Category Archives: Articles

Document in Circulation Questioned by Commissioner

The Clay County Commission met on Monday, June 12 with all members present.

Expenditures were approved with little discussion and signing of the minutes before getting down to old business.

Old Business

At a previous meeting, a county maintenance truck was declared surplus, because it was believed that the vehicle would not run. However, upon mechanical inspection, it was discovered that the truck just needed some minor engine work, therefore, in this session, the commission undeclared this vehicle surplus and it will be added to the maintenance fleet.

There was also discussion of purchasing a trailer for this vehicle to haul lawn equipment. Commissioners ended up approving to give Commissioner Benny Morrison the authority to purchase lawn equipment. Morrison abstained from this vote.

Per Morrison’s motion, Commissioners passed a resolution for each individual Commissioner to appoint a Representative from their District to the Water Board, as opposed to the three-man Board they have now and some of these terms have already expired. This was a unanimous vote and the appointments were made. These are staggered terms.

Water Board Appointments were as follows:

  • District 1: Waylon Wheeles
  • District 2: Nick Jordan
  • District 4: Jason Watkins
Morrison holds document in question

In other business, Commissioner Morrison questioned why there was a petition  supporting the Mellow Valley park on county letterhead at Costley’s Service Station in Mellow Valley without all of the Commissioners knowledge. Chairman Ray Milstead said this was not a petition, but a survey, that he had placed there per EARPDC Representative Dianne Glen request had said to put out there to see if there was anyone in that community who was interested in putting their time and money into the park restoration.

Morrison stated he felt this survey in question looked more like a petition to him and inquired of County Attorney Greg Varner as to whether it was legal or unethical to put something like this out to the public with Commissioners names listed in the letterhead, who had no knowledge of this document. “This was something that we, as a Commission Board, agreed not to support and pursue further action for this park and it looks like a severe handicap for someone to go beyond the action of our decision, as a whole”, said Morrison.

Document in question

Milstead said he didn’t believe it to be unethical, but that he was acting on Mrs. Glen’s request.

Commissioner Burney said it was his opinion that this document should have been approved by the Commission Board before being placed in the public, since all Commissioners names were on the letterhead.

Varner said he didn’t know if it was illegal or unethical to have this document placed in this business, but that maybe it was more if the other Commissioners felt that Chairman Milstead may have acted overstepped his authority in this case.

Milstead went on to explain that the reason there was a red flag against the park through deficiencies  and not being ADECA compliant. Varner said all red flags had been lifted at this time, although there was still deficiencies that needed to be satisfied.

Mellow Valley Park

In the January meeting, the Commission agreed not to proceed with submitting a pre-application for a 128,000 ADECA grant to upgrade  for Mellow Valley park, due to inactivity,  since the school was no longer open and it wasn’t used much anymore.

Morrison made the motion that requires any correspondence or document of another Commissioner or Chairman  be approved by a majority vote of the Commission Body, as a whole. This was unanimously approved.

New Business

It was approved to accept the Insolvents, errors, and taxes in litigation list from Revenue Commissioner Ronald Robertson. This is a standard procedure that takes place every year.

It was also approved to partake in the Sales Tax Holiday weekend on July 21-23.

Further action taken included the following:

  • Approval of the Replacement of all the pulleys, springs and cables in the seven doors of the Farmer’s Market facility, for a sum of $6154.00
  •  Approval of fire damper to go into new duct work of $450.00  to Alabama Air Comfort Control in the Commission building.
  • Approval to drop the ceilings in hallway of Commission building, for the sum  of $3900 from Simmons & Simmons.

On a final note, Varner stated he had been requested to have the courtroom made more electronically assisted for court people in the future, such as extra plugins for laptops, etc.

This concluded the meeting.




Drowning Victims Recovered at Flat Rock Park

As with any Summer season, water activities are in full swing and sadly, some of these outings end in tragedy. This was the case at Flat Rock Park on Lake Wedowee in the Cragford area on late Friday evening when a family outing turned into tragedy in the blink of an eye.

