Challenging Weekend SAR Mission for CCRS

Below is a press release issued by Clay County Rescue Squad Missions Coordinator Brian Andrews regarding a search and rescue mission that occurred over the weekend:

11 Mar 2017 SAR Mission-At approximately 6:17 PM, CCRS Operations Officer Brian Andrews received a first call from Clay County E-911 about two lost male hikers. They had headed in from Cave Creek Trail Head and were en route to the Pinhoti to continue out to their pickup location.

The hikers made entrance at Cave Creek Trailhead

At a point on the Cave Creek trail before reaching the connector, they got off trail and were unable to find their way back. They continued downhill until they realized they were not going to hit a road or find their way out. They were prepared except for cold and rain, which was not forecast to this degree. The hikers called 911 with very little battery life left and this was their best choice. It allows us to get a GPS fix of some kind off their phone.

CCRS members were paged out for a Search and Rescue and were headed to gather equipment and personnel immediately. This is a situation we run into frequently where weather conditions can be a life-threatening event.

Upon arrival at the staging area, crews were sent in on 4-wheelers by road to a closer location, then by foot the remaining 3/4 mile. The terrain they were going to have to cover was very rough even on a nice day. Tonight was going to be much worse in cold, wind, and steady rain. Especially with it being a several hours event at minimum. Upon arrival to the end of the road trek, they started their hike in on foot. The terrain was bad enough it took nearly two hours to reach them on foot. Once verbal contact was made, it was only a few minutes later they were reached.

CCRS set up staging area at Nubbin Creek Rd and Watts Rd intersection

During this time, the crew at the staging area was making arrangements to get side by side UTV’s in there with additional crews to get everyone out quicker. The access did not allow full size vehicles in there. All parties in the woods were completely drenched and getting cramps due to conditions. This is hypothermic conditions and we must be very careful and quick. It’s one thing to hike rough in nice weather, it’s another to do it in 41 degrees (and dropping) while carrying equipment and supplies completely wet. Time estimates showed the first crew was going to reach an access road shortly with the hikers.

A second crew was sent in to retrieve equipment and the crew to exit the woods. The first crew and hikers needed to be placed on UTV’s with windshields to protect them from the cold and rain on the way out and the fresh second crew would bring out 4 wheelers and assist with any medical conditions that may arise.

The crews in the woods advised they were headed out as a group and to get all the vehicles warm and the ambulance ready. Everyone coming out was going to need somewhere warm to get in immediately. The crews and hikers were provided additional sweatshirts and blankets and checked out medically. Afterwards, the hikers were transported to meet up with their ride back home and CCRS members headed back to put up equipment and go back home.

This mission lasted about 9 hours total from first call to completion. We would like to thank Clay County Sheriff’s Office and several local individuals for various help and supplies they provided, including use of equipment. Again, another successful mission with a great outcome even though it was tougher than most. Like we always say, we can’t do this without the support of the community.

Body found in Clay County Identified

According to a 911 call that went out earlier this Sunday morning, March 12,  a deceased male, approximately 60 years of age, was found by a passerby near the intersection of Providence Rd and Canady Rd in the Bluff Springs/Mellow Valley area. The body was just outside of the deceased’s vehicle that appeared to have gotten stuck in the mud.17269728_650728118462012_507952837_o

According to sources, the deceased has been identified as Donald Campbell, of Alexander City, who was reported missing by family on Saturday, March 11. Campbell suffered from dementia and was last seen around 3:00 pm on this day.

This information has not yet been confirmed by Clay County Sheriff’s Office, but rather information I have gathered on my own.

My heart goes out to this family for the loss of their loved one.

LPD arrest Three Individuals on drug charges

  Below is a press release issued by Lineville Police Chief Shane Dunnagan on recent drug arrests made by Officers:

  On the night of March 4th, Patrol Officer Brown noticed a subject cutting thru some yards in a residential area. Officer Brown made contact with the subject and located 2 bags of marijuana and 19 individual wrapped baggies of cocaine in his pocket. 33 year old Torey Sterling of Lineville was charged with Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute and Possession of Marijuana 1st Degree.DSC01888
On March 10th Investigator Mathews, assisted by Patrol Officer Tomlin, made a traffic stop on a subject driving with a suspended license. There was already an investigation into this subject for the illegal sales of narcotics.

The driver of the vehicle, Wayne Dunkley of Lineville was found to be carrying 18 individually wrapped bags of Marijuana in his shorts. A search of the vehicle also discovered more Marijuana and 8 individually wrapped bags of Cocaine as well as a prescription drug. Wayne Dunkley and Tre Newell, who was also in the vehicle, were both charged with Possession of Marijuana 1st degree, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

 “It takes long hours, hard work, and dedication to get these dangerous drugs off our streets” Chief Dunnagan says, “These Officers have done an outstanding job”.

Joint Investigation Leads to Multiple Drug Distribution Charges

A two year investigation by Clay County Sheriff’s Investigators, Talladega County Drug Task Force and Lineville Police Department lead to the arrest of several individuals on Friday, March 3rd, 2017.

