Barbara Ann Roberts, 52, was convicted after a weeklong trial in the state circuit court in Cherokee County. Darlene Roberts was killed April 6, 2006, near the Alabama-Georgia line.
Gadsden State Community College-Cherokee welcomed Luann Payne Hayes as its new economic development director. Hayes is the former director of economic development for the city of Guntersville, where Lake Guntersville draws a lot of tourists.
Cedar Bluff Town Councilwoman Ethel Sprouse announced her candidacy for mayor. Sprouse has been active in local affairs since moving to Cedar Bluff almost 20 years ago. She was elected to the Town Council in 2000 and has received her Advanced Certified Municipal Official designation.
Cherokee County residents were saddened by the loss of Beloved Pharmacist and Community Leader H. Dean Buttram Sr. on July 4 of this year. He was 82.
Buttram, as friends recalled, was stocking the shelves of Dean’s Pharmacy when President John F. Kennedy was shot in November 1963. He worked there until he retired in 1967, but continued to do part-time work until 2006.
“He saw to people’s needs,” said one close friend. “Especially the misfortunate.”
The Cherokee County Library Board approved a low bid of $184,900 fro McKinney-Trammell Construction for its expansion project in July.
The Cherokee County Commission, in July, approved an agreement with Etowah County for animal impoundment and gave permission for the chairman to sign the agreement.
A man critically injured in 2006 when a deputy sheriff ran over him filed a lawsuit seeking damages from the incident.
James Hudgins of Gaylesville was driving an all-terrain vehicle when Cherokee County Drug Task Force Chief Charles Clifton ran over him in a pickup truck in a soybean field in Gaylesville.
The Weiss Lake Improvement Association dedicated a gazebo in memory of the late J.R. and Geraldine Tucker which was placed in Cedar Bluff Town Park. The gazebo was dedicated for their contribution to Weiss Lake and their environment. The Tuckers owned and operated J.R.’s Marina in the Cedar Bluff area for many years.
In the local runoff election, Incumbent Elbert St. Clair defeated won the race with 1,590 votes compared to 1,335 for Challenger Lanny Starr in the District 3 county commission race. In District I, Wade Sprouse defeated Buddy Barkley by a vote of 1,627-1,226.
Josh Segall, a Democratic candidate for U.S. House District 3, announced his candidacy against Republican Incumbent Mike Rogers. A fourth generation, Alabamian, Segall, during a Cherokee County visit, said he would focus on improving infrastructure such as roads and bridges and bringing jobs to the area if elected.
The Cherokee County Commission and the Cherokee County Health Care Authority approved spending $55,000 to expand the Cherokee County Drug Court to include Family Dependent Drug Court in July.
Incumbent Phil Powell announced he was seeking re-election to the Centre Mayor’s post in July.
As summer trudged on, rising gasoline and fuel prices hit practically every sector of the economy. Cherokee Electric Cooperative announced that customers would soon see and increase in the fuel adjustment portion of their power bills because of a TVA increase. Early estimates were that the increase could be between 10 and 20 percent.
In August, Dr. Robert Schiess III pled guilty to a lesser kidnapping in the first degree charge in connection with the murder and abduction of Martha Darlene Roberts on April 6, 2006.
Circuit Judge Randall Cole accepted the plea deal worked out between Schiess, the district attorney’s office and Schiess’s defense team.
Dr. Martha Lavender, assistant to the president, Gadsden State Community College-Cherokee, began her duties in August. Dr. Lavender, who began her college career at Gadsden State, is a graduate of Jacksonville State University with a degree in nursing and a graduate of the University of Alabama in Birmingham with a doctorate in nursing.
Local business man and city council member Tony Wilkie announced his candidacy for mayor of Centre in August. Cedar Bluff Building Inspector and Narcotics Investigator Jimmy Wallace announced his candidacy for mayor of Cedar Bluff and Local Citizen Tom Road announced his candidacy for mayor of Sand Rock.
The city of Centre, in August, named the Babe Ruth Baseball Field in Centre after the late J.W. Hampton who passed away in June 1996. Hampton, according to biographical information, dedicated much of his life to young people and the local youth baseball leagues. Many of Hampton’s family members, friends and colleagues were present.
The August municipal elections turned up some surprises as Challenger Tony Wilkie defeated Incumbent Phil Powell by a vote of 440-419 for the Centre mayor’s position. Incumbent Council members Frankie Kelly, Bess Yarbrough, Glenn Chandler and Harry Moon were re-elected along with newcomers Sid Garrett and Phillip Roberts and Joe Hall who served a previous term on the council.
In the Cedar Bluff race, election results were expected to be challenged because of one or more allegations of irregular voting.
Ethel Sprouse received the most votes in the mayor’s race with 163 to Steve Lay’s 138 votes, Jimmy Wall tIn 122, Dale Reese’s 42. In the District I Cedar Bluff Town Council race, Incumbent Billie Burkhalter received 61 votes while Tim Miller received 28 and Evan Smith received 36. In District 2, Donald Sanders received 43 votes, and Lenora McWhorter received 34. In District 3, Former Mayor Martha Baker received 43 votes, Jack Bond received 37 votes and Riley Combs received 12. In District 4, Tammy Crane received 61 votes, Mark Hicks received 35 votes and Herb Sherwin received 32. In District 5, Incumbent Leatha Harp was unopposed.
