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The Florala News
Florala , Alabama
December 31, 2008     The Florala News
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December 31, 2008

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'-- Jill|||::= 'IT' , " b , | " Year End FROM PAGE 4 in October. Council members elected were: District 1  Hazel Lee, District 2, Marvin Williford, District 3 Danny Thames, District 4 Jimmy Waldrop and District 5 Gloria Cassady. SEPTEMBER • Alabama Governor Bob Riley visited Florala for a one-on-one visit with stu- dents at Florala High School participating in the ground- breaking Alabama Connect- ing Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide ACCESS Distant Learning (ADL) program: FHS is the only county school that offers the ADL program. The program is doing so well in the schools that currently have it that Gov. Riley and State Su- perintendent of Education Joe Morton announced that all high schools in the state would have the program by the start of the 2009 school year, which is one year ahead of schedule. The Andalusia-Cov- ington County Incident Response Vehicle made an- other trip to Florala and stopped by Alabama Street. Kenneth Harrison and Regina Strickland -face charges of first degree man- ufacturing of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, sec- ond degree possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The two Florala residents are both 39 years ol and were arrested on Sept. 17. Cov- ington County Drug Task Force (DTF) agents found a meth lab inside their home on Alabama Street. Harrison and Strickland were transported to the Cov- ington County Jail and held on a $350,000 bond. • Mike's Superette, locat- ed on 9th Street in Florala, was robbed twice in as many months. This ta’.instead of kicking in the door, the culprit broke out a window, reached in and grabbed a couple of bags of chips. A witness had seen the robbery and called police who tracked the suspect down by following the chips he inadvertently dropped while running from the scene. Police arrested 53-year- old Robert Lee Adams (Rab- bit) and charged him with third degree theft of prop- erty, public intoxication and criminal mischief, third de- gree. Adams was booked in the Covington county Jail on a $2,500 bond. OCTOBER • At a special meeting of Florala Utilities, Chairman William (Billy) McDaniel discussed his impending re- tirement and the direction he would like to see the de- partment take after his de- parture. According to McDaniel, he plans to retire in Novem- ber after serving 12 years on the board. McDaniel told the board , he would like to promote Utilities Department Sec- retary Lynn Hughes to the position of Florala Utili- ties Manager. Though the board will continue to make the major decisions Hughes would bte responsible for the day to day operations of the department. • A 13-year-old boy from Opp, AL was injured in a boating accident on Lake Jackson. Joe Drakkar, Assistant Park Manager, said the boy was out on a boat with his family when the accident oc- curred. "The child and his family were enjoying a day of boating and skiing when the person being pulled by the boat fell," Drakkar said. 'The driver of the boat whipped the boat around to go back and pick up his skier when, for some reason, the teen got caught up in a rope and ended up falling off the bow of the boat." Drakkar said when the teen fell off the boat, he hit the. propeller and his foot was cut almost completely THE FLORALA NEWS - WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2008 • PAGE 5 THE FLORALA UTILITIES BOARD was awarded Water Conservationist of the Year at the 2008 Governor's Conservation Achievement Awards banquet. The Alabama Wildlife Federation held the banquet, sponsored by the Alabama Power Company at The Marriott Legends at Capitol Hill in Prattville. Over the past 30 years, the A WF has presented these awards to individuals and organizations that make great contributions to the conservation of Alabama's wildlife and related natural resources. Shown at the banquet were WiUard Bowers of Alabama Power, William McDaniel, Commissioner Lawley and AWF President Riley Boykin Smith off. He was life flighted to Flowers Hospital in Dothan, AL where surgeons were going to try to reattach his foot. • Supporters of Florala mayoral candidate Newton Peters felt they had been vindicated when Peters in- formed them that Covington County District Attorney Greg Gambril had notified him that DA's office had cleared him of a residency complaint filed against him. Florala resident and for- mer mayoral candidate and Florala police officer Jimmy Lassiter filed a complaint with the Florala Police De- partment and Covington County District Attorney's Office that called into ques- tion whether Peters met the residency requirements to run for mayor. On Election Day, resi- dents awoke to find flyers pasted throughout the city as titled, "DA clears Peters on residency complaint. However, when Gambril was contacted by the media, he said he never issued a press release on the matter and had phoned both Peters and Lassiter as a courtesy. Gambril held a press con- ference and said that he did not send, authorize or even know that the flyers were distributed. According to Gambril, the flyer is a misrepresentation of his opinion on the contro- versy surrounding the ques- tion of whether mayoral candidate Newton