Authorities say a car full of teenagers collided head-on with a police car in Elmore County last night, killing three teens and a sheriff's deputy. Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin said the crash happened around 7:45 p.m. on Firetower Road about four miles east of Wetumpka. Authorities say a car driven by 16-year-old Austin Ryan Augustine collided with a cruiser being driven by Deputy James Bart Hart. Both drivers were killed along with two passengers, identified as 16-year-old Dylan Bieber and 16-year-old Hoyt Hardin.
Governor Robert Bentley says he wants to be upfront with voters. The state is facing a budget crisis and fixing it the right way will require changes that some people probably won't like. The governor said taxes are a last resort, but he believed the state would re-examine current tax deductions. That includes a tax break that only Alabama and a few other states give. Residents can now deduct their federal income taxes and FICA taxes that they pay when calculating their state income tax.
Alabama's unemployment rate has dropped to 6.3 percent, but it remains above the national average. Gov. Robert Bentley announced Alabama's rate declined from 6.6 percent in September to 6.3 percent in October. That's the same rate Alabama recorded a year ago. The October rate is higher than the national figure of 5.8 percent.
Two days after record cold temperatures were set in eight Alabama cities and towns, including Montgomery. The National Weather Service says we're in for a warming trend over the next few days. The warmer air is expected to bring a change of strong severe storms to the southern portions of central Alabama late Saturday night and into Sunday morning, forecasters say there is a threat of severe storms, including tornadoes, from 3 a.m. through noon on Sunday.
An effort to help beautify the city of Montgomery is being held in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Voting Rights March. Montgomery Academy student Ken Ward wants young people from all over the area to participate in the cleanup initiative. Ward is organizing the event along with help from the city, Montgomery Public Schools, Bridge Builders of Alabama and Alabama State University, among others. It's being held on President's Day, February 16th. High school and college students can register at handsonriverregion.org. Groups are also welcome.
A 26-year-old man is in jail charged in connection with the death of a Montgomery shooting victim. Montgomery Police have charged Channing Crumblin with murder in connection with the death of 41-year-old Kevin Thrasher. The victim was shot multiple times on November 14th and was dropped off at a local hospital. MPD declined to say what day Thrasher died or where he was shot. Crumblin is being held in the Montgomery County Jail under a $75,000 bond.
The health of a child is among the four areas studied and reported in the 2014 Alabama Kids Count Data Book. The findings were released Wednesday by Voices for Alabama's Children. Dr. Tom Miller with the Alabama Department of Public Health says there are some noteworthy improvements. The data report covers 46 indicators in categories of family and community, education and economic well-being. This year marks the 25th year that the Kids Count Data book has been released.
A second male is behind bars today charged in connection with the November 11th slaying of a 33-year-old man on Troy Highway. Montgomery Police said 25-year-old Justin Cunningham is charged with capital murder for the fatal shooting of 33-year-old Trevis Green, the victim was gunned down in the 4000 block of Troy Highway. Police have already arrested 26-year-old Terrance Butler, also of Montgomery. He is also charged with capital murder. Cunningham and Butler are being in the Montgomery County Jail without bond.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has announced a pharmaceutical company will build a manufacturing facility in Birmingham. Bentley said Tuesday that Oxford Pharmaceuticals LLC is expected to open in 2016. The company manufactures generic drugs. The company is expected to employ 200 people when it is fully operational. The governor made the announcement at the Birmingham Business Alliance's annual governor's luncheon. The group says that state and local governments have tentatively awarded $5 million in incentives for the project.
Storm damage assessments have begun in several counties where small tornadoes touched down Monday morning. Meteorologists at the National Weather Service say EF1 twisters caused mostly minor to moderate damage in Bullock, Butler, Crenshaw, Pike, Russell counties. Another tornado hopscotched it way across Washington and Clarke counties in the southwest corner of the state. The best news of all, no one was seriously hurt by Monday's severe weather.