Saturday, September 10, 2011

Man pulls teen from burning van

Justin Taylor never thought of his own safety.
The only thoughts that crossed his mind centered around a teenager who was in danger.
Running on pure adrenaline, Taylor pulled the teenager from a burning vehicle that crashed on Cullman 1339 near Lake George Friday afternoon, potentially saving a life in the process.
The victim, Randall Ray Popdan, 16, was carried to a hospital by AirEvac because of possible head and neck injuries, according to Cullman County Sheriff Mike Rainey. An update on his status wasn’t available at press time Friday night.
According to Rainey, the accident occurred when Popdan’s minivan ran off the road, hit two trees and then caught on fire.
Taylor was working near the scene when the accident occurred. Law enforcement and emergency workers had not arrived at the scene when Taylor began his rescue attempt.
“By the time I got there, the vehicle was already burning pretty good,” Taylor said. “The kid was unconscious. He wasn’t responding at all, so I started tugging on him, trying to get him out of the vehicle.
“When I started pulling on him, that’s when he woke up, but he couldn’t move because his legs were wedged between the dash. I wasn’t going to let that kid burn up. Even though I was worried the car was going to explode, I just kept pulling until the door opened a little and I was able to get him out.”
Taylor said he sustained mild burns to his face and arm while rescuing Popdan from the burning vehicle.
In hindsight, Taylor realizes the danger he put himself in.
“When I got home and started thinking about what happened, I almost got sick at my stomach,” he said. “That vehicle could’ve easily exploded. But if I had let something happen to that kid, I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself, either. There was no way I was going to let that kid burn up in that car.”
Rainey called Taylor’s actions “courageous.”
“That’s pretty amazing,” Rainey said. “He put his life on the line to help someone else. That’s nothing short of heroic.”

By Justin Graves 
The Cullman Times

Oxford Police search for suspect in pizza shop shooting death

Oxford, Al.
The assistant manager of a Papa Johns pizza shop in Oxford was shot and killed during a robbery Friday around 11:35 p.m., according to Calhoun County Coroner Pat Brown.

Barbara Exum, 56, of Bacon Avenue in Anniston, was found shot to death in a small side room of the store, Brown said. He pronounced her dead around 1:30 this morning. A witness called police shortly after the shooting. They arrived to find the victim lying face up, with a gunshot wound to the chest, Partridge said.
Investigators worked well into the morning on the case. He said Oxford police and members of the Calhoun-Cleburne Drug & Violent Crime Task Force responded to the pizza shop, at the eastern end of Snow Street near the intersection with Hamric Drive East.
Oxford police are searching for a suspect who was witnessed running away from the scene. Police Chief Bill Partridge stated he was described as a dark-complected black man, 5 feet 6 inches tall, with short hair, a skinny build and a deep, raspy voice.He was wearing a black hoodie, with a green and brown camouflage bandanna around his face, and was armed with a black semi-automatic handgun at the time of the shooting.Anyone with more information in the case can contact Oxford Police at 256-831-3121, or at Authorities will accept anonymous information and do not need identifying information for any tipsters.

Andalusia men arrested in Meth bust

Andalusia, Al
The Drug Task Force busted its fourth meth lab in three weeks Thursday night – this one located right behind Andalusia’s Ashley Pointe subdivision.
DTF Commander Mark Odom said when agents received information that a shipment of meth supplies was coming to Stephen Glen Morgan’s Van Walker Loop home earlier that afternoon, they, along with Alabama probation officers, decided to pay him a visit.
“As soon as we came up to the residence – which was a camper trailer – we could smell the very distinct odor associated with a clandestine meth lab,” Odom said.
Odom said there were two other residents inside the camper, who were identified as Michael Moody and Bobby Hardey, both of Andalusia.
“When we asked them to step outside, we could see a meth cook in plain view,” he said. “At that point, we obtained a search warrant and recovered the items.”
The three men were charged with manufacturing, trafficking and possession of drug paraphernalia, and booked into the Covington County Jail under a $770,000 bond. Odom said both Morgan and Moody are Alabama probationers.
He said while the number of labs found throughout the county is on the rise, there might be a misconception that “meth is making a comeback.”
“The fact of it is, meth never went away,” he said. “The new one pot method just makes it more difficult find these labs, but as we get more intelligence on the way and where people are cooking, you’re going to start to see more and more arrests.”

The Andalusia Star-News

Franklin County man accused of killing his parents, attacking aunt and uncle with a hammer

A 26-year-old Franklin County man has been charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of his parents.
Michael McLemore has also been charged with assaulting an aunt and uncle with a hammer shortly before 8 a.m. Saturday at a home near Phil Campbell in Franklin County.
The TimesDaily reports that the father's body was found in the home's hallway and the mother's body was found in bed. Sheriff Shannon Oliver told Huntsville television station WHNT that the aunt and uncle were attacked with a hammer. Oliver said McLemore was arrested after he walked to a neighbor's house to call 911.
McLemore was being held Saturday in the Franklin County Jail. It was not known if he had an attorney. Names of the victims were not released.

