Archives for August 2016

BREAKING: Former sheriff arrested Wednesday morning

Former Sumter County Sheriff Tyrone Clark Sr. was arrested Wednesday, Aug. 31. Warrants were served by the 17th Judicial Task Force around 8:30 a.m. Clark was removed from office by the Alabama Supreme Court back on July 27.

Clark was arrested on both felony and misdemeanor charges, including human trafficking. He was booked into the Johnny Hatter Detention Center in Livingston.

The West Alabama Watchman will update this story as more information becomes available.

UWA announces 2016-17 cheer team

The University of West Alabama cheerleaders include (from left to right): First Row- LUie; Second Row: Peyton Singley, Mya Webster, Ashlee Barnard, BreAnna Johnson, Quintana White, Abby Cook, and Aisha Robertson; Third Row: Victoria Gwin, Tadie Phillips, Kylee Koch, Tia Lang, Kaley Akin, Hannah Davis, and Tasia Davis; Fourth Row: Toni Wood, Elizabeth Waddell, Maci Lankford, Tanika Smith, Elizabeth Jones, Madison Carlisle, and Ashley McMinn. (Contributed Photo)

The University of West Alabama cheerleaders include (from left to right): First Row- LUie; Second Row: Peyton Singley, Mya Webster, Ashlee Barnard, BreAnna Johnson, Quintana White, Abby Cook, and Aisha Robertson; Third Row: Victoria Gwin, Tadie Phillips, Kylee Koch, Tia Lang, Kaley Akin, Hannah Davis, and Tasia Davis; Fourth Row: Toni Wood, Elizabeth Waddell, Maci Lankford, Tanika Smith, Elizabeth Jones, Madison Carlisle, and Ashley McMinn. (Contributed Photo)

LIVINGSTON, Ala.— The University of West Alabama has announced the 2016-2017 cheerleading team, a talented slate of women who will make their sideline debut with the Tiger football team on Sept. 17 against Mississippi College.

The squad received 2nd Place at UCA Cheerleading Camp this summer in Cheer, Chant, and Fightsong. The team also earned 2nd place overall in their division, the UCA Collegiate Image Award, and the UCA Game Plan Award. LUie received a Most Improved Program Award.

Members of the 2016-2017 UWA cheerleading team include:

Kaley Akin of Pleasant Grove, Ala.
Ashlee Barnard of Steele, Ala.
Madison Carlisle of Corner, Ala.
Abby Cook of Woodland, Ala.
Tasia Davis of Madison, Ala.
Hannah Davis of Meridian, Miss.
Hunter Griffin of Caledonia, Miss.
Victoria Gwin of Berry, Ala.
Libby Hankins of Gordo, Ala.
BreAnna Johnson of Ashville, Ala.
Elizabeth Jones of Ashville, Ala.
Kylee Koch of Gulf Shores, Ala.
Tia Lang of Vernon, Ala.
Ashley McMinn of West Blocton, Ala.
Maci Lankford of Jackson, Ala.
Tadie Phillips of Mobile, Ala.
Aisha Robertson of Meridian, Miss.
Peyton Singley of Sweet Water, Ala.
Tanika Smith of Boaz, Ala.
Elizabeth Waddell of Emelle, Ala.
Mya Webster of Birmingham, Ala.
Quintana White of Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Toni Wood of Corner, Ala.

Elizabeth Jones of Ashville, Ala., serves as captain of UWA’s cheerleading Team, and Tanika Smith of Boaz, Ala., and Tasia Davis of Madison, Ala., serve as co-captains.

UWA’s cheerleading team is led by Libba McClendon of Greensboro, Ala., and Ashley Taylor of Livingston, Ala.

