Friday, May 31, 2013

Florence High School Employee & Husband Arrested for Animal Cruelty


Carla Foxx Cannon and her husband Ronald Bart Cannon have been arrested in Lauderdale County on 14 counts of animal cruelty. Carla is reportedly an employee at Florence High School, while Ronald is employed by Belle Foods on Cox Creek Parkway. How did these two come to be charged with these crimes?

According to Debbie Rapphun: "We found skeletons - puppy skeletons adult dog skeletons, so these dogs have been there their entire lives. The ones that weren't strong enough to survive just died there. I hope this will show people out in the community you cannot treat animals this way. It is inhumane. These animals, no matter what people say, do have feelings. They hurt, they're in pain, they're starving, they're scared."

The Cannons had abandoned a home on Lauderdale County Road 182, along with the dogs, who were apparently thrown some food every few weeks. We're going to guess the raccoons and possums ate most of the food within the first two nights of its arrival.


Pictured above is four month old Kinley who has mange, parasites, and various infections. She's currently fighting for her life while being fostered by a vet tech. It took three days to capture all the animals and bring them to the shelter for care. We're guessing we'll never know the full extent of the cruelty these animals endured.

In the mean time, the Cannons remain free to live their lives among us. Sad and horrifying at the same time.



Shoalanda

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Here Come Da Judge...


...and he said a smaller hospital in Lauderdale County and no cancer center. This is only the administrative law judge's recommendation. Will the Certificate of Need Review Board agree? We'll find out in three weeks.

*****

Why Is This Man So Happy?

*****

Just what of the new cancer center? It was opposed by Alliance Oncology which currently operates two facilities in the Shoals. Are they hurting for business? This is from their website:

AO is the leading provider of radiosurgery nationwide operating more than 30 radiation therapy centers, over half of which are dedicated radiosurgery facilities. Our joint-venture model represents the industry’s future. We are distinguished by our hospital-based partnership strategy running the gamut from small community-based hospitals to large academic hospital partners.

Sounds like they're quite successful...especially at controlling the competition.

*****

We occasionally see articles like this. We've never been sure of their origins, but we surmise an original article was translated into the Crazierthanstan language and then back into English. It makes for humorous reading nonetheless:


*****

We like the new Sparky's sign on their redesigned eatery. This should clear up the spelling. Good luck, and God save us all from bad drivers.



Shoalanda

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Who Pays for Keller's Hired Guns?


Last February, Helen Keller Hospital presented their expert witnesses who stated RegionalCare's new hospital in Lauderdale County, at least if built as currently planned, would negatively impact HKH. One such witness was Gadsden's Gary Griffin of Gary Griffin and Associates. Griffin is a self-termed general business consultant.

We're sure it's hard to specialize in some fields, but we're also sure there are some companies who do specialize in offering business advice to the health care field. Perhaps these companies are situated outside the state of Alabama? Perceptions? Perhaps they charge too much? Possibility. Who's paying for this hired gun?

How long did it take to come up with an "expert" who would predict doom and gloom for Keller if RegionalCare builds the new hospital? What would Griffin have said if hired by RegionalCare? Do we have to protect Keller at all costs? How about faith healer Madam Zora who also needs to make a living?

Hospitals are not like fast cash payday loan establishments. There will never be one on every corner of a U.S. Highway in any incorporated town. Sadly, today hospitals do bear a striking resemblance to big business, but we haven't seen that many restrictions placed on Microsoft recently.

Tomorrow will be interesting...

*****



While re-reading the testimony of Gary Griffin, we notice he also commented on new ECM cardiovascular surgeon Constantine Athanasuleas. Griffin stated the new surgeon looked to be 67, a little long in the tooth to use as a building block for a surgical program.

Dr. Athanasuleas is only 62. Wanna bet Gary Griffin doesn't make friends easily?



Shoalanda

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Alabama Does Have a State Lottery




Our friend Greg has sent us an interesting take on a very unusual lottery:


I am sure you have read this article and/or heard about this activity in past years.  Maybe you or an attorney you know could clarify how this does not constitute an illegal  lottery and/or gambling activity under current Alabama law.  I have copy/pasted the relevant statutes as it relates to the DCNR, gambling and this activity.  The Alabama DCNR does not have the authority to ignore or supercede Alabama state law. This is not the only law(s) the DCNR routinely breaks or ignores. Other examples include issuing permits to hunt hogs at night,  Having 3 or more meetings of the Conservation Advisory Board when state law only allows for 2. Not publishing in pamphlet form the rules and laws together. Too many instances to list. 

Section 9-2-6

Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources - Powers and duties generally.

All functions and duties of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources shall be exercised by the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources acting by himself or by and through such administrative divisions or such officers or employees as he may designate. The Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources shall have all power and authority necessary or convenient to carry out the functions and duties of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. In the performance of such functions and duties and in the exercise of such powers and authorities, the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources and all other officers and employees of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources shall, however, be subject to all legal restrictions, limitations and conditions and penalties, civil and criminal, with respect to the performance of such functions and duties and the exercise of such powers and authorities.(emphasis mine)

Section 13A-12-20

Definitions.

The following definitions apply to this article:

(1) ADVANCE GAMBLING ACTIVITY. A person "advances gambling activity" if he engages in conduct that materially aids any form of gambling activity. Conduct of this nature includes but is not limited to conduct directed toward the creation or establishment of the particular game, contest, scheme, device or activity involved, toward the acquisition or maintenance of premises, paraphernalia, equipment or apparatus therefor, toward the solicitation or inducement of persons to participate therein, toward the actual conduct of the playing phases thereof, toward the arrangement of any of its financial or recording phases or toward any other phase of its operation. A person advances gambling activity if, having substantial proprietary control or other authoritative control over premises being used with his knowledge for purposes of gambling activity, he permits that activity to occur or continue or makes no effort to prevent its occurrence or continuation.

(2) BOOKMAKING. Advancing gambling activity by unlawfully accepting bets from members of the public as a business, rather than in a casual or personal fashion, upon the outcome of future contingent events.

(3) CONTEST OF CHANCE. Any contest, game, gaming scheme or gaming device in which the outcome depends in a material degree upon an element of chance, notwithstanding that skill of the contestants may also be a factor therein.

(4) GAMBLING. A person engages in gambling if he stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. Gambling does not include bona fide business transactions valid under the law of contracts, including but not limited to contracts for the purchase or sale at a future date of securities or commodities, and agreements to compensate for loss caused by the happening of chance, including but not limited to contracts of indemnity or guaranty and life, health or accident insurance.

(5) GAMBLING DEVICE. Any device, machine, paraphernalia or equipment that is normally used or usable in the playing phases of any gambling activity, whether that activity consists of gambling between persons or gambling by a person involving the playing of a machine. However, lottery tickets, policy slips and other items used in the playing phases of lottery and policy schemes are not gambling devices within this definition.

