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Filed 11/24/2006 Updated after 4PM for next day...
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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News 

  • Man who helped in kidnapper capture charged
  • Merchants gear up for Black Friday
  • Goodyear strikers get support
  • Autumn Cove announces expansion


Man who helped in kidnapper capture charged 

A  Munford man who says he helped Talladega County authorities track down a kidnapping suspect last weekend has been arrested on a reckless endangerment charge stemming from his pursuit of the suspect.

22 year old Travis Smith, said he got a call Tuesday from the Talladega County Sheriff’s Office asking him to turn himself in. He was booked in and then bonded out that night. Smith said he observed a suspicious car on Oak Grove Road in Munford on Saturday night. When he tried to ask the driver if he needed help, the car sped away, striking a front fog light on Smith’s truck. Smith said his passenger called police as Smith followed the man through Munford, traveling about 15 car lengths behind him. Dispatchers asked Smith’s passenger where the suspect was headed and told him to keep his distance from the suspect’s car. Smith said the dispatcher never said to stop the pursuit and even took a running account of where the suspect was going. Smith’s passenger read the tag number to the dispatcher and was informed that the car matched the description of one police were looking for in connection with a kidnapping. At that point, Smith said, he backed off because the car he was following was turning down a dead-end road.

When Smith arrived at the dead-end, the car was empty; the driver apparently had run into the woods. “There wasn’t a cop that showed up for another 20 minutes,” he said. Deputies eventually apprehended the suspect, but Smith said he was never told anything about charges being filed against him.

Three days later, he was asked to turn himself in.  


Merchants gear up for Black Friday 

Merchants in Calhoun County have been gearing up for black Friday, the day after thanksgiving which is the busiest shopping day of the year.  Carol Cleghorn, manager of the Quintard Mall in Anniston, says shoppers will be able to get an early start, a real early start with the mall doors opening at 4:30 Friday morning.  In addition to the  special holiday hours, the mall also features Santa.  Other special events are scheduled at the mall during the holidays.  Cleghorn also said that the malls holiday security force will be increasing patrols around the mall during the holidays.


Goodyear strikers get support

Mine, communication and electrical workers stood beside United Steelworkers on the picket line Wednesday at the Goodyear tire plant in Gadsden.  Those on the picket line were vocal when some temporary workers, who they call "scabs," left the plant during the rally. Goodyear brought in temporary workers at the Gadsden plant Nov. 1st.  United Mine Workers of America organized the show of solidarity that took place around lunch time wednesday.Along with workers in other fields, Steelworkers from other Alabama tire plants, including some from Tuscaloosa's BF Goodrich facility, participated in the rally. Alabama AFL-CIO officers also were on hand.
Local 12 President Dennis Battles said the various union representatives brought with them canned goods, checks and cash.  Battles said Wednesday's rally signified that support for the Steelworkers was statewide and nationwide.
The out-of-town supporters gathered in Bessemer before traveling to Gadsden by police escort. Battles, said he had received "no word" on when USW negotiators would resume labor talks with the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.  The Steelworkers left negotiations in Cincinnati on Friday. The union said Goodyear was unable to indicate when it would have new proposals on health care for retirees and job security.
The USW bargaining team told the company it would return when Goodyear had something new to present, Steelworkers spokesman Wayne Ranick said.
Goodyear's bargaining team was alone when it returned to Cincinnati on Monday after a weekend break and later left for the Thanksgiving holiday.
No further talks are scheduled, Goodyear corporate spokesman Ed Markey said Wednesday afternoon.

Autumn Cove announces expansion 

The owners of Autumn Cove Retirement community in Golden Springs announced Wednesday a Phase one expantion at the facility.  Autumn Ventures LLC, announced that after the first of the year they will begin construction of the Cottages at the Cove, which will consist of 14 one and two bedroom homes.  Once competed,  the cottages at the cove will consist of 65 plus independent living units interspersed over the 25 acre campus surrounding the current Autumn Cove assisted living facility.  Officials say the new cottages will have a variety of features including garages, and full kitchens.  Michael Cassidy, local owner of the facility said that they are currently taking reservations for Phase 1 of the cottage development and that a few of the two bedroom units are still available.  For more information call 831-7474.

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