Monday, December 9 2013 11:54 PM EST2013-12-10 04:54:36 GMT
Dougherty County School Board members formally voted Monday night to accept nearly $1.2 million in grant money designed to improve the quality of teachers. The system had to submit a detailed applicationMore >>
Dougherty County school leaders hope federal grant money will help improve the quality of teachers in the classrooms.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 11:48 PM EST2013-12-10 04:48:40 GMT
Dougherty County teachers will get a little bonus just in time for Christmas. Monday night, the school board voted to cancel one of the remaining unpaid furlough days scheduled for this school year, butMore >>
Dougherty County School Board members vote to cut a furlough day.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 11:44 PM EST2013-12-10 04:44:21 GMT
"We've always been a close knit family," says Sheunka Robinson, the sister of Racieh Robinson. Monday was a tough day for Sheunka Robinson and her family. Just hours ago she found out her brother RaciehMore >>
"We've always been a close knit family," says Sheunka Robinson, the sister of Racieh Robinson. Monday was a tough day for Sheunka Robinson and her family.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 11:43 PM EST2013-12-10 04:43:39 GMT
Dougherty County residents got a chance help school board members determine what kind of candidate should lead the school system. The board hosted a public listening session Monday evening to help focusMore >>
The Dougherty County School Board asks for input as it moves forward with a search for a new schools superintendent.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 11:43 PM EST2013-12-10 04:43:13 GMT
It's a long time holiday tradition in Albany. Phoebe Putney Hospital hosted its Lights of Love tree lighting ceremony tonight. Breast cancer survivor Patsy Martin flipped the switch. People pay toMore >>
It's a long time holiday tradition in Albany. Phoebe Putney Hospital hosted its Lights of Love tree lighting ceremony tonight. More >>
AUBURN, AL (WSFA) -
Harvey Updyke, the man who is accused of poisoning the iconic oak trees on the campus of Auburn University, took a deal Friday afternoon and agreed to plead guilty.
Lee County District Attorney Robbie Treese announced the deal, saying Updyke withdrew his plea of not guilty and entered a plea of guilty to Criminal Damage to an Agriculture Facility, a class C felony.
Updyke was sentenced to three years and remains incarcerated until he finishes serving at least six months.
After being released, Updyke will be under supervised probation for a five year period.
As part of the plea deal, Updyke's probation will require him to abide by a 7 p.m. curfew, and he is forbidden to attend any collegiate athletic event. He is also banned from entering any property owned by Auburn University.
Updyke is also ordered not to speak with any member of the media.
Restitution costs have not yet been determined, DA Treese said. But he added that whatever the cost is to Updyke, it will be doubled under the Alabama Farm Animal, Crop and Research Facilities Protection Act.
"We have a significant number of violent felonies awaiting trial in Lee County," DA Treese said, "and I could not in good conscience justify financing a three week trial merely to arrive at no better a resolution."
Reese said the trial, which was to be held in Elmore County, would have forced the state to pay for transportation and lodging for as many as 50 witnesses, not including the fees that would have been required by experts.
Harvey Updyke, a die-hard fan of the University of Alabama's Crimson Tide, caught the attention of the nation after he called into a popular sports talk show months after the 2010 Iron Bowl win by the Auburn Tigers.
Updyke, who went by the alias "Al from Dadeville" claimed to have poisoned the oaks with a herbicide known as Spike 80DF as a way of getting back at the Tigers for disrespecting his team.
Officials with the University's Agriculture Department immediately began testing the soil around the trees and confirmed the presence of the chemical. Unsuccessful efforts were made to save the trees, which are considered a symbol of the University. The last time the trees will be rolled will be during the Auburn Tigers' A-Day game on April 20. They'll then be removed pending a permanent replacement.