(6) LOTTERY or POLICY. An unlawful gambling scheme in which:

a. The players pay or agree to pay something of value for chances, represented and differentiated by numbers or by combinations of numbers or by some other medium, one or more of which chances are to be designated by the winning ones; and

b. The winning chances are to be determined by a drawing or by some other fortuitous method; and

c. The holders of the winning chances are to receive something of value.


Section 13A-12-21
Simple gambling.
(a) A person commits the crime of simple gambling if he knowingly advances or profits from unlawful gambling activity as a player.
(b) It is a defense to a prosecution under this section that a person charged with being a player was engaged in a social game in a private place. The burden of injecting the issue is on the defendant, but this does not shift the burden of proof.
(c) Simple gambling is a Class C misdemeanor.

Section 13A-12-22
Promoting gambling.
(a) A person commits the crime of promoting gambling if he knowingly advances or profits from unlawful gambling activity otherwise than as a player.
(b) Promoting gambling is a Class A misdemeanor.

Section 13A-12-23
Conspiracy to promote gambling .
(a) A person commits the crime of conspiracy to promote gambling if he conspires to advance or profit from gambling activity otherwise than as a player.
(b) "Conspire" means to engage in activity constituting a criminal conspiracy as defined in Section 13A-4-3.
(c) Conspiracy to promote gambling is a Class A misdemeanor


*****

Assuming the alligators to be a commodity, and they are, is this lottery legal?



Shoalanda

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013: "I Don't Think It's Meaningful to Most People"



The war was a long time ago. I don't think it's meaningful for most people. - David Wharton

The above statement was made in reference to World War I...and by a person trying to save a memorial to those who lost their lives in the Great War. Was he just looking at a fact of life in 2013?

Sadly, the majority of U.S. citizens, and certainly residents who place their allegiance with another country, have never seen the necessity of remembering the past. We don't believe most of our readers fall into this majority. Our readers know the importance of history. It's we who have to preserve the past, while taking care of those who aren't mentally able to understand it. This is no 21st Century phenomenon.

Whether your relative gave his life in the Revolution or in Afghanistan, you're still diminished by the loss. There are very few who have not lost someone in military service, someone who would have changed the course of history had he lived.

We hope everyone remembers them today...





Shoalanda

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Private Joseph David Pate: Killed in Action WWII



The Colbert County World War II memorial lists 101 citizens killed during that conflict. Among them was Pvt. Joseph David Pate. The memorial lists this biographical data:



  • JOSEPH DAVID PATE 34975811 PVT KIA- (TIMES DAILY) PATE, DAVE (U.S. ARMY) 21 DEC 1944 TUSCUMBIA, AL WWII CASUALTY-KIA 10 JAN 1945 (FOOTNOTES) JOSEPH D PATE OCC ATTENDANTS FILLING STATION, WHTIE, GRAMMER SCHOOL, MARRIED, DB 1914 COLBERT CO AL, ED 30 MAR 1944 S#3475811 WHERE FT MCPHERSON ATLANTA GA


  • Specifically Joseph was killed in Belgium at Elsenborn Ridge during the Battle of the Bulge:

    The Elsenborn Ridge is a ridge line east of the town of Elsenborn, Belgium in the Ardennes forest that was the blocking line on the northern shoulder of the Battle of the Bulge. Their area was the main line of advance for Hitler's prized 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend. However, units of V Corps of the First U.S. 1st Army held the ridge against the elite division, preventing it, and attached forces, from reaching the vast array of supplies near the cities of Liège and Spa, Belgium and the road network west of the Elsenborn Ridge leading to the Meuse River and Antwerp.[1] This was the only sector of the American front line during the Battle of the Bulge where the Germans failed to advance.[2]:33


    Joseph Pate has family members who still reside in Colbert County. While we're not sure of the specific relationship of many of them, we do know his grandson Daniel Pate is currently a member of the Alabama Air National Guard, having joined after 9/11. We welcome others of Joseph Pate's family to comment this Memorial Day.

    Pvt. Joesph David Pate didn't get to come home, not even in a coffin. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star and is buried at Henri Chappelle U.S. Cemetery in Belgium. Tomorrow is Memorial Day; let's remember all who have fallen in service to our country.



    Shoalanda

    Saturday, May 25, 2013

    Clint Anderson Dies of Drug Overdose




    Clint Matthew Anderson, 26, whose main claim to fame was being one of Ashley Greenhill's cast offs, has passed away from a drug overdose according to sources close to the family. Anderson and Greenhill were infamously convicted of child torture in the biting and scratching attack on Greenhill's child in 2008 (pictured top left). Anderson then lost his probation in a theft case after his arrest. His most recent scrape with the law was just last March when he was arrested for Criminal Mischief (pictured right).

    *****
    Judging from various news reports, it appears Clint wasn't raised to waste his life, but he did so anyway. Prison stretches and drug rehab didn't deter his fall. How sad that no one, no matter how much they loved him, could stop him. Is the answer more money? More supervision? More tough love? We welcome opinions.

    *****

    Ashley remains in the Colbert County Jail awaiting transfer to the state prison system for her role in the death of Amanda Taylor. After Ashley and her three cohorts are processed, we'll  publish details on how to contact the parole board to protest any early release for Greenhill and Ron Wikkid Weems.



    Shoalanda

    Friday, May 24, 2013

    Fireworks on Tuesday




    We may celebrate Memorial Day on Monday, but Lauderdale and Colbert Counties will have their fireworks on Tuesday, assuming no delays. May 28th is the expected date of a decision concerning the Certificate of Need for RegionalCare's new hospital and oncology center.

    Keller has stated it's not opposed to a new hospital as long as it doesn't look new, shiny, or have any modern amenities. The next logical step would be to demand the new hospital be constructed next to a mega skunk breeding facility.

    No, folks, Keller in its finite wisdom isn't opposed to the new hospital, only its lawyers are. Just like Liberace wasn't gay, but his boyfriend was.

    *****

    Why we love the Internet: It lets us know how people really feel. For years, our local, or semi-local, newspaper has promoted harmony between Lauderdale and Colbert Counties. Sure it would occasionally publish a brief article on small towns reminding citizens to shop locally, but the primary mantra was one of solidarity. Most of us believed it.

    Now we have social media and other Internet outlets that allow the everyday Joe and Jane finally to get in a word. Now county commissions are at odds with each other, and citizens from each county are threatening boycotts of businesses from "across the river."

    So much for solidarity...

    *****

    Our sympathies to the Holland and McGee families:




    Shoalanda

    Thursday, May 23, 2013

    One Million+ Views/Michael Holland Missing




    After publishing for several months, we changed the program that measures our unique hits and total page views. Sadly we failed to carry our old totals over, but nonetheless we have tonight hit a milestone. Since June 8, 2009, we have accumulated one million page hits.

    Thanks to all our readers. We try to answer all e-mail or Facebook communications, but if we miss one, please contact us again.

