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Lineville Council adopts Amendments to Alcohol Ordinance; hear briefings

The Lineville Council met Wednesday, May 18, 2016 for their regular session. All members were present with the exception of Council member Joseph Appleby, who was absent due to a sudden death in the family.

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Tiffany Young

Chamber Director Tiffany Young was present with her regular monthly briefing on the Chamber events.  Young reported there were 50 in attendance for the Free Movie Night in the Ashland Park   on May 6th.  This night was originally scheduled for April 22nd, but had to postponed due to inclement weather. The next movie night, featuring Woodlawn,  will be June 24th in the Lineville Park.

The new Chamber Office will be housed in this building.
The new Chamber Office will be housed in this building.

Young was happy to announce they would be holding the grand opening for their new office on June 24th. The Chamber Office will be located in the former Cheaha Cabinets building, across from Alabama Power on Hwy 9. This will be an all-day event with refreshments and door prizes and a ribbon cutting at noon. Young invited everyone in attendance to join them in this celebration.

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Mike Johnson

Representing Grace Recovery ( formerly Twin Oaks), Mike Johnson was present with an update on this facility’s progress. Johnson reported they had transferred the one resident they had to another facility, since they didn’t have a business license yet. There are no resident at the facility at this time and will not until they get final approval from the fire marshal and the business license.  Johnson said one of the biggest requirements was getting suppression hoods over the stoves, but they don’t have specs on that yet from the architect.

Council members approved to adopt an amendment to the alcohol ordinance.  All members voted unanimously with a “Yay” vote and a show of hands. The amendment read as follows:

The purpose of this ordinance is to define the term manufacturer as it applies to the city of Lineville alcohol beverage Ordinance 2016-3-21-1 and to establish the zones as when said manufacturers may establish their businesses

Section A- definition- A manufacturer of alcoholic beverages is defined as follows to wit.

Manufacturer: any person, association, or corporation engaged in the producing, bottling, manufacturing, fermenting, distilling, rectifying or compounding of alcoholic beverages such as liquor, beer or wine in this city or for sale for distribution in this city or to the board or to a license of the Board.

Section B- Zoning-  A manufacturer of alcoholic beverages shall be allowed to establish their business in the following zones to wit. A winery, or any other type alcohol manufacturer may locate  or establish their business in either an area zoned for agriculture, or an area zoned for manufacturing

Section C-Interpretation- The Ordinance shall be interpreted in conjunction with Ordinance 2016-3-21-1

Section D- Effective date-  The Ordinance shall become effective upon its adoption and publication according to the law. 

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Taylor shows the agriculture zones on the map

Also adopted was an amendment to annexations to a previous Ordinance already adopted. This included the zoning of the properties on Hwy 49N, belonging to Whatley, Morris, and Robertson as agriculture.

Resolution 5-18-2016-1, to participate in Sales Tax Holiday weekend of Aug. 5-7, 2016,  was also adopted.

The City Hall will be closed on May 30th in observance of Memorial Day holiday.  All City Offices will be closed this day with the exception on the Police Department.

All quarterly financial reports were approved.

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In honor of National EMS week, Mayor Adamson recognized all emergency personnel and all volunteers for their invaluable service to the community. Adamson also congratulated all graduates as well.

Maintenance Supervisor Rusty Taylor announced the city had been awarded the Silver award for safety by the Alabama Municipal Insurance Corporation. This included the City Hall, Nutrition, Maintenance Dept., Library and Police Dept. Taylor also announced the Water Department had received a Gold Award for safety as well.

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

 

Top 5 Clay County Photos of the Week May 15-22

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Brantley Bearden proudly holds his catch of the day from his pond at Hollins. AL. One of Brantley’s favorite past times is to “fish” for frogs. Looks like he’s got a winner here. Brantley is the son of Donald and Jennifer Bearden.

 

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Maggie here is all ready to help her Master plant! It seems Maggie loves to ride in the wagon and hops in every time she sees it, sitting there until her proud owners, Johnny and Sue Morrison, can take her for a ride. Maggie, we like your style!

