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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News

  • Helicopter accident in Talladega County
  • TSA official visits McClellan
  • Jacksonville woman charged in ID theft
  • Water Wars

 

Helicopter accident in Talladega County

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board will be in Talladega County today to investigate an incident involving the forced landing of A Lifesaver helicopter Saturday afternoon after it’s tail rotor became entangled in power lines.

Officials said nobody was injured in the accident, which happened shortly after 1 Saturday afternoon near the end of Ironaton Road, close to the Ironaton Baptist Church. The Lifesaver helicopter was responding to an emergency call after a man was seriously injured in a four-wheel accident along Union T Church Road in Ironaton. The helicopter safely landed, and the victim was loaded into the helicopter.

When the pilot was taking off to transport the patient to a hospital the tail rotor of the helicopter hit the lower power line, snapping the power line as it became entangled in the back rotor. The pilot managed to control the helicopter and safely lowered it back onto the ground. The tail of the helicopter was damaged, and part of the power line still dangled from the rear of the helicopter. Another Lifesaver helicopter was called in, and the four-wheel accident victim was transported to a hospital.

  

 

TSA official visits McClellan 

The nation's transportation security chief is looking to Alabama for lessons as the agency plans to beef up K-9 teams that detect explosives and sniff out odors that can be danger signs.  Kip Hawley, executive administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, took advantage of a trip to Alabama last week to visit the Auburn University Canine Detection Training Center Kennel & Breeding Facility at Fort McClellan.  Hawley Said that since TSA is expanding its K-9 teams, he wanted to see whether there are ways that they can better utilize the facility and the capability that exist here in Alabama.  Friday's visit to the Fort McClellan facility answered an invitation from U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Anniston, who wants the nation to end its reliance on dogs trained in Europe that are bought by private vendors for resale to the armed services and Homeland Security.  K-9 teams produced at McClellan are used by the Coast Guard and Secret Service.  To get more money for domestic canine procurement, Rogers joined other House Homeland Security Committee members in filing the Canine Detection Improvement Act of 2007. The bill would help increase the use of domestically-bred dogs and support the work of canine breeding programs.  To meet the demand for dogs to detect explosives by government agencies and private companies, Auburn opened its center to train dogs, handlers, trainers and program managers in canine detection work. It has built a state-of-the-art kennel and breeding complex on the former Army base, where it has a 99-year lease of several buildings and more than 250 acres. Thomas E. Hawkinson, who managed the Secret Service canine program from 1991 to 1999, is the director.

  

Jacksonville woman charged in ID theft 

Months of investigation by Southside police into a case of stolen personal information that has plagued a Southside woman for years has resulted in the arrest of a Jacksonville woman.  62 year old Randi Formby, also known as Janice Pike, of James Hopkins Road SW, Jacksonville, was arrested at the Anniston business she manages Friday.  Officers had been investigating incidents of fraudulent use of a Southside woman's identity that began in 1999 and have continued over the years.
Etowah County District Attorney Jimmie Harp said Formby is being held on a $50,000 cash bond. He said investigators believe there could have been other incidents of identity theft involving the suspect, and possibly other victims. He urged anyone with knowledge of other incidents to contact the Southside Police Department at 442-2255, or the Etowah County Sheriff's Department at 546-2825.

 

Water Wars 

Georgia could be in danger of losing one of its most promising gains during a federally negotiated meeting next week aimed at stopping the three-state water fight.   Georgia secured an agreement in 2003 for rights to about a quarter of the water in Lake Lanier, the federal reservoir that supplies Atlanta with most of its water.   But the agreement with the U-S Army Corps of Engineers -- which Alabama and Florida claim is illegal -- could soon be dissolved. A federal appeals court is expected to issue a decision that could invalidate the agreement -- and change the dynamic of the decades-old legal fight.    Even Georgia supporters acknowledge that the state's case to get nearly one-fourth of the lake's capacity did not fare well during oral arguments last month before the federal appeals court's
Washington circuit.   Georgia uses about 10 percent to 15 percent of the capacity in
Lake Lanier for drinking water. As Atlanta continues to grow, Georgia and the Corps say it makes sense to shift the lake's use toward drinking water and away from its original purpose of producing hydropower.    But Alabama and Florida counter that Georgia has NO legal right to the Lanier water it is already using, much less to take almost a quarter of the lake over the coming decades. They say Atlanta's withdrawals would dry up river flows into their states that support smaller cities, power plants, commercial fisheries and industrial users like paper mills.
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