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Dateline 04/07/2006 Updated after 4PM for next day...
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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News 

  • Supplemental budget bill includes Anniston Depot funding
  • Talladega church fire ruled arson
  • Houseboat Ban approved in State Senate
  • Two killed in accident near Wedowee
  • Independent testing to be conducted at PCB cleanup stockpile
  • Former Anniston man awaits sentencing on perjury charges


Supplemental budget bill includes Anniston Depot funding 

With the presidents supplemental budget bill is expected to be voted on after the congressional Easter recess.  The bill includes funding for the Anniston Army Depot.  U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions in a conference call with reporters said that while he expects the bill to pass, there is still concern with the items tacked onto the bill by the senate.  One of the items tacked on to the supplemental budget is a project submitted by senators Thad Cochran and Trent Lott to spend 700 million dollars to tear up a just repaired rail line along the gulf coast and use the right of way to build a new highway along the coastline.  The bill is expected to head to the senate floor the week of April 24th for a vote. Interview with Senator Jeff Sessions on supplemental budget and Depot Funding.


Talladega church fire ruled arson 

State fire marshal Ed Paulk announced late Wednesday that arson was the cause of this weeks fire which destroyed the Blackberry Lane Community Church in Talladega County, making it the 11th confirmed church arson case in rural Alabama since February.  Paulk said investigators have no leads or suspects in the fire that was reported early Tuesday at the single story brick church just southwest of Talladega on Old Shocco Road.  Paulk said that there is no indication that the fire is linked to the nine other west Alabama church fires which led to the arrests of three Birmingham college students or to two other church fires still under investigation.  Investigators spent Tuesday and much of Wednesday at the site picking thru rubble.  The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have offered a five thousand dollar reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the fire.  Meanwhile, Talladega County Sheriff Jerry Studdard said he has ordered extra patrols to try to prevent additional church fires.  The Blackberry Lane church held services last night at the home of the pastor, 52 year old Alan Holley.  Holley said the church building was insured and will be rebuilt on the same site.. He said that Sunday morning’s services will be held at 10am at the Usrey Brown Funeral home in Talladega.


Houseboat ban approved in State Senate 

The state legislature gave final passage Wednesday to a bill that would limit houseboats as well as some large boats and high speed boats from three east Alabama lakes.  The state senate voted 25 -7 for the bill which passed the house last week.  It will become law unless Governor Bob Riley objects.  According to his spokesman Jeff Emerson, he has not reviewed the bill yet but will do so before making a decision.  If the bill becomes lay, on Weiss Lake, Lake Martin and Lake Harris it would. Ban houseboats beginning July 1, 2007, except that any houseboat licensed and in use July 1, 2006, would be eligible for a department of conservation annual permit allowing its continued use on that lake provided it were inspected and met standards for sewage disposal.  Cigarette boats or recreational boats longer than 16 feet 11 inches and rated for or capable of more than 60 miles per hour would be banned beginning on October first.  The bill will also ban boats longer than 30 feet 6 inches starting July 1, 2007, except boats in use or available for sale at a marina on one of the lakes July 1, 2006., would be eligible for an annual permit allowing it’s continued use at the lake.  The exception would not apply to cigarette boats.  Sailboats are not affected by the bill.  Violations would be punishable by a fine of 100 to a thousand dollars, thought a first time violator would get a warning citation.



Two Killed in accident near Wedowee 

Two Wedowee residents were killed Wednesday evening when their car left a county road overturning and striking some trees.  According to the Jacksonville State Trooper post, 41 year old Mark Anthony Duffey of Wedowee was driving the 1996 Toyota 4-runner around 7:30 Wednesday evening and lost control of the vehicle some seven miles north of Wedowee on County road 121.  Both Duffey and his passenger, 42 year old M. Rene Thompson were ejected from the vehicle and died as a result of their injuries.


Independent testing to be conducted a PCB cleanup stockpile 

Independent testing will begin soon to check the PCB levels of contaminated soil placed on the Miller property at West Tenth Street and Clydesdale Avenue in Anniston.  The Anniston City Council had requested the independent testing to insure that the contamination in the soil was less than ten parts per million.  City Councilmen Ben Little and Herbert Palmore requested the testing; indicating that they wanted to insure the safety of the community and verify what Solutia and the EPA is telling the community about the site.  The miller site has reached capacity and will now be capped with a geofabric material followed by a foot of clean soil and a vegetative layer.  Solutia says that the long term plans call for the site to be used for commercial development.  Councilman Little has called for the contaminated soil to be moved out of the community suggesting dumping it in the ocean. 


Former Anniston man awaits sentencing on perjury charges 

42 year old Robert Madrid, a former Anniston resident, is awaiting sentencing on charges that he fabricated his credentials which qualified him an expert legal witness.  Madrid claimed he was a graduate of Harvard Medical School, held a Doctorate from MIT, and was an Atlantic Coast Conference scholar athlete and a member of the high-IQ society.  In fact, Miller, a native of Maryland, did not graduate from college at all.  He was arrested and charged with five counts of first degree perjury in connection with five false statements made during a civil trial in Talladega last year.  The indictment said he lied about having a PHD in cognitive Neuropsychology from MIT during a civil case which involved the estate of the late Anniston anesthesiologist Dr. John Bryant.    Prosecutors say they plan to recommend a five year sentence with a year in prison at the sentencing set for April 19th 


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