 

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Nothing like a little family support when it is needed! Stefani Riggs is 32 weeks into her fifth pregnancy and baby girl seems very impatient to make her worldly debut! Stefani was hospitalized with premature labor just this week, but is home now on bed rest. Over the weekend, Stefani’s children visited her in the hospital and, as you can see here, was more than willing to cheer their Mom up.   Please pray for Stefani, husband, Richie, and family as they anxiously await the arrival of little sister….but hopefully, not TOO soon!

 

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I think this picture speaks for itself! These two T-ball teams and Coaches, Miller Yates Law and SonUp Realty, are showing these kids that there is never a bad time for prayer, by closing out this game with classic sportmanship. Absolutely, well done!

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What better way to start off their summer vacation! Addison Clark and cousin, Brody Hamlin are shown here trying to enjoy a nice go-cart ride, while Addison’s little brother, Evan, has a little fun of his own. Looks like they are all having a good time!

 

 

 

Tempers Flare at Board Meeting over Former Vocational School

The Clay County Board of Education monthly meeting turned into a heated argument as all hope seemed lost for a community desperate to have a vacant historical building turned back over to them, that might never happen now.

For months now, the citizens of the Washington Heights community and Springhill congregation have attended every Board meeting and addressed the its members with their good intentions if the facility was returned to the community.

However, at a recent meeting, a Representative from TCR Head Start also addressed the Board about attaining this very same building in an effort to expand their services to the women and children of Clay County. To make this happen, this Representative was asking the Board to submit a letter of support for this project so they could hopefully attain a $900,000 grant for renovations and to bring the building up to code. Last night, the Board approved to submit this letter of support for TCR in a 4-1 vote with BOE member Arthur Oliver abstaining.

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Rev. Solomon

Washington Heights supporter, and also Springhill Pastor Rev. Tramaine Solomon  asked the Board to clarify exactly what the approval of this agenda meant for his community, Supt. Walker explained that this just meant they would issue the letter of support for TCR so they could move forward on attaining the $900,000+ grant funding for the proposed project, but that the community could still possibly have a chance to get the building back, if the grant fell through. However, the supporters present were not happy with this decision and asked point blank if this meant that all of their efforts were futile. This is the conversation that took place:

Rev. Solomon: “So, what you’re telling us is that we have all wasted our time with coming here for the past six months, that our requests are null and void?”

Supt. Walker: “No, we have approved for TCR to allow to attempt to get their grant, which is all this letter is for. If they don’t get their grant, then they won’t be able to utilize the building. Certainly down the road, you still may get a chance to get the facility back if this doesn’t happen.”

Solomon accused Walker of going back on his word by telling them if they followed all the proper steps, then the community would have their building returned to them.

Solomon: “So, your telling us that our request has been denied at this point? All of y’all (Board members) can look up to us, we’re talking to the Board as a whole. Don’t look down at us, please. We want you to look at us and tell the members of this community, including Mr. Elijah Wood, who years ago, was an original Board member of the Clay County Training School and was among those church members who gave land for this school to be built. There are people in this room who went to this school and their lives are invested in this building. Its recorded in the old minutes of this school where the Board wouldn’t even allow black people to buy shares in this school, and the people of this community had to pool their money together to buy coal and supplies. This Board has no right to give this building away to anybody. In 1929, people of our Church gave so much acreage of their personal property for this school to be built. This Board hadn’t put anything into it. So, what you’re telling us tonight is ‘To Hell with our blood, sweat and tears’ because you’re going to endorse someone who may or may not get a grant and even if they do, may not stay there long-term.  You didn’t tell Mellow Valley that and you didn’t tell Bibb Graves that either, even though I know you weren’t in the Chair then.”

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Walker:” I believe it is in the best interest of education and to the community and the Board to pursue this avenue at the time. Now, certainly, if they don’t get this grant, we will look into a different direction.”

Solomon: “We never said we didn’t want HeadStart in our community, we just don’t want y’all in the leasing business. Give us the Building that needs to be is this community that these people have worked hard for and we will lease it to HeadStart. The whole reason this building is in the condition that its in now is because the community takes pride in that building. All of these other buildings ( former schools) have pretty much been vandalized and ours is in good shape.”

