Thursday, March 31, 2011
Has someone really confessed to murdering 17 year-old Christopher Stanback in 1994? We believe the answer is yes. Who is this confessed killer? The name has not been confirmed, so we will only call him Eddie Haskell, the noted ne'er do well from an ancient television show.
Why would Eddie confess now? And why would this amazing confession after sixteen years not be made public immediately? We have no definite answers, but can offer some logical explanations.
Eddie Haskell is now 33, making him the same age as Chris, or as Chris would be if he were alive. We can find no public record of Eddie until 2002 when he was charged with the attempted murder of a man who had argued with his sister. Four years later, Eddie seemed to be in the wrong place at wrong time and was charged with the possession of drug paraphernalia while at a friend's apartment.
However, the past few months have been busy for Eddie. In December he was charged with receiving stolen goods and again in February for burglary. He currently remains in custody at the Lauderdale County Detention Center. Perhaps Eddie sees no way out of his current predicament and is eager to cut a deal, but what kind of deal?
Is Eddie "dropping a dime" on others involved in the heinous murder of Chris Stanback? Does that mean we can expect more arrests before the anticipated news conference early next week? Join us as we wait...
Confession in Stanback Murder Case?
Who Killed Rudy?
The Chris Stanback Murder
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
For two days we have been hearing of a break in the Chris Stanback murder case. While we believe the information we have received is correct, we have not been able to corroborate it in its entirety.
Sources say a 33 year-old Florence man has confessed to the murder after being questioned by police concerning a burglary. We will not give the man's name until it is confirmed, but it is not a name that we have previously heard in connection with this heinous crime.
Many prayers have been answered in this case. Thanks to the Florence Police Department as well as the ABI for continuing to have faith that Chris' murderer would eventually be caught. Also many thanks to Councilman Sam Pendleton for all his efforts during the initial investigation.
We have been told that a news release may not be forthcoming until next week. In the mean time, any information that can be verified is appreciated. Please send your comments to: email@example.com
For more on Chris' story: The Christopher Stanback Murder
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Will Alabamians soon be needing a photo ID to vote? Probably. Is this bad? Marcel Black thinks so. Lynn Greer doesn't. So, which is it?
Probably a little of both; however, we don't know any "aged or infirm" citizens who have neither a valid Alabama Driver License or Alabama Non-Driver ID. Not to mention, the Non-Driver IDs will apparently now be free to anyone of voting age. How much will this cost the state budget?
Perhaps Lauderdale County will have to worry less about any budget shortfalls if Harold Peck has his way. He proposes to save the county at least 400K each year by establishing a paid group of indigent defense lawyers. Well, this sounds good, but...
It seems these attorneys won't be allowed to do any other kind of work...no real estate transactions, pre-nups, or wills...just criminal defense cases in Lauderdale County. How many experienced attorneys will jump at a chance like this? We would guess few.
We have been contacted by Tabitha Ergle Hall who was misidentified by sources with the Russellville Police Department in an earlier blog. Tabitha would like us to note the correct spelling of her name, as well as the fact she is not the current wife of Jeremy Shane Hall, but the ex-wife of his brother Josh and mother to Josh's three children. Since there are two newsmakers named Jeremy Shane Hall, we will also note that Sgt. Hall is the son of Jerry and Carol Hall.
We have been asked if our police sources are usually disgruntled employees. That may be true in some cases, but we also regularly hear from some Russellville officers and their wives who have nothing but kudos for the force. It usually runs about 50-50, while in comparison, our Florence sources stand behind their department 100%. We have said it before, but it certainly bears repeating: Florence is extremely lucky to have not only an honest, but also an efficient chief in Rick Singleton.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Everyone should have a voice. Starting today, The Connection: The Radio Show will be bringing the Shoals the voice of the people. Tune in to WBTG each weekday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. to hear Trader and J.J. Ray discuss local, state, and national politics.
Liberal? Conservative? Moderate? Anywhere in between? You'll be welcome on The Connection: The Radio Show. Don't have a radio? No problem. The Connection: The Magazine will be streaming the show each day.
Good luck to Trader and J.J. on this worthwhile political project!
We often receive e-mails asking why Franklin County has so much crime. That would make an interesting psychological study, but the answer may be extremely simple. Franklin County is economically depressed, and those with talent and professions often move to more urban areas, leaving the dregs behind. No, we don't think everyone in Franklin should be considered part of humanity's dregs, but a quick look at the crime rate for that area speaks volumes.
Franklin County is not alone. Many months ago on our Shoals Crime Blog we featured the web site People You'll See in Hell. If you currently think our area of North Alabama has a monopoly on sick crimes, you'll change your mind after reading this site (Warning--Strong Language).
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Juries being queer animals, we won't presume to predict what will happen to the law suits five former prisoners of Russellville City Jail are about to file against that Franklin County town and its police department; however, we have spoken with a source willing to predict the fate of Russellville Police Sgt. Jeremy Shane Hall concerning his criminal charges.
There are supposedly now five women who are participating in this civil suit. More are apt to come forward, and others will provide testimony as to what occurred in the jail with Sgt. Hall in charge. We may presume the same women will testify in any criminal suit, be it either State or Federal. Since Hall has now been arrested, we may expect his name to be added to the civil suit.
If these women should win their civil suits, Hall will lose any property in his name. He may already have begun the legal process to transfer titles to his wife, or should we say at-least-for-now-wife. We don't think standing by one's man should include his sexual abuse of females in his custodial care. He will also likely be banned from seeing his young son, a son who will grow up knowing just what evil his father is capable of.
As for the criminal case, our source says the ABI has a slam-dunk case, and Hall will go to either State or Federal prison--for many years. Upon his release, he will be labeled a sex offender. Employers won't be knocking at his door. Another sad commentary from Franklin County.
