Category Archives: Articles

911 names new Coordinator

The Clay County E-911 Board met Thursday, June 9, 2016 for their regular scheduled meeting. During this meeting the board voted to hire senior dispatcher, Derra Simmons, as 911 Director. Derra was born in Randolph County. She has been working as dispatcher for 12 years and has been serving as acting 911 Director since late January of this year, since Marsha Spurlin was terminated from that position.

BOE meets in Called Session

The Board of Education met for a special called session on Thursday, June 9, 2016 to approve the following personnel action items:
Dena Burkhalter from Central High School Secretary to Central High School Bookkeeper
Karen Carr – Reinstated from being on loan to the State Department with the ARI program to Central High School as English Teacher.
Ben Endress as Math teacher at Central Jr. High School
Open Positions
Math Teacher – Central Jr. High School
Elementary Teacher – Ashland Elementary School
Secretary – Central High School
The next regular meeting is scheduled for June 27, 2016, at 4:00, at the Board office

Clay County Citizens reporting IRS Phone Scams

Sadly, we live in a day where scams, hackers, and identity theft are on the rise. I swear it amazes me what lengths these scammers will go to just to keep from earning an honest living. And sadly, its our elderly generation who are the most at risk.

Here is Clay County, we have always been fortunate to be able to avoid problems like these as they arise for the most part, but not anymore. It is here and these lowlifes are slowly working their way through our communities.


 Our local Sheriff’s office and the Commission office are receiving numerous phone calls and actual visits from victims of these threatening phone scams. This is just to make you aware that this is happening in our community and to ask you to spread the word.

There are many of our elderly population that do not employ the use of a computer and may not see our posts on Facebook or read it in the newspaper. So, please share with anyone you think may be at risk so that our citizens are safe from becoming a victim.

The Internal Revenue Service has issued a warning that scammers are preying on taxpayers by impersonating the IRS with fake phone calls and emails.

Just remember this VERY important information:

The IRS Will Never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money and you don’t owe taxes, here’s what you should do:

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page or call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
  • If you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040.



IRS warns of Continued Scams, Varied Tactics as the Tax Deadline Nears

IR-2016-62, April 13, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued a warning that scammers may try using the April 18 tax deadline to prey on hard-working taxpayers by impersonating the IRS and others with fake phone calls and emails. Even after the tax deadline passes, taxpayers should know the telltale signs of a scam and tips to protect themselves from a variety of phone scams and phishing emails.

“We’ve seen continuing activity in these scams throughout the filing season,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “As the tax deadline nears, these criminals may try and trick honest taxpayers over the phone or via email, and people should remain vigilant. After the tax deadline, watch out for these scammers promising a refund or threatening you with an unexpected tax bill.”


These scam artists frequently masquerade as being from the IRS, a tax company and sometimes even a state revenue department. By email, they try enticing people to click on links in official-looking messages containing questions related to their “tax refund.” Report these emails By phone, many scammers use threats to intimidate and bully people into paying a “tax bill.” They may even threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the driver’s license of their victim if they don’t get the money.

Variations of these scams can be seen nationwide, and it’s more important than ever to be cautious with providing personal or financial information. As part of the effort to protect taxpayers, the IRS has teamed up with state revenue departments and the tax industry to make sure taxpayers understand the dangers to their personal and financial data as part of the “Taxes. Security. Together” campaign.

Some examples of the varied tactics seen this year are:

  • Soliciting W-2 information from payroll and human resources professionals (see news release IR-2016-34)
  • “Verifying” tax return information over the phone (IR-2016-40)
  • Pretending to be from the tax preparation industry (IR-2016-28)

There are some important reminders for taxpayers nationwide about these schemes.

Watch Out for Threatening Phone Calls

Beware of scammers making unsolicited calls claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill. They con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may also leave “urgent” callback requests through phone “robo-calls,” or via a phishing email.

Scammers often alter caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. The callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use the victim’s name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.



Avoid Email Phishing Attempts

There has been a surge in email scams this year that appear to be from a tax agency or a tax software company.

Never reply to emails, texts or pop-up messages asking for your personal, tax or financial information. One common trick by criminals is to impersonate a business such as your financial institution, tax software provider or the IRS, asking you to update your account and providing a link. For small business, these schemes may try impersonating a company leader and request payroll and human resource information for employees in your company. Never click on links even if they seem to be from organizations you trust. Go directly to the organization’s website.

And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you see an email that says “You won a free cruise” or “The IRS has a refund waiting for you,” odds are high that it is a phishing attempt looking to get your personal information.

