st, Unlawful possession of Controlled Substance, Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and fleeing or attempting to elude Law Enforcement.

Also arrested was Jessica Susan McCook, age 28 of Goodwater. McCook was charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, (ICE), Unlawful possession of Marihuana 1st, and unlawful possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Walker remains in the Detention Center with bonds totaling $97000.00. McCook also remains in the Detention Center with bonds totaling $81000.00.

Sheriff Latham and staff would like to thank the Ashland and Lineville Police Department’s Personnel for their assistance in this arrest.  

Country Music Artist Jeff Bates to Play at Historic Ashland Theatre

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. “   Jeremiah 29:11

Country Music Artist and Songwriter Jeff Bates is a testament to this scripture. At the age of 54, Jeff has seen the best of times, the worst of times, and is now using these life lessons as a tool to help others. His incredible story is one of inspiration that should be written in stone to be shared with the world in order to show people that no matter how bad things are going in your life, there is always room for redemption. This is his story:

Jeff Bates was born in Mobile, Alabama on September 19,1963 to a life he was probably fortunate enough to not remember. At just 3 months old, Jeff was placed on the doorstep of a sharecropper couple in the wee hours of the morning. Awakened by his cries, they were startled to find a very sick infant in a basket in a soiled diaper wrapped in a blanket on their porch. The blanket he was draped in, as well as much of Jeff’s little body, was covered with burns and he had double pneumonia. The Bates opened their hearts and home to this child, as they nursed him back to health. He was an answer to their prayers, a gift from God…

The Bates had only been married just a couple of years and desperately wanted a large family, although despite the prayers and efforts, had not happened yet. Both had come from abusive homes and wanted as many children as God would bless them with so they could give them a loving and secure home they had never had.

For the next year, The Bates did everything they could to find out who Jeff belonged to by placing ads in  newspapers in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisana, but no one ever came forward. So, after a year of silence, they formally adopted Jeff and raised him as one their own. The Bates would go on to have the large family they had always dreamed of by rearing eight children, in addition to Jeff.

As he grew into a boy, Jeff would never question why he was the only one out of nine children not to have blonde hair and blue eyes. At the age of seven, Jeff got into a fight on the school bus with another boy who would reveal this life-altering information by lashing out “You don’t really belong to those people. You’re not a Bates and you don’t belong here.”

Jeff ran home crying with these questions for his parents and his fears were confirmed. Jeff’s mother told him the truth in a very honest method. “I just want you to know that out of all these kids, you’re special, because we got to pick you.” Jeff didn’t take this news well, and really started paying attention to the differences between him and his siblings. He felt like he didn’t belong anymore and began to withdraw from friends. His introverted behavior would follow him throughout his high school years.

Jeff’s mother was a huge musical influence in his life because she, too, was a singer. None of his siblings would have this gift. Jeff could remember sitting out on the porch at night listening to her sing and singing along with her. It would ignite a passion for music in him that would carry him throughout his life. At the age of 11, Jeff traded a rusty old 57 Chevrolet Bel Air given to him by his father for his first Fender guitar. That guitar was always by his side wherever he went.  He would sleep with it and take it to school with him.

When Jeff was 15, he accepted Christ as his Saviour. And although he would stray later from these beliefs, he would eventually find his way back.

People began to take notice of his “Conway-style” voice and at the age of 17, Jeff got his first gig playing at a night club. Unfortunately, Jeff began to take notice of new ways to numb his pain from feeling misplaced in the world. He began to drink heavily, followed by the introduction of crystal meth in his life, which sent him into a downward spiral. The first time Jeff did meth, he was hooked. He did whatever he could do to get his next fix, which included stealing from family and friends.

So, the pattern was pretty much set for Jeff for the next 20 years. He would work a daytime job and then play gigs on the weekend. This destructive path he was on eventually tangled with law enforcement world and his problems began to mount. Jeff had given up on his faith in God. He no longer believed that God, Jesus, or even the devil didn’t exist anymore, it was only the survival of the fittest.

