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Archive for May 2012

05/31/2012 Historic Wheeler Home Reopens for Tours

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MOULTON, ALABAMA – After an extensive restoration over the past decade, the historic home of General Joe Wheeler, has reopened to the public and is available for visitors and tours. The historic museum features the General’s and his family’s memorabilia and furnishings, all original to the home they built and occupied from 1868 through the 1950s.

Located near Courtland, Alabama, Pond Spring was home to Joseph Wheeler, a famed Civil War cavalry general in the Confederate Army. After the war he served in the U.S. Congress and became a national symbol for reunification between the North and South. He served in the U.S. Army in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War.  The state-owned landmark had been closed for over a decade while the Alabama Historical Commission undertook an extensive restoration of the house and its belongings.

Along with the home, the 50-acre site, known as Pond Spring, includes a dogtrot log house built around 1818, a circa 1830 Federal-style house, the Wheeler home, eight farm-related outbuildings, family cemeteries, an African-American cemetery, a small Indian mound, a pond, a boxwood garden, and other garden areas.

Admission is $8 for adults; $5 for seniors 65+, military, and college students; $3 for children 6-18 years old; and free for children under 6 years old. Reduced admission rates for groups of ten or more with advance reservations are available upon request. Pond Spring is a Blue Star Museum, offering free admission to active duty military and their families between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Hours of operation are Wednesday–Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Pond Spring is located at 12280 Alabama Highway 20 in Hillsboro. For more information, visit wheelerplantation.org or call 256.637.8513.  

About Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce

The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit business organization dedicated to uniting and engaging its’ members to ensure the ongoing prosperity and family-oriented quality of life in Lawrence County.  It strives to be a catalyst for growth and a unified voice advocating on behalf of its members. For more information, visit www.lawrencealabama.com 

Written by 49 County News.Net

May 31, 2012 at 4:26 PM

05/30/2012 Hamilton High School Graduation Ceremony 05/25/2012

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Written by 49 County News.Net

May 30, 2012 at 5:23 AM

05/25/2012 – From The Office of Senator Roger Bedford – Special Edition Capitol Report – Reapportionment Update

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From the office of Roger Bedford -Special Capitol Report – Regarding Reapportionment

As you know every ten years the Alabama Legislature must reapportion itself based on the new census data. As your Senator I have served under 3 reapportionment legislative sessions dealing with the reapportionment of Alabama House and Senate districts. I’m sad to report to you that I have never seen such a racially prejudice divided and politically motivated reapportionment than the one rammed through by the GOP Super Majority in the Alabama Senate and Alabama House. When legislative reapportionment is done it is important to recognize community of interest as well as county lines and also the racial make-up of a Senate and House district.

This new Super Majority GOP coalition in the Senate and House broke all those rules, and in my opinion, broke the law. First, they adopted the Senate rules two years ago and appointed all the members to the reapportionment committee. The rules set fourth how committee hearings were to be conducted and when reapportionment bills were to be introduced. It in fact required a reapportionment bill to be filed ten days in advance of consideration by the Alabama Legislature. It also required hearings for the public. Some of you may recall that when one Republican Senator and one Republican House member came to Fayette, they had no maps, no district lines and no outlines of what the Senate district might be to show to the public so they simply listened to comments. All of those comments from citizens and local elected officials were in part about the fact that Fayette, Marion and Lamar Counties have become communities of interest both with economic development ties, sports ties, family ties and with churchs. In fact the C3 is formed around those three counties for economic development efforts.

The Republican Super Majority reapportionment committee was required to file a plan ten days in advance, they missed the deadline and filed it only five days in advance. When they missed their own dead line which they set and controlled, this mistake then caused the State to incur over a half of a million dollars in tax payers expenditure for a special legislative reapportionment session. You will recall that at the beginning of the year the Republican’s boasted about the fact that they would save money by having a special session within the time frame of a regular session which would have been perfectly legal. However, they failed to do what they promised and as such we had to have a special session of the Alabama Legislature.

