News in 2007: December

FROM STAFF REPORTS

December 2007 was a memorable month in Shelby County.

An Alabaster woman was charged with killing her sister. A nativity scene went up in Columbiana despite some objections about separation of church and state. A new fire training facility was planned for Calera.

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 the 12 part of a 12-part series that ran online through Jan. 1

Pharmacist charged

Prosecutors have charged a Montevallo pharmacist in connection with a Birmingham business that was shutdown in late November for allegedly selling drugs online without valid prescriptions. James E. Maddox, Jr., 57, faced charges of criminal information with misprision of a felony, meaning he knew of criminal activity, didn’t report it and concealed evidence. Federal prosecutors say William & Mary Pharmacy, formerly located in Gardendale and Fultondale, illegally sold more than $6 million in hydrocodone-based prescriptions from May 2002 through March 2006.

Nativity on display despite objections

A nativity scene depicting baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the whole heavenly host, came under fire last year from at least one Columbiana resident and a nationwide advocacy group. Mayor Allan Lowe said he received two complaints about the manger scene that sits on city property near the Old Shelby County Courthouse. In response to the criticism, Lowe drafted a new policy he hopes will allow the city to keep the nativity scene and keep Columbiana out of court. Under the guidelines, church and civic groups are allowed to display seasonal decorations on certain parts of city property.

Mayor denies assault allegations

The Shelby County Sheriff ‘s Office investigated a dispute between a Calera business owner and Mayor George Roy. Roy denies the claims against him, including trespassing and assault, stemming from an argument over burning leaves last Wednesday. Kimberly Kaye Waldrop, owner of the Curves fitness center on U.S. 31, claims Roy was burning leaves on property leased by her business.

Conflict ensued when she went to put out the fire, Waldrop said. The 38-year-old said she was assaulted when the mayor tried to grab a bucket of water she was carrying, twisted her wrist and pushed her backward. “I never laid a hand on her,” said Roy, 79. “I’ve burned leaves there for the past 35 years. She’s confused. She thinks that’s her property, but it’s not.”

Fire facility to be ‘unique’

A new fire and emergency training complex in Calera would be the first of its kind in Alabama. It could also mean insurance savings for Shelby County residents. More than 15 municipal and volunteer fire departments pledged more than $1 million toward a proposed training facility in line with some of the top in the Southeast.

Woman charged with sister’s murder

A 28-year-old Alabaster woman faced murder charges in her sister’s death. Darla Rena Jenkins was charged with allegedly killing her 31-year-old sister, Donna Jean Jenkins, also of Alabaster. Deputy Police Chief Curtis Rigney said a woman’s body was found in a wooded area behind the Jenkins’ house on the 7800 block of Alabama 119. Police believe she may have been killed sometime Dec. 7.

Woman kills herself after shooting ex-husband

A 36-year-old Shelby County woman is dead after shooting her ex-husband and turning the gun on herself. Erika Michelle Rich died Thursday night from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, according to Shelby County Coroner Diana Hawkins. When confronted by police, Rich ignored requests to get out of the car and put her weapon down. As police officers approached, she shot herself with a .22-caliber handgun, according to the release, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

County eyes old Wal-Mart for health and services complex

The Shelby County Commission targeted a former Wal-Mart store in an attempt to bring a host of health and human service providers under the same roof. The 7-acre, 130,000-square-foot facility on Pelham Parkway was left vacant when Wal-Mart relocated the store to its Alabaster location in 2005. The site was the top choice for the proposed Health and Human Services Complex, anchored by three major service providers. Bringing the Shelby County Health Department, Chilton-Shelby Mental Health and the Shelby County Department of Human Resources to one centralized location is the focus of ongoing talks with the county, said County Manager Alex Dudchock