Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bad Boys: Cory Luke White


As they say on The Quad-Cities Daily, you gotta love these bad boys. Pictured at right is Cory Luke White who seems frequently to swap residences between Looney Road in Athens and Lee Street in Rogersville, probably due to wherever arrest warrants are the most current. Just how big a bad boy is White? In case his Athens booking photo doesn't sum it up for you, we'll offer a recap.

The 28 year-old's record goes back to April 2006 at least, when he was arrested in Lauderdale County for Possession of a Controlled Substance - Marijuana. July 2008 saw White again arrested in Lauderdale, this time for Criminal Coercion. If you're as unsure as us what this might entail, here's the legal definition:

A person is guilty of criminal coercion when with intent to compel another person to engage in or refrain from conduct, he unlawfully threatens to:
(a) Commit any crime; or
(b) Accuse anyone of a crime; or
(c) Expose any secret tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule or to impair another's credit or business repute; or
(d) Take or withhold action as an official or cause an official to take or withhold action.

White again made the news in April 2010 when he was charged with the unauthorized use of a vehicle Things really began to escalate with White on November 14th of this year when he attempted to burgle a home on West Market Street in Athens while the owner was inside. Athens police quickly found White in a wooded area behind the home. While being booked, this perennial bad boy kicked out the window of the booking area, causing an additional charge of Destruction of State Property. This crime of theft falls into the heinous category since White ostensibly knew a resident of the home had passed away nine hours earlier.

Five weeks later, Luke Cory White was again out of jail and arrested for Public Intoxication in Lauderdale County. Some hours after his release on those charges, White committed robbery at the BP Station located on the Corner of 101 and Putman Parkway, one block north of Hwy. 72. Upon leaving the scene, White jumped in a car with the motor running and managed to add theft of a vehicle to his laundry list of crimes.

Now White is in jail again; does he have bail this time? If so, will he be returned to Limestone County to await trial there? We anxiously await news on this...and, yes, we used the word anxiously correctly here.

Related post: The Unclaimed Parkway


*****

Anyone have any similar tales to tell about Jock Bo Riley of Franklin County? If any readers think this serial thief is in rehab, guess again.



Shoalanda

Comments welcome. No profanity. No vulgarity. No libelous statements. Get it? Got it! Good...

Friday, December 30, 2011

Are You a Fit Parent?/Mug Shots?


Are You a Fit Parent?

A Guest Commentary By

Mark Davis



As a fit parent advocate, married or unmarried parents should watch the following 35 minute shocking documentary about how parental rights are being violated.

The video features three married families. One of the three true stories is about a Court that ordered fit parents limit their child's church attendance because the child didn't want to attend Church three times a week.

If anyone is of the opinion similar would never happen in Alabama, it goes on every day in the Alabama Judiciary. I have personal knowledge of this because I have fielded hundreds of emails and telephone calls from other Alabama parents in my efforts to reform Alabama family law.

In 2008, Madison County Circuit Court Judge Billy Bell determined one parent should not have custody of her child because she was "too religious". This judicial judgment made national media program "Inside Edition" but was not reported by main stream media in Alabama. See the story here: http://www.insideedition.com/news.aspx?storyID=1389


In 2006, Lauderdale County Circuit Court Judge Ned Suttle determined over my objection it was in my daughters best interests to attend daycare 35 hours each week rather than spend one-half of that time in my personal care, which she had been accustomed due to a Tennessee Court judgment implemented against the other parents wishes. At daycare our daughter was cooped up in a 12'x12' room watching videos with 15 other children most of the day.

In 2011, when the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals was asked to determine if the 2006 Alabama trial court's judgment was void because it violated my fundamental parenting rights, Justice Terry A. Moore in an written opinion said, "The simple fact that a court has erroneously applied the law does not render its judgment void."

This determination is on appeal in the Supreme Court of the United States. A decision whether that Court will accept the case is expected in March 2012.

Don't wait until the Court has shocked your conscience.

Be informed now.

Elections are forthcoming in 2012.

Watch the Free video "Overruled" violations to parental rights, the three minute trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykYzgfzhhRk

Alabama fit parents can find more information how to educate themselves in safeguarding their fundamental parental rights on the Alabama Family Rights Association website at www.ALFRA.org.

*****

Do you read Hard Times? Even if you don't, you've seen it at the mini-mart. Now The Quad-Cities Daily has started carrying these mug shots and arrest records online. There's currently some controversy on Facebook as to whether it's ethical to publish records of those arrested, but not convicted.

It's been some time since we've had a poll, and this seems like a fitting issue. The poll is unscientific at best, but only one vote will be counted per IP address.



Shoalanda

Comments welcome. No profanity. No vulgarity. No libelous statements. Get it? Got it! Good...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hearing for Amanda Taylor's Killer/Tuscumbia Lustron History


January 3rd will see Ronald Weems and Matthew Fox in court. It's been reported that Weems has asked for a preliminary hearing. Legal sources say the murderer of Amanda Taylor and his attorney may ask for all or portions of the confession to be declared inadmissible, as well as a change of venue. Fox will be requesting a reduction in his 500K bail.

Sources close to Laurel Pruett (pictured) say she's not requesting bail reduction since none of her family lives in Alabama. We have had conflicting reports as to the custody of Pruett's four-year old daughter, but a second source has confirmed the child remains with Weem's mother in Muscle Shoals. DHR has reportedly petitioned to have the daughter removed.

*****

The Tuscumbia Lustron Home As I Remember It

A Guest Commentary By

Jim Smith


I lived at 705 East 4th street at the time the house was erected. I was the paper boy to everyone in the east end of town so I thought I had to see and know about everything that was going on.

The Catholic Church was on the corner of East Street and 4th. In the earlier years there was a Catholic School and living quarters on the corner of Hickory and 4th.

