MONTGOMERY — Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall issued a statement Monday endorsing passage of Statewide Amendment 1, which would create Aniah’s Law.
The amendment is on the ballot in Tuesday's general election and would allow judges the discretion to deny bond to violent criminals, Marshall said.
"As you will recall, Aniah Blanchard was the young woman who, in 2019, went missing and was later found murdered," he said. "The man charged with Aniah’s abduction and murder was out on bond at the time he committed his heinous acts, despite already being charged with multiple violent crimes, including kidnapping.
"Aniah’s case was a terrible tragedy that drew national attention, but I am here to tell you that hers is not the only case of this kind — and it won’t be the last. That’s why we need Aniah’s Law."
With another school year upon us, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has its own list of ABCs to share. The agency provided this list:
A. Expect heavier-than-usual traffic (at least the first week of school), and plan to leave home at least 20 minutes earlier than usual.
B. Be patient as parents with younger children become familiar with drop-off and pick-up locations.
C. Slow down and stay alert, particularly in school zones.
D. Expect frequent stops along school bus routes.
E. In fact, when a school bus stops, motorists should stop at least 20 feet from school buses when traveling in either direction on roadways with undivided two-, four- and six-lane roadways.
F. Exercise extra caution, particularly, near bus stops should a child dart out into traffic.
G. In school zones with blinking flashers, stop and yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and/or at intersections.
H. Understand the majority of children injured or killed in school transportation are not injured or killed on the bus, but outside the bus. Most are struck by motorists who fail to stop for the flashing red lights and extended stop signs.
I. Never pass a vehicle that has stopped for pedestrians.
Parents with Younger Children, Particularly Those Attending School for First Time:
J. Consider making a couple of trial runs to and from school prior to the first day to ensure children are familiar with the process.
K. Work with other parents to designate an adult to supervise young children at the bus stop each morning.
L. Do not load or unload children across the street from the school, unless instructed to do so.
M. Make sure even the youngest children know to only cross at a crosswalk or designated intersection after making eye contact with drivers and are certain the vehicles have stopped.
Parents with Older Children and/or Teens Driving to School for the First Time:
N. Parents of new teen drivers should review Alabama’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) information and restrictions, including the fact 16-year-old (Stage II) drivers are allowed to have only one passenger who is not a family member when driving.
O. Not only would a trial run or two to school and back be a good idea for new drivers, but parents are encouraged to assign a primary and secondary route for their teen drivers commuting to and from school for the first time. This could minimize anxiety during an unexpected traffic event (crash, road closure, etc.) that may cause a delay. Parents should discuss options for alternate routes in case roadways are shut down or become congested those first few days of the school year.
P. Students of all ages who will be walking to and from school or the bus stop should wear light/bright clothing (something reflective is even better), particularly at dusk and dawn when days become shorter and during inclement weather.
Q. Children should understand they must yield to vehicles when crossing the street at points other than crosswalks.
R. When walking on a roadway, preferably with supervision for the little ones, walk single file, against traffic and stay as far left as possible on the shoulder.
What Every Motorist Should Know:
S. Obey speed limits, particularly in school zones, and other rules of the road.
T. Do not drive while distracted by cell phones, passengers or anything else that takes your focus from the task of driving.
U. Do not drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including some over-the-counter medications such as cough syrup).
V. Buckle up no matter how short the trip – and that goes for all occupants in the vehicle.
W. During inclement weather, roadways may become slick, so be prepared to slow down.
X. Use headlights and windshield wipers when driving in the rain.
Y. Use low beams when traveling through fog.
Z. When driving, remember the “two-second rule”: Choose a fixed object on the road ahead (signpost, tree, overpass, bridge abutment, etc.). When the vehicle ahead passes that object, begin to count “one thousand one, one thousand two.” If drivers reach the same object before finished saying “one thousand two,” they are following too closely and should gradually slow down until they have reached the safe following distance.
Tuesday night was the first of two meetings between in-state rivals Alabama and Auburn. The rivalry that has most of its hype on the football field has now taken over the basketball world. Auburn came into the game ranked 4th in the country and Alabama 24th.
Although the game was in Tuscaloosa and Alabama was the favorite to win, Auburn managed to pull off the "upset", winning the game 81-77.
Jabari Smith led Auburn with 25 points with fellow Tiger Wendell Green Jr. scoring 19. This was Auburn's 12th straight victory.
The next matchup between these two teams will take place in Auburn on February 1st at 8:00pm.
