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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News

  • Minister sues Jacksonville over speech ordinance
  • Authorities search for suspects in attempted kidnapping
  • Site change for new Social Security office construction
  • Culverhouse resigns at interim chancellor
  • Jacksonville School locked down
  • Body found under Talladega home
  • Oxford woman killed in weekend accident
  • Postal rates to change based on size, not weight


Minister sues Jacksonville over speech ordinance 

A Hawkinsville, Georgia evangelist has filed suit in Federal Court accusing the city of Jacksonville of violating his right to freedom of speech, Violation of the due process clause of the 14th amendment, violation of the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, violation of the right to free exercise of religion, and violation of the Alabama Religious freedom amendment.  Reverend Wesley Sewell alleges in the suit filed today in U.S. District Court in Birmingham that the cities speech code which prohibits any amplified speech that can be heard from beyond 10 feet away, is specifically enforced against religious speech.  Sewell claims in the suit that he was approached by the city police in March 2006 near the Jacksonville post office and was told he could not use the amplifier which police told him was in violation of the cities noise ordinance.  Sewell obeyed and shut down the amplifier.  This year he returned to the same spot and was told he had to shut his amplifier down and had to obtain a permit to share his faith on the public sidewalk.  The suit was filed on Sewells’ behalf by the Alliance Defense Fund. 



Authorities search for suspects in attempted kidnapping 

Calhoun county authorities are seeking the publics help in searching for two suspects who attempted to kidnap a 12 year old girl as she waited for a school bus Friday morning.  According to reports, the girl and her 10 year old brother were standing alongside Airport road waiting for the school bus when two Hispanic males pulled up in a four door volkswagon and ordered the girl to get into the care and told the boy to get back.  Authorities said the incident occurred just outside the Oxford city limits and that Calhoun County deputies responded.  The two suspects are described as Hispanic men in their twenties with severe acne on their faces. Calhoun County Chief Deputy Matthew Wade said that officers want to find the suspects and their car before the succeed in abducting a young female.   When apprehended, the men will face one count each of felony enticing a child to enter a vehicle for immoral purposes. 


Site change for new Social Security office construction 

A move is being proposed for construction of the new Social Security office to be located at McClellan.  Developer James Lloyd told the JPA marketing committee this morning that the Government wants to relocate the proposed construction to a different site at McClellan.  According to JPA Executive Director Dan Cleckler, the new site will be a smaller piece of property at McClellan.  Lloyd told the marketing committee this morning that he wanted to keep the option on the original site as he has two prospects interested in the site.  Cleckler said that locating the social security office at McClellan will be a benefit in bringing increased traffic to the former fort. The purchase is expected to be decided by the full JPA board when they meet next Tuesday. 


Culverhouse resigns at interim chancellor 

Renee Culverhouse cited health reasons for resigning as interim chancellor of the state's troubled two-year college system Tuesday after just two months in the position and less than two weeks after school board members voted 5-4 to approve her contract.

Culverhouse said in a statement that a "chronic, serious, degenerative disease" that she was diagnosed with about two years ago is no longer in remission and she is "experiencing a renewal of symptoms accompanied by extreme pain."

Culverhouse's resignation letter did not name the disease.

"According to my physician, in order to get the disease back under control and back in remission, I must make modifications in my treatment, including immediate time off work," she wrote. "It would not be fair to the Board or to the System for the Chancellor to be on sick leave with so many pressing issues facing us at this critical time."

Culverhouse said her resignation is effective immediately and she will return to her post as president of Gadsden State Community College once she has had some time off.

She was chosen as the replacement for Thomas Corts, who resigned as interim chancellor Feb. 28 after members of the Alabama Board of Education expressed concerns about his job performance.

Culverhouse's departure comes amid questions about her willingness to clean up the embattled system, which is under an investigation by state and federal authorities. Gov. Bob Riley voted against her contract last month, saying he was concerned she would not recommend that the board approve his proposed policies against double dipping and "no work" jobs in the system.

This had been Culverhouse's second stint as interim chancellor after being tapped to lead the system last summer when the board terminated former Chancellor Roy Johnson's contract amid corruption and nepotism allegations.

The $248,000 contract approved April 26 for Culverhouse was retroactive to her March 2 hiring date. It said Culverhouse would serve as interim chancellor until October 31 unless a permanent chancellor was hired before then.

Jacksonville School locked down 

Students at Jacksonville high school were locked down Monday afternoon after a 45 minute high speed chase ended in front of the school just before 2pm,  and one of the suspects ran onto school property.  According to Glencoe Police Chief Robert Griffith, the chase began when the suspects were spotted shoplifting at a Glencoe package store Jacksonville police officer Joe Ferguson said that the school was immediately locked down as a precaution as the incident occurred directly in front of the school.  Chief Griffith said that a number of items were found in the car.. including electronic items and a quantity of drugs.  Both suspects were taken to the Jacksonville hospital and Griffith said they will face multiple charges.  The white ford fusion bore a Douglas county Georgia tag, however Chief Griffith said that the vehicle was not reported stolen and that it was not registered in either of the suspects names. Jacksonville police said the lockdown of the school lasted less than half an hour until it was determined the situation was under control. 


Body found under Talladega home 

Talladega police are hoping to confirm the identity of a body found Saturday afternoon under a house on West Battle Street in Talladega.  Officials speculate that it could be the body of a missing 66-year-old man with Alzheimer’s disease.  Police said the body was discovered following a call from a person who smelled a foul odor at the home. The house is located across the street from the home where James Lee Buchanan went missing on April 1. Buchanan was last seen at his home between 8 and 8:30 p.m April 1. The missing mans brother, Joseph Buchanan, reported him missing on the morning of April 2nd when came by the house to pick him up for a doctor’s appointment, he found Buchanan’s car parked outside.

The house was open and several lights and the television were on, but there was no sign of Buchanan.  Officials said that the body has been sent to forensics for an autopsy and identification. There appeared to be no evidence on the surface of any foul play.  


Oxford woman killed in weekend accident 

A Friday night accident claimed the life of  An Oxford woman left a Bowdon, Ga. woman injured .  According to State Troopers, the one car accident occurred near 7:30 Friday night in Randolph County.  72 year old Faye White Long, of Oxford, was killed in the accident.  59 year old Sandra Traylor,  of Bowdon, Georgia  was driving a 2003 Buick Century in the Gold Ridge area on Randolph County Road 37, and Long was a passenger in the car.   Traylor was treated for injuries and released from Tanner Medical Center in Carrollton, Ga..  


Postal rates to change based on size, not weight

Alabama 810 News Director Mike Mitchell has an audio report….



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