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Saturday, January 4, 2020

It's been a while

It's been a while since my last post.  Lots of things are going on.  I have been sporting a broken foot for three months that still hasn't healed.  On the other hand, lots of positive things are happening.  Our beach house repairs have really come together.  We are almost finished with the repairs caused by Hurrican Michael. 

The blog doesn't seem as important since we have gotten rid of some of the rot that was like cancer.  Hopefully, that will never happen again. 

Please share your thoughts with me.


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Time Passes and Passes and Passes.........

BLOGGER COMMENTS:   This is ridiculous.  John puts in perspective.  But it's still stupid.

What happened since Mike Hubbard was sentenced?



What happened?


This is an opinion column.
Three years, five months and ten days. A long time.
That’s how long it has been since former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard – the man we used to call the most powerful politician in Alabama and the guy who’s still treated like it -- was sentenced to four years in prison for 12 felony violations of the state ethics laws.
A lot has happened since July 8, 2016.
Some 30 million acres of land in the U.S. has gone up in flames in wildfires. Poof. That’s almost as big as the whole state of Mississippi.
Donald Trump was elected president. And Hillary Clinton wasn’t. A lot has happened. And a lot hasn’t.
Mike Hubbard hasn’t gone to jail, as the Alabama Supreme Court ponders the merits of his appeal.
Some folks, like one I see in the mirror every day, think Alabama’s high court is simply searching for a way to spin it to make setting him free sound like justice instead of preferential treatment. Because time drags on. And a lot has happened.
Sixty-five people across America were put to death for their crimes. Tom Brady has thrown for 7.1 miles since Mike Hubbard was sentenced. Fidget spinners came and blessedly went. The Alabama Democratic Party tweeted something about politics.
The national debt has grown by more than $3 trillion, which comes to about $13,000 per taxpayer. A trillion is a hard number to get your head around for a lot of reasons. One is that there’s only about $1.5 trillion in U.S. circulation at any given time. It’s a lot.
Gov. Robert Bentley pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors and resigned from office after a very odd relationship with a staff member. Matt Hart, the prosecutor who became the bane of Hubbard’s existence and took Bentley’s plea, became a defense lawyer.
Roy Moore had to leave the Supreme Court for a second time, after a suspension by the court of the judiciary. He ran for the U.S. Senate and lost to Doug Jones. Now they are both running again, along with the former attorney general of the United States and the former football coach who warned Alabama fans to “fear the thumb.” A lot has happened.
Former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford served eight years and eight months of his bribery conviction, and was released just in time for him to die near his family.
Alabama won a national championship in football and lost two other cracks at it. Jalen Hurts left Alabama, and became a Heisman finalist. Tua Tagovailoa likely played out his entire college career in the time since Hubbard was sentenced. Auburn went to the Final Four in basketball.
Gene Wilder died, and Arnold Palmer. So did Tom Petty and Mary Tyler Moore and Chuck Berry. That list goes on and on. Kids who started college that fall are one semester from graduation. If they went to class.
In 2016 everybody had headphones attached to their iPhones. Now they don’t. Babies born during Mike Hubbard’s trial can now walk, and run, and talk, and operate YouTube. Goat yoga – inexplicably -- became a thing.
Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy. And so did Radio Shack. And Sears and Claire’s and Brookstone and on and on.
Half the people died – spoiler alert -- in Avengers: Infinity War, and almost all of them came back – spoiler alert -- in Avengers: Endgame. Between the two they made $4.7 billion at the box office. Which is just a little more than the amount of the Jefferson County Bankruptcy in 2013 that was aided and abetted by corruption. A lot has happened since Mike Hubbard was sentenced.
And one thing hasn’t.
Mike Hubbard has not gone to jail.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Attorney General's Anti-Corruption Crusade Continues

BLOGGER COMMENTS:  Last September the media reported that District Judge Douglas Patterson was under investigation by the AG's office.  No other information was provided at that time.  Today, the hammer fell.  It's another case of "use of official position or office for personal gain", one which I'm afraid is all too prevalent around here.