Forecasters say Tropical Storm Nate stronger, Katia, Maria weaken

Weather forecasters say Tropical Storm Nate is growing stronger and could be near hurricane strength when it hits Mexico on Sunday.
The National Weather Service said at 1 p.m. Saturday that Nate was centered 145 miles (233 kilometers) east-northeast of Veracruz, with maximum sustained winds near 60 mph (97 kph). It was inching westward.
Meanwhile, Katia has been downgraded in the far north Atlantic, and the remnants of Maria are barely a tropical cyclone.
The National Hurricane Center says Katia is still expected to bring strong winds to the British Isles on Monday. The storm was centered about 295 miles (475 kilometers) east-southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland.
Forecasters said Maria was about 310 miles (499 kilometers) east-southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, with winds reaching 40 mph (64 kph).

Huntsville fire crews battle Green Cove Road warehouse fire

Credit:(The Huntsville Times/Bob Gathany)
Huntsville fire crews responded to a warehouse fire at 505 Green Cove Road just after 1:30 p.m. today and found the metal structure "fully involved."
Heavy black smoke could be seen for miles. No injuries were reported, though a HEMSI crew also responded to the scene.
Four Huntsville Fire Department trucks contained the blaze, but there were up to a half-dozen explosions inside the building.
An investigation on the cause of the blaze is under way, according to the Huntsville Fire Department.

Walker County man indicted in accidental death of pal as pair sought to steal copper from well site

A 36-year-old Walker County man has been charged with murder in the death of a friend who died accidentally while the two men were allegedly attempting to steal copper from a gas well site.
Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Tommy Smith told The Tuscaloosa News that Larry Willcutt Jr. was charged Friday with murder in the April 9 death of 49-year-old Jimmy Handley, who died when he became trapped by a gas well pump. At the time the murder charges were filed, Willcutt was in the Tuscaloosa County Jail on charges related to theft of the copper from the well site.
Smith said state law allows a person to be charged with murder if that person was involved in commission of a felony at the time of the death.

Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party criticized Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, for skipping out on President Barack Obama's speech

The chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party criticized Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, for skipping out on President Barack Obama's economic address, accusing Rogers of hypocritical political posturing.
Mark Kennedy said Rogers was putting gamesmanship before statesmanship with his refusal to attend the Thursday night speech.
Rep. Mike Rogers, R                                Mark Kennedy
"His 'boycott' is as much a campaign spectacle as anything else. I'm curious to know if the congressman ever traveled the same high and mighty road during the Bush administration," Kennedy said.

Kennedy said Rogers "seems to think we've all forgotten he'll be on the ballot below President Obama next year."
Rogers boycotted the speech and watched the national address at home on television, saying he refused to be a "prop for a campaign speech."
The president's $447 billion initiative includes tax breaks, highway and rail spending and unemployment benefits aimed at jump-starting the nation's sluggish economy.
A spokesman said Rogers' comments on the night of the address speak for themselves.
Rogers said Thursday that he was most disturbed with Obama's proposal to pay for his jobs plan by asking the deficit reduction super committee to come up with even more spending cuts over the next 10 years, increasing its goal of $1.5 trillion. Rogers said another $447 billion was unrealistic, and he questioned the president's commitment to infrastructure.
"He painted the stimulus package as being more infrastructure than it really was. I just don't believe him. I don't trust him," Rogers said.
Kennedy said the temporary infrastructure jobs would be a blessing to the state's unemployed. "Especially when Alabama has some of the most dangerous highways in the nation, and this bill could provide millions in funding to help us create jobs and make the kinds of investments that companies looking to expand in Alabama would love to see," Kennedy said.

Judge dismisses DUI case against former Baldwin County DA candidate

A drunken-driving charge against a former candidate for Baldwin County district attorney has been dismissed, court records show.
Supernumerary Circuit Judge Pamela Baschab on Tuesday dismissed the criminal charge against Russell J. Watson, 47, of Bay Minette, after Thomas Brown, special prosecutor for the city of Bay Minette, filed a motion to dismiss the charge. In the document, Brown said Watson had completed mental health counseling as part of a plea agreement.
“I’m just glad it’s over, Watson said Friday. “It’s been a long road. I’m ready for it to be behind me.”
Police in Bay Minette arrested Watson in October for driving under the influence of alcohol. Police said a rifle, several handguns and an open bottle of wine were found in his Jeep. At the time of the arrest, Police Chief Michael Rowland said Watson failed a field sobriety test and later attempted but was unable to complete a breath test.
In January, Watson was convicted in Bay Minette City Court, where he received a 30-day suspended sentence and one year of unsupervised probation. Days later, he filed his appeal in Baldwin County Circuit Court.
Last year, Watson, a former Loxley municipal prosecutor, sought the Republican nomination for Baldwin district attorney, but dropped out of the race prior to the June primary.

Faulkner University draws crowds, raises money with big-name speakers

Former President George W. Bush
Faulkner University may be small, but size doesn’t stop well-sought-after speakers from coming to the Montgomery campus.
Last year former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential  candidate Sarah Palin spoke in the fundraising event that raised more than $1 million for the school’s scholarship fund. This year, former President George W. Bush will speak October 6.
“A lot of the values that they support are the same that we do,” said Leigh Brannan, director of public relations for the university. “In Palin’s speech, and we expect in President Bush’s speech, emphasis was put on patriotism, love of country and serving others. And service is a major component of what we teach students here at Faulkner.”
At their root, the speaking events are major fundraising events for the school. The money raised goes into the university’s scholarship fund.
“We’re hoping to do just as good or better than last year, and we hit over 1 million dollars last year,” Brannan said.
So, how does Faulkner land these big name speakers to raise money?
“I think they can see what we are doing with our students and with our community – we’re not just teaching subjects out of a book, we’re teaching things from a Christian perspective, we’re teaching things with value-based understanding and people really appreciate that,” Brannan said.
Besides the money, Brannan said the university has also benefitted from the attention these speakers bring.
“It catches people’s attention that might not necessarily look at Faulkner,” Brennan said. “They hear about President Bush or Sarah Palin and they think ‘What is this place?’”
Brannan said an added bonus is the ability of the school to bring prominent figures to Montgomery, most of whom people wouldn’t normally get to see or hear in person.
“President Bush is a very historical figure, and we want to bring someone to the River Region that we think people would enjoy getting to see,” Brannan said. “And any time you get to see a president, it’s a pretty big deal.”
Proceeds from the dinner and speech by President George W. Bush on Oct.6 will go toward student scholarships. For more information, contact Faulkner's office of University Advancement at (334) 386-7257 or visit