    Shoalanda, D.K., Bailey, J. Redmon, & TBR

    *****

    We understand many in this area know Michael and Rebecca Holland. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family that this will have a good outcome:




    Shoalanda

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013

    Shocker from Lauderdale County Commission




    Yesterday many Lauderdale County residents went into apoplexy when confronted with the news. Yes, the Lauderdale County Commission had contracted with an architect to renovate the outside of the county courthouse and it wasn't Fitz Hill of Hill and Jangaard. There were also scattered reports of imps skating.

    *****

    In other news, the TimesDaily has done an in depth article on a local shooting. Besides the trajectory of the bullet, we know the victim was standing on a rug when shot. Local color at its best. The victim was also a nest-door neighbor. We're assuming this was a jab at all those apartment complexes built by overly ambitious Purple Martin home designers. We also assume a county contract is in their future if their barber's aunt's housekeeper knows the right people.

    Perhaps the best start to "gun control" would be an IQ test for anyone seeking to purchase a weapon. Said purchaser would also have to stipulate he wouldn't shoot any stray neighbors.


    *****

    Definition of an Alabama county commission: Where you get your chuckles when the state legislature isn't in session.

    *****

    Since former prexy Richard Nixon has been in the news lately, we've decided to honor him in a special way. Look for a new word on the tips of Lauderdale County residents' tongues--Kellergate. Coming soon to a blog near you.



    Shoalanda

    Tuesday, May 21, 2013

    Sentence Killer Hershel Dale Graham to 20 Years


    The sentencing for Hershel Dale Graham, convicted of Manslaughter in the shooting death of David Martin Andrasik, has been rescheduled for June 26th. Sources familiar with the case tell us that the trio of attorneys representing Graham will be requesting house arrest for their client--no matter the length of the sentence.

    We've never heard of such a request extending beyond an appeal period, and that on sentences of 15 years or less. We're quite sure the Aged & Infirm facility at Hamilton will have adequate accommodations for this killer.

    Graham has had many previous brushes with the law. As a juvenile, he shot his stepfather Ralph Eugene Palmer. Palmer survived and lived until 2003. It's not surprising to note that Hershel's brother was listed as a survivor, but there was no mention of the rotund retired Red Bay wrestler.

    Graham also has domestic violence arrests in Mississippi where he married his second wife. Yes, Hershel Graham who paints himself as a grieving widower married what some have called a "rich widow." We doubt that Graham received much of value from his investment in the matrimonial lottery, and we certainly know his wife didn't--she filed for divorce after a relatively short period.

    Are the other tales of Graham's misconduct true? Anecdotes are just that and are often hard to prove. Unless there's a legal or some other record, it's one person's word against the word of his/her adversary. For that reason, we'll leave them in the comment section.

    We are asking that you sign the Change.org petition requesting Franklin County Judge Terry Dempsey sentence Hershel Dale Graham to the maximum allowed by law--20 years. Anything 15 years or under (the minimum would be 10 years) would result in CIT (good time). We fervently believe that Graham should not be released early unless considered and approved by a parole board.




    Peace to the Andrasik family...



    Shoalanda

    Monday, May 20, 2013

    Who Is "GN" ?




    Is branding a dog considered abuse? If the answer is yes, then GN has some 'splainin' to do. This dog, reportedly a Mountain Cur, has been turned in to the Florence-Lauderdale Animal Shelter on College Street. The shelter wants to know its origins.

    If you have any info on this dog, please call the shelter at 256-760-6676. 

    Now...who brands a dog? Some comments on the shelter Facebook site indicate those who hunt raccoons often do so. We were not aware of that. We were already pretty wary of those who hunt down any innocent animals just for fun, but this makes it that much worse if it's true.

    Let's see what law enforcement makes of this...



    Shoalanda

    Sunday, May 19, 2013

    What About Teacher Pay?


    A poster calling herself "Sally Gooden" made the following remark on the TimesDaily site today in reference to salaries in education:

    Lets put this in perspective. Working as a Special Needs paraprofessional, in Lauderdale County my yearly compensation is approximately $12,000. I fully support folks that go to work everyday being paid a living wage. Trust me when tell you this is NOT true when it comes to education employees within the state of Alabama. Most must work at least ONE additional job JUST to keep the utilities from being turned off. Morale is low, workers are exhausted as a result of burning the candle at both ends. A ONE PERCENT cost of living raise to someone making $12,000 comes to $120. That computes to a whopping $10 a month. We are struggling with whether to cut the grass once a month or take the kids for a treat at McDonalds wth our increased income. Thank you Gov. Bentley! As you once said, "you are a FRIEND of education. Now, those of you that do not know the true reality of the situation.......THE FLOOR IS YOURS.......!!

    Let's look at Sally's faulty logic. First Sally calls herself a paraprofessional; that means she has no teaching degree, but works as an "aide," if they still use that term. It also means she has two to three months each year, plus other large blocks of time, when she's free to work elsewhere if she chooses.

    Second, let's take Sally's logic a step farther. Let's look at physicians. A friend of ours has commented that many of his profession have done without for so long, they overspend when they first set up practice. These doctors invariably spend every cent they make. Are they underpaid?

    What about those other misunderstood doctors? Yes, we mean those of the juris doctor persuasion. Years ago a local attorney became seriously ill and was forced to sell his home and possessions in order to pay medical bills. The home was in a somewhat exclusive area and the estate sale offered gold and platinum jewelry. Was he underpaid or did he just overspend without thought for the future or was it both?

    How about those who are actually teachers? We once heard of a male teacher who often stated if he were married to someone who didn't work and had three children, his offspring would be eligible for reduced price lunches. Hmmmm. In reality, he wasn't married and had no one but himself to support.

    While we're sure most people do the best they can financially, let's remember that teacher aides are not the only ones in the state who are underpaid. The private sector in Alabama is not known for excessively high wages. Most individuals with more than one degree or advanced certification work more than one job. For some it's a balancing act. Some do work seven days a week to bring in the income they desire (notice we didn't say need).

    Are teachers underpaid? Not to the degree they once were. If any readers are visualizing their grandmothers teaching in a one-room school house for a few dollars each month, just check out the current salaries those in the education field make. Teachers in the Shoals area know going in that the education field is one of several in the area that don't have enough positions for each graduate. It's a crap shoot. Can it be fixed? Not with the current economy and the law of supply and demand.

    *****

    And now a little Sally Goodin for ya:





    Shoalanda

    Saturday, May 18, 2013

    Shoals Traffic Cams & More


    If you haven't visited the Quad-Cities Daily recently, you're missing out on more than just local arrests. The QCD has added Shoals traffic cams to their menu. While the broadcast images are stills, they update quickly and provide readers with an idea of what road conditions are like at any given time. The feed currently airs sites in Florence, Sheffield, and Muscle Shoals.


    *****

    Pen-N-Sword has also been updating its Missing in North Alabama section as well as Shoals Most Wanted. Trader tells us the site will be adding two to three of the most wanted each week and will ultimately have a complete list and back story on all those missing from Alabama counties north of Birmingham.



