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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News

  • NTSB & FAA Investigating small plane incidents
  • Body found in Little River Canyon
  • Smoking ordinance upheld in Circuit Court
  • Farmers feeling impact of drought


NTSB & FAA Investigating small plane incidents

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating two separate incidents in east Alabama involving small planes.  Officials reported A small plane crashed in Randolph County Friday night, killing the pilot and a passenger.   Authorities identified the victims as 28-year-old Emily Clark of Madison and 37-year-old James Brown of Huntsville.  Clark, a certified flight instructor, was in the pilot's seat and Brown, believed to be a student, was in the passenger's seat. The sheriff's department received a call about a crash in the Bethel East Community. A search located the crash site in woods just off Randolph County Road 112. Investigators said the 1978 single-engine Cessna took a nose dive into a hillside. In a separate incident a small kit-built bi-plane made an emergency landing Saturday afternoon in a pasture on Whites Gap Road near White Plains after part of the plane’s propeller broke away. Calhoun County Sheriff’s deputies said the pilot of the bi-plane, which is called a Celebrity, set down in the pasture just off Alabama 9 between 2 and 3 p.m. after the pilot noticed vibration in the engine. Deputies said no one was injured, although the wooden aircraft was damaged. FAA officials were at the scene Saturday evening, investigating the incident.  According to  the tail number of the plane shows it is registered to an owner in Mt. Olive, N.C.  



Body found in Little River Canyon 

The FBI is investigating the death of a man found Thursday night at Little River Canyon in Cherokee County.  FBI spokesman Paul Daymond said  that the investigation is ongoing.  The man’s identify had not been released. Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver said his officers assisted with the initial processing of the body and the scene but that federal investigators were called in because the body was on federal land.  The body was found near a campfire and a vehicle.  

Oxford’s smoking ordinance has survived it’s first challenge in circuit court.

Calhoun County Circuit Court Judge John Thomason ruled that an Oxford restaurant had violated the ordinance and does not fit the ordinance’s criteria for exemption of a private function. The ruling was the first circuit court decision on a smoking ordinance in Calhoun County.   While smoking ordinances in the county vary from city to city, Officials are saying this case gives residents an idea of how the court may rule on future challenges to the laws.  


Farmers feeling impact of drought 

A second year of drought has had a dramatic impact on farmers.
David Derrick, regional Extension Service agent for row crops for nine Northeast Alabama counties, including Etowah, Cherokee, DeKalb, Calhoun and Marshall, said the year was "pretty bad." He said in some areas yields were as bad or worse than expected. But in some areas, crop yields were "surprising." Derrick said corn overall did better than expected. Rainfall amounts in July that were just below normal did help crops. Derrick said cotton yields were variable, with some fields yielding only about 200 pounds an acre. Other fields - perhaps only 5 miles away - might have gotten rain at the right time and had yields of 800 or 900 pounds an acre.  Derrick said soybean yields in North Alabama were more uniform, averaging 15 to 20 bushels an acre.  He said with soybean prices at $8 to $10 a bushel, farmers could pay their bills. Derrick said the drought affected "the whole agriculture spectrum," including cattle farmers, greenhouses and other farmers. He said some cattle farmers will struggle with a lack of hay because of the drought. He has seen farmers baling corn stalks and soybean stubble for roughage for cattle.


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