Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Dothan Police Dept. invites you to :COME RUN WITH US!


Bentley proposes state pension changes

Gov. Robert Bentley
Gov. Robert Bentley announced a plan Wednesday to overhaul Alabama's pension system for state employees, teachers and other public employees who are covered by the state retirement system.
It calls for setting a retirement age of 62 for most employees and 56 for law enforcement officers. Right now, employees can retire after a minimum of 25 years or service. There is no retirement age and some state employees who start working at an early age can retire early enough to start a second career and in some cases earn a second retirement.
Bentley said the change would not affect any current employees and would go into effect starting in 2013. He said the plan would save the state about $5.07 billion over 30 years.
The governor said the overhaul in the pension system was needed to "ensure the long-term solvency of Alabama's retirement system."
Legislative leaders said bills for the proposals are expected to be introduced Thursday in the House and Senate.
House Speaker Mike Hubbard of Auburn and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh of Anniston, both Republicans, stood with Bentley at Thursday's news conference and indicated they felt the proposal had a good chance of becoming law this session. It's being sponsored in the House by Reps. Mac McCutcheon, R-Capshaw, and Jamie Ison, R-Mobile. Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, is the Senate sponsor.
"Everyone understands that we have to get our fiscal house in order and pension reform is a big step in that direction," Ison said.
The CEO of the state retirement systems, David Bronner, called the changes proposed by Bentley "modest," but said they are needed to protect the pensions of state employees after the nation has gone through two wars and "the worst recession since the 1930s."
Bronner said by applying the changes only to new hires, the legislation will "uphold the promises made to one of Alabama's most valuable assets, our public employees and teachers."
The director of the Alabama State Employees Association, Mac McArthur, praised Bentley for coming up with a proposal that won't affect the pensions of current employees or retirees. He expressed some reservations that the proposal would in effect create two retirement systems, one for current employees and retirees and another for those who go to work for the state in the future.
He is also concerned about setting the retirement age so that employees can't retire as early as they can now, especially for workers in high-stress jobs like prison guards.
"It hurts young employees who want to make a career in state government," McArthur said.
The executive secretary of the Alabama Education Association, Henry Mabry, said he was pleased that the proposal would not affect current teachers or employees.
"No one currently serving in our public schools will see their benefits change," Mabry said. "It was important that the rules of the game were not changed on those who had made a commitment to our schools. We were adamant on that issue and received assurances by legislative leaders no changes would happen to current employees."
Because of changing the benefits, new employees would not pay as much for their pensions under Bentley's proposal. Currently state workers pay 7.5 percent of what they make toward their pensions. Under Bentley's proposal that would be reduced to 6 percent, said deputy state finance director Clinton Carter.

Pair arrested after drug bust in Auburn

 Auburn, Al.
Tyler Kight
Two men were arrested in Auburn on multiple drug charges after police seized marijuana and prescription medication with a street value of up to $1,000 on Friday.
Tyler Kight, 21, of Bainbridge, Ga., was charged with first-degree possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jacob W. Wood, 19, of Opelika was charged with second-degree possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and attempting to flee or elude police.
The drugs were recovered after police executed a search warrant at a residence in the 100 block of North Debardeleben Street, said Auburn Police Division Capt. Tom Stofer. Stofer said officers kicked in the front door to the residence after the suspects initially opened the front door and then shut it. When police entered the door of the home, Wood ran out the back door but was tackled after a short foot chase and taken into custody.
Jacob W. Wood
Police found several digital scales, Mason jars containing marijuana and prescription tablets in the residence, Stofer said. Kight and Wood were booked into the Lee County Detention Facility on bail amounts of $6,500 and $4,500 respectively. The two posted bail and were later released.

Dothan woman uses vehicle as a weapon

Dothan, Al.
Leslie Louise Stone, black female, 39 years of age, of Daleville, Alabama was arrested and charged with First Degree Attempted Assault with a $15,000 bond.
Leslie Louise Stone
On March 6, 2012 the Dothan Police Department responded to an attempted assault in which the suspect used a vehicle as a weapon in what investigators are calling a domestically motivated crime. Police say Leslie Louise Stone used her vehicle to strike a taxi cab which was occupied by two people. The driver of the cab told police the suspect began following them on Foster Street driving aggressively and flashing headlights at the cab. The cab driver further stated it was the customer who identified the driver of the pursuing vehicle as his wife, telling the driver not to pull over because he feared she may be armed. The suspect continued to pursue the cab until the vehicles reached the vicinity of Haven Drive where Stone rammed her vehicle, a 2005 Lincoln LS, into the cab. Both occupants escaped without injury from this incident. Stone was taken into custody and charged with attempted assault.

