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.
Emergency Management officials in several counties are reporting scattered and sporadic damage spawned by a potent weather system that moved across southwest, central and southeast Alabama early this morning. Thunderstorms spawned powerful winds in the Ansley and Shellhorn communities in Pike County where EMA officials say several trees uprooted and one road is blocked. In Russell County, thunderstorm wind damage is also reported in the Seale community where trees and power lines are down near Firetower Road and Alabama Highway 165 in Cottonton.
Police have made an arrest in a fatal shooting that occurred Tuesday night in Montgomery. 26-year-old Terrence Butler has been charged with capital murder in connection with the robbery and shooting of 33-year-old Trevis Green. Police say the incident happened in the 4000 block of Troy Highway. Butler has been placed in the Montgomery County Detention Facility without bond.
Governor Robert Bentley says the state's General Fund budget will be the biggest problem before legislators next year. Lawmakers say they will have a hole of at least $200 million in the budget. The governor says he and lawmakers have been meeting about possible solutions. The governor said last week that legalized gambling, either with a lottery of compact with the Poarch Creek Indians, is on the table for discussion.
Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell is urging members of the House Judiciary Committee to investigate the possibility of impeachment of federal Judge Mark Fuller. On Wednesday, Sewell sent a letter to the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and Ranking Member John Conyers asking them to investigate whether Congress should impeach Fuller. In September, Sewell gave Fuller a Nov. 12th deadline to resign after his Aug. 9th domestic violence arrest. All of Alabama's congressional delegation, including senators Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby, called for Fuller's resignation.
The Supreme Court is considering a dispute over the use of race to redraw political districts. Alabama told the justices in arguments Wednesday that it had no choice but to concentrate black voters in some legislative districts, making the neighboring seats more white and apt to elect Republicans. African-Americans challenging the state's Republican-drawn maps argue that black voters should have been somewhat dispersed to increase their influence in elections.
Forecasters have issued a freeze warning for a large part of Alabama in advance of bitterly cold air expected to soon push into the state. The National Weather Service said the coldest temperatures so far this season are expected to filter into the central part of the state Thursday night into early Friday morning. Forecasters say that several hours of below-freezing temperatures are expected in several counties. The freeze warning covers an area from Hamilton and Gadsden in north to Demopolis and Troy to the south. It includes the Birmingham and Montgomery areas.
The Equal Justice Initiative is releasing more findings of abuse, corruption and misconduct in a new report on Alabama prisons. The report cites nearly a dozen instances of inmates being stripped and beaten by officers at Elmore Correctional Facility. EJI Executive Director Bryan Stevenson says the Alabama Department of Corrections hasn't done enough to reform the system. The Alabama Department of Corrections has not yet responded to this latest report.
Today is Veterans Day and parades, tributes and other events are planned across the River Region and across Alabama. Governor Robert Bentley is scheduled to speak at a Veterans Day event in Tuscaloosa.
In Montgomery at 11 a.m., a parade will be held downtown, followed by a concert of patriotic music at City Hall. A Veterans Day program will be held at the Cleveland Avenue YMCA on Rosa Parks Avenue, it starts at 11 a.m.
A change of command ceremony was held at Maxwell Air Force Base Monday as the facility welcomed a new Commander and President of Air University. Lt. General Steven Kwast assumes command from the outgoing Lt. General David Fadok. General Kwast has served as military aide to the Vice President. General Fadok has plans to retire to Fairhope, Alabama.