Walker: “I don’t dispute that this is a good community.”

Solomon: ” So, because of that, here we are slapping this community in the face. Administration after Administration have told them they would get this building and here we are, slapping them in the face once again.”

Walker: ” I’m sorry that you feel that way, Mr. Solomon, but I feel that HeadStart would benefit this community greatly. ”

Elijah Wood: ” If HeadStart is going to benefit the community greatly, then why don’t you give the building to us and we will lease it them and we can use it at the same time, because they won’t need the entire building. What you’re doing now is only benefiting HeadStart, you’re not trying to benefit us. So, if you give the Head Start the building, then we have no control over it. But if you give it to us, then we can both benefit. Y’all are not being fair to us.”

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Terry Heflin ( blue scrubs), Rev. Solomon ( plaid shirt) Elijah Wood ( sitting, striped polo)

Solomon: “Put yourself in our shoes.”

At this point, Chairman Davidson asked for a motion to adjourn, which was not made.

Terry Heflin:” You can adjourn, but we ain’t going nowhere, we’ll be back every meeting. This is not the end, because we’re not giving up so you better prepare for a fight. Every meeting, we’ll be here.

Wood: ” We need to hear something from you now.”

Walker: ” I’ve explained and I don’t know what else I can do. I think this is the direction that is best for the community.”

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Washington Heights community crowd waiting during executive session

Wood: ” Do the Board members all feel the same way because we only have one member from our community up there.”

BOE member Greg Denney:” Mr. Wood, it was brought up for a letter of intent to be sent in and it was voted on with a 4-1 vote and that’s all we can do. If they don’t get the grant then it’s back to square one and that’s all I know to tell you.”

BOE Member Donald Harris: ” Then, we have to have it appraised. Why should we spend a whole bunch of money having it appraised when you have an organization willing to spend nearly a million dollars on it.”

Heflin: ” They’re not going to spend  a dime on it. You gotta get the money to spend it.”

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Former Vocational Building in question,

Harris: ” They just gave us a proposal to spend over $900,000 on it and provide 7 jobs. It sounds like a good deal.”

Solomon: ” So, we’re hoping and wishing is what we’re doing. I mean, you own a hardware store and you know what that means. Its a potential that it will and a possibility that it won’t.”

BOE Chairman Shane Davidson: ” They want a long term lease and we’re a broke school system.”

Solomon: “That’s not our fault. Raise taxes. Put a one cent sales tax in there because I know people will pay that if it goes to education.”

This brought about a slight chuckle from a couple of the Board members.

Solomon:” Put yourself in our shoes. For one second, think that if you were not who you are, If this was your community and your parents or grandparents that slaved and sweated.”

Davidson: ” The building’s not going anywhere, it’s still going to be in the community and it’s going to have $900,000 spent on it.”

Solomon:” You’re still missing the point. The Building may still be in the community, but it will not belong to the people whose blood, sweat and tears were put in it.”

Heflin: “All of those others where the communities were given back to, the state bought the properties for. This property was given by us, our forefathers. This was the only school system in Clay County that was given the property was donated to build a school. Not Mellow Valley, not Bibb Graves, not Little Heflin.”

Harris: ” Little Heflin was donated as was Mellow Valley.”

Denney: ” It was declared non-used property. Mr. Wood, I’m going to always vote of what’s good for the children.”

Heflin: ” What children? Head Start can’t fill spots now. They’ve been out begging for kids to show up. They even came to our church.”

Denney: ” Can you prove that?”

Heflin: ” Ask Coach Oliver. He spent years on that Board.”

Solomon: ” See, you’re talking to the wrong ones, we know what we’re talking about. We know more about HeadStart that y’all do.”

Heflin: ” If they can create 7 jobs, so can we.”

Solomon: ” I’ve been in the community several years. Y’all done slapped these people too many times. Slapped in the face over cheerleading, now we finally got a black cheerleader. Now, this building. We ain’t going down without a fight. Everytime you turn around, we are going to be here.”

