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County OKs new vehicle for sheriff following wreck

By By ANNA M. LEE Managing Editor
The Escambia County Commission voted on Monday, Aug. 23, to authorize Sheriff Grover Smith to purchase a replacement for his Tahoe that was damaged in an accident on Thursday, Aug. 19.
On Hwy. 31 in Castleberry at about 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, Smith collided with a 1995 Nissan driven by 27-year-old Lena Jackson of Castleberry, according to Alabama State Troopers. Jackson's vehicle then collided with a log truck driven by Michael Patterson.
Jackson was life-flighted to a Mobile hospital, and Smith reported on Monday that she is still in critical condition. Smith received minor injuries, and Patterson was uninjured.
Because the Tahoe has significant damage and more than 100,000 miles, Smith asked the commission for permission to use federal inmate funds -- averaging about $30,000 per month -- to purchase a new vehicle.
The commission is required to make a budget amendment to authorize the funds, and Smith will decide whether to purchase a vehicle locally if one is available or to purchase it from the state bid list.
In other business, the commission approved two bids related to an Atmore sewerage improvement project. Towry and Associates was approved as grant administrator for the project and CDG and Associates Engineers will provide engineering services. This part of the project is the third of three phases.
Also at Monday's meeting, Alabama Emergency Management Agency director Bruce Baughman was present with Escambia County Emergency Management Agency director David Jennings to announce that the county program will receive an addtional $15,000 in reimbursements from the state. Previously, the Escambia County EMA has received only $2,000 to 5,000 in reimbursements. Baughman said that additional funds are being awarded to counties that have been underfunded and are doing an outstanding job.