Sometime around 1948 0r 1949, they decided to build a new Rectory behind the church. It was decided to be a Lustron House. At that time Lustron produced and shipped all steel enameled houses.


The site was prepared and the parts and pieces arrived. A wrecker came to unload the steel parts. They stacked the steel parts and boxes of screws, bolts, etc., along the curb in front of the house. Each part was numbered and much time was spent as they sorted and found the right pieces. Each part had a certain screw or bolt for that section. I was allowed to pick up these things at the end of the day and wish I had saved some of them.

As the house took shape, it was easy to see that once the last screw was in place, it would be ready to live in. Everything was enameled in the color that had been chosen.

I don't remember how long it took them to finish but it did not seem very long. One thing that stands out now as I look back is the fact that there were no fancy electric or air tools as we know them today. Everything was screwed or bolted by hand.


There was some discussion among the workers about not having a back door because of concern for the Priest. Access to him was very limited outside of the Church. I will drop by the site to check this out once the ground dries up and the weather gets better.

This type of house was supposed to be the next best thing to sliced bread as far as technology was concerned. Not only was it pre-insulated, it was designed to last a long, long time. This is evidenced by the one we see off of Woodmont Drive. Even though the years of neglect are showing, I am sure it is in a lot better shape than a wood-frame house would be after all this time.

I don't know the whole story of the company but there are references to bad business decisions and other problems. There does not seem to be problems with the houses themselves. Can you imagine what your house would look like 60 years after it was built had it been neglected and not maintained?

Thanks to Mary for finding it and to everyone for providing the opportunity to tell about it as I remember. Also, thanks to everyone who loves Tuscumbia as much as I do for your interest in saving and preserving as much of our history as we can.

THIS WAS ONE TIME WHERE A meets B and Y met Z that everything came together.

*****

Colbert County native Jim Smith is the author of Walk Through Town (with me as a ten year-old boy). It can be found on Amazon and at several local book stores. Link





Shoalanda

Comments welcome. No profanity. No vulgarity. No libelous statements. Get it? Got it! Good...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Military Contract for Navistar Barton?/Publix & Propinquity

Navistar's Military Vehicle MaxxPro


It now seems those pre-Christmas layoffs at the RSA/Navistar plant in Barton weren't just the work of a Grinch. Sources close to the former National Alabama plant say the untimely terminations were the result of new, more stringent background checks.

Why were such background checks necessary? It seems the American Motors HHMVWs, or Humvees, lost favor with the military some time ago. The preferred vehicle for desert combat is the mine-resistant MaxxPro, a Navistar product.

Does this definitely mean the new Navistar facility will be producing components for the MaxxPro or a similar vehicle? We should find out next week...

*****

What do Wal-Mart, Publix, and propinquity have in common? They're all elements in the local battle for your buck. Many thought it odd that Publix would have located so close to Florence's existing Wal-Mart, yet Publix probably thought it an ideal location. Routine Wally World shoppers can easily drive to the new Publix to finish off their weekly shopping. It's why you often see restaurants and hotels clustered together; if one doesn't provide what the customer wants, he has to only drive or walk next door.

Now Wal-Mart is planning a second super center...one not remotely close to any major shopping area. (Sorry, Big Star and CVS--you're just not a destination unto yourself.) Those cash spending customers from the western end of the county or southern Tennessee will now be isolated from the new Publix, Target, Regency Square Mall, and K-Mart, assuming the latter stays in this area. You can't say the Wally World honchos don't know their marketing.



Shoalanda

Comments welcome. No profanity. No vulgarity. No libelous statements. Get it? Got it! Good...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Silent Night: Mixed Signals from Americans United


Recently an anonymous Tuscumbia parent requested that the organization Americans United for Separation of Church and State intervene concerning the school system's annual Christmas play...or should that be holiday play? It seems one of the songs to be featured was Silent Night.

Americans United then wrote the Tuscumbia School Board requesting the song be dropped from the program. The board refused to honor the request, but it's been reported that the song was moved from the finale to a place of less importance in the production.

Such requests are no longer novel, but we do question the purpose for Americans United becoming involved in this issue. The following is taken from their website:

Public schools may incorporate some religious music into concerts and other events, but it should not dominate. Some purely religious plays and other works are not appropriate for public schools. No student should be punished for declining to play religious music.

Seemingly not everyone at Americans United is on the same page. The group has suggested it may take stronger action next year; unless they edit their mission statement in the upcoming year, we would expect the Tuscumbia School Board to continue to ignore the group.

*****


Dated between 1907 and 1915, this postcard depicts the Florence-Sheffield trolley crossing the railroad bridge. It can be yours for $35.00. Link



Shoalanda

Comments welcome. No profanity. No vulgarity. No libelous statements. Get it? Got it! Good...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Federal Conviction for Shawn Johnson/Lustron Home In Tuscumbia


For those who may have missed the December 15th article in the TimesDaily, Alfred Shawn Johnson has been found guilty of Federal drug charges and sentenced to 46 months in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.

While the TD failed to point this out, Johnson is currently under indictment for the murder of Keith Barnett in Lauderdale County. Assuming Johnson is convicted in this death, how will his sentences be served? It has been our experience that state charges are usually served first; however, we don't know how long Johnson's murder trial may be delayed for various legal reasons. D.K. is working on this, and we will have an update when it's available.

*****


Pictured above is a Lustron Westchester home located just off Woodmont Drive in Tuscumbia. Doesn't look like much, does it? Fortunately, the sharp eye of Tuscumbia historian Mary Carton recognized the home for what it once was. These homes were manufactured between 1948 and 1950; production ceased when the company could no longer keep up with demand and declared bankruptcy. Approximately 20K orders were placed for these homes, but only about 2,680 ever made it to customers.


