News in 2007: March

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 19, 2007


March 2007 was a memorable month in Shelby County.

A tornado touch downed near Montevallo. A top law enforcement officer was caught stealing. Pelham Mayor Bobby Hayes faced the biggest challenge of his career – beating cancer.

With this Year in Review, the Shelby County Reporter looks back month-by-month on the news stories and images that defined the year.

Join us as we recall the triumphs and tragedies, successes and failures that were 2007.

This is part three of a 12-part series that will run online through Jan. 1

Tornado damages Montevallo homes

A small tornado damaged several homes March 1 outside Montevallo, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist John Sirmon. An EF1 twister touched down just east of Shelby County 17 and moved northeast for three-quarters of a mile. The tornado spanned 100 yards at its widest, and winds reached about 105 miles per hour. The weather service’s official report said the twister caused major damage to the roofs of a home and barn shortly before 6 p.m.

Woman charged with leaving kids home alone

A Calera woman was charged with child endangerment after police say she left three young children at home alone. Calera police charged Nakita Clark Oden, 42, with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, one count of operating an unlicensed daycare and one count of operating a business without a license.

Mayor fights cancer

Pelham Mayor Bobby Hayes told his staff and city council members March 12 that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Hayes said he would undergo surgery and take three to four weeks off to recover. In the meantime, the mayor was in and out of the office for tests connected to the surgery and following treatments. Hayes, who has served as Pelham’s mayor since 1984, says bone scans do not show any spreading of the cancer.

Wanted offender found

A convicted sex offender, who had been running from Shelby County authorities since January, was arrested in Birmingham. U.S. Marshals arrested Stephen Hornfeck around 4 a.m. Friday, March 16, after receiving a tip on where he was living. Hornfeck, 47, was convicted in October of second-degree burglary and first-degree sexual abuse in Shelby County Circuit Court.

Citation Corp. files bankruptcy

Citation Corp., the parent company of Columbiana-based Citation Foam, filed for bankruptcy for the second time since 2004. The company is currently working on a recapitalization plan in federal court, which Citation leaders hope will help further rebuild the company.

Columbiana police chief investigated

Columbiana Mayor Allan Lowe requested two separate investigations of the city’s highest-ranking law enforcement officer. The probes were ordered in response to allegations made against Police Chief Johnny Brown, Lowe said. Lowe said he was not aware of any specific charges filed against Brown, but confirmed some of the allegations “did involve possible minor theft.”

County commission encourages voluntary watering restrictions

The voluntary outdoor watering schedule introduced by county officials last summer is being encouraged again this year to counter anticipated shortages in Shelby County’s water supply. The plan, asking customers to limit outdoor watering to two days per week from June through September, was part of a consumer confidence report presented to the county commission Monday by Utilities Manager Charles Lay.

Body found in lake

Authorities are still investigating the death of a woman found floating Monday, March 26 in a North Shelby County apartment lake. Members of the Calera dive team recovered the body of a 35 to 40-year-old white female around 12:40 p.m. from behind buildings five and six of Madison at Shoal Run Apartments. Witnesses said a resident who was fishing in the lake found the woman, dressed in red shorts and a tan top, shortly before 10 a.m.