Disgraced Sheriff Gets 18 Months in Prison

By The Packet Despite an apology and a plea for leniency, a long-time west Alabama sheriff brought down by the lure of easy money is sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. Former Pickens County Sheriff David Abston had sought community service and house arrest, but U.S. District Judge Liles Burke wasn’t swayed, ordering the prison time and $51,285 in restitution to a food bank scammed by the sheriff. The restitution, which the 68-year-old Abston already had agreed to pay, must be made within 90 days. “Abston tarnished his office and his badge. He found out today he isn’t...

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Columbus Trucker Charged in Clay Rape Attempt

A 37-year-old Columbus truck driver wanted in Clay County for burglary and attempted rape is snagged at a California truck inspection station. Maurice Sentell Reliford was caught at the Donner Pass inspection station on Oct. 21 when California inspectors found his license wasn’t in order and his name came up as being wanted in Clay County. He was returned to West Point late Wednesday night. The arrest comes 30 months after he was released from the Mississippi Department of Corrections after serving 15 years for child abuse in Lowndes County, receiving stolen property in Benton County and possession of...

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City of Columbus Opens Overnight Warming Center

Columbus Mayor Robert Smith has ordered the opening of an emergency overnight warming center for residents that need heated shelter during the impending hazardous cold weather. The GTR Homeless Coalition has joined with the City of Columbus to open the facility. The center will be located at the Columbus Police Department at 1501 Main Street inside the police station and will open today, Tuesday, November 12, 2019. Mayor Smith and Martha Kirkley, the co-president of the Homeless Coalition, made the announcement Monday morning under an emergency declaration. Kirkley leads the Coalition with Rev. Sandra Depriest, the other co-president. “We...

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Deputies Need Help with Theft

On Oct. 29, 2019, a Lowndes County deputy received a report that a 2018 John Deere Gator XUV25M was stolen from a Stinson Creek Road residence in Lowndes County.  Lowndes County detectives are asking for the public’s help with any information regarding this theft.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office at (662) 328-6788 or the Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at...

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Ethel Taylor Stewart Sworn In

Ethel Taylor Stewart was sworn in as the councilwoman for Ward 1 Wednesday evening at the Municipal Complex. Her husband, Johnnie, held the Bible during the ceremony. Stewart will serve out the remainder of the late Gene Taylor’s term; Taylor was her...

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