There were a series of automobile accidents over the weekend in and around Clay County that resulted in several injuries, one critical.
The first accident was a two-vehicle, head-on collision that took place on Friday, November 19, 2015 around 1:50 PM near 2081 Highland Rd.
Emergency personnel arrived on the scene to find one victim, Kitty Rogers, entrapped in the wreckage of her vehicle. The Jaws of Life were used to free Rogers, afterwards she was airlifted from the scene with multiple serious injuries. Rogers remains in UAB Hospital at this time in critical condition.
The driver of the the truck, Jody Mitchell, was transported to the Clay County ER, where she was treated for a broken foot, multiple cuts and bruises.
Agencies responding locally were Coppermine Fire Department, Clay County Rescue Squad and Sheriff’s Office, and Lineville Police Department.
A one-vehicle accident, which went off an embankment happened at 9:50 PM near 3506 East Mill Drive in the Hollins area. There were two injuries from the accident, one minor female who was airlifted, and one minor male with a broken hand.
The Jaws of Life were used to free the female passenger from the vehicle. Responding locally were Hollins and Coleta Valley Fire Department. No word on the injured female’s condition at this time. She is a student at Clay Central.
There were two head-collisions that took place within an hour of each other Saturday night.
The first one occurred around 6:00 PM Saturday night at the intersection of Hwy 82 and 113 in Randolph County. Two injuries were reported from the crash. The driver of the white van, Jacob Jenkins was entrapped briefly, but was able to walk out of the van, despite a broken leg. He was transported the RMC, where he remains at this time.
The driver of the red truck, Chris Burgin, was also transported by ambulance to Clay County Hospital, but it is my understanding that his injuries were minor and he was later released.
Clay County Rescue Squad, Barfield Fire Department and Randolph County Sheriff’s Office responded to this accident.
Within an hour of the first accident, CCRS responded to another two vehicle, head-on collision on Hwy 77S near the Hwy 49 intersection. I was unable to make it to this scene, due to being at the first site, so I have limited information on injuries. There was one injured party as a result of the impact. He was taken to Clay County Hospital.
The drivers of the vehicles were Kenneth Campbell, of Horton, AL and Zachary Jones of Heflin.
Shortly afterwards, emergency personnel responded to a vehicle fire at Timberlake Apartments in Lineville. The blaze was put out shortly after arrival with no injuries to report. Lineville Fire and Police Department, CCSO, CCRS, responded to the scene.
The Clay County Board of Education, along with Superintendent Billy Walker, met Thursday, November 19. 2015 for their November session. All members were present, with the exception of Blaine Lacy. At this session, Mr. Shane Davidson rotated to President and Greg Denney to Vice President, as outlined in Board policy.
A small group of concerned individuals were present to express their interest in attaining the former Vocational School Building on Oak Grove Rd. Rev. E Tramaine Solomon, Doris Allen, and Terry Heflin addressed the Board with their thoughts and outline of prospective plans for the building.
Solomon served as Spokesperson on behalf of the Washington Heights community. Solomon stated the people of this community were hoping to see this historic building turned back over to the community because these citizens felt that it was at the heart of their community.
Solomon explained they wanted to use the building to hold community functions and programs to enhance this community and bridge the gap for future generations. Solomon reported this group would be tenacious in their fight to attain ownership of this building and would continue to attend meetings to monitor these necessary steps taken that would hopefully lead to the building’s rightful return to the community.
Another concerned citizen, Doris Allen, representing Trinity Life Center, explained she felt the building would be an excellent location for an Adult Learning Center for the illiterate and mentally handicapped young adults, and also as a trade and vocational skill training center for community members.
Superintendent Walker explained to this group of the process that would have to be taken for the fate of this building in question. If the Board decides to go this route, the necessary steps to be taken includes petitioning the state to dispose of the property, an appraisal, followed by an attempt to sell the property. Then, if the property did not sell through sealed bids, the BOE could then discuss their options. If this option was chosen after this process was completed, Walker stated they would have to file a transfer of property to as a 501c3 non-profit organization listed entity with the community.
