Articles written by Michael Tonder


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  • Has Bigfoot been shot, killed?

    Michael Tonder, Special to the Ledger|Apr 1, 2021

    In a stunning development of potential nationwide importance, a local man shot and killed a large biped Monday that eye witnesses say resembles a human, a bear and an ape. Local social media was flooded with many claiming that the creature is Bigfoot. In a not so stunning development, Monroe and Conecuh County officials are at odds over who gets to profit from the creature. John "Skeeter" McGillicutty, 36, of Burnt Corn reported that he bagged the creature Monday afternoon in his backyard that s...

  • Morrison is still looking for justice in Rhonda's murder

    Michael Tonder, Special to the Ledger|Dec 24, 2020

    Rhonda Morrison's murder and the events following it are Monroeville's other lesson to the world about the problems with our legal system. The unsolved homicide put the city front and center before the world via popular television news shows. Books were written and a popular movie with A-list actors was recently made detailing the investigation. It is engrained in the town's culture. There is no need to re-litigate all the details of the story. Morrison was murdered Nov. 1, 1986 while working...

  • Sodomy charges filed against an Atmore preacher

    Michael Tonder, Special to the Ledger|Feb 27, 2020

    A pastor of churches in Atmore and Monroeville was arrested last week after a Monroe County grand jury indicted him on one count of sodomy I and two counts of sodomy II Monroe County Sheriff's deputies arrested Garyl Jermaine Gibbs, 47, of Monroeville and booked him into the Monroe County Detention Facility last Wednesday. Gibbs is the pastor of A Call to Life Apostolic Church with churches in Atmore and Monroeville. According to Brian House, chief investigator for the Monroeville Police...

  • Auto crashes claim three last week

    Michael Tonder, Special to the Ledger|Feb 6, 2020

    Three Monroe County residents lost their lives due to traffic accidents. Marsha Ann Thompson, 50, of Frisco City and Tony Maxwell Nelson, 56, of Excel were killed in a three- vehicle accident that occurred on Hwy. 21 near Swift Supply at 5:50 p.m. Monday evening. According to Alabama Law Enforcement Agency State Trooper Derek Gessner, the two were killed when the 2011 Ford F250 driven by Nelson collided with the 2013 GMC Yukon being driven by Thompson. Thompson was pronounced dead on the scene. Emergency personnel transported Nelson to Monroe...

  • Excel 'squirrelly' over license to kill

    Michael Tonder, Special to the Ledger|Jan 16, 2020

    Social media recently erupted over Town of Excel employees shooting squirrels. A post was made by a resident of Excel alleging that a town employee was aiming a gun onto his property while a child was present. The uproar was fast and furious. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Enforcement Officer Lt. Daniel Boutwell investigated the complaints. He stated that one citation was issued to an employee for hunting without a license, but all other complaints did not seem to violate any game and fish regulations. Excel Mayor...

  • Deputy killed in crash

    Michael Tonder, Special to the Ledger|Jun 13, 2019

    Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy Julius Dailey, 28, was killed in the line of duty early Monday morning when he lost control of his vehicle while responding to a burglary call. According to Monroe County Sheriff Tom Boatwright, at 11:58 p.m. Monday, the 911 center received a call of a burglary in progress on Highway 41 near Franklin. Deputy Dailey responded to the call and was in route when his vehicle veered off the road on Highway 41 a mile north of Monroeville. Boatwright said that Dailey overcorrected the vehicle, causing it to flip and...

  • Monroeville man drowns

    Michael Tonder, Special to the Ledger|Jun 6, 2019

    Franklin James Banks, II, 20, of Monroeville drowned at Desoto State Park near Fort Payne in northeast Alabama Friday afternoon. Banks graduated from from Monroe County High School in 2016 where he was a decorated athlete and student. He was pursuing a Forestry degree while enrolled at Alabama Agriculture and Mechanical University. He played one year for the football and baseball teams at AAMU. “Franky was a bright spot in the lives of everyone he met,” his mother Carole Banks said. “Young people from all over the state were drawn to him...

  • EB night hunters arrested

    Michael Tonder, Special to the Ledger|Jan 10, 2019

    Two East Brewton residents were among five people arrested in Monroe County for hunting deer and night and additional game infractions. On Sunday at 3:29 a.m., game wardens arrested Timothy Dueitt, 56, of Citronelle on charges of hunting deer at night, hunting from a public road, and hunting by the aid of a motor vehicle. He was released Monday. Arrested in conjunction with Dueitt was Paul Howard, 54, of McIntosh. He was also charged with hunting deer at night, hunting from a public road, and hunting by the aid of a motor vehicle. He was releas...

  • Radio host keeps them guessing on air

    Michael Tonder, Special to the Ledger|Dec 27, 2018

    At 6:00 a.m. every weekday, local radio station 101.1 comes alive. You hear the voice of Luther Upton and wonder what the next few hours have in store. It might be serious, light hearted, somber, political or just down right funny. Along with his two cohosts, Terry Daily and Lee Peacock, and the cast of characters who pop in and out of the show, the topics can range from riding pine saplings to local Bigfoot sightings. Nothing is taboo. You might shake your fist at the radio one second and bust...

  • Mother gets 35 years for child's death

    Michael Tonder, Special to the Ledger|Dec 27, 2018

    Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Jack Weaver sentenced Jennifer Naomi Bowden to 35 years in prison last Thursday for the death of her child in 2016. Bowden previously pled guilty to one count of reckless manslaughter, a Class B felony, for leaving her child in a hot vehicle for many hours. The child died of hyperthermia. She was indicted in September 2016 on one count of reckless manslaughter. She was originally arrested in April 2016 after an officer responded to the area of Monroe County Hosp...