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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News

  • Attalla accident/fire
  • Siren malfunctions for second time in Saks
  • State Troopers to increase patrol presence
  • Suspect sought in Georgia shooting


Attalla accident/fire 

Firefighters, police and emergency workers spent more than five hours extinguishing a fire that engulfed an 18-wheeler that veered off Interstate 59 south of Attalla and flipped onto its side Thursday.  Attalla Fire Capt. Ron Knight said the driver, 46 year old Juan Jose Lorenzo, of Miami, lost control of the vehicle while traveling southbound and swerved, flipping the truck onto its passenger side.  The truck destroyed about 40 feet of metal railing on the northbound side of the interstate when it ran onto the median.  Knight said Lorenzo and a relief driver managed to escape the vehicle and suffered no injuries. Knight said Lorenzo, who works for Blue Ridge Auto Transport in West Palm Beach, Fla., was transporting used cars from New York to San Antonio.He said there were two passenger vans and four cars on the trailer, and all but one were destroyed by the fire.There were several explosions as gas tanks ignited, and smoke could be seen as far away as downtown Gadsden. 



Siren malfunction for second time in Saks 

For the second time in as many weeks, residents in the Saks area were awakened early Thursday morning by a malfunctioning alert siren.  The emergency siren located at Saks High School sounded around 1:10 a.m. They were not turned off until 2:30 a.m. Calhoun County EMA Public Information officer Shay Cook says that the malfunction appears to be a computer problem in the siren itself.  Cook said that despite the fact that the siren is now offline, it could be quickly be placed back on line should an emergency occur.  Cooks added that the sirens are designed to only sound to inform people that there is a problem in the area. When one sounds, a citizen should check his or her local emergency alert station, such as Alabama 810 for information.

State Troopers to increase patrol presence 

The Alabama Department of Public Safety has announced plans to put about 200 additional troopers - including the top brass - on state roads Aug. 13-17 to show lawmakers how a bolstered force could improve safety. Last year, there were 1,208 deaths on Alabama highways, a 5 percent increase from 2005. The highway fatalities in 2006 were the highest since 1973. Public Safety Director Col. Chris Murphy said the "Take Back Our Highways" campaign will be the first of several to come. The 200 extra troopers, in addition to the 361 already assigned to highway patrol, will come from officers with arrest authority within the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, the driver license division and headquarters staff - including Murphy. The extra patrols will not just run from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Trooper post commanders will target areas in their districts where and when they think extra patrols are needed. Murphy said troopers will focus on any unsafe driving that endangers motorists, including tailgating, illegal lane changes, speeding and failure to yield. All vehicles will be subject to tickets, including 18-wheelers and motorcycles. Murphy said that "There will be zero tolerance for impaired driving," .Murphy said that for too long motorists have driven from Tennessee to Florida and never seen an Alabama state trooper.   He mentioned a sign on Interstate 10 just beyond the Florida line that says "Welcome to Florida. Now slow down."   Murphy said troopers will not be able to pull people over for using cell phones because the state doesn't have a law banning drivers from using them. But, he said, troopers will be giving tickets for inattentive driving. The goal Murphy said is saving lives, and said he believes the goal is worth the effort.


Suspect sought in Georgia shooting 

Police in Polk County Georgia have arrested three subjects on aggravated assault charges in connection with the shooting of a Cedartown man earlier this week. Police are also searching for another suspect wanted in the shooting that police say is considered armed and dangerous. Police are searching for 19-year-old Carlos Uriostigui. A warrant has been issued charging him with aggravated assault in the case and other charges may be brought against him as well. Investigators believe that he may be traveling with a female from Rome.  26 year old Josh Smith of Cedartown, was the victim in the shooting, which occurred just after midnight Tuesday morning. Smith remains in critical but stable condition at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. Officials said  that the shooting took place in Esom Hill at a Garmon Road residence.

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