LIMESTONE COUNTY JUDGE ARRESTED ON MULTIPLE CHARGES

A Limestone County District judge is out of jail on bond after being indicted on multiple charges. Stephen Young with the Limestone County Sheriff's Office confirmed to WAAY 31 Judge Douglas Patterson was booked into the Limestone County Jail around 8:30 this morning.
The arrest stems from grand jury indictments and is being handled by the Alabama Attorney General's office. Patterson is charged with use of official position or office for personal gain, financial exploitation of the elderly 1st degree, and theft 3rd degree. 
Judge Patterson bonded out of jail around 9 a.m. on a $30,000 bond.
And here's his picture:  Yuk!
 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Just wait til the MCSO gets the scanner.....

BLOGGER COMMENTS:  and when that scanner catches the left-behind insiders, the leeches that feed off others' miseries, and the dumb-dumbs who don'r know any better, there may be some red faces in high places.

Morgan sheriff: Jail contraband investigation results in Decatur woman's arrest

  • By Marian Accardi Staff Writer
  •  
    image.png
An inmate's effort to have contraband cellphones and drugs brought into the Morgan County Jail led to an undercover operation that resulted in a Decatur woman's arrest and highlighted what authorities say is an ongoing issue. 
The investigation began several weeks ago and involved jail staff and other agents of the Morgan County Sheriff's Office, according to Mike Swafford, office spokesman.
“An inmate propositioned a corrections officer, who handled it correctly by notifying investigators,” Swafford said.
During the undercover portion of the operation, Marquita Laneice Gary, 25, of Decatur, met with an investigator posing as a jailer on two occasions, Swafford said.
The first time, she brought $500 for the “jailer" as payment, Swafford said in a news release. During the second meeting Monday, Gary brought four cellphones, the synthetic narcotic spice and alprazolam, or Xanax, Swafford said. Gary was taken into custody after the second meeting, he said.
During further investigation, agents recovered more spice and alprazolam, a quantity of crack cocaine and a pistol from her residence, Swafford said. Jail records listed her address as 407 14th Ave. N.W.
Gary was charged with two counts of distribution of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance-cocaine, Swafford said. Gary remained in Morgan County Jail on Tuesday with bail set at $11,000.
The contraband issue is “not growing, but an ongoing issue any facility faces, that we continue to combat,” Swafford said.
In June, for example, the office’s Drug Task Force arrested two people that authorities say collaborated in coordinating the delivery of drugs into the Morgan County Jail through drops made outside and inside the jail.
The Morgan County Commission agreed last month to spend $181,000 on two scanners and a metal detector that weren't included in the county’s fiscal 2020 budget. The equipment is to be used to keep contraband out of the jail and reduce liability for body searches. The equipment will be paid for with county reserves.
“It gives us another tool to secure the facility,” Sheriff Ron Puckett said last month. “Hopefully, it will eliminate all contraband in the jail.”
The Drug Task Force has added Peluchi, a K9 deputy, to the force. The golden retriever, certified in narcotics detection, will assist the task force and will be deployed in the Morgan County Jail to guard against illegal contraband, Swafford said last month.
This is the first K9 deputy assigned to the Narcotics Unit and to be regularly used in the jail.

Another Officer Down

Folks, the officer from Huntsville PD who was shot in the heart and died on Friday was the 6th officer to die in the line of duty this year.  Our streets, cities, and towns are full of drug dealers and other criminals.  Our officers place themselves in danger each day to protect us.  It is a shame that in today's society many people favor the criminals over the power of authority.  Our law enforcement men and women work hard to ensure that the citizens are protected from those who are outright criminals or are criminals in sheep's clothing.

Our hearts go out to this officer who did everything right and was fighting to get drugs off the street.

