Alabama's governor is taking no chances as a winter storm hits the state this morning. Robert Bentley has urged schools in the storm's path to close today and for drivers to avoid unnecessary travel. A statewide state of emergency went into effect this morning at 6 a.m. The Department of Transportation said road crews have treated interstates in Birmingham and across north Alabama to combat ice. Also, the Alabama National Guard is on standby status at several locations to assist with clearing roads. The winter storm has prompted officials in Chilton County to delay the start of school 2 hours. Coosa County schools are closed.
Alabama State Troopers say two women from Autauga County were killed in a fiery crash late Sunday night on Interstate 65 North. The two-vehicle crash occurred at 11 p.m. at the 189 mile marker. Troopers said 22-year-old Marquita Speer of Autaugaville and 27-year-old Kimberly Livingston of Prattville died at the scene. Troopers said two other people were injured when a tractor-trailer slammed into a disabled vehicle.
Another traffic fatality is under investigation in Montgomery. Police said 62-year-old Joseph Hinton of Montgomery died over the weekend from injuries he sustained in a February 5th wreck on Broadway Street.
The list of candidates for statewide office is set, with only a handful of Democrats running. An Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Alabama State University Dr. D'Linell Finely says the lack of democratic candidates is understandable. He expects Governor Robert Bentley to be a formidable incumbent with his substantial campaign funds, however Dr. Finley does believe the governor could be vulnerable on the issue of Medicaid. Another interesting race, according to the professor, is the one between current Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange and Democratic challenger Joe Hubbard. The primary is set for June 3rd.
A fundraiser Monday at Robert E. Lee High School raised more than $7,000 for the family of 16-year-old Alexander Bridgman who was killed during a field trip on February 4th. Lee High School Principal Lorenza Pharrams said about $4,000 was raised at the school and several other groups contributed to the fund. Donations are still being accepted at two ServisFirst banks.