But on March 14, 2001, things would come to a head when Jeff found himself in the back of a police car after being arrested for grand theft in Nashville. Many would think this was the end of his story, but for Jeff, it was his saving grace. “It saved my life”, he admitted, “I was slowly dying.”

In jail, they told Jeff he was looking at a sentence of six to fifteen years. It was a sobering revelation, and he hit his knees to pray to God to show him the way. Jeff knew that his actions alone had landed him in jail, so he didn’t ask God to get him out, but yet, he asked God to change him. “I had lost everything I’d ever had. I had ruined every relationship I had ever had in my life with lies, emotional abuse, used them, or stole from them.”  

Jeff was given the option to attend a 12-step rehab program, and he willingly entered the program. Part of Jeff’s rehab was to make a list of all the people he had wronged and then make amends. Jeff said he asked God to be with him as he placed calls to everyone on his list with his apology and promise to pay them back somehow. Another step was to make a list of everybody he had ever felt anger and resentment for in his life. Jeff said he surprised himself when he turned in a 40- page letter three days later. “I had blamed everyone else for everything that had ever happened to me in life but myself. But I was the problem, so I kept working on that.”

45 days into his jail sentence, as he continually asked God to help let go of the anger and guilt, Jeff got his epiphany, when a Biblical scene began to play out before his very eyes just like watching a movie, where religious leaders were trying to trick Jesus into saying something wrong, so they could kill him. Jeff said was the realest thing he had ever experienced, and he began to let go of all those harbored feelings. With the weight finally from his guilt-ridden shoulders, he went to bed and slept better than he had in years. He finally felt free.

The very next day, Jeff got his first jail visitor, his song plugger from Warner Chapel, a record deal he had lost when he went to jail. During that visit, Jeff was then informed that some of his songs he had written had been recorded that very day by big name country artists, such as Gene Watson, Montgomery Gentry, and Tracy Lawrence. Another gift from God, he said.

Jeff continued his daily prayer ritual for God to show him the way and was once again blessed when the judge gave him a 15- year suspended sentence and one- year probation. He got out of jail with only the clothes on his back and was given a life line by a friend, who he had once stolen from. This friend shoved the very guitar Jeff had once stolen from and told him to start writing songs again and get his record deal back. His friend also gave him a place to stay and some clothes.  Jeff got a job pouring concrete and slowly began crossing names off his list of people he had once stolen from to pay back. Within a year, he had paid every one of them back.

And the rest is history…

One year to the day he got out of jail, he got a call from RCA records for a record deal. At the age of 37, Jeff’s dream was finally coming true, thanks to God and perseverance. His first album “Rainbow Man” produced two hits on the Billboard national chart, “Long, Slow Kisses” and “I Wanna Make You Cry”. He would go on to have seven songs on the Billboard charts over time. At present time, he has a #9 song on the Christian Country Inspirational Chart called “Judging Judas”. He still writes songs and has a couple of songs on hold by Alan Jackson.  

Over the course of his career, Jeff has probably written over 2000 songs. He travels from town to town playing gigs all over from bars to small venues. And on Sunday morning, he’s in church sharing his story.  He remains clean and sober after 17 years of that fateful incident that re-shaped his life.

Jeff is completely content with his life and has dedicated his life to helping those facing drug and alcohol addictions. Through the Jeff Bates Ministries, he travels to jails, prisons, and recovery programs to share his story with others to let them know that they are not alone and there’s a better way. “We spend most of our lives trying to make others happy and fail miserably. What does work is making ourselves happy through Christ. Then we can help others”, Jeff says with a smile.

On Friday night, Dec. 1st, Jeff Bates will play at the historic Ashland Theatre “An Acoustic Christmas” and will feature his Christmas CD “Once Upon a Star”. All songs on this CD were wrote by Jeff and tell the story of Christmas in his own way. Jeff reconnected with his love for Christmas through his 12-step program 16 years ago, and now embraces it in every way. Jeff and his seven-year-old daughter spend a lot of quality time watching those old Christmas classics, such as “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”. Jeff invites everyone to his performance for a night filled with the Holy Spirit and the Christmas Season.


