Below is a press release issued by Ashland Police Chief Joseph Stanford:
On Wednesday, April 11, 2018, the Ashland Police Department received a call about a threat received by a worker at the Tru-Cabinetry plant in Ashland, AL. The caller stated that there was a bomb in each of the three different plants(2 located in Ashland, 1 in Lineville). Sergeant Tony Hubbard was the first on the scene, and Chief Stanford was second.
After speaking with the State Bureau of Investigation’s Bomb Squad, a sweep of the building was completed by company personnel and law enforcement, and nothing of note was found. After the sweep was completed an investigation into the call was started.
Investigator Corey Dickinson, and Chief Stanford worked with the president of the company, to identify the individuals that were likely to have done such an act, and narrowed the timeline down to a specific time.
It was later discovered that a current employee had left his place on the assembly line about the time the call was made, and returned a few minutes later. The supervisors over this employee’s area listened to the voicemail that was recorded and identified his voice.
On Friday, April 13, 2018, Dewayne Lambert, of Lineville, was brought in for questioning, and subsequently admitted to placing the phone call. Mr. Lambert was taken into custody and charged with Making a Terrorist Threat.
As always, all persons arrested and charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The Lineville City Council met Monday, April 2, 2018 with all members present.
Presentations were made to the Council in the Planning Session by Rick Stratton representing his law firm, Beasley-Allen, who is representing several Alabama counties and cities in a class action lawsuit opiod abuse case, urging the city of Lineville to get on board and enter into litigation with the lawsuit. Mayor Adamson said that since they had literally just received the contract via email just a few minutes before the meeting, that the council would have to discuss it and get back to him. For more information on this lawsuit, click here: http://www.beasleyallen.com/matter/opioids/
Representing Ron’s One Stop located at 89372 Hwy 9 in Lineville, Renee Houston addressed the Council in opposition of the opening of an ABC store in Lineville. Houston handed out an information packet to all the council members with literature and figures. Houston pointed out that Ron’s One Stop had paid the city $15,329.11 in city sales tax over the past 11 months since the store opened. Based on these figures, Houston went on to say that the city would lose approximately $350,000-$400,000 over a ten year period with an ABC store because the state was not required to pay the same city taxes.
Houston said that not only were they highly opposed to the opening of an ABC store, but they were also asking the city to also voice their opposition as well. “Although the coming of the ABC store may look like a good thing for the city, that it is not based on just the fact that the state isn’t obligated to pay the same city taxes that we pay. We feel like with an ABC store coming in, it would not bring any jobs in, and they would more than likely staff one person who would manage and operate the store. We would have to close our package store because we already get our inventory from the ABC store and even just this month our purchases have already decreased because we are afraid of getting stuck with all the inventory. The ABC store in Talladega already makes it impossible for all the surrounding package stores to operate efficiently and that’s just one example. We just don’t think it would be good for the city. Our employees are worried about losing their positions and we are worried about having to close out doors and we are really concerned about the city ultimately losing money. We feel like there were a lot of citizens who voted for alcohol sales into the city based on the revenue it would bring in and this would not be the case if ABC comes in”, said Houston.
Adamson responded to Houston: “As long as I have been here and as long as I have been around the city, I have never known the city the right to deny a legal business coming in and from my understanding, that contract is already signed and done. The state has not contacted us in any shape, form or fashion on this matter. They’ve been working with a private citizen on that and I haven’t seen a contract, but it’s supposedly already signed and they are already working on the store, so again, I don’t see the right to step in at this point in time. That’s the state of Alabama and we have never denied anybody the right to do a legal business in the city just so we can give another business exclusive rights. ”
Houston went on to say that it wasn’t just about the competition. ” You’re talking about a state-operated business in a city this size. All of our purchases already come from the state. No one else on the inside would be able to compete, it would be a monopoly in that area. Our sole intention for being here is not to ask that you deny anyone the right to open a business, we just want to make sure that everyone is aware that its not just us that is going to suffer, the city as a whole is going to suffer. “
Adamson said he felt that with the amount of hours the ABC store would be open, plus closing one day a week , that he felt Ron’s wouldn’t have a lot to worry about as far as a loss in revenue and the council members were all in agreement.
