Alabama Requires Back Seat Passengers to Wear Seat Belts

Alabama lawmakers have given final approval to a bill requiring back seat passengers in vehicles to wear seat belts. Alabama’s seat belt law currently applies only to front seat passengers.

The House of Representatives approved the bill by Democratic Senator David Burkette of Montgomery, requiring all passengers to wear seat belts.

The bill says failure for a back seat passenger to wear a seat belt would be a secondary violation. That means a ticket could be written only if the vehicle is stopped for another reason.

The House passed the bill by a vote of 76-17. It had previously passed the Senate and goes to Governor Kay Ivey, who could sign the bill into law.

The bill is named after Roderic Deshaun Scott, who died in an accident on Interstate 65 between Montgomery and Birmingham in 2016. Scott was a student and standout basketball player at Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery. Scott and two other teens were in the back of a vehicle not wearing seat belts and were ejected from the vehicle. Scott died from his injuries.

The bill is aimed to raise awareness and save lives.

 

AL.com

Stan Smith Retires from Summerville Fire Department

A twenty-five-year veteran of the Summerville Fire Department has retired as of May 30th.  The Summerville Fire Department says, “Captain Stanley Smith is officially retired from Summerville Fire after 25 years of service to the city and county, he was a very valuable officer to the department and will be greatly missed.”

Better Business Bureau Scam Warning

The Better Business Bureau says that one of the most common scams they hear of when the weather warms up is door-to-door contractor scams.

A contractor stops by your house unexpectedly and says he just happens to be repaving a driveway nearby and has leftover material. He offers to repave your driveway for a really low price. Or a contractor looks at your chimney or roof and tells you it needs to be fixed even if it doesn’t. In such cases, he either takes your money without completing the work or he does a shoddy job.

Summer brings a spike in the number of unscrupulous contractors going door to door trying to sell such services, according to the BBB.

Home improvement scams reported to the BBB last year left consumers with a median loss of $1,255, says Hutt.

Don’t fall for it. Beware of anyone offering to do a repair unsolicited. When looking for a contractor, get referrals from family, friends, and others. And before agreeing to work with one, verify that the contractor has complied with the licensing and registration.

BBB

Tax Commissioner Says New Online Service Is Available

Chattooga Tax Commissioner, Joy Hampton, says the new online services portal is up and running and available for citizens to use.
Many new things are available to customers to complete online now.  Vehicle owners can cancel tags, pay insurance fines, estimate taxes/renewal fees, change addresses, pre-apply for titles, and much more!  The portal was up and running as of yesterday and can be reached at https://eservices.drives.ga.gov.
Chattooga County Tax Commissioner Joy Hampton said,” Everything seems to be working just fine after the conversion, but please bear with us in the coming days as we aren’t quite as fast as we were with the old system just yet.”

Illegal Immigrants Caught in DeKalb County, AL

Tuesday night at approximately 11 PM Central time, a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Deputy along with a K-9 unit stopped a vehicle from Texas on I-59 in neighboring DeKalb County, Alabama. The stop resulted in federal immigration officials being called.  DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Weldon says those detained were part of a “human smuggling operation.”

According to Sheriff Weldon, nine occupants were inside the vehicle and it was determined that the occupants were in the United States illegally.  Department of Homeland Security Investigators were called, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers were placed on the subjects.

Sheriff Weldon said that it is likely that human traffickers use I-59 going through Dade County, Georgia and DeKalb County, Alabama on a frequent basis.  Weldon added, “We have an opportunity to do our part as a department and help curb this illegal activity. Pro-active law enforcement can not only build a better county, but also help clean up our country,” he said. “I’d like to commend these deputies on their dedication to this.”

Federal charges are pending against the nine people detained in DeKalb County on Tuesday night.

Georgia Joins Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Georgia joined a group of twenty-five other states Wednesday that shares voter information and cancels registrations of voters who moved out of state or died.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Georgia’s participation in the Electronic Registration Information Center will keep voter lists accurate and prevent election fraud.

ERIC is a nonprofit organization that flags voters who may have registered in multiple states, moved or died. Then election officials must attempt to contact flagged voters, and officials can cancel registrations of inactive voters who don’t participate in two federal election cycles.

Raffensperger signed up with ERIC after the Georgia General Assembly passed a bill that called for the state to join a nongovernmental entity, share confidential voter information and update voter registration lists.

States that participate in ERIC contribute driver’s license numbers and the last four digits of Social Security numbers, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. Information received by Georgia from ERIC will be exempt from the Georgia Open Records Act.

Oak Bridge Academy Owner Arrested

The owner of a child care business, Oak Bridge Academy, Robert Joe Cross, 54 of Rome, was arrested at the location on Tuesday after reports said he was highly intoxicated and began to cause a disturbance when he argued with staff members.

Cross was taken into custody around 2 pm when the children were getting ready to go home.

Cross is charged with public drunk.

 

Coosa Valley News

Two Men Convicted of Violating Georgia Street Gang Act in Walker County

TWO LOCAL MEN WERE CONVICTED OF VIOLATING THE GEORGIA STREET GANG TERRORISM PREVENTION ACT, BY A WALKER COUNTY JURY THIS WEEK.
TRAVIS AMOS WELLBORN AND THOMAS CLIFTON GAINES ARE BELIEVED TO BE LEADERS IN THE GHOSTFACE GANGSTERS… AN ALL WHITE GANG THAT GOT IT’S START IN GEORGIA PRISONS.   AUTHORITIES BELIEVE THE GHOSTFACE HAS ABOUT 60 MEMBERS IN WALKER, CATOOSA, CHATTOOGA AND DADE COUNTIES.
THE GHOSTFACE GANG WAS FIRST REPORTED IN CONNECTION WITH ARRESTS BY THE LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN DRUG TASK FORCE.  LAST NOVEMBER, THE TASK FORCE ARRESTED 18 SUSPECTED GANG MEMBERS.
WELLBORN AND GAINES WILL BE SENTENCED ON JUNE 26th.