If you get a phishing email, remember this important advice:

  • Don’t reply to the message.
  • Don’t give out your personal or financial information.
  • Forward the email to Then delete it.
  • Don’t open any attachments or click on any links. They may have malicious code that will infect your computer.

More information on how to report phishing or phone scams is available on

Top 9 photos of the week May 30- June 6

9.  Two hawks at one time? Well, what kind of symbolic message is that? Surely, it’s good, right?  The hawk is a messenger bird. Usually when we see a hawk it means to pay attention because a message is coming to you. Hawks represent clear sightedness, being observant, our far memory and guardianship. They also bring courage, wisdom, illumination, creativity and truth. Hawks give us the ability to see the larger picture in life. They can help you to overcome problems and make wise use of opportunities. This picture was taken by Gaynelle Nunn at her home in Roanoke, AL.


8. The Holy Bible is the spiritual passage of life. Within its contents lies everything we need to get us through every single aspect of life. However, it usually takes us years to figure this out, so many of us never attempt to dedicate ourselves to studying these scriptures to uncover their true meanings until we are much older. So, that’s what makes this picture so special. Seeing this beautiful 7-yr old girl , Trinity Davis Cotney, reading her Bible so intently is an inspirational sign that with all the evil in the world filling our news feeds, perhaps there still is a little hope after all. Well done, Tabitha Davis….you’re raising this girl right 🙂

read bible davis

7. Look out, Paula Deen, you’ve got some competition coming up! This kid is going to make someone a fantastic husband! LOL. When two year old Jaxin Nash saw his mother making some tea, he decided he would add his own little special touch of flavor, after it cooled down.  Jaxin is the son of Jesse and Sarah Nash of Delta.

P.S.  No children were harmed in the making of this photo 🙂


6. We’ll just call this one, “Are you Kidding me??”. This photo was taken by Jeremy Nash last Saturday at an Extrication Class for the Ashland Fire Department. Excuse me, can we maybe use some of that high-tech equipment on disposing of this unwelcome spectator?? <shivers>

extrication class snake

5. They say if you want something done, then you might as well do it yourself…right?? Well, look out,  Maddie Jane Shealy is about to show you how its done!  ! It seems Maddie Jane received the amazing gift of a new swing set for her fourth birthday and she doesn’t want to wait a minute longer to play on it. So, after losing patience with the men in her family, she is taking matters into her own hands with the construction. Someone get this kid a hard hat and watch her work 🙂 Maddie Jane is the daughter of Jeremi and Alexandra Shealy of Lineville.

maddie4. The look on this kid’s face is priceless and I think his shirt speaks for itself!! LOL Give 3 yr old Grayson Rainwater about 20 years and he’ll be able to melt you with his iron clad stare. Wouldn’t you just love to know what he’s thinking? Is he happy? Is he mad? Is he sad? Well, the jury is still out on that one, but I’m sure Coca-Cola appreciates the plug here because he totally owns that hat! Grayson is the son of Matt and Beth Rainwater.




3. There’s a lot to be said about the bond between a beloved family pet and the newest additions to the family and this one speaks volumes. From the moment 13-month old Dax  Spangenberg was brought home, Lola here was smitten and the feeling was mutual. Lola loves her some of these little sweet cheeks and is shown here playing affectionately with his little Master, as Dax tries to feed him a rock. Now, that’s love :). Dax is the son of Josh and Whitney  Spangenberg of Ashland. AL.


2. Don’t worry Mom, I’ve got this baby-sitting thing covered here, you just enjoy your kid-less vacation! No worries!  Oh, I’m sure she wasn’t concerned at all. LOL. Randall Upchurch’s stock went up considerably with his wife, Tiffany, when he surprised her with a weekend getaway with the girls, and their 3 boys, Cager, Aiden, and Bence seem to really be enjoying the quality time with Dad. So, let’s say hi to Mom, guys, with your best smiles! What can I say? Boys will be boys 🙂


  1. As a city mourned the sudden loss of one of its most loved citizens, this picture pretty much summed us how everyone felt about his passing.  Early morning May 31, 2016,  the tragic news sent shock waves through the community that Owner of Ashland Tire Company, Perry Browning,  had passed away suddenly and they grieved hard. This man was a cornerstone of the city of Ashland and his presence was everywhere. It was as if he had always been around and no one ever thought he would leave us. Although we know that everyone has to go sometime, this was one was a hard pill to swallow. Perry was dearly loved by many, and he will always be remembered through stories of his compassion, spirituality, and kindness to others. That’s the way you leave your footprints on the face of this Earth. Rest Easy, Perry and watch over us in the same manner you did on Earth!