The Board thanked this group for their presentation.
All Financial statements from the months of September and October 2015 were approved. Chief Financial Officer Brandi Bishop presented the members with a year-end packet which outlined the comparison of General fund revenues from 2014 to 2015, that included the following detailed analysis:
Local Revenues increased from 2014 to 2015 by $27,783.22
State revenues decreased by $25,978.49. This amount included the reduction in funding received from the foundation program in 2014. These funds are tied to the certification, years’ experience, etc. of BOE employees.
Federal revenues decreased by $47,790.49 which is made up of the forestry money that is passed through the commission. This avenue of revenue will likely continue to decrease dramatically and possibly disappear altogether.
Lastly, miscellaneous revenue increased by $9,890.72 from 2014 to 2015. This increase is due to, in part, the revenue received from Head Start for the rental of the Primary School as well as scrap and sale of miscellaneous asset inventory.
The conclusion to this report was that there was improvements in 2015. The General fund balance climbed $155,400.78 from $486,338.03 to $641,738.81. While this was a big step in improvement for the General Fund, this amount is still only a half of one month’s operating balance, and a far cry from the ultimate goal of three months’ operating balance. In the event of proration, this could have a dramatic effect on these figures.
When asked by BOE member Arthur Oliver how they could go about getting back up to their mandatory one month operating expenses, Bishop explained how vital programs were being underfunded and urged the community to reach out to their local politicians and legislature on this issue.
“Transportation and education foundation were underfunded and lack of our local tax base does not allow us to withstand the cuts from the state. We were doing everything to cut cost without cutting services to our children”, said Bishop ” We are doing the best we can with what we have, but we really need more funding.”
Twenty (20) Personnel actions were approved with no discussion, which included the following:
Resignation letter was approved for Heather Thompson.
All Professional Development and Field Trip request
Substitute Teacher request were approved and will be added to the school lists when background checks are complete
Open Position for Elementary Teacher at Ashland Elementary School
Open positions for Two (2) Bus Driver positions (Pay will be based on route mileage
Superintendent Walker congratulated Dr. Demita Parson, Federal Programs Coordinator, who recently received her PhD.
In closing, Walker reported the huge success of the KidCheck at Lineville Elementary last week. KidCheck is a state program utilized by the college health care students of Southern Union and is being done all over the state. Not only does this program benefit children, but the college students as well with getting clinical experience credit. The KidCheck volunteers screened kids for overall health indicators like Height & Weight, BMI, Temperature, Blood Pressure, Vision, Dental, Hearing, Heart & Lung Sounds, Heart & Respiratory Rates, Skin & Musculoskeletal, and Examinations of the Eyes, Ears, Nose, & Throat. Walker said it was a very well organized program that executed in an effecient, yet thorough manner.
Walker also commended the FFA and Ag students and faculty for the tremendous success of the first annual Farm City Day at Central High School. Clay Central FFA treated the boys and girls of LES and AES 3rd graders to a day of fun and farm education. Students interacted with Exhibits such as sheep shearing, calf roping, grist meal, etc. They also got to see and pet farm animals such as cows, sheep, chickens, pigs, horses, snakes, goats, quail, and rabbits.
Walker stated he felt the students greatly benefited from this event since our county was so heavily based agriculture production and cattle and poultry.
Reminder: School will be out the week of November 23, 2015 for the Thanksgiving Holidays.
The next Board meeting will be December 17, 2015, due to the Christmas Holidays.
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
Ashland Council members, along with Mayor Larry Fetner, met to discuss general city business on Monday, November 16, 2015. All members were present at this session.
Fetner urged Jeremy Nash and Jody Brown of the Maintenance Dept. to be working with Chief Stanford for a more detailed job description of a Compliance Officer for further discussion at the next meeting.
