2010 in review: Part Two

Dr. Robert Bentley campaigned in Columbiana during his run to the governor's mansion. (File photo)

FROM STAFF REPORTS

We continue our look back through the biggest storylines and biggest names of 2010.

JULY

BROOKWOOD EMERGENCY ROOM ON U.S. 280 APPROVED

Brookwood Medical Center moved one step closer to building a freestanding emergency room at the intersection of U.S. 280 and Alabama 119 June 30. The announcement came after administrative law judge James Wilson recommended the hospital move forward with building the emergency room, which would be the first of its kind in Alabama.

BENTLEY WINS RUNOFF

Columbiana native Dr. Robert Bentley defeated his opponent Bradley Byrne during a July 13 Republican gubernatorial runoff, sealing his spot on the November general election ballot. With about 97 percent of the state reporting, Bentley had about 56 percent of the vote to Byrne’s 44 percent. In Shelby County, Bentley had about 52 percent of the vote, and Byrne had about 44 percent.

VINCENT SAYS YES TO THE QUARRY

The Vincent Town Council approved White Rock Quarries’ plans to build a limestone quarry within town limits. The council passed an ordinance approving the mining company’s request to rezone 886 acres of land to accommodate the quarry during the council’s July 15 meeting. The council also passed an ordinance to annex all of White Rock’s property into the town of Vincent.

ALABAMA SOLDIER KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN

The Department of Defense announced July 26 that Army Pfc. Andrew L. Hand, 25, of Enterprise died July 24 at Qalat, Afghanistan. Hand was the son of Kenneth Hand, a Spain Park High School football offensive assistant coach.

AUGUST

FIVE SCHOOLS FAIL TO MAKE AYP

Five Shelby County schools, along with the Shelby County School District, failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress goals this year. The five schools that missed their AYP goals were Thompson High, Calera Middle, Thompson Intermediate, Creek View Elementary and the Linda Nolen Learning Center. Local educators immediately began making plans to increase reading and math scores.

GROUP USES FACEBOOK TO PUSH FOR HELENA HIGH

A new Facebook group, Help Helena High School, emerged in mid-August and gained close to 900 members in seven days.

CHAMPIONS TOUR COMING TO SHOAL CREEK

Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club in North Shelby County will be the home of the Regions Tradition, one of the five major championship tournaments on the Professional Golf Association Tour’s Champions Tour, for the next three years beginning in 2011. The tournament was announced Aug. 23 at a press conference at the Town Hall at Shoal Creek.

HEROIN USE ON THE RISE

After years of having no heroin arrests or heroin-related deaths in Shelby County, 2010 showed a rising number of both. The increase is likely due to heroin’s easy access as more of it comes in from Mexico, George said.

SEPTEMBER

SPAIN PARK COACH INVOLVED IN SCANDAL

Spain Park High School head football coach David Shores was placed on on paid administrative leave and athletic director Gena Morris retired following an “on-the-field incident at the beginning of practice” Aug. 24 involving an alleged physical altercation between Shores and a Spain Park player. Shores later settled with the school board, ending his tenure as head coach.

ALABASTER OPENS NEW SENIOR CENTER

Alabaster officials completed years of planning and several months of work Sept. 19 when they opened the city’s new senior center off Seventh Street Southwest. The new center replaced the much smaller facility the seniors formerly used, giving the city the chance to offer more programs and greater offerings to its seniors.

PHILIP DAVIS NAMED OFFICER OF THE YEAR

Paula Davis, wife of slain Pelham Police Officer Philip Davis, accepted the Pelham Police Officer of the Year award for her husband Sept. 29.

OCTOBER

CHILD DIES IN ATV ACCIDENT

Brynleigh Welch, 9, died in an accident Oct. 1 in which her all-terrain vehicle collided with a car. Christian Carter, Welch’s 13-year-old brother, was also riding on the same ATV and was transported to Children’s Hospital.

UM INAUGURATES 15TH PRESIDENT

The University of Montevallo embraced Dr. John W. Stewart III as the 15th president of the university at his inauguration ceremony Oct. 14 in Palmer Auditorium.

BOE CALLS FOR ELECTION TO EXTEND SCHOOL TAXES

The Shelby County Board of Education passed resolutions Oct. 21 to request the Shelby County Commission call a special election for county residents to renew 30 mills in education taxes. The commission granted that request, and the election will be held Feb. 8, 2011.

