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Archive for the ‘Local’ Category

VIDEO REPORT: Log Truck Overturns, Blocks Hobbs Island Road In New Hope

By William T. Martin

A semi loaded with logs ran off Hobbs Island Road Sunday afternoon, blocking traffic and sending the driver to the hospital.
According to radio reports and information from the scene the truck was headed west on Hobbs Island near Vann Road when it left the road and overturned about 4 p.m.
The truck’s load of logs spilled into a field as the truck crashed into a power pole, splitting it in half.
Traffic was being routed around the scene as police and firefighters kept onlookers, including several reporters, at a distance.
No information was available about the driver.
Huntsville Utilities crews were at the scene and will need to replace at least one pole.

Passenger Plane Makes Forced Landing At Huntsville International Airport

By William T. Martin

A commercial passenger flight heading from Muscle Shoals to Atlanta made an emergency landing at Huntsville International after one of its engines failed Friday.
According to airport spokesperson Laura Gipson and radio reports the flight, Mesaba 5740, was headed to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport when its left engine failed.
The plane landed safely about 4:40 p.m.
Reports indicated none of the 21 people aboard was hurt.
Mesaba Aviation is part of Northwest Airlines and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delta Airlines, according to its website.
Delta spokesperson Betsy Talton told HNW the plane held 18 passengers and 3 crew. Talton said pilots experienced an “irregularity” with the engine and shut it down as a safety precaution.
She added that passengers could resume their trip on the plane if the problem could be corrected in Huntsville.
If not they would be put onto one of several flights that normally operate between Huntsville and Atlanta.
The plane involved was thought to be a SAAB 340, described online as a popular medium-range, twin-propeller aircraft.

Inmate Gives Birth In Patrol Car In Downtown Huntsville

By William T. Martin

An inmate being transported to Huntsville Hospital for labor pains wound up giving birth in the back of a patrol car Friday afternoon, police said.
According to Madison County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Chris Stephens and reports from the scene the woman, whose name was not released, was being taken from the jail to the hospital after she complained of labor pains coming every 8-10 minutes.
Stephens said that during the trip the officer driving, identified as Deputy Richard Foster, reported by radio that the woman’s “water had broken” while they were on Williams Street.
Minutes later he called back saying the child had been delivered.

Two Detention Officers, Probation Officer Charged With Allowing Improper Inmate Releases

By William T. Martin

Two Madison County Detention Officers and a Work Release Probation Officer are facing felony charges after they took money in exchange for allowing work release inmates to be released on days when they did not have to work, sheriff’s officials said Friday.
According to Madison County Chief Deputy Chris Stephens, detention officers Scotty Clark, 37, and Chris Maroney, 34, and probation officer Martis Sanchez, 24, are each facing eight felony counts of bribery of a public official.
In addition, Clark is facing multiple felony counts of permitting or facilitating an escape.
The total amount the officers are accused of taking is less than $1,000, officials said.
Stephens said investigators first became aware of the scheme on Father’s Day weekend, June 21.
On that Saturday some 25 inmates were allowed to leave, ostensibly to work at their outside jobs.
Stephens said that on a typical Saturday about 5-6 inmates would be let out for work.
On the work release program low-risk inmates, described as “white-collar, misdemeanor” type persons, are let out to work at jobs away from the jail.
The jobs typically run for 8 hours and then inmates are brought back to the jail, according to Stephens.
Investigators think about 12 inmates were involved.
The inmates were picked up by wives or family members
and then returned 8 hours later.
Stephens said that no inmate escaped during the time the scheme operated.
“It’s a black eye for all of us,” said Stephens, “None of us are happy about it, we’re not pleased about it in the least.”
Stephens said he thinks that only the three officers were involved.
The money has not been recovered.

Madison Discusses Plan To Revitalize Paradise Apartments

(From release) City Leaders, members of the community, and officials from HUD met on Wednesday to discuss possible solutions to revitalizing Paradise Apartments and making it a model for affordable housing in the region. During a two hour meeting held at City Hall, it was determined that the City has a vested interest in creating a positive, vibrant environment in and around Paradise Apartments and will guide a plan to improve the quality of life for the current as well as future residents to the property.

Huntsville Hospital Names 2009 Community Health Initiative Grant Recipients

(From release) Community Health Initiative, a Huntsville Hospital outreach program that helps local non-profit organizations by awarding grants for healthcare programs, today presented 12 grants totaling $404,000. Over the past 13 years, Community Health Initiative has awarded more than $5.5 million to 35 local agencies.
Of the 12 non-profits awarded grants, two organizations are new recipients, The Autism Resource Foundation and Huntsville-Madison County Public Library.

Gillespie Road Extension To Open Friday

(From release) The new Gillespie Road Extension will open at noon on Friday, July 24th. This portion of Gillespie Road will connect Balch Road and County Line Road as well as provide intersection improvements on County Line Road and with Browns Ferry Road.

Madison D.A.’s Office: “No Sense Of Urgency” In Prosecuting Shaffer

By William T. Martin

Local prosecutors are taking a wait-and-see attitude toward a man charged with committing five murders in Tennessee and who has reportedly confessed to killing another man in Huntsville.
Jacob Levi Shaffer, 30, is being held without bond in the Lincoln County Jail in Fayetteville after allegedly killing his wife, father-in-law, brother-in-law, step-son, and a neighbor on Saturday.
Shaffer also told police where to find the body of Sidney Wade Dempsey. Investigators in Huntsville found Dempsey at the Hall Marble Company Saturday morning.
Investigators have said they think he was the first victim in Shaffer’s two-state killing spree.
“Our attitude now is that Tennessee has first dibs on this guy,” Madison County Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc Sandlin told HNW Wednesday.
“We’re going to let them do what they need to do with full cooperation from us.”

Ex-State Representative Sue Schmitz Of Toney Gets 2 1/2 Years For Fraud

(From release) Suzanne L. Schmitz, 64, of Toney, was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment based on her February 2009 convictions for mail fraud and federal program fraud. Schmitz was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $177,251, and ordered to forfeit that amount as well. The sentencing is announced today by United States Attorney Joyce White Vance, Acting Alabama Attorney General Richard J. Minor, and Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Maley, Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Police Charge Pair In Series Of Burglaries

(From release) On Tuesday investigators with the Huntsville Police Department’s West Precinct charged two individuals as a result of an investigation into a string of residential burglaries in Huntsville.
Charged were:
-Devon Marlon Davis, 21 of 3203 Overhill Street, with three counts of Receiving Stolen Property in the 1st Degree, and two counts of Burglary 3rd degree.
-David Lynn Swanson, 26, of 1924 Vanderbilt Circle, with two counts of Burglary 3rd Degree and one count
Receiving Stolen Property 1st Degree
Both subjects were located by patrol officers at the dead end of McVay Street, acting suspiciously outside an occupied vehicle.
They are believed responsible for burglaries in the Saddletree, Jones Valley, Big Cove, Blossomwood and Governors Bend neighborhoods in the last few months.

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