Commission to investigate Tripwire

Trip WireCommission to investigate Tripwire

By Alton Mitchell

The heavy rains of this past December caused heavy flooding throughout the area, however a different kind of flood in January resulted in reaction from the Chambers County Commission on Monday evening. A tidal wave of 911 calls flooded the Chambers County 911 center in middle January in relation to a loud explosion believed to have been triggered by an explosives dismantling plant located near Fredonia. That flood of calls led to the commission seeking to investigate the local facility further.

Tripwire Operations Group operates a training facility in Chambers County. The facility is used to teach emergency responders to safely dismantle explosive devices. Residents who live near the facility have constantly complained about the loud noises and explosions that have come from the facility.

In July of last year Fredonia city councilman Christ Frickert addressed the Chambers County Commission to bring up the issues that residents of Fredonia had expressed to him about concerns and disturbances occurring related to the Tripwire training facility. Commissioners listened very closely to the summer complaints that were introduced by Councilman Frickert.

Despite the known concerns an incident on January 19th would push the Commission to have to act. A loud explosion occurred on that day shortly after the lunch hour. That loud disturbing explosion resulted in a flood of calls several of which were not related to emergencies. The issue became one of public safety following this flood of calls to emergency services. The flood of calls could have delayed actual emergency callers from being able to get through to acquire the necessary assistance they needed.

Commissioners did not outline a direct plan of action or mention any possible outcomes that may follow their investigation into the Tripwire facility. Commissioners did announce that they will be looking into the concerns that have been mentioned in relation to the explosions and other loud noises at the facility that is located near both Fredonia, and Lanett.

OSHA proposes $172k in fines if Daeil safety violations continue

OSHABy Alton Mitchell

A local automobile parts manufacturer located in Valley has found itself in hot water with the Federal government. Daeil USA Corp. which is located on Towel Avenue in Valley was hit with a handful of citations for OSHA last week for conditions that have created a hazardous working area for employees at the facility.

Daeil was cited for a host of violations that include five repeat offenses, ten serious, and one other than serious safety violation at its Valley facility. The facility in Valley manufactures struts and some other automobile parts for Hyundai and Kia motor vehicles and employs 115 individuals at its local plant.

In a press release OSHA states that it cited Daeil for repeated failures to provide locks to secure robots from accidental activations during maintenance and servicing, ensuring protective screens and shields were in place during welding, and not ensuring that conveyor line stop buttons were colored red. OSHA states that in 2013 they also cited the company for similar infractions.

The ten serious safety violations relate to a negligence on the part of the employer that includes exposing employees to slip hazards from wet floors, and amputation hazards from unguarded machinery. OSHA also additionally noted that there is a failure in place to develop a noise monitoring program and that the facility did not supply an eyewash station for workers who handle chemicals and corrosive materials.

In their press release OSHA states that, “management at this facility has adopted a productivity-over-safety mentality and repeatedly claims that it is too expensive to address the safety hazards found in the workplace,” said Joseph Roesler who is the OSHA director for the Mobile area.

OSHA is serious about getting the conditions it sees as unfit repaired at the facility. OSHA has proposed penalties in the amount of $171,870 for the infractions if they are not fixed in a timely manner. That timely manner is made up of a timeline of 15 business days from the receipt of its citation to comply or to request a conference with the OSHA area director of contest the findings before the independent OSHA review board.

Welch store robbed at gunpoint

Welch
By Paul Richardson

According to the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, around 6:47 p.m. last Wednesday (27th) at the Welch One Stop in northern Chambers County, a customer asked for cigarettes and when the clerk opened the cash drawer, the customer presented a handgun and aimed it at the clerk’s face.
The suspect reached into the drawer and removed the money then fled the store. Within minutes, an off duty LaFayette police officer unexpectedly arrived at the store and learned about the robbery.
The officer quickly noticed a suspicious individual in the area and followed him south on U.S. 431. The suspect realized he was being followed, accelerated to a high rate of speed and escaped the officer’s pursuit.
On Thursday, around 10 a.m. CST, Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested Roosevelt Andronicas Mackey, 26, of LaFayette, and charged him with first-degree robbery of the rural convenience store.
No injuries were reported.
If you have any information related to this case, please contact Sgt. Rollins at (334) 864-4300.

Two Chambers County cities make list of most dangerous

By Alton Mitchell

A popular online website homesnacks.net released data last week that showed the 10 safest and 10 most dangerous cities in the State of Alabama. Two Chambers County cities made the list, but not in the better of the possible outcomes.

Lanett and Valley are both listed as two of the most dangerous places to live in Alabama. Homesnacks.net said it used data of where crimes are reported and base that against population numbers in order to get its list of most dangerous places to live. Homesnacks points out that it looks at where there is a frequency in the occurrence of crime.

