YEAR IN REVIEW: Tornadoes dominate beginning of 2012By Stephen Dawkins Published 7:18pm Friday, December 28, 2012
More than 100 homes in Chilton County suffered damage from the storms.
President Obama’s disaster declaration for Chilton and Jefferson counties opened up several options for assistance.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency provided assistance in the form of grants for temporary housing, basic home repairs and other serious disaster-related needs.
School vandalized by students
Two Verbena students were arrested on Feb. 11 after vandalism at the school was investigated by the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office.
The boys-a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old whose names were not released because of their juvenile status-were taken to the Dale County juvenile detention facility after their arrest.
The crime included several broken windows throughout the school, and was classified as second-degree criminal mischief.
“It met the criteria for criminal mischief second because of the amount of damage done, which was estimated by the school at $1,250,” Sheriff Kevin Davis said.
A school employee who visited the campus Feb. 11 discovered and reported the crime. Davis said footage from a surveillance camera at the school led investigators to the boys, who were arrested later that day and turned over to Chilton County juvenile probation officers.
County acquires industrial park
The Chilton County Commission on Feb. 13 accepted an agreement with the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative that would deed the industrial park in Verbena to the county.
CAEC and its parent company, Alabama Rural Electric Association, purchased the land about four years ago and had work done to make the land ready to build upon.
The commission agreed to pay back CAED for paving the road going into the park, an arrangement that had been OK’d before CAEC began working at the site.
The commission agreed to pay $50,000 a year for six years, for a total of $300,000.
Commissioner Allen Caton said the benefit to the county would outweigh the costs.
“We didn’t have anything to offer anybody to come into this county,” Caton said. “Now, we’ve got a starting point.”
Sen. Shelby visits
The rising national debt and presidential election were two main topics of discussion Feb. 18 when U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby visited Clanton. Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) held a lunchtime town hall meeting at 7 Place Café.
The senator said November’s general election would determine “what kind of country to have now and in the future.”
Man indicted in 2005 murder
A Selma man was indicted for the 2005 rape and murder of Patricia Gayle Lasserre, an employee at Clanton Walmart at the time of her death.
Clifford Wynn, 48, was indicted by an Autauga County grand jury for the crimes, according to a release from the office of District Attorney Randall Houston.
“When it was a ‘no bill’ last time, we asked the (Autauga County) sheriff’s office and the (Alabama Bureau of Investigation) to continue their investigation, and they did,” Houston said. “We feel like we have enough now to warrant an indictment.”
Houston declined to talk about what new evidence emerged.
“No bill” meant that a grand jury found evidence insufficient to warrant a formal charge.
Wynn was arrested in December 2008 for the crime but was released in August 2009.