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YEAR IN REVIEW 2015: October

Roxy Theatre receives Lasting Impression Award

The Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association has honored the historic Roxy Theatre in Russellville with the 2015 Lasting Impression Award. The award is among 12 PEAK Awards that were presented during the AMLA Annual Meeting at Stone Bridge Farms in Cullman.

Representing the highest achievement in North Alabama tourism, the PEAK Awards honor individuals and organizations that have had a major impact on tourism in North Alabama. The Lasting Impression Award is presented to an attraction, event, person or organization that has provided a “lasting impression” on tourists, thereby improving the overall image of tourism in North Alabama.

“The Chamber is the one that nominated us for it,” said Franklin County Arts and Humanities Council President Susie Malone. “It was a real honor. We were totally surprised by it.”

The historic Roxy Theatre has been a beloved fixture of downtown Russellville since 1949. The first movie shown was “My Dear Secretary” starring Laraine Day, Kirk Douglas, Keenan Wynn and Helen Walker with an appearance by Rudy Vallee Sept. 15, 1949. Today, the historic landmark welcomes guests to concerts, recitals of local voice and music students and talent shows. In 2014 the Roxy began showing movies once again, and visitors are returning with their children and grandchildren to enjoy the nostalgia.

 

County driver’s license office one of 31 to close

As was anticipated and tentatively announced in late August, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has now closed 31 part-time driver’s license offices – including Franklin County’s, located in Russellville.

Mary Scofield, Franklin County chief clerk, said Franklin’s County’s office regularly handled only 700-800 transactions in a year, with its Tuesday-only schedule.

“That’s just for the new people taking their permit (test) or wanting to go get their license for the first time,” Scofield said.

“After everybody adjusts to it, I don’t see it being that big of a problem at all,” she added, saying she suspects many people were already driving to a full-time office for DMV needs anyway, so as not to have to wait until Tuesday for service.

Drivers can still renew their licenses at the probate office – or online.

The schedules for ALEA District Driver License Offices are available online at www.alrenewal.com. Locally, Sheffield, Hamilton and Decatur are the nearest options.

 

RPD arrests woman for sexual torture

Sexual torture and sexual abuse charges have landed a Russellville woman behind bars.

Oct. 16, Russellville investigators arrested Tonya Lynn Irwin, 37, and charged her with sexual abuse, first degree (child less than 12) and sexual torture.

According to RPD’s Scotty Lowery, Russellville investigators were notified earlier in the week by Morgan County Department of Human Resources of allegations that were disclosed during a forensic interview with the child. The victim was 10 years old at the time these crimes occurred.

The listed suspect is the child’s biological mother, but she no longer has custody of the child, who is currently in foster care in Morgan County.

After investigators interviewed Irwin Oct. 16, she was arrested and charged with the crimes listed.

According to district attorney Joey Rushing, bond has been set at $100,000 for Irwin.

 

Vulcan investigates abnormal boom following normal explosion

Officials with Vulcan Materials were forced into some investigation after a loud kaboom shook up Northwest Alabama Thursday morning.

“We did put off a shot around nine o’clock,” said public affairs manager Jeff Johnson. But according to Vulcan’s seismographic readings, Johnson said, the “normal course of business type of shot” should not have caused the boom that followed.

“All our limits came in well under what the law requires and what Vulcan self-imposes,” Johnson said.

This morning’s shot in the quarry near Russellville was recorded at 124 decibels. Johnson said in all other ways, besides the unusually loud noise, the shot was typical for Vulcan.

Concerned calls were made to Vulcan as well as to local law enforcement officials and the local EMA Thursday following the boom.

Thursday afternoon the company began investigating possible causes of the loud noise. One theory they were pursuing was that of temperature inversion, and that is what they have determined was the cause.

“As the sun comes up, it typically warms up the air aloft before it warms the air closer to the ground, and so what that essentially does is create a ceiling,” – a ceiling that prohibits the sound from dissipating properly, Johnson said, adding that Vulcan conferred with National Weather Service to determine those conditions.

“What we’re going to do going forward is we’re going to push our shots back later in the day,” Johnson said. “That should help mitigate that problem.”

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