Thursday, July 30, 2015

Attalla plant annouces closure and loss of 100 jobs

Nearly 100 workers in Attalla could soon be without jobs. Attalla-based Crown, Column and Millwork leaders announced this week, the plant will shutdown.  The company issued a 60-day notice to employees. It states layoffs are expected to begin in September and last through October. The company builds columns for front porches of homes and does millwork.  A company spokesman says the shutdown is part of a strategy by the plant's new owners. Twelve employees got offer letters for jobs at the company's other plant in Troy, Alabama.  Attalla's mayor Larry Means, says he plans to help the other workers find a new job.  Means says the plant's closure will hurt the city's budget by $82,000 a year. 

Man involved in Police Canine attack arrested on parole violaton

Christopher Lashaun Twyman

A man who was allegedly injured Friday during an encounter with a Talladega police officer and a police dog was arrested Wednesday on a parole violation warrant.
According to the Talladega County Jail website, 38 year old Christopher Lashaun Twyman, was arrested by the state Department of Pardons and Paroles and was booked into the jail at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.  The parole violation goes back to February of this year. He was being held without bond Wednesday.
It was not immediately clear what the nature of the violation was or what charges he was on probation for in the first place. Twyman did plead guilty to four counts of distribution of a controlled substance and was charged with armed robbery in 2007.
Twyman was at Talladega Downs on Thursday night when, he says, he spotted the police dog and its handler, dropped his beer and gradually began to run.
Witnesses said the dog attacked him, and he was subsequently beaten about the head and back, sustaining injuries to scalp and forearm. He was taken to Citizens Baptist Medical Center and treated for his injuries before being released from the hospital Tuesday.
The local chapter of the NAACP called for an investigation into the alleged attacks on Twyman and three or four other African-Americans.
Talladega police Chief Jason Busby said the canine officer had been placed on paid administrative leave, and the dog was taken off the street pending the outcome of an investigation.

Fords Valley water situation improving

Fords Valley & Highway 278 Water Authority Manager Kenneth Helms said water conditions looked a little better for the system Wednesday morning.
Crews were out all night Monday and throughout the day Tuesday looking for a possible leak suspected as the cause of a drop in the community’s water supply.
Helms said Tuesday that the tank was down to a quarter-full. Wednesday morning, he said, the tank level was better and the authority was using two pumps to try to draw more water into it. The authority buys water from Hokes Bluff.
Helms said he believed people had heeded the cautions about water use, and that helped.
He said there are questions now as to whether there actually was a leak. It’s believed the low level of water could have been the result of heavy water usage alone.
When the tank gets back to normal levels, he said, and water usage goes back to normal, system operators may know more about the cause of the water level drop.
As crews continue to investigate the shortage, the Gadsden-Etowah County Emergency Management Agency asks that people still limit usage.

Gambling Poll

A study commissioned by the Alabama Jobs Foundation, which supports a constitutional amendment to bring the lottery to Alabama, supports Sen. Del Marsh's efforts to allow Alabamians to vote on whether to legalize gambling.The poll found that 89 percent of Alabamians want the right to vote on whether to allow gambling in the state. A representative of the AJF said there's no real difference across party lines, according to the study, which found that 92 percent of Republicans, 88 percent of independents and 88 percent of Democrats want to see a vote on the issue.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Etowah Republicans recommend Jody Willoughby be appointed as new District Attorney

Jody Willoughby

Members of the Etowah County Republican Party Executive Committee voted Tuesday evening to recommend that the governor appoint Jody Willoughby as Etowah County District Attorney.  With a number of county and municipal law enforcement officers in attendance, the executive committee held a brief emergency meeting, asking for nominations for the appointment.  Willoughby, a Southside High School graduate who has partnered with George Day in legal practice in Gadsden, thanked his fellow committee members and those present for their support.  He serves as municipal judge in Southside and in Glencoe.
Friday, the governor activated supernumerary district attorney James Hedgspeth and appointed him to serve as interim district attorney until a permanent appointment is made.
Hedgspeth said Jimmie Harp had made his wishes regarding the office known to him and to Chief Deputy District Attorney Marcus Reid before his death.

Talladega District Attorneys office investigating K-9 attacks

Over the past month, residents in one Talladega community said that five people in their area have been mauled by a police K-9 dog.  The Talladega District Attorney’s office is conducting an investigation into an incident involving its police K-9 unit that left a man in bad condition.  The Talladega Downs apartment community is fed up.  Chris Altwyman said he was coming from a friends house before he encountered police and its K-9. He was allegedly mauled by the K-9 dog and ended up in ICU for four days.  Altwyman said, “After he sprayed me, he put his mace up and completely started beating me in my face in my back.”  No one was in the dark area behind the apartments but the officer and Altwyman, except for an 11-year-old boy up past his bed time who saw the scene from his window.  Cameron Dubose, the eyewitness, said, “I saw a black figure just go by and I just heard some commotion and I just went upstairs, and looked out the window, and I saw the police man turn his flashlight on one time, then he turned it off then I saw him just beating him in the head.”
The incident left Altwyman with 24 staples in his head. Chief Jason Busby with the Talladega Police said, “There was a K-9 apprehension. We did look at it internally and due to the injury involved, we decided that instead of investigating it in-house, we have reached out to the Talladega County District Attorney’s office for them to conduct the investigation.”
 There’s body cam footage of this incident that is not yet being released due to the investigation.

The K-9 will be off the streets during the investigation, and the officer remains on duty.