Roger Thomas Maness

Roger Thomas Maness, age 71 of Arlington, AL died August 30, 2016 at his home. He was born October 22, 1944 in Pope, AL to Henry Eugene Maness and Sarah Thomas Maness. He was a retired maintenance mechanic with Weyerhaeuser and a member of County Line Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife, Sue Evans Maness of Arlington, AL; son, Jason (Laura) Maness of Arlington, AL; daughter, Suzanne Maness of Pennington, AL; brother, Walter Maness of Arlington, AL; sister, Gena (Larry) Durant of Camden, AL; two grandchildren, Jay Maness and River Maness.

He was preceded in death by his brother, James David Maness.

Graveside funeral services will be held at County Line Baptist Church Cemetery on Thursday, September 1, 2016 at 11:00 am with Rev. Rex Jackson officiating.

Arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Thomasville, AL.

All obituaries taken from the website of the corresponding funeral home unless otherwise noted.

James Glen Day

James Glen Day age 63 of Chilton, AL died August 29, 2016 at his home. He was born November 23, 1952 in Grove Hill, AL to Moody Glen Day and Judy Earline Hall Day. He was a former truck driver and a member of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Chilton, AL.

He is survived by two daughters, Mandy (Nick) Shaughnessy of Haines City, FL; and Tamara (Caleb) Norris of Thomasville, AL; father, Moody Glen Day of Chilton, AL; sister, Latisa (Stan) Sheehan of Thomasville, AL; 8 grandchildren, Bailey Shaughnessy, Riley Shaughnessy, Kinley Shaughnessy, Hunter Norris, Ryan Norris, Ella Norris, Natalie Norris, and Eli Norris.

Visitation will be held at Oak Grove Baptist Church on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Funeral services will be held at Oak Grove Baptist Church on Thursday, September 1, 2016 at 11:00 am with Rev. Morris Hill and Rev. Butch Starks officiating. Burial will be in the Smith Cemetery in Chilton, AL.

Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to: A Team Ministries, 3 Office Park Circle, Suite 105, Mountain Brook, AL 35223,

Arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Thomasville, AL.

All obituaries taken from the website of the corresponding funeral home unless otherwise noted.

Lula Madison

Ms. Lula Madison, age 90 of Linden, Alabama entered into eternal rest August 28, 2016 in Linden, Alabama. Funeral arrangements for Ms. Lula Madison are incomplete and will be announced at a later date. Larkin and Scott Mortuary, LLC entrusted with arrangements.

All obituaries taken from the website of the corresponding funeral home unless otherwise noted.

Mildred Inez Weatherly

Mildred Inez Weatherly age 88 of Thomasville, AL died August 28, 2016 at the Thomasville Health Care and Rehabilitation Center. She was born March 9, 1928 in Peacock, AL to James Matthew Johnson and Alice Virginia Phillips Johnson. She was a former seamstress with Vanity Fair and was a member of First Baptist Church Fulton.

She is survived by two sons, Nolan Darrell Weatherly and Donald Ray Weatherly of Fulton, AL; four daughters, Patricia Green of Grove Hill, AL; Jean (Wendell) Kirkland of Millry, AL; Wanda (Dewey) Chalk of Grove Hill, AL; and Shirley (H.G.) Phillips of Dickinson, AL; brother, Julius Johnson of Grove Hill, AL; two sisters, Marlene Drinkard of Thomasville, AL; and Wylene Boney of Butler, AL; 10 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ray Weatherly, her parents, James Matthew and Alice Virginia Johnson, her brother, James Johnson, and her sister, Nell Godwin

Visitation will be held at First Baptist Church Fulton on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 from 9:30 am until the 11:00 am service time with Rev. Keith Johnson officiating. Burial will be at Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery in Thomasville, AL.

Arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Thomasville, AL.

All obituaries taken from the website of the corresponding funeral home unless otherwise noted.

Youth, physically disabled hunt dates announced for Field Trial Area

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) announces the youth deer and duck hunt schedules at the M. Barnett Lawley Forever Wild Field Trial Area (FWFTA) in Hale County. The hunts will take place in late-November 2016 through January 2017. Registration will open September 1.