Russellville Hit with 20 Million in Lawsuits
Jeremy Shane Hall Arrested
Mary Carton has updated us in her quest to find homes for the tombstones dumped on her farm. It seems the fifth is some decorative object and not an actual grave marker. Still, this stone was paid for by some loving family member and expected to adorn its chosen cemetery forever.
What kind of person steals tombstones? A person only slightly more morally evolved than Russellville Police Sgt. Jeremy Shane Hall.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday afternoon, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation arrested Sgt. Jeremy Shane Hall of the Russellville Police Department and charged him with three counts of sex abuse of female prisoners. ABI Regional Commander Larry Flippo and Alabama State Trooper Curtis Sommerville announced the arrest just after 2:30 p.m. Hall is currently being sued by five (one has just been added) former prisoners who have accused him of similar crimes:
A source at the Russellville Police Department has expressed surprise at the investigation into Sgt. Jeremy Hall. The Alabama Bureau of Investigation has refused to name Hall as the subject in their investigation, but Police Chief Chris Hargett has no such qualms. Hargett has said "some strong allegations are being made" against Hall.
Before joining the Russellville force in June 2003, Hall worked as a deputy for the Franklin County Sheriff's Department where he had a sterling record. Hall has served as commander of the Explorer program, an endeavor that seeks to bring teenagers into police work. In December 2009, Hall was honored by Mayor Troy Oliver for his role in apprehending the suspect in a string of pharmacy robberies that spanned three counties.
Hall was booked into the jail where he once worked. It should be pointed out that as director of the Explorer Program, Sgt. Hall came in contact with young teenage girls; this is very disturbing. Our source has indicated that more charges with be forthcoming, but all will involve former prisoners. While this is unsettling enough, we hope our source is correct in believing no high school students were involved.
If you read the TimesDaily regularly, you've noticed that many in local law enforcement jump from job to job faster than a pouncing cheetah. Is there anything wrong with this? That depends.
Obviously law enforcement isn't immune to the "pass the trash" game, conversely nothing is wrong with trying to better oneself and support one's family. We've recently mentioned that three positions will be open this spring in the Lauderdale Sheriff's department. For those who are interested in what should be very long-term jobs, the listing for two deputy openings (one current deputy will be made chief deputy) has now been published on the Alabama Job Link:
City: Florence, AL Locate
Source: Alabama JobLink
Job Number: 653823
Drive vehicles or patrol specific areas to detect law violators, issue citations, and make arrests. Investigate illegal or suspicious activities. Verify that the proper legal charges have been made against law offenders. Execute arrest warrants, locating and taking persons into custody. Record daily activities and submit logs and other related reports and paperwork to appropriate authorities. Patrol and guard courthouses, grand jury rooms, or assigned areas to provide security.
Note: We're sure the listing for administrative assistant will also soon be published. If it should be inadvertently omitted, qualified individuals should feel free to contact the Lauderdale Courthouse for an application. Good luck to all qualified applicants.
Sources in Russellville tell us a fifth woman has been added as a plaintiff in the suit against the Russellville Police Department, presumably bringing the total amount involved to 25 million. A second source has informed us that the city's liability policy would not cover such an amount, assuming the suit is successful. The source further stated that such a suit could bankrupt the town.
Related post: Russellville Hit with Law Suits
The news from Mary Carton's quest to return five missing tombstones has turned more sinister. It seems the two she has identified came from different cemeteries in different counties.
The marker for Liddie House Gray had been removed from the North Carolina Church of Christ Cemetery in the Killen/Greenhill area of Lauderdale County.
The marker for W. W. Weatherford came from the Old Burleson Cemetery in Franklin County.
Ms. Carton is still attempting to locate the home of at least two other stones: Isaac Gray and Margaret Stidham. A third stone was positioned in such a manner that the inscription could not be read.
This is not the first time grave markers have been dumped at Rosedale Farms; those responsible should be held accountable and punished to the fullest extent. Good luck to Mary, Colbert County Sheriff's Department, and WAAY 31 in returning these monuments to their proper place.
Friday, March 25, 2011
"...assault, battery, outrage, false imprisonment, and violation of ...civil rights"
These are the charges two Russellville attorneys plan to bring against the city and its police department--presumably Sgt. Jeremy Hall specifically. Jeffrey L. Bowling, a former attorney for the town of Russellville and a partner in Roger Bedford's law firm, and John McReynolds, an associate of the Bedford law firm, have announced their intentions to bring suit on behalf of four women who have previously been incarcerated in the Russellville City Jail. The two attorneys have indicated more suits on behalf of other plaintiffs may be added.
Hall, a sergeant with the Russellville Police Department since 2003, was placed on unpaid administrative leave on March 4th for violating internal police rules. Police Chief Chris Hargett (pictured) has indicated the charges against Hall stem from "something that we told him to fix and he didn't do it.”
Just what is Sgt. Jeremy Hall accused of? Let's look at the legal definitions...
Assault & Battery: the combination of the two crimes of threat (assault) and actual beating (battery). They are both also intentional civil wrongs for which the party attacked may file a suit for damages.
Outrage: an act of wanton cruelty or violence; any gross violation of law or decency.
False Imprisonment: depriving someone of freedom of movement by holding a person in a confined space or by physical restraint including being locked in a car, driven about without opportunity to get out, being tied to a chair or locked in a closet. It may be the follow-up to a false arrest (holding someone in the office of a department store, for example), but more often it resembles a kidnapping with no belief or claim of a legal right to hold the person. Therefore, false imprisonment is often a crime and if proved is almost always the basis of a lawsuit for damages.
Civil Rights Violation: violation of those rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, the 13th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution, including the right to due process, equal treatment under the law of all people regarding enjoyment of life, liberty, property, and protection. Positive civil rights include the right to vote, the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a democratic society, such as equal access to public schools, recreation, transportation, public facilities, and housing, and equal and fair treatment by law enforcement and the courts.
That's quite an array of charges--what if the town of Russellville should lose these suits? We assume the town carries liability insurance, but we also assume the town has no desire to pay the resulting higher premiums or to be painted in such a light.