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BOE member Arthur Oliver expresses his opinion

BOE member Arthur Oliver: “Mr. Walker, and to the supporters, I am highly disappointed in your decision to give this property to the Head Start program. The people in this room at this time remember a former Board member, Rev. Staples, who told this Board over 20 years ago to give this property ever became vacant, he wanted it  give back to Springhill Baptist church. Head Start has already employed all of its employees and they’re bringing them with them. The times and the conditions they had at Clay County Training School. Former Supt. Mr. Reynolds told this Board on several occasions when we were in the process of building Central High School and the disposal of this school on the back burner until he got this school completed. And then, of course, you took the seat and you see fit to do something I’m very disappointed in. There are too many things involved in the situation.”

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Solomon: “And as the one who speaks for my community and as a Pastor, I’m disappointed. These are not the same words that we had when we had that first initial meeting. In this process, Your word has changed. And because of that, my respect value has now dropped because of that. And I’m not going to say that behind your back, I’m saying that to your face. You have not kept your word. But we’ll be here at every meeting, a roomful of us. Because some decisions you make, you need to think of the price that was paid for it. Everything ain’t always dollars and cents, Mr. President. There are some decisions that should be based on the blood, sweat and tears that was put into it. We didn’t just elect you for dollars and cents. I challenge each and every one to go home and think about this. Put yourself in these people’s shoes and in the shoes of a man who ran the bus during that time, when the school board only paid for a ton of coal for black kids to go to school for a whole year. Put yourself in the shoes of people who had to scrape together pennies and change for their kids to go to school. Also years ago, there was a teacher’s home built  to go along with this school, and y’all sold it. We don’t even know how this entity sold something that didn’t belong to them. We know about this situation, we’ve done our homework. We know more about the inside track of Head Start than y’all do or you will ever know. I’ll pray for each and every one of you that God will help you do what’s right.”

Wood: “But y’all still don’t see fit, your mind is made up. But this ain’t the last of it. ”

The meeting was then adjourned.

The following agenda items were approved during this session:

1. Recommended by the Superintendent, approval of the agenda.
2. Recommended by the Superintendent, approval of the minutes from the April 28, 2016, meeting. (See attachments)
3. Recommended by the Superintendent, approval of the Financial report for April 2016
4. Recommended by the Superintendent, to increase the 2016-2017 Student Lunch Price to $2.10 from $2.OO(Required by the USDA)
5. Recommended by the Superintendent, to increase the 2016-2017 Employee Lunch Price to $2.65 from $2.55.(Required by the USDA)
6. Recommended by the Superintendent, to increase the 2016-2017 Adult Visitor Lunch Price to $3.10 from $3,00 (Required by the USDA)
7. Recommended by the Superintendent, approval for CNP Director, Juanita Riley, to send bid request for milk and milk products for the 2016-2017 school year.
8. Recommended by the Superintendent, approval for CNP Director, Juanita Riley, to send bid request for bread and bread products for the 2016-2017 school year.
9. Recommended by the Superintendent, approval of the changes in the Student Code of Conduct handbook. Changes are in red, (see attachment)
10.Recommended by the Superintendent, approval to draft a letter of support for the Cheaha Regional Head Start to expand Head Start services within Clay County by allowing the use of the Lineville Vocational School.
11.Recommended by the Superintendent approval to accept the bid of $350.00 for the 1964 dump truck that was declared surplus. Bids were opened May 17, 2016 at 10:00AM and this was the only bid received.
12.Recommended by the Superintendent, approval to accept proposal for repair of roof of the Lineveille gym from Daugherty Construction and Roofing for $4,300.00 to remove all existing screws and replace with new oversized lifetime screws.
13. Recommended by the Superintendent, approval of (8) eight Personnel Action Items, which included the following:

Retirement/Resignation: Susie Jordan as Special Ed. Aide at Central High School
New Hire / Employ @ Lineville Elementary School:
April Foster as teacher
Morgan McDonald as teacher
Elda Pumpelly as reading coach
Nancy Sprayberry as title I reading teacher (transferred from Central Jr. High)
Mark Darby as 1/2 time assistant principal
Alesia Hurst as bookkeeper
Transportation Department:Stephen Clark as bus driver
Open Positions
Bookkeeper at Central High School
Special Education Aide at Central High School

This concluded the agenda. The Board then agreed to enter in to executive session.