This concluded the presentation. Later, Adamson also stated that after doing some research on this matter, he discovered that the State will pay 2% fee in lieu of tax of their gross sales to the city. Adamson reported the city of Wedowee received approximately $21,000 last year from their ABC Store as a result of their gross sales.
In other business, the Council accepted the resignation of Jarrid Griffin from the Park Board, leaving a vacant spot. The vote was unanimous.
The Council also voted to participate in the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday which will take place on the weekend of July 20-22, 2018.
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
A suspect wanted by Clay County Sheriff’s Office led multiple agencies on a chase covering just under 30 miles through two counties.
On Sunday Evening, March 18th, Clay County Authorities received a possible sighting of the suspect and vehicle description. Neighboring County Deputies were notified and were provided that description. Sheriff Latham and Lineville Police Investigator Chris Mathews proceeded to an area where the suspect was believed to be in.
After some hours of surveillance, a vehicle fitting the description was spotted traveling just inside Randolph County. Surveillance continued with Cleburne County Deputies being notified the suspect vehicle was entering Cleburne County. As Cleburne County, Alabama State Troopers and Clay County Law Enforcement attempted to stop the vehicle just inside Cleburne County, the suspect vehicle fled, leading authorities though parts of Cleburne and Clay Counties.
After just under a 30 mile chase, the driver of the suspect vehicle lost control at the intersection of Fosters and East Mill Roads. Two occupants, one identified as John Ross McCay, age 25 of Lineville, wanted by Clay County Officials was apprehended. Although McCay received minor injuries in the accident, he was treated, then transported to Clay County Hospital by Clay County Rescue Squad (CCRS) where he was checked and released.
McCay was then booked into the Clay County Detention Center on charges of absconding probation from a previous drug charge& unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. McCay remains in the Clay Detention Center without bond. The driver received more extensive non-life threating injuries. He also was treated by CCRS and airlifted to an area hospital for treatment.
Due to the on-going investigation at press time, that name has not been released. A special thanks to Lineville Police Patrol & Investigative Division, Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA),Trooper Division, area agency dispatch centers, Clay County Rescue Squad and Clay County Sheriff’s Deputies. “Again when faced with difficult and dangerous circumstances, our law enforcement personnel teamed together and worked flawlessly to apprehend the suspects. Thank you for your professionalism and dedication to serve and protect our citizens of this great county” states Sheriff Latham.
Tuesday, March 13- A midday blaze today destroyed a home on 4th Street East in Ashland. The fire was reported to 911 by a passerby who saw smoke billowing from the house.
Homeowners, Lee Roy and Kacie Brown were both at work when they were informed that their home was on fire. They both arrived on the scene to find emergency personnel battling the fire, which had fully engulfed the house. Most of the home was burned, with some of the structure suffering water and smoke damage beyond recognition.
No one was home at the time the fire occurred, however two beloved family pets did perish. All of their belongings were destroyed. Cheaha Music is doing a gift card drive for the family. You can drop off anytime there between the hours of 12-6 pm Monday-Friday, 9-1 Saturday. For more details, please call 256-252-1023. Here are a list of the clothing sizes needed:
Press Release Issued by Clay County Sheriff Ray Latham:
On Sunday Evening March 4, 2018, at approximately 7:35pm, Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a residence in the 600 block of Center Hill Road in the Lineville/Delta area.
The home owner at the address informed deputies a prowler had been seen in the rear of their residence near a lighted shed, then moving to a location near a camper within the vicinity of the shed.
One of the family members stated they fired shots at the unknown individual, with several family members giving chase through a wooded area. Deputies arrived on the scene and began an investigation into the incident reported.
Assisted by Lineville Police, Ashland Police and the Clay County Rescue Squad, Law enforcement personnel began a search of the area where the prowler was last seen.
A neighbor provided an ATV that assisted deputies to search a large area with a heat seeking device (FLIR). The search continued to just before midnight, when law enforcement efforts produced negative results. At press time, the investigation is continuing.