Fetner also informed everyone that due to the cancellation of the Unveiling of the Mike Beale Pavilion Dedication Ceremony at the Ashland City Park on Monday, Nov. 9th, the event needed to be re-scheduled allowing proper time for Beale’s relatives to be notified. Council members agreed to hold this event on Monday, December 7, 2015 at 4:00 PM at the Ashland City Park.
Fetner also commended everyone who played a hand in making the Veteran’s Day program a huge success, even after the change in venue, due to the weather. This event had a big turnout.
Discussion of the details of the Ashland City Parade were presented by Fire Chief Brett Thompson. The parade will be held Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 6 PM. Lineup will take place at 5:30 at Ashland Elementary. The route will be the same as previous years; from AES, up 3rd Ave, taking a right at the Stop sign onto Hwy 77, proceeding straight thru the Square onto Hwy 9, turning onto Tyson Rd, then left on Millionaire Avenue, back to the Square. Thompson stated registration forms for entry could be picked up at City Hall. Santa Claus will be the Grand Marshal.
The Council approved the asking Price of $7500 for old city tractor, a 1991 model to be sold. This tractor can be seen in front of the Water Dept. along Hwy 9 with information listed on it.
The invocation was given by Mayor Larry Fetner.
Council members voted to accept the resignation of Zeola Echols, who held Council Seat, District 1, which was followed by a unanimous vote to declare this seat vacant. Echols resigned from her position after change of residence put her outside of this District.
Advertisement for District 1 Council Seat will take place in the paper for 2 weeks, and all applicants would be reviewed before the next session on Monday, Dec. 7th.
Council members approved the cost of the addition for the construction of a new Drive-Thru for the new City Hall ( the former PNC Building). The cost of this project is $13, 485.00 for the drive-in window and system. The tubing will run underneath into the basement and into the Water Dept. Construction will begin after the first of the year.
Fetner inquired of Commissioner Brad Wolfe if he thought $7500 per year would be a sufficient salary for the Youth Sports Director to oversee all youth sports activities in the City Leagues. Wolfe stated he felt this job was quite a task that required a lot of time and effort due to the growth of this program, so he thought this was amount was not adequate for the continuity of keeping someone long-term in this position. Fetner told council members to be thinking of an appropriate figure to discuss at the next meeting.
Fetner also encouraged everyone to think of a suitable occupant to fill the vacant position on the Industrial Board. This position was held by Leonard Brooks, who passed away recently.
Police Chief Joseph Stanford gave an update of the recruitment of Police Officer Michael Harris. Stanford reported Harris had passed his Firearms and Driving Course and was all set to graduate Dec. 10th, 2015.
Fire Chief Brett Thompson gave an update on the differences in the previous year’s budget, which was a significant savings due to watching expenses.
Thompson reported that although salaries remained the same, other expenses went down considerably. The report concluded the following:
Fire truck expenses were lowered to $6, 885.00
Gas expenses were lowered $1, 072. 74
Building repair and maintenance expenses lowered $3,422.00
Supplies and equipment lowered $4, 731.00
Communications dropped $310.41
Utilities dropped $1697. 54
Education and training expenses were $635.00, whereas there was no training at all from the previous year
The total amount of saving from last year versus the previous year was $16, 705. 20. Mayor Fetner commended Thompson and other fire dept. members for this savings.
Thompson was looking into possibly getting a grant for a tanker/pumper which would put around 2000 gallons of water at the scene of a fire, versus the pumper they have now which would only hold about 500 gallons of water.
Council members also approved a One-time raise for the city employees, per schedule to be paid on December 11, 2015. The total amount for this raise will be $4, 575.00, dropping almost $2,000 from last year.
