Ashland Family Practice Burglarized

June 27, 2018- On the above listed date the Ashland Police Department received a call from Ashland Family Practice at approximately 6:00 a.m. stating that someone had broken into the business.

Officers responded and found Dr. David Hensleigh at his office. It was determined that the suspect gained entry through an air conditioner hole in a window.

Dr. Hensleigh stated that only his office was disturbed and that several items were missing from his office including some money and drug samples.

Because the matter is still under investigation, no further comments will be made, until the case has been closed.

Sheriff’s Office Investigate Burglary/Auto Theft

On Wednesday June 13th around 3pm, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office was call to investigate a possible break-in and car theft on County Road 5, just south of Ashland. The Victims reported that their residence had been broken into and their 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer was missing.

Upon further inspection, the victims soon realized that a possible internet intrusion had occurred, along with several items taken from inside the home.

Investigators and Deputies began to piece together the facts surrounding the case and with the help of the victims, possible suspects were identified. A “Be on the Look Out” (BOLO) was issued for two individuals along with a description of the vehicle taken to surrounding agencies.

At approximately 9pm, Investigator Shanon House received a call stating two individuals fitting the suspect’s descriptions had been seen in the Sylacauga area just off U.S. 280.

When that information was relayed to Sylacauga Police, it was found Sylacauga Police were at the same time investigating a complaint of suspicious persons around the Hibbett’s Sport Store just off U.S. 280.

Upon further investigation, the suspects were identified as those reported by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office earlier in the late afternoon. Clay County Investigators arrived on the scene with Sylacauga Police and identified the persons wanted in connection with the County Road 5 burglary and car theft.

Sylacauga Police began a search of the area and found the missing 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer in an adjacent parking lot. Information gathered by Police and Sheriff’s Investigators lead them to a nearby hotel that the suspects had acquired.

Several items were recovered from the vehicle and hotel room indicating that the suspects were responsible for the County Road 5 burglary and theft. Charged was Jennifer Renee Ballard, age 40 of Minneola, Florida and Pasquale Joseph Rossetti, age 30 of Clermont, Florida. Each have been charged with Theft of Property 1st, Theft of Property 2nd, and Burglary 3rd.

Both individuals remain in the Clay County Detention Center on Bonds totaling $180,000.00. Additional charges are expected as Investigators continue to gather additional evidence on this case.

Sheriff Latham and Investigator Shanon House thanks the Sylacauga Police Department and a special thanks to Patrolman Christopher Gallops for his attention to the earlier issued BOLO and location of the suspects that evening. Without question, his attentive skills greatly aided Clay County Investigators in the arrests of suspects associated with the Theft and Burglary.

TruCabinetry looks to hire former MasterBrand workers during Auburn Job Fair

ASHLAND, ALABAMA (June 18, 2018) – Tru Cabinetry is looking to hire many of the
skilled workers displaced by the sudden closing last Tuesday of the MasterBrand
Cabinets plant in Auburn.

Butch Reimer, president of the Ashland-based semi-custom cabinet manufacturer, said
his growing company is looking forward to welcoming former MasterBrand workers to
the Tru Cabinetry family.

“Tru Cabinetry has seen tremendous market growth in recent years, and that means we
have a continued demand for additional talent to supply that growth. Adding industry
veterans to our team is another way we can expand on our promise to craft quality
cabinetry in the U.S.,” Reimer said.

To make the hiring process easier, Tru Cabinetry is partnering with the City of Auburn
and Auburn City Schools to take part in a job fair from 3-8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 19 in
the Auburn Junior High School gym, 405 S. Dean Road.

Reimer said that those planning to attend the job fair should be prepared to fill out
applications and interview for available positions at Tru Cabinetry on the spot. He said
Tru is looking to fill positions across all departments, including engineers, supervisors,
accountants, and skilled cabinetry workers.
“We want these displaced workers to know that Tru Cabinetry has a new career for
them,” Reimer said. “Tru Cabinetry is focused on people, and we want to bring great
employees on board and build lasting career relationships with them.”

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 over 260 employees. It operates in over 370,000 square feet of top-of-the-line manufacturing and distribution space.