Despite the fact that there was numerous testimony and documents filed by myself and others showing the community interest of Fayette, Marion and Lamar Counties as well as that of the Shoals in the Northern part of our district the Republican’s disregarded all of that. They rammed through a plan which totally set aside the boundaries that have existed since 1982 as it relates to Fayette, Marion and Lamar County. This new Republican Super Majority put Lamar County in with a Senator out of Tuscaloosa. The new GOP Super Majority put Fayette County in with a Senator out of Jasper. They then put the Eastern half of Marion County in with a Senator from Cullman. I was totally opposed to this effort to destroy the unity and community of interest as well as the county lines of these three counties. I was also opposed to taking Haleyville out of our senate district and changing the other boundaries. It made no sense to do this. In fact it will hurt our area because our smaller rural counties, I’m afraid, will be of little interest to Senators so far away.

On the final night of the Legislative session the Republican Super Majority broke the law of the Alabama Constitution of 1901 when it ignored a Senators right to have a bill read at length. The Constitution of Alabama requires all Legislation to be read for a third time, that is for final passage, at length. The only way you can get around this law is to have unanimous consent of the Senate and\or the House of Representatives. With six Democratic Senators objecting, the Republicans ignored the law and said no one was onjection and gaveled through the reapportionment plan at 4 a.m Thursday morning. It was blatant political gerrymandering and violation of the rules by a heavy GOP hand. It was a low point in the Alabama Senate.

When I left the Capitol at 5:30 a..m Thursday morning I went to the hotel, took a shower, packed my bags and headed back to work towards Fayette County. It was a bitter sweet occasion as we were announcing the ribbon cutting on a brand new industrial spec building at the Fayette industrial park. It has been my pleasure to work with Senator Shelby, Probate Judge Oswalt and Fayette County Commission along with the Mayor and City Council and former Representative William Thigpen and now Representative Dan Boman to see that the important dream of an industrial park containing a spec building ready for occupancy and new jobs was a reality. It was also heart warming to see and hear from so many local officials and citizens upset and outraged about the fact that Fayette, Marion and Lamar Counties were being torn apart by the Republicans. The building however, will be a beacon for new jobs for our area. For the past twenty years we have all been working together to get ready for Corridor X becoming I-22, now I’m sad to say that in the year in which it will open these counties will be torn apart and these three counties will be represented by four different State Senators.

House State Representative lines were also altered radically. The Republicans simply said it was their goal to further take over the State for Republicans and to attack Democratic Senators. Their goal should have been to keep community of interest in tact, break as few county lines as possible when drawing new districts and get a Legislature that is willing to create jobs and wants to move Alabama forward not further divide it by political party.

After leaving Fayette I drove to Vernon to hand out several grant checks with Representative Boman to some very worthy recipients. After that I traveled up to Sulligent, Hamilton, Hackleburg and then Russellville. Along the way people were calling, texting, Facebooking as well as sending me letters and cards in the mail expressing their outrage at what the Republican Party is doing to our senate district. I’m sad to report to you that they also did it to every Democratic district in the state. They over packed the traditional African American legislative districts by taking the percentage of African Americans demographics up from 50% to 75% or more in some cases thus over packing the districts. They also diminished the influence of minority voters by reducing five State Senate districts which had a white Senator serving by reducing the African American population from 30% to less than 5 %. When someone has approximately 30% of their district of a particular mind set ,race or have a view about an issue an elected official better be responsive and understanding to that view if they want to continue to serve and represent all the people. When you reduce that percentage down to 5% or less, the significance of that vote is also reduced and that is wrong, plus, I believe against the law.

So let me say this to the great voters who have been kind enough to let me work for them in this Senate District, I will continue to work hard for you. I know the good people of this District and the important projects that we are working on including highways, water, better schools, and the creation of new jobs. I will continue to work with you at the local, county , state and federal levels to see that these important goals are accomplished. It is my belief that the reapportionment plan will not stand the muster of the U.S. Justice Department nor the Federal Courts. However, should these lines be altered, I will continue to represent you even if the courts and\or this Republican Super Majority are successful in their efforts to rip apart these counties. You may rest assured that I will continue to work with you to help build our dream of a better Alabama whether you are physically in my senate district or not.