FAA finds no records of flights that could have caused sonic boom in central Alabama

 A review of air traffic records by the Federal Aviation Administration today found no records of any flights Tuesday afternoon that could have caused a sonic boom in central Alabama.
Some have speculated that a sonic boom could have been the cause of the loud sound that rattled walls across Chilton County and in parts of Bibb County Tuesday afternoon.
More than 100 calls about the incident were received by Chilton County 911 about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said if there was a sonic boom, it would have had to have been caused by a military aircraft because no civilian plane flies fast enough to cause one.
A spokesman for Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery said none of the aircraft that fly out of there travel fast enough to cause a sonic boom. A spokesman for the Alabama Air National Guard said today he would look into the report, but no information had been provided as of this afternoon.
It wouldn't be the first time a sonic boom has rattled walls and windows in Alabama.
Residents in Choctaw, Washington and Clarke counties reported a loud sonic boom in Feb. 2010 as three jets from the Pensacola Naval Air Station flew through the area.
In 2009, aircraft from a base in Tennessee broke the sound barrier and caused loud booms heard by many Madison County residents.
In 1995, police dispatchers in Pelham sent officers out looking for the source of the noise after getting calls from concerned residents. That noise was later determined to have been caused by a landing of Discovery space shuttle.

Alabama bingo verdicts: Milton McGregor, all other defendants not guilty in trial No. 2

Jurors have found VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor and five other defendants not guilty of all charges in the retrial of a government corruption case.
Jurors announced that they had reached a decision early this morning on their seventh day of deliberations.

McGregor; lobbyist Tom Coker; former Country Crossing casino spokesman Jay Walker; Sen. Harri Anne Smith, I-Slocomb; and former state Sens. Larry Means, D-Attalla, and Jim Preuitt, R-Talladega, are on trial accused of offering or accepting bribes in connection with a 2010 gambling bill.
The legislation was aimed at sheltering bingo casinos from state efforts to shut them down by authorizing a statewide vote on gambling.
Throughout the trial prosecutors attempted to paint the six defendants as greedy criminals that resorted to bribery because of their lust for money and power. But defense lawyer Joe Espy and others countered there was a total failure of proof in the case and that the prosecution was built on the testimony of "crooks" with plea deals and people with political motivations.
The case first went to trial last summer. Jurors deliberated for seven days before returning multiple not guilty verdicts but saying they were hopelessly deadlocked on other charges.
Prosecutors presented a dramatically paired down case this time. Prosecutors put on just two weeks of evidence compared to seven weeks in the first trial.
McGregor's charges he was found not guilty of this morning included three counts of federal programs bribery and one county of conspiracy.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hand grenade and two explosive devices found in abandoned storage facility in Shelby County

 Shelby County, Al.
A hand grenade and two other unspecified explosive devices were removed from an abandoned storage facility today in the 1200 block of Old Highway 280 with the help of the Hoover Police Department's bomb squad, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office said.
Deputies responded to a call about 1:30 p.m. after an employee reported finding the items, the sheriff's office said.
The area, which had been secured by deputies, has been reopened to the public.
Sheriff Chris Curry thanked Hoover police officers for their assistance in what the sheriff's office described as making a "dangerous situation safe."
The sheriff's office said it is investigating the history of the explosive found.

Mobile officer shooting: Winn-Dixie employee organized robbery

A Winn-Dixie employee organized a robbery of the store that ended with one Mobile police officer being shot in the chest, police said today.

Collier Kirksey, 18, was at the store Friday night when two men entered, held employees hostage and demanded money from a safe, police said.

Police say that after the two men -- Jackeith Harrison and Ronald Crear -- were involved in a shootout with police, Kirksey tried to hide his involvement. He stayed with other employees as investigators questioned witnesses at the scene.

"He was acting as if he was a victim," said Ashley Rains, a Mobile police spokeswoman.

Rains said that Kirksey arranged the robbery and picked the time of 11 p.m. The store typically employs an off-duty officer for security, but Kirksey knew that the officer would be gone by then, Rains said.

Investigators say that Harrison and Crear were both armed and both fired at five Mobile police officers, who were attempting to enter the store.

Officer Chad Wynn
Officer Chad Wynne

Officer Chad Wynne was shot in the chest and is in critical condition at University of South Alabama Medical Center.

"We're very excited to report that he continues to recover," Rains said.

Harrison, 18, was arrested at the scene and is being held in Mobile County Metro Jail with no bail.

Crear, 21, was shot when police returned fire and is being treated at USA Medical Center, according to investigators.

Rains added that Wynne was not wearing a protective vest that night because he was working an off-duty job in the area.

She declined to discuss the Police Department's policy on officers wearing vests, citing officer safety.

