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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News

  • Anniston councilman calls for JPA to be disbanded
  • Governor to appoint Etowah Sheriff
  • Pell City arson arrest
  • Insurance agent sentenced


Anniston councilman calls for JPA to be disbanded

Anniston City Councilman Ben Little continued his attacks on the Joint Powers Authority Tuesday night, calling on the city council to look at recinding their 1998 resolution creating a partnership with the county to form the JPA.  Little said that the mayor of Hobson City, representatives from Jacksonville and County Commissioners have no right to make decisions that he says affects the city of Anniston.  The City of Anniston has three representatives on the JPA.  Mayor Chip Howell responded to Littles request with a request for the city attorney to review the 1998 resolution. The JPA has been the target for a number of lawsuits involving public records and public meetings.  State Rep. Lea Fite has said he plans to introduce legislation that would require the JPA to comply with all state open records and open meetings laws just as local governments are required to.  Meanwhile state senator Del Marsh said he plans to introduce legislation to resolve the legitimacy issue of the JPA once and for all.  State Rep. Steve Hurst said Tuesday that he would support that action when the legislature convenes in february.



Governor to appoint Etowah Sheriff 

Gov. Bob Riley said Tuesday he'll select a new Etowah County sheriff from among applicants chosen by the county Republican Party.  By law, Riley is the appointing authority to fill the vacancy left by the death of 60-year-old Sheriff James Hayes. He died Friday of an apparent heart attack while on a hunting trip in Wisconsin.  Mack Butler, chairman of the Etowah County Republican Party, said Hayes, a six-term Democrat, was beloved by the community and ran one of the best departments in the state.  Hayes ran and was elected in a solidly Democratic county, but Butler said candidates who will be suggested to Riley will have to be Republicans of long standing or who will have already "had that crossover experience."
Butler, who also is a reserve deputy, said the executive committee will screen candidates next week and then create a short list for Riley.
He said among those to be considered is Chief Deputy Sheriff Todd Entrekin, whom Butler said has told him he's a Republican and would run for election as a Republican.

Pell City arson arrest 

A Pell City man is being held without bond in connection with a Wattsville home that was destroyed by fire.  52 year old Gary Alverson, is being held in the St. Clair County Jail for the second-degree arson of the home.  Alverson made his initial court appearance Tuesday before St. Clair County District Court Phillip Seay. Seay appointed Pell City attorney Stan Brown to represent Alverson in future court proceedings.  Alverson was arrested last week in connection with the Oct. 16th, early morning fire of a residence at the corner of Savage Town Road and Old Coal City Road. Sheriff’s Department investigators believe Alverson set the fire that destroyed the home and There may or may not be other charges to come according to investigators.   The Sheriff’s Department, the state Fire Marshal’s Office and the St. Clair County District Attorney’s Office were involved in the investigation, which led to Alverson’s arrest late Friday. 


Insurance agent sentenced 

61 year old JAMES A. MADDOX, of Fyffe,  was sentenced Tuesday in U. S. District Court to 24 months and one day in federal prison.   He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,489,629.72.   The sentencing hearing which lasted over 6 hours was conducted before U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Hopkins. MADDOX, a former licensed agent for Alfa Life Insurance Corporation (ALFA),  plead guilty to a Criminal Information charging him in a scheme to commit mail fraud against ALFA in February of 2007.   According to the Information and Plea Agreement, MADDOX began working for ALFA as a licensed agent in 1973.  Maddox abused his position of trust with ALFA and ran this fraudulent scheme from 1991 until it was discovered in 2006.  ALFA had losses of at least $5,489,629.72. 

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