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Filed 05/31/2006 Updated after 4PM for next day...
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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News 

  • Lt. Governor speaks at Piedmont Memorial Day Celebration
  • 15 year-old drowns at Martin Lake
  • Six killed in Memorial Weekend accidents
  • Bridge closed in Gadsden


Lt. Governor speaks at Piedmont Memorial Day Celebration 

Lt. Governor Lucy Baxley made campaign stops in four east Alabama cities on Memorial day.  The Lt. Governor spoke to about 300 people at a re-dedication of the Piedmont Memorial Park during a day marked by the dedication of four new granite monuments commemorating the military.  Baxley did not mention her race for governor, instead talking about the inspiration she drew from small town patriotism.  Baxley told the crowd that she was against some proposed cuts in veteran’s benefits at the federal level.  The Lt. Governor helped place a wreath in front of a stone war memorial that lists all Piedmont natives who died in World War One, World War Two, the Korean Conflict and Vietnam.Special Audio from Tuesdays Memorial Day Tribute in Piedmont 


15 year-old drowns at Martin Lake 

A 15 year-old Talladega boy drowned Monday at Lake Martin while celebrating Memorial Day with his family.  J. T. Pearson was pronounced dead at Russell Medical Center.  Pearson and his family were having a cookout at the Wind Creek State Park when family members discovered he was missing.  John Jackson, who was at the park with his family, joined in the search for Pearson.  Jackson found Pearson in the water where witnesses said he disappeared while wading.  Despite attempts to revive the teen he was declared dead after being taken to the hospital.  Pearson’s death is the first drowning in the lake since last September when a Tuskeegee man drowned while visiting the park with Tuskegee University students. 


Six killed in Memorial Weekend accidents 

At least six people were killed on Alabama roads over the Memorial Day Holiday weekend, including three people who died in a two vehicle accident in Conecuh County.  Troopers said that 39 year old Shane Ted Barnett of Altoona was killed when the vehicle he was driving collided with a minivan on Interstate 65 about five miles north of Evergreen.  Also Killed was the driver of the minivan identified as 36 year old Patricia Ann Straughn and an 8 year old passenger Jakela Straughn both from Lithonia Georgia. 



Bridge closed in Gadsden 

Gadsden police and city engineering department personnel have closed the Memorial Bridge on Broad Street after damage was discovered to the roadway due to the bridge possible shifting about a foot toward the western side of the Coosa River.  Officials said that small chunks of concrete could be seen scattered on the out railings of the western end of the bridge and a three foot crack had been caused by a protruding bump in the road.  After assessing the damage, City Engineer Jeremy Ward determined that the bridge should remain closed and should be closely monitored until it could be further assessed.  Another assessment will be conducted by engineers from Montgomery before the bridge will be re-opened for vehicle traffic.  Officials say the cause of the shift is unknown and no injuries have been reported.  The Bridge was dedicated in 1930 at a cost of four hundred thousand dollars and took two years to complete.

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