Sheriff Latham again thanks the assisting agencies for their cooperation and assistance to deputies at the scene. Let us not forget the importance of our 911 personnel, Sheriff’s and Municipal Communication Officers that aid our law enforcement officers daily by providing the most accurate information to officers responding to critical events across our county. They too are true professionals and are to be commended.
Clay County Rescue Squad Operations Officer Brian Andrews gives report of week’s events:
Clay County Rescue Squad wants to thank three of our members for their many years of service and dedication to the Rescue Squad and the community. These three men have given of themselves for the good of others. They have sacrificed time with their families and many nights of sleep to help those that were in need. Each one of them have given over thirty years of service and still continue to serve today. They are a prime example of what makes Clay County the volunteer county. They were awarded with Lifetime Membership Awards in the Clay County Rescue Squad on February 22nd, 2018. Thank you Richard “Ricky” Farr, James Rodney Cheaney, and Jerrold Denson for everything you do and for what you mean to the Rescue Squad and Clay County.
We are about to enter our busy season again. So we’ll start with our usual good news.
Last week, CCRS responded to two missions (4 so far for FY2018) in the Talladega National Forest. The first was for 2 females that got off the Pinhoti Trail on a loop hike. No injuries, had food and water. But the trail can be tricky at times, especially after Fall leaves, animal trails to distract, and all the fallen limbs and trees from snow/ice that you have to go around at times. Luckily, they had cell service and were able to dial 911 and also send their location to our Operations Officer as a backup to verify. It took a bit longer than normal to access them due to downed trees and covered trails, but we remained in constant contact with them and were able to handle everything rather quickly.
The second was for a female at Devil’s Den area. She and her mother were hiking and wading on Friday in the creek. The daughter was startled by 2 small snakes and when she jumped to avoid them, she slipped and cut her foot. CCRS was called in and Shinbone VFD was asked to assist. TNF Officer Dodd and a couple of TNF employees also assisted. We were able to treat her injury and assist her back out where she was to be taken to a local hospital for further treatment by personal vehicle.
As always, we want to thank everyone involved in these SAR missions because we can’t do it alone. This week it includes our CCRS members, several CCRS auxiliary members, Clay County Sheriffs Dept, Cleburne County Sheriffs Dept, and Shinbone Volunteer Fire Dept.
Life as we know has changed. This world we live in has become one where evil and mental issues seem to be taking over with a vengeance, leaving us all at risk at any given moment, especially our children. Every day, there seems to be a school shooting or incident taking place all over the nation. The most recent, Parkland, Florida, where seventeen children and teachers shot to death by a student with obvious mental issues. And in the aftermath, it was discovered that there were warning signs there all along.
Life here in Clay County has always been like a touch of Mayberry. You walk down the streets and everywhere you look, you smile and wave at people you know, and perhaps engage in conversation. The crime rate is low here, thanks to our law enforcement, who do everything in their power to stay on top of things. People who come and go here always say that coming back to Clay County is like taking a step back in time, but things are slowly changing. That evil that we see in the outside is slowly beginning to invade our peaceful little world here. So, how do we handle that?
Back in our day, there were no threats to us when we went to school that these children face today. Now as a parent, the very thought of sending your child to school not knowing what dangers may await them leaves you with a helpless and terrifying feeling. School should be a safe haven to our children, one where evil and tragedy can never strike. But that is no longer the case and it leaves us all a little uneasy. So, how do we handle that? How do we keep our children safe from harm? Sadly, there is no reassurance that we can, but it doesn’t mean we won’t do everything in our power to ensure that it won’t.
Recently, there were a couple of incidents that suggested our schools could be at threat that set a plan in motion for Darlene Alldredge. Darlene was a member of the Calhoun County Safe School Task Force that formed in after the Columbine shooting in 1999 and felt we needed a program like that here in Clay County. After a few calls, a meeting was arranged.