Hope all of you remember our brave Veterans over this Memorial holiday and have a fun but safe weekend.

As always if I can be of any assistance to you do not hesitate to give me a call.

Roger H. Bedford, Jr.

Alabama State House
11 S. Union Street, Suite 738
Montgomery, Alabama 36130
Phone 334-242-7862 ,
Fax 334-242-9202
Russellville Office
P.O. Box 370
Russellville, Alabama 35653
Phone 256-332-6966
Fax 256-332-6967
Email:  senbedford@aol.com
Website:  www.RogerBedford.com

Amanda Hovater
Assistant
Roger H. Bedford, Jr.
Senate Minority Leader
Roger Bedford & Assoc., P.C.
Attorney at Law
P.O. Box 370
Russellville, Alabama  35653
(256) 332-6966 – Direct Line Russellville Office
(256) 332-2880 – Law Firm
(256) 332-6967 – Facsimile
(334) 242-7862 – Montgomery Office
AHovater.RBA@gmail.com

05/23/2012 – Capitol Report For May 25th – Senator Roger Bedford

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Capitol Report for May 25th, 2012, Senator Roger Bedford

I’m very excited about the progress being made on the rebuilding of the Wrangler Plant building in Hackleburg. It is another sign of industry moving back into our area and agreeing to expand as well. It is a tribute to the fine work force that we have in our area. I was also pleased to see that an 8 million dollar investment will be coming to Winfield in Continental Conveying and Crushing. I think this is a commitment by this fine company to be here for the long haul.

The budget battles are very real in Montgomery. Unfortunately the new Republican Super Majority continues to want to balance the budget on the backs of the working families in Alabama, including our teachers and State employees by shifting the cost of Government to them directly by cutting their benefits. This past week we scored a victory in preserving the integrity of Medicaid in Alabama. The Republican Super Majority had proposed cutting Medicaid by $184 Million dollars, which would have endangered the whole program. They had planned on giving the money to the Department of Corrections to spent on prisons and prisoners. I thought this was a mistake.

As you may know Medicaid is an important economic engine for Alabama as well as a health care safety net. Medicaid pays for approximately %78 of all nursing home beds in Alabama and % 40 of children in Alabama get their primary health care from Medicaid and one in two live births in Alabama is paid for with Medicaid dollars.

As a long time supporter for Medicaid and mental health I decided it was time to stand up to the Republican Super Majority and reverse the priorities that they had. I said it was important to choose our Seniors and children over free health care for prisoners. As such I had offered an amendment to the General Fund Budget to shift $184 million dollars out of the prisons and into Medicaid. I am pleased to report to you that I was successful in passing that amendment and putting it on the General Fund Budget that passed the State Senate. This will allow Medicaid to be protected. The funding for prisons will be subject to a constitutional amendment being voted on in November at the general election to divert that money out of the Oil and Gas Trust Fund to pay for prisons. I feel confident that the voters in Alabama will make the right decision.

We can not endanger our seniors and children because of misplaced priorities. It his my hope that the House of Representatives and the Governor will go along with the Senate plan which passed unanimously to fund Medicaid.

I appreciate all of you who have contacted me in support of our seniors and children as they must remain a top priority.

Recently I had a lot of fun attending events and talking with people throughout the Senate District. This past Saturday morning I was checking on the building progress in Hackleburg before attending the Hamilton Customer Appreciation Day. I was glad to see so many people out there and hear Judge Mark Hammitt and his band playing. From there I traveled to Guin and Winfield before heading down to the yard sale on 129 from Glen Allen through Hubbertville. Unfortunately the Hubbertville Lions Club had sold their last polish dog right before I arrived, as I had been looking forward to dining with them. From Hubbertville I traveled to Fayette, meeting with people there, then on down to South Lamar Rescue Squad Fish Fry. They always do such a great job with fried catfish. I got a plate to go and then eased up the road through Millport to Vernon. In Vernon they were celebrating the Lamar County Relay for Life. The Franklin Relay for Life had started the night before in Russellville. Unfortunately I was not able to stay for the Survivors Lap. After Vernon I traveled to the fine volunteer fire department of Byrd. There I got a fried chicken plate and bought a wonderful pound cake. I always enjoy a slice of pound cake with some butter in the morning for breakfast . It gets the day started right with a big glass of milk.

