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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News

  • Ohatchee woman killed in early morning fire
  • Weekend storm damage
  • Senate headed for Tuesday showdown
  • Georgia authorities investigating Polk County murder


Ohatchee woman killed in early morning fire 

The state fire marshals office, along with Calhoun County Sheriffs deputies are investigating an early morning fire which claimed the life of an Ohatchee woman.   Deputy coroner Shane Adrian identified the victim as 46 year old Debra Crowe.  Adrian said that Crowe’s body has been sent to the state Forensic Lab in Huntsville but the preliminary cause of death appears to be from smoke inhalation.  Fire units responded to the house fire at 1048 Gilberts Ferry Road near 2:30 this morning.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the state fire marshals office and Calhoun county sheriffs deputies.


Weekend storm damage

Severe storms swept through Alabama on Sunday, spawning possible tornadoes, damaging homes and bringing the threat of flooding, but no injuries were reported.  Up to 4 inches of rain fell earlier in parts of Alabama, where a flash flood warning was issued for six counties.  According to local storm reports issued by the National Weather Service, tornado and funnel clouds were reported in Montgomery, Elmore and Clay counties, but little if any damage was reported. Powerful winds were blamed for damaging homes in Etowah, Tallapoosa and Barbour counties. Also, flash floods covered some rural roads in Lowndes and Elmore counties.

Senate headed for Tuesday showdown


A showdown set for high noon Tuesday likely will decide which group of Alabama's 35 senators will run the Alabama Senate for the next four years. The winning side will be able to fill the Senate's top leadership positions and play a huge role in passing or killing state budgets, tax cuts and hundreds of other proposed laws.

All 12 Republican senators pledged last month to join a group of seven Democrats led by Sen. Jim Preuitt, of Talladega, to form a ruling majority and elect Preuitt to be the Senate leader, or president pro-tem. If that coalition holds together, Preuitt will replace Sen. Lowell Barron of Fyffe, who held the top spot since 1999. Preuitt's group of 19 senators, if it sticks together and takes power, likely will give Republicans their biggest role in running Alabama's Senate since the Reconstruction era that followed the Civil War.  Preuitt said Republican Gov. Bob Riley's legislative agenda, including a plan to cut taxes by more than $300 million a year, will get a fair hearing if his group takes power.  Preuitt and other senators on his side said they expect their 19 pledged votes to hold firm through Tuesday's roll call.

One of Preuitt's allies, Sen. Larry Means of Attalla, faces a legal challenge to his ability to vote Tuesday. Means is the only lawmaker who did not file a report of campaign contributions and spending before the Nov. 7 elections. Alabama Secretary of State Nancy Worley, the state's top elections officer, cited that failure on Dec. 29 and did not certify Means' election. She certified the elections of all other lawmakers.  Lawyers for two Gadsden voters in Means' Senate district, citing Worley's action, last week asked Montgomery County Circuit Judge Charles Price to order Riley to call a special election to fill a vacancy in Means' Senate district.

Georgia authorities investigating Polk County murder 

Georgia officials say that an autopsy is planned today on a Polk County, Georgia man who was shot and killed Saturday in front on his home.  36 year old Anthony Burge, of a Morgan Valley Road address, died from a gunshot wound at an Atlanta hospital on Saturday evening according to Polk County Deputy Coroner Tony Brazier.

Burge reportedly had an altercation earlier in the day with a man and was shot once outside his home at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday evening.

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