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Dateline 07/01/2006 Updated after 4PM for next day...
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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News 

  • Army said improper installation of fire brick caused incinerator to break
  • Oxford house fire injures 6
  • New laws effective July 1, 2006
  • 20 predicted to die in holiday traffic accidents


Army said improper installation of fire brick caused incinerator to break 

Army officials said Thursday they believe they know why a furnace at the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility collapsed during testing in May.  Officials from the Army and Westinghouse Anniston which operates the chemical weapons incinerator for the government said  Thursday they believe the bolts in the afterburner broke because a lining of insulating bricks inside the steel cylinder were replaced incorrectly after the last of the sarin was destroyed.  Investigators said the bricks were installed by contractors with gaps that were too small between sections of the brick which did not give the bricks enough room to expand.  Officials said the bricks were installed using an older design developed for the furnace’s original construction.  Officials said that the brick in the liquid incinerator had also been installed incorrectly.  Repairs have been completed and officials said the Anniston facility should be ready to begin the next phase of destruction of the nerve agent VX by the end of July.


Oxford house fire injures 6 

A house fire overnight sent three Oxford Firefighters as well as three residents to the hospital.  Fire units arrived at the home on Circle Drive near 8:20 Thursday night where they found fire coming out the windows of the home.  The homeowner, Lewis Walker, his wife and daughter were all taken to the hospital suffering from smoke inhalation and burns.  The fire was brought under control in about 15 minutes.  Three firefighters were taken to Stringfellow Hospital  for smoke inhalation.  Officials said most of the fire damage was concentrated to the laundry and living room. 



New laws effective July 1, 2006 

A new Alabama law requires motorists on roadways with four or more lanes to move over one lane when approaching emergency vehicles stopped with their flashing emergency lights activated.  Known as the “move-over” law, the act requires motorists to change into a lane not adjacent to an authorized emergency vehicle that has stopped and is displaying flashing emergency lights. The law also stipulates that when changing lanes is unsafe or not possible, motorists instead should slow down and maintain a safe speed for the road conditions.

Act 2006-546 was passed during the regular session of the Legislature and becomes effective July 1. The law’s “move-over” provision applies to roadways with four or more lanes, with at least two lanes proceeding in the same direction as the vehicle being approached.  Beginning July 1, children through age 14 must be restrained when riding in motor vehicles in Alabama, under provisions of the state’s new child restraint law. The new law applies to passenger cars, pickup trucks, vans (with seating capacity of 10 or fewer), minivans and sport utility vehicles.  The child restraint law was amended during the 2006 regular session of the Alabama Legislature to specify appropriate restraint systems by child age and weight. The new law also provides that violators will have points assessed against their driver record, in addition to incurring a fine of $25.  The law requires  *Infant-only seats and convertible seats used in the rear-facing position for infants until at least 1 year of age or 20 pounds. *Convertible seats in the forward position or forward-facing seats until the child is at least 5 years of age or 40 pounds. *Booster seats until the child is 6 years of age. *Seat belts until the child is 15 years of age, regardless of where they sit in the vehicle. Alabama’s seat belt law requires that all front-seat occupants, regardless of age, be restrained. Alabama’s old child restraint law required an “appropriate child restraint system” for children age five and younger riding in motor vehicles registered in Alabama, with seat belts allowed beginning at age four. The old law also excluded trucks and buses with a tonnage rating of one ton or more.


20 predicted to die in holiday traffic accidents 

The Alabama Department of Public Safety predicts 20 people will be killed in wrecks during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.  The 102-hour holiday period will last from 6 this evening until midnight Tuesday.  Last year, 16 people were killed in wrecks in Alabama during the 78-hour holiday period. Ten of the wreck victims were not using safety belts, and at least six of the traffic deaths were alcohol-related, according to a news release from the Alabama Department of Public Safety.  All available state troopers will be on duty during the holiday period, Alabama Department of Public Safety director Col. Mike Coppage said.  The increased number of troopers, along with an intensive enforcement effort, will heighten roadway safety, Coppage said.  Several local law enforcement agencies will be working overtime.  The cost is paid through grants administered by regional community traffic safety program coordinators with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.  Coppage said troopers will be looking for those who violate any traffic law, including impaired driving, speeding, following too closely and failure to use safety belts and child restraints.  Enforcement plans also include driver license and equipment checkpoints as well as saturation patrols.


Weekend Independence Day Celebrations


Piedmont – “Celebrate Piedmont with a Tribute to Freedom”  Saturday 10am till 4:30pm at the Clyde H. Pike Civic Center.  Events include free lunch, fire truck rides and many rides and games for the kids including a water slide as well as live entertainment from Three on a string and local church groups.   Alabama 810 will be broadcasting live from 11am till 2pm.


Anniston -  Fireworks  - 7pm Saturday at Woodland Softball Complex.  Fireworks start at 9:30 pm.


Heflin -  Saturday beginning at 2pm in the Heflin City Park,  Events include a duck derby, water balloon toss, watermelon seed spitting contest, a horseshoe tournament, and bingo.  Fireworks at 8pm.


Oxford – “Oxford Freedom Festival”  Tuesday July 4th at Oxford Lake Park.  Festivities begins with a 9am parade down McCullars Lane to the Oxford Civic Center and will culminate at 9pm with a giant fireworks show.  Other activities during the day include a golf tournament as well as bike and trike races, a pet show as well as carnival games and a magic show for the kids.


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