I remain grateful to the good Lord for keeping me cancer free since January of 1990. There are so many of our friends, neighbors and family members who are fighting cancer that I hope you’ll keep them in your thoughts and prayers. It seems like every week I hear of some new friend or neighbor that has taken up the battle against this dreaded disease. The good news is that God’s still in the healing business. He is also helping us find breakthroughs in the way we fight and cure cancer.

We also received some good news last week. The EMA in Marion County has finally received it’s shelter money. Grants were approved for a total of twenty-five shelters to be funded. As you know the way these grants work %75 is reimbursable from EMA and %25 is the responsibility of the homeowner. Congratulations goes out to Marion County EMA Director Jimmy Mills and we hope the other grants will be following soon. Many of the other counties have already been receiving these grants monies and they are certainly a welcome addition.

It was a pleasure for Representative Johnny Mack Morrow and myself to present a $20,000 RC&D grant to the Town of Hodges for their Eco Tourism Equestrian Trail. We now have 26 miles of horse trails GPSed as well as constructed. The next phase of the project will be to install over night parking as well as day parking. This will help create jobs and improve the quality of life in Franklin County and throughout Northwest Alabama. When it comes to creating new jobs you must be working every day as I do. We must keep our focus on maintaining the jobs that we have and creating new jobs that our people can have good employment here at home and not have to travel outside of our area to find a job.

I’d also like to announce the following two Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs grants that will directly benefit our Senate District. A grant in the amount of $15,775.00 was awarded to provide overtime funds to the law enforcement agencies in Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Tuscaloosa, Perry, Pickens, and Sumter Counties. A grant in the amount of $25,250.00 has been awarded to continue implementation of the section 406 safety belt enforcement program for the following nine North Alabama Counties, Colbert, Cullman, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Marion, Morgan and Winston Counties.

The following community service grants have been awarded in our Senate District. $300 to West Elementary Special Education Department, $255 to Russellville Dixie Youth Baseball League, $500 to Russellville Tennis Team for State Play-offs, $1000 to Fayette County High School Golf Team, $1,000 to the Chucky Mullins Memorial Scholarship Fund, $800 to Phil Campbell’s 12 and under softball team, $1000 to Phil Campbell’s Junior Varsity Cheerleaders $500 to Red Bay High School’s Tennis program, $2000 to Belgreen High School’s PTO, $1000 to Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, $500 to the Tri County Agency for Intellectual Disabilities, Inc, $1250 to Red Bay High School Basketball team, $500 to Red Bay High School T.R.A.C.K.S Program, $800 to Red Bay Elementary School’s Academic Awards Ceremony, and $750 to the Russellville Police Department for Law Enforcement Memorial Week activities.

As always if I can be of any assistance to you do not hesitate to give me a call.

Roger H. Bedford, Jr.

Alabama State House
11 S. Union Street, Suite 738
Montgomery, Alabama 36130

Phone 334-242-7862
Fax 334-242-9202

Russellville Office
P.O. Box 370
Russellville, Alabama 35653

Phone 256-332-6966
Fax 256-332-6967
Email: senbedford@aol.com
Website: www.RogerBedford.com

Submitted by:
Amanda Hovater
Assistant
Roger H. Bedford, Jr.
Senate Minority Leader
Roger Bedford & Assoc., P.C.
Attorney at Law
P.O. Box 370
Russellville, Alabama  35653
(256) 332-6966 – Direct Line Russellville Office
(256) 332-2880 – Law Firm
(256) 332-6967 – Facsimile
(334) 242-7862 – Montgomery Office
AHovater.RBA@gmail.com

 

(Copyright ©2006-2012 www.49CountyNews.net. All Rights Reserved.  Any reprint or copy of this article must include the aforementioned Copyright in its entirety.)