In addition to the youth deer and duck hunts, the FWFTA will host hunt days for hunters (of any age) with physical disabilities. The hunts will take place on the youth deer hunt dates. Registration for the physically disabled hunting days will open October 1.

To register for the hunts, call or leave a message for Bill Mason with the ADCNR State Lands Division at 334-624-9952. When registering please include a first choice and alternative date for your hunt. Reservations will be filled for the selected dates in the order they are received. If you have questions about the location or hunt details, call the number listed above or email

Youth deer and physically disabled hunt dates:
• November 23 and 26
• December 21 and 31
• January 11, 14, 18, 15 and 28

Youth duck hunt dates:
• November 26
• December 21 and 31
• January 11, 14, 18, 15 and 28

To participate in the youth hunts, hunters must be age 15 or younger and accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old (or a parent) who holds a valid state hunting license and a Harvest Information Program (HIP) stamp. Hunters must obtain their license and HIP stamp before the hunt since they will not be available on-site.

Each hunt date can accommodate four youth deer hunters, two groups of youth duck hunters, and three hunters with physically disabilities. The duck hunting groups can consist of one adult and three youth hunters or two adults and two youth hunters.

Hunters with physical disabilities are required to fill out a Disabled Hunter Permit Application prior to the hunt dates. For more information on the permit process, call the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries at 334-242-3465 or visit physically-disabled-hunting- and-fishing-trail.

Mandatory reporting of all deer (and turkey) harvests through Alabama’s Game Check system will be in effect for the 2016-17 youth and physically disabled hunting dates at FWFTA. Hunters will have 48 hours to report their harvest through a mobile app, online at, or by phone at 1-800-888-7690.

Information required to Game Check a harvest includes the date of harvest, the type of animal (deer or turkey), sex of deer (or age of gobbler), county of harvest, public or private land, and a hunting license or H.E.L.P. (Hunter Exempt License Privilege) number.

Hunters are encouraged to utilize Game Check via the Outdoor Alabama mobile app or go online to report their harvest. Reporting via the mobile app can be completed offline regardless of cellphone or data coverage. Just input the information and the app will automatically submit it when cellphone or data coverage is restored. The phone number is provided as a service for hunters who do not have internet access.

Besides providing a convenient way to report your harvest, a smartphone with the Outdoor Alabama app will be accepted in lieu of a paper harvest record. Hunters who plan to Game Check online or by phone are still required to possess a harvest record and hunting license during their hunt.

To learn more about Alabama’s Game Check system, visit gamecheck.

The M. Barnett Lawley Forever Wild Field Trial Area consists of 4,300 acres in Hale County and is managed as a nature preserve and recreation area. In addition to developing a sporting dog Field Trial/Hunt Test grounds and a youth hunting program, the ADCNR State Lands Division is currently restoring the tract’s native prairie grasslands and managing its numerous ponds for future public fishing.

ADCNR does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, gender, pregnancy, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, or disability in its hiring or employment practices nor in admission to, access to, or operations of its programs, services, or activities.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit

Laney looking forward to first term as Demopolis mayor

When reached via phone by The West Alabama Watchman the morning after his landslide victory, Demopolis Mayor-elect John Laney said he would have to call back. It was around 10 a.m., and he was out picking up campaign signs.

“I’m taking a break at 11. Can I call you then?” he asked.

John Laney. (Contributed Photo)

John Laney. (Contributed Photo)

And at exactly 11 a.m., Laney returned that call.

“I’m sorry about that earlier,” he said. “It’s just so hot in the middle of the day, so I was trying to get as much done before midday as I could.”

Throughout his entire campaign, Laney has referred to himself as a ‘servant-leader,’ and Wednesday morning’s phone call seemed to only validate his claim.

“I really couldn’t be where I am today were it not for the entire team who believed in and supported me and my campaign,” said Laney.

A Clemson-educated chemical engineer by training, Laney came to Demopolis in 2001 to lead the local CEMEX plant. When he retired in 2006 from the plant, he and his wife Sharon split time between their home in Demopolis and their home in Michigan.