Several Lustrons were constructed locally. Pictured above is one in Sheffield. The abandoned Tuscumbia Lustron had not even made it to the home's national registry until Mary recently added it. Just being on the the registry will not assure its preservation, but it's a start. Lustron homes have a place in the Museum of Modern Art. We hope this one can have a renewed place of honor in the Shoals.






Shoalanda

Comments welcome. No profanity. No vulgarity. No libelous statements. Get it? Got it! Good...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Our Naughty List (Some Much More Than Others)



"Naughty Lists" seem to be a trend among local bloggers this year, so we're happy to jump on the bandwagon. Here's our version, in no particular order...

1. Terry Bowden - He didn't even bother to say goodbye.

2. Wal-Mart - What? They've made so little money over the years that now they're worried about Publix? Please...

3. Florence City Council - Most of them truly care about the town. Standing one's ground can be courageous, but failing to find a solution for our garbage woes is not a great example of placing the city first. Santa may not leave any trash in their yards, but by February Cupid may consider doing so.

4. Cherokee Mayor Chuck Lansdell - If you don't play his way, he won't play at all, while blaming others for his leadership problems.

5. Tuscumbia Police Chief Tony Logan - We're about to begin year three of this ongoing saga, all paid for by Lauderdale County taxpayers. He's not even appealing his DUI conviction on claims of innocence, but on a nebulous law. Great example there, Chief.

6. Brian Keith McGuire - Another less than upstanding citizen costing Alabama tax payers unnecessarily to appeal the loss of his teaching license. A Lauderdale jury may have found him not guilty of rape, but the Alabama Board of Education pronounced him guilty of that plus a lot of other seedy doings. Does he think anyone would hire him to teach Alabama youth even if he got his license back?

7. "Christians" who bash atheists - It doesn't speak well of their religion or their IQ. After all, we haven't seen any Methodists trash talking Baptists recently. Calling an atheist harsh names isn't going to make him want to sit by us in church on Sunday morning.

8. Florence and Colbert Animal Shelters - Neither can see the forest for the trees. We hope in 2012 both entities will concentrate on promoting animal adoption. It's about time...

9. Steve Pierce - If we can blame one man for UNA now residing in the purgatory that lies between Division I and Division II, it's Steve. We have to ask why he prefers UNA to be a very small frog in a big pond to being a very large frog in a medium pond.

10. Susan Leigh Smithson & the Sweetwater Gang - It's been over two years now since the owner of Sweetwater mansion and a few locals began their efforts to restore this once stately home. During this time, the director and her various committee members have alienated almost anyone who has volunteered to work on the property. Here's hoping Smithson finds a buyer in 2012,

11. Red Bay Police Chief Jana Jackson for commenting prematurely on the death of David Andrasik. No, no one knows how a Franklin County grand jury will rule in January, but we highly suspect Jackson will have some thoughtless words to eat.

We could add more, but the sound of tiny hooves approaching needs immediate investigation. Here's hoping all readers are careful out there this weekend.





Shoalanda


Comments welcome. No profanity. No vulgarity. No libelous statements. Get it? Got it! Good...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Navistar Firing?/Saluting Tim Kent


It's less than ten days until Navistar is expected to make their big announcement and we finally learn what will be replacing National Alabama at the RSA super complex in Barton. A new year is always the perfect time to start a new project, but unfortunately it seems Navistar's plans have necessitated the firing of some personnel. Termination--not a very nice Christmas present is it?

*****


The Shoals area is steeped in history, especially that of the Civil War. Tim Kent is a local military aficionado and historian. He's pictured here at the grave of our local Gen. James Deshler. This morning Tim will be working at the Tuscumbia Cemetery to replace headstones of unknown Confederate soldiers. Kudos to Tim for keeping our history alive and in good repair.


*****


Russellville Municipal Building pictured on a 1940's postcard: Link



Shoalanda

Comments welcome. No profanity. No vulgarity. No libelous statements. Get it? Got it! Good...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Special Report: O.B. Gets a Christmas Miracle?


Reports are circulating that Terry Bowden is leaving UNA. True? Untrue? We're guessing true. That means our dear friend O.B. has gotten one of his Christmas wishes. Uh, does that mean he won't get the other one?

If you haven't read O.B.'s interview with "Tater Tot," don't miss it!



Why Was McKenzie Corey Johnson Even Out of Prison?



Sheffield police are looking for McKenzie Corey Johnson, and we have to ask why. Not why are they looking for him specifically, but why is it necessary to look for him at all. Why is this man not in prison?

In July 2010, less than 18 months ago, Johnson was arrested during a routine traffic stop in Tuscumbia. From a news report at the time:

McKenzie Corey Johnson, 29, of Sheffield, Ala., was arrested on charges of failure of a sex offender to verify his identity, second-degree forgery and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Johnson at first tried to conceal his identity after crack cocaine was found in his vehicle.

Considering Johnson's record, why were these crimes not enough to return him to prison for several years. We recently quoted a Russellville police officer who used the expression "revolving door to prison." Apparently this is the case with Johsnon. If you have knowledge of his whereabouts, call Sheffield police at: 256-383-1771.

Related post: Sheffield Sex Offenders

*****

Losing IQ Points: We recently published a series of comments from around the state concerning Salah N. Salah's suit against the town of Russellville. One Facebook reader mentioned losing IQ points after reading these snips. We'll admit they weren't the most erudite of opinions, but apparently the literati didn't choose to comment on the situation. Now we've discovered a blog that will make these quotes look like the work of Gore Vidal. Enter at your own risk.





Shoalanda

Comments welcome. No profanity. No vulgarity. No libelous statements. Get it? Got it! Good...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

World Class Pharmaceutical Center?/Publix a No Show?


Florence City Councilman Barry Morris has called a Chinese drug manufacturer's once proposed plans for the former Florence Golf and Country Club a "world class pharmaceutical center." Dr. Morris, since when does alternative medicine come under the definition of "world class pharmaceuticals?"