05/23/2012 – Winfield, AL Police Department Weekly News Report – Chief Scott Welch

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“TO PROTECT AND SERVE”

3 – Accidents
8 – Speeding
2 – Other Violation
1 – DUI
1 – Driving While Suspended
1 – Ran Stop Sign
3 – Failure to Display Insurance
1 – Littering
1 – Tag Violation
21 – TOTAL

I & O REPORT

2 – Officer Report
1 – Domestic Violence 3rd
1 – Interference with Child Custody
1 – Criminal Mischief 3rd
1 – Theft of Property 1st
2 – Theft of Property 3rd
2 – Breaking & Entering a Vehicle
1 – Harassment
11 – TOTAL

ARREST

3 – Alias Warrant
3 – Capias Warrant
1 – Bench Warrant
1 – DUI
1 – Distribution of a Controlled Substance
1 – Domestic Violence 3rd
1 – Harassment
2 – Public Intox
1 – Violation of Protection Order
14 – TOTAL

Prepared by: Sandy Scott

(All persons charged with a crime are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The charges are merely an accusation unless otherwise stated.)

(Copyright ©2006-2012 www.49CountyNews.net. All Rights Reserved.  Any reprint or copy of this article must include the aforementioned Copyright in its entirety.)

05/23/2012 Hamilton City Council Work Session 05/21/2012

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05/23/2012 – Marion County, AL Sheriff’s Weekly News Report – Sheriff Kevin Williams

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“TO PROTECT AND SERVE”

1 – DC-Alias
1 – DUI
1 – Probation Violation
2 – Non-Support
2 – Domestic Violence 3rd – Assault
2 – Drug CT Violation
1 – Bench Warrant
1 – Criminal Mischief 2nd
2 – Fugitive from Justice
1 – Solid Waste

FELONIES

Name:  James Johnson
Age:  28
Address-City:  Brilliant, AL
Charges:  Manufacturing 2nd
Date of Arrest:  05/18/2012
Amount of Bond:  $7,500.00
Date of Release:  05/22/2012

Name:  Jesse Spear
Age:  36
Address-City:  Brilliant, AL
Charges:  Manufacturing 2nd
Date of Arrest:  05/18/2012
Amount of Bond:  $7,500.00
Date of Release:  05/21/2012

Name:  Richard Vince Estes
Age:  45
Address-City:  Winfield, AL
Charges:  Breaking/Entering Vehicle x 2
Theft of Property 3rd x 2
Date of Arrest:  05/16/2012
Amount of Bond:  $13,000.00
Date of Release:  In Jail

Name:  Ashley Parker
Age:  24
Address-City:  Winfield, AL
Charges:  GJI (Grand Jury Indictment) / Sexual Abuse x 2
Sodomy 1st
Date of Arrest:  05/17/2012
Amount of Bond:  $40,000.00
Date of Release:  05/17/2012

Name:  Timothy Lynn
Age:  41
Address-City:  Eldridge, AL
Charges:  GJI (Grand Jury Indictment) / Sexual Abuse
Date of Arrest:  05/17/2012
Amount of Bond:  $10,000.00
Date of Release:  05/17/2012

Name:  Matthew Newell
Age:  20
Address-City:  Haleyville, AL
Charges:  RSP (Receiving Stolen Property) 2nd
Burglary 3rd
TOP (Theft of Property) 2nd
Date of Arrest:  05/17/2012
Amount of Bond:  $22,500.00
Date of Release:  05/18/2012

Name:  Alberto Vasquez
Age:  34
Address-City:  Ripley, MS
Charges:  Possible Forged Instrument 1st x 3
Date of Arrest:  05/23/2012
Amount of Bond:  $60,000.00
Date of Release:  05/23/2012

(All persons charged with a crime are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The charges are merely an accusation unless otherwise stated.)

(Copyright ©2006-2012 www.49CountyNews.net. All Rights Reserved.  Any reprint or copy of this article must include the aforementioned Copyright in its entirety.)

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