    *****


    We notice one of the most wanted is Gerald Winston Surratt Jr. Surratt was once arrested in Sheffield for sexual assault, but a grand jury failed to indict. At that time, a source in the Florence Police Department told us Surratt was the subject of an investigation into various robberies, most using a pass key. At that time, Surratt was a maintenance man at a local apartment complex.

    After the grand jury failed to indict Surratt in Colbert County, we received a scathing e-mail from him informing us that he had been cleared of all charges and to remove our blog concerning his case. It was only a few weeks later that formal charges were brought against the Florence resident, and he's now on the run.



    Shoalanda

    Friday, May 17, 2013

    UNA Conflicts of Interest?


    Due to the three million dollar appropriation the City of Florence recently budgeted for the University of North Alabama's new science building, several have asked what constitutes a conflict of interest? In many cases, especially in small towns, almost anything could be made to appear a conflict of interest if one tried hard enough.

    Libby Jordan, the wife of Florence City Councilman Dick Jordan, is on the university's board of trustees. Barry Morris, another council member, is retired from the university. If any Florence resident indeed felt there was a conflict, he or she should report the matter to the state ethics commission.

    Our personal opinion? No one received any personal gain from the donated funds, and the new science building will increase enrollment among, hopefully, local students.

    *****

    Some associations are more difficult to analyze. A reader has asked about Dr. John G. Thornell (pictured). Thornell is provost at UNA and also serves as Vice President of Academic Affairs. It seems Thornell is also on the board of trustees at Columbia Southern University.

    Offices for CSU are located in Orange Beach, Alabama, but its entire campus is the Internet. There are no traditional classes available from CSU, so is it in fact in competition with UNA? That's a difficult question. Looking at programs offered by CSU, we find Business and Criminal Justice among them. These two areas also compose a large percentage of UNA's curricula.

    As with the two above referenced instances, it may be a question to be decided by the ethics commission...that is if anyone wishes to file a complaint. We're sure UNA is aware of Thornell's involvement with CSU. Officials at the university have probably been too busy recruiting Chinese students to give it much thought...



    Shoalanda

    Thursday, May 16, 2013

    Ron Wikkid Weems: A Good Father?!


    Ron Wikkid Weems & Laurel ChubbyLette Pruett

    Laura Wise, aunt of Ron Wikkid Weems, aka the Wikkid One, called her nephew a good father. Really? He has at least five children by three different women, only one of whom he was married to. He didn't work, but preferred to have the Salvation Army provide for his children. He's now out of the picture, leaving his youngest child with his mother, a woman who allowed the child to be sexually abused. Yep, he's a great father.

    As for Weems' mother Laquania, she's still maintaining her son's innocence...when she's not trying to cast spells for protection. Laquania seems to be a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal.

    Colbert County District Attorney Bryce Graham has stated there was no basis for a Capital Murder charge against Weems. Really? Since witnesses testified that his victim Amanda Taylor was naked from the waist down, it would hardly have been a stretch for Graham to have also had Weems indicted for attempted rape. That's all it would have taken to make the charge a capital offense. We doubt the jury would have questioned the charge.

    Now Weems will be up for parole at some point. He won't make it any time soon. Let's hope he never does.

    *****

    Due to an accident involving the court reporter in Franklin County, the sentencing for Hershel Dale Graham, admitted killer of David Martin Andrasik, has been postponed. We'll publish the new date as soon as it's announced.



    Shoalanda

    Wednesday, May 15, 2013

    What the Florence Budget Says


    Mickey Haddock
    The City of Florence has revealed its new capital projects budget. Included are three items of interest. First, the appropriation for helping fund the new science building at UNA has been met with mixed feelings. Three million dollars is a lot of money, but will it ultimately help the city?

    We're going to say yes; however, we would like to hear more about the engineering programs that the university is proposing. We also hope that UNA will now concentrate on its academic commitment to the area and place any move to Division I athletics on the back burner.

    Second, we question the $100,000.00 donation to the Salvation Army for a new homeless center. Florence has given to this church before; it continues to set a bad precedent. Perhaps the Church of Satan would like to build its own homeless shelter?

    Third, and most importantly, we're concerned about the $650,000.00 set aside for the proposed College Street Plaza, Mayor Mickey Haddock's pet project. The council has not yet voted on the project, nor has the city requested any input. Do we favor the project?

    Yes, we do; however, we don't favor pushing anything down the citizens' throats. Nor do we favor hiring an architectural firm for a project of this magnitude without taking bids. It will be most interesting to see how this plays out.



    Shoalanda

    Tuesday, May 14, 2013

    Sentencing for Hershel Dale Graham




    The sentencing for Hershel Dale Graham, convicted of Manslaughter in the intentional shooting of David Martin Andrasik (pictured), will be May 17th in Franklin County. One of our readers who attended the trial has sent us this commentary:

    David was already in his car halfway seated & WAS leaving when Hershel's son ran out to the street RIPPED his own shirt off, cussed, etc demanding David get back in the yard and they would settle things.. DAVID WAS LEAVING.. If you are so fearful for your life why would you call someone back in the yard & be the aggressor in that manner?? David never touched any of them & that was proven in court by eye witnesses NOT related to the shooter at all. Those EW's gave polar opposite testimonies compared to the shooter's EW statements as to what happened. 

    During the time Elijah Graham was antagonizing David back into the yard & the school teacher who drove up to EW all of this was the ONLY one who bothered to call 911 & the other neighbor EW's said that Hershel Graham disappeared out of sight around the house for around a minute or 2. Many believe that is when he went & got the gun..yet HE HAD PLENTY OF TIME THEN to call police but he chose a gun. He then began walking toward David, David walked toward him, no words were exchanged, nothing physical whatsoever from David & when David got about 3 ft from Hershel Graham out of nowhere & no warning Hershel jerked this gun out & fired it into David's chest hitting him in the heart going thru 3 chambers of his heart, fractured his T9 vertebra lodging there causing epidural leakage. 

    He claimed he had warned David he had a gun.. the other EW's said NO that did not happen. He also claimed David shoved him really hard & as he was falling back he pulled gun up & fired it THINKING he was firing a warning shot & again the other EW's not related to Hershel said NO that is not what happened. They all said they were stunned, thought in NO WAY it was escalated that far, completely stunned by what they had just seen happen. After he shot David THEY ADMITTED THAT THEY ALL STOOD (4 or 5 people present during all of it) & watched David laying there struggling, grabbing at his wound, even giving accounts that he was gurgling on perhaps blood clearly fighting to breath & NOT ONE offered him any aid whatsoever... before anyone goes judging David they need to know ALL the facts & not just what the other side is claiming. THESE ARE ALL FACTS from court.