In the work session prior to the meeting: The topics of discussion were the details of the upcoming Christmas Parade, the Safety Manual, and the Clay County Animal Shelter. Council members had been approached by a member of the CCAS Board about possible donations/in-kind help for the Shelter. All Council members were in aggreeance this Shelter was much needed and was a worthy cause. After some discussion, Mayor Adamson asked everyone to be thinking about what they would like to do for them and they would discuss, and/or vote on it at the next meeting.
The Lineville City Council met Monday, November 16, 2015 for their bi-monthly session. All Council members were present, along with Mayor Adamson, with the exception of Robert Milstead, who was out of town on business.
The invocation was given by Council member Joseph Appleby.
The first order of business was the Ordinance 2015-11-2-1 which was adopted with no discussion, after being properly introduced at the previous November 1, 2015 meeting. This Ordinance involved salary guidelines of the city staff and would be effective in the first week of November 2016.
Council members voted the adoption of a Safety Manual to be put in place for the city employees. Maintenance Supervisor Rusty Taylor said this has been needed for some time, and this addition would result in a slight decline in their insurance rates.
The Lineville Christmas Parade will be held Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 @6:00 PM.The Line-up will be at the LES. The route will be the same as last year: through downtown from LES (Hwy 9), right onto Evans Ave, turning onto Wesobulga Street and then right at the Lineville Clinic, bringing it back up 49N through downtown, and ending at Lineville First Baptist. No candy is allowed to be thrown at the Parade for safety of the citizens. A prize will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place float winners by the Lineville Merchants Association.
Just a Little Frosting will sponsor this year’s Grand Marshal, Miss Alabama 2015, Meg McGuffin. After a meal at their facility, she and her staff will meet with the City Officials briefly at the City Reception, before the parade begins. Mayor Adamson was very appreciative to Just A Little Frosting for their hospitality and sponsorship of Miss Alabama.
A previous city vehicle, a 1997 Chevrolet 2500 was declared surplus with no discussion. This comes after the generous vehicle donation from Lineville Housing Authority of a 2006 2500 HD utility truck with only 40,000 miles. Taylor expressed his gratitude to LHA and everyone else who donated vehicles to the city, past and present. ” We don’t have a vehicle in our fleet that we have had to buy”, said Taylor. LHA has donated several vehicles to the city as well in the past.
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
A one-vehicle accident at the intersection of County Rd 38 and Hwy 48 on Saturday, November 14, 2015 around 1:45 pm resulted in one injury.
Unconfirmed reports speculate that the sole occupant of the vehicle lost control of her vehicle when another driver ran her off the road and the red car she was driving struck a tree. She was entrapped in the vehicle for some time before the emergency personnel were able to free her with the jaws of life.
29 year old Samantha Fincher of Wadley was airlifted from the scene, where her injuries remain unknown at this time, however sources say she suffered no life threatening injuries and is going to fully recover.
Emergency Personnel working the scene included: Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, Southern Ambulance, Pine Grove Fire Department, Fosters Crossroads Fire Department, and Alabama State Troopers.
Meeting Highlights: In the prior planning session, Airport Chairman John DeCourcey was present to address the requirements of continuing with the $150,000 entitlement funds for Airport upgrades and improvements.
DeCourcey explained one of the requirements of maintaining these funds was to have a minimum of 10 assigned aircraft. Right now, the Airport only houses seven (7) hangars, with one more pending. DeCourcey stated he was in the process of trying to get more in order not to lose this funding.
DeCourcey was hopeful that after these requirements were met, they could continue on with long range plans to have fuel and the proper amount of hangars, so that the airport will grow and self-sustain. Improvements that have been made to date for the revitalization of the airport includes new runways and new electrical system lighting.
Commissioner Burney said he was concerned about CSX trains stopping and blocking in traffic , sometimes for hours, for those who were visiting the cemetery on a road, just off of Oak Grove Rd, at Shaddix Pulpwood Yard. Burney stated there was an incident last week where a funeral had taken place at this cemetery, where several people could not get out and one person fell ill. Burney felt there needed to be a alternate entrance and exit for those who needed access. CTJ Reporter Ray Stansell reported Lineville Police Dept. had several calls about this same problem and traffic backed up there at times.