Single Vehicle Crash Claim Lives of Siblings

On May 27, 2018, the Ashland Police Department received a call about a wreck on Highway 9 South. An Ashland officer responded and found the vehicle near the intersection of Hwy 9 and 5th Ave. S. Some of the residents in the area was at the vehicle trying to extinguish the flames that had started.

the deadly crash occurred on this stretch of Hwy 9 in Ashland

Officer Hunter Griffin went over and gave one of the persons a fire extinguisher as he checked the driver, and passenger. Officer Griffin found that both of the people inside the car were deceased, and shortly after this the Ashland Fire Department arrived on the scene, as well as the Clay County Rescue Squad.

Rescue personnel confirmed that both occupants were deceased the clay County Coroner was notified, as well as the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’ State Troopers office, due to the fatalities.

James Thomas Clark and Jeffery Lynn Clark

After further investigation it was determined that both occupants were killed instantly, on impact. The driver was identified as James Thomas Clark,  of Ashland, age 52, and the passenger was identified as Jeffery Lynn Clark of Ashland, age 50. The family was notified of the two brothers deaths. This matter was being investigated by the ALEA Department of Public Safety, along with the Clay County Coroners Office.

Early Morning Break-Ins Reported at Ashland Strip Mall

Saturday, May 26,2018- A late night/early morning robbery took place at several businesses within a strip mall inside the Ashland city limits on Hwy 77 N .

As you can see, the door had to be boarded up, but A Cut Above is open for business today.

This is late breaking news, therefore I have not received an official statement from the Ashland Police Dept. yet.  However, I do know that three businesses inside the strip mall were broken into: A Cut Above, Kala Nails, and China Inn.

Kala Nails
Kala Nails

The burglar(s) gained entry into A Cut Above Barber Shop by breaking the glass on the front door. To my knowledge, nothing was taken from this business, but it was ransacked.

Kala Nails
Kala Nails

The other two businesses that were also robbed, presumably by the same suspect (s),  Kala Nails and China Inn, both had the back door broken. Bryan Vu, owner of Kala Nails, reported his store to be ransacked, and that a lot of change was taken.  Both Kala Nails and A Cut Above were open for business today.

The owners of China Inn were not there, so I could not gather any information on what was taken from their store. The only other store in this mall, Dollar General, was not robbed, to my knowledge.

It is unknown at this time whether the police have any suspects yet. I will bring you more information on this late breaking story as soon as I receive updates.









Clay County BOE End of School Year Meeting

The Clay County Board of Education met Tuesday, May 15, 2018 for their regular monthly meeting.  The following agenda items were approved:

  • Approval to accept the lowest bid from Dixie Store Fixtures of $77,750.00  for a cooler/freezer at Ashland Elementary.


  • Approval to solicit bids for the following items:
  1. Fresh produce products for the 2018-19 school year.
  2. Safety doors for Central Junior High School.
  3. Heating Cooling units ( replacement) AES and LES
  4. Bathroom renovations for both girls and boys at AES
  • Approval to extend bids for the following:
  1. Bread and bread products-Flowers Baking Co. for the 2018-19 school year.
  2. Milk Products- Dean Dairy Holdings/Barber Milk for the 2018-19 school year.

Approval of 32 Personnel Action Items which included some of the following:

  • Mark Darby from full time LES Asst. Principal to 1/2 time LES Asst. Principal and 1/2 time AES Asst. Principal.
  • Shannah Mathews from Special Ed teacher AES to Elementary teacher AES.
  • Patty Mann from Special Ed teacher CJHS to Special Ed teacher LES.
  • Anna Morrison from LES Teacher to LES Counselor
  • Shannon Taylor from LES Teacher to LES Reading Coach
  • Lisa Andrews from LES Teacher to LES Title Teacher
  • Vicki Mitchell from AES Special Ed Aide to CHS Special Ed Aide
  • Cassidy Elliff as English Teacher at Central High School effective May 25, 2018
  • Paula Reynolds as Counselor at Central High School effective June 1, 2018
  • Vicki Herron as Counselor at Central High School effective June 1, 2018
  • Kris Herron as PE Teacher at Central High School effective June 1, 2018
  • Jessica Hammonds as Teacher at AES effective May 25, 2018
  • Ada Hardy as IDEA Summer School Bus Driver and Teacher Aide
  • Marsha Hammonds as IDEA Summer School Teacher and Bus Aide
  • Becky Taylor as Facilitator for summer school
  • Courtney Johnson as Special Ed Teacher Ashland Elementary effective August 1, 2018
  • Courtney Campbell as Special Ed Teacher Ashland Elementary effective August 1, 2018
  • Devin Knepper as Teacher – Ashland Elementary effective August 1, 2018
  • Joseph Appleby as Bus Driver effective August 1, 2018
  • Tiffany Brown as Teacher – Lineville Elementary effective Aug. 1, 2018
  • Shannon Cantrell as Lineville Elementary Special Ed Teacher effective Aug. 1, 2018
  • Melanie Heath as Teacher at Lineville Elementary effective Aug. 1, 2018
  • Special Ed Teacher at Central Junior High
  • Counselor positions at Central High School
  • 1/2 time Counselor position at Central High School
  • Counselor position at Central Jr. High School
  • Certified Teacher 7-12 Central Jr. High
  • Special Ed Aide Ashland Elementary School
  • Special Ed Teacher Ashland Elementary School
Informational Items
Graduation is Thursday,  May 17, 2018
School will dismiss 2 hours early May 23-24, 2018
Last day of school for students is Thursday, May 24, 2018
Last day of school for teachers is Friday, May 25, 2018
Central High School Football Jamboree will be Saturday, May 19 at JSU @ 12:30.
The next scheduled Board meeting will be June 7, 2018, at 4:00 PM.

Sheriff’s Office Investigates Burglary & Illegal Drug Activity

On April 28, 2018, Deputies were called to Millerville Baptist Church on School House Road.

Upon arriving, Deputies spoke with the church clerk and was shown evidence of a forced entry into the church. Information provided to the Sheriff’s Deputies indicated several electronic items were taken, including televisions, VCR’S, children’s electronic game and accessories. It was further noted that the suspects spend some time in the church, trashing in closets and rooms while enjoying snacks and drinks that were for church use.

However, their enjoyment was short lived as Deputies received information from nearby contractors indicating seeing a suspicious vehicle earlier in the area.

Deputies began talking to citizens in the area alerting them of the vehicle description. It wasn’t long before a sighting was reported on Pleasant Hill Road.

Deputies proceeded to the area where they found a vehicle fitting the description just south of Hayes Road on Pleasant Hill. Items taken from the Church Burglary were seen in the vehicle as Deputies approached. Other items were located in the wooded area alongside where the vehicle was parked.

Arrested were James Lee Gaines, age 32 of Millerville and Deanthony Marquez Houston, age 28 of Ashland. Houston was charged with Receiving Stolen Property 3rd and Haines charged with Burglary 3rd, Theft of Property 2nd and Receiving stolen property 3rd. Houston was released on $5000.00 bond while Gaines remains in the Clay County Detention Center on bonds totaling $20,000.00.


On May 1, 2018, a complainant reported a person shooting a firearm in their direction. The complainant further stated that the person firing the weapon had done so in the past. In this latest incident, it appeared the shots were intentionally directed in close proximity to the victim. It was also noted the suspect was a convicted felon and should not be in possession of firearms.


On May 4th, 2018, Sheriff’s Investigators, Deputies, Lineville Police Investigator and Ashland Police Officers executed a search warrant at 3138 Hanging Rock Road in relation to the above stated report. There Investigators found a quantity of drugs and paraphernalia. A 38 cal. Revolver was located in the suspect’s bedroom along with numerous shells.

Based on the illegal drugs and firearm found, warrants were obtained on Derrick Ray Ferrell, age 45 of Lineville. Ferrell is wanted on charges of Felon in Possession of Firearm, Trafficking Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, and 2 counts of drug paraphernalia.Sheriff’s Office Investigates Burglary & Illegal Drug Activity

Ferrell remains at large. Anyone with information of Ferrell’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Clay County Sheriff’s Office @ 256 354 2176. A cash reward is offered for information that leads to his arrest.

Sheriff’s Office Investigates Assaults/ Thefts

On June 19th, 2017, Sheriff’s Deputies were called to the Millerville Area where a truck was reported stolen from a place of business in Millerville.

Investigators began an investigation into the stolen vehicle. Information over the course of almost a year took Investigators to areas just outside of Munford and Oxford in wooded areas.

There investigators found numerous vehicle parts that appeared to have been stripped from many various types of vehicles. Talladega County Investigators were called and information received lead to a recovery of the vehicle in question and others from Talladega County.