You can find Jeff on Facebook: his website:






Ashland Police Make Arrest in Local Burglaries


Press Release Issued by Ashland Police Chief Joseph Stanford
On November 14, 2017 Ashland Police and Clay Sheriff’s Deputies made contact with a suspect that was believed to be involved in several of the burglaries in our area.

The suspect was identified by some witnesses as a person of interest, and both agencies sought him to speak with him about the cases. Ashland Police Department Sergeant Tony Hubbard, and Clay County Investigators Jason Freeman and Shannon House spoke to the suspect, Brandon Edwards, and admitted to the burglary on Tyson Road from November 4. He also admitted to several other burglaries that the county had outstanding.

As always, we at the Ashland Police Department would like to thank the Clay County Sheriff’s Department and the Lineville Police Department for their assistance in solving this case.

Stolen Truck Recovered by Lineville Police

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

On Tuesday, October 24th Lineville Police Department received a report of a stolen truck off Youngs Mill Rd. Lineville Investigator Mathews spoke to the victim and then to neighbors and quickly came up with a suspect.

While trying to track down the subject, Inv. Mathews received information that he was in the Anniston area. Inv. Mathews was able to recover video of the subject in the stolen truck just hours after it was stolen.

With the help of the victim, nitty gritty, and social media pictures of the truck were circulated throughout the county and surrounding areas.

On Saturday, October 28th the vehicle was spotted in the Lineville area and Lineville Police was notified. Because of the direction of travel, Officers notified Wedowee and Randolph County of the vehicle possibly heading their way. Wedowee Police located the vehicle and attempted to make a traffic stop.

The Occupants in the vehicle ran, but the truck was recovered. Subjects name cannot be released due to the age, but charges have been filed for the theft of the truck.

stolen truck recovered

Thanks to the surrounding agencies the victim was able to get their property back and the offender charged. I would like to give a special thanks to Calhoun County, Randolph County, and Wedowee Police Department for working with us on this case.

Clay County Board of Education Meeting- Oct. 24, 2017

The Clay County Board of Education met Tuesday, October 24, 2017. All items on the Agenda were approved.


  • Approval for Central High School, the FFA Club and chaperones to attend the FFA National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana on October 24-27, 2017. FFA , along with Perkins, will be responsible for all expenses.
  • Approval for the Central High School HOSA officers and students in grades 10-11 to attend the Body Exhibit in Atlanta, GA November 1, 2017. HOSA along with Perkins will be responsible for all expenses.
  • Approval to accept the bid from Jack Green Oil for gasoline with a bid of $1.97103 per gallon. This was the only bid received.
  • Approval for the Board to select one member and one alternate as AASB Delegate for the 2017 Convention and Delegate Assembly on December 7-9, 2017 in Birmingham. Board Member, Shane Davidson was elected to serve as the delegate and Board member Chris Jackson was selected as the alternate.
  • Approval of the resolution to renew the line of credit at First State Bank for use if funds are not sufficient to pay the salaries of employees and meet current expenses when due.
  • Approval to select a candidate for District 4 Director. Members were given bios of each candidate to review at the last meeting.
  • Approval of the updated 2016 Clay County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan updated Resolution of Adoption. This was given to board members at our September 28 meeting for review.
  • Approval of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Community Development Institution/Head Start and Clay County Board of Education. This was given to Board members at our September 28 meeting for review.
  • Approval of the cooperative agreement for FY18 between the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Clay County Board of Education for Part-time Pre-Employment Transition Specialist. This was given to Board members at our September 28 meeting for review.
  • Approval of 17 Personnel Action Items, which included Renewal of Principal Contract for Ray Sewell, Central Jr. High was approved for the period of November 28, 2017 through June 30, 2021
  • Approval to take sealed bids on the Vocational School. Bids will be opened December 14, 2017 at the Central Office at 10:00 am.