Ashland Council discuss new playground equipment; approve alcohol license

The Ashland Council met with all members present.

Mayor Fetner reported he had spoken with Grant Writer Perry Acuff, who announced there was a $30,000 grant available at no expense to the Water Board or to the City,  to assess the city sewage and possibly the water as well.

Dennis Hightower
Dennis Hightower

Dennis Hightower, with the Alabama Rehabilitation Services was present to address the Council on information to  thank the council for the support of their programs and for employee, Caitlin Morrison, at the Ashland Library.

Fetner announced they had spoken with a vendor about new playground equipment. Wynn showed the council the piece they had chosen that was cost-effective and could be made handicap accessible.

13388981_10205807213572188_1794694169_oThe cost of the equipment alone would be $7500.00, with the city would doing the mulch, border and a ramp to be handicap accessible. Wynn said she thought they could take $5000 from the nature trail fund, which can be used for park improvements, to cover the biggest chunk of this new equipment still leaving a balance of approximately $2500 in this account.

Council member Gail Thompson discussed details for signage at the new City Hall.

Chief Stanford reported that dog calls had dropped off recently. Stanford also invited the council to come check out the firearms training simulator at the police department.  Much like a video game, the simulator would put you through different scenarios officers may face.  Stanford also reported that May was a busy month with 196 cases on docket for Monday alone, with some more carrying over from the previous month.

Fire Chief Brett Thompson  reported his officers had gotten some good training at Saturday’s extrication class. The department currently has 18 active members.

Photo by: Jeremy Nash

Maintenance Supervisor Jeremy Nash reported on the projects and tasks his department was working on which included:

  • grass cutting, weed eating
  • cut and prep for ball fields
  • plumbing issues at ball fields
  • sidearm down city streets to keep limbs knocked back
  • park project of making improvement to trash cans,
  • parking bumper issues on the square popping loose, could result in reverting back to concrete bumpers in the future, which were more durable and easier to keep in place
  • patched pipe back on Owens Rd with coal mix, still need pouring concrete head walls on each end of the pipe to complete
  • flag poles have arrived
  •  they had laid out markers for grave sites, due to the recent passing of several citizens.  “Our thoughts and prayers go out to  the families who had lost their loved ones” – Nash
  • SIFAT project to start Thursday and will work on flower beds
  • Seth Jones, Youth Minister at FACS had spoken with Nash about doing a program similar to SIFAT’s in July to do volunteer work
  • cheapest price found on  grills to purchase 3 for city parks ( agenda item)
  • discussion of cleaning of city library carpet ( agenda item)
  • sold equipment trailer for $4000, which would more than half pay for the new mower purchase ( agenda item)



The following agenda items were approved:

  • Approval of current bills
  • Approval for Chief Stanford to attend the Chief’s Conference in Orange Beach, Alabama on July 31-August 4, 2016 with a registration cost of $200 and reimburse travel expenses
  • Approval for the Ashland Fire Department to purchase 3 radios and 5 pagers from Allcomm Wireless at a total cost of $4,720.00
  • Approval to purchase four (4) grills for the City Park from Northern Tool at a cost of $134.99 per grill, plus freight.
  • Approval to purchase industrial grade carpet for New City Hall from Davis Carpet Service  at a total cost of $11,565.00. This was passed with a 4-1 vote, with Council member Brad Wolfe opposing.
  • Approval to purchase signage for New City Hall at a total cost of $16,658.00. This was passed with a 4-1 vote with Wolfe, once again opposing.
  • Approval of alcohol application for Cassinelli’s Restaurant
  • Approval to purchase John Deere Z290M 60 inch cut lawn mower from Snead Ag, at a cost of $7,218.54 for the Maintenance Department.
  • Approval to pay Nelson & Nelson $3,796.04 for engineering fees on the Industrial Park Project.
  • Approval for Mayor to appoint Code Enforcement Officer Cecil Chappell at the “Appropriate Municipal Officer” in regards to the city of Ashland nuisance & abatement Ordinance No. 2005-04-04-01.
  • Approval to pay Webb Utilities & Construction $43,160.01 for work performed on the Industrial Park project.
  • Approval to adopt World Elder Abuse Awareness Day


  • Content for Ashland City flag
  • carpet cleaning at the Ashland library.

Council member Wolfe stated that even though he had opposed the two agenda items pertaining to the renovations to the New City Hall because he had not supported the purchase of the building in the beginning, he did want to add that he appreciated Council member Thompson’s time and efforts working as a committee head on this project.

