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YEAR IN REVIEW: Bentley visits, talks about jobs

Published 4:37pm Monday, December 31, 2012

City helps with airport runway project

The Clanton City Council voted unanimously to advance the Chilton County Airport Authority $25,000 to replace a deteriorating pipe under the runway on July 23.

The project would also fill an open ditch that runs from the edge of the runway to Airport Road, improving the condition of the Airport Road as well.

Craig Cleckler and Billy Singleton of the Airport Authority spoke to the council about the Federal Aviation Authority giving $150,000 in entitlement money each year, some of which for 2012 was spent on projects to improve the runway.

This left the CCAA short for funding for the project and the 2013 entitlement funding would not be available until March.

The runway at the Chilton County Airport was later closed Oct. 15-Nov. 16 to replace the drainage pipe.

Singleton said the maintenance project was part of a widespread project lasting until fall of 2013.

Singleton estimated the pipe was about 50 years old and needed an upgrade.

“Our focus is to get the runway work done first so we can begin working on other projects,” Singelton said.

AUGUST

Death penalty not sought for Ann Campbell

Prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty for Ann Campbell, who was accused of shooting her two sons in June 2011, killing one.

C.J. Robinson, deputy district attorney, said officials originally sought the death penalty but changed course after conversations with the family of Campbell and the victims.

“The family unanimously asked us to not pursue the death penalty,” Robinson said. “The death penalty is no longer on the table.”

Prosecutors announced they would seek a sentence of life in prison without parole.

District Court Judge Rhonda Hardesty ruled on Aug. 9, 2011 that there was enough evidence to bring the case before a grand jury.

Chilton County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Jeff Cobb was the only witness called during that hearing. Cobb testified that when the officers arrived at the scene, Campbell was seated on a sofa in her mobile home, about eight feet away from her son, Michael Campbell, who lay dying from three shots from a .22 bolt-action rifle.

Another of Campbell’s sons, Bailey Mays, was also shot but fled to a relative’s house on the same piece of property off County Road 69 in the Enterprise community.

On Dec. 13, Ann Campbell pleaded guilty to the murder of one of her sons and the attempted murder of another.

Campbell entered the pleas at the Chilton County Courthouse with Judge John Bush presiding.

Bush told Campbell that each charge carried a sentence of 20 years to life in prison.

The sentencing was set for Jan. 3, 2013, at the courthouse.

Bentley focuses on jobs

Gov. Robert Bentley spoke to the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce members at their monthly luncheon Aug. 7 as part of his Road to Economic Recovery Tour.

Bentley’s presentation focused on job creation, government efficiency efforts and industrial development, with updates on Alabama’s unemployment rate and road projects.

“Every week, we’re able to go somewhere in the state and announce jobs,” Bentley said. “On the state level, we’re doing a good job, and we’re going to continue that.”

Clanton expands water plant

The Clanton City Council approved a $1.8 million bid for enlarging the city’s water treatment plant on Aug. 13.

The city expected to receive a $1 million grant, pending approval by the Environmental Protection Agency, and would have to match the amount by paying $1 million of its own toward the project.

“We’ve been looking for all this to come together for 3-4 years now,” Mayor Billy Joe Driver said at the meeting.

Thousands attend 16th En Fuego

En Fuego drew 15,000-20,000 fans Aug. 25 in Verbena making it the third largest crowd in 16 years, according to event organizers.

“I think we had a wonderful event in every way,” board member Kevin George said of the outdoor Christian music festival. “We prayed with approximately 200 students with different types of decisions.”

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