YEAR IN REVIEW: Tornadoes dominate beginning of 2012

Published 7:18 pm Friday, December 28, 2012

Damage done: Seventeen homes in Chilton County, including this one in the Enterprise community, were destroyed by the Jan. 23 tornadoes.

Editor’s note: Below is the first part of a three-part series looking back at the top news stories of 2012. This installment covers January through April. Part 2 will be posted online on Monday, and Part 3 will be posted Tuesday.


Chilton County Humane Society welcomes new director

Scott Missildine became the new director for the Chilton County Humane Society after replacing Joe Murphy, who stepped down as director.

Missildine said one of his major goals as director was to see an increase in adoptions and more awareness about the benefits of spaying/neutering and regular vaccines.

“We want to adopt animals out of here to the community,” he said.

Missing man found dead near Selma

A Clanton resident was reported missing by a family member on Dec. 31, 2011

Julius Collins Burnett, a 47-year-old white male, was seen Dec. 31 at 12:19 p.m. at a Peoples Southern Bank ATM in Clanton.

Authorities later found Burnett dead in Dallas County off Dallas County Road 47, 25 miles south of Selma.

The victim suffered from several apparent gunshot wounds.

On Jan. 3, Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Carl Brown, 19, on charges of capital murder, first-degree theft of property and six counts of fraudulent use of a credit card.

During an interview, Brown confessed to the crime and was found to be the only suspect, Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman told the Selma Times-Journal, a sister newspaper of The Advertiser.

Thorsby treasure threatened

In early January, the Helen Jenkins Chapel, a landmark of the town of Thorsby, was under serious threat.

The century-old church, founded by Swedish immigrants, had significant termite damage to much of the building, including a column that supported the church’s steeple. The discovery forced town leaders to close the church indefinitely and go to work on finding a way to preserve the special sanctuary.

The town learned about the damage in December 2011 when an engineer was brought in to look at the floors, which had dropped as much as 4.5 inches in one corner.

Thorsby had gotten a $5,000 grant to repair the floor, but the engineer, Dwight Austin of Austin Engineering, LLC, soon found bigger problems.

His inspection showed that the steeple column could fail any moment and that floor settling was prevalent throughout the building.