“I was retired and started going to the city council meetings here in town in 2014, and I started to notice a trend,” said Laney, explaining what sparked his interest in running for mayor.

“It seemed as though we were reacting to things rather than strategically thinking and planning for what’s ahead. My entire career as a plant manager was centered around strategic planning and always looking for what’s next, so I felt like the City of Demopolis could benefit from my strengths in those areas.”

In August 2015, Laney started teaching at the University of West Alabama where he instructs Introduction to Engineering and Occupational Health and Safety. Through teaching at the collegiate level, he noticed that the region is not lacking in a skilled workforce, but industry to anchor that workforce following graduation.

“We’re losing population in Demopolis. We’ve got the people, we just don’t have enough places to put them to work, and so they leave,” Laney said. “We have to reverse this population loss. We can’t allow it to continue at current rates.”

Laney’s current plan involves three courses of action. First, the mayor and city government must effectively manage the city. Secondly, city government has to take care of existing businesses and ensure their overall happiness.

“The condition and visual impacts of our schools and healthcare are two of the first things that outside industry considers when looking at a new area,” said Laney. “We also have to take care of our existing businesses and show them that they matter. Word of mouth and networking is huge in economic development, and we want these businesses to be advocates for our city.”

The first two points of action in Laney’s plan drive the third: economic development.

“Before any industry is going to want to locate here, the first two are crucial. So they play into this hugely, but we also can’t sit and wait for industry to come find us—we have to be out on the front lines and be an itch that somebody wants to scratch.”

When asked about his first day in office, Laney said his plans are simple: meet with department heads to assure a working relationship.

“Any time there is change, we’re all wired to fear the worst, so my plan for my first day in office is to meet with all of the city’s department heads and reassure them that there is no reason to feel threatened. I’m there to nullify any fear on day one.”

Laney won Tuesday’s election by garnering 1112 of the 1776 votes cast, a sizeable 62-percent. In addition, he was the only candidate to capture triple-digit votes in all five of the city’s districts.

“I think that means a lot,” said Laney. “I felt going into Tuesday that there would likely be a run-off, but when I saw the numbers, I was blown away by the magnitude, especially the magnitude across all five districts. I really just can’t tell you how great it feels to have the support of an entire city going into my first term in office. I take that very seriously.”

Laney was quick to thank those who helped him throughout his campaign, and many of those people joined with him Tuesday night to celebrate.

“My family, because they had to live with me through it all, and Freddie Armstead was also very helpful to me. I’ve never run for elected office before, and Freddie had the experience and know-how to help me along the way,” said Laney.

Although he’s lived in Demopolis since 2001, Laney admits he wasn’t extremely well-known prior to his campaign.

“Becky and Roy Jordan hosted the first neighborhood meeting in their home. I appreciate them doing that because it gave me the chance to really start meeting so many of the wonderful people in Demopolis,” he said. “There were just so, so many who helped, and I know I can’t name them all, but I want to thank every person who opened their home to us, put a sign in their yard, and went to the polls on Tuesday. This is really about people, not me.”

Although the position is considered part-time, Laney ran on the promise of being a full-time mayor for Demopolis. In order to stick to that promise, he will stop teaching at the end of this semester.

“I’m finishing this semester at UWA because it’s already started. I’ll take office in November, so at the end of the semester I won’t be teaching anymore. I promised to be a full-time mayor, and that’s a promise I intend to keep.”

Linden schools remain strong in ASWA poll

Class 7A

  1. McGill-Toolen (29) (2-0) 357
  2. Spain Park (2-0) 250
  3. Hewitt-Trussville (1) (2-0) 226
  4. Hoover (1-1) 197
  5. Murphy (1-0) 181
  6. Central-Phenix City (1-1) 140
  7. James Clemens (0-1) 115
  8. Lee-Montgomery (2-0) 103
  9. Bob Jones (1-1) 53
  10. Vestavia Hills (1-0) 31

Others receiving votes: Foley (2-0) 17, Buckhorn (1-0) 9, Auburn (1-1) 8, Mountain Brook (2-0) 7, Mary Montgomery (1-1) 4, Theodore (2-0) 4, Thompson (1-0) 4, Davidson (1-1) 3, Gadsden City (0-2) 1.