As a result of the 2 year probe into illegal drug distribution in the Clay and Talladega areas, Sheriff’s Investigators and Lineville Police Investigators conducted over a 7 hour surveillance of a residence at 3008 Oak Grove Road on Friday, March 3rd.

Late in the afternoon a subject of interest was seen leaving the residence. A traffic stop by Sheriff’s Investigators yielded over 11grams of Methamphetamine (ICE) from the traffic stop. ICE is labeled methamphetamine in its purest form.

Investigators shortly thereafter initiated a search of the residence at 3008 Oak Grove Road. A search of the residence resulted in the finding of illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, and illegal liquors. shaddix5

Arrested was Christy Ann Shaddix, age 42 of Lineville. Shaddix is charged with 2 counts of Distribution of Illegal Narcotics, 2 counts Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substance, 5 counts of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and 1 count Possession of Illegal Untaxed Liquors. Talladega County Drug Task Force holds warrants on Christy Shaddix, 1 count of Distribution of Illegal Narcotics.

Also charged was Jeremy Shaddix, age 31 of Lineville with 1 count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Baily Burgdoerfer, age 19 of Lineville with Unlawful possession of Marijuana 2nd and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

shaddix4 Christy Shaddix was also charged with Promoting Prison Contraband 2nd, after she attempted to carry illegal narcotics into the Clay County Detention Center when being processed. Christy Shaddix remains in the Clay County Detention Center on Bonds totaling over $130,000.00 (one hundred thirty thousand).  Jeremy Shaddix remains in the Clay County Detention Center on a $15,000.00 (fifteen thousand) bond. Baily Burgdoerfer has been released on bonds totaling $ 12,000.00 (twelve thousand).

Sheriff Latham commends all agencies involved in this 2 year probe of illegal drugs in our area. Once again it is proven when agencies join forces, positive results are obtained in the fight to keep illegal narcotics off our streets.

Cost of Tap Fees Big Discussion at Water Board Meeting: Deadline Looming

The Clay County Water Authority Board met Thursday, March 2, 2017. The main topic of discussion in this meeting was the almost 10-million dollar water project that would hopefully bring water to approximately 1000 households within Clay County, although the goal sign-ups seem to be falling far short. This expansion will be possible through a USDA grant, of which only 60% would have to be paid back. The source of funds for this project are as follows:

  • 3,779,000 USDA grant funds
  • 6, 051,000 loan
  • 1, 140,070 Water tap fees generated by charging a new service area

The USDA grant will not cover the cost of meter and tap fees and does not cover running lines to the homes. The length of the project will take place over a 2-year period. A rough count of over 800 signatures have been received thus far, but this figure could be due to several duplicate forms sent in. And with the March 10th deadline quickly approaching, it doesn’t appear the expansion will be quite as large as originally anticipated. The Clay County Water Authority has already paid out approximately 203,000 out of pocket expenses to date, through various sources trying to meet their expected new customer goal, including engineer fees, advertising, and mail-out letters to date getting ready for this water grant.

There were several citizens present for this meeting, who lived on White Plains Rd, a well-populated road,  that were interested in obtaining city water, but felt the tap fees were too expensive. The cost of the tap fees is $750 for short side connection and $1500 for long side, depending on which side of the road the pipe is ran. To help cushion the cost of the tie-in, the CCWA has offered to prorate these fees for any new customer over a period of 12 months. This cost broken down over the 12 months would be $62.50 per month for the 750 tie-in or $125.00 for $1500 for long.

District 1 Commissioner Bennie Morrison made an inquiry as to how the CCWA had arrived at these cost figures and was informed by Secretary Myra Character that this was the actual price they paid and had been for a number of years. “We don’t have a maintenance staff, so we contract this out and so far, it’s been cost effective’, said CCWA Superintendent Wayne Character. Morrison recalled the cost of the tie-ins when the Shinbone water project took place as being much more reasonable, but Water Board Member Kermit Caldwell informed him this project was done through a different type grant.

Caldwell sympathized with those present, who were there seeking city water and answers, and explained:  “We really don’t have any control over this cost. The water authority does not have the money to hire contractors to put these taps in. We would like to see everybody in Clay County who wants or needs water to get it and want to provide water to everyone as economically as we can to everyone who wants it. We did consider this when we agreed to prorate the tap fees over a 12- month period. It costs money to run those lines and It’s not economically feasible to run these lines unless you have the customer base to help pay for this.  Almost a 10 million grant and we have to pay about 60% of this back to USDA. The water authority will have to gain new customers to pay for this bill because we are going to have several million dollars we will be responsible for paying back.

