News

Ivey Orders Parole Board To Stop Letting Dangerous Killers Out Of Prison Early

Governor Ivey says the state parole board has been letting dangerous prisoners out too early on arole and it’s a threat to public safety. So, Ivey has issued an order that for now — no early paroles for violent offenders — and the parole board has to come up with a plan to correct the problem in 30 days. A triple murder in Guntersville is one reason the issue is in the spotlight. Jimmy O’Neal Spencer got an early parole, now he’s charged with killing two women and a 7 year old boy.


I See A Bear -- In Albertville

Police in Albertville have been getting calls about a bear. The police chief says the bear was spotted Thursday and it’s been on the move. Spotted near the airport and in the Terrace Heights neighborhood. The chief said no one has been bothered by the bear — but he warns, if you see it, don’t get too close. And it is best not to leave garbage or pet food out…it might attract the hungry bear.


Police Hope For Tips To Catch Bandit

Gadsden police out with a picture of a robber — hoping somone can ID the guy who robbed Dollar General last month. The man, seen with a gun in hand — demanded money — then ran out with the cash. No one hurt.


Thousands Without Power After Michael Crosses Alabama

Hurricane Michael tore into the Florida pan handle yesterday — one of the most intense storms in history with winds at 155 miles an hour. It moved across southeast Alabama — causing some flooding and knocking the lights out for about 62,000 people . Dothan was hit hard — with debris flying, trees down and other major damage. Officials around Dothan warning people to stay off the roads today.

Meantime — hotels and RV parks around Brmingham busy as people from Florida who got out of dodge — decided to ride things out in Alabama. 40 residents of a Senior Living center in Santa Rosa Beach are staying at a Birmingham hotel.


Jailers Caught Sneaking Stuff To Marshall County Prisoners

A correctional officer in Huntsville arrested and charged with bringing drugs into the Marshall county jail. 27-year-old Zachary Jonathan Smith of Hazel Green was arrested Saturday. Smith has also been fired. He had worked at the jail for about three months.

Meantime — four jailers who used to work in Marshall county pleaded guilty to brining drugs and cellphones and tobacco into the jail. The four got probation — and they agreed not to work work in law enforcement.


Gadsden Runoff Results

Election results in Gadsden: Sherman Guyton wins the run-off for mayor over Carolyn Parker — 58% to 41%. And in the district 5 run-off for city council —- Jason Wilson won easily over Billy Billingsley. Wilson had 62% of the vote — 37% for Billingsly.


State Of Emergency With Hurricane Coming

Gov. Ivey declared a state of emergency as of 3 o’clock Monday afternoon because of Hurricane Michael. That puts the state emergency plan into effect. Landfall expected along the Panhandle Wednesday and it could be a Category-3 storm. Any shift in direction could greatly affect Alabama. Several Alabama school districts already plan to close Wednesday, including Dale County, Henry County, Ozark and Dothan. As of now — power outages and wind damage are considered very likely in the southeast corner of Alabama.


Jail Escapee Caught

He is back in custody — an Etowah county jail inmate who was on a work detail at the county animal shelter, and walked away Friday. 33 year old Matthew Hopkins of Glencoe was found in Boaz


Primary Runoff Elections In Gadsden This Week

Runoff elections in Gadsden on Tuesday. Voters to decide between Sherman Guyton and Carolyn Parker in the mayor’s race. And there’s a city council run off in District 5 between incumbent Billy Billingsley and Jason Wilson. All polling locations throughout the city are the same as they were during the Aug. 28th election in the mayor’s race — and two polling places for District 5 — the Convention Hall and The Tabernacle Church Activity Center. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday,


Pay To Play Controversy Touches Alabama

No comment from the University of Alabama about accusations that Collin Sexton was paid to play basketball at the school last year. The details came out in a NY court case. Sexton is now in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers.


Looking For Person Who Torched Apartments Under Construction

Deliberately set. That’s the word on a fire that destroyed an apartment under construction and injured a Birmingham firefighter. A $5,000 reward is being offered to find the person who torched the building.


Education Secretary In Huntsville Says "Rethink" School

America’s Education Secretary was at the Space Camp in Huntsville. Betsy DeVos toured the facility and worked with students who were doing experiments. It was part of her “Rethink School” tour — urging communities to try new things in education. DeVos is a supporter of school choice for parents who find public schools not meeting their kids needs.


School Bus Caught In The Middle Of Shootout

In Anniston, two juveniles started shooting at each other and a school bus was caught in the crossfire. Happened yesterday afternoon about two, the gun shots fired from people in passing vehicles on South Noble. No kids on the bus, it was leaving the bus depot. Several windows on the bus were blown out in the gunfire. One of the shooters was wounded in the shoulder. The second car involved in the shootout has been found. Police know where the people live who were in the car — so far, no arrests.


Woman Crashes Into Building -- Arrested At Her Home

A woman plowed her car through the front glass of Observer Office Supply early Sunday morning in Gadsden.. She then backed-up and drove off. But a witness followed her — called 911 — and officers followed the woman to her house. She was arrested for drunk driving at her home off Rainbow drive.


Student Arrested For Having Gun At School

Another case of a kid bringing a gun to school. This time, in Huntsville, a 17-year-old student at Columbia High arrested. School officials got a tip that the student had the gun — they found it — no bullets in it. The student said he was just showing it to people. But he’s facing charges and probably will be expelled from school.


Talks To Begin On New Guntersville High School

A new High school for Guntersville…maybe. The city council and school board will talk about it at an upcoming meeting. A new school projected to cost $50 million dollars. The mayor says the council and the school board will begin talking about where the money will come from to replace the old high school that’s more than 40 years old. Also to be decided: where to build a new high school in Guntersville.


Construction To Start On New Boaz Park

With shovels in hand, city leader broke ground Friday on a new park for Boaz. It’s a 2.5 million dollar project — beside the Piggly Wiggly store. The mayor says that residents are excited about the park which should be done in April. It will have an an amphitheater and a play area, a splash pad and a walking trail


Local Man Beats State Watermelon Record

Giant watermelon. A Marshall County man has the biggest melon ever grown in Alabama. Actually, Daniel Bentley has two melons that beat the record. The first one weighed 272 and a half pounds — it broke the record by a half a pound. But he also grew a second melon that weighed-in at 274 1/2 pounds.


Boaz Man Ejected In Wreck And Killed

A Boaz man died in a wreck Tuesday night on Summerville Road in Marshall county. 2 4 year old Brandon Paul was thrown out of the car when he ran off the road, hit a ditch and the car flipped over. A passenger in the car was also thrown out and aken to the hospital — but the condition of the passenger is not known.


Gadsden's Mayor And Council Give-Up Pay Hike

New budget approved by the Gadsden City council. City workers get a raise — 2% — which means the mayor and council get a raise too. But the mayor and several councilmemmbers said they would sign a paper giving up their raises — which don’t amount to much anyway. The increase for council members would have been $3.75 a week, and just under five bucks for the council president. The mayor would have gotten another $38 a week..