News

Jacksonville Police keep looking for missing woman

Jacksonville Police continue looking for a missing woman.

They say Janet Sumner left her home Wednesday night for Kyrstal in Anniston and then to Oxford to get her nails done.

Police claim she drove a black Dodge Dart four-door with a wide-brim hat in the back window.


Simms bound to grand jury

The chief administrative officer of the Etowah County Commission has waived his preliminary hearing.

Authorities have charged Patrick Simms with sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12.

Now his case moves to a grand jury.

Simms has spent the last two months on administrative leave.

The Chambers County sheriff tells the LaFayette Sun that the child’s mother has made this allegation to authorities.


Man receives decade in prison for stealing assault rifle from police

A man has received 10 years in prison for stealing an assault rifle from a police vehicle.

Authorities say 20-year-old Kevin Johnson took an AR-15 out of an Albertville patrol officer’s cruiser two and a half years ago.


Man goes back behind bars for robbery

A man has gone back to jail after serving time in prison.

Authorities have accused 43-year-old Anthony Williams of robbing and burglarizing a man at his home three years ago.

The prosecutors office believes Williams went to someone’s home in Union Grove, whipped out a weapon, and took 60 dollars before shooting twice at someone’s feet.


The Fence Man accused of home repair fraud

“The Fence Man” faces indictment.

Boaz Police say they have presented two felony cases of home repair fraud to a Marshall County grand jury.

They believe 52-year-old Allen Hollis has taken money to build fences, but has not finished the job.

Police claim Hollis has received money to put up those fences, but has only brought some lumber in one of the cases and stopped there.

In a second case, they say he has received money to put a fence, but has just dug some holes before walking away from there.


Police arrest two people in Gadsden for drugs

Gadsden Police yesterday arrested two people following information on drug activity at a Tuscaloosa Avenue residence.

They also placed a child into DHR custody.

An officer saw someone standing at the passenger side of a vehicle in the parking bay at Jacksonville Court.

Police had heard someone sold drugs out of an apartment there.

This officer saw a man make a couple trips back and forth, taking a baby inside the apartment on the last one.

When someone opened the apartment door, an officer received what police call “an overwhelming smell of raw marijuana.”


Buck's Pocket to remain open past May 1

Buck’s Pocket remains open – for now.

The state park had a May 1 closing date, but now the state parks director says it can stay open until further notice.

Word came last week that the state parks division would shut down some parks, but the director says the amount of support from the public has prompted at least a temporary reversal of course.


Guilty verdict in kidnap and robbery case

A jury on Wednesday found a man guilty of two counts of kidnapping, and one count of robbery, in connection to a Kmart store in 2010. Gary Johnson was accused of holding the employees hostage, and taking prescription drugs. The Anniston Star says it led to a three-hour standoff, that ended with Johnson surrendering, and no one was hurt. Jurors deliberated for an hour and 40 minutes in the case. The trial had gone three days. He could get a life sentence without the possibility of parole. He’ll be sentenced next month.


Medical marijuana hearing planned in Senate

A hearing today before the Senate Judiciary Committee, including arguments about legalizing medical marijuana in the state. The hearing is about the Medical Marijuana Patient Safe Access Act, which would let patients with some medical conditions buy, and grow, a little bit of pot every month. Marijuana sales would be taxed, and money raised from that tax would be used to fight illegal drug trafficking. The hearing is this afternoon in the Statehouse.


Garden Terace Apartments receive another extension

Gadsden’s city council has approved a month extension for renovating the Garden Terace Apartments.

The council says work must start by then, or the apartments could meet the wrecking ball.

The architect working with the property owners says they should request building permits in a couple weeks.


Arab OKs seven-day alcohol sales, but taking its time

Arab has passed a resolution allowing the city to ask lawmakers for legislation leading to seven-day alcohol sales.

However, the mayor does not appear to show any urgency to this.

Bob Joslin tells WAFF-TV that he would rather wait until a normal election like next year to decide on the issue.