Georgia came into Monday night's National Championship with a laundry list of losing streaks and droughts. The Bulldogs were on a 7-game losing streak to Alabama, having not beat the Crimson Tide since 2007. Kirby Smart, Bulldog Head Coach and former Alabama Defensive Coordinator, was 0-4 against his former boss Nick Saban. And not to mention, Georgia had not won a National Championship in over 40 years.
However, just before midnight ET on January 10th, all of that changed. Georgia conquered their Everest. A Pick Six-Interception by defensive back Kelee Ringo sealed the game with less than a minute to go, giving Georgia a 33-18 lead, which would end up being the final score.
It was a different style of game compared to the previous matchup between these two teams in the SEC Championship just over a month ago. That game was much more offensive, ending in a 41-24 victory for the Crimson Tide. Defense, however, dominated Monday night. More specifically, Georgia's defense. The Bulldog's only allowed a single touchdown and a handful of field goals to Alabama on their way to a convincing victory.
This is the first National Title the Georgia Bulldogs have won since 1980, ending a 41-year drought.
Both the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers are having successful seasons. As it stands today, Alabama has a record of 11-3 record and Auburn boasts a 13-1 record with their only loss coming against a ranked UCONN.
The Tigers will travel to Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa on January 11th to face off against the Crimson Tide for a big time SEC matchup. This will be the first time these two rivals have met this season.
Both teams are ranked in the Associated Press top 25. Auburn is ranked 9th while Alabama is ranked 15th.
According to ESPN's Basketball Power Index, Alabama has a 55% chance to win the game.
The game will be on Tuesday, January 11th at 8:00 pm. You can listen to the game on 94.9 the Bull starting at 7:30.
FLORENCE - The University of North Alabama will provide a $75 gift card to its bookstore for anyone receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from Sept. 18 through Oct. 2.
Those receiving the vaccine at any location during that span simply can go to the bookstore and present their vaccination card, university officials said.
That is part of an Alabama Department of Public Health program called Kick COVID. The health department will be at 13 in-state college football games to conduct COVID vaccine and testing clinics, according to the department. Those include the Oct. 2 UNA home game against Campbell. They also will be at UNA's road game against Jacksonville States on Sept. 18.
UNA has had 97 COVID cases thus far this semester, including 26 this past week, according to the university's dashboard.
Participating schools and dates for the clinics include:
University of West Alabama vs. North American University, September 16
Jacksonville State University vs. University of North Alabama, September 18
University of South Alabama vs. Alcorn State University, September 18
Alabama State University vs. Bethune-Cookman University, September 25
Auburn University vs. Georgia State University, September 25
Miles College vs. Central State University, September 25
Samford University vs. East Tennessee State University, September 25
University of Alabama vs. University of Southern Mississippi, September 25
Tuskegee University vs. Edward Waters College, October 2
UAB vs. Liberty University, October 2
University of North Alabama vs. Campbell University, October 2
Alabama A&M University vs. Jackson State University, October 9
Troy University vs. Georgia Southern University, October 9
All northwest Alabama remain under the high category for overall level of COVID-19 transmission.
Lauderdale County has had 10,429 cases and 255 deaths. Colbert has had 6,801 cases and 142 deaths. Franklin County has had 4,671 cases and 81 deaths.
Statewide, there have been 599,633 cases and 11,574 deaths, according to the health department.
In Colbert County, 23,177 people have received at least one vaccine dose. Of those, 18,903 have completed their series. In Lauderdale, 37,415 have had at least one dose and 29,474 of them have completed their series.
Franklin County has administered doses to 11,217 people, with 8,752 completing their vaccine series.
Statewide, 2,053,367 people have received at least one vaccine dose, with 1,613,194 of them completing their series.
The COVID-19 pandemic still remains in the Shoals, with 110 cases reported in the last two weeks, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Those numbers include 86 cases in Lauderdale County and 24 cases in Colbert County, according to the department.
Overall there have been 6,473 cases and 141 deaths in Colbert County since the start of the pandemic. In Lauderdale County, there have been 9,754 cases and 252 deaths.
Nearby, Franklin County has had 4,344 cases and 81 deaths overall, and 12 new cases in the last 14 days.
Health officials continue to ask the public to receive the free COVID vaccinations.
In Colbert, 21,216 people have had at least one vaccine, with 18,343 receiving the full series. Those numbers are 34,735 and 28,629, respectively, in Lauderdale County.
Franklin county has delivered at least one dose to 10,157 residents and 8,487 of those have received the full series.
Statewide, there have been 556,613 cases, including 4,324 in the last 14 days, and 11,428 deaths.
A total of 1,875,638 people in Alabama have received at least one vaccine, with 1,551,810 of them receiving the full series.
MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) Highway Patrol Division investigated seven traffic fatalities while its Marine Patrol Division had no boating and non-boating fatalities during this year’s official Memorial Day weekend, according to ALEA officials.
In May 2020, during the same extended holiday weekend, Troopers from ALEA’s Marine Patrol Division investigated 10 boat crashes and four drownings. This year, Troopers experienced zero boating and non-boating fatalities, and investigated only two vessel crashes. One crash occurred in Choctaw County with property damage and the other occurred in Cherokee County with minor injuries.
This past weekend’s traffic crashes involved seven individuals, including a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old. The children were involved in a single-vehicle traffic crash Saturday, May 29, in St. Clair County when the vehicle in which they were passengers left the roadway and entered Logan Martin Lake. Highway Patrol Troopers are investigating that particular crash, which also resulted in the deaths of two additional occupants from the vehicle. Weekend traffic fatalities also included one of the drivers in a two-vehicle crash in Shelby County, the driver in a one-vehicle crash in Franklin County and a motorcyclist in a two-vehicle crash in Tuscaloosa County.
“Investigating fatal crashes is one of the most difficult parts of a Trooper’s job. Sadly, this year we investigated a single-vehicle crash that claimed the lives of four loved ones at one time,”
ALEA’s Secretary Hal Taylor said. “Memorial Day weekend is only the beginning of the busy summer months, and each of us must do our part to make safety a priority on the water and the road. We will continue the agency’s mission of enhancing public safety and saving lives through the utilization of consolidated law enforcement efforts, sharing public safety practices, engaging in educational opportunities and taking the necessary steps to remove impaired drivers from Alabama’s roadways and waterways.”
During the holiday weekend, ALEA Troopers joined their law enforcement partners across the state and the nation in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, which included sobriety checks. Between Saturday and Monday, Troopers issued 21 citations for Driving Under the
Influence and five citations for Boating Under the Influence. Grants administered through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) and the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) provided funds to cover additional Trooper shifts during this initiative.
As we head into the first holiday weekend of the summer season, Alabama Marine Police offer tips for boating safety.
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Hal Taylor said Marine Patrol investigated 107 boating-related crashes, resulting in 14 fatalities in fiscal 2020. This fiscal year, they have investigated 110 boating-related crashes, with 29 fatalities.
“Many of those fatalities could have been prevented by the simple act of wearing a proper personal flotation device (PFD)," Taylor said. "With your assistance, we can make this extended holiday weekend on the water safer for everyone, but it will require the use of PFDs and courtesy among boaters, along with an understanding of safe boat operation and the dangers of consuming alcohol.”
Following are some important safety tips from ALEA’s Marine Patrol Troopers to help keep you and your family safe:
• Holidays are not the time for novice boaters to learn to operate their crafts. Operator inexperience is one of the leading contributing factors to boating crashes in Alabama. New operators should consider attending an in-person boating-safety class prior to going to the water.
• Be mindful of other boaters. Avoid passing too closely to boats in motion, boats at idle and individuals in the water.
• Boaters should avoid the use of alcoholic beverages or use the designated operator system. The sun, wind and other weather conditions already produce an effect on boaters known as “boater fatigue,” and the consumption of alcohol only compounds and intensifies the effect.
• When towing or pulling individuals on tubes or water skis, avoid spending prolonged periods in small areas. Look for calm, open water where boating traffic is light.
• Everyone should wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD (life vest) when under way, particularly at night. Operators are responsible for everyone on board and should ensure all passengers know where PFDs are stored, how to reach them quickly and how to use them properly.
• Children younger than age 8 are required to wear PFDs at all times (unless inside a permanently affixed cabin enclosure). They also should wear PFDs that are the appropriate size.
• All individuals being pulled by a vessel on water skis, tubes or other aqua-planing devices also are required to wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFDs.
• Operators must follow the capacity-plate requirements and never overload vessels beyond recommended safe-carrying capacity. These restrictions will include the weight of equipment and all individuals on board.
• Under Alabama law, canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are considered to be vessels and are subject to PFD requirements. There must be one U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD on board for each occupant; and children younger than age 8 on board these crafts are required to have them on at all times.
• Vessels passing head-on must keep to the right. In a narrow channel, vessels will keep to the right of mid-channel.
• Vessels passing or approaching another vehicle must be operated in such a manner and at such a rate of speed that will not create a hazardous wash or wake.
• Avoid boating at night unless familiar with the body of water. Then, operate at a reduced, safe speed. Make sure all navigation lights are in proper working order and displayed properly. Have a cell phone and flashlight on hand in case of emergency.