Local Attorney Dean Buttram Jr. was appointed to a search committee composed of 11 people who were tasked with finding a president for Gadsden State Community College.
Cherokee County Sheriff’s office personnel were dispatched to south Alabama in September to help out with the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav. Sheriff Jeff Shaver announced Tuesday, Sept. 2, that Mark Hicks and Derek Curry were headed to Dauphin Island and that other Cherokee County personnel could be deployed later on to relieve Hicks and Curry.
The Cherokee County Commission approved a contract to be submitted for consideration by local municipalities interested in coming under the county’s animal control ordinance.
The Cherokee County Republican Party opened its Cherokee County headquarters in September with a push for local and national candidates and a rallying cry from Twinkle Andrews, the Republican candidate for president of the Alabama Public Service Commission. The headquarters was located on Main Street in Centre.
The Cherokee County Board of Education, in September, approved a $38.3 million budget for fiscal year 2008-2009.
A state circuit judge put Cedar Bluff’s runoff election on hold. The election, which would have determined the mayor’s race and two town council races, was set for Oct. 7.
Judge William H. Rhea III of Etowah County threw out two motions to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the town’s election Aug. 26.
The Centre City Council approved a $3 million budget for fiscal 2008-2009.
The Cherokee County Commission, earlier this fall, received information that Rock Village is home to the state’s larget Sweetleaf Tree. A small ceremony was held in September to mark the tree’s Champion Tree status.
One of the candidates for mayor in the contested Cedar Bluff municipal election died in earlier October after cardiac surgery. Steve Lay, an employee at J and M Hardware in Cedar Bluff, was slated to be in the Oct. 7 run-off for mayor with top vote getter Ethel Sprouse until the election was contested by two candidates for council and Jimmy Wallace, a candidate for mayor.
The Cherokee County Commission approved an $18.9 million budget for Fiscal 2008-2009, which was down slightly from the fiscal 2007-2008 budget of $19.7 million.
Generations Bank, a newly chartered, full-service financial institution, officially opened its doors to customers at two locations in Cherokee County in October. The Centre location is on the U.S. Highway 411 Bypass and the Cedar Bluff location is at the corner of Highway 9 and 68.
Sand Rock citizens celebrated a major milestone in October, which was the 20th Anniversary of the town’s incorporation. A good crowd of local citizens gathered for food, fun and fellowship in the town square as Former Mayor Paul Johnson shared the history of the town and the many changes which have taken place over the past decades.
A circuit judge ruled that absentee ballots in the Cedar Bluff municipal election held Aug. 26 should be thrown out. This action put Jimmy Wallace in a runoff with top vote getter Ethel Sprouse for the mayor’s race.
Ardie Olson, a kayaker from Cummings, Ga., was the first person to complete all 631 miles of the Alabama Scenic River Trail which crosses Cherokee County. He won a $1,000 prize for his efforts.
The Cherokee County Board of Education approved the establishment of a Rainy Day Fund to pay for construction projects in the school system.
As in other parts of the country, voters turned out to the polls in record numbers for the general election in November. Democratic Incumbent Brian Johnson defeated Republican Challenger Mitchell Guice in the race for superintendent of education.
Democratic Incumbent Elbert St. Clair defeated Republican Challenger Kevin Ford in the race for Cherokee County Commission District Three.
Evan Smith, a candidate for Cedar Bluff Town Council, appealed a judge’s ruling that eliminated him from the Cedar Bluff Town Council Runoff race.
Smith, a Centre lawyer who was seeking the District 1 seat on the council, was in a runoff with Incumbent Billie Burkhalter.
What goes up must come down. TVA announced a decrease in fuel adjustment costs effective Jan. 1, 2009, which would mean a coste reprieve for Cherokee Electric Cooperative customers.
Residential consumers, according to reports, could expect to see decreases ranging from $4 to $8 in their monthly power bills.
The Cherokee County Board of Education began a new fiscal year in November. The board elected Lynn Rochester as chairperson and Dewandee Neyman as vice chairperson for the upcoming year.
The Cherokee County High School Warriors Football Team defeated Deshler in November which put the Warriors on the road to Birmingham for the Class 4A Championship.
Cherokee County’s 2008 Christmas Parade was possibly the largest to date with some 120 units participating. The parade was held the first weekend in December.
Many friends and supporters of Centre Elementary School were elated in September when after months of hard work they were able to open the new handicapped accessible playground which will be open to all students. Numerous individuals, county and state leaders and individuals donated time and money toward this project.
In a grand ceremony, a host of dignitaries and local leaders officially welcome Gadsden State Community College-Cherokee to the area. Gadsden State Cherokee was a combined effort of local municipalities, the Cherokee County Board of Education, state representatives and many others.