Please support our law enforcement officers.

https://www.decaturdaily.com/news/local/huntsville-police-officer-killed-in-drug-related-shooting/article_8231a2f4-bb94-50dd-a6b7-8fe700b42827.htm

Thursday, November 28, 2019

A Thanksgiving Poem - Happy Thanksgiving To All



A Thanksgiving Poem

 - 1872-1906
The sun hath shed its kindly light,
   Our harvesting is gladly o’er
Our fields have felt no killing blight,
   Our bins are filled with goodly store.
From pestilence, fire, flood, and sword
   We have been spared by thy decree,
And now with humble hearts, O Lord,
   We come to pay our thanks to thee.
We feel that had our merits been
   The measure of thy gifts to us,
We erring children, born of sin,
   Might not now be rejoicing thus.
No deed of our hath brought us grace;
   When thou were nigh our sight was dull,
We hid in trembling from thy face,
   But thou, O God, wert merciful.
Thy mighty hand o’er all the land
   Hath still been open to bestow
Those blessings which our wants demand
   From heaven, whence all blessings flow.
Thou hast, with ever watchful eye,
   Looked down on us with holy care,
And from thy storehouse in the sky
   Hast scattered plenty everywhere.
Then lift we up our songs of praise
   To thee, O Father, good and kind;
To thee we consecrate our days;
   Be thine the temple of each mind.
With incense sweet our thanks ascend;
   Before thy works our powers pall;
Though we should strive years without end,
   We could not thank thee for them all.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Another police-involved ethics violation

BLOGGER COMMENTS:   Maybe I'm seeing patterns that do really exist, BUT  pastors and ethics violations,  evidence room misuse and ethics violations.  No known connection, as Paul Harvey used to say right before he hinted at one.  Another one has chosen to resign and turned himself in for the arrest but Treherne is both a pastor and evidence misuse.  Seems like there was a similar problem right here in Morgan County.  Remember? 
Alabama deputy arrested on felony ethics charge
A veteran law enforcement officer was arrested Tuesday on felony charges.
Dallas County sheriff’s Sgt. John Treherne is charged with use of office for personal gain and third-degree theft, said District Attorney Michael Jackson. Authorities said Treherne is accused of paying for mechanical work he had done with property that was stored as evidence in a case.
According to his LinkedIn profile, he is a sergeant in the Criminal Investigations Division. Jackson said Treherne’s bond is set at $40,000.
The case was investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation. Dallas County Sheriff Mike Granthum said the alleged wrongdoing happened under the previous sheriff’s administration. Granthum said he received information about the possible crime and immediately began to investigate. Once they realized there was truth to the information, they summoned SBI to take over.
He said Treherne, who also is a pastor, resigned at 8 a.m. Tuesday after learning that warrants had been issued for his arrest. After resigning, he surrendered to the Dallas County Jail.
Treherne had worked for the Selma Police Department for about 10 years, and the sheriff’s office for 16 years. He said news of his arrest came as a shock to many in the sheriff’s office and beyond. "He’s like a brother to a lot of them,'' he said. “A lot of people are surprised. They’re having a hard time understanding it due to his character in the past. There were no warning signs or anything.”
However, Granthum said, all wrongdoing will be investigated whether it’s a law enforcement officer or not. "This is something that can’t go on,'' he said. “I will not have it.”

Monthly Editorial Review

BLOGGER COMMENTS:  The A P publishes a monthly roundup of interesting and important newspaper editorials.  The Decatur Daily made the cut with its editorial on Ana's legal issues.  In case you missed it, here it is again.  The link is for all three of the editorials.

