Montgomery, AL.- On Saturday, July 21, 2018, Michael Morrison of Lineville, was elected President of the Alabama Jr. Cattlemen’s Association at the 2018 AJCA Round-Up. Michael has been a member of AJCA since he was 9 and has been on the Executive Board for 3 years. He is the first person ever from Clay County to hold this prestigious office.

Michael has participated in numerous activities through AJCA, such as exhibiting registered show cows, livestock judging, and leadership activities. He currently attends Gadsden St. Community College where he is an Ambassador. He plans to transfer to Auburn University in the Fall of 2019. He is the son of Mike and Laraine Morrison.


Chris and Jordyn Upchurch of Clay County were named Alabama’s 2018 Outstanding Young Farm Family (OYFF) at the Alabama Farmers Federation’s 46th Commodity Producers Conference in Montgomery Aug. 4. Their Rockin U farm in Lineville encompasses over 300 acres, 130 cows and three poultry houses.

As the OYFF, the fourth-generation farmers received over $70,000 in prizes and will compete for the national Achievement Award at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual convention in New Orleans in January. From left are Federation President Jimmy Parnell, Jordyn and Chris.

Escaped Inmate Back in Custody


The escaped Inmate worker, Shannon Dewayne Waldrop, who walked off job detail at Clay County Jail around 5:30 am on July 14, 2018 is now in custody. Waldrop turned himself in to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, August 18, 2018. This is a late breaking story and I still don’t have all the details. More information to follow soon…


On Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 6:30 pm, a meeting concerning the future of the courthouse was held to in the the Clay County Courthouse with concerned citizens packing the benches of the Hugo Black courtroom.

This meeting was called by Courthouse officials to address the referendum  that will be on the Clay County ballot in the upcoming November election. This Act, SB81, was first introduced into the House by State Senator Gerald Dial which passed through Legislation to be placed on the Clay County Ballot for citizens to vote on in the November election.


BOE Meeting Summary 8-06-18, LES Selected as Governor’s Bicentennial Schools

The Clay County Board of Education met Monday, August 6, 2018 with a relatively short agenda. The following agenda items were approved in this session:

  •  Approval to declare 3 commercial reach in freezers and 2 commercial coolers at Ashland Elementary surplus and advertise to take sealed bids on each* Bids will be opened August 29, 2018 at 10:00 AM at Central Office.
  • Approval of 17 Personnel Action items, which included some of the following:

Continue reading BOE Meeting Summary 8-06-18, LES Selected as Governor’s Bicentennial Schools

Ashland Restaurant Owner Faced with Multiple Felony Drug Charges

July 25, 2018

On July 23, 2018 in the early morning hours, the Ashland Police Department, along with the Clay County Sheriff’s Department and Lineville Police Department, conducted a search warrant on the residence at 920 Peach Orchard Road, the house of Billy F. Campbell.

Upon entry Mr. Campbell was found and detained so that the search could commence. Once inside the home officers recovered large amounts of methamphetamine and marijuana, along with other narcotics and paraphernalia used for the processing, using, or sale of narcotics, as well as a firearm. 

Once the items were recovered Mr. Campbell was taken into custody and transported to Coosa County Jail for holding until all of the evidence was gone through. 

While searching the outside buildings of the residence, a liquor still, used in the making of illegal liquor, was found. At this point the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) alcohol division was called in to collect the still and prepare charges for the illegal still. 

After further investigation of the house it was determined that Mr. Campbell’s business may have been involved in the illegal drug trade, and a search warrant was sought for his restaurant.

Upon approval of a judge the search warrant was executed on the Blue and White Restaurant, on AL-77, in Ashland, and more methamphetamine and marijuana was found in the restaurant, along with more paraphernalia and several firearms.

After all of the evidence was sorted and weighed official charges were filed with the Circuit Clerk of Clay County, and Mr. Campbell was arrested for the following charges:
• Trafficking Methamphetamine, a Class A Felony
• Possession of a Controlled Substance, a Class D Felony
• Possession of a Controlled Substance, a Class D Felony
• Possession of Marijuana 1st Degree, a Class C Felony
• Felony Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class B Felony
• Felony Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class B Felony
• Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute, a Class B Felony
• Persons Prohibited to Possess a Firearm, a Class C Felony
• Persons Prohibited to Possess a Firearm, a Class C Felony
• Persons Prohibited to Possess a Firearm, a Class C Felony
• Persons Prohibited to Possess a Firearm, a Class C Felony
• Possession of an illegal liquor still, a Class C Felony

Below is a short list of some of the evidence that was collected from the scene:
• 163.3 g of Methamphetamine
• Approximately 1 g of Crack Cocaine
• 15.5 ounces of Marijuana
• 4 firearms

Warrants have been obtained for the arrest of Jason Campbell, Mr. Campbell’s son, but at the time of release he had not been apprehended. Contact had been made with the Drug Enforcement Agency, and they were looking into adopting the case.

Long-time Restaurant Owner Arrested in Large Drug Bust

Press Release issued on the execution of search warrants issued for long-time restaurant owner,  Billy Campbell’s home and business,  The Blue & White, in Ashland.

On July 23, 2018 the Ashland Police Department, along with the Clay County Sheriff’s Department and Lineville Police Department, conducted search warrants on the residence of 920 Peach Orchard Road, and The Blue and White Restaurant, located on AL-77 in Ashland.