And what of Sgt. Hall himself? One of our sources in the police department has portrayed him as having a sterling record. Perhaps he has until now; however, if the Alabama Bureau of Investigation should find ample evidence to bring a criminal case against Hall, we hope the state attorney general's office will prosecute to the fullest extent. Yes, these four women were prisoners of the town of Russellville, but that should not reduce their humanity in anyone's eyes.
A Billion Dollar Jail
By J. J. Ray
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Our friend Mary Carton has found some unusual littering on her Tuscumbia farm. It seems someone has dumped five tombstones at the back edge of her property. She's trying to find their home and will be writing more about these early 20th Century grave markers in her regular blog.
Mary thinks they may have come from a cemetery in Spring Valley. Names inscribed on the stones are Gray, Stidham, and Weatherford. There is a slight possibility that the stones were replaced with newer ones, and someone with a greatly skewed sense of humor decided to donate these to Rosedale Farms; however, we feel this is probably an ultimate act of vandalism. If indeed a crime has been committed, the miscreant should be duly punished.
We recently offered our condolences to Kathy Kiker Shields in the death of her niece Brandi Lee Campbell. We had worked closely with Kathy on the account of her nephew's death and were impressed with her love of family. At that time she was in remission from Stage Four cancer. We have since learned that she has passed away. All our sympathy to Kathy's family--the world is greatly diminished by her loss.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Jason Bart Naylor has been convicted on two counts each of second degree rape, sodomy, and incest. He will be sentenced in Lawrence County on May 12th; however, he still faces charges in a second rape case to be tried this fall.
Related post: Preying on His Own Family
Pam Taylor will spend two years in prison for her crime of embezzling 30K from Franklin County Volunteer firefighters. We don't condone her actions, but with current prison conditions, had we been Judge Dempsey we would have allowed Taylor to serve her time in community corrections.
Speaking of prisons, there's a strong rumor that the Department of Corrections may be interested in the National Alabama plant in Barton. This Tutwiler North, for lack of a better name, would solve overcrowding for female prisoners for many years to come.
Will it come to pass? We have no idea, but we do expect some interesting news from the plant by next week.
Like The Connection: The Magazine? Now you can have The Connection: The Radio Show five days a week. Trader and J.J. Ray will be hosting a call-in show on WBTG weekdays from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Have something to say that takes more than a few seconds? No problem--they're looking for guest hosts as well. More details next week.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Starting today, we're adding the Goat Hill widget to our blog. Many of the bills being introduced in our legislature concern the Shoals; many concern all citizens of Alabama. To paraphrase Dick Biddle, "Be a good Alabamian. Be an informed Alabamian. Many thanks to Matt Osborne for tweaking this widget for us!
Sue Schmitz has been in the news again--her Federal sentence may be close to coming to an end. Did she deserve the original sentence? We will leave that for others to decide; her work, or non-work, with the C.I.T.Y. program was not local--although our tax dollars did support it.
However, we have recently received some extremely interesting news concerning Rhonda Bogus, the past director of Florence's C.I.T.Y. program. Sources have informed us of an ethics complaint filed against Ms. Bogus. Apparently she was in over her head in her role as director of that program. Our sources also state that vast amounts of money were wasted on non-essential items, including having an interior designer hired to assist in laying out the classrooms, choosing the furniture, etc.
Do you need to file an ethics or similar complaint? We'll be focusing on such filings in the next few days. In the mean time remember: Just because they're either elected or appointed to serve the public, it doesn't mean they haven't decided at some point to serve themselves first.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sources with Morrison Funeral Home have confirmed that the body found on Elledge Lane today is that of Brandi Lee Campbell. Miss Campbell's family has been in contact with us many times over the past two years; our heartfelt sympathy to Miss Campbell's mother and aunt.
The gossamer web spun around the National Alabama Corporation began to unravel officially on July 17th of last year. It was then that TimesDaily reporter Trevor Stokes had the courage to finish off an article on local industry by announcing SEDA was looking for companies that could operate in the rail car facility. For his truth in journalism stance, Stokes was seemingly banned from the pages of our local rag for three months and then reassigned to the great metropolis of Russellville.
Others at the TimesDaily attempted damage control and expressed hope that 2011 would be the year National Alabama would prosper. Despite a small contract for auto transport cars, is the plant really beginning to prosper; will it be retained in the RSA stable of businesses? Let's take a chronological look at National Alabama over the past eight months.
July 2010 - Forrest Wright of SEDA announces they are looking for other businesses to locate in the mile long rail car plant. (Does this refer to subdivision or the total exodus of NAC?)
January 2011 - ShoalsInsider reports ABI investigation into National Alabama finances.
Februrary 2011 - Dr. David Bronner omits any reference to National Alabama in his annual report on RSA finances.
February 2011 - Payroll and utilities are revealed to be close to three million a year; income is zero.
February 2011 - Sources inside the plant reveal the interior of the executive offices have never been finished.
March 2011 - Bronner states he's looking at multiple companies to occupy the National Alabama facility. Sources in the plant respond that the entire mile long complex is needed in order to produce rail cars. (As the plant is currently set up, and I see no way to make it otherwise, the entire length of the plant, all 4 production lines, are needed to make railcars. There would be no way to 'sub-divide' the plant and remain capable of producing railcars.)
We believe the correct expression is cutting losses and high-tailing it when it gets this bad. Dr. Bronner may live in an ivory tower of academe, but he is no fool. He will do what is required to rid the RSA of this albino pachyderm...and soon if at all possible.
Congressman Mo Brooks announces the official opening of his Shoals District Office. The public is invited to a special open house on Monday, March 28, 2011 from 2:00 - 3:30pm to meet Congressman Brooks and his staff. The office is located in the Bevill Center on the campus of Northwest Shoals Community College at 1011 George Wallace Boulevard, Tuscumbia, AL 35674. Congressman Brooks looks forward to meeting with constituents and answering their questions.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
A source at National Alabama Corporation, the now infamous rail car plant in Barton, has contacted us. This is part of his more than telling account:
Many retired or defeated Shoals judges remain in the Shoals to practice law and give back to the area that has honored them with their former positions. We hear that one has chosen to leave God's Country and move south...with an engagement ring.