MISSING PERSON: Mobile County deputies searching for missing Semmes man

Joshua Michael Duncan
The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a Semmes man who has been missing since Monday, officials said today in a news release.
Joshua Michael Duncan, 23, was reported missing by his grandmother. Duncan’s last known address was in the 9200 block of Linbar Lane in Semmes, officials said.
Duncan is a white male about 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing about 110 pounds with blond hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing tan shorts, a T-shirt and tennis shoes, officials said.
Anyone with any information on Duncan’s whereabouts should call the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office at 251-574-8633.

Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force: 2 arrested after 'fake weed' found at Calera store

CALERA, Alabama 
The Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force arrested two people on drug charges Thursday at a Calera convenience store after agents executed a search warrant and "found Salvia Divinorum or what is commonly known as "serenity" or "fake weed" and drug paraphernalia used for smoking the Salvia, prescription medications, and a firearm," the Shelby County Sheriff's Office said today.
The Task Force called in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents after further investigation revealed that the two people arrested had fraudulent identifications and were in the country illegally, the sheriff's office said.
Arrested were Kaushi Kkumar Patel, 29, of Calera, who was charged with five counts unlawful possession of certain chemical compounds, two counts of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, and criminal possession of a forged instrument, the sheriff's office said.
Kaushi Kkumar Patel was being held in the Shelby County Jail on a $107,000 bond. Also arrested was Aniruddh Ghanshyam Patel, 26, of McKenzie, Tenn., who was charged with unlawful possession of certain chemical compounds and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.
Aniruddh Ghanshyam Patel was being held on a $16,000 bond.
The two were arrested after task force members searched the Rhythm Food Mart in the 8000 block of U.S. 31, the sheriff's office said.
"Over the course of the past year, the Task Force has received numerous complaints about stores throughout Shelby County selling illegal marijuana substitutes," said Lt. Kevin Turner, commander of the drug task force. "The task force takes all of these complaints seriously and targets those businesses who illegally sell these substances. Store owners and operators are required to know what they can and cannot sell."

Alabama tornadoes: Survivors lose home again as FEMA trailer burns down

The tornado ripped off the roof and pushed down walls, and Chad Henson felt himself being sucked up into the air. His wife, Teresa, hung on to him until it passed.

Shaken, they climbed out from under tree limbs, pieces of concrete block and insulation, looked at the devastation all around the valley on this day, April 27, and considered themselves lucky.

But that feeling of fortune took a hit last week. Their new, temporary home -- a Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer -- burned down.

It happened Sept. 2 next to the spot where their house used to be.

"I'm not sure at this point what we are going to do," said Chad Henson, 40, a former state trooper and military veteran now on disability. "I'm just at a loss, so confused and bewildered about why it's happening. One minute I'm asleep and the next minute I've lost everything -- again."

The family -- Chad, Teresa and stepson Zac -- escaped without injury again, although the trailer is gutted and unusable.

Investigators have not reached an official determination on the origin of the fire but it appears to be the trailer's electrical breaker box, said Shoal Creek Valley Volunteer Fire Chief Vernon White.

Chad said he occasionally had heard electrical snaps and pops when turning on a light near the breaker box. "It was like, zzzzzzt," he said.

FEMA, which supplied the trailer, issued a statement calling the fire an isolated incident, but out of "an abundance of caution" it will inspect other trailers during regular maintenance. As of last week, FEMA had 289 trailers occupied by tornado victims around the state.

"The safety and ongoing recovery of disaster survivors are FEMA's priorities," FEMA spokesman Mike Stone said in the statement. "We are now working with the affected individual to provide alternate temporary housing."

But Chad Henson said Friday he had not been offered another trailer and would like one.

FEMA officials declined to discuss the Hensons' situation, citing privacy rules.

The family, meanwhile, is staying at a nearby motel thanks to donations from local churches and the Red Cross. But that will end soon, and Chad said they may start sleeping on the floor of a house down the street that belongs to his wife's parents, as they did in the tornado's aftermath. Or they may move into a travel trailer on the property.

After the tornado, the Hensons received the maximum FEMA payout -- $30,200 -- and Chad said he is thankful for that. The money has helped to replace possessions, although now many of those have burned. The grant also helps in rebuilding his house. He will do some of that work himself to save money.  He didn't qualify for a Small Business Administration loan.

Amid it all, he's been buoyed by the community support and his religious faith.

"Sometimes I've felt like giving up and moving on," Chad said. "If it wasn't for the faith we have and the community, I just don't know."

He worries about his wife and stepson, who are having recurring nightmares.