https://apnews.com/467160bb65ad48a6aa1ede870f164e19

Nov. 20
The Decatur Daily on the end of recent legal battles for former Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin:
When Ana Franklin was elected Morgan County sheriff in 2010, there was the hope she would restore the office’s reputation, which had suffered under her predecessor, Greg Bartlett.
Bartlett had spent a night in jail after violating a court order regarding the feeding and care of jail inmates. That was all part of a larger situation involving a state law that, at the time, allowed sheriffs to pocket money left over from feeding inmates as personal income.
Bartlett earned the nickname “Sheriff Corndog” for a period in which he fed jail inmates corn dogs and little else after getting a truckload of the carnival staple for a pittance.
After finishing a close second to Bartlett in the 2010 Republican primary, Franklin went on to defeat him in the runoff, winning 53.4% of the vote. She would easily dispatch her Democratic opponent in the general election.
Franklin’s first term seemed to go smoothly, and she won the 2014 GOP primary in a landslide, with 79% of the vote. She had no Democratic opposition.
It was then that things started to take a turn, and by the end of Franklin’s second term, her legal problems involved a bankrupt car dealership, lawsuits and a federal investigation. Ironically, it also involved violating the same court order that had landed Bartlett in jail, opening the door to Franklin’s successful challenge for the office.
Franklin did not seek a third term in last year’s election, and she was succeeded by Ron Puckett, but the book on her tenure as Morgan County sheriff didn’t truly close until the past few weeks.
That’s when Franklin settled lawsuits with a critic and her former jail warden for searches of their homes.
Glenda Lockhart, a Falkville business owner who ran a website critical of the Franklin administration, filed her suit against Franklin and deputies Robert Wilson and Blake Robinson, in October 2016. Leon Bradley, whose 13-year tenure as the Morgan County Jail warden ended in October 2016 when Franklin fired him for allegedly providing official documents to Lockhart, filed his suit in July 2018.
“The Lockhart case and the Bradley cases settled,” Franklin’s lawyer, William Gray, said earlier this month. “They settled through mediation, and the terms are confidential. Basically all I can tell you is there was no admission of liability and all claims and counterclaims were dismissed.”
Franklin also entered a plea agreement to end her federal tax case.
Franklin pleaded guilty to the federal misdemeanor charge of willful failure to file a tax return in January and was sentenced last month to two years of probation and 300 hours of community service. An Oct. 21 order outlined the terms of the probation, including the prohibition on her possessing firearms.
Franklin successfully argued last week to have the firearm provision revised so she can keep one gun at home for personal protection.
Despite the best of hopes, Morgan County has now had two sheriffs leave office in disgrace.
We hope Sheriff Puckett puts an end to that trend.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Sad Day in Lowndes.County

BLOGGER COMMENTS:  An 18-year-old thug is about to find out that killing a cop is Capital Murder.  IMO, this one will end up on Death Row.  Meanwhile, the outpouring of grief in this mostly poor county is genuine and deserved.  RIP, Sheriff Williams.

Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams became the fifth Alabama law enforcement officer to be killed by gunfire in the line of duty this year.
Sheriff John Williams Tribute
From the Al.com story: “Williams, affectionately known as “Big John” and described as a pillar in his profession and in the community where he grew up and served, was shot after he responded to a call at a convenience store in Hayneville Saturday night.

Montgomery teen held without bond in murder of Lowndes County sheriff

An 18-year-old charged in the murder of Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams made his initial court appearance Monday morning in Lowndes District Court in Hayneville.
William Chase Johnson, of Montgomery, entered the courtroom in black and white striped jail clothes flanked by two state troopers.
Crenshaw County District Judge Tom Sport handled the proceeding, which lasted only a few minutes.
Sport advised Johnson of the murder charge and asked Johnson if he would hire an attorney or if he needed the court to appoint one. Johnson shook his head, indicating he did not know.
Sport ordered Johnson held without bond. Sport said he would schedule a preliminary hearing in the case after Johnson has a lawyer.
Johnson was led out of the courthouse after the hearing. He has been held in the Elmore County jail.
Williams was shot to death outside the QV convenience store in Hayneville about 8 p.m. Saturday. Johnson surrendered to authorities at the crime scene a few hours later, ending an hours-long manhunt.
The State Bureau of Investigation is handling the case and has not released any information about the circumstances of the shooting.
Sport, a Crenshaw County District Judge, was appointed to preside over the case after Lowndes County District Judge Adrian Johnson recused himself, court records show. Also on Monday, Sport issued a gag order instructing Johnson, his attorneys, and prosecutors not to talk to the media.

A Republican Sheriff Goes to Jail! Amazing!