Question of the day: What's the difference between a public business and a private business? In a private business, the owner/manager can give his best friend Joe, his brother-in-law Al, his gardener Jose', or his girlfriend Trixie a job and it's perfectly legal. In the public sector, it is very much illegal and calls for ethics complaints.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
If we here believe anything, it's in the power of God...a God who created us and whom we too often ignore. We usually find unfounded rumors about those who toil with us here as humorous, but it was quite surprising last week to find the search topic: Atheist blog Shoalandaspeaks.
Today our country has attacked Libya--a country that one could say deserves it. Even so, the U.S. does not need another war. Pray that a minimal amount of missile strikes will end this conflict. Then pray for those serving in Afghanistan. Then pray for us all.
Friday, March 18, 2011
From today's TimesDaily:
"National Alabama, it's my problem; it's not your problem,” Bronner said of the quiet railcar plant that in March got a contract to assist in producing automobile transportation railcars. “We will go forward, as long as I'm alive; we're going to make this thing work.”
He later said that he was looking at multiple possible companies to land in the plant.
From a state retiree:
I beg to differ re 'the problem that is NAC'. My wife and myself, as well as several of my neighbors, have their retirements tied up in RSA...and THAT $$$ is funding the idle NAC facility. There are 120+ employees that are being paid simply to show up each day, massive utility bills each month, plus the executive (CEO. HR, Health & Safety, etc) positions that pay $75,000 - $250,000/year. With NO production taking place, and a small contract to make 'parts' of railcars, why are 'we' supporting them? This FACT does indeed make it OUR 'problem'. Not billionaire Bonner's.
Yesterday we discussed two long time employees retiring from the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department. A source close to the office has informed us that Linda Richey is also retiring this spring. Richey is over property seizures. Good luck to Ms. Richey and to Sheriff Ronnie Willis as he sifts through what could be a large field of applicants to fill these vacancies with the most qualified individuals.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Like other words in the English language, job titles morph and evolve. Some use the term "administrative assistant" to denote a secretary or even the more mundane stenographer, if there should be any of the former left.
Yesterday we commented on the opening for a new administrative assistant to Lauderdale County Sheriff Ronnie Willis. Ideally, what should Willis be looking for? Here's a good example:
- More than five years of extensive experience.
- Strong ability to lead and train staff.
- Excellent ability to gather and analyze statistical data and generate reports.
- Profound database management skills.
- Great knowledge of general accounting principles.
- Remarkable ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
- Complete knowledge of supplies, equipments and services ordering and inventory control.
- Exceptional record maintenance skills.
- Excellent ability to solve problems.
- In-depth receptionist skills.
- Deep ability to compile information and prepare reports.
- Excellent coordinating skills.
- Immense ability to schedule appointments and maintain calendars.
- Profound ability to transcribe and record meeting minutes.
- Remarkable word processing and data entry skills.
- Excellent ability to make administrative/procedural decisions and judgments.
- Strong ability to compose and edit already written materials.
Now we know that cash-strapped departments can't always hire the best, and that is indeed unfortunate. We hope that Lauderdale Sheriff Ronnie Willis will highly publicize this opening and make an informed decision when hiring Betty Hooks' successor. We also hope the county commission will assist Willis in this matter. Good luck to all applicants.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
It's just past Noon; did your emergency sirens work in Colbert County? What...they don't test them every Wednesday? Isn't that normal procedure for all EMA offices in the state? We understand some didn't work during the storms two weeks ago. Perhaps Colbert EMA is still too busy trying to account for all the missing money.
A source with the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office tells us two longtime employees will be retiring within the next few months. Sgt. Lee Short and office manager Betty Hook will be leaving the department they have served well for many years. We often try to use the word "succeed" when speaking of those who come after, for no one can truly replace employees with so much knowledge and wisdom gained through the years.
It will fall to Sheriff Ronnie Willis to suggest names of those who are able to fill the shoes of Short and Hooks. This in itself is a huge responsibility; however, Sheriff Willis will undoubtedly have to consider many facets of the hiring process before committing to anyone.
Apparently during the term of former Sheriff Billy Townsend, a Federal lawsuit placed restrictions on hiring practices. Obviously such restrictions may be either good or bad, but those who have witnessed the outcome of the resulting hires have lauded their effect. Good luck to Ronnie Willis as he makes these critical choices, as we're sure many will be looking at them from some very diverse angles.
Thought for the day: Hipster Kitty doesn't have to be P.C. After all she's hip and not afraid to tell it like it is. Shouldn't we all emulate Hipster Kitty just a little?
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Cherokee Straight Talk from J.J.
I read with great interest Pooh's Dad's comments on The Connection’s report of the Cherokee fuel situation. I started the column originally to help them with their fuel shortage. Little did I know what would be found. Cherokee uses a fuel log to track their fuel usage. I checked years 2008. 2009 and 2010 against their purchases for the same years and that is when the shortage appeared.
If they are careless with the logs, we cannot help that. I can only report what is there. The logs are public domain and may be viewed by anyone who would like to check. The Rescue Squad and the fire department do not publicly report their calls or financial status. They also are supposed to have fuel logs. Whether they do, I cannot say. The rescue squad did give us the number of calls for last year--that is how we came up with the numbers.
My suggestion would be to drive over to city hall and look for yourself. The Connection will be running part two of the story shortly and that should be very interesting reading. If I had a shortage of 4,556.4 Gallons of Off Road Diesel at $11,391.00, you can bet there would be an investigation--makes you wonder why there is not.
Note from S.S.: If any Cherokee citizens are concerned about the missing fire department or rescue squad fuel, they may file a report with either the ABI or the Alabama Ethics Commission.