    Also when the lady who witnessed pulled up and the ONLY ONE who called 911 she saw David laying on the ground & HE WAS THE ONLY ONE SCREAMING for help.. THE ONLY ONE the ENTIRE time screaming for any help. He also went to the neighbors across the street for help.. again he was the ONLY one who went for any assistance/help. He had no weapon on him & he never touched anyone of them other than a possible chest bump ALL ACCORDING TO EW's NOT related to the shooter. The neighbors also admitted to letting David come inside their home, he was not in any way making threats to them, etc.. they said they were NOT afraid of him at all, that he came and told them that the son had just tried to kill him by running over him with a truck & he needed help.. 

    They didn't really know what to do but said had they known it was gonna end like this they would have kept him there with them,etc.. all the EW's for the prosecution were just devastated that it went down like this and was totally uncalled for, senseless & not justified. They all said David did NOTHING to deserve that nor did anything for there to be need of a gun.


    I also don't think the school teacher had arrived yet when Elijah struck David which he tried to squirm his way out of on the stand. When she pulled up she I believe stated that she saw David laying on the ground.. unsure where exactly but said he was screaming for help & with tears she struggled to say I called 911 because that was the best help I could offer him.. he had NOT been shot at that point.. when the 911 call was played you hear her say that there are 4 men fighting (she cleared it up saying she meant verbal, NOTHING physical) she then described David as being in a black sweat suit barefoot.

    She told them a car was in the road & had her blocked.. the Red Bay PD or EMT she was talking too kept her on the phone while she gave address,etc.. and then you hear a POP in the background and she said OMG.. He has just shot him in the chest.. and kept repeating OMG (the actual words) over and over, and toward the end of the conversation she told them David was no longer moving. She was as calm as she could be under the circumstances.. David was shot I would think around 5:37 because cops didn't get there until 93 seconds AFTER David had already been shot, an ambulance was en route but they were unable to give David any aid until the scene was declared safe so I would think David laid there several minutes for them to do that.. precious minutes... especially in the shape he was in.. He basically bled out or to death. They began chest compression's on him when they lost a pulse in the Ambulance and continued CPR until the hospital. He died 20 minutes later if the death cert time is accurate saying 6:30pm.

    If you would like to recommend the maximum 20 year sentence for Graham, you may contact Judge Terry Dempsey at:

    256-332-8893

    Teresa.Seal@Alacourt.gov

    *****

    Perhaps many have never considered just what the Alabama Bureau of Investigation (ABI) does or doesn't do. Here's a description from their own website:

    Welcome to the Alabama Bureau of Investigation (ABI) Division. The ABI functions as the investigative branch of the Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS) and is one of six divisions of the Department. The ABI provides investigation services in support of other members of the criminal justice system in Alabama. In addition to criminal investigations, the ABI also delivers several other services through the various components of the division such as the Latent Print Unit, and Hazardous Devices Unit (Bomb Squad) to assist our partners in the law enforcement community. The ABI is not a first responder agency and investigations are conducted upon request by a criminal justice agency. Members of the ABI also provide law enforcement services for operations with the other DPS divisions, such as in times of natural disaster and other special details.

    In other words, you just can't pick up the phone and accuse someone you don't like of committing  a crime; just doesn't work that way...even for family of former police chiefs, we understand.



    Shoalanda

    Monday, May 13, 2013

    Who Steals a Dog Cemetery Marker?




    Most Shoals residents know of the Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard near Cherokee. This local landmark has been featured in print, television, and movies. The famous burial ground was just recently the home of a 75th anniversary celebration attended by those who came from far and wide.

    The cemetery also just recently acquired a marker, pictured above. Now the marker is missing. Many in the Shoals worked hard to bring this stone monument to the final resting place for prized coon dogs; it was supposed to last decades, not just a few months.

    The stone weighed hundreds of pounds, so the theft wasn't some spur of the moment prank, or was it? Here's the request from Remember Tuscumbia:

    Here's a better close up of the Coondog Cemetery marker stolen within the last two weeks. It weighs several hundred pounds. If anyone has any information as to where this monument might be, please contact Janice Williams at 256-412-5970. No Questions Asked! We are hoping this is a senior prank and it will reappear back at the cemetery.

    Let's hope the marker is returned safe and sound to its intended location.



    Shoalanda

    Sunday, May 12, 2013

    Dakota Holt Guilty of Aggravated Manslaughter


    It was Sunday, June 3, 2012. Dylan Wayne Milam, 13, and another youth who also attended Colbert County High School were visiting at the home of Dakota Holt, also 13. The argument started out innocently enough; Holt showed his companions a photo of a girl he liked. Dylan, someone either too young or too inexperienced to censor his thoughts, blurted out, "But she's fat."



    Dakota Holt was not one given to self-control. He had previously beaten up his biological father, and many of his family and friends were already afraid of him. In a fit of rage, Holt slapped Dylan. Surprised by his companion's reaction, Dylan then slugged Holt. The fight ended...for a short while.


    Later the youths began a round of target practice. After some time, the youths returned to Dakota Holt's home at 320 Hatton School Road to take a break. An adult supervising the youths, reportedly Dakota's mother Alicia Holt, left the boys alone. Here the story becomes more nebulous.

    Holt originally told investigators that the group was leaving the home at around 9:00 p.m. to return to target practice when the gun he was holding accidentally discharged, hitting Dylan in the neck. An adult, either Holt's mother or her live-in boyfriend, a convicted drug dealer, corroborated the boy's story.

    Colbert County investigators soon began to realize the testimony and facts in the case were not backing up Holt's version of events. While all the details may never be known, investigators believe they have pieced together the pertinent, and damning, facts in the case.

    Dakota Holt pointed the gun at Dylan, asking him if he was scared and telling him to run for his life. Dylan made it to the front door before Holt fired the .22 rifle and shot him dead. Holt was not charged until the next Thursday, and neither his mother Alicia Holt nor her drug-dealer squeeze were ever charged with giving false testimony or impeding a police investigation.

    After almost one year, the majority of it spent with his family in Leighton, Dakota Holt will tomorrow face a judge for the next to last time. Sources say the now 14 year-old will plead to aggravated manslaughter and be remanded into state custody until the age of 21. His sentence won't be official until a later date.

    It may not be total justice, but no one can offer that. At least the Shoals area will be rid of the smirking, simpering sociopath that is Dakota Holt until 2020.



    Shoalanda

    Saturday, May 11, 2013

    Computer Guru? Border Collie? Mentally Deficient?


    Shoalanda learned something interesting today, and that's always welcome. And, no, you don't have to be a computer guru to learn this, folks. We learned of an Internet address we weren't previously aware of. Exciting, huh?

    We made the statement earlier in the week that we knew an addy ending in "nl" was not from the U.S. It not only doesn't take a computer guru to know this, it doesn't take a border collie either. The following are addy extensions allowed in the U.S.:

    COM - This domain is intended for commercial entities, that is
    companies. This domain has grown very large and there is
    concern about the administrative load and system performance if
    the current growth pattern is continued. Consideration is
    being taken to subdivide the COM domain and only allow future
    commercial registrations in the subdomains.

