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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News

  • Federal prosecutors move to seize assets of Anniston architect
  • Noose found at Anniston Army Depot
  • Governor opposes water cutback (With Video)
  • Woman faces arson charges


Federal prosecutors move to seize assets of Anniston architect

In a federal court filing Tuesday, federal prosecutors accuse Anniston architect Julian Jenkins of giving former two-year college Chancellor Roy Johnson and his family more than $85,000 in goods and services, and a college president $1,800 as part of a bribery scheme to receive more than $2.6 million in contracts. Prosecutors, in a federal forfeiture complaint  say that Jenkins, founder of the Jenkins Munroe Jenkins architectural firm, "has been involved in a scheme to defraud the state of Alabama in violation of federal law since at least January 2002,". Jenkins has not been charged with a crime, but prosecutors filed a claim against his business' property in Anniston and related bank accounts. The civil action reveals Jenkins as a target in the ongoing federal criminal investigation and follows a similar civil claim filed against Johnson's $1.3 million Opelika house last year. The filing Tuesday is the first time prosecutors have said that Jenkins was part of a bribery scheme, or that a college president received benefits from him. Jenkins' firm worked on 54 projects at 11 two-year colleges during the period prosecutors claim he paid the bribes, the filing states. The firm's office in Anniston and two related bank accounts, including one for a Jenkins real estate company, are subject to federal forfeiture because Jenkins used his office to do work for Johnson and others. He also used the bank accounts to make $30,000 in payments to Steve Johnson and others, the filing states. The firm's property subject to forfeiture is worth about $500,000, the filing states. System records also show that Jenkins and a company he created could earn millions over 15 years on a Lawson State student dorm that is expected to cost more than a typical state construction project. Lawson State officials in 2005 approved, at Johnson's urging, a deal to rent the three-story dorm from a development company created by Jenkins. The dorm deal requires Lawson to pay Jenkins' company about $8 million over 15 years. That total cost could increase, according to the contract.



Noose found at Anniston Army Depot 

Army security personnel at the Anniston Army Depot are investigating a noose found Tuesday morning tied to a utility pole next to a building in the depot’s industrial area Security and depot management responded when the noose was found near 10 Tuesday morning.  According to a press release from the Depot, officials do not know who is responsible or what motive exists but that it will be fully investigated.  Some depot employees have said that racial tensions have been rising at the depot prompting recent employee meetings to reinforce the depots policy of respect for all employees.  Col. Keller said the issue of respect will be reinforced. Depot officials said that once all of the details are known, prompt and effective action would be taken to ensure that inappropriate activities do not occur on the depot and that the parties responsible will be the subject of appropriate administrative or other action.

Governor opposes water cutback 

Alabama Governor Bob Riley Tuesday strongly criticized a decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to drastically reduce the amount of water flowing downstream to Alabama from Lake Allatoona in Georgia. In a letter sent Tuesday morning to Col. Byron Jones, the commander of the Corps of Engineer’s Mobile District, Governor Bob Riley called the move “reckless, unjustified and punitive.”     Riley says the Corps’ decision to reduce hydropower generation from Lake Allatoona by 50 percent, while Alabama suffers from an ongoing and devastating drought, will have dramatic effects on Alabama’s water quality, water supply and economy. 
Click below for Riley Video...




Woman faces with arson charges 

An Altoona woman is free  on bond today following her arrest for allegedly offering to pay someone to burn her house to collect on an insurance policy.  According to a new release from the office of Etowah County Sheriff James Hayes, 61 year old Shirley Jeane Gladden, was charged with criminal solicitation to commit arson.  Investigators say that Gladden offered to pay someone $1,000 to burn the house she rents so she could collect insurance on the contents.  Investigators said that had she followed thru on the scheme, she would have gotten nothing,  the insurance policy on the contents had lapsed.

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