Once located, the vehicle stolen from Millerville had also been stripped. A person was identified being responsible for the theft and warrants were obtained. Wanted by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office is Joseph Lee Rainey, age 26 of Munford. Rainey’s last known address was 130, Appalachian Trail in Munford.

Anyone with information of Rainey’s whereabouts is urged to contact Investigator Shannon House @ 256 354 2176, or go to our website to provide information through our Tip Link. Should your information lead to Rainey’s arrest, you would be eligible for a cash reward.

Stabbing Victim:

At approximately 1am on Tuesday morning, April 24th 2018, Sheriff’s Deputies were called to a residence in the 4400 block of Cragford Road.

Upon arriving, Deputies found an individual with a stab wound to the chest. Deputies were confronted with an uncooperative victim as they attempted to find out what had happened. It was learned that the victim and the assailant were brothers living in the residence. Paramedics were called, and were also met with resistance from the victim.

Due to the seriousness of the wound and refusal of treatment by the victim, paramedics remained on the scene and after some time, were allowed to treat the victim, who was then transported to Clay County Hospital. The assailant, who also was uncooperative at the time, was taken into custody and charged with 1st Degree Domestic Violence.

Later that morning Sheriff’s Investigators began to receive information that led them to believe that the events of earlier that morning may have been not what they seemed.

After further investigation and information received, a search warrant was executed at the residence on April 26th, 2018 and Charles Preston Craft, age 59, a Registered Sex Offender on the Clay County Registry and convicted felon, was charged with felon in possession of a firearm and Elderly Abuse 3rd.

Charles Craft remains in the Clay County Detention Center on bonds totaling $21000.00. Jimmy Craft, age 61 was released from the Detention Center on a $5000.00 bond in the custody of friends and family members.

BOE Approves Resignations/ Open Positions

The Clay County Board of Education met Thursday, April, 26, 2018 for their regular scheduled monthly meeting. A Technology Update was given by Technology Director Brad Strother.

The following agenda items were approved:

  • Approval of all the March 2018 financial reports.
  • Approval to award lawn maintenance bid for Lineville Elementary School gym and the maintenance building to Danny R. Haynes ( D&J Lawn Care). This was the lowest bid ( $130.00 per cutting) received.
  • Approval of the Clay County Data Government Policy. This was given to Board members for review at the March 20, 2018 meeting.
  • Approval for the 6th Grade Class at Ashland Elementary to travel to Chattanooga, TN to visit the Tennessee Railroad, Aquarium, and Ruby Falls. There will be no cost to the Board for the trip.
  • Approval for CNP Director Juanita Riley to send CNP Equipment Bid Request for a  walk-in cooler/freezer at Ashland Elementary School cafeteria.
  • Approval of 53 Personnel Action Items which included some of the following:

    Retirement / Resignations:

  • Elaine Long as Special Ed. Aide, Central High School
  • Robert Smith as Janitor, Central High School
  • Richard Coleman as Assistant Principal, Central High School
  • Anna Fables as Multi-needs Special Ed. Teacher, Ashland Elementary
  • LeighAnn Roberson as Multi-needs Special Ed. Teacher, Lineville Elementary
  • Billy Todd as Teacher, Lineville Elementary
  • Jan Martin as Reading Coach, Lineville Elementary
  • Darlene Lovelady as Counselor, Lineville Elementary
  • Margaret Hallman as Bus Driver

    Open Positions:

  • Bus Driver
    Central High School:
  • Special Ed. Aide
  • Janitor
  • Assistant Principal
    Ashland Elementary School
  • Special Education Teacher (2)
  • Elementary Teacher (2)
  • Assistant Principal  1/2 time
    Lineville Elementary School:
  • Special Education teacher  (2)
  • Elementary Teacher  (2)
  • Title Teacher
  • Reading Coach
  • Counselor
    The next regular Board meeting is scheduled for May 15, 2018, 4:00 PM, at the Board office.


LPD Releases Statement on Fatal Shooting

On April 24th at around 9:02pm,  Lineville Police Department received a call of a shooting on Evans Ave in Lineville. Officers responded to find a 35 year old male with fatal gunshot wounds. The Clay County Rescue Squad, Coroner, and Ashland Police responded to assist. The shooter was questioned by police and the case is still under investigation.

The Nitty Gritty – Clay County News and Events