Google review helps lead to arrest in fatal Riverview motorcycle crash

As midnight approached one Friday night last month, Tiffany Fletcher held on to her boyfriend Kirk Adams as he steered his Yamaha motorcycle down U.S. 301.

They were headed to C.J.’s Saloon in Riverview to shoot pool and were nearly there when Fletcher saw a white pickup suddenly turn into their path.

“The last thing I saw before I shut my eyes was the side of the truck,” Fletcher, 38, recalled.

She remembers Adams braking and swerving in a futile attempt to avoid a collision. Then Fletcher was on the ground, unable to move. She lost consciousness and woke up in a hospital bed next to Adams, 59, who was screaming her name. He died days later.

The pickup driver didn’t stop. Hillsborough detectives launched an investigation to track down the person behind the wheel.

An unlikely piece of evidence helped them make an arrest: a one-star business review on Google.

The driver, it turned out, was already on probation for a careless act that killed a friend eight years earlier. He now faces charges that could send him back to prison for decades.

A fatal shot

Four days into 2015, Hillsborough deputies responded to a shooting call at a home in Brandon.

Chad Stall, then 21, was hanging out with longtime friend Kadin Koehler that January morning when he picked up a rifle, pointed it at Koehler and pulled the trigger, according to court records.

A round hit Koehler, 23, in the face, killing him.

Chad Martin Stall is pictured in Hillsborough County booking photo, taken on Jan. 4, 2015, when he was arrested on a charge of manslaughter with a weapon.
Chad Martin Stall is pictured in Hillsborough County booking photo, taken on Jan. 4, 2015, when he was arrested on a charge of manslaughter with a weapon. [ Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office ]

Stall told deputies he saw bullets in the magazine before it was loaded into the rifle but he aimed the gun at Koehler and pulled the trigger anyway. He told investigators he didn’t think the rifle would discharge.

Stall was charged with manslaughter and faced up to 30 years in prison. He was already on probation for previous charges including grand theft and burglary.

Sentencing guidelines called for a minimum prison sentence of 14 years. As part of an agreement with prosecutors, Stall pleaded guilty and a judge sentenced him to four years in prison followed by a decade of probation. He was released in May 2018, moved back to Hillsborough County and started a tree service business.

Stall got in trouble again last year when he was arrested on a battery charge for punching a man multiple times in a Lakeland Checkers, court records show. Stall denied hitting the man and said he went to the Checkers because his girlfriend called and said the man was insulting her. A judge sentenced him to 30 days of work release. Stall’s probation officer also recommended his probation for the manslaughter case be revoked and he be sentenced to “a period of incarceration.”

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A further $1 million gift helps Augusta Tech rev up automotive method

Augusta Tech has received $2 million – $1 million from Augusta National Golf Club and another $1 million from  Jim Hudson Automotive Group – to help establish an automotive service training center in the city’s Laney-Walker neighborhood later this year.

A 2nd $1 million donation in two times is serving to Augusta Complex Faculty rev up its automotive technological innovation plan. 

The gift from Columbia, S.C.-centered Jim Hudson Automotive Team, will help the faculty create an automotive company teaching centre in Augusta’s Laney-Walker community later on this year. Jim Hudson operates Acura, Infiniti and Lexus dealerships in Augusta.

On Tuesday, Augusta National Golf Club declared its $1 million to Augusta Tech for the application. 

The facility is component of a broader enlargement of Tech’s automotive application, next months of discussions with place organizations and companies from region auto dealerships and trucking businesses, said Tech President Dr. Jermaine Whirl.   

From those talks about employer wants, “it seriously blossomed into a a lot broader photograph and a broader option,” he stated. 

Additional:Augusta Countrywide awards Augusta Tech $1 million to expand automotive coaching

The $2 million will include a “substantial” portion of the cost to establish the facility, Whirl claimed. College officials have determined a piece of residence in the Laney-Walker space where the facility will be developed, but the certain site has not nevertheless been disclosed. 

