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Filed 03/25/2006 Updated after 4PM for next day...
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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News 

  • Work to begin on Anniston’s Eastern Parkway
  • Mental Health Officer bill not likely this year
  • Justice Department awards grants to Calhoun County, Oxford & Anniston
  • Meth bust in Talladega County
  • More drug arrests expected in Cherokee


Work to begin on Anniston’s Eastern Parkway 

The Alabama Department of Transportation says that work on the next segment of Anniston’s eastern parkway will begin next month.  Crews are scheduled to begin work on drainage and roadbed work next moth preparing a 2.7 mile stretch of the parkway from Choccolocco road in Golden Springs to Lake Yahou at McClellan.  The work is not expected to be completed until  2008 or 2009.  Once completed the eastern parkway will cross McClellan to link Interstate 20 in Oxford and U.S. 431 in Anniston which is expected to relieve congestion on Alabama highway 21.


 Mental Health Officer bill not likely this year 

Faced with what officials say could have been preventable deaths,  Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson asked the local legislative delegation to pass a bill to create a county mental health officer.  
     The sheriff said that the position is badly needed as,  the jail continues to house many inmates who law enforcement officials should be in a mental facility where they can receive treatment rather than the county jail.  State Rep. Lea Fite of Jacksonville said the bill to create the mental health officer will not pass  this year.  Fite said the bill could pass next year.  The proposed legislation would place a $12 fee on all probate court transactions with the money going to the county mental health board. 


Justice Department awards grants to Calhoun County, Oxford & Anniston 

The U.S. Justice department has awarded $57,942 to Calhoun County,  The City of Oxford and The city of Anniston.  Calhoun County will use the funds to purchase 12 new portable computers that will allow officers to write reports in the vehicles.  Oxford will use their funding to support their Criminal Investigation Division and Drug Investigation Unit and to purchase a GPS system.  Anniston will purchase 7 digital camera systems.  Senator Richard Shelby announced the release of the funds from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistant Grant Program.


Meth Bust in Talladega County 

Talladega Counties Drug and Violent Crime task force agents along with Sylacauga police, acting on a tip, discovered a meth lab in a vehicle at a Sylacauga motel.  Two men and three women who were staying at the motel were arrested  The men, identified as 36 year old Richard Pulciful and 26 year old Bobby Joe Helms both of Sylacauga have been charged with manufacturing and possession of cocaine and trafficking.  
     41 year old Sherri Ogle and 33 year old Melanie Layton also of Sylacauga were charged with trafficking in methamphetamine.  25 year old Misty Shellnut of Sylacauga was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Police say that they discovered three batches of meth that was in the process of being manufactured. 


More drug arrests expected in Cherokee 

Cherokee County Sheriff Larry Wilson says he expects more arrests from Operation Cherokee Sweep, a recent drug operation conducted by the Major Crime and Drug Task Force .  The Sheriff said that “In one major sweep they arrested 12 individuals and there will be more arrests made on this case. Wilson said that Officers have been working on the operation since February. The Sheriff said that This latest operation is only the first part of Operation Cherokee Sweep. “The Major Crime and Drug Task Force will be out there continually working to stop the drugs in our county.”


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