*****

Grocery Store Wars: Wish we still had a Winn-Dixie in the Shoals? Apparently the Birmingham area is the closest you'll find one. Now the chain has been purchased by Bi-Lo, a popular chain with several stores just across the state line in Tennessee. Will they open one here?

We won't hold our breath, but if you're hoping for that promised Publix, local gossip has it that it won't be coming either. Construction has been halted on the Cox Creek Pky location, and city officials aren't forthcoming with any answers. Perhaps that would make another great place for a world class pharmaceutical center, huh, Dr. Morris?

*****


Rare Sweetwater Creek postcard: Link



Shoalanda

Comments welcome. No profanity. No vulgarity. No libelous statements. Get it? Got it! Good...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What Will Be Jon Thomas Wallis' Sentence?


Those familiar with the art of tattooing would obviously call Jon Thomas Wallis an accomplished practitioner. Wallis himself liked the name "Ink Slinger" well enough to have it permanently inscribed on his neck.



How long will Tommy Wallis, convicted of drug trafficking and attempted murder, be away from his chosen profession? Wallis is currently serving a mandatory three years for his October drug conviction, with 12 to serve on probation upon his release. Three years must seem like a relatively short sentence compared to what he may now be facing.

Last week, a Lauderdale County jury convicted Wallis of the attempted murder of his wife, a Class A felony. The TimesDaily has reported the Ink Slinger will serve a minimum of 10 years; however, this crime committed with a gun adds another ten years to the sentence. Tommy Wallis has previously seemed to admire tattoos of guns; we doubt he feels the same way now.



Assuming Wallis has no other felonies of record and that he is sentenced to the minimum, he should be eligible for parole after approximately seven years. He will receive no Correctional Incentive Time for a Class A felony. Those who wish to go on record as opposing Tommy Wallis' parole may write:

Alabama Board of Pardons & Paroles
Re: Jon Thomas Wallis, AIS 280574
Post Office Box 302405
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-2405

Telephone: (334) 353-7771, 353-8067
FAX: (334) 242-1809

*****

John James Common, aka J.J., is a familiar figure around Russellville. It's hard to miss his small truck with the bullet holes in the passenger door. Common, 28, has several convictions involving drugs and is no stranger to prison. Our sources in the Russellville Police Department say he has his own entrance with a revolving door.

On parole for his drug offenses, Common was wearing an ankle monitor yesterday when he
broke into the home where his ex-girlfriend was staying and attempted to kidnap the 21 year-old. This is the same girlfriend he once hit in the belly while she was pregnant. We're pretty sure they've kept his bed warm at the Limestone Correctional Facility. We're also pretty sure he qualifies as a habitual offender.

Let's hope J.J. stays away for a long time...



Shoalanda

Comments welcome. No profanity. No vulgarity. No libelous statements. Get it? Got it! Good...

Monday, December 19, 2011

No Mahindra?/Bailey Quarters Joins Us


For some time, we have labored in the vineyard of blogging with only three regular contributors. Among those who have submitted several guest commentaries is Bailey Quarters. She will now become a regular contributor, usually focusing on either comment, addenda, or rebuttal to what has been previously written here. We hope you'll enjoy Bailey's Bailiwick.


Who Buys the Beer?

A few years ago I was traveling to Nashville for the weekend when I realized Loretto would probably be both the cheapest place to buy gas and the last stop to buy a TimesDaily in Tennessee. When I got in line at the store to pay, there were seven men in front of me, and while I waited three others took their place behind me. What did these ten men have in common?

They all were purchasing beer, some in large quantities. Since it was around 3:30 on a Friday afternoon this was probably a usual scenario. What else did these men have in common? I wouldn't have wanted to have met any of them in a dark alley. Sure, they were dressed for work, not a wedding, but they didn't give off any vibes of civic responsibility.

This is what the Southside Baptist children will be seeing next to their playground if TNS Convenience Store is given a license to sell beer. Think about a football field. Then think about 187 feet. The distance of the store to the church playground is just 62% of the length of that football field. Would you want your children that close to a constant steam of who knows what? I wouldn't.

*****

The Wall Street Journal is reporting Mahindra Navistar will not be locating at the RSA facility in Colbert County. Obviously, such a large project should be kept under wraps as long as possible in order to finalize important details. We still have hopes that this Indian industrial giant will partner with Navistar in Alabama.

We're just not sure the T-20/T-40 pickups are the best fit for the Barton facility. Mahindra is currently being sued by 350 US dealers for breach of contract. The Indian automaker has failed to deliver promised vehicles to these dealers, and no end to the suit is in sight.

*****

Comments? We are still getting comments that are unpublishable. For that reason, we will be adding this admonition at the bottom of each blog.

Comments welcome. No profanity. No vulgarity. No libelous statements. Get it? Got it! Good...



Shoalanda

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Salah v. Southside: The Facts/Laurel Pruett Update


Judging from comments and questions received concerning the ongoing legal battle of Salah N. Salah to obtain a beer/wine license from the City of Russellville, there are many misconceptions about the local alcohol laws and how they are being used or misused in this instance. We're listing the facts of the case below. It will be up to a court to determine if the laws are being applied in accordance with these facts.

1. Alabama law states that any business licensed to sell alcohol must be at least 300 feet from a church building or 1000 feet from a school.building.

2. Russellville's liquor license law states that such a business must be at least 500 feet from a church or 1000 feet from a school building.

3. TNS Mini-Mart is 397 feet from the main church building at Southside Baptist.

4. TNS Mini-Mart is 187 feet from a playground that is part of the Southside Baptist Church plant.

5. Southside Baptist Church erected their building at 12215 Highway 43 South in 1964. It remains the original congregation.

6. Salah purchased Ray's Southside Food Mart at 12301 Highway 43 South approximately one year ago. The building certainly had not been constructed when Southside Baptist established its church. In other words, Salah knew the church was there when he purchased the small store.