  • Veterans Day Holiday will be November 10, 2017


  • Thanksgiving Holiday will be November 20-24


The next regular board meeting will be November16, 2017, at 4:00 PM in the board room.

The December board meeting will be December 14, 2017, at 4:00 PM in the board room.


Tempers Flare in County Budget Hearings Over Shortage of Revenues for FY 2018

Funding deficits caused tempers to flare at the Clay County Commission 2018 budget hearings last week on Thursday and Friday as Commissioners scrambled to make the necessary cuts needed to keep the county out of the red before the looming deadline.  After being informed the 2018 budget needed to be trimmed by over 150,000, Commissioners asked each department head to cut at least 5% of their budget. In response to this, Sheriff Ray Latham cut his department’s budget by some $63,000, which provided some cushion to those final numbers.

There also seemed to be a lot of confusion over the exact amount that needed cutting from the new budget, with the Commissioners saying that they were given two sets of figures. County Administrator Mary Wood and Administrator Assistant Nina Bell tried to explain that this was because they had went back and made the cuts the Commissioners had asked for on the second set of figures presented to them, but the numbers still didn’t seem to adding up, which added to the frustration of the day. At one point on Thursday’s meeting, Wood told the Commissioners that she had done all she could do to the budget, that they could do what they wanted. Wood wasn’t present for Friday’s meeting.

Probate Judge Dianne Branch addressed the Commission with her contribution to the cutbacks, stating that she would pay the newest hired employee out of her discretionary fund, which brought on a whole new set of arguments. There had already been a lot of controversy surrounding this hire in the past few weeks, because Commissioners were not happy that Branch had not followed the standard hiring procedures put into place by the county. After some discussion, Branch did agree to advertise the position for one week.

There were many topics discussed as Commissioners went down the list of line items, such as  transportation for the elderly, election expenses, the cost of workman’s comp per department, employee insurance, and the EMA Assistant role.

There was also the question of the high cost of utilities throughout the county offices. It was reported that the county spent as much as $120,000 yearly in utilities for all offices combined.  The electrical bill at the courthouse, which runs around $3500 monthly, and the natural gas bill, which can run as high as $560 a month in the coldest winter months that heats the courtroom. The Revenue Commissioner does pay 20% of all utilities for the courthouse. It was noted that the Annex electrical bill ran around $6000 a month and was open 24/7, due to the Sheriff’s Office and Jail, whereas the Courthouse was only open 40 hours a week.

Morrison stated they were just going to have to start looking into closing the courthouse at some point, due to several reasons.  “There just too many costs associated with keeping this building up and it’s going to get to the point where we have to cut some vital services to the citizens or we’re going to have to cut some expenses somewhere in the county. A money pit like that needs to be with the historical society, not a functioning building in my opinion,” said Morrison.

Ongoing construction inside the Annex

The Annex has recently added 13 offices to their facility, with ample space left for a couple of courtrooms, which could house several county departments, if needed.

Morrison said that after asking each department head to cut their budget by 5%, he was disheartened that the only department who had willingly done that was the Sheriff’s Office and these were vital services. ” How much more can you cut that? We just can’t hacking into this department. We’re going to have to come up with some creative solutions.”

“There was nowhere else to cut 5% from those departments. We can encourage the savings of utilities, but at the end of the day, we’re going to have to pay” said Bell.

On a final note before the vote was taken, Harris summed it up:” This budget is going to have to be cut and its not going to be pretty. Our job is simple, we take the money we get and do we can do. We may have to cut some things that seem  trivial to some of us. I think one of the things we need to do is look at cutting travel expenses and we’ll look into this a little later. I think spending 35-40,000 a year on travel and expenses and cut that. These cuts are going to be painful for some of us.”


“Next year, there’s not going to be a fund balance there if we are short,” Morrison added” I’m very disheartened to see our employees have to go back to paying their insurance because of how little they make. Next year, don’t come in here wanting us to make them pay all their insurance to make the fund balance work because that ain’t happening. We’ll just cut employees and take care of the ones we got.”

