Articles written by Joe Thomas


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  • Drugs and gun; $1 million bond

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|Jun 13, 2024

    A Brewton woman is being held on $1 million bond after being arrested Monday, June 10, on multiple charges including trafficking after police reported finding 1.03 pounds of Kratom pills in her possession. Cerena Michelle Billock, 40, 256 Faulkner Road, was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of marijuana I, trafficking synthetic drugs, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, obstructing governmental operations and illegal possession of a firearm....

  • Flomaton seeks grant for sewer

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|Jun 13, 2024

    Following a public meeting to discuss applying for a $400,000 grant to replace a sewer lift station on Cary Street, the Flomaton Town Council gave its OK to proceed, which will require a $45,000 match if the grant is awarded. Cara Stallman with Grant Management, LLC., told the council Monday afternoon that the deadline to apply for the Community Development Block Grant was July 2. She also told the council she didn’t get paid unless the grant was approved. Utilities Superintendent Shaun Moye s...

  • Flomaton library full of knowledge

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|Jun 13, 2024

    The ‘Summer Adventure’ and Summer Reading Program at the Flomaton Public Library will continue through the month of June with the adventure program featuring representatives from the county extension office Friday, June 14, from 1 to 2 p.m. The adventure programs kicked off May 31 with a balloon and magic show, followed by Mike and Ann Stevens’ Cat’s Pajamas holding a pottery class on June 7. Programs are still scheduled for crafts on May 21 and presentation by Matt Mize with 4H on June 28. The...

  • Black bear spotted in Brewton

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|Jun 13, 2024

    Brewton police responded to a call about 10:30 p.m. last Thursday after it was reported a bear was crossing Belleville Avenue near the Escambia County Courthouse. Brewton Police Chief Matt Jordan said when officers arrived they located the bear in a tree near the courthouse. Jordan said officers contacted wildlife authorities who instructed the officers to simply monitor the bear. Jordan said officers backed away and kept an eye on the bear. He added that a couple of hours later the black bear...

  • Commission votes to lower some speed limits

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|Jun 13, 2024

    With petitions from residents and recommendations from the county engineer, the Escambia County Commission voted to reduce the speed limit on portions of four roads. First approved was reducing the speed limit on Grissett Bridge Road from 45 mph to 35 mph from the Barnett Highway intersection west for four miles and then reducing the limit to 25 mph west to the end of the asphalt pavement. Commissioner Larry White said he received a petition from residents along the road requesting the drop in t...

  • Fun, games, food and more

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|Jun 13, 2024

    A big crowed showed up in downtown Flomaton for a fun-filled day of arts, crafts, exhibitions and of course good food for the Summer Bazar sponsored by the town of Flomaton. More than 40 vendors were on hand for the event. See more on Page 11....

  • Area hospitals on life support

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|Jun 6, 2024

    Administrators from D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital, Atmore Community Hospital and members of the Escambia County Health Care Authority addressed the Escambia County Commission Tuesday afternoon saying between the two hospitals and their clinics they are losing close to $800,000 per year. Although the group never asked the commission for money, they said they wanted to make them aware of the situation, noting that rural health care is in trouble all across the nation. Escambia County residents...

  • Hoops return at Carver

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|Jun 6, 2024

    Century Mayor Lois Gomez said some miscommunications led to taking down the basketball goals at the Carver Community Center but noted through a community effort the goals were back in place Tuesday and the games began. "The old community center is going to be torn down and a new center will be built," Mayor Gomez said. "Due to some misinformation, and I'm not pointing fingers, but the basketball goals were cut down and removed." Gomez noted that the county deeded the old community center...

  • Flomaton hosting its summer bazaar Saturday, June 8

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|Jun 6, 2024

    From big farm equipment and a helicopter to arts, crafts and some chicken wings, all will be available in downtown Flomaton this Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the Summer Bazaar. Flomaton Town Clerk Carrie Moore said more than 30 vendors have already signed up to sell anything from T-shirts to arts and crafts. She said several food vendors will be on site and others will be selling produce, such as tomatoes and squash. The Touch A Truck display will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. i...

  • Jack's ready to open the box

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|Jun 6, 2024

    Construction is in full swing in East Brewton for its first fast-food restaurant as Jack's Hamburgers works to have the store open by July 1. The new restaurant is located directly across from the Farm Center so Lavon Boutwell won't have to travel far for breakfast or lunch....

  • Atmore man jailed for murder

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|May 30, 2024

    An Atmore man who was under a protection from abuse order following several domestic violence arrests was arrested Monday, May 27, and charged with murder for the shotgun slaying of the woman he was ordered to stay away from. Fred Dale, Jr., 61, 151 Terrace St., was taken into custody without incident following the shooting death of Cynthia Dale and transported to the Escambia County Detention Center in Brewton and is being held without bond. Escambia County District Judge Eric Coale has set an...

  • Fountain led the nation in homeruns

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|May 30, 2024

    The 2024 girls' high school softball season has ended across the United States and T.R. Miller junior Meg Fountain sits atop the stat sheet by leading the nation with 24 homeruns during the season. Fountain's 24 homeruns lead all classifications in softball. She also ended the season ranked second in the nation with 74 RBI. Fountain, 17, has one more year at T.R. Miller and has already committed to the University of West Florida to continue her softball career on the next level. Fountain, the...

