Hays Prison Lieutenant Behind Bars

A lieutenant at Hays State Prison finds herself behind bars, charged with violation of oath by a public officer, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and trading with inmates without the consent of the warden.

According to Floyd County Jail records, 39-year old Lakeshia Katersa Thomas was found in possession of more than an ounce of marijuana during the execution of a search warrant at her residence on Leon Street in Rome. The marijuana was intended for distribution to members of the “Gangster Disciples” criminal street gang at the prison in Chattooga County, according to the report. Thomas reportedly received financial compensation in exchange for her participation in smuggling contraband into the facility.

She is also charged with association with a criminal street gang to participate in criminal activity through the commission of an offense.


Stan Smith Honored by Summerville City Council

A twenty-five-year veteran of the Summerville Fire Department was honored by officials at Monday evening’s Summerville City Council meeting.

Stanley Smith has served with the Summerville Fire Department for over two decades and recently retired.  He was serving as Captain of the fire department at the time of his retirement.

Fire Chief Robbie Lathem praised Smith for his leadership skills and calm demeanor when responding to fire calls.

Smith was presented with a plaque honoring his twenty-five years with the fire department at Monday night’s meeting.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey Signs New Sex Offender Bill Into Law

Monday afternoon Governor Kay Ivey signed into law a bill to require sex offenders whose victims are younger than 13 to undergo “chemical castration treatment” as a condition of parole.

The treatment consists of taking a medication to suppress or block the production of testosterone.

The bill was sponsored by Republican Steve Hurst of Munford, and passed on Thursday, May 30, the next-to-last day of the legislative session. Hurst had sponsored similar bills for more than a decade and said his intention has always been to stop sexual abuse of children.

“I’m very serious,” Hurst said. “Not only did I want it to pass, I want to follow it on through to the future where we can try to improve it. One of the ultimate goals that I want to do is for us to track it and to make sure what medication works for what individuals.”

Hurst said he’s heard from many victims of sexual abuse supporting the effort.

Other states have passed similar laws, including California and Florida in the 1990s.

The chemical castration law says sex offenders whose victims were younger than 13 will have to take “medroxyprogesterone acetate treatment or its chemical equivalent, that, among other things, reduces, inhibits, or blocks the production of testosterone, hormones, or other chemicals in a person’s body.”

The law requires the treatment to begin at least one month before a parolee is released. The parolee is required to pay for the treatment unless a court determines he cannot. The Alabama Department of Public Health will administer the treatments.


Pamphlets to Explain New Tethering Ordinance Being Prepared by City of Summerville

The Summerville City Council recently adopted amendments to the animal control ordinance for city residents.  Those new rule say that animals can only be tethered on approved tethering systems and also go further in providing penalties for neglect of animals.

The changes that were adopted include banning tethering of domestic animals to a stationary object.  Animals can be on a runner or “trolley system” under the new ordinance, although there are limitations and restrictions. The new provision is intended to prevent domestic animals from being left alone and tied and/or chained in a yard. It is also to protect the safety and improve the welfare of the animal.

Pamphlets are being made that will explain some of the key provisions of the new ordinance and hopefully answer any questions about the changes.  The pamphlets will be available at Summerville City Hall and other locations around the area once completed.


Wanted Man Captured

The Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force captured a wanted man early on Thursday morning.

Drug Task Force Commander Dwayne Brown said that his agents teamed up with the LaFayette Police Department to capture Jerry “Blake” Wallin.  Brown said that Wallin has been on the run for six months and was able to elude capture, until this morning.

Wallin was arrested on charges of probation violation Thursday morning.  He also received new charges of possession of a Schedule IV drug and marijuana possession.  While agents were arresting Wallin, they also arrested his girlfriend, April Patterson on charges of hindering apprehension and possession of a Schedule IV drug.

Wallin and Patterson have been booked into the Walker County Jail.


Man Sought for Murder in Rome Has Turned Himself In

A man being sought by Rome Police on felony murder charges has turned himself in.

Wallace Chambers Jr, who was wanted for the murder of a 74 year old man, has turned himself in Tuesday Evening. The murder took place on May 30th, when Chambers and the victim had a verbal altercation on Hardy Avenue.

Chambers is 46 years old, he has charges for felony murder and aggravated assault.



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.