In the end, some of the cuts made included the following:

  • Eliminate courthouse security employees, saving $37,000. Security will be handled by the Sheriff’s Office on an as-needed basis.
  •  EMA Assistant position from full-time to part-time. (Commissioner Milstead abstained)
  • All county employees will now have to pay 20% of their medical insurance, instead of being 100% paid as it had been in the past. Family coverage will remain at 40% paid by county, with the employee portion at 60%.

The total county budget for fiscal year 2018 totaled $7,223,342.20, down from $7, 907,662.00 from 2017. This over $600,000 difference from the previous year is due to a steep decrease in revenues coming into the county from a federal and state level, which has led to these budget cuts.  But where the revenues shortage is really affecting is the General Fund,  where the budgeted expenses for FY 2018 total $2,900,032, and the revenues are only $2,800,012.

Commissioners cast their unanimous vote to accept the 2018 budget by a unanimous show of hands. This deficit of approximately $119,000 in expenses will be taken from the county’s reserve fund that they are required by the state to keep. However, this fund only has approximately $200,000 in it, so having to pull funds of this magnitude from it will almost deplete it.

Not to mention, if the county loses the lawsuit against State Senator Gerald Dial regarding a percentage of the county’s tobacco tax to be allocated to the Clay County Animal Shelter in the amount of $50,000, this deficit will go higher. This ruling is set to be handed down at any time by Judge Rochester at the Clay County District Court, but the budget had to passed, so it will have to be amended when the ruling comes in, The county did budget in the $5,000 to the Clay County Animal Shelter at this time.

“What we’re going to have to do is elect somebody into a state office who is going to help us generate income, because we don’t have that now. In the past, it’s just one thing after another getting taken away from us and now we’re down to this,” said Morrison.












Board of Education Meeting- Sept. 28, 2017

Highlights of agenda items approved at the September 28 meeting:

  • Approval of all financial reports from July and August 2017
  • Approval of Cleaning Service Contract with Peggy Mezick, who will clean the Central Office Bi-Monthly or 26 cleanings a year beginning Oct. 1, 2017 thru Sept 30, 2018.
  • Approval of contract services with Ivan Roman-Ocasio as part-time Adjunct ESL Teacher beginning Oct. 1, 2017 -Sept. 30, 2018.
  • Approval of contract services with Elda Pumpelly  as part-time Special Education Instructor.
  • Approval of Physical Therapy Services and Occupational Therapy services contract with Clay County Hospital beginning Oct. 1, 2017-Sept. 30, 2018.
  • Approval of 60 personnel action items.

Informational items

National School Lunch Week is Oct. 9-12, 2017
Fall Mini-Break is Oct. 9-10, 2017
The State did approve The Clay County Board of Education budget for FY2018 was approved by the State.
The next scheduled regular board meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017, at 4:00 in the board room.

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month; Remembering Eli

Image result for childhood cancer awareness

As you may know, September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. So, before the month draws to a close, I’d like to tell you  a story about one of the greatest little cancer warriors to ever walk the face of the Earth, Elijah Sims. I know I’ve written about Eli before, but to me, he should be spoken about often, so no one ever forgets what this sweet child accomplished in his brief Earthly existence.

Eli was only 21 months old when he was diagnosed with Stage 4  Hepatoblastoma, and the cancer has metastasized to his lungs.  The prognosis wasn’t a good one, but Eli was a fighter, and he fought the disease with every fiber of his being, for well over a year. Eli passed just a few weeks after his third birthday.

It was a fight that was just too big for such a small child, but the warrior instilled in his little body didn’t know the difference.  His courageous battle won the hearts of so many, and because of that, a hero was born. A golden-haired little hero with a smile that could just seem to light up the world. A smile that would show no indication of the battle scars he carried inside. Eli’s very presence seem to warm you inside, kinda like a Heavenly aura surrounding him at all times. People were drawn to his sweet spirit and once you had been around Eli, your life would never be the same. His story touched so many lives in ways that we may never really know.

