News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news


3 wanted for alleged thefts in Limestone

SALEM — Three Lauderdale County men are wanted for a rash of thefts in the Salem community, an investigator said.

Limestone Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt said Donald Drane, 20, of Rogersville, Terry Robison, 20, of Florence, and Daniel Wigginton, 23, of Lexington, allegedly took guns, extension cords and copper wire two weeks ago from vehicles on Salem Minor Hill and Persimmon Tree roads.

Investigators Brian Ruble and Josh McLaughlin recovered one gun and copper wire. The trio is in the Lauderdale County Jail on theft charges there. Limestone has a hold on them for three counts of breaking and entering a vehicle, two counts of third-degree burglary and second- and third-degree theft.

- Holly Hollman

Farmers elect Oden Ridge man to panel

HARTSELLE — Area farmers recently elected Gerry Holmes of Oden Ridge to the Morgan County Farm Service Agency Committee and Steve Gullion of Somerville as first alternate.

Holmes will represent farmers in the Falkville, Union Hill, Gandy Cove, Eva, Florette, Ryan, Gum Pond and Apple Grove communities. Betty E. Burden of the Gum Pond community is the outgoing committee member. She served nine years.

- Ronnie Thomas

Man caught stealing from car, police say

FALKVILLE — Morgan County sheriff’s deputies caught a car burglar after the victim’s girlfriend discovered him in the act, Chief Investigator Sgt. John Bili said Monday.

Rayburn Rafel Vinson, 19, of 423 Hill Chapel Road, Falkville stole a compact disc player from a car parked at a residence on Mt. Tabor Road at about 10 a.m. Saturday, Bili said.

“The girlfriend of the victim came home and saw feet dangling out of her boyfriend’s vehicle. She says, ‘What are you doing?’ He says, ‘Is Michael home?’ She says, ‘Yeah, he’s home. I’m going to get him,’ so he (Vinson) scoots,” Bili said.

Bili said Vinson apparently knew the victim’s name because he had recently bummed a ride from him. The woman called police, and deputies patrolling the area soon found Vinson and a CD player taken from the car in some bushes not far away, Bili said. Vinson could face more charges, as he is a suspect in some other cases, Bili said.

- Seth Burkett

Family of bus victim files suit

HUNTSVILLE — The family of Nicole Ford, one of four girls killed in a tragic school bus accident, filed a wrongful death suit in Madison County Circuit Court, lawyers representing the family announced Monday.

The suit names Laidlaw Transit, the school bus driver and the driver of a car also involved in the wreck as defendants said Attorney Jere Beasley of Montgomery.

The case is the first to be filed arising out of the accident, in which the bus carrying 40 Lee High School students to the Huntsville Center for Technology plummeted nearly 30 feet from an overpass on Interstate 565 on Nov. 20.

- Seth Burkett

Police: Man robbed at apartment

A man apparently was robbed of his wallet at gunpoint outside his apartment Sunday night, Decatur police said.

The robbery occurred in the 300 block of Cardinal Drive Southwest at about 11:20 p.m., said Lt. Chris Mathews, a police spokesman.

Jose Marques told police a black male came up behind him, put what he believed to be a gun to his head and forced him to the ground. The man took Marques’ wallet, which contained an unknown amount of cash, and fled, Mathews said.

The robber wore black pants and a black jacket. Police said a white Lincoln Towncar seen leaving the scene might have been involved.

- Seth Burkett

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