Many would argue that Alabama’s largest city Birmingham would be the most dangerous place to live in the state, however Birmingham came in fourth falling behind the third most dangerous city in the state, Lanett. Birmingham’s larger population may save it with the use of the data being that the larger population allows for a level of balance to occur in crime numbers.
While Lanett may see very few crimes its low population makes the statistical values seem higher than Birmingham.

Birmingham was the only major population center to make the list of the top ten most dangerous places to live in Alabama. Larger Alabama cities such as Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, and Auburn did not make the list. However just a few miles south of LaFayette the city of Valley came in at number 10. Based upon the data that homesnacks.net gathered Valley is more dangerous than places like Opelika or Montgomery.

Homestacks notes that it used data collected by the FBI on violent crimes and property crimes to compile its data for its findings. The website also notes that it only sought communities with population numbers over 5,000 people. LaFayette fell below the population requirement and was not tallied in the research.

Rounding out the numbers the city of Helena was ranked as the safest place to live in Alabama. LaFayette’s neighbor to the north Roanoke came in as the 12th safest city to live in Alabama. Auburn was ranked as 21st safest in the state. The most dangerous city in the state was said to be Selma based upon the data presented by homestacks.net.

Drug task force arrests 30

During July, August and September of 2015, members of the Chambers County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force conducted several investigations involving the Trafficking, Purchase of Pseudoephedrine, Unlawful Manufacture of controlled substances and the Unlawful Distribution of Cocaine, Marijuana and prescription pills in Chambers County.
The following people were arrested during this time frame as a result of these investigations.
1. Mondrecas Cantrall Tolbert, 25 of Lafayette – Possession of marijuana 2nd and unlawful possession of controlled substance
2. Shauntae Sheree Thomas, 27 of Lafayette – Chemical Endangerment to a child
3. Justin Wayne Hill, 33 of Lanett – Unlawful possession of controlled substance
4. Edward Darnell Strickland, 28 of Valley – Unlawful possession of controlled substance (3 counts), possession of drug paraphernalia
5. Jordan “Whyteboy” Richardson, 31 of Lanett – Citation for suspended drivers license
6. Nathaniel Ray Webb, 19 of Theodore – Unlawful possession of controlled substance
7. Tony Lane Duke, 40 of Valley – Unlawful possession of controlled substance
8. Lawson Jones, 32 of Lanett – Possession of marijuana 1st and possession of drug paraphernalia
9. Jessica Walker Howard, 29 of Valley – Unlawful possession of controlled substance (2 counts) and possession of drug paraphernalia
10. Amos David Spidell, 86 of Valley – Possession of marijuana 2nd
11. Bailey Alexis House, 20 of Birmingham – Unlawful possession of controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia
12. Tionque Lovelace, 23 of Lafayette – Possession of marijuana 1st, possession of drug paraphernalia and a probation violation
13. Aaron Dawson, 21 of Ft Walton – Trafficking in cocaine, Possession of marijuana 2nd and attempting to elude police
14. Ja’Shawn Robinson, 20 of Ft Walton – Trafficking in cocaine
15. Jeremy Lance Bishop. 21 of Valley – Unlawful possession of controlled substance (2 counts)
16. Cortney Adam Bridges, 36 of Valley – Unlawful possession of controlled substance, possession of marijuana 1st, possession of drug paraphernalia
17. Christopher Ryan Hall, 24 of Lanett – Possession of marijuana 2nd
18. Bennie Joseph “Lwood” McCard Jr,25 of Lanett – Possession of marijuana 2nd, Unlawful possession of controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia
19. Jolee Ann Yates, 29 of Valley – Unlawful manufacture of controlled substance 1st, unlawful possession of controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia
20. Robert Earl Winston, 62 of Valley – Unlawful distribution of controlled substance
21. Joshua Mark Gordy, 28 of Valley – Illegal purchase of pseudoephedrine
22. Dana Gordy, 61 of Valley – illegal purchase of pseudoephedrine
23. Christina Stone, 22 of Five Points – Unlawful manufacture of controlled substance 1st, unlawful possession of controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia
24. April Wade, 39 of Roanoke – Unlawful manufacture 1st, Unlawful possession of controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia
25. Richard Smith 51 of Roanoke – Unlawful manufacture of controlled substance 1st, Unlawful possession of controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia
26. Brandon Scott Coker, 40 of Valley – Trafficking in methamphetamine, Unlawful possession of controlled substance (2 counts), Possession of drug manufacture paraphernalia, Possession of marijuana 1st, Unlawful manufacture of controlled substance (2 counts), Possession of forged instrument 2nd and possession of drug paraphernalia (2 counts)
27. Justice Booker, 20 of Lanett – Unlawful possession of controlled substance
28. Phillip Wayne Whaley, 28 of Valley – Grand jury Indictments for unlawful manufacture of controlled substance 1st and possession of drug paraphernalia
29. Thomas Starkey, 25 of Valley – Grand jury indictment for possession of a controlled substance
30. Edwin Dee Dennis Jr, 42 of Valley – Attempt to elude, possession of drug paraphernalia and receiving stolen property 1st