Ricky Nichols isn't "poor" anyway you look at it. In 2002 he was sued by members of the Cherokee tribe for discrimination. A short time after that he decided to go to Iraq for two tours of duty. When he came back he posted his military pictures (with guns) all over the East Lawrence High School website and then married an employee who had been fired, Rebecca Crumpton Smith Nichols. The fact that she had already been married twice didn't stop him from making her his wife and getting her another job in the Lawrence County system. Ricky Nichols should be held as accountable as her for the affair and the two lawsuits.
Ricky Nichols also brought a program called "Bounty Hunters" into the school. He paid informants $100.00 for each student drug dealer they turned in. Nice, huh? He also joined police in drug raids on students' homes. Nichols left last years after his wife was arrested and I don't know if the program is still in effect or not. Mrs. Coleman should sue him if he set her son up because he had sex with his wife. Everyone I know at East Lawrence is glad Ricky Nichols is gone.
Note from S.S.: To those who asked why Rebecca Nichols wasn't charged with 2nd Degree Rape, the student was 16. If he had been under 16, felony charges would have been added to the misdemeanor charges. Unless Nichols has been convicted of a felony, there is nothing stopping her from working in another state school system.
Monday, March 14, 2011
A Guest Commentary By
I have read the so-called Cherokee tale about the fuel 5 times and I cannot make a lot of sense of all of it. How many calls did the fire dept answer in 2008, 2009? The amount of fuel attributed to the fire dept does not jibe with the amount of fuel a fire truck would burn. They get about 3 or 4 miles to the gallon; but they run constantly when on a fire or rescue call. In some instances they have been on-scene 8, 10, 12 hours or more. Duh??
Next the small amount shown for city equipment. It would take more fuel than shown just to cut the grass along the roadways. Again the back-hoes and tractors do not just start and stop every time they have to wait for other things to be done when they are on a street repair, etc. They do not get Mpg as you would measure.
I am not saying there may not be problem, but if you are going to write an article in an accusing manner, you should get your ducks in order and know whereof you speak.
It is a little transparent the way this person, (he, she, or it), is at times seeming to only show the side of Mignon and the Burger-king brigade. I for one, (even though I don't live in Cherokee) have never seen such B/S as this thing over fuel for the fire dept. I always just thought all towns paid for the fuel for the Fire-Dept. Next some idiot is going to complain about the gas for the squad cars.
I would be happy to discuss and see proof of all of these accusations.
Summer is coming and light bills will be going up so now would be the time to discuss that city-hall should only be cooled on the day of court and the night of city council meeting since most people who visit there are only on an in and out basis most of the time. Why cool the building 24/5? SAVE Money!!! RIDICULOUS??, yes but it makes as much sense as the fuel thing.
From Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett concerning cruising on Jackson Avenue: “The problem that I see with it is not a real big issue, but it's going to take manpower from me to watch it.” Hmmm, he's going to watch it personally? Guess no one else is "unified" enough.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
It's taken ten months, but the case against Jason Bart Naylor will finally be tried on Monday--at least the first rape charge. Naylor is accused of twice raping a family member who had just celebrated her 15th birthday two weeks before the alleged attacks. Later this year, Naylor is scheduled to be tried for violently raping and sodomizing a second family member.
Related post: Preying on His Own Family
A source at the Russellville Police Department has expressed surprise at the investigation into Sgt. Jeremy Hall. The Alabama Bureau of Investigation has refused to name Hall as the subject in their investigation, but Police Chief Chris Hargett has no such qualms. Hargett has said "some strong allegations are being made" against Hall.
Before joining the Russellville force in June 2003, Hall worked as a deputy for the Franklin County Sheriff's Department where he had a sterling record. Hall has served as commander of the Explorer program, an endeavor that seeks to bring teenagers into police work. In December 2009, Hall was honored by Mayor Troy Oliver for his role in apprehending the suspect in a string of pharmacy robberies that spanned three counties. If the ABI's investigation backs up Hargett's claims, the case will be presented to a Franklin County Grand Jury.
Congratulations to Daniel Pate of Muscle Shoals for winning first in his age group at the 9th annual Huff and Puff on the Bluff yesterday. Daniel's day job is keeping us safe from Communism; many thanks, Dan!
Saturday, March 12, 2011
In August 2009, Tina R. Coleman of Moulton was a very unhappy woman. We can hardly blame Mrs. Coleman for being upset considering she had just discovered her 16 year-old son had been having sex with his principal's wife:
In early 2010, a Lawrence County District Judge dismissed the charges against Rebecca Nichols after Nichols privately settled Mrs. Coleman's civil suit. The outcome of the civil suit was not made public, but Mrs. Coleman originally sought 52 million dollars from Principal Ricky Nichols' then wife.
Now 19 months later, Mrs. Coleman has retained James Irby of Florence, attorney for the Lauderdale County Board of Education, to represent her in a suit against the Lawrence County Board. Also named in the suit are the school's athletic director and principal--yes, poor Mr. Nichols who can't seem to win for losing. As of two days ago, Lawrence Board of Education officials hadn't seen the suit involving its sexual harassment policy, but Mr. Irby has stated it's "a very serious situation with very serious circumstances."
The fact that an adult school employee has sex with a student is indeed serious; criminal charges should have been pursued, but sadly were not. So why a second suit? It seems Mrs. Coleman's son was banned from the football team in October of last year for twice testing positive for illicit drugs.
Are the two matters connected? Or is Mrs. Coleman just upset with East Lawrence High School banning her son from its athletics program? We await the trial (or settlement) for more details. In the mean time, Rebecca Nichols is living in a different county free to pursue...well, we have no idea what she may be pursuing, but we do hope it's no longer underage toy boys.
In case any are wondering, several readers e-mailed us that the Rebecca Nichols involved in this particular sex scandal is definitely not the Rebecca Nichols of Playboy fame.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Chris Childers, defense attorney for David Riley, yesterday stated that the defendant had "made some mistakes." Mistakes? Really?