Present-day area for the application on the Augusta campus is about 10,000 square feet, which can in shape concerning 75 and 85 college students at a time, and the college “just essential more place.” 

The program, when expanded, is anticipated to accommodate extra than 1,200 students on a yearly basis, from entire-time students to twin-enrollment students to persons previously employed in the business who want to increase their talent sets, Whirl claimed. 

Areas of examine will be expanded to go over other in-demand sectors of vehicle fix these kinds of as marine know-how and autonomous, or self-driving, autos.  

The software also will introduce “OEM,” or authentic devices manufacturer schooling, so aspiring technicians can generate certifications to do the job on certain would make and versions of automobiles. For instance, Whirl stated, the closest put for a student to coach as a Common Motors-qualified mechanic is in Greenville, S.C. 

Providing schooling listed here will help continue to keep expertise in the location, he stated. 

“When you are exporting talent to one more state to get specialization, you’re building the assumption that they’re likely to arrive again,” Whirl reported. 

A different attribute of the new software will teach pupils on the business enterprise aspect of the automotive industry, for persons who want to turn out to be profits supervisors, finance managers or entrepreneurs of motor vehicle dealerships. 

Additional announcements on the expanding program will emerge more than the upcoming several weeks, Whirl mentioned.

“We have many companions who have arrive to the desk who are truly intrigued in this undertaking,” he explained. “It is really seriously been a local community effort exterior of just the Nationwide and Jim Hudson. I would say all of our automotive pals in the neighborhood have really jumped onboard.”

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Strattec CEO says long-term view helps in navigating automotive industry rollercoaster

Strattec Security Corp., like most automotive suppliers, has been on quite the rollercoaster since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Glendale-based maker of vehicle keys, locks, latches, lift gate systems and other vehicle access…

Strattec Security Corp., like most automotive suppliers, has been on quite the rollercoaster since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Glendale-based maker of vehicle keys, locks, latches, lift gate systems and other vehicle access products dealt with the complete shutdown of its Mexican operations through the first part of the pandemic followed by a ramp up in demand that made for the company’s best year since it spun off from Briggs & Stratton in the mid-1990s.

More recently, Strattec has dealt with its customers, automotive giants like Ford, GM and Chrysler parent company Stellantis, shutting down plants amid the global shortage of semiconductors.

Frank Krejci, president and chief executive officer of Strattec, said in February he had a customer tell him the chip issue would be resolved by mid-March.

“Maybe it will be March, but it will be 2022 or 2023, not six weeks from when they were telling me,” he said.

Strattec worked with customers as they’ve navigated the shortages by trying to prioritize popular vehicles and the ones they can get all the parts for, Krejci said, noting the thought in the industry was August would be better than July and September would be better than August.

“Instead of continual improvement we fell off a cliff,” he said, adding that at one point in September GM had 10 of its 16 North American plants shut down.

In some cases, Strattec had products ready to ship only to have a customer call to say the plant they were destined for would be closed the next week.

“You go from going 100 mph to a dead stop,” Krejci said.

The result for Strattec is a quarter that shows the impact of the global supply chain issues. Net sales for the quarter were down 20.5%, a more than $25 million drop to $100.3 million. The company barely reported a profit with net income of $101,000, down from more than $8 million at the same point last year.

Krejci, however, wasn’t overly concerned about the quarterly result.

“Right now, if I really wanted to optimize our earnings, I could lay off a bunch of people, especially in Milwaukee, we’re not doing that,” he said.

lnstead, Krejci is taking a long-term view and he’s encouraged by several things in the market. For starters, automotive dealers have around 20 days of inventory on their lots, down sharply from a more typical level of 77 days. That means there will be plenty of demand from customers for restocking, Krejci said.

Things have also been going better in October, he said, with fewer shutdowns and a gradual ramp up in demand. Strattec also had a number of new business wins in recent years that are now

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