He doesn't understand why misfortune has struck twice in such a short time, but he and his wife realize they are fortunate to be alive.

"We knew we were going to die," he said, recalling the tornado. "We prayed and told each other we loved one another."

At the same time, stepson Zac, 27, escaped a falling tree by bailing out of the Jeep he was driving. When the trailer caught fire about 3 a.m., Zac woke up first and everyone escaped.

"We're all alive," Chad said. And looking for a new place to live.

Fresh tarballs wash up on Gulf Coast shores after Tropical Storm Lee

MOBILE, Alabama
A fresh crop of tarballs could be seen rolling in the surf along the barrier islands of Alabama and Mississippi on Thursday, pushed ashore by the surging tide and high waves associated with Tropical Storm Lee last week.
A Thursday inspection of the uninhabited beaches of Dauphin and Petit Bois islands suggests that in addition to bringing new tarballs ashore, the storm either carried away or covered up tar deposits that had been left in place for months amongst sand dunes above the normal high tide line.
The new tarballs ranged from the size of a quarter to blobs 8 inches across, and had a different consistency than those that had been sitting exposed on the uninhabited beaches since last summer.
Moist and gooey, like a chocolate chip cookie just pulled from the oven, some of the fresh tarballs had layers of liquid oil inside them. Oil bled from the tarballs sitting in the sun on the beach, collecting in little pools on the sand.
Ed Overton, an oil chemist and professor emeritus at Louisiana State University, said the tarballs that had been sitting out on beaches for months had weathered almost to the point of being asphalt, dry and crumbly to the touch.
He said the new tarballs likely broke off from mats buried underwater and seemed to share the characteristics of fresh tarballs, which he described as “jellybeans” — crusty on the outside with jelly in the center.
State and federal officials, as well as BP crews, have reported finding numerous tar mats offshore of Gulf beaches. In some cases, the mats are more than a foot thick.
“A lot of people are saying the tar mats are heavily weathered. Well, I bet these tar mats have not been heavily weathered,” Overton said. “These new deposits are probably fresher oil. They’ve been in a protected layer without a lot of agitation. These are probably more like globs of oil.”

Overton said the emergence of buried tar mats during storms is part of a natural progression after such spills.
“It sounds like there was a fairly thick lens of oil out there that had not mixed with sediment. We’re going to be seeing this for years,” Overton said. “This is an irritation compared to what we had last year. Last year was a disaster, this is, ‘Oh no! We’ve got to clean up the beaches again.’ But don’t be surprised when this happens again.”
BP officials said the company sent shoreline assessment teams out along the Gulf Coast after the storm passed and deployed crews to begin collecting tarballs. Justin Saia, a BP spokesman based in Alabama, said a crew collected 35 pounds of tarballs on the inhabited portion of Dauphin Island on Thursday.
“I guess it’s not really surprising that fresh material like that would show up in the shallow waters along the beachfront. The storm was fragmenting these much-reported tar mats offshore,” said John Valentine, senior marine scientist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. “But I haven’t seen any maps yet that show where these tar mats are. At this point, it’s just gossip. They need to release the data that show where these tar mats are.”
Valentine said that research from the 1979 Ixtoc spill off Mexico showed that oil can persist for years, buried under the sand in shallow water.
While there were no large mats of tar visible in the water along the islands Thursday, large numbers of tarballs could be seen rolling in the surf in some locations, particularly near collection zones along the shore. Digging into the sand in about 8 inches of water yielded a tarball in every scoop in some areas.
“In a way, that small storm could have been kind of a blessing. We got to see a little of what is out there,” said Gunter Guy Jr., commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Guy said the presence of new tarballs also means the response to the oil spill is not over.
“From that perspective, we have to be careful about which restoration projects we get involved in,” Guy said. “We need to move carefully. That’s something we’ve discussed with BP. It may be a while before the response to the spill is complete.”

Bay Minette man convicted of raping girl

A Baldwin County jury has found a Bay Minette man guilty of second-degree rape of an underage girl.
The jury returned its verdict Thursday against 44-year-old Kalvin Gatrey. On three occasions between December 2009 and April 2010, Gatrey had forcible sexual intercourse with a girl who was over age 12 but under age 16, according to his indictment.
“I could not be more proud of the talent and commitment demonstrated by ADA Megan Doggett and my entire Family Protection Division,” said District Attorney Hallie Dixon. “Thanks to their preparation, courage and willingness to fight to protect our children, a man who violated the trust and innocence of a child has been appropriately convicted and will face the consequences of this despicable act.”
Defense attorney Meredith Rucker expressed dissatisfaction with the verdict. “I thought there was insufficient evidence to convict him,” she said.
Rucker said jurors deliberated for four hours and reported that they were hung, but returned the guilty verdict after deliberating for another hour, she said.
“It was disappointing but the jury did their job,” she said. “I’m sure there’ll be an appeal.”
Circuit Judge J. Langford Floyd set a sentencing hearing in October.
Second-degree rape is a Class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Friday's State-wide Football Scores