  • Traffic stops lead to three arrests

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|May 30, 2024

    Atmore police made traffic stops on three consecutive days that led to three Atmore residents going to jail on charges that included drug possession, DUI and receiving stolen property. Darren Knighten, 33, was charged with drug trafficking, unlawful possession of marijuana II and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Jaylon North, 21, was charged with receiving stolen property and DUI. Rickey Maddox, 32, was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession...

  • Remembering our heroes

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Staff|May 30, 2024

    A record crowd gathered on the lawn of the Escambia County Courthouse in Brewton Monday to honor the 175 county residents who lost their lives fighting for this country during the Memorial Day remembrance celebration. For more, see Page 11....

  • Jacksons threaten legal action

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|May 23, 2024

    At the end of Monday night’s Escambia County Republican Party meeting in Brewton, Charles Jackson addressed the crowd saying he believes the Republican Party is responsible for the indictment and arrest of his wife Cindy Jackson, along with Sherry Digmon, Don Fletcher and Rachel Fore. Jackson also said he and his wife are not going to let the matter drop and will be pursuing legal action against those involved. Mrs. Jackson and Digmon both serve on the Escambia County School Board, were a...

  • Delegation talks about outhouses, gambling, more

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|May 23, 2024

    Escambia County, Ala.'s, legislative delegation of Sen. Greg Albritton, Rep. Alan Baker and Rep. Matthew Hammett addressed fellow Republicans Monday night at the Hourglass in Brewton talking about the most recent legislative session on issues dealing with gambling, ethics, property taxes and even the fact that Alabama regulates outhouses and the cutting of trees. Rep. Baker said the legislature did pass a law on property rights in a pro-active move against squatter rights that have been an...

  • Lowry named as Flomaton police chief

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|May 23, 2024

    The Flomaton Town Council unanimously approved Mayor Jim Johnson's recommendation to hire Dereck Lowry as the town's new police chief, following the resignation of Chief Dane NeSmith. Councilwoman Kay Wagner was absent at the special meeting. Johnson thanked all those who applied for the position and said he narrowed the list to four and interviewed each candidate and said he decided to recommend Lowry. Lowry, 43, currently serves as a lieutenant over investigations with the Escambia County...

  • Varner resigns as school superintendent

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|May 23, 2024

    The Brewton City School Board accepted the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Varner and will first name an interim as the search begins for a new superintendent. During a special board meeting Thursday at the central office Mark Manning read a prepared statement in making two motions concerning Dr. Varner's resignation. "I make a motion that the board accept and approve one, the resignation and retirement of Dr. Kenneth Varner as superintendent effective Dec. 31, 2024; second, his...

  • Jay Royals new state champions in 1A

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|May 23, 2024

    The Jay High School Royals baseball team defeated top-ranked Bozeman from Panama City 6 to 3 in Fort Myers, Fla. last Friday to win the 1A State Championship. It's the first time Jay has won since 1970....

  • County, Flomaton split votes on alcohol

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|May 16, 2024

    On split votes, the Escambia County (Ala.) Commission and the Flomaton Town Council approved beer and wine licenses for three different businesses during their meetings Monday. Monday morning the county commission voted 4-1 to approve off-premise beer licenses for the new Dollar General store on Highway 31 near Pollard and the transfer of an off-premise beer and wine license to Ana Travel Center at 13288 Highway 113 from the previous owners, Valero Truck Stop. Commissioners Raymond Wiggins, Stev...

  • Trafficking, distribution leads to arrests

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|May 16, 2024

    An Atmore man convicted of attempted murder in 2023 was back behind bars after Escambia County Sheriff's deputies discovered drugs and a weapon inside the man's vehicle. Trenton O'Neal Atchison, 23, 317 East 4th St., was arrested Sunday, May 12, and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana I, trafficking illegal drugs, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and tampering with physical evidence. Atchison's bond was set at $100,000. According to court...

  • Hurricanes take down Blue Devils

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|May 16, 2024

    Flomaton High School took down Escambia County High School in a spring game last Friday, winning the first and second halves of the game. Above, Flomaton's Mason Yuhasz provides close coverage. For more, see Page 13...

  • Man's body found on Conecuh

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|May 9, 2024

    The body of 62-year old Ricky Robinson was located Friday morning in the Conecuh River about a quarter of a mile down stream from where he reportedly went under water near McGowin Bridge last Monday. Escambia County Sheriff Heath Jackson said Robinson's body was discovered by a sheriff's department search team. Jackson said no foul play is suspected but noted as in all unattended deaths an autopsy will be performed. Jackson said Robinson, 62, a Castleberry resident, and two other people were at...

  • Stabbing victim now a suspect in Atmore

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|May 9, 2024

    A victim who was stabbed April 23 at Tractor Supply in Atmore is now a suspect in the stabbing incident that left another individual in critical condition. Atmore police have not released the names of the other victim or the suspect. According to reports, on April 23, police were dispatched to Tractor Supply at 161 Lindberg Ave., in reference to two people being stabbed. When officers arrived on the scene, one of the male subjects was lying just inside the entry to Tractor Supply bleeding...

  • Carriers to gather food Saturday

    Joe Thomas, Ledger Editor|May 9, 2024

    Rita Thomas, a 26-year veteran city of Brewton mail carrier, is reminding residents to participate in the post office’s carrier food drive this Saturday, May 11. “Many area churches, as well as the local food bank, benefit greatly from our annual collection of non-perishable food items,” Thomas said. “They, in turn, are able to give assistance to those in need.” She added that the food drive is a way for everyone in the Brewton community to come together to help neighbors facing hunger an...

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