7. Representatives of Southside Baptist exercised their legal right to object to alcohol sales at TNS Mini-Mart, and the Russellville City Council honored that objection.

8. It's unknown to us if Southside Baptist Church operates a daycare that would qualify as a school. If so, it would logically seem the courts would uphold the City of Russellville's decision not to license TNS Mini-Mart for the sale of beer and wine.

We'll add that of all the governments in the Shoals area, we receive the most complaints concerning Russellville Mayor Troy Oliver; however, in this case, we feel the town acted legally. What a court of law will say may be entirely different.

*****

We recently received a comment from Tasha concerning what she called errors in our report on Laurel Ann Stocker Pruett (pictured). We asked Tasha to elaborate; however, her second comment contained what could be construed as a libelous statement concerning Pruett's victim. Therefore we choose not to publish the comment, but will address the errors that Tasha has enumerated.

We had reported that Laurel met Ronald E. Weems after she moved to the Shoals. Tasha informs us that Laurel had previously met Ron and moved here to be with him.

Tasha further stated that Laurel had lived in the Shoals for some time before she became employed at the Chevron. We did not mention a specific date for Laurel's employment, taking the information from one of Laurel's social networking sites; however, we are happy to add this if Tasha feels it's important to the account.

Tasha has also assured us that Laurel was not jealous of Ron and his other girlfriends. This is a subjective opinion, and one we sincerely doubt. If it should be true, it would indicate Laurel's feelings for Ron were something less that love. This would then beg the question of why Laurel would have helped Ron dispose of his victim's body. Believe us, Tasha, it's far better that Laurel be seen as a woman under the influence of uncontrollable passion than one cold-blooded enough to abet the crimes of murder and dismemberment.

Finally, Tasha mentioned the name of Ron and Laurel's child. We have chosen not to name the child in question, but it should be noted that if Ron and Laurel are convicted, they will become the property of the state. They will have no rights the state chooses not to give them. At that point, their little girl will be legally adopted by, we hope, a loving couple who will change both her names. We hope she will never have to suffer for the sins of her current parents.



Shoalanda

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mahindra Automotive Coming to Shoals?/Amanda Alert Petition

Mahindra T-20/T-40 Pickup


Just what is Mahindra Automotive and what will it do for Barton/Cherokee and the Shoals? The Indian automotive giant is a part of Mahindra & Mahindra, a huge conglomerate founded in 1945 and based in Mumbai. From their Navistar Truck website:

Indian roads can be more than a little challenging thanks to wide variation in terrain, inclement weather, and a large percentage of unpaved or unmaintained routes. To succeed, you need a transportation solution that can handle it all. We designed the Mahindra Navistar truck ground-up in India to excel in Indian conditions, so that you have a more than able partner in your business.

At the core of our Heavy Commercial Vehicle range are our revolutionary MaxxForce engines. These state of the art engines deliver high performance at high fuel efficiency and meet EPA and Euro emissions standards. Join us at the cutting edge of pro-environment business solutions.

Our trucks come in two sizes, depending on the load carrying capacity – the MN25 and MN31, which can carry 25 and 31 tons respectively. The MN25 offers you best-in-class ride and handling with its four-point suspended cabin, optimized steering and suspension, and low turning radius for excellent maneuverability. Its generous cabin space makes your ride pleasant for you and a passenger.

The MN31 features a strong and durable suspension, rugged chassis aggregates, robust brakes and heavy duty axles to handle its superior torque—all low maintenance and easy to repair. The roomy cabin seats three people to accommodate personnel needs on long trips. Bring along a co-driver or passenger—or enjoy the ample space yourself.

We met both Indian and European safety standards to make sure you’re safe even in adverse driving conditions.

Assuming total production of the T-20/T-40 truck line should move to the Navistar plant near Cherokee...well, perhaps considering our track record, we shouldn't count our trucks until they're off the assembly line.

We can definitely say that Mahindra has refused proposals to produce their trucks in U.S. states that do not have "right to work" laws; in other words, don't expect old-time Detroit wages to be paid at the Barton facility.

*****

Yesterday we speculated that the new RegionalCare hospital will be built on Locker land located off Hwy. 47 northeast of Florence. This large tract of land is actually owned by Mrs. John Locker Sr. There has also been speculation that former ECM CEO Joe Roach didn't wish to pay fair market value for this choice parcel. Perhaps RegionalCare will now be forced to offer a realistic price if they want construction to begin next year.

*****

Are you often perplexed concerning missing adults and police policy? Here's your chance to change existing laws:




Shoalanda

Friday, December 16, 2011

Locker Property Site of New Hospital?


Last September, Lauderdale County Commissioner Rhea Tays Fulmer (pictured) was quoted in the TimesDaily as stating the property under consideration for the new RegionalCare hospital was on Hwy. 47 just north of Cox Creek Parkway. A source close to Fulmer has now identified the property as part of a large tract owned by John Locker Jr. of St. Florian.

The tract has easy access from several directions and is centrally located in Lauderdale County. Will this be the site of our new hospital? We await RegionalCare's decision.

Related article in the Quad-Cities Daily: Link

*****

Shane Marshall Rea, the Phil Campbell resident shot late Tuesday night while participating in an assault in Muscle Shoals, has several previous arrests for drug possession. While living in Spruce Pine in 2010, Rea was arrested for the possession and manufacture of a controlled substance. The wife of Rea's victim credits Muscle Shoals Officer Jeremy Behel with saving her husband's life. Kudos to Officer Behel.

*****

The race for Probate Judge in Lauderdale County is officially on. The two announced candidates are already experienced campaigners:

James Edwards Hall II

William Smith



Shoalanda

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Special Report: Death on Dearborn Avenue


Sources with the Muscle Shoals Police Department have identified the man who died early this morning as Shane Marshall Ray, 38, of Franklin County. Ray died from wounds he received after refusing to halt his attack on an unnamed male at a Dearborn Avenue townhouse. Sources have also identified the officer involved in the shooting as Patrol Officer Jeremy Behel (pictured). The condition of Ray's victim is listed as stable.