Council member Wolfe
Council member Wolfe

Council member Joe Smith stated they had decided not to hold Westside Pride Day in June, but would look to hold the event next year in June.

Lineville Council Hire Librarian

The Lineville Council met Monday, June 6, 2016 with all members present with a relatively short agenda.

After the approval of the previous meeting minutes and the current bills paid,  the Mayor and council members entered into a brief executive session to discuss a legal city matter.

Upon return,  A Proclamation for Elder Abuse was adopted by the council with a unanimous vote. This proclamation would recognize the upcoming World Elder Abuse  Awareness Day on June 15, 2016, which is sadly affecting communities all over the world.

Under the recommendation of the Library Board, council members agreed to hire Julia Silverson as the new Librarian, effective June 20, 2016. Mayor Adamson recognized Amanda East and the Library Board for all of their hard work and effortslc 4 that went into the task of choosing the right person for this position.

City Clerk Cynthia Harris reminded everyone they were all invited to attend the Grand Opening of the Clay County Chamber of Commerce Office ( the former Cheaha Cabinets) on Friday,  June 24th. This event will take place between the hours of 9:00 am-2:00 pm on this day, with a ribbon cutting at noon.

Maintenance Supervisor reminded everyone of upcoming ball tournaments taking place soon.

The meeting was adjourned.

High Speed Chase Results in 15 hr manhunt in Clay County

It all started with a high speed chase involving a stolen car out of Cleburne County last night that ended in flames. The incident occurred  just inside Clay County on Hwy 49 North in the Delta area last night around 10:00 PM.13321106_10206679259924195_1991262319_o

The driver, Terrence Marshall,  lost control of the car and crashed, catching fire.  There were three subjects in the car.  Two of these subjects, Marshall and a juvenile male,  quickly fled the accident scene on foot.

13313391_10205772413702213_860030190_o The third subject, a black female identified as Alexus Nichole Horne of Cochran, Ga. was also in the vehicle, but did not run. She was treated for her injuries on the scene and taken into custody. Shinbone Valley Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the fire.


A foot pursuit ensued and the subjects separated. The two black males kept the law enforcement busy, as multiple calls begin to come to county dispatch soon after the crash of a black male beating on doors, on porches, and in the yards of homeowners nearby in the vicinity of  Abel Rd/Hwy 49N intersection near the crash site.

hunt 3 best

The search continued throughout the night as law enforcement combed the densely wooded area with the K-9 Unit. Around 6:30 am this morning, Marshall was apprehended on Hwy 49N.

Photo courtesy of Bill Goodman


Marshall told law enforcement that his partner was wanted for murder and was armed. There were reports of the remaining subject spotted on Good Hope Delta Rd,just a few miles up from this area, trying to flag people down on the road.

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The search was moved to this vicinity after a few visuals of the perpetrator, but each time he seemed to slip through their hands with so many wooded areas to hide in.

hunt 20

The manhunt continued throughout the next several hours as the state chopper and law enforcement agencies from surrounding counties joined in the search.

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The parameter of the search area extended from Good Hope Delta Rd to Ketchemedoggie Rd to Waites Rd, Ridge Rd, and Hwy 49 N.

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There were more sightings, and the K-9’s would pick up on his trail, but the subject was quick to escape captivity with what seemed like tireless efforts.

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The fugitive covered a lot of ground in a short time, but kept running in a circle, probably due to not being familiar with his surroundings.

hunt need this one

The manhunt finally ended on Waites Rd/Ridge Rd area with the chopper getting a visual on him as law men took him in custody when the toll of his run seemed to overtake him.


Clay County Rescue Squad was called to the scene for evaluation of the subject. He was treated for a large laceration on his leg and physical exertion. The second subject apprehended today is a juvenile and has warrants out of Georgia for murder.

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The timing of the apprehension couldn’t have been any better with a small thunderstorm moving in, that would have grounded the chopper.

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This is not an official press release, yet information I’ve observed throughout this incident. Hopefully, a press release will be issued at a later date.



I would like to recognize the following law enforcement agencies that played a part in the 15 hour ordeal and the capture the fugitive:

  • Clay County Sheriff’s Department
  • Lineville Police Department
  • Ashland Police Department
  • Cleburne County Sheriff’s Department
  • Heflin Police Department
  • U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement
  • U. S. Marshal Task Force
  • St. Clair County Dog Team
  • ALEA Aviation Unit


My local enforcement sources would like to extend their appreciation to all of these agencies, with a special thanks to the St. Clair County Dog Team and ALEA Aviation Unit for their apprehension of this fugitive.

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All images are subject to copyright of claycountyweb.comhunt 40

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