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Bettis highway dedication ceremony scheduled

State Rep. Alan Baker announced last week that most of the involved parties have been enlisted to formally dedicate a section of Alabama Highway 21 in honor of a state correctional officer who was slain by an inmate a year ago.

The ceremony, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Monday, October 16, at the Atmore campus of Coastal Alabama Community College. The Alabama Department of Corrections and the Alabama Department of Transportation have both signed off on the date for the dedication of the roadway section to Kenneth Bettis.

“I now have confirmation from ADOC, ALDOT and CACC that Monday, October 16, at 10 a.m., at CACC-Atmore campus is acceptable to all entities for the Officer Bettis Memorial Highway signage Dedication Ceremony,” Baker wrote in an email to media outlets.

Bettis, 44, a Monroeville resident, died in September 2016. He had served as a correctional officer at William C. Holman Correctional Facility, near Atmore, since 2009 when he was stabbed in the head by an inmate after Bettis refused to allow the prisoner an extra tray of food.

The mortally wounded correctional officer lingered for two weeks at University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile before succumbing to his injuries.

The inmate who stabbed him, Cleveland Cunningham, was charged with murder in the fatal stabbing.
Bettis, a husband and the father of three, served on active duty in Iraq with the Alabama Army National Guard. He received several medals and commendations during his service.