Battle over Jeffco cuts continues in court
Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale spent Friday in court fighting for funding after a stunning turn of events. He wants to restore five million dollars that the Jefferson County Commission cut from his budget. They claim they had no choice due to the funding crisis the commission is in. Hale says it is a matter of public safety and that he was blindsided by the immediate cuts as soon as the restraining order was lifted. In the past, Hale has said these cuts could possibly wipe out the entire patrol division. Now he is saying that around 100 personnel will be let go and that the cuts will make a big blow to public safety. Captain Cleveland Moore, who oversees the Bessemer Division of the Sheriff's Department, testified that cuts would be a threat to public safety. The Captain for the Birmingham Division, Byron Jackson also testified that the Sheriff's Department needed to patrol areas without a means of law enforcement. Attorneys for Jefferson County say the County has the legal authority to make these cuts due to the financial crisis and say the Sheriff's Department already has too many deputies. Attorneys for the County also questioned why the Sheriff's Department routinely patrols areas with police departments. This court case will continue on Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. and into Monday if necessary. The judge in the case wants a decision before Tuesday, when the County Commission will make cuts.
Norfolk Southern hub plans continue forward
Plans to construct a train hub in McCalla seem to be a done deal. Leaders with Norfolk Southern briefed the media Friday on the huge intermodal facility to be constructed on more than 300 acres. Residents have just started a grassroots effort just within the last couple of weeks after getting wind of the project. They say it will endanger their health, safety, children, property values and overall wellbeing if the facility is constructed. Even still, Norfolk leaders say it is full speed ahead, adding the project could create upwards of more than 8,000 jobs in the end. Leaders also say they will "design the terminal to be environmentally sensitive to the surrounding community putting barriers in place to dampen noise and block the terminal from sight.
Bessemer police investigate shooting
Bessemer police are called to the scene of a shooting today. It happened around one this afternoon on long 14th Street. One man was wounded in the arm. His injuries were not life threatening. A suspect has been taken into custody.
Convicted killer sentenced to life in prison
A convicted killer has learned his fate. Arthur Kirksey was sentenced today to life in prison without parole. He was found guilty of shooting Winifred Bryant in Woodlawn in January 2008.
Tuscaloosa police capture suspected burglar
Tuscaloosa police say they have caught the man who has been stealing from homes in the area of Bryant Drive and 14th Avenue. Along with burglary, Cejuan Harris is charged with unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle and fraudulent use of a credit card. He is in the Tuscaloosa County Jail under a bond of 110-thousand dollars.
Hit-and-run victim's family offering reward for info
The family of Tuscaloosa man Bill Forward is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for a hit and run that severely injured him. Forward was struck, possibly by an SUV, after his daughter's wedding on June 27th. He has been moved from Northport Medical Center to a rehab facility.
Birmingham police identify Wal-Mart shooting suspect
Birmingham police identify a suspect in yesterday's shooting at the Eastwood Village Wal-Mart. One employee was taken to the hospital with non life threatening injuries. Antuane Lamar Morris is charged with attempted murder. He is in the Jefferson County Jail under a 60-thousand dollar bond.
Electronic bingo coming to Fairfield