I know it seems weird to call a toddler a hero, especially when the horrific disease seemed to beat him in the end , but sometimes in life, there’s a bigger picture. You take a small child, who should never even have known any pain, other than a few scrapes and bruises, and watch him take on such a deadly disease and fight it with the strength of ten grown men, well now…that’s not something many will ever see in a lifetime and it changes you.

A true David and Goliath story, although the ending wasn’t quite the same, the efforts were instilled in your heart and you never quite forget it. And sometimes in life, that’s just the way it is. It’s a battle you were never meant to win, but yet how you handle it that serves as a lesson for others. A lesson of hope to many that if a small wisp of a boy can fight a huge cancer monster with unbeatable odds, that maybe you can take on whatever demons you are facing in life.


And as a parent myself, I can’t even imagine the pain that Jason and Kelcey Sims experienced as they watched the cancer eventually overtake the body of their sweet baby son. As a parent, it is our job to make your child never hurts. To put that band-aid on, kiss the boo-boo and make it all better. But the Sims never had this option. They had to stand by and helplessly watch as Eli underwent strong chemo treatments meant only for adults wreaked havoc on his little body. The hospitals, the needles, the courses of treatments, the pain that they couldn’t make go away. It just seems so unfair.

I’m not even sure if I could have handled it, but yet Kelcey and Jason clung hard to their faith that God would heal their son. And in the end, although it wasn’t the healing they had hoped for, it was still a healing. The best kind for Eli, one they could take comfort in, but it still doesn’t ease the ache in their hearts or their empty arms.

Childhood Cancer is simply unfair and must be eliminated. So, Kelcey wants to pass on some information and statistics to make the public more aware, in hopes that no child will ever have to suffer the way her son did. Parents, please read these carefully and be aware of any potential warning signs.

Kelcey Sims: “My goal is to just make people aware of the information about childhood cancer. As a nurse and someone being in the medical field for 10 years now even I didn’t know about the things I learned after Eli was diagnosed. I just want parents to be aware of the warning signs and to know it can happen to your child too! My goal is to make more companies and people want to research childhood cancer and put just as much effort into it as they do adult cancer. Here are some points I want to make people aware of:

  • Pediatric cancer is the #1 disease killer of kids in the US.
  • More American children die of cancer than of aids, asthma,cystic fibrosis, congenital abnormalities and diabetes combined
  • 7 kids die each day of pediatric cancer.
  • “0” , yes that’s ZERO screening methods are available so there is no way of preventing the cancer.
  • Each day 36 kids are diagnosed. 
  • Pediatric cancer is the leading pediatric disease killer, annually killing more kids than kidnapping, drug overdose, gun-related deaths, and drowning.
  • Less than 4% of our governments cancer research budget is allocated to children’s cancer research. 
  • 80% of pediatric cancers are metastasized/spread at time of diagnosis. ( at 21 no the old Eli was stage 4 with mets to lungs)
  • Only 3 new pediatric drugs were developed in the last 20 years compared to 23 drugs for adults in 2012.
  • 3 out of 5 childhood cancer survivors develop late physical and emotional effects, such as ptsd, infertility and vision loss, secondary cancers.
  • Average cost of cancer treatment for 1 child is $500,000.00. Out-of-pocket costs average $35,000.00 per child for treatment.
  • When a crib hurts a few children there is a massive recall and you hear it on the news. But when cancer kills 7 kids everyday no one seems to notice .
  • Childhood cancer awareness signs and symptoms: Continued, unexplained weight loss. Headaches, often with early Morning vomit. Increased swelling or persistent pain in bones, joints back or legs. Lump or mass ,especially in abdomen, neck, chest, pelvis, or arm pits. Development of excessive nursing, bleeding, or rash. Consistent Infections,  A whitish color behind pupil.  Nausea which persists or vomiting without nausea Consistent tiredness or noticeable lameness. Eye or vision changes which occur suddenly and persist. Recurrent or persistent fevers of unknown origin.  Eli had 9 of these 11 symptoms!!!!