Which calls do officers dread most? We're told the most dangerous are domestic disputes, where anger runs rampant and escalation is common. Officer Behel saved the life of Ray's stabbing victim. We understand that ABI investigations into such shootings are standard, but we're in favor of giving Officer Behel top marks for quick thinking in this case.



The Staff at Shoalanda Speaks

Second Suit Filed Against Russellville


Salah Salah, owner of TNS Mini-Mart on Hwy 43 in Russellville, has officially filed suit against the city. This is the second lawsuit brought against the Franklin County seat this year. Five former female inmates of the town's jail also have a pending suit against the city, Russellville Police Department, Chief Chris Hargett, and Sgt. Jeremy Hall, alleging sexual abuse while incarcerated.

Should Salah be granted a city license to sell beer and wine? Here are opinions from readers and others across the state:

* The Russellville City Council obviously respects Islam more than Salah Salah, he should thank them for helping him be faithful to his religion.

* I love the way people throw around the race card when it fits their agenda. It's also comforting to know that only Caucasians can be racists, as made evident by the fact that minorities consistently get a pass on uttering hateful racial epithets directed toward Caucasians. I'd like to see the liberal explanation for this phenomenon.

* ...I'm a minority too...a tax paying, hard working WASP...wonder how many of the "entitled" I actually support...

* Its ok with me if Muslims drink beer. Mormons too for that matter. But they can get it at the Wavaho like the rest of us. They don't need special privileges like the Mexicans.

* There are 17 dry counties (at one time) in Alabama. The state is the ONLY supplier of spirits at the wholesale level. The whole system is hypocritical.

* I thought Muslims didn't drink. Are they allowed to sell what the Koran forbids?

* Again the perfidies of the Muslim "so-called" religion: It is supposed to be against their "religion" to be around alcoholic beverages. This man needs to get a reality check. His business is next to a church and he wants to sell beer? That is an obviously directed insult to Christians and needs to be slapped down. Treat this guy how we would be treated if we "disrespected" his religion in his country.

* Russellville did not have this problem when they were dry. The bootleggers handled it all, some even delivered.

* Vietnamese is not a race; the "race" would be Mongoloid and the people are considered Asian. Hispanic is not a race at all but is an ethnic group made up of people from varying races or a blend of more than one. A Muslim is a person who follows Islam religion and has nothing to do with "race". Muslims are made up of people from every race on Earth and various blends of the different races.

* I wish folks would use a dictionary and discover the actual definition of "racism". It doesn't include culture, religion, or geography.

Related posts: Jeremy Hall

*****

Is there any humor in Russellville's current legal difficulties? From our friends at The Connection: Salah Salah

*****

Breaking News from ECM? We earlier announced that RegionalCare would host a press conference this afternoon. We understand our friends from The Quad-Cities Daily will be there and will have a report either later today or early tomorrow. Don't miss it.

*****

Reminder about comments: We are unable to edit comments. Any article comments containing profanity, vulgarity, or libelous statements will not be published. If you've sent us a comment that has not made it to our blog, we suggest you rewrite it and send it again. Thanks.



Shoalanda

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Laurel Pruett's Path to Murder/The Envy Band




The following is an update on Laurel Pruett, accused accomplice in the murder of Amanda Taylor:

It's not surprising that Laurel Ann Stocker didn't have an easy childhood. Her father left the family when she was 18 months old. After announcing he was gay, Stocker never saw Laurel or her younger sister again. Her mother Barbara, bi-polar and left alone with two young daughters, worked as a nurse at the Limestone Correctional Facility until she became disabled. She died three years ago.

At 15, Laurel became pregnant with her first child. Her boyfriend was several years older and heavily into drugs. He disappeared before his son was born, a son that has Asperger's Syndrome and now lives in a foster home in Decatur. Laurel then married Ross Pruett and became a mother again, this time giving birth to a daughter. After the divorce, her mentally challenged daughter went to live with Laurel's ex-father-in-law. Once again Laurel Ann Stocker Pruett was alone.

Laurel's online profiles state that she has some college credit, but don't specify a school. After moving to the Shoals, she worked at a Chevron in Muscle Shoals. She also met Ronald Weems, whom she thought was "Preppy." A week after they met, he surprised her by dying his hair blue. Apparently this didn't bother Laurel who went on to live with Ron and have his daughter. She considered them married, but Ron demanded the relationship be open...at least as far as other women were concerned.

Ron, who had no steady employment, lived with his mother. Friends say he loved his children from his marriage to Brandy Leeth and was eager to have custody of the two when his ex-wife was no longer able to care for them properly. Therein lay a problem for Laurel; DHR refused to grant Ron custody as long as she lived with him.

Laurel, who was heterosexual, devised a plan to announce her "marriage" to a female friend in Sheffield. Now she lived sporadically with Ron, but also with her faux wife and her two children. We can assume it hurt Laurel to see Ron with his girlfriend du jour, especially someone like Ashley Greenhill who had lived even a more troubled life than Laurel.

Now Laurel claims she was not at Ron's house in Muscle Shoals when he murdered Brandy's sister Amanda Taylor. She has confessed to helping Ron cover his tracks in the crime, something a woman with Laurel's mindset wouldn't hesitate to do. We doubt she will be indicted for murder, but she still has several crimes to answer for. She won't have to worry about their young daughter--she's already in foster care.

We don't imagine that's how Laurel saw her future when she first met Ron. Apparently among Laurel's shortcomings in life was the ability to judge character. Now it has cost her everything.