“I understand fully where you’re coming from”, Caldwell continued addressing those present, ” But we are also under rules and regulations of the USDA that we have to comply with for this loan and our hands are tied. The Water Authority can’t afford to pay these tap fees and we wish we could. When you obligate yourself to over 6 million dollars, someone’s got to pay the fiddler.”17148707_10207802777100029_895234008_o

Morrison went on to say that he didn’t feel they would ever get the amount of new customers they needed to make this project work because of people were just not going to pay the tie-in fees because they were too high. “These folks are just not going to sign up with the way the way the cost is now and with the amount of people we need to make this grant work, it’s just not going to happen. Even if we got a 1000 sign ups, they would be scattered so remotely throughout the county that it would not be economically feasible.”

Morrison did, however mention meeting with Lake Gerald residents in the Delta area about this matter and this area would not only be ideal, but very cost effective to run these lines.

Morrison also cautioned the Water Board to remove the Commission Office as a point of contact on this subject, because the county Office personnel had fielded many calls on this matter.

If the number of sign ups fall short of the 1,000 goal, the amount of the grant will be shortened, and all of these figures will change. This money has been set aside by the USDA and they are awaiting a head count. The Engineer present working this project said they would take all of applicants they had and enter them into GS system and redesign to reflect those who have signed up (customer interest). Even if you signed up, you won’t be guaranteed city water unless a customer crew comes by your house and puts a water line in.”

The deadline is March 10 for the prorated tap fees for who wish to sign up for county water.




Domestic Call Turns into Attempt to Flee: Suspect in Custody

Below is a press release issued by Ashland Police Chief Joseph Stanford, regarding the domestic violence call that occurred at Jack’s Restaurant in Lineville. According to Lineville Police Chief Shane Dunnagan, the incident occurred when a male entered the lobby and was loudly cursing a female. The subject left right after the manager called the police and his direction of travel was believed to be in the Ashland area. In addition to charges from the Ashland Police Department, Hammonds also faces Disorderly Conduct charges with Lineville, with a possible Domestic Violence charge in the near future.

On February 28, 2017, the Ashland Police Department received a notice from the Lineville Police Department to be on the lookout for a white male with tattoos all over his body, which was just involved in a domestic incident in the Lineville City Limits. Lineville was able to provide a vehicle description and the suspect’s name, Jacob Hammonds, and that he may have been under the influence of alcohol.

Chief Joseph Stanford received the call and the description and responded to an address off of AL-9 within the jurisdiction of Ashland, where Hammonds was possibly headed. Upon his arrival the suspected vehicle was not there, but Chief Stanford waited there to try and make contact with the suspect.

Photo courtesy of Baylee Sanders
Photo courtesy of Baylee Sanders

After a few minutes of waiting, Chief Stanford saw the suspected vehicle pulling into the driveway, and he signaled the vehicle to stop. The driver, instead, sped up the driveway, and stopped at the house. Once he parked the car he exited the vehicle and ran on foot through an adjoining pasture.

Moments later, other units responded and after about an hour of searching for Hammonds. He was taken into custody by Lineville Investigator Chris Mathews, and one of Ashland’s new officers Hunter Griffin. Hammonds was charged with Attempting to Elude an Officer, and at the time of this release was being held at the Clay County Detention Center on a $750 bond, with other charges pending as well.

Tru Cabinetry donates to Louisiana flood relief effort

ASHLAND, ALABAMA (March 3, 2017) – Tru Cabinetry, an Alabama-based cabinet manufacturer, announces its donation of $17,610.85 to the American Red Cross Louisiana Flood Relief efforts.

Tru Cabinetry donated a portion of all sales in Louisiana from September 2016 through December 2016 to help lessen the burden created by the catastrophic flooding that overtook a large portion of the state in August 2016.

“It was devastating to watch the news of this prolonged rainfall event unfold late last summer,” said Tru Cabinetry President Butch Reimer. “We knew that we needed to do something to show our support and commitment to the communities of Southern Louisiana..”Tru-Cabinetry-plant

The flooding has been called the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in 2012, and it resulted in 20 Louisiana parishes being designated federal disaster areas by FEMA. It took the lives of 13 individuals and destroyed more than 140,000 homes.

“These homes and buildings in ruins are the places where families and friends usually gather to celebrate, to live, and simply be in the company of one another. We wanted to help contribute to their revival,” said Reimer. “We know that disaster recovery can take a long time, but it’s our hope that the members of these devastated communities will be able to find some relief in our effort. Tru Cabinetry is driven by small town pride, just like most of these communities.”

The mission of the Red Cross is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. During its time providing assistance after the Louisiana floods, the Red Cross has used donated funds to provide shelter until families could return home, serve water and hot meals, provide first aid, give comfort and emotional support, ensure people with disabilities receive the help they need, distribute cleanup supplies, meet with families to prepare recovery plans, and assess damage in impacted neighborhoods.

For more information, please contact Eric Reed at 256-354-3378.

Tru Cabinetry, a brand of Tru-wood Cabinet Company, LLC is a rapidly-growing manufacturer of high-quality semi-custom cabinetry. Tru Cabinetry is headquartered in Ashland, Ala. and currently employs 190 employees and operates in over 370,000 square feet in manufacturing and distribution space.