Trial to begin in case involving stolen assault rifle

Attorneys give opening statements this morning in the case against a man accused of stealing an assault rifle from a police vehicle.

Albertville Police believe 20-year-old Kevin Johnson broke into a patrol officer’s vehicle two and a half years ago.

It took months for them to recover the rifle.


State auditor has plan to keep all parks open

The state auditor has a plan to stop budget cuts to state parks.

Jim Zeigler suggests eliminating the Office of Examiner of Public Accounts, and using the money from there to keep 15 of the parks open.

Those parks include Lake Guntersville.

Zeigler says the legislature could funnel that money to the conservation department.

Among other things, he claims some state agencies have hired outside firms to do audits for half of what it costs for this particular office to perform them.

However, eliminating the office would lead to 170 layoffs. Some of them could retire or apply for other jobs.


Someone stealing trees in Arab

Arab Police report tree thefts outside homes.

Some people have crawled out of bed to find trees in their yards have disappeared.

This has happened in two spots on 4th Avenue, and at a business on Hopewell Road.

Police say they have never encountered this sort of thing, but WAFF-TV reports they suspect a black market for a unique type of tree.


SkillsUSA going on at BJCC

Alabama continues its SkillsUSA Leadership Conference, Career Expo, and State Championships today.

Thousands of students remain at the BJCC to compete and participate in workshops.

Students do battle in 80 categories. These include carpentry, electrical technology, video production, and cosmetology.

Alabama’s top winners in each contest move to the national championship in Louisville in June.


Man still at large following disturbance in Gadsden

A situation ended quietly yesterday morning in Gadsden, but authorities continue looking for their man.

A 911 call prompted a response on Fords Valley Road.

However, after officers arrived, they determined a couple inside the home had left before they got there.

The Hokes Bluff police chief found a woman two miles away. She and the man involved had left the residence on foot, but had split up at some point. She went to jail.

Authorities continue looking for 28-year-old Timothy Brady. The communications director at the sheriff’s office describes Brady to the Gadsden Times as armed and dangerous.


Former Hammondville police chief charged with insurance fraud

Authorities have accused a former Hammondville police chief of burning down his home for insurance money.

They have charged Tom Fuller and 47-year-old Glenn Fuller with insurance fraud.

The sheriff says items that Tom Fuller claimed he lost in the fire have turned up at his new home in Macon County.

The home burned down in October while Tom Fuller still had the chief’s job.

The sheriff also says a K-9 investigator hit on several areas for possible accelerants, and tests confirmed those.

WAFF-TV reports both men have made bond following arrest.


System failure delayed weather radio information

This weekend’s storms happened during a system failure at the National Weather Service.

This crash caused delays in sending warnings to the weather radio.

The office in Huntsville says system problems did not surface immediately.

Officials say they finally saw a problem when they tried coordinating the proposed watch outline for a severe thunderstorm.

The backup plan meant the National Weather Service in Jackson, Mississippi had to handle all watches and warnings for this area until the Huntsville system recovered yesterday morning.


Collision in Gadsden kills one, injures three

A collision in Gadsden killed a man on Saturday and cut a vehicle in half.

The coroner says it happened that morning on Brooke Avenue.

He has identified the deceased as 23-year-old Eliasar Francisco, who sat in the back seat of the car.

Apparently, the car traveled at high seed northbound. It went off the road, hit a tree, and then broke apart.

The back half of the car hit three more trees.

Authorities pronounced Francisco dead at the scene, finding him in the road.

Three other people in the car went to a hospital.


Albertville seeking to beautify downtown

Albertville wants to make the area around its main downtown entrance look a little better.

The city intends to move utility poles on Broad Street to the backs of buildings, and then bury cable and telephone lines underground.

This work costs close to a half-million dollars, but a grant can help beautify this area.

City council president Nathan Broadhurst tells WAFF-TV that the project could start as soon as this fall.