*****


The Envy Band

Looking for a band for all your holiday parties? Look no farther. The Envy Band is composed of:

Mark Anthony Terry - Front Man/Guitar
Jeremy Sparks - Bass
Jeremy Young - Drums

Lee Gilstrap - Piano

Give them a call at 205-412-5814 Cell/253-383-4896 Home



Shoalanda

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What Was Matthew Fox's Involvement in Amanda Taylor's Death?

Matthew Fox

No matter what we may think of those involved in Amanda Taylor's death, they are not all equally guilty. The following is from Luke Stanfield, a close friend of Matt Fox:

He was at my house when the murder took place. we got the text from Ashley at my house asking how to dispose of a body. we didn't believe her and laughed it off and told her what we had seen in movies and on csi and criminal minds. once we knew it was real we told them to call the cops. he left my house later that night around 1am-2am. where he went after that i don't know. but i do know he wasn't there to kill or dismember her. if we had known it was real to start with we wouldn't have even said anything to her about how to "dispose" of the body. She told fox that, at the time, her unnamed roommate had been attacked and killed her in self defense.

I now know that fox went over there after he left my house. but he was lied to about the situation. I guess he didn't know what to do because a man he didn't know just killed someone and had cut her up when he got there so out of fear for his on life he said nothing and did nothing. I can see why he would fear for his life after seeing some guy you don't know killed some one he knew, what would keep him from killing a complete stranger.

We have no reason to believe that this is not true; however, Fox remained silent for over five weeks. He will have to answer the charges for that.

*****

From D.K.:


The Times Daily wrote this morning in the Amanda Taylor case the 3 defendants would have their first court date some time today. I drove over to Colbert Co. to find out that it happened Friday.

If there is going to many (at the trial) have a system to make sure first Family and then close friends have a reserved area for them so not to be left out in the halls, of course I guess then the defendants would have to have a place or room for them, not that very many at all will be there for their support.

It very well may happen in this case, with all reports and news of this, I can see a possible motion to ask for a Move, and it just may be granted with this one, more so with the one (Weems) charged for Murder.

D.K. is always more than willing to help any family that has lost a loved one to crime and violence. Often families are not ready for his help, but we hope they know he will be there for them when they are.

*****

The attempted murder trial of Jon Thomas Wallis begins today in Lauderdale County. Wallis, currently serving a sentence for drug trafficking, will be tried for the attack on his wife. Jurors were selected yesterday, and testimony will begin at 9:00 a.m.

Wallis is currently serving his time in the Lauderdale County Jail, with a release date of April 29, 2014. Assuming (and hoping for) a conviction in this case, he should be transferred to a state facility within 30 days.

*****


From Alaina Burgess of the UNA Paralegal program:


The University of North Alabama is sponsoring a General Law CLE on December 16, 2011, on the campus of the University of North Alabama. The CLE is approved by the Alabama State Bar, and will contain 6 credit hours, with 1 hour of Ethics. Special Guest Instructors include Alabama Court of Civil Appeals Judges Terri Thomas and Terry Moore; and Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Samuel Welch, Judge Liles Burke and Judge J. Michael Joiner.

The cost is only $99 and lunch is provided!

We hope to see you there!


Shoalanda

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Last Ten Minutes of Amanda Taylor's Life

Ron Weems, aka Ron Wikkid, aka Stark Raven


Ronald Eugene Weems has admitted to strangling Amanda Leeth Taylor, using a nylon strap. Such deaths are called ligature strangulation and usually require a great amount of physical strength to commit. Victims are often those who can't fight back due to their size or physical condition, e.g., women, children, handicapped, or elderly. Weems had scratch marks on his arms, so we know Amanda fought back--at least at first.

Nylon Strapping

In order to commit ligature strangulation, Weems would have to overpower Amanda, then quickly tighten the nylon ligature. A healthy woman, Amanda may have been able to breathe for as long as one minute. It would then take as much as five minutes for her to die due to oxygen deprivation.

In all, it may have taken Ronald Weems seven to 10 minutes to subdue and kill Amanda. This was no crime in which a gun was hastily picked up and fired. Ronald Eugene Weems, aka Ron Wikkid, acted deliberately and forcefully to take Amanda Taylor's life. He did so in the basement of his Moss Avenue home with his mother and small child sitting upstairs, oblivious to the ongoing violence beneath them.

Amanda Leeth Bailey Taylor

This is how Amanda Taylor's life ended. If this isn't Capital murder, we don't know what would constitute the crime. Weems and two others charged in the death will appear before a Colbert County judge sometime today, a judge who will appoint Weems an attorney. We don't envy any lawyer charged with defending Juggalo Ronald Weems.

ICP Tattoo Weems Acquired around November 24th
Five Weeks after Murdering Amanda Taylor

*****

Ashley Fawn Greenhill, aka Ash Lette
Pictured at 2008 Arrest for Felony Torture of her Child

Several have asked why Ashley Greenhill, aka Ash Lette, was not arrested as an accessory after the fact, especially since both Laurel Pruett and Matthew Fox were. For whatever reason, aspiring model Greenhill had become concerned that Amanda's body would be found, or that someone, possibly Fox, would go to the police. She decided to cut a deal with the authorities, stressing that she had heard about the killing only accidentally. Our sources say the three defendants will dispute Greenhill's version of the events, but it remains to be seen if she will be charged.

We have to ask how the participants in this mangy menage found each other. We know Laurel Pruett was so desperately in love with Ron Weems that she wouldn't let him go, even knowing the worst. Was Matt Fox similarly enthralled by Ashley Greenhill? If any of these cases comes to trial, it will obviously be standing room only.


Thought for the day: Have you ever viewed a movie that was so bad, not only did you not care what happened to any of the characters, you actually hoped something bad would?

Shoalanda

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ash Lette: Turned in Ronald Weems for Murder of Amanda Taylor


Ash Lette, aka Ashley Greenhill, lived with Ronald Weems and his mother in their Muscle Shoals home on Moss Avenue. According to sources with the Muscle Shoals Police Department, the Brooks High graduate provided the tip that led searchers to the area off Gnat Pond Road where the body of Amanda Leeth Taylor lay partially hidden.


