Two local men were arrested in January in an undercover sting to catch predators hoping to meet an underage girl for sex. The investigation began when an underage person complained about an older person making contact on social media. The Cordova Police set up two fake accounts on social media in which bot accounts appeared to be female teens under 16 years old.
Within an hour, up to 50 people had contacted the fake sites. Police Chief Nick Smith said he was overwhelmed by the response. While the specific social media sites were not released, Smith said they were the typical sites that anyone around or under age 16 may be using. He said the people who contacted the fake accounts would begin with private conversation and some were very blunt and expressed their desire to have sex with the person they thought was an underage teen.
Investigators, using the fake profiles, set up meetings in various locations around Cordova. The suspects thought they were meeting an underage female for sex but instead were arrested. Ten people were arrested in this sting, all from north Alabama.
Two of the ten arrested were Kevin Freeman, 38, of Bear Creek. Freeman was charged with transmitting obscene material to a child and traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act. Terry Lane, 39, of Nauvoo, was charged with transmitting obscene material to a child.
Chief Smith stated, “If you have a child on social media you need to monitor their activity or not let them have it at all.”
If you have any information related to this operation, please contact the Cordova Police Department investigators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story originally appeared on WBRC-6 Birmingham.
Congratulations to Oakley Ward from Brilliant High School who was 1 of only 16 students chosen statewide to participate in the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Student Leadership Conference. She is the daughter of Dennis and Lana Ward of Brilliant, and is currently a junior at Brilliant High School. Oakley was chosen as the female representative from the entire district 7. Oakley will participate in the two-day leadership conference in Montgomery on April 4-5. During the conference, students will learn more about the AHSAA, speak with executive director Steve Savarese, have group sessions with leadership clinician Jack Williams, CEO of the IDEALS leadership program, and visit educational venues in Montgomery.
After the storm passed Tuesday night, only two incidents were reported caused by the high winds and rain. A power transformer on the east side of Haleyville caught fire and had to be replaced, knocking out neighborhood power for a short while. Haleyville firemen responded. With the installation of a new transformer, Alabama Power workers had power restored.
Just after 11 p.m., traveling down 30th Street in my Prius, a large dead tree, weakened by the storm decided gravity was just too much and fell on my car. The tree caused extensive damage, including breaking out the rear window. It even broke out the front grill as it enveloped the Prius. The unexpected event certainly got my attention.
The good news, no one was injured or killed in the passing of this storm.
Snow next week?
A history making city council meeting took place Monday evening. It was the first ever council meeting in the new Haleyville City Hall. With Bud Wilson absent, Mayor Ken Sunseri and the remaining four councilmen conducted the shortest meeting in recent history. After approving the minutes of the last meeting on 19 January, the council approved hiring The Cassady Company to engineer the Cripple Creek Subdivision sewer project.
Mayor Sunseri announced the Storm Shelters will be opened Tuesday afternoon if a tornado watch is issued for this area and residents should keep a watch on the weather Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night.
Mayor Sunseri stated the police department plans to move to the new city hall on Thursday.
The next city council meeting will be Tuesday, February 16, 5:30 at the new Haleyville City Hall. There will be a public hearing preceding the council meeting at 5:15 on the 16th concerning a new business to locate in Haleyville.
The weather and holidays slowed but did not stop the work on the storm water culvert being constructed underneath Highway 13 North at 8th Avenue. With less than 50 feet to go for completion, the goal of the $1.5 million project is to prevent the flooding over the highway during heavy rains which have been occurring for over 30 years. The highway is opened without the barriers, however, access to 8th Avenue both north and south is still closed at this intersection. The state will have to re-install the traffic signal light before the intersection will be reopened.
Workers began installing lights for the new Haleyville Sports Complex this week. Completion of the facility is still many months away. With the hopes of playing ball by fall, the installation of lights is a sure sign the park construction is well underway. Laying blocks for the concession stand should start next week. Planting grass and fencing are scheduled for this summer.
It pays to plan ahead. The new Haleyville City Hall was constructed in part on top of the Storm Safe Room. The original construction of the Safe Room was designed and built with a plans to place a community center type building on top. With the offer from CVS to buy the old city hall and property, the current administration saw an opportunity to rebuild a new facility downtown utilizing the Safe Room as a partial foundation.
The offices of the mayor, magistrate, clerk, and other administrative personnel are now located and operational from the new Haleyville City Hall located between 20th and 21st Street downtown. It took over two years in the planning and execution of selling the old city hall, fire station and property to CVS. Once the deal was made, the administrative offices as well as the police department moved and operated temporarily from the Neighborhood Facilities.
Work on the final stages of the installation of communication equipment being done this week. That means the Police Department, including the dispatch office has not yet moved but should do so soon. A ribbon cutting and open house has not yet been planned.
The Haleyville Board of Education met Tuesday evening for their regular monthly meeting. The Board approved the financial statements and boar expenditures for November, 2015 in the amount of $1,411,047.41 and for the month of December in the amount of $1,311,950.78.
The 2016 baseball, fishing, softball and track schedules were approved along with revisions to the Cheerleader Handbook.
The Board also approved use of the Haleyville Middle School Cafeteria for a chicken stew dinner on February 6.
Three field trips and 10 fund raisers were approved. Amendments to the substitute bus drive list, substitute nurse list and substitute teach list were all approved.
Under personnel, the Board approved a leave of absence request from Judy Melton until the end of this school year and the retirement of Suzanne H. Tyson as science teacher at the Haleyville Middle School effective at the end of this school year. Whitney Todd was hired to replace Tyson as science teacher at the Haleyville Middle School.
The next scheduled Haleyville Board of Education will be Tuesday, 23 February.
On November 30, 2015, Winston County Sheriff Hobby Walker terminated two of his investigators, Zachery Green and Steven Moody.
Sheriff Walker said they had both started a security company and that it conflicted with their official duties. Walker explained, if there was an incident such as a theft at a house the two had under contract, neither could be utilized to conduct an investigation. Plus their job entailed being on call 24/7 and working another job would make that impractical. He stated he had instructed both Green and Moody to either terminate their company or resign from the Sheriff’s Department. Because they did not do either, Walker stated both were terminated because he felt he could not trust them to do as instructed.
Green stated their company was not a “security” company and has never been portrayed as such.
Sheriff Walker also stated since they both worked “at will” for the Sheriff, he did not need to provide due process because had the right to terminate anyone at will.
Green and Moody retained an attorney and filed a Notice of Request for Grievance and/or Appeal to Personnel Board in December but there was no response to the notice. On January 13, 2016, a complaint was filed in the Circuit Court of Winston County alleging they were both denied due process on their termination. The two alleged wrongful termination as a result of an incident involving the Sheriff asking the two to commit an illegal act by furnishing the Sheriff with marijuana from evidence they had obtained for a drug case.