Class 6A

  1. Clay-Chalkville (28) (2-0) 353
  2. Blount (1) (2-0) 254
  3. Spanish Fort (1-1) 222
  4. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (2-0) 204
  5. Opelika (1) (2-0) 201
  6. Oxford (2-0) 142
  7. Saraland (2-0) 111
  8. Gardendale (2-0) 69

9t. Bessemer City (1-1)   41

9t. Park Crossing (1-1)   41

Others receiving votes: Hartselle (2-0) 35, Wetumpka (2-0) 10, Benjamin Russell (0-1) 8, Minor (2-0) 6, Southside-gadsden (2-0) 6, Austin (1-1) 3, Chelsea (2-0) 3, Parker (1-0) 1.

Class 5A

  1. Jackson (17) (1-0) 315
  2. St. Paul’s (11) (1-1) 285
  3. Russellville (1) (1-0) 251
  4. Mortimer Jordan (1) (1-1) 202
  5. Beauregard (1-0) 164
  6. Etowah (1-1) 120
  7. Guntersville (1-0) 118
  8. Brooks (1-1) 62
  9. Alexandria (0-1) 56
  10. Central-Clay Co. (2-0) 52

Others receiving votes:  Scottsboro (1-0) 28, Calera (2-0) 18, Eufaula (1-1) 13, Sylacauga (2-0) 10, Wenonah (1-0) 5, Mae Jemison (1-1) 4, Corner (2-0) 3, Carroll (1-0) 2, Demopolis (1-1) 2.

Class 4A

  1. Cordova (28) (2-0) 354
  2. Andalusia (1) (2-0) 258

3t. Leeds (1) (2-0)    206

3t. UMS-Wright (1-1)   206

  1. Madison Acad. (0-1) 192
  2. West Limestone (2-0) 122
  3. Munford (0-1) 120
  4. Thomasville (1-0) 92
  5. Haleyville (2-0) 48
  6. North Jackson (0-1) 34

Others receiving votes: Jacksonville (2-0) 29, Handley (0-1) 10, Madison Co. (0-1) 9, Montgomery Catholic (2-0) 9, Tallassee (2-0) 8, Randolph (2-0) 6, Wilson (2-0) 3, Elmore Co. (2-0) 1, Fayette Co. (0-2) 1, Winfield (2-0) 1, Cherokee Co. (0-2) 1.

Class 3A

  1. Piedmont (29) (2-0) 357
  2. Gordo (1) (2-0) 273
  3. Opp (1-0) 236
  4. Montevallo (1-0) 179
  5. T.R. Miller (0-1) 152
  6. Oakman (1-0) 135
  7. Bayside Acad. (1-1) 129
  8. Hillcrest-Evergreen (0-1) 58
  9. Colbert Co. (0-1) 43
  10. Glencoe (2-0) 33

Others receiving votes: Straughn (1-0) 28, Mobile Chr. (1-0) 26, Daleville (0-1) 16, Randolph Co. (1-0) 10, Flomaton (2-0) 7, Lauderdale Co. (0-1) 7, Walter Wellborn (1-0) 5, J.B. Pennington (2-0) 4, Greene Co. (2-0) 3, Weaver (2-0) 3, West Morgan (2-0) 3, Locust Fork (2-0) 2, Clarke Co. (0-1) 1.

