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A Morgan County Correctional Complex (MCCX) officer was injured in an assault at the prison Tuesday morning. The incident took place in a minimum security zone. The officer stopped the inmate for corrective action when the inmate struck the officer. Other staff immediately responded to assist the officer, who was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. While the investigation is on-going, it appears the inmate was attempting to conceal contraband. The Department of Correction said the Office of Investigation and Compliance will submit their findings to the local District Attorney for prosecution. Neither the name of the officer nor the inmate has been released at this time.
Larry Webb, former deputy director for the Upper Cumberland Development District has entered a guilty plea to one count of federal bank fraud in the hopes of avoiding a trial and time in prison. Webb, who was looking at the possibility of a 220 year sentence, has also agreed to testify against former director Wendy Askins. She resigned in 2012 amid allegations that she used agency funds to make numerous questionable expenditures, not the least of which was a $1 million house in Putnam County. Askins trials is set to start next month and she maintains that she never profited personally from her position.
Cumberland County Sheriff Casey Cox was injured while helping to prevent an explosion at the Family Dollar on Lantana Road. Sheriff Cox was nearby when he heard dispatch report a fire at the store Thursday night. Once on the scene, Cox discovered cases of merchandise on fire in a storage room and the flames were spreading up the wall. Spying a helium tank near the flames, Sheriff Cox told everyone to leave the building, and grabbed the tank to keep it from exploding. That’s when he burned his hands but it could have been much worse had the tank exploded. Assistant Fire Chief John Hall was also in the area when the call went out and was able to quickly contain and extinguish the blaze. Because of the fast response of both Cox and Hall the store re-opened the next day. Officials are investigating the fire as a possible arson.
An Amber Alert was issued for 3-year-old Keegan Waterman. He was last seen in Alpena, Mich. and was reported missing Monday. Local 8 Now reports that he may be en route to Tennessee with his mother, Christina Marie Waterman, in a 2000 Chevy Tahoe. It has a Tennessee license plate of U4758V and is tan. The child was last seen wearing a diaper and a pair of sandals. If you see these two, you can call the Michigan State Police Alpena Post at 989-354-4101 or MSP Operations at 517-241-8000. (Photo Courtesy WVLT)
At Monday’s regular monthly meeting, the Cumberland County Commission addressed a new insurance retirement benefit proposal for county employees who have worked for the county for at least 30 years. The new benefit, which was narrowly passed by the Budget Committee, is only for current employees and would pay 100% of the retiree’s individual health insurance until the former employee reaches Medicare age. According to 4th District County Commissioner Allen Foster, the year one projected cost to the county is just under $61,000. Commissioner Foster, who is against the proposal, “believes it is a huge financial liability for the County.” Foster adds “there is the potential that this new liability could even affect the County’s bond rating.” The final vote on this issue is scheduled for Monday, August 24, 2015 at 6:00 PM after a Public Hearing at 5:30 PM.