Commissioner Watts reported that he had a complaint from James Moon, that himself and a couple of other neighboring chicken farmers were having problems getting to shared equipment because of a railroad crossing out on Good Hope Rd.
The Clay County Commission met Monday, November 9, 2015 for their monthly meeting, with a planning session prior. The following Commissioners were present: Wayne Watts ( District 1), Ray Milstead ( District 3 & Chairman), John Wheeles ( District 4) and Ricky Burney ( District 5). District 2 Commissioner Roy Johnson was absent, due to out of town business.
The following old business items were approved with no discussion:
As recommended by Commissioner Wheeles, the appointment of Brett Thompson to the 911 Board.
As recommended by Commissioner Wheeles, Kenny Packer was re-appointed to the Millerville Water Board.
As recommended by County Engineer Jeremy Butler, the approval of annual maintenance bids.
As recommended by County Engineer Jeremy Butler, the approval to purchase new 2016 Mac dump truck on a state bid. This purchase is to replace old dump truck that was totaled in an accident over the summer. This purchase will take place with insurance funds.
The decision was made to re-bid repairs needed on the courthouse roof, due to monetary bid bond requirements not met with 3 out of 4 of the current bidders. The low bidder was the only successful bidder who had met this requirement, but Commissioners chose not to go with this bidder because they could not guarantee their work, only their materials. All current bids were rejected.
Approval to award the sole bidder, Harris Plumbing with the HVAC contract.
All New Business was approved by unanimous vote:
Approval to appoint Karen Christopherson to Cheaha Mental Health Board.
Approval to not participate in retirement benefits or health insurance benefits of all new hire county employees until their probationary period of six months has expired. All new hires benefits will be paid at 50% until the probationary period ends.
Approval to submit Airport Grant application. Natalie Hobbs recommended the accruement of a Resolution to send in a pre-application to use the federal funds of $150,000 available for Airport construction and improvements. Hobbs stated they were recommending submitting this application to use this entitlement money to add fabric hangars at a lower cost to get the based aircraft back up in order to receive FAA re-classification, which would lead to future funding. This grant funding is covered at a 90% federal rate, with 5% state funding, leaving the county responsible for the remaining 5%, a sum of $8,300.00.
The meeting concluded with Chairman Milstead expressing their condolences to the Ken Vaughn family.
On October 28, 2015 about 10:00 pm Lineville Police Department received a call from 911 about a reckless driver.The suspected reckless vehicle was a U-Haul truck traveling Hwy 9 South in the Barfield area. Lineville Police made contact with the vehicle and observed a traffic violation and stopped the vehicle.On the officers initial contact with the occupants of the vehicle they noticed the odor of marijuana and observed drug paraphernalia.Officers continued their investigation in the traffic stop and discovered large amounts of marijuana and other drugs and also numerous items of drug paraphernalia along with a considerable large amount of cash.
Both occupants of the vehicle, Aaron Francis Hubbard Reddick a 32 year old male from Tampa Florida and Tammy Marie Foster a 34 year old female from Ft. Collins, Colorado were arrested and charged with Possession of Marijuana 1st, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and two counts each of Possession of a Controlled Substance.Both subjects were taken to the Clay County Jail and were being held under bonds totaling $32,000.00.
Chief Giddens wanted to praise his officers for their work on this case as they acted on information they received from a private citizen through 911 and they went out and did what they were trained to do not just disregard the information.This is a great example of things we are able to do when citizens get involved.Our officers were able to take a large amount of drugs off the street and a dangerous driver off the road.We stress the importance of people getting involved and cases like this prove our point.Whether you think it is important or not, that little bit of information may help to solve a case or get someone off the streets that don’t need to be there.We take pride in our community and if we all work together we can make it a better place.