Peters is a resident of the city. He made it perfectly clear that it was not his job as district attorney to settle residency disputes. • In one of Florala's most heated mayoral elections in history, local business owner Robert Williamson squeaked by Newton Peters by a margin of 52 votes. Six hundred and fifty- four (654) residents made the trip to the polls despite the rainy weather. William- son received 353 votes and Peters 301. • The South Alabama Regional Council on Aging (SARCOA) in Dothan noti- fied the municipalities in Covington County a total of 220 meals served to the senior citizens of Covington County will be cut. Officials with SARCOA explained the cuts were necessary because of the reduction in funding nd a six (6) to eight (8) per- cent increase in the cost of providing meals over the next two years. The Florala Senior Citi- zen Center had their num- ber of meals reduced from 60 meals per week to 20 see REVIEW page 7 per week. In order to keep the senior center open, the center must serve a minimum of 20 meals each week. The council voted unani- contribute $100 to the senior center to feed two senior citizens a month. • Florala's city audit per- formed by Ken Odom, of the accounting firm Rabren, Odom, Pierce & Hayes, P.C found significant deficien- cies. A notable find among the deficiencies were' that bank statements were not being reconciled to the ap- propriate general ledger ac- counts and insufficient fund charges totaling $7,500 for the year were incurred. • The Florala Recreation Board agreed to provide four (4) senior meals a month for $49 each. totaling $200 a month until the first of the year when the board would review reexamine the mat- ter. • On Friday, October 24, Skylard D. Bradberry, age 26, of Lockhart, AL, entered a plea of guilty to the charge of manslaughter for the 2006 stabbing death of then 30-year-old Jon Jon Jami- son of Florala. Pursuant to a plea agreement with the state, Bradberry was sen- tenced by Covington County Judge Charles "Lex" Short to 20 years imprisonment. NOVEMBER • The newly installed Florala City Council and mayor held an organization- al meeting. Acting Chief Mark An- derson was unanimously appointed as police chief until December 22, 2008 or until a new permanent po- lice chief is hired. Current City Clerk Lykeisha Anderson was not reappointed to that posi- tion. Kathy Rathel was ap- pointed to serve as tern- porary city clerk until a permanent city cle'k is ap- pointed. • Attorney General Troy King announced the con- viction of former Covington County Probate Judge Sher- rie Reid Phillips for felony ethics and theft charges. Phillips was found guilty by a jury in Covington County Circuit Court. • Paxton Town Coun- cil had their new members sworn-in including incum- bents Jenice Armstrong and Bobby Kemp, along with newly elected councilman Mark Warren. Hayward Thomas was sworn in as mayor by Walton County Circuit Court Judge Kelvin Wells. • Alabama Governor Bob Riley named Andalu- sia attorney Ben Bowdcn as Covington County Probate Judge. Former Probate Judge Sherrie Phillips, who had resigned the seat earlier this year, was found guilty last week of two felony charges, theft by deception and using her office for personal gain. Once indicted, Phillips could not legally continue in her position as probate judge so Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb ap- pointed Lee Enzor to serve as Special Probate Judge until Phillips' legal troubles were over. However, Phillips resigned before her convic- tion leaving Riley to appoint someone to finish Phillips' term. Riley interviewed four candidates before settling on Bowden as the county's new probate judge. • Attorney General Troy King announced that for- mer Covington County Pro- bate Judge Sherrie Reid Phillips received a 10-year sentence for felony ethics and theft convictions. Her sentence was split for her to serve three years imprison- ment followed by three years on probation. The sentences will run concurrently. In addition, she was ordered see REVIEW page 7 FLORALA UTILITIES relocated to tfth Street in the newly purchased Alabama Power Company building. Artist Larry Stricklad of Florala presented Fidelity Lodge #685 with the original print of the 138th June 24th Masonic Celebration book cover. This cover was Florala's Lake House Bed & Breadkfast with the annual fireworks display overhead. Each year the cover depicts another mem- ory of the celebration or a bit of Florala's history. Strickland has painted nine different covers from 1998 through 2008 each depicting a different theme of the annual celebration. He is owner and operator of Strickland Art Gal- lery in Florala. Shown accepting the artwork from Strick- land is 2008 Worshipful Master Ronnie Rawls. from S. Vishwanath, MD, MPH Bobby Kemp, CRNP & Staff wish you and yours a prosperous 2009 Fifth Avenue • Florala • 858-2050 Cuts "n" Curls Beauty & Tanning Salon Now, at a $105. savings*, you can try our unlimited local and long distancet phone with 8 calling features, along with a consistently fast Internet connec, tion that's not shared with your neighbors, as cable can be.** Want a triple-play bundle that includes DIRECTV" service? Ask about special offers and every-month savings on our other bundles. TO learn more or 1:o sign up now,  Fa.r00r00-l, po.nt00 call 877.342.9394 or visit www.FairPoint communications HIGH-SPEEDINTERNET • PHONE • TELEVISION ,f