Greenhill, a hair dresser, has yet to be charged in the crime, but authorities are not ruling out more arrests. Other sources outside the police department have stated Ashley Greenhill, sometime girlfriend of Ron Weems, is the link between Weems and Matthew Fox who has also been arrested in the heinous killing.

*****

We will have more on both Matthew Fox and Laurel Pruett later in the week, but the owners of Arx Mortis have asked us to relay that Fox was not working at the Killen Halloween attraction on the night of October 17th. The day of Amanda's murder fell on Monday, a day the popular attraction was closed.

However, it would seem Fox has another alibi that may be even stronger. Was he lured to the crime scene by Ash Lette? A reliable witness has said that he was.

*****

From Carla Andrasik, widow of David Andrasik:


God's amazing us as always :) a friend/graduating classmate of David's from his school in Florida came today to place decorations on his grave and she works for a Books-A-Million, they sent two HUGE bagfulls of toys, gifts for David's children. The look on our children's faces was priceless. What a precious outpour of love! Wanted to share this great goodness of God working thru others...

The case against two men accused of killing David will go before the January Franklin County grand jury. Pray that justice will be served.



Shoalanda

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mystery Man Matthew Fox is "Fox Fudoshin"

"Fox Fudoshin"


"Fudoshin" is a Japanese word meaning immovable heart. It's also a type of jujitsu. Apparently Matthew Fox was so taken with the word that he used it as his professional name. Formerly a bouncer at the defunct Seven Points Sound music venue, the UNA student was working for Arx Mortis in October, more specifically on the night of October 17th, the alleged night of Amanda Taylor's murder.



While Fox and Laurel Pruett have been charged with murder along with Ronald Weems, they would appear to be accessories after the fact. No matter where Matthew Fox was at the time of the murder, he helped dispose of the body. Our sources say both Fox and Pruett can expect a sentence of 10 to 15 years for their parts in this heinous crime.

We will have an update on Laurel Pruett tomorrow.

*****

Big doings at ECM? We understand that RegionalCare will hold a press conference at 3:00 p.m. Thursday. Will they be announcing the new location of a regional hospital? A new CEO? The purchase of their media yes-man, the TimesDaily? Stay tuned...

*****

Don't forget the candlelight vigil in memory of Amanda Taylor tonight at 7:00 on the Colbert County Courthouse lawn. We would appreciate any photos our readers might send.



Shoalanda

Friday, December 9, 2011

Special Report: Candlelight Vigil for Amanda Taylor



The candlelight vigil for Amanda Leeth Taylor will be tomorrow night at 7:00 pm on the Colbert County courthouse lawn!!! This is to show our love and support for this family. And for JUSTICE for Amanda!!!! If you have any questions you may contact me, Tiffany Mitchell, at 256-668-1530 or my mother Lisa Steele Murr at 256-436-5027!!!


We have already had a few news outlets calling to say they WOULD be there to cover this!!! Thank the Lord, they didn't cover her missing so I think this is the least they can do!!!! I appreciate all the prayer and would appreciate if everyone would repost this. Let's get the word out!!! And send a message tomorrow night that this act of violence will not go unpunished and will not be tolerated in our community!!!!

Lisa Steele Murr and Billy Leeth

The Killers Three: Ronald Weems, Laurel Pruett, & Matthew Fox


Ronald Eugene Weems, 33, aka Ron Wikked, is a self-professed Juggalo, or follower of Hip Hop group Insane Clown Posse. The Muscle Shoals resident lived with his mother, 61 year-old Laquania Delores Welch Weems at 609 Moss Avenue in Muscle Shoals where the murder of Amanda Leeth Bailey Taylor took place. Also living in the run down home was Weems' latest girl friend, who sources say tipped off the police to the location of 32 year-old Taylor's dismembered body. Weems was often seen in costume complete with sword.

*****


Laurel Ann Pruett, 35, aka Chubby-Lette, a former girlfriend of Weems, lived in Sheffield with her "wife." Pruett, who had a child with Weems, has alternately described herself as straight and bi-sexual. She lived on Robertson Boulevard in Sheffield with her "wife." A member of the OkCupid dating site, she revealed in her profile last visited November 30th:

I'm a mommy, and I'm a juggalette. I'm bipolar, and alot of different things. I like things around me to be neat and orderly, but I let that slip alot. I'm pretty laid back, although time makes me bolder to speak out. I play D&D, old school style. I can play some Guitar Hero. I love Luna Online. I'm a girlie girl, but I'm not afraid to get dirty. I like to play outdoors, but I don't like hikes, long walks on the beach, or hunting. ~ I have a platonic wife. She's a major part of my life. ~ I'm best friends with my ex (my babydaddy, as it were lol). He'll always be a part of my life since we have a wonderful child together, and we parent her together. ~ I'm not looking for a serious relationship, although I never know when I'll meet someone I like that much. ~ I don't like to be used, and I don't use others.

Things have changed so much in the past months. Right now I have joint custody of my daughter. My wife and her 2 children also live with me. I'm rebuilding who I am, sorting out what I like, meeting more people.

I'm not perfect.

*****

Matthew Richard Fox, 21, of Florence, is something of a mystery man in the mix. The son of Richard M. Fox and Miriam Gail Fox, he lived in the Beechwood Subdivision off Cox Creek Parkway. According to reports in the TimesDaily, it was Fox's idea to dismember Taylor's body.

Now all three have been charged with murder. Three children in Arkansas no longer have a mother and a little girl in Sheffield has both parents facing possible capital murder charges. We have to believe alcohol or other drugs played a large part in this murder. If not, this trio of thugs is not worthy of the cost of housing them the rest of their lives.



Shoalanda