Informational Items

Central High School of Clay County will hold graduation exercises Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 7:00PM
Board members will be given a revised copy of the Sick Bank Policy for review.
Central Junior High and Central High School have achieved 2016 National Beta School of Merit status!
Central Junior High has received a grant for Chrome Books for 7th Grade.
Our next regular Board Meeting will be June 28, 2016 @ 4:00 PM

Clay County observes Emergency Medical Services Week, May 15-21

This week, May 15-21 is observed as National Emergency Services week. And, in this county, we are blessed with them, who work from the heart, just because they care about people and want to make a difference.

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Known as the Volunteer County, and with good reason, we simply do not have the resources or funds to have a good supply of paid emergency staff on call 24/7, which makes us extremely fortunate that there are caring individuals who will take time out of their busy day to help out in just about any emergency situation. Many of these amazing people are full-time employees, business owners, and/or have families at home, so their sacrifice is to be well-commended.

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With as many as 18 volunteer fire departments in this county, and a host of volunteer Rescue Squad members, you will never find an emergency scene lacking for assistance. There are many who answer calls in the wee hours of the morning, and still manage to find a way to drag themselves to work with little or no sleep. I don’t think you will find a better bunch of folks anywhere you go, which is just a fraction of what makes this county so special.

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So, reach out to anyone you know who fits this bill, or even someone you don’t, not just during the week, but every single day. I promise you, at some point in time, you will need them, if you haven’t already. Just a simple handshake will suffice and will be appreciated more than you know.

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I’m calling on every local business, organization, politician, governing body and citizen to recognize each one of the extraordinary emergency personnel in some fashion: first responders, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, emergency medical dispatchers, firefighters, and trained members of the public to show your gratitude for the spectacular public service they perform when needed. Who knows, one day it might be your life they save….

Commission hears presentations and reports; adopts Emergency Medical Services Week

 

Planning Session

Bob Holmes, of Homestead farms was present to address the Commission. Holmes was happy to report they had been very busy with their fruit pickings that was bringing a lot of new people into the county. Homestead Farms has fresh vegetables and fruit for citizens to come pick and is located on County Rd 7. This U-pick farm was bringing people from Tuscaloosa, Columbus, Jasper, LaGrange, Bowden, Ga. Jacksonville,  and Birmingham.

13214526_10205652197976895_22352771_oHolmes reported they had 15,000 strawberry plants in and were staying picked out.  They will add another 15,000 next year.  Holmes said he appreciated the Commission’s support, and reported he was still ” Having fun at 77 years old”.  Homes invited everyone for a visit. Johnson thanked Holmes for his investment in Clay County and also for being an Ambassador for the county as well.

John  DeCourcey was present to give an update on the Airport Improvement program.

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Engineer Stan Nelson of Nelson & Company gave an update on the CDBG Project on County Rd 5. Nelson reported there were days the contractors weren’t able to get  20 feet of pipe installed due to almost solid granite. Nelson reported they were getting close to Mt. Zion Rd which is almost halfway completed. “It’s just taking a whole lot longer due to solid rock and not being able to blast through”, said Nelson. The cost of this project is unknown at this time, due to length of services and the number of people who end up signing up for water services, but if there are additional funds, the contractors will extend water further up the road.

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On another note, Millerville Water had made drastic improvements with their water loss. Millerville was losing 87% of their water supply, due to leaks, now it has been cut down to half.  They have put in 28 new valves, which has cut the water loss by 70%. They are now running 70,000- 80,000 gallons a day versus the 170,000-190,000 before the improvements.

General Meeting

County Engineer Butler stated he needed a Resolution execute Project agreement with ALDOT for CR 30, from state route 49 to Cragford School, CR 2 to Creek Rd, CR 7 to state route 9. The combined total of these projects is just shy of 1.3 million, to be covered with match-free grant funds.

