Sunday, Apr 19, 2015

Secretary of State John Merrill was the guest at the Wednesday noon meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Gadsden. Merrill gave a report of the condition of the office and how he has improved it since taking office on January 20th. He has put all of the Secretary of State office employees on an accountability program where they have to clock in and out of the office; has saved $300,000 on rent and expenses in his office over the next four years and is actively working with law enforcement and the Attorney Generals office on election issues.
 
An unidentified Attalla man temporarily escaped police custody Tuesday by running out of an ambulance. According to Gadsden police, the man ran as it was arriving at a local hospital at about 8pm. He had feigned illness to get transported to the hospital, then exited the ambulance. He ran around the building and decided to sop and come back to the scene, explaining that he had been arrested by Attalla police and did not want to go back to jail.
 
The body of Judith McElroy Carranza, 60, of Horton, was recovered Wednesday by a team of forensic investigators, along with Etowah and Marshall county authorities just off of Cove Springs Road in the Aurora community. Elizabeth Dawn Austin and Curtis Austin, both 31, and both of Horton, were arrested in Florida while fleeing. Elizabeth has been charged with capital murder in connection with Carranza’s murder, with whom she is related, and Curtis was wanted in connection to the robbery of Babe’s Lounge in Attalla, Saturday.  The investigation continues.
 
Forecasters say strong to severe storms are expected across northern Alabama as a cold front approaches the state. The National Weather Service in Huntsville says the storms are expected to develop along and ahead of the front, which will move through the region late today and into Friday. Damaging winds, large hail and brief heavy rainfall are possible. The cold front and thunderstorms are expected to gradually weaken as the system moves east of the I-65 corridor.
 
Governor Bentley says Alabama will face severe cuts in state services if legislators refuse to raise taxes. The governor says Alabama could see the closure of state parks, reductions in mental health services, longer courthouse lines, a possible release of state inmates and other consequences. Bentley says politicians need to look at "what is best for this state.” Lawmakers have shown little interest in Bentley's proposed $541 million tax increase.
 
Wednesday, Oxford got back on track with some land it had purchased in 2011 and had to spend some unforeseen money to get it shored up. The nearly eight acres developed a sinkhole and stopped development. Since, the sinkhole has been filled, at a cost of about $3.2 million, and the property turned back over to its developer, WR Oxford. Phase two of the development can now start back. Phase one included the Publix supermarket and Panera Bread restaurant, completed in 2013.
 

SPORTS!

 
A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-run homer and five pitchers combined on a six-hitter Wednesday to help the Atlanta Braves complete a three-game sweep by beating the Miami Marlins 2-0. The season-opening sweep was the first for the Braves since 2007.
 
It has been 10 years since Tiger donned a green jacket, and his last major coming in 2008 -- a year prior to Rory McIlroy's first pro victory. The two tee it up today at the as the 79th Masters begins at the famed and fabled Augusta National course in Augusta, Georgia.
 
Wednesday night, Former Leeds High School and Auburn basketball star Charles Barkley joined the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Phoenix. Barkley was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.