Due to the amount of evidence that was collected at those scenes, the charges are still being discussed and decided upon. Once we have completed our investigations into this, and the charges have been filed we will provide more information.Chief Joseph Stanford would like to thank his Investigator Corey Dickinson, and Sergeant Micheal Harris, for their hard work in beginning this investigation, and know with their leadership this is just the beginning.

He would also like to thank Chief Shane Dunnagan, and Sheriff Ray Latham for their cooperation in the matter, because Chief Joseph Stanford knows that without support of our brothers in blue these types of operations could not happen.

Courthouse Threat Calls for Immediate Action by Commissioners


Tuesday, July 17, 2018-  During today’s planning session with the Clay County Commissioners,  an urgent matter concerning Courthouse security resulted in an emergency meeting called, with an executive session directly following.

Immediately afterward, Commissioner Bennie Morrison made this motion:” Due to recommendations from the Courthouse Security Committee and an imminent threat that has been perceived, and believed to be credible, I hearby make a move that three of the Courthouse doors be closed and locked and that an armed officer  or officers, at the discretion of the Sheriff,  be placed back at the Courthouse until at such time that this individual, or threat has been contained. Also, under this motion, we will be looking for some funding from the Circuit Judge .This motion was passed with a unanimous vote.

It is unknown at this time where the source of the threat is directed towards. Hopefully, I will have more information to pass along soon.

Ashland Police Report Another Break-in

On July 11, 2018 the Ashland Police Department was called by someone at the Clay County Extension office, stating that someone had broken into their building and offices.

Officers responded and found that one of the doors had been left unlocked sometime before and that is where the burglar had gained entry into the building.

Officers also found that one of the offices had been broken into as well. Some things were taken, and officers were looking into the matter, and it is still an ongoing investigation. Because it is still an ongoing investigation, no further comments will be made about the case. 

Back-to-back SAR Missions for CCRS

It’s been a busy Holiday week for Clay County Rescue Squad! Back-to-back search and rescue missions within a 48 hour period! Can I just take a minute and say how awesome these guys are?? Most members  are strictly volunteer too. Just another reason why Clay County is such a great place to live!

Here is a detailed account of the incident as released by Clay County Rescue Squad Missions Coordinator Brian Andrews:


CCRS was contacted for another SAR mission on July 5th, 2018. At appx. 6:30 PM, Clay County E-911 called Operations Officer Brian Andrews for 2 lost hikers that had been hiking most of the day. 2 females had gotten off trail at some point on the Cave Creek Trail. Several sets of coordinates were obtained and all were in the general area near McDill Point, but each about 1/4 mile from the other.

Brian sent a text immediately stating to not move and that CCRS members were en route and that they had their location pinpointed. Contact was maintained with them the entire time.
Several members reached staging area and headed in. Upon arriving at the latest set There was no sign of anyone and unable to make contact. The hikers were able to “share their location” with the crew in the woods via text and get updated coordinates on the spot. Again, another 1/4 mile away. This is a common issue when on the edge of a rock bluff and in heavy canopy of woods. Mainly due to satellite signals being partially blocked from one side, being on a high mountain and phones switching cell towers, and also refresh rate of the phone. Hiking further, the last set turned out to be good and the hikers were located.

Another great outcome. The hikers were uninjured, although low on water and food. They were led back out and taken to their vehicle. It was fortunate they decided to call before it got too late, being reached shortly after dark, and by dialing 911 so we could get the best information. As always, we thank everyone that helped tonight, especially 911 and our members.

Holiday Family Hike Results in Search & Rescue Mission

Press Release issued by Clay County Rescue Squad Missions Coordinator, Brian Andrews:

On Wednesday, July 4th at appx. 1:30PM, Clay County Rescue Squad Operations Officer Brian Andrews received a call from Clay County E-911 for 3 lost hikers. It was a mother and 2 children that got seperated from the rest of their party after lunch. The father had called 911 very soon after he was unable to locate. CCRS, along with Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Alabama Fish and Game, US Forest Service, Cheaha State Park, Shinbone Valley VFD, and most importantly ALEA Aviation Unit all responded. And please don’t forget that 911 dispatchers are the true first responders by getting us the info we need and handling the situations properly to aid us from start to finish.

CCRS first went in towards McDill Point from the North which was the last known location for them. With no signs and no contact, even meeting other hikers, they came back out. At approximately 4:20PM, ALEA Aviation Unit in Montgomery was contacted for assistance. With flight time and bringing in specialized people, they were at least an hour out. They have the equipment and training to do this very well and are reserved for extreme situations. In this situation, no phone, supplies, food, or water warranted along with no known direction of travel at this point. Keep in mind their plan was to hike as a group and trail conditions altered this. CCRS sent hikers headed in from 2 different directions from the Nubbin Creek area from the South solely based on decades of experience with this area.

At around 6:30PM ALEA contacted ground units and advised they believed they had the lost hikers in sight. Clothing descriptions (primarily an orange shirt) were matched and it was certainly the hikers we were looking for. After verified, family was notified of positive ID and that we were moving in. ALEA pinpointed, gave GPS coords, and circled leading the SAR member on the ground directly in to them, which took nearly an hour more due to rugged terrain.

Once reaching the hikers, snacks and water were provided. They were led back out partially on the trail, then down the ridge back to the access road hiked in to get them. Once reaching the staging area, more food and water was waiting thanks to a couple more that showed up supporting CCRS. The family was led back to town where they could be on their way home.

Again, CCRS would like to thank all agencies and people that assisted today. This is what we do, but it’s an awesome outcome to find lost hikers, not injured hikers. That’s what we enjoy.

The Nitty Gritty – Clay County News and Events