 Game of the Week
Greenville 27, Paul Bryant 26
Addison 54, Waterloo 8
Aliceville 45, Montevallo 24
American Christian Academy 63, Francis Marion 6
Andalusia 52, St. James 14
Anniston 35, Alexandria 6
Appalachian 46, Coosa Christian 0
Ashford 28, Hillcrest-Evergreen 0
Ashford Academy 27, Chambers Academy 0
Auburn 55, Enterprise 24
Austin 25, Hewitt-Trussville 23
Autauga Academy 15, Jackson Academy 12
Autaugaville 46, Shades Mountain Christian 6
Baker 35, Faith Academy 20
Barbour County 33, Ariton 12
Bayside Academy 53, Montgomery Academy 10
Beauregard 51, Childersburg 6
Benjamin Russell 24, Jeff Davis 0
Berry 48, Parrish 46
Bessemer Academy 56, Kingwood Christian 0
Bibb County 46, Dallas County 0
Blount 33, Murphy 21
Bob Jones 10, Florence 7
Brantley 47, Florala 7
Briarwood Christian 28, Erwin 0
Brooks 48, Ardmore 14
Brookwood 22, Chilton County 15
Carbon Hill 37, Winston County 33
Carver-Montgomery 38, Stanhope Elmore 7
Charles Henderson 40, B.T. Washington 6
Chelsea 48, Shelby County 28
Cherokee County 26, Crossville 6
Clarke County 39, Catholic-Montgomery 14
Clay County 14, Leeds 7
Clay-Chalkville 30, Oxford 21
Cleburne County 45, Jacksonville 35
Clements 41, Danville 0
Cleveland 44, Falkville 8
Collinsville 24, Gaston 14
Cordova 34, Vinemont 8
Corner 28, Oak Grove 9
Cottage Hill 23, Millry 13
Cottonwood 21, Providence Christian 7
Crenshaw Christian Academy 54, Abbeville Christian Academy 6
Curry 37, Brewer 7
Dadeville 42, Calera 12
Dale County 14, Pike County 7
Daphne 35, Foley 14
Davidson 35, Mary Montgomery 14
Demopolis 43, Central-Tuscaloosa 20
Deshler 21, Central-Florence 0
Donoho 33, Jacksonville Christian 0
Dora 34, Haleyville 10
East Limestone 24, J.O. Johnson 12
Edgewood Academy 57, Lakeside School 12
Elba 57, Calhoun 14
Elmore County 28, Munford 14
Escambia Academy 37, Marengo Academy 8
Eufaula 36, Tallassee 7
Fairfield 20, Wenonah 8
Fairhope 63, Satsuma 0
Fairview 48, Douglas 34
Fayette County 42, Tarrant 27
Flomaton 49, J.U. Blacksher 6
Fort Dale Academy 49, Lyman Ward 38
Fort Payne 35, Arab 0
Fyffe 48, Victory Chr. 7
G.W. Long 26, Houston Academy 19
Gadsden 49, Shades Valley 0
Gardendale 47, Carver-Birmingham 16
Gaylesville 49, Woodville 30
Geneva County 27, Georgiana 12
Geraldine 14, Plainview 6
Glencoe 7, Sand Rock 6
Gordo 46, Northside 12
Goshen 19, Red Level 12
Greene County 18, Sumter Central High School 16
Greenville 27, Paul Bryant 26
Gulf Shores 20, LeFlore 6
Guntersville 61, Butler 6
Hackleburg 39, Vina 6
Hale County 33, Fruitdale 3
Hamilton 37, Winfield 13
Hanceville 47, Holly Pond 7
Handley 51, Beulah 13
Hartselle 57, Hayden 0
Hatton 48, Cherokee 7
Hazel Green 35, Huntsville 34
Headland 46, Bullock County 0
Highland Home 26, New Brockton 21
Hillcrest 35, Bessemer City 7
Hokes Bluff 35, Ashville 12
Hooper Academy 40, East Memorial Christian Academy 30
Hoover 21, Oak Mountain 14
Hubbard 48, Shoals Christian 26
Hubbertville 28, Brilliant 6
Hueytown 59, Pleasant Grove 6
Ider 34, Westbrook Christian 7
Isabella 35, Thorsby 0
Jackson 45, W.S. Neal 6
Jemison 54, Holt 17
John Essex 28, Sunshine 0
Lamar County 51, Phil Campbell 20
Lanett 22, Ranburne 20
Lauderdale County 41, West Morgan 14
Lee-Huntsville 14, Lawrence County 7
Lee-Scott Academy 23, Glenwood 21
Leroy 20, Southern Choctaw 14
Lexington 20, Sulligent 13
Lincoln 42, Holtville 26
Linden 57, A.L. Johnson 0
Lineville 27, LaFayette 21
Lowndes Academy 50, South Montgomery County Academy 20
Lynn 57, Meek 8
Madison Academy 63, Randolph School 0
Madison County 32, Etowah 28
Maplesville 42, Holy Spirit 0
Marbury 45, Central Coosa 20
Marion County 56, South Lamar 13
McAdory 54, John Carroll Catholic 19
McGill-Toolen 28, Baldwin County 14
McIntosh 26, Marengo 20
Midfield 52, Good Hope 14
Mobile Christian 36, Choctaw County 14
Monroe Academy 32, Pike Liberal Arts 14
Morgan Academy 24, Macon-East 14
Mortimer Jordan 48, West Point 21
Mountain Brook 35, Pelham 7
Muscle Shoals 53, Columbia 0
New Hope 42, Brindlee Mountain 14
North Jackson 55, DAR 0
North Sand Mountain 19, Pleasant Valley 6
Northridge 20, Minor 2
Northview 7, Miller County, Ga. 0
Notasulga 34, Verbena 9
Ohatchee 34, Section 18
Oneonta 43, Springville 14
Opelika 24, Smiths Station 0
Opp 16, Luverne 13
Patrician Academy 34, Clarke Prep 13
Pell City 45, Huffman 13
Phillips-Bear Creek 38, Tharptown 16
Pickens County 44, Keith 0
Piedmont 40, White Plains 0
Pinson Valley 56, Moody 7
Pleasant Home 14, Kinston 13
R.C. Hatch 48, Central-Hayneville 6
Ragland 73, Jefferson Christian Academy 12
Randolph County 52, Horseshoe Bend 6
Red Bay 35, Colbert Heights 28
Reeltown 32, Woodland 19
Rogers 29, Elkmont 0
Russell County 40, Rehobeth 7
Russellville 17, Athens 14
Samson 17, Zion Chapel 13
Saraland 14, Monroe County 7
Sardis 30, Cedar Bluff 7
Selma 56, Wilcox Central 6
Sheffield 21, Colbert County 7
Sidney Lanier 38, Wetumpka 26
Slocomb 48, Daleville 14
Southside-Gadsden 24, Scottsboro 21
Spain Park 27, Homewood 6
Spring Garden 41, Valley Head 12
St. Clair County 28, Locust Fork 16
St. Jude 47, Loachapoka 0
St. Paul's 30, Spanish Fort 0
Straughn 34, Alabama Christian Academy 7
Sumiton Christian 42, Decatur Heritage 0
Sumter Academy 48, Sparta Academy 28
Sylacauga 31, Talladega 7
Sylvania 44, Pisgah 17
T.R. Miller 42, Excel 0
Tanner 24, Fultondale 7
Theodore 35, Alma Bryant 21
Thomasville 34, B.C. Rain 6
Tuscaloosa Academy 42, Prattville Christian Academy 7
Tuscaloosa County 49, Jackson Olin 9
UMS-Wright 35, Escambia County 12
Valley 55, Carroll-Ozark 13
Vestavia Hills 47, Thompson 13
Vigor 47, Citronelle 0
Vincent 29, Billingsley 0
Walter Wellborn 54, B.B. Comer 8
Washington County 19, Trinity Presbyterian 3
Weaver 36, J.B. Pennington 0
West Blocton 78, Southside-Selma 26
West End-Walnut Grove 42, Cold Springs 14
West Limestone 42, East Lawrence 30
Westminster Christian Academy 42, Oakman 27
Wicksburg 18, Houston County 14
Williamson 28, Robertsdale 14
Wilson 21, Priceville 7
Winterboro 26, Talladega County Central 14
Woodlawn 33, Parker 25

