2009: The year in review
Below is a list of North Chilton County’s most newsworthy events from 2009:
Shane Fulmer was appointed police chief by a unanimous vote of the Jemison City Council. Fulmer had served as interim chief since December 2008, when former chief Brian Stilwell resigned to take the same position for the city of Clanton.
After more than two years of planning, the city of Jemison received the go-ahead for a $300,000 project to construct sidewalks along U.S. Highway 31. The project began in the summer and was completed in the fall.
Thorsby Police Chief Ed Prady announces he will resign effective May 1. Prady was a member of the Thorsby Police Department since 1990.
A wreck involving four vehicles at the intersection of state Highway 155 and County Road 962 injured 10 people and closed the highway for several hours.
All but two members of the Chilton County Humane Society Board of Directors resign shortly after the county commission and local municipalities requested an audit. The board elected a new president, Colleen Kennedy, and increased its membership from six to seven for voting purposes.
The Chilton County Commission begins implementing an 8-percent, across-the-board budget cut by approving reductions in its own office. Cuts made in the commission office totaled more than $78,000.
An apparent territorial dispute between area fire departments resulted in one fire chief, North Chilton’s Phillip Rachels, being arrested for interfering with a government operation at a wreck scene.
Chilton County Research and Extension Center horticulturalist Bobby Boozer estimated freezing temperatures the night of April 7 damaged about 25 percent of the county’s prized peach crop.
A United States District Court Judge sentences Douglas Eugene “Gene” Martin of Jemison to 9 1/2 years in federal prison after Martin pleaded guilty to murder-for-hire charges. Martin was already in federal custody when he took part in the plot, which involved using another inmate to attempt to hire someone to murder an unnamed victim in exchange for money from Martin. A little more than one week later, Martin was given a 15-year sentence in a state court for being in possession of stolen property, a truck that Martin had “reasonable grounds to believe was stolen.”
Severe storms packing intense straight-line winds hit Chilton County, especially Maplesville, falling trees on five homes, displacing two families and leaving more than 4,000 county residents without power.
The old Thorsby School was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. “This was sort of a last stand to save something historic,” town historic preservation committee member Glenn Littleton said.
Gov. Bob Riley was given a tour of the still-under-construction Jemison Intermediate School by Chilton County Superintendent Keith Moore. The school is being built from a $1 billion school construction bond Riley proposed and the state Legislature approved in 2007.
A Jemison pastor and daycare supervisor faces charges of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.