Thursday, January 17, 2013

You Can't Possess a Fireman in Muscle Shoals?

 Now Illegal in Muscle Shoals

Most of us have read lists of silly laws--you know, things like you can't legally carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket. Well, it seems the fair city of many sins, also known as Muscle Shoals, has a similarly silly law. Below is copy of the Civil Service Board letter to former police officer Greg Scoggins:

Dear Mr. Scoggins:

As a result of the pre-disciplinary hearing held at city hall on Thursday, January 3,2013 in which you were present along with your attorneys, Mr. William J. Underwood, and Ms. Johnnie Franks, and after review of the entire matter, you are hereby notified that the termination of your employment with the City of Muscle Shoals, Alabama is upheld.

Section of the Personnel Policies and Procedures of the City provides that a notice of dismissal be given to you. This letter will serve the written notice of dismissal and the following information is provided:

(a) Your employment with the City of Muscle Shoals, Alabama is terminated and you are dismissed effective Friday, January 4,2013.

(b) The dismissal is due to violation of Section Fireman Possession. Section 83.3.11 Flagrant Safety Violations, and Section Conduct Unbecoming an Employee.

(c) You have the right to appeal the dismissal as set forth in Section 8.7 Appeal of the Personnel Policies and Procedures of the City which reads as follows:

A covered regular status employee may appeal, within ten (10) days, any disciplinary action taken against him to the civil service board in accordance with the guidelines of Chapter 9 of these policies and procedures.

You'll note that Section relates to "possession of a fireman." Could it refer to all those demonic beings that hang out on Avalon Avenue? Or maybe it's a sexual reference--not enough Muscle Shoals jailers to go around, so now the criminal element has moved up to firemen.


Lauderdale County License Commissioner Reminds County Residents To Bring Proof of Insurance And Driver’s License To Renew Tags

Since January 1, 2013, the Lauderdale County License Commissioner’s office, other county license plate issuing officials, and Alabama law enforcement officers have been using a new online automobile insurance verification system, allowing them to immediately verify the insurance status of a vehicle. The system, the Online Insurance Verification System or OIVS, was created to meet the new requirements of Alabama’s mandatory liability insurance law. The mandatory liability insurance law in Alabama requires all drivers have a minimum of $25,000.00 of liability insurance on their motor vehicle.

Lauderdale County License Commissioner William Smith and his staff say adjusting to the new system comes with some new inconveniences to county residents and additional work for his office. Commissioner Smith said, “We have discovered that to comply with the new state system, we need three documents from Lauderdale County residents when they are trying to acquire or renew a tag. First, we need a valid driver’s license or copy for every driver on the vehicle title. If you do not have a valid driver’s license, then we need a state issued identification card. Second, we need proof of current insurance for each vehicle. It should include the policy number, NAIC number and VIN number. The best way for county residents to show proof of insurance is with their insurance card. Third, we ask our county residents to bring their tag renewal form.

According to the Insurance Research Council, Alabama’s uninsured motorist rate is estimated to be 22 percent. This percentage ranks Alabama sixth nationally in states with the highest percentage of uninsured drivers. Alabama’s mandatory liability insurance law went into effect several decades ago. It is designed to reduce the number of drivers in Alabama who do not have any automobile insurance and are involved in a wreck. Since one in five of all Alabama drivers on the road are with no insurance, this is a big risk to Alabama drivers who are following the law and have purchased automobile insurance.

In the past, some Alabama drivers would sign up for insurance coverage long enough to get an insurance card. They would subsequently cancel their insurance policy, leaving them uninsured while driving. The new verification system was designed to help reduce the number of drivers who drop insurance coverage once they have registered their vehicles.

Lauderdale County License Commissioner William Smith encourages residents not to wait until the last days of the month to renew their tags. Commissioner Smith says, “Lines at the Lauderdale County License Commissioner’s Office for tags and titles are normally longer near the end of the month.” Longer lines and longer waiting times to process each tag can result in people having shorter patience.

Commissioner Smith asks, “Please be patient with us during this transition period of working with the new online automobile insurance verification system. We work for the people of Lauderdale County and want to make their experience at the Lauderdale County License Commissioner’s Office as pleasant as possible.”

Lauderdale County residents can always avoid the end of month rush by buying their tags earlier in the month or online at, for a small additional fee. The new law is there for the benefit of all Alabama residents. This time of inconvenience will be forgotten if you are in a car wreck and all the involved parties have insurance.

The Lauderdale County License Commissioner’s office is located in the Lauderdale County Courthouse Annex, 102 South Court Street in downtown Florence. For more information, contact the Lauderdale County License Commissioner’s Office at 256-760-5833 or visit


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