    EDU - This domain was originally intended for all educational
    institutions. Many Universities, colleges, schools,
    educational service organizations, and educational consortia
    have registered here. More recently a decision has been taken
    to limit further registrations to 4 year colleges and
    universities. Schools and 2-year colleges will be registered
    in the country domains (see US Domain, especially K12 and CC,
    below).

    NET - This domain is intended to hold only the computers of network
    providers, that is the NIC and NOC computers, the
    administrative computers, and the network node computers. The
    customers of the network provider would have domain names of
    their own (not in the NET TLD).

    ORG - This domain is intended as the miscellaneous TLD for
    organizations that didn't fit anywhere else. Some non-
    government organizations may fit here.

    INT - This domain is for organizations established by international
    treaties, or international databases.

    United States Only Generic Domains:

    GOV - This domain was originally intended for any kind of government
    office or agency. More recently a decision was taken to
    register only agencies of the US Federal government in this
    domain. State and local agencies are registered in the country


    We had not been aware of the "int" extension before, so if we're ever on Jeopardy, we're all set.

    So that's how we knew an addy ending in "nl" wasn't from the U.S. We surmised it might be from the Netherlands, but weren't positive until we Googled it. Google is your friend. We also understand 99.99% of the computer owning population knows how to use it.

    That brings us to the mentally deficient...the whole point in 90% (our guesstimate) of hacking, and certainly the whole point in 100% of spam hacking it to obtain access to the hackee's e-mail address directory. If John or Jane Doe has 500 entries in his/her address book, that's 500 potential customers for spam artists selling generic Viagra, body part boosters, or Acme Widgets. No one is immune from a hacker attack and everyone is a potential target.

    If someone (probably .01% of the 10% referenced above), just wants to irritate/incriminate you, they will set up a free e-mail account in your name or similar name to transfer your addresses to. News flash--their name doesn't have to be anywhere in the addy on an account probably registered originally from a local library, university, bookstore, etc., where the general public has access.

    So the next time anyone wants you, the trusting public, to believe a middle-aged, conservative Republican lady from the Tuscumbia area has hacked her e-mail, perhaps you should just say in your best Daffy Duck voice, "Anhh, your mother wears arrrmy boots."





    Shoalanda

    Friday, May 10, 2013

    Concert for What? Where Will AMHOF Move?


    "Fernando never showed."

    The above is a line sung by Russell Smith of Amazing Rhythm Aces fame. Unfortunately paying customers for the Alabama Music Hall of Fame may take their cue from Fernando.

    The Aces are scheduled to open a series of concerts to raise money for the HOF. We believe, as well as hope, that the concerts will be successful; however, we're not as sure where the HOF will eventually locate, so paying concert-goers should be aware that they may very well be supporting moving the HOF from this area.

    Might it remain at its current location? We offer this quote from Wiley Barnard, executive director of the HOF:

    “We can’t afford this place. It’s just falling apart.”

    Might it remain in the Shoals area? One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    *****

    Also from the TimesDaily:

    Thumbs up to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame board for listening to proposals from Huntsville and Birmingham about possibly moving the attraction from Tuscumbia. Board members through the years have created the mess at the hall of fame by poorly managing resources and not providing long-term strategy to keep the facility vibrant. They should do everything possible to keep the hall of fame in the Shoals, but it would be irresponsible to ignore other options. The goal has to be what's best for the heritage of Alabama music.

    We have to ask what resources have been misused. Donations? Exhibits? Display space? Manpower? Perhaps all of them?

    *****

    A final word: The TD states the goal has to be what's best for our musical heritage. There is a school of thought that incorporates the premise of making an entity the best by utilizing a person's/area's unique qualities. It's a long road. More people/areas should take it.



    Shoalanda

    Thursday, May 9, 2013

    Liars & the Mentally Challenged


    Helen Keller CEO Doug Arnold says that his hospital doesn't oppose RegionalCare's new facility in Lauderdale County. Really? He coulda fooled us. Why file a motion stating HKH opposes the new hospital? The river runs wide and deep.

    Several Lauderdale county residents are supporting a boycott of any and all Colbert County businesses. Send us your comments, either in the comment section provided or via e-mail.

    *****

    We usually make it a point not to comment on the ramblings of a certain blog, but the two bloggers who have made it their life's work to torment a local writer and anyone whom the writer claims as a friend have launched another inane attack on an innocent person. It seems someone's e-mail account was hacked recently. We know several individuals who through the years have had their e-mails taken over by spam artists. It's unfortunate, but it happens. Apparently it happened to one of these two women. Here's her post about it:

     Click to Enlarge

    The blacked out areas reference the name of the person whom these bloggers hate and the name of a person whom they accuse of hacking into D.J. Bowers' e-mail. A friend sent us this copy to get our opinion, so we have decided to make it public.

    First we looked at the e-mail addy of the sender. It's obvious to anyone with even a modicum of intelligence that it's not a U.S. address. A quick search determined the e-mail was sent from the Netherlands. Looking into it a little more deeply, we find the address belongs to a site called "Ziggo." The site is similar to ComCast or Charter Cable which offers a combination phone, television, and Internet service.

    So unless the person Bowers is accusing of hacking her e-mail has a paid Ziggo account in the Netherlands or has hacked into one with a name similar to her own, we're pretty sure these individuals have again accused an innocent person of something he/she would never do.



    Shoalanda

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    Please Help Save Pandora


    The mature woman walked around her house, uttering quiet phrases, and seemingly pleased with herself. Why? According to neighbors, Laquania Welch Weems, mother of Ron the Wikkid One, was casting a spell to protect her granddaughter Pandora.

    Perhaps a little more vigilance and a lot less voodoo hoodoo is needed in this situation. Mrs. Weems, who has already raised a layabout philandering murderer, is now attempting to raise his daughter while the child's parents are in prison. So far, it's not going very well, if Muscle Shoals Police reports and various friends are to be believed.

    Pandora has already been sexually molested by a "friend" of Laquania. Yes, we know his name, but we have been unable to determine what, if any, charges this man faces. Yes, we're using Pandora's name since it's common knowledge in the area. We're hoping DHR will take the child and place her in a new family where she'll receive a new name. So far they haven't.

    This from a regular reader: I have called DHR three times about Pandora. Is there anyone (in) the Shoals area that has connections with DHR that can persuade them to remove this child? She has already been molested in her Grandmother's care.

    We also have contacted DHR via e-mail. So far the child remains at Weems' Muscle Shoals home. If any readers have any contacts with Colbert County DHR, please use them to see that this child is placed in a safe environment, preferably a permanent and stable home with parents who genuinely care about her and not some check she provides.

    *****

    We've had some requests to comment on this blog, but were waiting to see where it was going. Apparently it's died down and isn't going anywhere any more. So far it's been pretty nice to almost everyone it's discussed (several of whom we've never heard of), so we'll comment.

