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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News 

  • Deputy involved in DUI accident resigns
  • 2 injured in Calhoun County accidents
  • Counties agree to tax holiday
  • Cherokee County reviewing audit


Deputy involved in DUI accident resigns 

An Etowah County task force officer involved in a weekend traffic accident that seriously injured an Attalla woman resigned from his position Monday.

Police officials said an attorney for Sheriff's Department Deputy Jonathan Horton turned in a letter of resignation about 4 p.m. Monday.  Police said that Horton, a deputy serving as a task force officer for the district attorney's office, was driving under the influence along Alabama 77 when his county vehicle, a 2004 Chevy Tahoe, collided with a 1995 Ford Mustang driven by Scarlett Bellamy at the intersection of Alabama 77 and Gallant Road.  Horton suffered minor injuries in the crash, but Bellamy had to be cut from her vehicle and rushed to Gadsden Regional Medical Center where she underwent emergency surgery.Bellamy was listed in serious but stable condition late Monday afternoon.Chief Deputy Todd Entrekin said Horton's resignation was effective immediately and it was the right decision.  Horton served as a sheriff's deputy for four years before joining the task force in October.  Entrekin said those who spoke with Horton Sunday night after the accident said he was remorseful for his actions.


 2 injured in Calhoun County accidents 

Police say that two people were injured in separate accidents Monday night in Calhoun County.  A one vehicle accident near 7 last night at mile marker 193 on Interstate 20 sent a 45 year old Georgia woman to the hospital.  Troopers said that Helen West of McDonough Georgia was pulled from her 2004 Cadillac and was airlifted to UAB hospital for treatment.  Another accident near 7:30 last night on Whites gap road south of Jacksonville sent one person to the hospital.  Police said that the accident occurred near the hiway 21 intersection when one vehicle struck another in the rear causing the vehicle to swerve into oncoming traffic.  Jacksonville police said the vehicle which struck the vehicle in the rear fled the scene and was found a short time later abandoned.  Police said they are searching for the driver of the vehicle.


 Counties agree to tax holiday 

Add two more counties to the list of those participating in the August sales tax holiday in Alabama.  Both the Calhoun and Talladega county commissions approved the tax holiday in special meetings Monday.  In their shortest meeting on record, three minutes,  Calhoun county commissioners approved rolling back the counties two percent sales tax during the tax holiday the first weekend in august.  Talladega county commissioners, in approving the measure Monday said the tax holiday should have little impact on the counties finances.  Thus far more that 120 cities and counties have joined the sales tax holiday.




Cherokee County reviewing audit 

The Cherokee County Commission is addressing several points of concern raised by an audit of the counties  operations for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2004.  Examiners said the commission's books showed a deficit fund balance when the county spends more than it has. Deficits were reported in the Gasoline Tax Fund and Capital Improvement Fund, according to the audit.  Cherokee County Administrator Tim Burgess said employees in the commission office had been in the habit of writing checks for bills as soon as the bills came in, and then holding the bill until the money was available to pay for it. Now the employees wait until the money is in the account before writing the check, he said.  Another audit finding said that although the commission took bids for cold mix, a product used in road repairs, sometimes highway department employees brought the product from another vendor.  Burgess said sometimes highway department workers would need a certain product for road work but the vendor with the bid wouldn't have it available.   The audit also said that the commission failed to properly record expenditures and liabilities for construction of a new administration building.  That building, which houses all county offices and the Emergency Management Agency, was completed in February 2005.Burgess said that because of the accounting method used, at one point records didn't reflect that the commission still owed a certain amount of money on the project.  That accounting problem has been corrected, he said. Auditors also mentioned that the commission doesn't have procedures in place to ensure that a regular inventory of capital assets is performed.

That also has been rectified, according to the commission's official response to the audit.

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