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thirteen Dothan Police Officers promoted

A promotion presentation was held earlier today at the Dothan Police Department.Thirteen Police Officers have been promoted to the rank of Police Corporal. We applaud these officers on this achievement! Congratulations to; Christopher Barberree, RaeMonica Carney, Maurice Eggleston, Joseph Evans, Jeremy Kendrick, Ray Mock, Scott Owens, William Phares, Dennis Sallas, Dennis Sallas, David Schwab, David Vieira, Jonathan Whaley and Derek Wieczorek.

UPDATE: Dothan wanted man (Gregory Donald Forsythe) now arrested

Gregory Donald Forsythe  arrested
Gregory Donald Forsythe, black male, 35 years of age, of Wilder Avenue was arrested for two counts of First Degree Rape, First Degree Kidnapping and Unlawful Breaking and Entering a Motor Vehicle with bonds totaling $475,000.
The Dothan Police Department has just made an arrest of a man wanted for numerous felony charges which include kidnapping and rape. Investigators say three felony warrants were signed against Gregory Donald Forsythe following an incident which began on September 6, 2011.  Due to the sensitive nature of the case limited details are being released however the investigation into this incident revealed the victim was on a break at her job and walked out to her vehicle where she was forcefully kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend. The victim was held against her will for nearly fourteen hours before being released. Upon her release the victim fled and immediately sought help. The victim was treated and released at a local hospital for injuries moderate injuries incurred during the ordeal. Police say Forsythe is now in custody and the case will be closed following this arrest.

NOTICE: I-65 lanes to close in Montgomery Monday for repairs

The Alabama Department of Transportation will close two lanes on I-65 Monday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to improve pavement.
According to ALDOT, the two outside southbound lanes will be closed between the Herron Street on-ramp, Day Street off-ramp and I-85 North.
The Montgomery Police Department will direct traffic, which is expected to be slowed during the work.
ALDOT is asking motorists to consider an alternate route, allow extra travel time and  use extreme caution.

Ala court says woman can sue over fetus death

The Alabama Supreme Court says a Birmingham-area woman can sue over the death of her fetus in a car wreck in 2007 even though the unborn child couldn't have lived outside the womb.
The decision released Friday expands the legal rights for people to sue over the death of fetuses before they are viable.
April Mack filed a wrongful death suit against two drivers after the car in which she was riding was involved in a crash. The woman was badly injured and suffered a miscarriage.
The suit was partially settled, but a Jefferson County judge dismissed the woman's suit against one of the drivers last year. The court said she couldn't sue because her unborn child couldn't live outside the womb.
The justices overturned that ruling.

City of Tuscaloosa creates interactive map of rebuilding businesses

An interactive map aims to track recovery of commercial structures and businesses damaged and destroyed in the  April 27 tornado.