Childhood cancer, two words a parent never wants to hear. An illness no child should ever have to endure. Let’s fight the fight and put an end to this heartbreaker. Eli was my HERO: an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles!”

Team Eli remains active in his memory and continue their crusade to end Childhood Cancer.  The 2nd Annual Team Eli Halloween Hustle Costume Run is a 5k Run/Walk for Adults and kids older than 12. Also, for the kids 12 and under they will have a 1 mile fun run/walk. The event will be held Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 8 AM-11AM at the Lineville park.

Team Eli hope to continue this event annually, choosing different organization to benefit each year. This year they have chosen The Make A Wish Foundation. This organization sent Eli and his family to meet Mickey Mouse at Disney World a few short weeks before his passing. They gave him joy in his last days and we would like to help them give that to someone else.










Grand Jury List- September 26, 2017

 Here are a list of indictments handed down by the Clay County Grand Jury at this time:

Jessie Bishop-Burglary- 3rd Degree, Theft of Property 4, Use/ Possession Drug Paraphernalia, Harassing Communication, Theft of Property 3, Sodomy 1st Degree

Randell Ladario Brown– Reckless Endangerment, Resisting Arrest, Domestic Violence 2nd- Burglary

Daniel Paul Bumgarner– Use/Possession Drug Paraphernalia, Possession Controlled Substance

Andrea Machelle Clarke– Possession/Receive Controlled Substance

Joshua Cody Cullars– Theft of property 3

Oronda Torria Dinkins– Receive Stolen Property, Firearms-Person for

Woodrow Dougherty– Burglary 3rd Degree, Theft of Property 2, Possession Forged Instrument, Theft of Property 3

Wayne Ashton Dunkley-Driving w Suspended License, Possession Controlled Substance, Possession Marijuana 1st, Use/Possession Drug Paraphernalia, Resisting Arrest

Dillion Wayne Grizzard– Theft of Property 2

Richard Matthew Hall– Break/Entering Vehicle, Theft of Property 2

Audrey Andrette Heard– Criminal Trespass 3, Possession Controlled Substance

Darrin Marcel Leister– Theft of Property 1

Sherry Denise Mattox–  Possession Controlled Substance, Switched Tag, Failure to Display Insurance

Travis Hunter Maxwell– Possession Marijuana 2nd, Use/Possession drug Paraphernalia, Possession Controlled Substance

Alexander Bar Mcardle-Possession Controlled Substance, Possession/Receive Controlled Substance, Possession Marijuana 2nd, Paraphernalia Misdemeanor

Sonia Kay Morrow-Identity Theft (3 counts), Theft of property 3

Tre Reshun Newell– Use/Possession Drug Paraphernalia, Possession Controlled Substance, Possession Marijuana 1st

Brandon Wayne Parsons– Burglary 3rd Degree, Theft of property 2

Robert Dewayne Price-Assault 2nd Degree, Domestic Violence 3rd-Assault, Criminal Use of Defense, Resisting Arrest

Douglas Lee Robertson– Kidnapping 2nd Degree, Domestic Violence 3rd-Assault

John Thomas Rockwell– Possession Controlled Substance

James David Screws– Theft of Property 2

Christy Ann Shaddix– Promote Prison Contraband, Unlawful Possession w/ Intent, Use/Possession Drug Paraphernalia, Possession Controlled Substance, Possession Moonshine, Unlawful Distribution/Furnishing

Thomas Wayne Shaddix– Paraphernalia Misdemeanor, Possession Marijuana 1, Fail to Signal, Driving while Revoked

Christopher Ken Smith– Rape 2nd Degree  (2 counts)

Thomas Stanford– Possession Controlled Substance, Use/Possession Drug Paraphernalia

Torey LeSean Sterling–  Possession Controlled Substance, Possession Marijuana 2nd

William Jerome Trammell– Theft of Property 1, Burglary 3rd Degree (6 counts), Possession Burglar’s Tool, Theft of Property 4 ( 3 counts), Theft of Property 3 ( 2 counts),  Theft of property 2 ( 2 counts), Burglary ( 2 counts),  Breaking/Enter Vehicle