No, Mr. Childers, a mistake is taking the wrong exit on the Interstate. A mistake is incorrectly subtracting an amount from a check register. What David Riley did was cold-blooded murder. He should spend the rest of his life in prison; however, Judge Jones will in all probability sentence Riley to death no matter the recommendation of the jury. Other than the cost of appeals for such a sentence, will anyone really be sorry?
Last month our fellow blogger J.J. Ray wrote a column concerning the excess amount of fuel supposedly used by the small town of Cherokee, specifically its rescue squad:
Cherokee: Bigger Than You Thought
J.J. has continued to look into what could be a large amount of fuel--either missing or undocumented as to its use. Here's a link to what J.J. found:
Cherokeegate Part I
Sources report that the rescue squad had a meeting yesterday; we wonder if this was the main topic?
A reader has commented on President Bush's visit to the Shoals:
A former President is coming to visit and where does the daily disappointment put the article? The land appraisal along Wilson Dam road is more news worthy?
Well, Wilson Dam Road is more newsworthy...than the Easter Bunny.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Dewon Jones didn't mean for anyone to get hurt when he helped rob Dandy's Package Store? That's why he allegedly provided the gun for the robbery. That's why he didn't question the fact David Riley made no effort to hide his identify. That's why he didn't attempt to get help for Scott Kirtley after he was shot. No, that's why Dewon Jones should have been sentenced to life without parole for his role in the robbery--he didn't care who got hurt as long as he and Riley had money for drugs. Now the taxpayers of Lauderdale County are paying for a second trial for Riley. We've never assumed our court system is perfect, but it really dropped the ball in the case of Dewon Jones.
Related post: A Tale of Two Accessories to Murder
For every four or so complimentary e-mails we receive, we usually get one that's not so full of praise. We have one or two critics who are regular contributors to our G-Mail in box. Recently we've received some criticism for allowing an atheist to post a guest blog. It being the start of a special religious season for some, we feel this is an appropriate time to address these.
We don't ask the manager of the grocery store if he's an atheist. We don't ask our CRNP is she's an atheist. In short, we deal with those every day whose religious affiliation or lack thereof is unknown to us.
Yes, shunning an atheist is the ideal way to convert him or her to Christianity. We hope those of little or no faith don't judge all Christians by such individuals as our critic.
Note: We welcome guest blogs. We are happy to publish views from all perspectives as long as they are not libelous. We do reserve the right to edit for profanity, etc.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Helen Keller Hospital is the property of Colbert County and is administered by the Colbert County Commission. The commission has seen fit to pass control of day-to-day activities of the hospital to that facility's board of directors, and the board has seen fit to partner the hospital with Huntsville Hospital in Madison County.
For whatever reason, Keller CEO Bill Anderson is leaving...and taking a severance package with him. Is the amount of this golden parachute an item that should be included in public records--meaning should the TimesDaily have access to the terms of this package and publish them for any and all to read?
The answer is apparently not as clear cut as the TD would like us to believe. Perhaps the main issue now should be the employment terms of his successor. Whoever replaces Anderson will sign a contract that should ideally spell out every aspect of his/her financial compensation and also be public knowledge.
It would seem logical that the citizens of Colbert County should be more concerned about the reason for Bill Anderson's departure than the amount of money he took with him. If the TD wants to provide accurate information on the local hospital situation, it should be looking into the role Huntsville Hospital played in Anderson's resignation and the role it will play in the search for his replacement.
Obviously the world of medicine is changing. How well do you know your primary medical provider? If you live in the St. Florian area, you should check out the new St. Florian Clinic. CRNP Gina Brewer is no stranger to the Shoals, and we can promise you'll receive excellent care from her and her staff. For more info, you can give them a call at 256.740.6674.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Mary Lee Hudson is 56 years old and has, as far as we know, no criminal record. So why would such a woman commit a terrorist act? A temporary breach of sanity may well be her best defense. Besides the normal hormonal waves of menopause, it would seem Mrs. Hudson feels she has been the victim of job discrimination resulting in the loss of a longtime position. Until recently, Hudson worked in the Education Department, only being transferred to the Financial Aid Office a few months ago.
What kind of verdict and possible sentence should we expect if Hudson chooses to go to trial? Besides state charges, there will apparently also be Federal charges related to the mailing of the threatening missive. If the Jay DeVaughn case is an indicator, Hudson may expect a sentence of at least six years. DeVaughn was a male librarian at a Colorado community college who sent white powder filled threatening letters to several individuals, including elected officials. He was sentenced this past January in Federal Court.
If the University of North Alabama wants to leap to Division I, they're certainly getting the advanced publicity. Too bad it isn't the kind they wanted.
What's up with this: We hear there's going to be a sequel to the old Johnny Cash song "Don't Take Your Guns to Town." It will be entitled "Don't Send Your Gun to Memphis."
Monday, March 7, 2011
Who Will Pseudoephedrine Laws Help Most?
A Guest Commentary By
I used to take a generic Sudaphed, the kind that had real pseudoedphedrine. I could buy it for about $2.00, while the brand name was $6.00 or so. No one makes a generic any more since those who would sell it would have to keep a register and it's just not worth it to them. In fact, it's just not worth it to many of us to sign a register when we need strong sinus medicine.
Now the State of Alabama wants to make pseudoedphedrine a scheduled drug, like hydrocodone or oxycodone. Why? No one can get high off this drug. Yes, you can use it to make meth if you're so inclined. Just who is so inclined? Are these people giving anything back to our society?
Oh, but you say they have children who might be hurt. So, they won't live to grow up to be the next generation of meth-makers or welfare cheats? Is this what the United States has come to? Let the professionals who have already proved their worth to society suffer, while we protect the scum?
We're going to agree with much of this. The answer, or one answer, is to take these children and adopt them out to decent, caring homes. Unfortunately, our great state of Alabama has no desire to do that either. If our legislature really wanted to help this problem, it would enact a law causing meth dealers to permanently lose custody of any and all children upon the first conviction. No exceptions!
