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Look Back ... to a shoot-out with a soldier, 1946

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Public funds were missing and could not be accounted for in the town of Hobson City, this front-page story from 1980 tells us.

Jan. 10, 1946, in The Star: Revolver bullets zinged in all directions this morning at 13th Street and Gurnee Avenue as Anniston detectives shot it out with a Fort McClellan soldier who sought to avoid arrest. The battle ended on the roof of Doc’s Lunch, 1231 Gurnee Avenue, when the soldier, wounded slightly in the head by shotgun slugs, could not reload and officers rushed him. Anniston police Sgt. Dewey Owen and officer Cloyce Sills kept passersby away from the scene of the shooting today. “It was just like Germany — plenty were hitting the dirt,” Sills said. The soldier was Pvt. Elton R. Dabney, age 24, with a Fort McClellan address. Police were trying to apprehend him for questioning in connection with the robbery and slugging last night of Lavon Sparks, a driver for Yellow Cab Company. Dabney was jailed following the gun battle on charges of assault with a gun on officers and resisting arrest.

Jan. 10, 1996, in The Star: A teller at Farmers & Merchants Bank in Jacksonville who claimed she’d been forced to give a large sum of the bank’s money to an armed robber this past weekend admitted during a polygraph test yesterday that she was in fact involved in the crime, according to Jacksonville police Chief Tommy Thompson. The 31-year-old woman was scheduled to turn herself in this morning to federal marshals in Birmingham. Also this date: Circuit Judge Joel Laird Jr., assigned the task of overseeing an agreement between the Anniston water works board and the Alabama Highway Department on the location of proposed a western bypass, concluded yesterday evening — after listening to nearly six hours of testimony just that day — that the two sides could not reach that agreement. Consequently, according to Laird, sometime next week he himself will decide whether the highway department can build a 3.5-mile southern section of the bypass along a route that will take in 10 acres of the water board's land. Laird also wondered aloud why the two sides had spent 10 years on the issue and still hadn’t been able to come up with a solution.