Loud explosion, rumbling walls reported across Chilton County

Calls poured into Chilton County's 911 this afternoon as dispatchers fielded about 100 reports of loud explosions and walls of homes suddenly shaking.
But, as of this afternoon, it was unclear what was the source of the disturbance.
Dan Wright, director of the county's 911 service, was at home, about a mile east of downtown Clanton, playing outside with his son when he heard the noise. It was about 4:30 p.m., he said.
"I felt the ground shaking and I heard this loud rumbling," Wright said. "My garage door started shaking and it sounded like it was falling down."
The calls at first seemed to be coming from mainly the northern half of the county, but several came from other parts of the county too, Wright said. Some came from as far away as Bibb County.
A dispatcher with Bibb County 911 said they received about a half dozen calls reporting the same thing. All of the calls came from north of West Blocton but stretched across Bibb County east to west.
The director of Shelby County's 911 service said no reports were received there.
The service is also receiving reports on its Twitter page, Wright said.
Efforts to reach officials with the Geological Survey of Alabama were not immediately successful this afternoon.The website of the U.S. Geological Survey does not show any earthquakes anywhere in Alabama since Feb. 29. 

Montgomery police arrest 3 burglary suspects after wreck

Police arrested three suspects in connection with the burglary of a Yancey Avenue home Tuesday morning after an automobile pursuit that ended with the suspects wrecking the car they were in.
A statement from the department said Darryl Timmons, 22, Christopher Tyson, 20, and a 17-year-old juvenile were charged with one count each of third-degree burglary and second-degree theft of property.
Timmons and Tyson were transported to the Montgomery County Detention Facility, where each was being held under bonds totaling $15,000. The juvenile was placed in the Montgomery County Juvenile Detention Facility.
Christopher Tyson                             Darryl Timmons
MPD arrested the trio after their vehicle crashed in a field at the intersection of May and Rice streets while fleeing from police. Officers had attempted to stop the vehicle, a maroon Ford Windstar, on Upper Wetumpka Road after a witness described it in connection with the burglary, the statement said.
Following the crash, MPD located property in the Ford that had been taken from the Yancey Avenue residence. A spokesperson for the department said there were no injuries associated with the wreck. 

Four arrested in Baldwin County for cocaine trafficking

Top: Kendrick and  Patrick, Bottom: Blowe and Jackson
The Baldwin County Drug Task Force arrested four people and charged them with cocaine distribution and trafficking in the Spanish Fort area Friday, March 2.  

The Baldwin County Sheriffs' Department said in a press release that the task force has been working undercover toward these arrests for some time.

The four people arrested were Kendrick Patrick of Spanish Fort, Akeibra Patrick of Loxley, Brittany Jackson of Spanish Fort and Jessica Blowe of Spanish Fort.

Investigators found a large amount of cocaine and several thousand dollars during a search of a house belonging to Patrick. In addition to the drugs and money, they also found stolen property.
Law enforcement arrested all four for drug trafficking and possession of drug paraphernalia. They are being held on $1,001,000 bond.  

The investigation is ongoing and more charges for the suspects are pending.

Mother, daughter arrested on Drug charges

Opp, Al.
A mother and daughter from Opp were jailed Friday on drug charges.
Drug Task Force agent David Harrell said Elizabeth Cowen Barnes, 61, and Elizabeth Paige Hincy, 32, were arrested after the DTF and Covington County DHR workers responded to complaints that Hincy was using marijuana.
“When agents were allowed inside Hincy’s home to investigate the complaint, we saw marijuana and a marijuana smoking device in plain view,” Harrell said. “We also found eight Xanax pills, a Schedule IV controlled substance.
“Hincy said she was given the pills by her mother (Barnes), who admitted to agents that she gave them to her daughter,” Harrell said.
Harrell warned the public about selling or giving away prescribed medication.
“The law does not differentiate between someone selling crack or meth and someone giving away or selling their prescription medication,” he said. “Doctors prescribe medications to people for specific medical conditions. It’s never OK for you to give your prescription medicine to another person, and if you are caught doing it, you will be charged.”
Barnes was charged with two counts of distribution and booked into the county jail under a $100,000 bond.
Hincy was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana II and held on a $20,500 bond.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Commercial Burglar's Nabbed

Cornelius Redding
Kevin Turner

Dothan, Al.
Cornelius Redding, black male, 30 years of age, of Midland City, Alabama was arrested and charged with two counts of Burglary and Kevin Turner, black male, 24 years of age, of South Ussery Street was arrested and charged with two counts of Burglary with bonds totaling $21,000 each.
On March 2, 2012 the Dothan Police Department responded to an attempted burglary at the Beeline Store, 409 East Newton Street. Police learned two black males attempted to make entry just after 3:00 a.m. Police were unable to immediately locate the suspects however they received detailed descriptions of the suspects that police hoped to use later to identify the suspects. This opportunity came an hour later when officers responded to a burglary at Stough Street Grocery, 105 East Stough Street. During this incident, entry was made into the business were miscellaneous merchandise was taken. Police located the suspects hiding in a nearby residence where they were taken into custody and identified as the persons responsible for both crimes.