Joshua Darnell Williams-No Driver’s License, Speed less 25 mph, Paraphernalia Misdemeanor, Pistol in Vehicle, Possession Marijuana 1

Clay County Hazardous Weather Outlook for Irma

What may seem like a perfect rainy sleep-in morning for some should not be taken so lightly. Although Irma has weakened and will no doubt be downgraded to a Tropical Storm later this morning, the Eastern region of the state of Alabama remains under a Tropical Storm warning in anticipation of Irma’s arrival…and ultimately, her welcome departure.

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So, if you’re in Clay County, here’s what you can expect within the next 24 hours, give or take a few:

The highest impact time appears to begin at 12 noon today ( Monday) to as late as noon tomorrow.  This timing is dependent on many factors, such as the speed of Irma and course of track. You can expect wind gusts from 35-45 mph, ranging up to 55 mph and 3-5 inches of rain, with possibly locally higher amounts.

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Downed trees and power outages are likely, so be sure to have a plan of action in place. Make sure your cell phones are charged and you have plenty of bottled water onhand. You can also fill your bathtub with water for necessary household needs, such as toilet flushing.  You will need to have canned foods, or convenient grocery items, batteries, flashlights and candles is a must because you never know how long you will be without power, especially at this time with so many power crews out of state working the hardest hit area, there could possibly be a delay is having your service restored.

There is no tornado threat at this time, however, and this is just me speaking, you can never really rule out an isolated tornado.  Not trying to use scare tactics, just raise awareness.

I know there are many of you who want to help out when the damage starts rolling in, but please remember to WATCH OUT for downed power lines. So, if you see a tree down and want to grab your chain saw to cut, remember that it could be wrapped in live power lines and you could be electrocuted. DO NOT attempt to drive across downed power lines as well. Same scenario.

If you live in a mobile home, don’t wait until the storm is upon you to seek shelter! Remember that precautionary measures saves lives! There are several local shelters that will open after lunch today to anyone in need.

  • Shinbone Fire Dept
  • Delta Fire Dept
  • Hollis Fire Dept
  • Lineville Senior Center
  • Bluff Springs Fire Dept
  • Shiloh Fire Dept
  • Ashland Library
  • Millerville Fire Dept
  • Tri-Community
  • Ashland First Methodist Church
  • Cornerstone Ministries in Jackson’s Gap

If anyone has any shelters to add, please let me know.  Remember to take along any personal items you may need if you choose to use one of these shelters, because they don’t keep any of these items in stock.

The Clay County EMA, in conjunction with the Clay County Commission and Clay County Road Department, has issued a travel advisory for all Clay County Roads effective from noon Monday until 6pm Tuesday. All non-essential travel should be avoided.

PLEASE, PLEASE call your local EMA with any damage reports, so that they can pass the word along to you. 256-396-5886. PLEASE do NOT call 911 for a downed tree or structural damage because that is not an emergency, unless someone’s life is endangered. They will be very busy throughout the course of this storm handling calls.

Be safe, people, and please, be smart.

Here is a list of businesses and industry that will be closing early today:

  • TruCabinetry will close at 11:00 am today. No second shift.
  • Wellborn Cabinets will close at 12 noon today. No second shift.
  • Anniston Army Depot is closed for all Monday shifts.
  • Honda cancels 2nd shift for Monday.
  • Clay County Courthouse closing at Noon today.
  • The Circuit Clerk’s office of Clay County is officially closed Monday September 11th by order of the Governor. There will be no court on Monday.
  • Ashland Municipal Court has cancelled the court session scheduled for September 11, 2017 at 2 P.M. due to the Weather and all cases will be rescheduled for October 09, 2017 at 2 P.M.
  • Wedowee Municipal Court has been canceled for Monday night. All cases have been continued to October 24th at 5pm.
  • The Randolph County Courthouse will be closed Tuesday also due to the weather conditions.