What's up with this: Is there a hiring freeze at the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department, or can Sheriff Willis find no one who wishes to work there?
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Authorities have so far only announced that it was a female staff member working in Stevens Hall who mailed the letter--a letter filled with white powder and hate. Our sources have speculated it was a Sociology prof who received the letter, but no names have been mentioned. We seriously doubt the substance was harmful. Here's the take of Mary Carton, a microbiologist who works at a local hospital.
- The chances that the white powder contained Bacillus antracis spores the bacteria that causes anthrax is virtually zero. Any stocks that are available are highly regulated and hard to get. I’ve learned over the years not to say impossible as anything is possible at some point.
- Local hospitals don’t keep anthrax in the lab, and training at the state lab training is done with non-infectious bacteria that are similar in biochemical and growth characteristics.
- The hospital I work at keeps the doors to Microbiology locked to prevent other bacteria causing infectious diseases from walking off with unauthorized personnel.
- A greater possibility is that the powder cause be some sort of hazardous chemical. In either case the hazmat team has to come out in their suits, strip those involved down, and dispose of everything. The entire room has to be totally disinfected and cleaned at great costs for the whole process to the tax payers, not to mention the expense of replacing personal items and clothing also.
- What was intended as something to scare and get back at the person the letter was sent to will be the last stupid stunt done for a while. The FBI and Postal Service are involved and this person when caught and they will be caught, will be put under the jail for a while for a terrorist threat.
- Classes for the remainder of the day and night had to be cancelled in the building because of this.
- The victims will have to worry for a couple of weeks about inhalation anthrax from the powder.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Look closely at this face. It is the face of Shaun Glovis Shapley. Shapley is:
1. A White Supremacist.
2. Much married.
3. Often the instigator of lawsuits against local governments.
4. The father of two of his older stepdaughter's children.
5. A multiple felon with many convictions for violence against women.
6. A drug addict.
7. The man who murdered his younger stepdaughter during a rape attempt.
8. The man whom Lauderdale County let plead in exchange for a 25 year sentence.*
9. A man who is inadequately described by the word "feces."
Here's his complete tale of violence and louche living: Murder in Lexington
Now Shapley has appealed his plea bargain sentence for the second time. He must not like prison....
Let's all try to ensure Shapley does not leave this home that is much too good for him before his 2033 end-of-sentence date. Here's the address to protest work release or parole for Shaun Shapley:
Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles
Post Office Box 302405
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-2405
Re: Shaun Shapley, AIS #263566
To ensure your letters reach his prison file, you may also write or call:
Warden Kenneth Jones
Bullock Correctional Facility
Post Office Box 5107
Union Springs, Alabama 36089-5107
* Why did Lauderdale County even let Shapley plead? In all probability because his wife Kimberly Bragg Shapley supported him. Can we say "Trash?" BTW, that remark isn't libelous since libel involves an untruth that hurts a person's reputation. In fact, calling Kimberly Shapley trash is probably the nicest word anyone has called her since it came to light she supported the rapist of both her daughters.
Friday, March 4, 2011
The middle aged woman pulled the cord, stood up, and walked down the aisle of the cross-town bus. As she passed a man well known for his eccentric behavior toward women, she saw him rise and begin to follow her. Quickly she exited the bus and began the short walk to her home near Peabody College. Now she heard footsteps behind her, and they were gaining. Never a timid woman, she removed the umbrella from under her left arm and placed it firmly in her hand. The footsteps were right behind her now, and her heart was racing.
She felt a hand enclose her right arm and she quickly turned. Raising the umbrella in her left hand, she lashed out...and hit her husband in the head. Yes, it was her husband who had left work early and had walked to the bus stop to meet her. In her haste to avoid the local masher, she hadn't seen her partner of over 30 years...and he had the goose egg to prove it.
Does the above story have a moral for us today? Perhaps it should have one for Steve Glover. Cherokee Councilman Glover has been accused of assaulting 72 year-old Helen Waldrep after Monday night's meeting. According to J. J. Ray, Glover acted to protect himself--not knowing who had taken his arm. Now he faces an assault charge.
Elected officials in Cherokee aren't known for their genteel manners, so we aren't too surprised at the evening's events. After all it could have been Battlin' Betty who had decided he needed to be slapped...
Stevens Hall contamination: How interesting that (in all probability) fake toxin was mailed to a member of the education or nursing faculty. Who would the culprit be? Very likely a disgruntled student who either was dismissed from the school of education or nursing, or who was denied admittance. In either case, it shows the admission standards currently in place are working.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
The Union Pacific Railroad is called the nation's premiere rail line, operating in 23 states in the western two-thirds of the U.S. If any railway is expanding at this time, it would be Union Pacific, and we have indeed heard it is this rail line that signed a contract with National Alabama.
Isn't this great news? Well...yes and no. Our contact tells us that work will begin in July and is scheduled to end by December of this year. There are no plans to hire any additional workers at this time. We say at least it is a contract and something to place on the plant's resume'.
Concerning safety problems at National Alabama, we have also heard:
NAC does not..I repeat. DOES NOT have an Emergency Action Plan in place in the event of an emergency, emergency shutdown, Containment or Re-Start. Also..NAC must also have some sort of explosive chemicals/substances in site as they have (4) 'explosion containment 'boxes' '.
Revisiting Russellville, we have been informed that one of three city police officers on the short list for two captain's positions is not named MacKay, but Johnnie McMicken. The name "McKay" was taken from a TimesDaily news article on the troubled selection of new officers. Also, it is Mike Prince who owns a photography business--not Cary Hitt.
Our informant states that Lt. McMicken filed a suit against Russellville when Chris Hargett was appointed chief a few years ago. Ergo, Hargett has no great love for McMicken. We were unaware of this suit when we suggested McMicken might have legal recourse due to Hargett's appraisal of him during a public meeting. Even if the suit is common knowledge, it is better that such concerns be addressed in private executive session.
