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Filed 06/20/2006 Updated after 4PM for next day...
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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News 

  • Gadsden man killed in Sunday accident
  • Local Marine in Iraq witnesses daughters birth via internet
  • Anniston issues Burn Ban
  • Anniston facility receives safety awards


Gadsden man killed in Sunday accident 

A Gadsden man died when his truck flipped several times after swerving off Forrest Avenue late Sunday afternoon.  Police officials said 59 year old Rodger McElroy,  of a Pearl St. address, was traveling eastbound on Forrest Avenue when his red Dodge truck unexpectedly veered off the road and flipped several times before landing on its side, killing him in the process.  McElroy was pronounced dead on the scene by Etowah County Deputy Coroner Michael Gladden at 5:25 p.m. Sunday.  Fatality investigator Mike O'Brien said witnesses saw McElroy's truck veer off the road into an empty lot, hit several metal construction pikes on the lot, then flip several times before landing on the driver's side against a fence on an adjacent lot.  Witnesses on the scene said when the truck swerved off the road it began flipping several feet into the air creating a loud noise.  O'Brien said he was unsure exactly what caused the accident, but there was a possibility McElroy blacked out with his foot remaining on the accelerator before veering to the left off Forrest Avenue and into the empty lot.


Local Marine in Iraq witnesses daughters birth via internet 

A local marine will have a Fathers day story to talk about for years to come.  Marine Cpl. Terry Lambert who is from Gadsden and is in Iraq for the second time, was able to see and talk to his wife, Jodilynn Saturday night, and she was able to see and talk to him while she was in labor to give birth to their first child, Katherine Annalee, at Jacksonville Medical Center.  The videoconference was arranged by Freedom Calls, a non-profit organization that sets up video conferences for families and friends of servicemen and women in Iraq.  John Harlow, president of the organization, said this was the first birth from a hospital that Freedom Calls has assisted with.  The Freedom Calls foundation has three facilities in Iraq and armed service personnel can keep in contact via telephone and Internet for video conferences free of charge,. It has helped members of the armed services participate in weddings, graduations and other milestone family events. More than 2,000 soldiers use the Freedom Calls facilities each day. The organization is attempting to raise funds to expand its services to additional bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. More information is available at




Anniston issues Burn Ban 

Many areas of East Alabama have not seen any significant rainfall in weeks, causing extremely dry and hazardous conditions.  The dry conditions led the Anniston Fire Department to issue a no burn order in the city which began Friday.  Anniston is the first city in the area to issue a ban.  The ban prohibits the burning of materials, including trash, leaves and firewood inside the city limits.  Fire chief Bill Fincher said that firefighters have seen an increase in the number of brush fires in the past several days.  All of the area lakes are about a foot below their normal levels forcing the hydroelectric dams to reduce their outflow, Alabama Power said that recreational releases at Jordan dam may be suspended.  A power company spokesman said that most people will not notice any difference in the lakes.  Anyone who violates the Anniston burn ban will face a fine for violating a city ordinance.  The ban is not expected to be lifted until the area receives a significant soaking of rain.


Anniston Facility receives safety awards 

Westinghouse Anniston and the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ANCDF) recently received three awards from the National Safety Council for employees’ efforts to safely destroy the chemical munitions stored at Anniston Army Depot.  The Anniston Facility received the Industry Leader Award, the Perfect Record Award and the Million Work Hours Award for working in excess of 8 million safe work hours.  Westinghouse Anniston Project Manager Bob Love said, “The awards reflects the commitment of their employees to work safely every day while protecting the environment and the community as they safely destroy the chemical munitions and agent stored at Anniston Army Depot.” Westinghouse Anniston is a division of Washington Group International, which is a member of the National Safety Council.   The National Safety Council awards recognize top achievement in work place safety. The Industry Leader Award recognizes the top participants in the council’s Occupational Excellence Achievement Award program.   The Perfect Record Award recognizes companies, units and/or facilities for completing a period of at least 12 consecutive months without incurring an occupational injury or illness that resulted in day away from work or death.   The Work Hours award recognizes companies, units and/or facilities that accomplish 1,000,000, 2,000,000, 3,000,000 or any other million increment of consecutive man-hours without incurring an occupational injury or illness that resulted in days away from work or death.  While surpassing the 8 million safe work hours mark, the Anniston facilities employees safely destroyed all of the GB (sarin) munitions stored at the Anniston Army Depot,  totaling 142,406 munitions and 96,246 gallons of the nerve agent.  Westinghouse Anniston, a division of Washington Group International, operates the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility for the U.S. Army. The Anniston Facility was designed to destroy 2,254 tons of chemical nerve (GB, VX) and mustard (HD, HT) agent contained in hundreds of thousands of munitions stored at Anniston Army Depot.

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