Officials urge patience, common sense to avoid unscrupulous contractors following Hurricane Sally

In the wake of Hurricane Sally, people are going to social media and asking what fair prices are for debris removal and rooftop fixes.

Some of the prices being cited on Facebook are alarming: $25,000 to $50,00 for tree removal.

It is a situation that Baldwin and Mobile County state and local officials want to stop before it gets worse. During a news conference Monday in Fairhope, officials urged residents to “be patient” and not rush into contracts in which they feel uncertain about or in which a contractor cannot provide adequate proofs of insurance and licensing.

“We are dealing with things we are not used to,” said Baldwin County District Attorney Robert Wilters who, himself, suffered flood damage to his house near Wolf Bay. “One thing we have to be patient with is cleanup and recovery. The scammers are coming in here and are looking for people who are desperate.”

State Rep. Matt Simpson, R-Daphne, was joined by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to push for increase penalties against contractors that bilk coastal homeowners during the cleanup. Simpson was the main sponsor of HB194, which was approved by a 97-2 vote in the Alabama House on March 5. The legislation, which increased penalties against homeowner fraud, never received a vote in the Alabama Senate because the session was abbreviated due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the proposal, which would establish the Alabama State of Emergency Consumer Protection Act, a felony offense would be assessed against people who commit aggravated home repair fraud against homeowners following an event that was declared a state of emergency by the governor. Currently, under Alabama state law, the first conviction for home repair fraud is a misdemeanor.

“What we need to do is make sure that law enforcement has the teeth and ability to

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Police roundup: Bathrooms at Valley Park in Hurricane vandalized | News

HURRICANE, W.Va. — Valley Park in Hurricane, West Virginia, was the target of vandalism over the weekend, according to a post Sunday on its Facebook page.

Bathrooms at the large shelter of the park will be closed until further notice after sinks in the building were shattered.

“Our staff works very hard to keep Valley Park nice for our community,” the post read. “Vandalism will not be tolerated.”

The park’s bathrooms were also vandalized in late July when toilets in the baseball bathrooms were damaged.

Staff at the park found rocks from the playground in the toilets, causing permanent damage to the pipes.

Those who have any information regarding the recent vandalism can contact the park staff at 304-562-0518.

The Huntington Police Department listed six new incident reports ending at 3 p.m. Monday, according to a printout released by the department. Because the individual police reports were not made available, these are the only known details:

Warrant service/execution, 9:06 p.m. Sunday, 2700 block of Cedar Grove Court.

Grand larceny, 10:30 p.m. Saturday, 1700 block of 5th Street Road.

Fugitive from justice, 3:10 p.m. Sunday, 400 block of 7 ½ Alley.

Destruction of property — misdemeanor, 2 p.m. Saturday, 1800 block of McCoy Road.

Petit larceny, 3:09 a.m. Sunday, 2500 block of 9th Avenue.

DUI greater than .150, 3:03 a.m. Sunday, 8th Street and 4th Avenue.

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