Sheriff expresses thanks for help with search for missing man
Talladega County Sheriff Jimmy Kilgore presented a plaque to four of his subordinates during the County Commission meeting Wednesday.

Capt. Bill Kennedy and investigators Joshua Vincent, Mike Jones and Gene Sharp received recognition for their efforts in locating race fan Nicholas Bower, who went missing May 4.

“This search mission out here was kind of unique,” Kilgore said. “It was one of the most extensive and grueling search missions that I’ve ever seen in my time here at the sheriff’s office.

“These guys had several hurdles to overcome, battling the elements and the fierce waters in the creek that had risen. They battled mosquitoes, snakes, the media and everything else out there. They were working around the clock, whether it was at the scene or coordinating with other agencies trying to locate Bower.”

Bower’s body was recovered May 14 in Choccolocco Creek, four days before floods swept through the county.

“I’m very proud of them and I think our citizens should be proud to have such dedicated and diligent employees in the sheriff’s office,” Kilgore said. “Without their efforts, Bower probably would not have been located or returned home to his family to receive a proper burial.”

District 3 Commissioner Kelvin Cunningham, the Commission chairman, commended the officers on a job well done.

“We appreciate you all, not only for this project, but everything you do every day,” Cunningham said. “I know you’re out there every day working hard.”

In other business, the Commission:

• Approved an amended meeting agenda.

• Voted 3-0 to approve May 13 meeting minutes. District 2 Commissioner John Luker and District 4 Commission Jimmy Roberson abstained.

• Unanimously approved Cunningham’s recommendation to appoint Larry Vincent to the Central Talladega County Water District board.

• Approved District 5 Commissioner Greg Atkinson’s motion to allow Commission attorney Barry Vaughn to negotiate with Lee Perryman of Marble City Media, L.L.C. in Talladega regarding Perryman’s interest in establishing an FM radio station in Talladega County and draft a letter of intent. Perryman would like to use the tower located on New County Line Rd. and lease land near the tower to house the radio station. Atkinson said Perryman is willing to pay a fair, competitive rate.

• Voted to approve an agreement to use $4,200 of the 2013 Byrne Justice Assistance Grant for equipment purchases at the Talladega County Sheriff’s Department.

• Discussed and approved a request from Revenue Commissioner Sally Flowers to seek out a temporary hire to begin June 4 until Sept. 30. Flowers made the request during a budget work session occurring before the meeting, citing the recent repeal of Act 313 passed in 2012 that made drastic changes to the process for claiming a property tax exemption, as the main reason for the new hire. The temporary hire must exhibit exceptional typing and computer-related skills.

• Approved personnel recommendations, budget amendments, conference requests and expenditures.

• Announced county offices would be closed June 3 for Jefferson Davis’ birthday.

• Announced clean-up days sponsored by District 1 Commissioner Jackie Swinford June 1, June 8 and June 15 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the old city hall in Lincoln, a clean-up day sponsored by Luker June 22 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Country Club Estates, a clean-up day sponsored by Roberson June 29 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fayetteville Volunteer Fire Department.

• The next Commission meeting will be held June 10 at 6 p.m.

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