BLOGGER COMMENTS:  OK, so he was a Democrat until 2017.  Maybe that explains it.  Or it could be his crimes were so outrageous (including sacrilege) that to administer the usual Republican 'slap-on-the-wrist' would be unacceptable.  Eighteen months doesn't sound like much but it ain't beanbag either, depends on whether you're outside looking in or inside looking out.

Ex-Alabama sheriff gets 18 months in federal prison


A former Alabama sheriff who scammed a food bank and church and pocketed leftover money meant for feeding inmates was sentenced Monday to federal prison.
Former Pickens County Sheriff David Abston, 68, was sentenced to 18 months, despite asking for leniency after pleading guilty four months ago to two federal crimes - wire fraud and filing a false tax return.
“Sheriff Abston is truly ashamed, contrite and remorseful for the crimes he has committed,’’ his attorneys wrote last week in requesting home confinement and community service rather than federal prison. “Sheriff Abston’s shame and remorse is deepened by the fact that he has proudly and dutifully served as a law enforcement officer for 41 years, including over 10 years in which he also served in the National Guard as a Military Police Officer. He full accepts his responsibility for his misdeeds, and he also recognizes that there must be consequences for his actions.”
Federal prosecutors requested Abston be sentenced to 18 months in prison in addition to being ordered to pay $86,335.57 to the food bank Abston victimized “to the detriment of the needy people in Pickens County that the food bank serves.
"Abston tarnished his office and his badge,” said Northern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Jay Town. “He found out today he isn’t above the law. Those who believe they are will find themselves in federal prison.”
“While the vast majority of law enforcement officers are honest and work hard to uphold the law, Abston misused his position of trust for personal gain and will now reap the consequences of his actions,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr.
Abston’s lawyers released this statement following the sentencing: “It is the privilege of this law firm to represent Sheriff David Abston. While Sheriff Abston is deeply disappointed in today’s sentence, he has accepted responsibility for the wrong he committed and respects the court’s decision imposing consequences for his actions. He will serve his sentence, do what good he can during his period of incarceration, and then return to the community he loves to continue his life of community involvement. Sheriff Abston and his family are thankful for the support and encouragement they have received over the last several months. They know that with the continued support of their friends and community and Sheriff Abston’s personal faith in God, they will make it through this difficult time.”

Holiday Slowdown

It's great how life seems to go a little slower during the holidays.  With Thanksgiving coming up this week we can think of many things to give thanks for.  We had our beautiful Mother and Dad for 81 years.  We had our brother for 64 years, and we had our beautiful son for 29 years.  Some say we have had a few tough years.  Our loss is tremendous but we are believers and we know we will meet again someday.

Our love is unwavering and again this year we will cherish our time with family, friends, and loved ones.

We are also thankful that Morgan County is a better place to live today than it was for 8 long years.  We will continue to watch and wait from dumb and dumber to stick their foolish heads up again.  We are constantly aware of Sheriff Blakely and his indictment issues.  We also see that the Pickens County Sheriff wants all of his issues to just go away.

Tragically we see that the Loudens County Sheriff who was a well-respected man was shot and killed by an 18-year-old thug with a gun.

There is good and bad in law enforcement just as in any other field.  We in Morgan, Lawrence, Limestone, Marshall had a few bad years of incompetence and thugs.  We realize there are some criticisms of our current sheriff but he is still learning and growing in his on right.

Keep your spirits up and find things to make you happy.  Buy a ham or turkey and give it to someone less fortunate.  It makes you feel better.  I promise.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Whoopee-Ti-Yi-Ma-a-a-a-a-a-a-!


So…you want to buy a goat? Sheriff’s office has some for sale


Want a goat?

If your Christmas list involves a goat, you may be in luck.
The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office has a goat sale planned for Thursday, Nov. 21 at 11 a.m. at the Sheriff’s Rodeo Arena on Highway 99.
The Sheriff’s Department found a herd of 22 goats off New Cut Road on Nov. 8 but have been unsuccessful in finding the owner. If you have any information on the goats, you can call 256-232-0111.
BLOGGER COMMENTS:  Sheriff Blakley may have found another way to make traveling money.  The goats will be at the Arena anyway.  Why not a goat rodeo?  Admission is five 'bucks'.  Afterward, goat Bar-B-Q!  