    "It's amusing." Yes, that's our comment.



    Shoalanda

    Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    Mutilation Trio All Get 120 Months


    Laurel Pruett, Matthew Fox, and Ashley Greenhill all received identical 10 year sentences this morning. Pruett and Fox have no record, while Greenhill has quite a felonious past. One of her crimes involved violence perpetrated on a child, her own child. Her other crimes were considered property offenses; however, we were hoping the stripper with an axe would be sentenced as a habitual offender.

    So how soon should we expect their release?

    Assuming good behavior, and considering time served, the trio should EOS by April 2015. It might be too much of a stretch for Greenhill to keep her nose clean once incarcerated, but barring any extraordinary behavior on the part of Pruett and Fox, 40 months should see the end of their prison time.

    How about parole? The trio should be eligible now for parole, again considering time served. First the board will have to schedule the hearings, and that may take some time. That brings in the possibility of an attorney interceding.

    We doubt Pruett or Greenhill will have that luxury, but Fox certainly may. It also means he's likely to make parole. Pruett's case might be a toss up, and the odds would certainly be against Greenhill making any program designed to remove her from the hardcore prison population.

    *****

    We understand Laurel Pruett's child with Ron Wikkid Weems is still in the custody of Weems' mother. No child deserves to be used as a meal ticket or to be the victim of sexual abuse. Here's hoping DHR steps in soon.



    Shoalanda

    Monday, May 6, 2013

    More Planning...Or Less?


    Lauderdale County's Second Courthouse


    Today the TimesDaily published a report on the proposed College Street Plaza in which they referred to quotes by Florence Mayor Mickey Haddock. One statement jumped out:

    "He said designers said that would allow parking places along College Street and Short (sic) Street to be redone and would add more than a dozen parking places."

    No, not because the complex will offer more parking spaces, but because the "designers" were mentioned. Who besides Donnie Phillips is a project designer? Those who yesterday maintained the city has commissioned only a basic sketch seem to have been proved wrong.

    The project has not yet been approved by the Florence City Council. We would love to hear from any other local architects who specialize in landscaping design.* Were they made aware of the project? Were they consulted in any way?

    We must ask if Haddock would not have been much wiser to present his ideas to the public before acting on them. This is not transparency in any form. Mayor Haddock has sprayed some Georgio on his pet project, but it still smells...

    * Editor's note: All comments are kept anonymous.

    *****

    While it seems too much planning has gone into a project not yet officially approved, it seems not enough planning is a factor in much waste here in the Shoals. Yes, we desperately need more room at our animal shelter. We'll be delighted with the new facility; however, we hope this shelter is built in such a way that it can be easily added on to.

    Our current shelter isn't that old in the grand scheme of things. We hope the city can find a good use for the current facility. PAWS, perhaps? If this local group can afford the upkeep, we heartily recommend presenting them with the old shelter.

    Also in today's news is the new science building at UNA. Kudos to the university for finding funds for this endeavor. One cannot always predict the future in new frontiers of science or enrollment, so we can't fault the current building's designers for a lack of foresight.

    We are bemused by Dr. Paul Kittle's statement that Floyd Hall was old at the grand age of 16 years. Let's hope the new building, as with the animal shelter, is designed so that it can be modified to suit future needs.



    Shoalanda

    Sunday, May 5, 2013

    College Street Plaza Already Smells to High Heaven




    When Mickey Haddock was elected the mayor of Florence, he stated he wanted UNA students involved in decision making for the city. How about we start with having some everyday citizens involved in decision making as well?

    99% of the population probably didn't know about any plans to close half a block of College Street until they read it in today's TimesDaily. It might be the greatest idea since sliced bread and tampons, but when there's already an architect's sketch of said project, one tends to feel that our city fathers aren't asking for input. We're seriously thinking Mayor Haddock may be channeling the ghost of Eddie Frost, who never met a money pit he didn't like.

    Let's look at just a few problems with this project:

    1. Architectural services don't have to be bid--that's the current law; however, when a project is the size of the proposed new plaza, isn't it wise to bid it out, or at least to get some different ideas? How was Donnie Phillips selected for this 650K project?

    2. The city is currently scrambling for funds to build a bridge to re-open part of West College Street for easier downtown access, but they want to close part of the thoroughfare before it reaches Court Street? (Thanks to Dennis Sherer for pointing this out.)

    3. One aim of the project is to offer pedestrians easier access between the county courthouse and the Florence-Lauderdale Government Building. The last time we checked, the one block of College Street which separates the two is not part of the Autobahn. We're unaware of any pedestrians losing their lives to local motorists who don't understand traffic signals. 

    Donnie Phillips states he's been asking "what if" for twenty years*. Now all citizens of Florence should ask why...

    * The former First Southern Bank building wasn't purchased for use as a government building until 2007, so Mr. Phillips has been contemplating closing College Street for fourteen years before that? Yep, something smells.



    Shoalanda

    Saturday, May 4, 2013

    UNA Accuser Says She Was Drugged




    A report in today's TimesDaily states the purported victim of at least three rapists was drugged. This is the first public reference to date rape drugs of which we're aware. Assistant DA William Powell has stated the case will probably be presented to the next grand jury--assuming toxicology reports are available by then.

    The account in today's TD differs dramatically from one given by UNA's Bob Pastula after the March event: UNA March Rape. In the mean time, Deandre Harrison and Eddrick Harris have been reinstated at UNA.

    *****

    A source with the City of Florence contacted us to relate that Shoals Ambulance Service has already moved into the former Lauderdale EMS location on East Dr. Hicks Boulevard. The source was not sure if Lauderdale EMS would provide any non-emergency services to or have a physical office in Florence. A Lauderdale office would seem cost prohibitive, considering over 95% of all Keller calls should be in Colbert County.

    *****

    According to our source at the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office, a deputy's patrol car parked in front of his home was one of the vehicles damaged by two underage youths who have been arrested on over 35 separate felony charges. The two young men have been released to their parents. Perhaps the juvenile detention center is full, but allowing these young hooligans to remain free does not fit the crime...unless the parents have already begun to pay for the multitude of damages caused by these "two yutes."

    And, yes, anyone residing in Lauderdale County is paying for the deputy's window. We're officially victims. Let's hope the judge presiding over the case remembers that....



    Shoalanda

    Friday, May 3, 2013

    FloGas Took Wilkie's Body & Dumped It


    We received this letter earlier today from April Koonce. We're publishing it in its entirety and will comment below:

    This probably isn't the right venue for my letter to be printed, I'm not sure what would be, or if anyone would even want to hear my story, but it is therapeutic for me to make people aware.  I want others to know how the Gas Department took something so important from me.

    I feel a crime has been committed upon me for which there can be no restitution.  Something that belonged to me was stolen, along with any chance for closure.  There are those that won’t understand my grief, but there are those who certainly will.