ALABASTER PASSES SMOKING LAW

Alabaster restaurants and hotels will begin declaring themselves either smoking or non-smoking establishments in March 2011, after the Alabaster City Council approved a citywide smoking ordinance during its Oct. 21 meeting.

NOVEMBER

UM HEAD OF POLICE ARRESTED

University of Montevallo campus police chief, Shelley Tyree, was arrested Oct. 26 on domestic violence charges in the third degree, according to university officials. She was placed on administrative leave from the university.

UM STUDENT FOUND DEAD IN ORR PARK

Montevallo police discovered the dead body of Allen Matthew Barber, a University of Montevallo student from Daphne, Oct. 27 in Orr Park. Barber, who was pronounced dead on the scene, died from a gunshot wound. It was ruled a suicide.

BENTLEY WINS

Dr. Robert Bentley, a Columbiana native and Republican candidate, became Alabama’s 53rd governor Nov. 2. Bentley defeated Democratic candidate Ron Sparks, getting 58 percent of the vote to Sparks’ 41 percent.

MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN DEATH OF STERRETT WOMAN

Randy O’Neal Davidson, 30, pleaded guilty to the capital murder of 62-year-old Diana Donahoo Rice, whose body was found in St. Clair County woods in April 2009. Both Rice and Davidson were residents of Sterrett. In accordance with the plea agreement, prosecutors recommended he be sentenced to life without parole.

DEATH FOR RYAN RUSSELL

A jury made up of eight men and four women recommended on Nov. 22 Ryan Gerald Russell be sentenced to death for murdering his 11-year-old cousin, Katherine Helen Gillespie, in June 2008. Gillespie’s body was found June 16, 2008 stuffed head first into a trashcan stored in the backseat of Russell’s SUV in the garage of his rental house in Inverness. An autopsy showed she died of a .40-caliber contact gunshot wound to the head. Russell was convicted Nov. 19. Shelby County Circuit Judge Michael Joiner followed the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Russell to death Dec. 16.

DECEMBER

COUNCILMAN HICKS’ SON HOSPITALIZED

The son of an Alabaster City Council member remained in the hospital Nov. 30 after he was involved in a single-vehicle accident Nov. 25 on Morgan Road in Bessemer. The wreck happened at about 2:20 p.m. Thanksgiving Day when a 2008 Dodge Ram pickup truck driven by Kyle Hicks, the son of Alabaster Councilman Bob Hicks, lost control and struck two trees. The wreck happened between Yancy Drive and Aviation Road.

ALABASTER POLICE OFFICER INVOLVED IN SHOOTING

On Dec. 6, the Alabaster Police Department received a call reporting a person threatening suicide. Officers responded to a residence in the 1300 block of West Navajo Drive, where they found 23-year-old Gerald Dimas Luna II threatening suicide while outside the residence armed with a weapon. An officer shot the man, who was then airlifted to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:08 p.m.

SHELBY ACADEMY TO SELL

The Shelby County Board of Education approved the purchase of the former Shelby Academy property and buildings during a special meeting Dec. 10. The board of education will pay the Shelby Academy Board $1.3 million for the property and buildings.

TWO LOCAL TEENS DIE IN CRASH

Two Helena teenagers died in a car wreck at the intersection of Highway 25 and Shelby County Road 42 Dec. 11 at approximately 6:35 p.m., according to Calera Police Chief Sean Lemley. The two-vehicle crash caused the death of Nathan Dunn, 16, of Helena, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Amber Parks, 14, of Helena died the morning after the crash on Dec. 12.

SPAIN PARK NAMES NEW HEAD COACH

Chip Lindsey, Troy University quarterbacks coach, has been approved as the new head football coach at Spain Park. Lindsey was approved Dec. 13 at a Hoover City Schools board meeting.

MONTEVALLO COUNCIL MEMBER DIES

Montevallo City Council member Greg Pendleton passed away at about 3:30 a.m. Dec. 17. Mayor Ben McCrory said Pendleton died of aftereffects of a stroke suffered several weeks earlier.

PELHAM MAN DIES IN PLANE CRASH

Pelham resident Jerry Shelton Hoggatt, 73, died Dec. 16 after the plane he was riding in crashed in the Colorado mountains. The crash happened at about 4 p.m. on Dec. 15 when a Beech B-60 airplane piloted by Brownwood, Texas, resident Barton Harris crashed into a snow-covered mountain about 5 miles north-northwest of Edwards, Colo.