This meeting was held last week, and Clay County Safe Schools Task Force was formed. Attending this meeting was Benny Morrison, District 1 Commissioner, Ashland Police Chief Joseph Stanford, Lineville Police Chief Shane Dunnagan, Clay County Chief Deputy Henry Lambert, Central Sr. High Principal Russell Hatchcock, Ashland Elementary Principal Jarred Wesley, Rodney Denson, Darlene Alldredge, and Tammy Andrews.
Some of the many topics discussed during this meeting stemmed from preventative measures, learning those warning signs from a disturbed student, how to make students more aware of any pending problems, how to make the campuses more secure, and forming a plan of action, among other things. It was a very informative session, where many recommendations were made. Of course, there will be more meetings to follow, but the Core Group was formed and everyone was in agreement that something needed to be done to ensure our chidren’s safety.
Please keep in mind that this is a work in progress, but the foundation has at least been laid, and we are in the process of forming committees to implement the ideas made at this initial session. As soon as everything is in place, you can expect a public assembly for all parents and concerned citizens for more information. We feel confident that the community will embrace this program and hopefully become active in it. More information will be released at a later date, but we encourage you to like our Facebook page to keep up with the latest: https://www.facebook.com/Clay-County-Safe-Schools-Task-Force-430485787382122/
This statement was released by Lineville Police Chief Shane Dunnagan concerning the rumors of a possible school shooting at Central High:
Over the weekend, Officers received information about a comment that was made after the school shooting in Florida. Although it was not a threat that was made, nothing can be taken lightly in dealing with the safety of our children.
Officers looked into the situation and though they didn’t find a credible threat, we have placed Officers at each school to ease everyone’s mind and to help ensure you that your children are safe.
The Clay County Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting drew a nice crowd on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at the Central High Cafeteria. Those is attendance enjoyed a nice meal catered by Young House BBQ in Lineville and some left with several nice door prizes donated by local businesses.
Chamber CEO Tiffany Young gave a recap of some of the events the Chamber had participated in for the year of 2017, most recently, Christmas in the Park at Lineville City Park and the life-sized hand-painted Christmas Card Collection in conjunction with surrounding counties and East Alabama Tourism.
Young spoke of upcoming events that would take place in the 2018 year, such as the Clay County Fair, which will be held on the weekend of April 12-14 at the EDC Industrial Park on Hwy 9 across from Airport Rd between Lineville and Ashland. This event will feature up to 18 carnival rides, vendors and attractions. Arm Bands can be purchased for this event available at the Chamber Office during business hours. Call 256-396-2828 for more information or visit their website: http://www.alabamaclaycounty.com
Young was also excited to announce the Chamber would be partnering in the first Southeastern Agricultural Expo to held in conjunction with the Fair. Heading up this committee is Alicia Homburger, who spoke briefly on their expectations of this event, which main focus is to highlight and showcase the farmers of the county and the members of the Cattlemen’s and Jr. Cattlemen’s Association.
Kim Cain also gave a very brief description of the first Yellow- Meated Watermelon Festival to be held on August 11th and was hopeful to see a lot of community participation in this event.
Afterwards, guests were very entertained by Award-winning country music singer and songwriter, Jeff Bates, as he shared details of his life story that included his hard-fought battle with drug addiction and how he overcame those demons with the help of Jesus Christ and his rise from the ashes to become a well-respected singer and songwriter. There wasn’t a person in the room who wasn’t touched by his story. For more details of Jeff’s story, click here: http://www.claycountyweb.com/articles/country-music-artist-jeff-bates-to-play-at-historic-ashland-theatre/
The lovely evening was capped off by the presentations of awards for the 2018 year ( Pictures below). We congratulate all of these winners:
Volunteer of the Year: Kim Cain
New Business of the Year: Cheaha Music
Business of the Year: The Clay Times-Journal
Appreciation awards were also awarded the following businesses:
Young House BBQ
Court Square Cafe
First State Bank
An appreciation certificate was also presented to Lee and Debbie Harrison for their loyal participation in each Chamber event.
It was a very enjoyable event and we commend Tiffany and her Board for their hard work in making this such a successful event.