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Local Resident sustains serious neck injury in altercation

On December 2, 2015 about 9:00 pm an incident involving two local residents resulted in an attempted decapitation effort. The incident occurred at residence on Blakesferry Subdivision in Lineville .The victim was transported to Clay County Hospital where he was treated for his injuries and was later airlifted to UAB for further treatment. Below is a press release issued by the Lineville Police Chief Monty Giddens on this incident:

On December 2, 2015 about 9:00 pm an incident involving Gregory Dewayn Hardy and Markeigh Contrell Jackson occurred at a residence on Blakesferry Subdivision Road in Lineville.  Around 11:00 pm Gregory Dewayn Hardy was being treated at Clay County Hospital for a severe knife wound to his neck and was later air lifted to UAB.  Lineville Police Department investigated the incident and a warrant was obtained for Markeigh Contrell Jackson a 34 year old male from Lineville, charging him for Assault 1st Degree.  Mr. Jackson was served with the warrant and taken to the Clay County Jail where he was held.  His bond was set at $15,000.00.

 

Ashland Council fills District 1 Seat in Special Meeting

A special called meeting was held Friday, Dec 4th by the Ashland Council to fill the District 1 Seat left vacant since the recent resignation of Zeola Echols, who resigned due to moving out of her District.

There were three candidates who sought interest in the Seat, but in the end Ashland Mayor Larry Fetner, and Council Members Bobbie Steed, Gail Thompson and Brad Wolfe,  chose to appoint Joe Smith to the position. In the last municipal election, Smith had campaigned for the District 1 Seat, but lost to Echols. This was the deciding factor in the appointment. Council members and Fetner all felt that since  Smith had already sought out the position in the past, that he would work hard and be very fair with anything pertaining to city business.

This concluded the meeting.

Changes in Clay County; New Businesses, Property Owners and Construction

Things were pretty quiet during the Thanksgiving holidays, and that was a blessing, but it doesn’t make for much news to report. So, there’s several new things going on in the county I’d like to update you on.

I have confirmed that the 911 Board has approved the purchase of the former Benefield Monument Company, although the purchase is still in the early works. This building will be the future home of 911 facility. As of right now, 911 is located in the Clay County Farmer’s Market, along with EMA. As stated before, this building purchase is still in the beginning stages, and will likely take some time to complete.

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There has been construction work going on at the former Twin Oaks Building in Lineville, and I have confirmed they have had the water turned on, but I am unsure at this time what the facility is going to be. I have heard strong rumors this will be a Drug/Rehab facility, but no confirmation to that. Guess it’s a wait and see process…

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Lineville Fitness will soon open at the former Dollar General Building. I spoke with owner, Chad Robertson this morning and he stated that he was hopeful they could open for business on Dec. 1st, but was unable to make this happen, due to circumstances beyond his control. As of right now, Lineville Fitness has set a tentative opening date of Monday, Dec. 7th.

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The former Cheaha Cabinets has been purchased by East Alabama Gas. I spoke with owner, Irving Thompson today and he confirmed the purchase. Thompson reported this building would be used as a much needed warehouse and loading dock for the business.

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Thompson is also looking to purchase the lot across from First State Bank in Ashland to build a new facility for an expansion of office space and a modernized showroom for the many products they offer. These plans are set in stone just yet, but Thompson is hopeful if everything goes as planned, these changes will take place soon.

 

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If you are looking to discover a new food joint in Clay County, you should check out Anderson’s Bistro( formerly High Points) on the Ashland Square. Anderson’s menu features a light lunch menu, such as chicken salad, soups, salads, etc., as well as breakast/brunch menus of pancakes, waffles, and delicious omelets. Anderson’s is open Tuesday-Friday from 8:00-4:00 PM,  Thursday and Friday nights from 5:00-8:00 PM.  Saturday 8:00-12:00 PM. andersons

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Be aware of culvert replacement and construction taking place on 3rd Avenue South in Ashland. This street will be closed to thru traffic until construction is completed.

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Multiple Auto Accidents with Injuries Take Place Locally over the Weekend

There were a series of automobile accidents over the weekend in and around Clay County that resulted in several injuries, one critical.

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Highland accident

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.

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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.

highland wreck

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.

Hollins accident
Hollins accident

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.

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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.

Co Rd 82 accident
Co Rd 82 accident

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.

Co Rd 82 accident
Co Rd 82 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.

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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.

 

 

Cititzens wants Vocational School returned to the Community

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.

Rev. Solomon addresses the Board
Rev. Solomon addresses the Board

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.

Concerned Citizen, Terry Heflin hands out literature to Board
Concerned Citizen, Terry Heflin hands out literature to Board

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.

Doris Allen addresses the Board
Doris Allen addresses the Board

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.

letter presented to the Board
letter presented to the Board

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.”

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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.
Dr. Demita Parson
Dr. Demita Parson
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.
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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.
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 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 Look to Fill Vacant Seat

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.

Planning Meeting

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.12218765_10204525980702167_1370520598_o

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.

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General Meeting

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.

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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.

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future location of drive-thru window

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.

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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.

The meeting was then adjourned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lineville Council Discuss Christmas Parade

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.

General 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.

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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.