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Headlines from Alabama 810 News
- Drug sentencing ends major trafficking
- Oxford council questions mayors action
- Decision on tree cutting may take time
- EPA to clean up old Gadsden steel mill
Drug sentencing ends major trafficking
Officials with the Calhoun Cleburne County Drug
and Violent Crime Task Force say that a major drug trafficking
operation ended Wednesday with the sentencing of two people arrested
by the task force. 33 year old ←Nathan
Waits of Eastaboga,
authorities say was the leader of the ring, was sentenced to 120
months in federal prison and five years of supervised release while
22 year old Rachel Boiling→
of Pell City was sentenced to 33 months plus three years of
supervised release. The sentences were handed down Wednesday by
U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Hopkins. The sentences concluded
an 18 month investigation by the task force and the drug enforcement
administration. Investigators said that Waits operated a
methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana distribution operation out of
their homes in Eastaboga and in the Golden Springs community in
Anniston. Investigators said Waites was responsible for
distributing hundreds of pounds of meth, multiple kilograms of
cocaine and thousands of pounds of marijuana to individuals in
Calhoun, Talladega, St. Clair and Jefferson Counties. Waits was
charged with two counts of distributing over fifty grams of meth and
one count of conspiracy to distribute meth. He plead guilty in
march to multiple federal indictments. Boiling plead guilty to
conspiring with waits and a separate charged of distribution of over
five grams or more of meth. Investigators said the buys took place
in Eastaboga and Oxford.
Oxford council questions Mayors action
City Council members were still shaking their heads Wednesday and
said that they are looking into whether Mayor Leon Smith can create
salaried city positions without council approval. The Mayor
surprised the council Tuesday night announcing that he had appointed
police Chief Stanley Merrill to a newly created position of public
safety director and had promoted police Capt. Bill Partridge to
police chief. Council President Mike Henderson said Councilman Boice
Turner, an attorney, was looking into the matter. City Attorney John
Phillips said Wednesday that he was not involved in the appointment
procedure and the first he’d heard of it also was at the council
meeting. According to the Code of Alabama, in the council-president
form of government the council has all legislative powers, the power
to establish and organize the police force and the management and
control of finances. Under state law, a mayor has the authority to
appoint some positions, but the choice to fund them is part of the
budget, which is controlled by the city council. The council could
decide not to fund a position created by the mayor.
Decision on tree cutting may take time
The Alabama Public Service Commission could
decide within the next month whether a retired Jacksonville school
teacher will be able to keep the three pecan trees in her yard.
David Rountree, an assistant to Commission President Jim Sullivan,
legal ruling could come in the next 30 days in the case of Barbara
Wilson, who filed a complaint July 16 challenging the right of
Alabama Power to cut the trees to the stump. The 60-foot trees in
front of Wilson's house, on Church Street, date back to the 1920s,
and they extend between cable and power lines. Alabama Power
officials say the trees need to be cut for safety reasons and to
keep limbs from interfering with power lines. Rountree said
Wednesday that "After the commissions legal division has reviewed
the complaint, then they'll make a recommendation to the board, and
we'll have to go forward from there. Last week, Wilson, several
friends and relatives sat in chairs chained to the trees to keep
them from being cut down. After filing her complaint, her trees were
spared, but cutting continued in the area. Buddy Eiland, an Alabama
Power spokesman, said the company is working with the commission to
resolve the matter. Wilson's complaint may not be the only one with
the commission. Roger Williams of Pell City said Alabama Power wants
to cut down three of the five Bradford Pear trees on his property
near Skyline Trail. He wrote the commission this week hoping to stop
it. Williams said the trees are being targeted for cutting even
though their limbs are several feet away from power lines, and the
limbs are too small to support the weight of any child who might
want to climb them.
EPA to clean up old Gadsden steel mill
The Alabama Department of
Environmental Management announced Wednesday that the Environmental
Protection Agency is proposing to spend about $3 million to clean up
a portion of the former Gulf States Steel property in Gadsden. The
plant closed in 2000. A portion of the site and equipment were sold
at auction in 2002 to Casey Equipment of Pittsburgh, which sold the
plate mill and hot strip mill overseas.
About 400 acres of the property Casey bought is being operated as
Gadsden Industrial Park. The EPA will remove drums, abate leaking
storage tanks and properly dispose of waste liquid. Crews will
remove drums and "source material" left in the old coke plant area
and that there are plans to cleanup the lagoon area. The work is
expected to take a year to 14 months. ADEM will continue to work
with the EPA to resolve environmental issues at the site.
Ultimately, the EPA will decide whether to propose the site for the
National Priorities List.
The listing would require Alabama to provide 10 percent of future
remediation costs to address all environmental issues, including
subsurface soils and groundwater.
The Alabama 810
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of Alabama Radio 810 LLC.
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