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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News
 

  • Response filed in Jacksonville tree case
  • Battle for water intensifies
  • Food bank to re open
  • Troopers investigate fatal wreck

 

Response filed in Jacksonville tree case

Birmingham Attorney Mark Martin, representing two Jacksonville residents fighting to prevent Alabama Power Co. from cutting down trees near their homes, has filed a written response to written arguments by Alabama Power filed two weeks ago in Calhoun County Circuit court.  In the response, Martin states that his clients  have the right to a jury trial to decide the issue.  Martin says it is unclear that the company’s right-of-way in front of Barbara Wilson’s home on Church Street includes the contested trees. Martin claims that Alabama Powers arguments are not valid because expert testimony at a recent hearing left the boundaries of the company’s easement in doubt. Alabama Power has sought preliminary and permanent injunctions against actions taken by Barbara Wilson and Rufus Kinney to block the removal of trees near their homes. The company asserts that the trees in question need to be removed because they are too close to the company’s power lines and pose a hazard if the lines were to fall into them. Calhoun-Cleburne Circuit Judge John Thomason on Sept. 28 denied the power company a temporary restraining order, asking instead that the company file a case as to whether the matter should proceed to trial. Thomason said he wasn’t convinced of the need to remove the trees before more evidence is presented. Alabama Power Co. attorneys argued in a document filed Oct. 4 that the tree-cutting issue does not merit a jury trial because it involves “the resolution of factual issues for parties alleging equitable claims.” Martin says that the combination of legal and equitable issues in the Jacksonville case necessitates a trial, according to state law and previous Supreme Court cases. No deadline has been set for a ruling. 

 

 

Battle for water intensifies 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday that it will update the manuals it uses to decide how Georgia and Alabama share water in a major river basin, agreeing to a long-sought demand from Georgia officials who say new formulas are necessary to account for their state's rapid growth.   The agency began notifying lawmakers of the decision Thursday afternoon. While Georgians cheered the development, it angered Alabama officials who have fought to block the update, fearing it could cripple the state's water supply.  Both states have intensely lobbied Corps and Army officials in recent months as drought has gripped the region.  The state of Alabama has also added new complaints about the Atlanta area's water usage and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to its 17-year-old lawsuit over shared water resources.   The state yesterday filed papers in Birmingham challenging the government's decision to hold more water in Georgia's Lake Allatoona, which serves the Atlanta metro area.  Alabama officials also contend the Atlanta metro area is being allowed to use more water than it is supposed to receive. Neither the state of Georgia nor the Army Corps has responded to the new claims, which come in a lawsuit filed in 1990 over water sharing between Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

 

Food bank to re open 

The Feed America Distribution Center in Gadsden plans to re open. The center, at the intersection of North 10th Street and Stroud Avenue, was destroyed by fire Wednesday.  Center officials say  the regular distribution of food will resume on Oct. 25-26 at that site. Food will be distributed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on those days.
Trucks will be parked in the rear of the 15,000-square-foot building that burned where food will be distributed. Officials said the fire destroyed about $250,000 in merchandise and equipment in the building but plans are to rebuild the distribution center where it had been located for about 13 months. Officials said Feed America made the plans to reopen for food distribution next week because there are people depending on the organization. The non-profit organization serves about 1,600 to 2,000 families a month with food distributed twice a month. The organization is part of the Georgia Food Bank. People receiving food pay a $10 administrative fee. Food comes from donors throughout the country. The food bank will begin a food drive next month but people wishing to donate non-perishable food items now can call United Way at 546-4357.  

 

Troopers investigate fatal wreck 

Alabama state troopers say there are continuing to investigate a Thursday afternoon crash on Alabama highway 21 a mile north of Munford that killed a Lincoln man.  Troopers said that the two vehicle accident occurred shortly after two Thursday afternoon.  46 year old Ramon Rodrigues was driving a 1988 chevy corvette and was killed in the accident.  The other vehicle, a 1995 ford explorer was driven by 28 year old Travis Tuck of Sylacauga.  Tuck was transported to UAB hospital.  Witnesses said that the victims had to be cut from the wreckage and that the vehicles had flipped over in the accident.
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