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Filed 07/18/2006 Updated after 4PM for next day...
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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News 

  • 1 killed and 7 injured in I-20 accident
  • Light voter turnout expected in Tuesday’s runoff elections
  • Woman killed as police stood by
  • Oxford hotel flooded


1 killed and 7 injured in I-20 accident 

Heavy rain is being blamed on a three car accident Sunday evening which resulted in the death of a 55 year old Ohatchee woman and injuries to seven others. Troopers said the accident happened Sunday evening on interstate 20 some two miles east of Oxford. Troopers said that the accident occurred when a ford explorer traveling east veered off the road crossing the median and slid sideways into the westbound lane and was struck by a Ford Escape.  The driver of the Escape, 55 year old Beatrice Masto of Ohatchee was killed and two passengers in her vehicle, 71 year old Arietha Highfield and 51 year old Rebecca Allbritton both of Ohatchee were injured.   4 people in the Explorer were injured,    29 year old Erin Chandler, 24 year old Kerry Chandler, 8 year old Tatum Price and 11 year old Shannon Price; all from Amarillo Texas were taken to the hospital. The driver of a third vehicle involved in the accident, 52 year old Kathleen Morris of Birmingham was also injured.  Troopers said that heavy rains that moved thru the area were a major factor in the cause of the accident.   


Light voter turnout expected in Tuesday’s runoff elections 

Officials are expecting an extremely light voter turnout in tomorrow’s primary runoff elections.  In Calhoun County, voters will decide in the republican runoff between George Salmon and Joseph Dobbins for the republican nomination for probate judge.  Republican voters will also choose between Virgin Sonny Coker and Sara Cook Semmes for the state executive committee.  In Randolph County, voters will decide between democrats Chris May and Vickie Whaley for Circuit Clerk.  In Etowah County, Republican voters will decide between Circuit Judge Will Clay and Attorney Christopher Griffith in the place one Circuit Judge’s race, while democrats will choose between Butch White and Jimmy McKee for district one on the Etowah county commission.  Republican runoffs will also be held statewide for Lt. Governor between Luther Strange and George Wallace Jr.  As well as runoffs for state auditor, public service commission, court of civil appeals and court of criminal appeals.  Polls will be open from 7am till 7pm Tuesday statewide.




Woman killed as police stood by 

A 29 year old Anniston woman was killed Friday morning as police stood just feet away and were unable to stop the killing.  According to police reports, officers had bone to the Pelham Heights Road home of 34 year old Ranzyne Coffer to serve a warrant for a misdemeanor city ordinance violation.  29 year old Shameka Grant, who is the mother of one of Coffers children, accompanied the officers to the home so she could recover some clothes in the residence.  Coffer answered the door in his boxer shorts and police allowed him to dress, officers stood in the door of the bedroom as Coffer dressed and Grant recovered the clothes.  Coffer then slammed the door to the bedroom and before officers could open it he had shot Grant multiple times with a small caliber automatic handgun.  Shameka Grant was pronounced dead on the scene by Assistant Coroner Marvin Southard.   The victim’s two children were in the home at the time and have been turned over to family members.  Ranzyne Coffer has been charged with murder is held under a half million dollar bond.


Oxford hotel flooded 

Hotel guests in an Oxford inn were awakened to a wet surprise early Saturday morning.   Officials say that between 50 and 60 people were forced to evacuate the Wingate Inn in Oxford Saturday morning after a broken sprinkler flooded three floors of the hotel.   Officials say the sprinkler head was set off by lodgers in a third-floor room around 6:30 a.m., and a fire alarm forced people to leave many of their belongings behind.  A building inspector will be required to inspect the inn before it can reopen.    Officials say it could take up to a week to extract all of the water from the hotel.  But officials said the fourth floor, along with sections of the other floors, could be open by today.

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