Class 2A

  1. Elba (30) (1-0) 360
  2. Washington Co. (1-0) 256
  3. Fyffe (1-0) 238
  4. G.W. Long (1-0) 203
  5. Lanett (2-0) 189
  6. New Brockton (1-0) 122
  7. LaFayette (2-0) 112
  8. Cleveland (1-0) 91
  9. Tanner (0-2) 65
  10. Red Bay (2-0) 33

Others receiving votes: Aliceville (0-1) 19, Sheffield (1-1) 9, Leroy (1-0) 8, J.U. Blacksher (1-1) 3, Southern Choctaw (1-0) 1, Gaston (0-2) 1

Class 1A

  1. Maplesville (24) (0-0) 342
  2. Linden (6) (1-0) 283
  3. Pickens Co. (1-0) 221
  4. Spring Garden (1-0) 164
  5. Brantley (0-1) 163
  6. Cedar Bluff (0-1) 137
  7. Berry (2-0) 132

8t. Decatur Heritage (0-1)   57

8t. Sweet Water (0-1)   57

  1. Addison (2-0) 52

Others receiving votes: Notasulga (1-1) 50, Wadley (1-0) 11, Marengo (1-0) 9, Georgiana (1-1) 8, Houston Co. (2-0) 7, Hubbertville (1-0) 7, McKenzie (1-1) 3, R.A. Hubbard (1-1) 3, Hackleburg (1-0) 2, Loachapoka (0-2) 1, Woodville (1-0) 1.


  1. Bessemer Acad. (30) (3-0) 360
  2. Escambia Acad. (2-0) 267
  3. Autauga Acad. (1-0) 241
  4. Monroe Acad.  (1-1) 194
  5. Marengo Acad. (1-0) 150
  6. Lowndes Acad. (1-0) 149
  7. Fort Dale Acad. (1-0) 105
  8. Northside Methodist (2-0) 51
  9. S. Choctaw Acad. (2-0) 40
  10. Chambers Acad.  (1-0) 37

Others receiving votes: Pike Liberal (1-0) 25, Abbeville Chr. (0-2) 23, Springwood (1-0) 17, Jackson Acad. (1-1) 16, Clarke Prep (0-1) 12, Lee-Scott (0-1) 10, Morgan Acad. (1-1) 7, Hooper Acad. (1-0) 6.

The Alabama Sports Writers Association prep committee members are: Paul Beaudry (Chairman), Alabama Media Group; Cathy Higgins, Alexander City Outlook; Will Gaines, Anniston Star; Andrew Garner, Atmore Advance; Jonathan Deal, Athens News Courier; Josh Dutton, Andalusia Star-News; Rob Rice, Blount Countian; Shannon Fagan, Cherokee Herald; Tommy Hicks, Citronelle Call-News; Ross Wood, Clarke Co. Democrat; Rob Ketcham, Cullman Times; Johnathan Bentley, Daily Mountain Eagle; Justin Graves, Decatur Daily; David Mundee, Dothan Eagle; Lee Peacock, Evergreen Courant; John McWilliams, Florence TimesDaily; Jeremy Smith, Freelance (Demopolis); Chris McCarthy, Gadsden Messenger; J.J. Hicks, Gadsden Times; Daniel Boyette, Huntsville Times; Ben Thomas, Mobile Press-Register; Stacy Long, Montgomery Advertiser; Eric Bacharach, Opelika-Auburn News; Shannon Allen, Sand Mountain Reporter; Jason Bowen, Scottsboro Daily Sentinel; Daniel Evans, Selma Times-Journal; Baker Ellis, Shelby County Reporter; Lavonte Young, Talladega Daily Home ; Joey Chandler, Tuscaloosa News; Cory Diaz, Wetumpka Herald. Not voting: Gary Estwick, Birmingham News.

DMS romps in season opener

Demopolis Middle School opened its season Tuesday night with a 36-0 home win over Thomasville in the coaching debut of Tiger head man Byron Franklin.

(Photos by Glenda Bradley)

Hayes Atkins pulls in a pass and runs it in for a touchdown.

Hayes Atkins pulls in a pass and runs it in for a touchdown.

Brandon Franklin rushes for a touchdown.

Brandon Franklin rushes for a touchdown.