Meredith Lynch, Tuscaloosa Incident Command public relations coordinator, said the current map, available on the Tuscaloosa Forward website, is only a start to an ongoing process of listing commercial properties in affected areas that are being repaired or rebuilt.

"We just really wanted to celebrate the businesses that are coming back," she said.

Lynch said the map will be updated regularly as businesses continue to receive permits. So far, 184 repair and building permits have been issued for commercial properties in affected areas.

The city also has been using social media to congratulate businesses that have reopened or begun the process of rebuilding. A gallery of photos of recovering businesses have been posted in a Facebook album, which will be updated detailing the progress at those sites.

On the interactive map, blue markers indicate businesses that have had a repair permit issued and green markers indicate businesses that have been issued a land development permit.

Flooded Pennsylvania presents travel troubles for Alabama football fans

COLLEGE STATION, Pennsylvania -- Severe flooding has prompted orders for more than 100,000 to evacuate rising floodwaters in Pennsylvania and New York, and continues to raise concerns for Alabama football fans traveling in Pennsylvania.

The Patriot-News and Penn Live are tracking the potential for travel troubles: Travel woes a concern for fans headed to Beaver Stadium on Saturday

Travelers are also encouraged to check in advance regarding the availability of hotels or other rentals. One Alabama fan from Tuscumbia said his travel thus far has been "pretty much a disaster." He learned that his he would be unable to stay at The Comfort Inn on South Front Street in Harrisburg and that a subsequent rental was also unavailable because of the floods.

The Patriot-News and PennLive report:

For motorists traveling to Penn State, road conditions are not good. Check or call 511 from any line for real-time updates.

Should 322 remain closed, there are alternate routes for fans to consider.
  •     If Route 11/15 is open through Perry County, motorists can take it to Route 104 to Route 45 to Route 322. Should 104 be shut down, you can travel 11/15 and pick up 45 in Lewisburg just past Bucknell's campus. 
  •     Another option is to take the Pennsylvania Turnpike to the Breezewood exit and follow Interstate 99 through Altoona to the exits for Beaver Stadium. 
  •     Interstate 99 is also accessible by taking Route 68 in the northern portions of Maryland. 
  •     From Harrisburg, it's possible to take Interstate 78 to Interstate 80 and come into State College through Bellefonte. 
  •     Penn State has announced limited parking options. Yellow lots 11, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 will be available for cars only on a first-come, first-served basis. When full, alternate accommodations will be made. Yellow Lot 12 and the Brown Lot will be closed. Yellow Lot 9 has limited availability on the paved portions. Brown passes will be honored in the Orange Lots. 

Mobile County schools offer deal to stop Chickasaw, Satsuma from splitting

The Mobile County school board is offering some "concessions" to Chickasaw and Satsuma, hoping that those cities will halt plans to split into separate school systems.
Essentially, children in the two cities would attend schools in their communities, and schools would be renovated. 

And the students would, according to system officials, continue to have access to services offered by a larger school district, including advanced classes, career-technical education programs and magnet schools.
Chickasaw Mayor Byron Pittman said the proposal — approved unanimously by the five-member school board Thursday — is worthy of consideration. He said he presented some of those same proposals to the school system a couple of years ago, before the Chickasaw City Council raised taxes to pay for a separate school system.
"This solves several of the issues we were facing," Pittman said. "We may be able to work something out."
Pittman said he would talk to community leaders and his city council to get their feelings on the proposal from county schools.
In Satsuma, school board President Linda Robbins said Thursday afternoon that she had not received a copy of the proposal. She said it was apparently emailed to school system employees.
"I really don’t want to react to it. I haven’t read it word for word," she said. "I will say that if you read it, even though it includes Satsuma as being a recipient, we are a separate city from Chickasaw, and most every reference is something about Chickasaw."
Officials in both cities plan to meet with county school officials in a couple of weeks to discuss this proposal and otherwise negotiate their splits. Meanwhile, officials in both cities said their appointed school boards would continue to work toward opening separate school systems in August.
If the cities remained part of the Mobile County Public School System, according to the proposal:
  • Satsuma High School would be converted into a junior-senior high school, serving sixth- through 12th-graders from both Satsuma and Chickasaw. Satsuma students are currently zoned for Satsuma High, while most Chickasaw students are zoned for Vigor High School in Prichard.
  • Hamilton Elementary in Chickasaw and Lee Primary School in Satsuma would be completely renovated within the next five years.
  • The Chickasaw School of Math and Science would be expanded to serve pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade students.
  • The former Chickasaw Elementary School would be transferred to the city of Chickasaw to use as it wants.
County school officials said the cities would save money by remaining part of the county system. That in turn might allow both to reduce taxes that were recently raised in both cities to pay for separate school systems.
Chickasaw and Satsuma school systems would have about 1,100 students apiece and would be among the smallest in Alabama.
Saying it was concerned with the quality of education that would be offered in the much smaller system, the Mobile school board voted recently to pursue legal action against the cities to try to stop them from splitting.
But on Thursday, the board backed away from that slightly, voting to seek an attorney general’s opinion on whether the cities could legally split.
Alabama law allows cities with at least 5,000 residents to split from county school systems. But Mobile County school officials have said that because the district formed before the state, that law may not apply here.
Schools Superintendent Roy Nichols said he’d prefer that Chickasaw and Satsuma accept these concessions.
"I think this shows an effort on our part," said Mobile County school board President Ken Megginson. "We want them to stay a part of Mobile County Public Schools."
Added board member Bill Foster: "It’s an excellent plan. It could significantly lower taxes" in the two cities. "The superintendent has done an excellent job trying to keep intact the schools that we serve."
Chickasaw and Satsuma residents have complained that their schools have been neglected and that their children are currently being sent outside their cities to attend school. They have said they want more local control on how school dollars are spent.
The school board on Thursday also passed its $434 million fiscal year 2012 budget.