The Ana Era Shuffles to an End with Her Reputation in Tatters

BLOGGER COMMENTS:  An editorial in today's Daily sums up the decline and fall of Ana's Empire.  Actually the 'empire' was all in her mind, a plan to take over Morgan County as her own profit center.  As we find in most cases of high fliers who crash and burn, they carry with them the seeds to their own destruction.

Our View

Editorial: Final chapter closes in Franklin saga


The Issue

Ana Franklin began her tenure was Morgan County sheriff with high hopes but ended it just as her predecessor did, leaving office in disgrace.
When Ana Franklin was elected Morgan County sheriff in 2010, there was the hope she would restore the office’s reputation, which had suffered under her predecessor, Greg Bartlett.
Bartlett had spent a night in jail after violating a court order regarding the feeding and care of jail inmates. That was all part of a larger situation involving a state law that, at the time, allowed sheriffs to pocket money left over from feeding inmates as personal income.
Bartlett earned the nickname “Sheriff Corndog” for a period in which he fed jail inmates corn dogs and little else after getting a truckload of the carnival staple for a pittance.
After finishing a close second to Bartlett in the 2010 Republican primary, Franklin went on to defeat him in the runoff, winning 53.4% of the vote. She would easily dispatch her Democratic opponent in the general election.
Franklin’s first term seemed to go smoothly, and she won the 2014 GOP primary in a landslide, with 79% of the vote. She had no Democratic opposition.
It was then that things started to take a turn, and by the end of Franklin’s second term, her legal problems involved a bankrupt car dealership, lawsuits and a federal investigation. Ironically, it also involved violating the same court order that had landed Bartlett in jail, opening the door to Franklin’s successful challenge for the office.
Franklin did not seek a third term in last year’s election, and she was succeeded by Ron Puckett, but the book on her tenure as Morgan County sheriff didn’t truly close until the past few weeks.
That’s when Franklin settled lawsuits with a critic and her former jail warden for searches of their homes.
Glenda Lockhart, a Falkville business owner who ran a website critical of the Franklin administration, filed her suit against Franklin and deputies Robert Wilson and Blake Robinson, in October 2016. Leon Bradley, whose 13-year tenure as the Morgan County Jail warden ended in October 2016 when Franklin fired him for allegedly providing official documents to Lockhart, filed his suit in July 2018.
“The Lockhart case and the Bradley cases settled,” Franklin’s lawyer, William Gray, said earlier this month. “They settled through mediation, and the terms are confidential. Basically all I can tell you is there was no admission of liability and all claims and counterclaims were dismissed.”
Franklin also entered a plea agreement to end her federal tax case.
Franklin pleaded guilty to the federal misdemeanor charge of willful failure to file a tax return in January and was sentenced last month to two years of probation and 300 hours of community service. An Oct. 21 order outlined the terms of the probation, including the prohibition on her possessing firearms.
Franklin successfully argued last week to have the firearm provision revised so she can keep one gun at home for personal protection.
Despite the best of hopes, Morgan County has now had two sheriffs leave office in disgrace.
We hope Sheriff Puckett puts an end to that trend.
Blogger Comment:  So do we.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Ana Got Her Gun - In her house - In the safe

Blogger Comments:  To quote a friend:  "Wow! It's a mixed bag ruling that I can say is reasonable based on the evidence presented.  It makes me wonder though what kind of sheriff could not have made some arrest with all those pictures and identification."  

Is this the same evidence that Ana took to the FBI and the AG's office?  Keep your guns at home girl don't take your guns to town girl.  Isn't that a song?


Ana gets her gun: Judge drops firearm ban from former sheriff's probation

Posey

Franklin

Gray


HUNTSVILLE — Former Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin achieved partial success Tuesday in her effort to modify her probation terms to allow her to possess guns, arguing that numerous intruders on her property have placed her at risk.

    • — eric@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2435. Twitter @DD_Fleischauer.