The following agenda items were approved:

  • Approval to participate in the Sales Tax Holiday Resolution for the dates of August 6, 2016 ending at midnight, August 8, 2016.
  • Approval to appoint Lisa Mask to the DHR Board by Commissioner Ray Milstead.
  • Approval to award contract to re-write and update Hazard Mitigation plan to Lee Helms & Associates. EMA Director explained they were required to update every 5 years, and is now currently expired. This will be paid with matching grant funds.
  • Approval to accept Courthouse Roof Warranty
  • Approval to authorize bids to upgrade hardware for new phone services, if needed.  There had been multiple problems reported with telephone service at Commission Office and Sheriff’s Office, which was designated as ” Almost unrepairable”.   County Engineer Jeremy Butler stated his Department had switched phone carriers and would now be saving up to $150.00 a month.
  • Approval to recognize Emergency Medical Services week beginning May 15-21, 2016 with a Resolution, honoring anyone who works with Emergency services.This was adopted with a unanimous vote.
  • Approval to extend service agreement for the surveillance cameras at the courthouse. This warranty was set to expire on May 29, 2016. This one year extension will cost $693.55 and will warranty all cameras. One of these cameras alone would cost around $700.00, if replaced.

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Johnson stated  a total of $34, 923,09 of federal forest funds had been allocated to date to the Rescue Squad and some volunteer fire depts for reimbursement of services rendered through rescue missions in the Talladega National Forest.

Sheriff Latham announced the Sheriff Department had been awarded a $10,000 grant for new bodycams for on-duty Officers.

 

 

Lineville City Council approves an alcohol license, opens position

The Lineville Council met Wednesday, May 4, 2016 for the regular bi-monthly meeting with a relatively short agenda. The following items were approved:

  • Three Ordinance were adopted involving annexation of the three separate properties.
  • Approval to adopt a job description and open position for Librarian. The position will be advertised in the local paper. Applications will be taken until May 20, 2016 at 5:00 PM.
  • Approval to Hire Sandra Edmondson as a part-time bus driver for the city.
  • Approval to accept audited financial statements
  • Approval to purchase a new patrol car from a state bid list
  • Approval to issue Hill Petroleum, better known as Marathon, an alcohol license.

There was discussion about the Grace house ( former Twin Oaks facility), when Mayor Adamson inquired if they had received anything from the Fire Marshal concerning the facility. Maintenance Supervisor Rusty Taylor said no, but said he did go down there as requested by the fire marshal to inspect the fire alarms.

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The Mayor reported that 2 weeks into alcohol sales, there had been no issues reported. This was confirmed by Police Chief Monty Giddens.

Taylor reminded everyone that Incredible Kids baseball would take place every Saturday during May, beginning at 9:00 am at the old High School Field.

 

APD apprehend Child Predator in the Act

On Tuesday, May 3, 2016, Investigator David Martin and the Ashland Police Department utilized some technology to apprehend a dangerous child predator. Investigator Martin was contacted by a male, Larry Tackett, 55, of Morehead, KY, using Facebook.

Mr. Tackett had been communicating with several teenage females in Clay County, and contacted Investigator Martin thinking he was contacting a 14 year old female. While communicating with Mr. Tackett, Investigator Martin found out that Mr. Tackett was coming to Ashland to meet the 14 year old female, and an operation was started to locate and apprehend him.

At approximately 2:30 a.m., on May 4, 2016, Mr. Tackett arrived in Ashland, and was apprehended by officers of the Ashland Police Department, Lineville Police Department, and Clay County Sheriff’s Department.

Mr. Tackett was taken into custody and charged with Electronic Solicitation of a Child, and Travelling to Meet a Child for an Unlawful Sex Act. Electronic Solicitation of a Child is a Class B Felony, and Travelling to Meet a Child for an Unlawful Sex Act is a Class A Felony

We, at the Ashland Police Department, would like to thank the Lineville Police Department and the Clay County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance in apprehending this suspect. This is just another example of how well our departments are able to work together to achieve a common goal.