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Filed 12/01/2006 Updated after 4PM for next day...
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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News 

  • JPA board makeup to change
  • Charges against Talladega man upgraded to murder
  • Airport opening delayed
  • Search continues for missing Ga. man


Local Lawmakers drawn into election challenge suit 

Although this years election officially ended Wednesday when state officials certified the vote,  litigation over it is expected go on for months and ultimately affect the ability of one-fourth of the Legislature and two appellate court judges to hold office.  Several of those named represent voters locally. Two lawsuits, naming five Democrats and 27 Republicans, have been consolidated into a single case to be heard in Montgomery. Former Republican attorney general candidate Mark Montiel, who filed the initial suit against four Democratic senators, said he won't drop his case, even though others have expanded it to cover far more Republicans than Democrats.  The litigation involves candidates in the general election Nov. 7. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Nancy Worley and representatives of the governor and attorney general certified the vote totals from the election.  Worley said she will issue certificates of election later to individual winners in legislative races, but she is unsure if she will issue certificates to legislators who are being challenged in court. She said she will follow any guidance given by the Montgomery judge handling the litigation. Lawyers representing the Democratic Party have intervened in Montiel's litigation, saying that if action is taken against the four Democratic senators, then similar action must be taken against a large group of Republicans - four senators, 21 representatives and two appellate court judges - who had no opposition in the Republican primary and didn't file campaign finance reports. Included in that group  was Rep. Blaine Galliher of Rainbow City along with Senator Del Marsh of Anniston.On Tuesday, Circuit Judge Charles Price decided to consolidate Montiel's suit with a newer lawsuit over state Sen. Larry Means, D-Gadsden.  No hearing dates have been set.


Charges against Talladega man upgraded to murder 

DUI charges against A Talladega man were upgraded to murder Wednesday as 40 year old Fletcher Embry was arraigned  before Circuit Judge Julian King in connection with a DUI accident which occurred  on Alabama 34 in August.  Embry, was initially arrested for manslaughter and misdemeanor driving under the influence Aug. 5. the charge was upped to murder by the grand jury that indicted Embry. Embry allegedly struck and killed 44 year old  Danny Levelle Horne, in front of Stemley Auto Sales and Service on Alabama 34 at about 2:15 p.m. Aug. 5. Horne was an employee at Stemley Auto Sales and was apparently either getting into or getting out of a pickup truck on the lot when he was hit.

Several beer cans were recovered from inside Embry’s 1992 Honda Accord after the accident.         



Airport opening delayed 

Officials had hoped to open the new Centre-Piedmont-Cherokee County Regional Airport this fall, but now contractors say the opening has been delayed until spring due to safety concerns.   Project engineers had expressed concerns about operating the airport with ongoing construction.    The runway at the new airport has been extended 1,300 feet, with a turn-around area for aircraft to exit the runway, but paving remains to be completed.   The 4,200-foot runway, along with a parking area was paved in September.  A grant has been approved to extend the runway to 5,500 feet and extend runway lighting. Federal money covers 95 percent of the airport construction costs, with the remainder split between state and local governments.

In 2003, the airport board received a $2 million Federal Aviation Administration grant and paid $975,000 for 308 acres of a 2,900-acre cotton field between the region's main cities, Piedmont and Centre.  

Search continues for missing Ga. man 

Georgia authorities say the search for a missing Cedartown man is continuing.   According to Polk County Detective Kiki Campbell, detectives and landfill employees were still searching through trash Wednesday at the landfill looking for 40-year-old landfill employee Jeff Liley. Liley was reported missing around 8 a.m. last Saturday. The search has been ongoing there ever since. Police have finished the primary search for Liley at the landfill, draining sediment ponds and searching through the surrounding woods. Polk County Police Chief Billy Wills said standard operating procedures call for a waiting period of 72 hours after a missing persons report is filed. However, officers felt the search needed to begin earlier, due to reports of concern by Liley’s co-workers. Liley had reportedly last been seen at the landfill around 4:45 p.m. last Friday. His truck was found at the landfill the next morning, but Liley could not be located. Police said that he hadn’t clocked out of work.

Liley is described as a 5’ 9,” 295-pound white male with blonde hair.

Police and volunteers, are continuing their search.

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