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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News

  • Cleburne Escapee re-captured second time
  • Howell receives national honor
  • Suit filed against Gadsden School Board
  • Sales tax holiday


Cleburne Escapee re-captured second time 

An escapee from the Cleburne County jail was captured this morning after a chase ended on U.S. Highway 431 near Keysburg Road in Glencoe. Anniston police and Cleburne County deputies were looking for the man who had escaped from the jail Thursday. Officers spotted Roderick “Punch” Cosby riding in a car in Anniston this morning and the chase began near 15th Street and Wilmer Avenue.  The chase reached high speeds once on highway 431 with as many as 20 police vehicles in pursuit. Cosby’s girlfriend was driving the Ford Focus and swerved near Keysburg Road to avoid spike strips that had been placed across U.S. 431 by Glencoe police.  The car left the road traveling down an embankment and Cosby jumped out and ran.
Cosby was captured a short time later by Anniston officers. Cosby was being held on escape charges in Cleburne County before his second escape Thursday.  Cosby had escaped in mid June from the jail and had been recaptured a few days later in Calhoun County.  Cosby had originally been arrested on reckless endangerment, failure to appear on a no drivers license, harassment and two counts of receiving stolen property.  Police say that an 11-month-old baby and another man, the baby’s father, were riding in the back seat of the car. The baby was not in a car seat and was treated for a bloody lip suffered when the car wrecked. Authorities said the baby was not seriously injured but was taken to Regional Medical Center in Anniston and is expected to be placed in Calhoun County Department of Human Resources custody.


Howell receives national honor 

Anniston Mayor Chip Howell recently returned from Miami where he received national recognition for his leadership. Howell was honored as Public Official of the Year by the Association of Defense Communities. Mayor Howell said the award was a team effort.  Howell was selected from nominees across the nation.




Suit filed against Gadsden School Board 

The Child Evangelism Fellowship of Alabama has filed a lawsuit against the Gadsden Board of Education, alleging the board is discriminating against the Christian organization by not allowing it to use school property as secular groups do. The suit was filed in federal court Thursday by Liberty Counsel, a public interest religious liberties law firm. The suit alleges that the school district is violating the CEF's right to freedom of speech, equal protection and free exercise of religion.
According to the suit, the CEF made several written and oral requests to Gadsden Superintendent Bob Russell for a meeting about the club using board property for meetings after school. However, the suit said, Russell refused to discuss the group using board property.  According to the suit, the CEF is a national interdenominational group that sponsors Good News Clubs for elementary school children. 


Sales tax holiday 

Retailers are gearing up for this weekend's sales tax holiday with extended hours, extra staff and added merchandise. Merchants say they expect crowds rivaling those of Christmas for the state's second tax holiday, which runs today through Sunday. Shoppers can save on state, county and city sales tax in some locations, as much as 10 percent in some places. Some retailers are focusing their efforts on the sections of their stores with tax-exempt goods. Certain items of clothing up to $100, computers up to $750, school supplies up to $50 and books up to $30 are exempt from state sales tax. More than 230 Alabama cities and counties are waiving all or part of their local sales taxes as well. In a news conference Thursday to kick off the holiday, Gov. Bob Riley said Alabama shoppers saved more than $6 million during last year's tax-free period.

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