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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News
 

  • Georgia chase ends near Piedmont
  • Authorities find missing woman
  • JSU Observatory to open soon

 

Georgia chase ends near Piedmont 

A Sunday morning chase that began in Georgia, ended when the driver lost control of the car near Piedmont striking a tree stump.  20 year old Jessica Marie Hall, of Rockmart, Georgia , was charged with felony theft by receiving stolen property — auto, fleeing police, having a vehicle with secret compartments and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and misdemeanor theft by receiving stolen property, failure to maintain lane, speeding, not wearing a seat belt, obstruction of law enforcement, turn signal violations, not having insurance, passing in a no passing zone, failure to stop at stop signs, reckless driving and driving on a revoked license. Police attempted to stop Hall near the intersection of Cedartown Street and Mason Circle in Cave Spring, Georgia for speeding in a red Ford Escort. She drove off at a high rate of speed, crossing into Polk County, Georgia. Hall then continued into Alabama but skidded into a tree stump at the intersection of U.S. 278 and Cherokee County Road 715 near Piedmont. A passenger in the car ran into the woods after the crash, but Hall was arrested. A check showed her license was revoked and the car and license plate stolen. She lied about the identity of her passenger, and a search of the car turned up a small .25 caliber handgun and secret compartments.

 

 

Authorities find missing woman 

A body found about 2 a.m. Monday in Fort Payne is believed to be that of a 70-year-old woman who was reported missing from the Guntersville area.  Marshall County authorities had appealed for help Sunday in locating Shirley Sumrall, who had been missing since about 11 a.m. Saturday.  The woman’s body was found in the trunk of a car in the parking lot of DeKalb Regional Medical Center, hospital officials said.  Sumrall was last seen Saturday wearing a blue sweatshirt with “San Diego Yacht Club” written in gold lettering, tan slacks and black tennis shoes.  She was driving a tan 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis.  The woman reportedly left Guntersville headed toward Gadsden on a shopping trip.  The Marshall County and DeKalb County sheriff’s departments, the district attorney offices in both counties and Fort Payne police were working on the case Monday. 

 

JSU Observatory to open soon 

Students and teachers in east Alabama are about to get a window to the stars.  Jacksonville State University hopes to have a new observatory up and looking into the heavens by March.  Work on the $100,000 observatory building began last year and was recently completed. Organizers plan to have the telescope installed and ready soon.  

The observatory is on Chimney Peak, that overlooks Jacksonville, about two miles from campus.  The centerpiece of the observatory is a $150,000 Parallax planetary telescope with a 14¼-inch lens. By contrast, a regular backyard telescope like an amateur stargazer might buy usually has a 1- to 3-inch lens. The telescope uses light refraction from mirrors to zero in on the stars.   The observatory has a 16½-foot dome equipped with a remote-controlled roof that can be opened and closed. The telescope will be installed on a robotic telescope mount. On a clear day, the Chimney Peak location offers a virtually unobstructed view of the western, southern and eastern horizons.  When the observatory is completed, teachers will be able to control the movement and focus of the telescope and train it on whatever object they wish.  Pete Conroy, director of JSU's Environmental Policy and Information Center. "In theory, when this is completed you'll be able to offer schoolteachers in Alabama a way to access the telescope in the classroom. Anyone with a computer will be able to see the images."  The telescope was a gift of Richard T. Hardin Jr., an amateur astronomer. The school will also use the observatory in conjunction with its planetarium, which is regularly visited by area schoolchildren on field trips. When the observatory telescope is up and running, its images will be projected onto the planetarium ceiling.
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