Boats and divers search for victims. Photo courtesy of Klay Watts.

The tragedy occurred when the 28 yr old female, a devoted family friend, and the 6 yr old were playing in the water, as they had been off and on all day,  and just disappeared underwater, according to the mother of the child. The 911 call went out around 7:20 pm.

the search continues under a brightly lit sky of a full moon. Photo courtesy of Klay Watts.

Clay County Rescue Squad and Cragford Fire Department were paged out to the scene, along with Randolph County Personnel. Boats were launched and divers searched for hours before the mission was suspended around midnight. The search  resumed at 7:00 am Saturday morning, and the bodies of both victims were recovered within a short period of time. Flat Rock Park  closed to the public all day Saturday.

Both female victims are from Bowdon, Georgia, but no names will be released at this time. Our prayers go out to these families in the wake of this tragedy.




Tru Cabinetry donates to Ashland Head Start

ASHLAND, ALABAMA (May 9, 2017) – Tru Cabinetry, your local leader in the semi-custom cabinet category, announced today that it donated close to $800 to the Ashland Head Start program.

The donated funds came from the proceeds of a silent auction. During the auction, Tru Cabinetry employees had the opportunity to purchase cabinets used in our dealer displays or that were vendor returns. Head Start used the donation to purchase books and expand its classroom library. 

Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of young children from low-income families and those with disabilities. It does so by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Its mission is to change people’s lives by providing services to children and families in the Ashland community. It also aims to provide a quality preschool program for children from ages 3-5 by promoting education with a joyful and a positive attitude.

Pictured are the three Ashland Head Start classes with Tru Cabinetry employees Carrie Davis, Whitney Spangenberg, Donna Barrett, and Whitney Garrett.

For more information, please contact Tru Cabinetry 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 has 250 employees. It operates in over 370,000 square feet of manufacturing and distribution space.

Southeastern Land Group Announces Randall Upchurch as New Agent

Southeastern Land Group is proud to announce the addition of a new Land/Farm Agent. Randall Upchurch of Lineville, AL is now licensed in Alabama & Georgia with Southeastern Land Group. Randall brings his experience and knowledge of marketing Poultry Farms, Cattle Farms, Cropland, and Timberland. Randall has been a licensed agent since 2008.
Randall and his wife live on their family farm in Lineville, AL with their three sons Bence 8, Aiden 7, and Cager 2. They raise Registered Angus Cattle in conjunction with Randall’s brother’s family as Upchurch Angus. The operation spans over 300 acres and 150+ brood cows. Randall is a Deacon at Barfield Baptist Church, where he and Tiffany teach Sunday School and assist in Children’s Ministry. He also is a member of the Realtors Land Institute.
Randall is the co-founder of This is a marketing platform for the Poultry Farms marketed through Southeastern Land Group. He and co-founder Robert King have become leaders in marketing Poultry Farms throughout Alabama and Georgia. Experience and knowledge also allows Randall to be a leader in marketing Cattle Farms, Pastureland, and Timberland.
Randall is ready to assist you in buying or selling your rural property.
To contact Randall Upchurch visit , Cell 256-239-5379,, or find him on Facebook at Randall Upchurch-Ag Real Estate.

Father and Son’s Bodies Recovered After Sunday Kayaking Accident

** UPDATE** The bodies of a 34 yr old father, Jason Smith and 3 yr old son, Dawson Smith have been recovered. Our condolences go out to the family during the wake of this terrible tragedy.


May 29, 2017- Cleburne County has requested assistance from Clay County Rescue Squad for two missing boaters. No other information was given for this scanner page, but I was able to attain more information from outside sources.

The missing kayakers are a father and 3 yr old son. The accident occurred Sunday, when the kayak holding father and son on Big Tallapoosa River flipped over. This search has been underway since yesterday,  both by water and air. Please pray for this family.

This is a breaking story. Please check back for updates as I can get them.


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.