Friday, July 28, 2017


MCN fundraiser/screening generates discussion


In the interest of killing two bird with one stone, the South Pittsburg Hustler and the Jasper Journal hosted a film screening at the Princess Theater and raised funds for a couple of worthy causes. The film Beyond the Myth: The Truth About Pit Bulls explores the impact of breed specific legislation (BSL) and provides input from several officials in the municipalities where BSL is already in place. The movie also discussed the impact that the media has in the negative personification of the of the breed.

The filmmaker, Isabelle Sherrill, was also in attendance and offered to take questions. The resulting discussion was frank and helpful for those who hadn’t really given the subject of BSL a lot of thought until the upheaval recently.

Both MARC and MC DART benefitted from the event as all proceeds were divided between the two entities that serve Marion County’s animal population. Thanks to those that did come out and helped us open some dialogue.

Suspect arrested after two men stabbed in Skyline


On Tuesday July 18, 2017 at approximately 3:30 PM, the Skyline Police Department and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the 400 block of Manning Drive in Skyline, Alabama on a report of two men being stabbed. Upon arrival, Skyline Police Department Officers located two victims, Robert Clinton OWENS, age 54 of Skyline and Anthony Jerome SHRADER age 51 of Scottsboro, both which had been assaulted with a knife. The suspect in this assault, Raymond Lawrence TALLEY age 24 of Woodville was believed to have fled the scene in a stolen Ford Ranger pickup truck, which was taken from the residence. Both victims were initially treated by members of the Skyline Fire Department and were then airlifted to Trauma Hospitals. Both victims injuries were serious but not believed to be life threatening. At around 8:20 PM, Investigators with the Scottsboro Police Department and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office located the stolen truck driven by TALLEY traveling southb ound on Alabama Highway 79 near County Road 114 in Scottsboro. TALLEY was arrested without incident and charged with several outstanding arrest warrants including Bond Revocation, Domestic Violence 3rd Harassment and Criminal Mischief. On July 20, 2017 as a result of the investigation into this incident, warrants were obtained on TALLEY charging him with two counts of Robbery 1st degree.   TALLEY remains in custody in the Jackson County Jail and Bond has set at $20,000.

County Highway Dept ushers in new trucks

Among those gathered for the fleet unveiling included: (front left to right) County Register of Deeds Debbie Pittman, County Commissioner Roger Grayson, County Clerk Dwight Minter, County Mayor David Jackson, Commissioner Penny Skiles, Commissioner Kenny Cookston, Commissioner Tommy Thompson (Back row, left to right) MCHD driver Tim Reynolds, Commissioner Phil Smith, MCHD employee Terry Smith, MCHD employee Bobby Holloway, MCHD employee Jeff Calloway, and MCHD employee Kris Wingfield

In January of this year, Marion County Road Superintendent Jim Hawk requested of the county commission approval for the purchase of four new dump trucks as a capital outlay for the Marion County Highway Department. Hawk said that the cost of repairs and the lost time for having vehicles down was punitive to his budget and schedule. Despite the undercurrent of concern over the price tag, which was just under $500,000, the board approved the expenditure through a formal resolution for the capital outlay note in February’s regular meeting to be administrated by Citizen’s Tri-County Bank for a seven year payback.

The realization of that purchase has come to be as several county officials helped celebrate the arrival of the fleet of trucks to the Highway Department this week. Mayor David Jackson said of the new trucks, “The main thing is these trucks are a whole lot safer coming down or climbing mountains. It’ll also cut time because they can haul a little more per load than the existing trucks…probably three or four more tons per load. That’ll obviously cut down on the number of the loads.” Jackson went on to say, “I think it’s a great investment for the Highway Department. But for me, and I think everyone else, safety has got to be number one and it’s been a long time coming so we can do better for our citizens as far as having better roads and these will be a big help doing that.”

Commissioner Roger Grayson had a different appreciation for the purchase. “The quality of truck that you’ve bought for the money and it’s going last a long time and these’ll hold their value much better than what the Highway Department has had before.” The Highway Department recently auctioned off several vehicles as “excess” and brought comparatively decent money, but only returned a small a fraction of the original purchase value of the vehicles.

Commissioner Kenneth “Penny” Skiles echoed the sentiment also. “I think [the purchase] will do the county a good service.” Skiles also reminded residents about the budget for the county highway department. “Jimmy (Hawk) doesn’t get any money from the taxpayers, it all comes from state [gas tax] and TDOT out of Nashville.” Skiles emphasized that the gas tax comes form every person that buys gas in the state whether they’re from “California or your neighbor.” “People say, ‘Well, that’s my tax dollars,’ and it’s not really…not exclusively it’s tax dollars from everybody that buys gas in Marion County just passing through also,” SKiles said.

Commissioner Kenny Cookston spoke to the priority of the purchase. “I think it was a need. These are more modern, fuel efficient trucks and you’re probably looking at fifteen twenty years use out of them which will save the county a lot of money in the long run so I think it’s a good thing myself.”