Two teens arrested in Magnolia Springs store burglary

FAIRHOPE, Alabama 
Two Fairhope teens charged with breaking into a Magnolia Springs gas station told investigators they planned to sell stolen incense at their high school, authorities said today.
The two 17-year-olds were charged with breaking into the Minute Stop/Pure Fuel Station on U.S. 98 in Magnolia Springs. After releasing reports on the break-in, the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office received calls from residents that led them to the suspects, according to a Sheriff’s Office statement.
Investigators also found a small amount of the stolen property.
The two teens, who were not identified because of their age, confessed to the break- in and told investigators they planned to sell the potpourri incense stolen in the burglary at Fairhope High School. At $10 a pack, they hoped to raise $1,000, according to the statement.
The two students were released to the custody of their parents.
The station was broken into Aug. 27 when the door was smashed by a someone wielding a sledgehammer, according to an earlier sheriff’s statement. Surveillance cameras photographed two men with covered faces taking the cash register and other items.
Patrol deputies reached the scene within 45 seconds of the alarm going off, but the burglars had already left. Tracking dogs followed a scent trail to another location where authorities believe the burglars got into a car and left the area.

Birmingham Chief A.C. Roper to be pinned as brigadier general

Chief A.C. Roper
Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper will be pinned as a brigadier general in a ceremony tonight in Atlanta.
Maj. Gen. Stuart Dyer, commander of the 335th Signal Command, will pin Roper.
Roper's wife, Edith, and daughters Amber and Krystle, will present him with the general officer's belt, said Lt. Col. Jan Northstar, a spokeswoman for the 335th Signal Command Theater in East Point, Ga.
Military VIP's who will be on hand at tonight's ceremony include Brig. Gen. Wayne Brock, Brig. Gen. Christopher Kemp and Col. Kaffia Jones, who will be promoted to brigadier general tomorrow.
The presidential nomination and approval process was completed in August. Roper will command the 415th Chemical Brigade in Greenville, S.C., leading 2,600 soldiers and civilians.
Roper's unit is the only chemical brigade in the U.S. Army Reserves and is responsible for providing command and control of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear operations.
Previously a colonel in the Army Reserve, he had been serving as chief of staff for the 87th Army Reserve Support Command in Birmingham.
"The entire process is the culmination of tremendous support by some great soldiers and leaders who mentored and gave me the opportunities to work the toughest jobs and assignments through the years," Roper has said. "My family and I have really been blessed with another opportunity to serve our nation."
Higher state appropriations and tuition and fees helped increase Auburn University's budget by $32 million to almost $970 million.
The university's board of trustees approved a budget Friday that ups spending at Auburn, Auburn University Montgomery and the state extension service that Auburn oversees by 3.5 percent over last year. Auburn's main campus makes up about 80 percent of the overall budget.
Much of the increase in revenues -- almost $17 million -- comes from $10.3 million the main campus will bring in from a one-time "proration fee" of $200 a year students will pay, plus $6.6 million in additional tuition dollars at AU and AUM. Another $18 million in new revenue will come from an increase in the percentage employees must make to their state retirement accounts as mandated this year by the state legislature.
As well as higher rates, the university had a record enrollment this fall of 25,469 students, up 391 from 2010, officials announced Friday. That also helps with revenue.

Huntsville, Ala. lawyer jailed on federal warrant

Madison County officials say Huntsville lawyer and former congressional candidate Cheryl Baswell Guthrie is being held in a jail in Michigan on a federal warrant.
Officials say Guthrie was picked up Sept. 1 in Detroit on a fugitive of justice warrant.
Madison County officials tell WAFF-TV that the warrant comes from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission office in Montgomery and involves a theft of property charge from September of 2008.
Officials at the Wayne County Sheriff's Department in Michigan say Guthrie has waived extradition and is being held on a $5,000 bond.

9/1/1 statement from DPD Chief Gregory J. Benton

Dothan Police Department
210 North Saint Andrews Street
Dothan, Alabama  36303

(334) 615-3000

Press Release
September 9, 2011

The Dothan Police Department would like to take a few moments to share with our community that our department along with many other agencies nation wide will intensify our security efforts in the City of Dothan as our nation prepares for the ten year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Counterterrorism officials say there is no intelligence pointing to a specific plot, but as Law Enforcement Officials we are certainly aware that there are individuals who may find September 11 as a time to make a violent statement. In response to this knowledge our city will have an increase in patrolmen along with other resources in strategic places. While Dothan is not considered a large metro city, our area certainly is not immune to the potential for threats and because of our close proximity to Florida Ports of Call, Farley Nuclear Plant, and numerous airports we must be vigilant in our awareness of 9/11 security risks. We would like remind our citizens that while fear should not shadow this time of remembrance, vigilance is a precaution we must all be mindful of. The Dothan Police Department will take appropriate and prudent security measures to prevent violence against the wiregrass and be ready to quickly respond should any threats emerge.

Gregory J. Benton
Chief of Police