We have heard from the state deputy fire marshal who cited the Cherokee Town Hall with 35 violations. His comments should be of great importance to anyone opening or remodeling an older building:
You may want to inform your readers of the changes in the adopted building and fire codes. There are also new laws that address issues such the installation, maintenance, inspection and service of both fire sprinkler systems and fire alarm systems. There are also new regulations that stipulate when the services of an architect are required.
It can save them a lot of potential problems.
Jimmy Collier, CFI/Fire Inspector II
Deputy State Fire Marshal
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
On Sunday, February 27, 2011, Frank Buckles quietly left this world. He was the last leaf, the last remaining Doughboy out of hundreds of thousands who left towns and farms to serve in the war to end all wars. At 110, Mr. Buckles had seen much, but the one thing he never saw was a memorial to those who gave their lives in what many now call the 14-18 War. Even the highly reviled Viet Nam Conflict/War has a memorial; why not one for those who served in the Great War? We are rarely ashamed of our country, but the lack of such an honor for those who served in World War I is truly a black mark on our great nation.
Veterans Day 2009
Veterans Day 2010
Goodbye, Miss Liberty
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The March meeting of the Cherokee Town Council was held tonight at 6:00 p.m. Here is a link to the agenda:
Item 10 looks particularly intriguing; however, tonight's meeting will undoubtedly be remembered for its mayhem rather than the theft of firearms. Here's our report from C.R.:
Meeting Abruptly Ends
The Cherokee City Council Meeting had twenty one agenda items and the meeting ended with item eleven. This agenda item called for all employees to make a daily activity report. Councilman Steve Glover made a motion to make all city employees except the city clerk, file a daily activity report. At this point, citizens started to state their frustration with the council. Betty McKinney, the left hand puppet of Mignon Willis, told one citizen, he was not on the agenda and Mayor Lansdell informed McKinney, she was not on the agenda either and to shut up. The council tied to quiet the crowd but could not. Councilman Glover made a motion to end the meeting.
After the meeting a women in her seventies approached Councilman Glover. The women, Helen Waldrep, told Councilman Glover cutting the benefits to the employees was wrong. Councilman Glover pushed this poor lady twice and grabbed his wife like a rag doll and left the meeting in a mad tirade. Miss Waldrep filed a police report with the Colbert County Sheriff’s Department. About thirty minutes after finding out the women filed a report; Glover called the Colbert County Sheriff’s Department and filed a report also.
Something is in The Water
While Councilman Glover was pushing down old ladies, Betty McKinney had her fill with a citizen and told him she should just slap his face. The gentleman filed a police report for Harassment against McKinney with the Cherokee Police Department.
Not to be out done, Mignon Willis had a flash back and thought she was still mayor. Mignon told the Cherokee Police Chief that he failed in his duties to keep order in the room. The Police Chief Frank Reagan listened to Mignon and then gave her a verbal tongue lashing. Nothing bad was said, the chief just let Willis know who the real police chief in town was. If Mignon was not wasting the chief’s time he could have stopped Glover from pushing the seventy year old lady.
The City is Broke?
In the last council meeting, the employee’s benefits were cut because of a lack of money in the cities accounts. Fuel was taken away from the rescue squad and fire department. During this meeting the council voted to award a construction bid just over eleven thousand dollars to Paul Harper to remodel the old senior citizens building. What was funny the council was not going to ask for a contract to be signed. The council never asked if Paul Harper was bonded and insured. The council never asked Paul Harper did he have a Cherokee, county or state business license. The council never asked any of these important questions. Why do research, it just takes too long.
The mayor had to point that out to them. The council then rescinded its vote and then voted to let the city attorney handle the contract and find out about Harper’s insurance and bond.
When did the council vote to take a construction bid? It was never voted on or posted anywhere.
Agenda Item 15
The council never reached a vote on this item but spoke about it in the work session. It appears that the Cherokee City Council is planning on laying off a Cherokee City Sewer/Street Worker. They do not have money to pay workers benefits and have to lay off a worker but they have the money to remodel a broken down building. The council also talked about making the police officers work for straight time. If one officer works for 64 hours one week he will get just straight time pay. So much for federal laws.
Well, there you have it. We're glad C. R. walked away unscathed. Stay tuned--there's sure to be more--a great deal more.
The new Cherokee Town Hall, a former Senior Citizens' Center, has failed its first fire inspection with a total of 35 violations. Here is a link to the five page inspection:
When a decision needs to be made, most people do research first and make at least two plans. Over the last two years the Cherokee City Council has shown little regard for research or forming an alternative plan before beginning a course of action. During the last city council meeting the Burger King Four (Councilmembers Malone, Glover, Franks, and Mason) decided to relocate city hall to the old senior citizens' building.
The senior citizens were located to a new building because the old building had flooding, mold, and fire code problems. If the Burger King Four did some research they would have discovered this before moving city hall to this location.
A State of Alabama Fire Marshal paid a visit to the new Cherokee City Hall located in the old senior citizens' building. The fire marshal found 35 building code violations. We will have to see how much it will cost to fix all 35 building code violations.
During the last city council meeting the Burger King Four decided to cut benefits to the city's employees. This has caused several employees to look elsewhere for employment. It appears that two police officers are leaving soon. The loss of one officer will hurt the town. He makes most of the DUI and drug arrests. The criminals must be happy to hear this. Drug sales and break-ins will increase around the small city. The overtime budget for the police department is going to explode.
There is a city council meeting Tuesday night. Make sure to thank the council for their lack of planning and research.
We all heard about the Leighton Police Officer that took Ambien and shot at an invisible intruder. It appears that the Leighton City Council has grown tired of the officer and he is on the way out. Could a Cherokee Police Officer show up in a Leighton police uniform?
Political quote of the day: Good gravy, Gaddafi is crazy. He's talking like he's Charlie Sheen or something!