JCSD finds driver passed out at local gas station

Patrick Shane Boyd (inset: material found during call)

On Sunday July 16, 2017, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant John McCrary along with Deputy Bobby Wilbanks were dispatched to Walden’s Citgo in Hollywood , Alabama on a “call for service” regarding a male subject who had been asleep behind the wheel of a car, at the gas pumps, for approximately 30 minutes. Upon arrival, Deputies found Patrick Shane Boyd age 42 of Fort Payne, AL. seated behind the wheel of the car, slumped over the steering wheel. Boyd denied being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs but failed several field tests for sobriety.   Boyd was arrested and a search was conducted of the vehicle. During this search, approximately 22 grams of methamphetamine and 3 Adderall capsules were located and seized.

Boyd was transported to the Jackson County Jail where he was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Controlled Substances, Possession with intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Possession of Controlled Substances (Adderall). Bond was set at $14,500.

“Big John” unveiled despite weather


Part of the bedrock of the City of Whitwell’s history is the impact of the coal mining industry. Multiple generations supported their families mining coal and the closure of the nearby mining operations nearly devestated the city. Whereas the city is arguably moving past the loss, today marked the latest effort to honor those who lost their lives in the mine as well as the industry’s thread throughout the fabric of the city.

JT Shadrick, who is widely recognized as the face of the city’s effort to remember, declared the unveiling of the commemorative “Big John” statue as the culmination of his and several other advocates’ dream. People entering Whitwell from the west will be able to see “Big John” as they at the intersection of 28 and 108 on the left.

Shadrick wished to thank all those affiliated with the statue including the city council and Tennessee Galvanizing and all of the businesses that helped offset the costs.

Couple chased through Marion County apprehended in Hamilton

Robert Pace and Chastity Gann face multiple charges

A couple is facing multiple charges in Hamilton County after leading Marion County Sheriff’s Department deputies on a high speed chase through Marion earlier this week. Further investigation reveals evidence that implicates the couple in a string of smash and grabs from parked vehicles in Hamilton, Marion and Meigs county.

The couple were also apprehended in what would later to be determined as a stolen car. As of right now the suspects, Chastity Gann and Robert Pace are facing charges of multiple threats over $1000, fraud and criminal impersonation. More charge are expected according to law enforcement officials.

Jackson Co makes arrest in Skyline murder

Hank Thomas Blizzard

On Sunday July 9th, 2017 at around 11 am, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a man who had driven up to a residence on County Road 107 in the town of Skyline suffering from a wound to his neck. Emergency personnel from the Skyline Fire Department and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area and found the victim, Timothy Daniel MULLICAN age 20 of Hytop, lying on the ground near his vehicle with an apparent neck wound. MULLICAN was transported to Highlands Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Based on the investigation into this incident, Deputies located and detained a possible suspect, Hank Thomas BLIZZARD age 18, who was in the general area of the incident.   Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Investigators processed three separate crime scenes where evidence was recovered, including a knife, which is believed to been used in the crime.

Based on this investigation BLIZZARD was arrested and charged with murder. BLIZZARD was booked into the Jackson County Jail and bond was set at $500,000.

Jordan recognized for contribution to Kimball on eve of retirement


After over a decade and half career with the Kimball Police Department, Chief Tommy Jordan announced last month that he was retiring effective July 7. The town’s board recognized Jordan at Kimball’s regular monthly meeting the day before he issues his final call.

Marveling at his longevity within the department and the contributions he has overseen, the board bid him farewell into his new chapter. The board also presented him with a shadow box highlighting milestones of his career with Kimball.

The staff of the newspaper wishes a very happy and healthy retirement for Chief Jordan.

Tim Allison (left) being sworn in by Kimball town judge Melissa Blevins (right)

Additionally, with Jordan’s retirement came the question of who would fill his shoes in the chief’s position. That also was answered at the meeting as Tim Allison was sworn in to take effect upon end of shift for Jordan.

Whitwell Senior Center to host fall reduction series


The Whitwell Senior Center (900 Main Street, 37397) will be hosting an eight week fall management and reduction series of speakers every Wednesday from 1-3 pm from July 12-August 30.

The program is designed to give participants knowledge of how to set goals for increasing activity and how to reduce chances of falls at home among other skills. The series is open to the public at no charge. For questions, please call 423-658-5000.

Hustler/Journal to host filmmaker screening of pit bull documentary


Marion County Newspapers, which proudly publishes the South Pittsburg Hustler and Jasper Journal, will be hosting filmmaker Isabelle Sherrill speaking at the Princess Theatre on July 21 at 6:00 pm. We will also be featuring her film, Beyond the Myth: The Truth About Pit Bulls.

The film explores different pit bull bans and how the breed invites media bias and dog behavior versus the breed behavior and where those lines are delineated. Stay tuned as we’ll be fine tuning details as we’ve just gotten the date reconciled. Be sure and mark your calendar!