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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News

  • Monday morning fire death ruled accidental
  • Riverside shooting victim believed to be missing Georgia man
  • Senate headed for Tuesday showdown
  • Georgia authorities investigating Polk County murder


Monday morning fire death ruled accidental

The state fire marshals office had determined that faulty wiring was the cause of a mobile home fire early Monday morning that killed a Calhoun County woman.   Shane Adrian, a death investigator with the Calhoun County Coroners office 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 Monday  morning.


Riverside shooting victim believed to be missing Georgia man

St. Clair County authorities believe a body found last Wednesday in Riverside is that of a missing Georgia man.  Investigators are awaiting dental records to positively identify the man.  The victim had been shot once in the head and had been dead several days before his body was found by two fishermen.

Piedmont ends year under budget

The Piedmont City council got some good news Monday night.  The city ended the year some 1.3 million dollars under budget.  City manager Bill Fann said that while there were budget overruns in several areas including supplies, mainly due to rising fuel costs,  city departments were able to hold the line on spending.

Democrats control senate 

Republican Gov. Bob Riley's effort to organize the new state Senate, giving the GOP clout it hasn't had in the chamber in a century, collapsed Tuesday when senators elected Democratic Sen. Hinton Mitchem to the top leadership role of president pro tem.
Mitchem, D-Union Grove, won after a Riley ally, Sen. Jim Preuitt, D-Talladega, withdrew his name when it became clear he didn't have the votes to win.
Mitchem defeated a last-minute candidate, Sen. E.B. McClain, D-Midfield, 18-17.
Sen. Lowell Barron, D-Fyfee, who has been the president pro tem for the last eight years, did not seek another term.
In a statement after the vote, Riley spokesman Jeff Emerson said both sides in the Senate had promised to allow floor debate on the governor's proposals rather than killing bills in committee.
"The governor has not asked the Senate to be a rubber stamp for his agenda; just to debate it and vote on it. So Gov. Riley is looking forward to seeing his proposals come up for votes," said the statement.
Preuitt, working with Riley, had tried to put together a coalition of the Senate's 12 Republicans with several Democrats who had fallen out with Barron.
As of last week, Preuitt was confident he would get the support of 19 of the Senate's 35 members. But Mitchem kept trying to unite Democrats and ended up prying away some of Preuitt's support to make sure Democrats retained the control they have had in the Senate since Reconstruction ended in 1870s.
When the outcome became clear in the opening minutes of the new Senate's organizational session, Preuitt withdrew his name from consideration and nominated McClain, who had been one of his supporters.
Preuitt's supporters who switched to Mitchem's side were Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, and Sen. Phil Poole, D-Moundville.
Mitchem, a retired tractor dealer and family entertainment center owner, has remained popular in an area of north Alabama where Republicans have made great strides. Mitchem said that demonstrates his ability to cross party lines.
"I want to do what I can to make sure every member of this Senate has a voice," he said.
Mitchem previously served as chairman of the Senate's Finance and Taxation-General Fund Committee.


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