    The coolest cat in the Universe, Wilkie, well, I couldn’t have possibly adored him any more than I did.  He was much loved.  I was protective, never letting him go outside until he came in to his elder years.  He always wanted to go out there, and I didn’t want him to die not getting to enjoy the warmth from a sunbeam.  His favorite spot was beneath a hedge on the side of my house.

    He developed blood clots on November 18, 2012, and despite their efforts, the vets at the emergency clinic weren’t able to save him.  He died with my arms wrapped around him.  I did not let him go until I placed him in his eternal resting place, beneath his favorite hedge.  A spot I had visited every morning since.  For a temporary marker, I had placed 3 bricks, symmetrically aligned.  I enjoyed cutting flowers from my yard to place on the bricks. You see, my other cat, Leeroy, is to be buried next to Wilkie, as they were very close.  Leeroy is old and in poor health.  I took comfort in knowing I could bury them side by side.  I had big plans for that plot; I was going to make it very special once they were both there.  Probably a rock garden, I hadn’t yet decided.  In my grieving, that had brought me peace.

    Wilkie & Leeroy
    On May 1, 2013, this was all taken from me by the City of Florence Gas Department.  They were moving my gas meter.  I was told they might have to “cut back a hedge”.  I joked that they should neatly trim them all.  I came home that afternoon to find the brick markers tossed aside, and the dirt of Wilkie’s grave was upturned with his favorite hedge on the side of the road.  I saw pieces of his white fur scattered around.  I became hysterical; I called the man I’d been in correspondence with from the gas department.  He sounded sincerely sorry about it, and I believed he was.  He didn’t know my cat was buried there, and I didn’t know he was going to dig up my yard.

    It was decided a friend would recover his remains so I could bury him elsewhere and create a new sanctuary.  But his remains were not there.  The man from the gas department was contacted again.  And this is when I knew the apology couldn’t have been sincere.  This crew from the gas department, for some deluded reason of which I will never, ever be able to understand, decided they had the right to put my beloved pet in a bucket and in to a trash can.  Now he is unrecoverable.  He and Leeroy will not be buried side-by-side.  I am left with images of my companion of 14 years in a mass of things that were never important enough for anyone to keep, picked at by buzzards.  An unloved animal is seldom buried.  Why was he not put back down in the earth?  Better yet, why wasn’t I contacted?  My phone number was at his fingertips.  Wilkie was mine.  It was MY choice!  They DID NOT have the right to do what they did.  An unloved animal is seldom buried.

    Wilkie's Grave Before Flogas Destruction
    I am deeply mournful and incredibly angry.  To me, this is an ethical crime and morally reprehensible.  I don’t know what could make me feel better right now.   I know so many people have suffered things so far worse than this, and I have always been very empathetic and I hurt for people I do not even know, but no matter how trivial this may be to some, it hurts me so much.

    All I can do is write out my grief and my injustice and hope that someone out there who loves their pets as a part of their family reads this, and will NEVER EVER allow this to happen again.

    *****

    How did this happen? I shared the letter with another blogger to get a second opinion on this misdeed. She felt perhaps the men were just this "dense," to use her word. Were they?

    I personally can't understand this. These workers, unless mentally deficient, knew this was a grave. Their actions were intentional and hurtful. Were they having a bad day and decided to take it out on a dead baby and his grieving mother?

    April isn't asking for money; she simply wants to make sure this doesn't happen to someone else. We'll be happy to publish any rebuttal from Mike Doyle, FloGas General Manager; however, unless he's written up these employees, there doesn't seem to much he could say that would matter at this point.



    Florence Utilities Gas Department
    110 W. College Street
    Florence, AL 35630

    Telephone: (256) 718-5100
    Fax : (256) 767-1818



    Florence Utilities Gas Department
    650 Rickwood Road
    Florence, AL 35630

    Telephone: (256) 760-6490 - (256) 767-3430
    Fax : (256) 767-1818

    Administration:
    Michael Doyle, Manager
    Email Michael Doyle

    Regina Hall, Administrative Assistant to the Manager
    Email Regina Hall

    Engineering:
    Tim Truitt, P.E.
    Email Tim Truitt

    Field Operations:
    Jerry Bates, Field Supervisor
    Email Jerry Bates

    Marketing:
    Randy Fannin, Public Affairs Coordinator
    Email Randy Fannin

    Gas Controller:
    Dolphus King, Chief Gas Controller
    Email Dolphus King

    Laura Butler, Administrative Assistant to the Chief Gas Controller
    Email Laura Butler

    GIS Department:
    Stan Pruitt, GIS Gas
    Email Stan Pruitt

    Larry Grace, GIS Water
    Email Larry Grace

    Technical Services:
    Kenneth Davis, Technical Services Supervisor
    Email Kenneth Davis

    Stores/Safety:
    Reid Ware, Stores/Training Coordinator
    Email Reid Ware

     

    Shoalanda

    Thursday, May 2, 2013

    New Era in Florence-Lauderdale/VOCAL Award


    Yesterday ushered in a new era of ambulance service in the Florence-Lauderdale area. Shoals Ambulance Service now holds the city-county contract, replacing Lauderdale EMS, a division of Keller EMS. Will Keller continue to operate from its Florence base on Dr. Hicks Boulevard? We'll have updates when available.

    *****

    Several sources have reported that Logan's Road House has backed out of plans to open a restaurant on Woodward Avenue in Muscle Shoals. We understand Krystal has selected a currently occupied parcel on which to build its new store. We'll have an update on this as soon as we can confirm the location, but if reports are correct, it will be very close to its former site.

    *****

    Some updated info on Brandon Shane Munday from the Moulton Advertiser: Mundy and the town of North Courtland also face a civil lawsuit, filed by Stephen Heninger of the Birmingham firm Heninger Garrison Davis and Jeff Bowling of the Russellville firm Bedford, Rogers and Bowling. The suit was filed in circuit court on behalf of Adam Cox, a family member of the victims.

    *****

    From D.K.:

    Rebecca Condrey of Florence got The State VOCAL "Victims of Crime and Leniency" Volunteer of the Year Award at the State Vigil Friday night in Montgomery. VOCAL has seven chapters throughout the state. All members are volunteers, except for the Director Janette Grantham and Counselor Eddie Sammons. Any and all help to victims is of no charge from VOCAL.

    The Shoals Chapter members are proud of Rebecca Condrey for her hard work and dedication for supporting Victims of Crime in Northwest Alabama. Charles and Rebecca, after the loss of their son Troy Condrey in year 2000, have turned to giving back the love and understanding to new Victims of Crime that they received from VOCAL in their darkest days, by supporting the families through the hardest times of their lives throughout the Justice System and afterwards.

    Rebecca and Charles have very good family and church support that (along with VOCAL) have been there for them. Congrats to you Rebecca from all the Shoals area and the Shoals Chapter! 

    *****

    We'll add the congratulations of the rest of us here at Shoalanda. Rebecca is extremely deserving of this award, and we appreciate her efforts on behalf of local victims and their families.



    Shoalanda