The arrests and investigations conducted by the Chambers County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force have led to the seizure of the following:

• 30 individuals on a total of 69 charges
• Methamphetamine – 1 lb
• Marijuana – over ½ lb
• Prescription pills – 16
• Cocaine – 2.3 lbs
• US Currency – $4644

Community Briefs 2-3-16 Edition

COMMUNITY
BAPTIST CHURCH
Community Baptist
Church, located at 1105
County Road 62 LaFayette,
Al. will begin Wednesday
night Prayer Meeting Services
at 6:00 CDT each
week. Pastor, Blain Turner
and the members of the
church welcome everyone
to attend and worship with
us.

MONTHLY PRAYER
BREAKFAST
The monthly Prayer
Breakfast will be held at
Community Baptist Church
on Saturday morning, February
6 at 7:30 C D T. The
guest speaker will be
Brother Jonathon Head.
The church is located at
1105 County Road 62,
LaFayette. Blain Turner,
Pastor.

NEW HIGHWAY
GOSPEL SINGERS
The New Highway
Gospel Singers are now
Booking for 2016. If your
church or event would like
to worship with us in
singing praise to our Lord
call us today at 256-749-
6527. We are also looking
for a Bass Player to join us
in worship.

UNION HILL
NEIGHBORHOOD
WATCH
The Union Hill Neighborhood
Watch meeting
will be held on Thursday
February 11, 2016 at 6:30
pm CST. This will be a covered
dish meal. A guest
speaker will be there. Go
ahead and make plans to attend.

EASTER CAKE WALK
The Union Hill Community
Club will have a
Easter cake walk on March
19, 2016 at 6:00 pm CST at
the community club. All
members are ask to bring a
cake or a item to walk on .
This will be the week-end
before Easter so make your
plans to attend. Concession
stand will be open.

CHAMBERS COUNTY
COMMISSION NOTICE
OF MEETING TIME
CHANGE
The Chambers County
Commission will hold the
second monthly Commission
meeting as scheduled
on Tuesday, February 16,
however the time has been
changed to 12 noon CST at
the Chambers County
Courthouse in LaFayette.

3 suspects apprehended in Cusseta homicide

By Alton Mitchell

Three young men from two different states have found themselves in a world of trouble with the law. Three young men now find themselves as residents of the Lee County Detention Facility in Opelika facing charges in association with the homicide of 85-year-old Curtis Rudd of Cusseta last week.

Investigators believe that the men attempted to rob the home of Curtis Rudd along Lee County Road 177 in Cusseta last Tuesday morning. After midnight a group of men attempted to rob the home of Rudd in a home invasion style robbery. It is believed that Rudd who was the homeowner exchanged gunfire with the suspected robbers. He was fatally struck by bullets believe to have been discharged by one of the suspects in the case.

Officials began an in-depth investigation into the case and obtained one of their first clues shortly after the incident when 20-year-old Robert Wiggins of Columbus, GA showed up at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika suffering from a gunshot wound. Investigators quickly connected the shooting of Wiggins with that of Rudd. Although his injures required a stay in the hospital Wiggins will be transported to the Lee County Detention Facility after being released from the hospital.

Lee County investigators also were able to link Davonte Travon Mike of Opelika to the case as well. Wiggins and Mike are both charged with capital murder. Wiggins still remains under guard at the hospital and Wiggins is in the Lee County Detention facility being held without bond. Wiggins will be transported to the detention facility upon his release.

On Monday of this week deputies with the Lee County Sheriff’s department were able to link and third man to the murder of Rudd. Deputies arrested Khaleef Marshall, 20-years-old of Opelika. He also faces charges of capital murder and is being held without bond at the Lee County Detention Facility.

In addition to the home invasion and murder of Rudd investigators are also looking at a connection to a second home invasion in Opelika just hours before that involved an elderly woman being victimized by suspects that are believed to possibly be linked to the later fatal home invasion of Rudd. Officials still are conducting an active investigation and ask anyone with any information in the case to contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Department at (334)749-5651 or Lee County Crime Stoppers at (888)522-7847

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