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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News

  • Woman killed in Etowah fire
  • EMA prepares for drill
  • Gas prices on the rise

Woman killed in Etowah fire 

Fire officials said a 54-year-old Etowah County woman was killed in a Sunday morning fire at a home on Paden Road.
According to Etowah County Coroner Michael Gladden, Kathy Chestnut, was pronounced dead on the scene at 7:10 a.m. Sunday morning.
Firefighters received the initial fire call from a person on a cell phone around 6:25 a.m. the house was fully involved when firefighters arrived on the scene.  Officials said cause of the fire was unclear and the investigation is ongoing. Investigators say it's possible the fire was caused by electrical issues or from several lanterns positioned in various locations throughout the dwelling.  



EMA prepares for drill 

Emergency Management Agency officials in six counties are getting ready for Wednesday's yearly chemical stockpile disaster simulation.

The exercise, in cooperation with the Anniston Army Depot, allows authorities to simulate what might happen in the event of a release of materials from chemical weapons. Authorities don't know ahead of time what to expect. The scenario could be anything from a rocket attack on the chemical weapons storage area to an earthquake that releases nerve agents.

Calhoun, Etowah, St. Clair, Cleburne, Clay and Talladega counties officials will take part. Authorities have been conducting simulations annually for more than 10 years. St. Clair EMA conducts its own drills and self-evaluations during the year, but this week's will be monitored by state and federal authorities.

Residents in the counties will not notice anything other than a little increased scanner traffic, with messages reminding those listening that they're hearing an exercise.  All of the involved agencies will be graded by officials from the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and others.

Officials also urge residents to review their own family emergency plans. For more information, for information you can contact your local emergency management agency.

Gas prices on the rise

As you have noticed, Gasoline prices have begun their annual spring escalation early this year, but federal energy officials say the cost per gallon will not be as high this summer as last summer.

On Friday, a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Alabama averaged $2.40, compared with $2.26 on the same date a year ago and $2.07 on Feb. 9. Although the price per gallon in California is more than $3, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates average monthly prices will increase through June and peak at $2.67 per gallon nationwide.

Clay Ingram of AAA-Alabama says that Demand is driving pump prices up. March is spring break month for many school systems, and vacationers increase the demand for gasoline. It's also the month some refineries shut down to retool equipment and get ready to produce their summer blends of gasoline.

According to AAA Prices in Alabama rose about 34 cents a gallon during February. Ingram urged motorists to compare prices before buying gasoline.

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