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Monday, February 8, 2016

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Sting Operation Nabs Two Area Men

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Kevin Freeman, 38, Bear Creek Terry Lane, 39, Nauvoo

Two local men were arrested in January in an undercover sting to catch predators hoping to meet an underage girl for sex. The investigation began when an underage person complained about an older person making contact on social media. The Cordova Police set up two fake accounts on social media in which bot accounts appeared to be female teens under 16 years old.

Within an hour, up to 50 people had contacted the fake sites. Police Chief Nick Smith said he was overwhelmed by the response. While the specific social media sites were not released, Smith said they were the typical sites that anyone around or under age 16 may be using. He said the people who contacted the fake accounts would begin with private conversation and some were very blunt and expressed their desire to have sex with the person they thought was an underage teen.Two local men were arrested in January in an undercover sting to catch predators hoping to meet an underage girl for sex. The investigation began when an underage person complained about an older person making contact through social media. The Cordova Police set up two fake accounts on social media in which bot accounts appeared to be female teens under 16 years old.

Investigators, using the fake profiles, set up meetings in various locations around Cordova. The suspects thought they were meeting an underage female for sex but instead were arrested. Ten people were arrested in this sting, all from north Alabama.

Two of the ten arrested were Kevin Freeman, 38, of Bear Creek. Freeman was charged with transmitting obscene material to a child and traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act. Terry Lane, 39, of Nauvoo, was charged with transmitting obscene material to a child. 

Chief Smith stated, "If you have a child on social media you need to monitor their activity or not let them have it at all."

If you have any information related to this operation, please contact the Cordova Police Department investigators at specialop64@yahoo.com. 

Story originally appeared on WBRC-6 Birmingham.

Brilliant High School Athlete Chosen as 1 of 16 Statewide

Bobby Isom

Congratulations to Oakley Ward from Brilliant High School who was 1 of only 16 students chosen statewide to participate in the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Student Leadership Conference.  She is the daughter of Dennis and Lana Ward of Brilliant, and is currently a junior at Brilliant High School.  Oakley was chosen as the female representative from the entire district 7.  Oakley will participate in the two-day leadership conference in Montgomery on April 4-5.  During the conference, students will learn more about the AHSAA, speak with executive director Steve Savarese, have group sessions with leadership clinician Jack Williams, CEO of the IDEALS leadership program, and visit educational venues in Montgomery.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Harold Bearden

After the storm passed Tuesday night, only two incidents were reported caused by the high winds and rain. A power transformer on the east side of Haleyville caught fire and had to be replaced, knocking out neighborhood power for a short while. Haleyville firemen responded. With the installation of a new transformer, Alabama Power workers had power restored.

Just after 11 p.m., traveling down 30th Street in my Prius, a large dead tree, weakened by the storm decided gravity was just too much and fell on my car. The tree caused extensive damage, including breaking out the rear window. It even broke out the front grill as it enveloped the Prius. The unexpected event certainly got my attention. 

The good news, no one was injured or killed in the passing of this storm. 

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Haleyville City Council Meeting

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A history making city council meeting took place Monday evening. It was the first ever council meeting in the new Haleyville City Hall. With Bud Wilson absent, Mayor Ken Sunseri and the remaining four councilmen conducted the shortest meeting in recent history. After approving the minutes of the last meeting on 19 January, the council approved hiring The Cassady Company to engineer the Cripple Creek Subdivision sewer project. 

Mayor Sunseri announced the Storm Shelters will be opened Tuesday afternoon if a tornado watch is issued for this area and residents should keep a watch on the weather Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night.

Mayor Sunseri stated the police department plans to move to the new city hall on Thursday. 

The next city council meeting will be Tuesday, February 16, 5:30 at the new Haleyville City Hall. There will be a public hearing preceding the council meeting at 5:15 on the 16th concerning a new business to locate in Haleyville. 

Higway Culvert Project Closer to Completion

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The weather and holidays slowed but did not stop the work on the storm water culvert being constructed underneath Highway 13 North at 8th Avenue. With less than 50 feet to go for completion, the goal of the $1.5 million project is to prevent the flooding over the highway during heavy rains which have been occurring for over 30 years. The highway is opened without the barriers, however, access to 8th Avenue both north and south is still closed at this intersection. The state will have to re-install the traffic signal light before the intersection will be reopened.  

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