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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News

  • Murder suspect surrenders
  • Etowah legislators disagree on lodging tax bill
  • Cherokee drug bust


Murder suspect surrenders 

Anniston police say that a A 19-year-old man sought since Friday in last Thursdays shooting on another Anniston teen  surrendered Tuesday afternoon. Courtney Elston of Anniston has been charged with capital murder in the shooting death of 19 year old Andre Patterson, of Anniston.  Investigators say that they believe Elston shot and killed Patterson as he rode on Gurnee Avenue between 28th and 30th streets following an altercation between some time earlier, near where the shooting occurred.



Etowah legislators disagree on lodging tax bill 

Two Etowah county legislators are at odds over legislation to increase the counties lodging tax.  Rep. Craig Ford, introduced legislation last week that would change the current $1.50-per-night room surcharge for motels and campgrounds in the county to a 3 percent lodging tax to fund the operation and construction of a sports megacomplex.  Senator Larry Means, of Attalla, said he has questions about Ford’s bill and will not allow it to become law.  Means has drafted legislation this week that makes substantial changes in Ford’s bill. He said he hopes the other members of the delegation will be willing to support his changes.  Both bills would put promoting tourism in the county in the hands of a new Etowah County Tourism Board, with tourism funding now going to the Etowah County Commission being redirected to the new board. The new board also would receive funding that goes to the existing board.  The tourism board received about $120,000 last year from a county lodging tax, and the County Commission received about $68,000 in lodging tax funds. Adding another 3 percent county lodging tax would bring in a projected $360,000.
 The primary difference in the two bills is Ford’s bill requires the board to build and operate a sports complex while Means’ bill authorizes studying the issue before making a decision.  Means said Ford’s bill is “too open-ended” and he could not support it.  Rep. Jack Page, D-Gadsden, said he supports Means’ proposed bill because it centralizes tourism functions in one agency and because it sets up a study group for the best use of tourist dollars and doesn’t require a sports megacomplex. 


Cherokee drug bust 

Cherokee county authorities say they discovered At least two methamphetamine labs Tuesday when officers from the Cherokee County Narcotics Unit, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board raided different locations in the New Moon community. Agents with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation were called to respond with a hazardous materials trailer to remove chemicals found at both locations. A large quantity of methamphetamine along with marijuana was also recovered from each location.  Arrests included 52 year old Danny Ray Cavin, 23 year old Dusty Ray Cavin, 28 year old  Lewis Arthur Grace Jr., all of Gaylesville, and 44 year old Sidney Northrup,  of Fort Payne.  The charges ranged from distribution of a controlled substance, manufacture of a controlled substance and distribution of marijuana to possession of a controlled substance.

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