Sickle Cell Discovery at UAB
A big breakthrough in sickle cell disease was announced Thursday. Researchers at UAB announced they have cured sickle cell in mice. They are using a new stem cell technique that does not require embryos. So, how soon could this help people with sickle cell? This is huge news, but we must stress that these cures are not yet for humans, but this certainly puts them closer to that possibility.
Chicken House Fire in Ashville
A large chicken house caught fire in Ashville on Thursday killing thousands of chickens. The fire broke out around 2:00 Thursday afternoon on County Road 33. The St. Clair County EMA says reports are that twenty-five thousand chickens were killed in the fire. Four fire departments were called to battle the blaze at the Tyson Farms facility. The fire has been contained, but they are letting the fire burn itself out. No word yet on how the fire started. The Department of Agriculture, the fire marshal, and state environmental officials are monitoring the situation.
Boutwell Auditorium No More?
Birmingham's Boutwell Auditorium is on its way to being torn down if the mayor gets his way. Larry Langford plans to ask the City Council Tuesday to approve the demolition then transfer the property to the Museum of Art. City officials say this will actually end up saving the city money because over one million dollars is used each year to maintain the building, while it only produces around 200,000 dollars a year for the city.
A St. Clair County jury is deciding the fate of a man accused of killing his cousin during a robbery. The jury got Sedrick Hardrick's case just after lunch Thursday. Even his attorney does not dispute that Hardrick killed his cousin. The defense contends Hardrick is mentally retarded and should not be sentenced to death for fatally stabbing 79 year old Ollie Brown in her home in Margaret last year.
Fire College Sentence
A former Alabama Fire College official is sentenced Thursday for his part in a corruption case. A Federal judge sentenced Robert Nix, a former deputy director, to two and a half years in prison. Nix diverted more than 500 thousand dollars from the firefighter training school in Tuscaloosa to buy personal items and help friends and family.
J.C.C. Looking for More Authority
The Jefferson County Commission is looking for more authority. Commissioners met Thursday with their legislative lobbying team from Montgomery. The commission president told lobbyist Noopie Cosby the county wants limited home rule. The county can raise sales taxes for educational purposes, but nothing else. Bettye Fine Collins says the commission is not interested in taxing authority, but rather other powers that could affect their districts. Commissioner Collins would like to see that authority expanded to include public safety issues.
No rest for Birmingham Public Works crews as they continue their ninth day of the community clean-up. Crews focused on the Pratt community Thursday which includes Sandusky, Thomas, and Smithfield Estates. They trimmed back overgrown lots and weeds. Dozens of workers spread out to tackle problem areas in the community. Friday, they will be in north Birmingham.
September 11 Memorial in Birmingham
A traveling exhibit is honoring the victims and heroes of the September 11th attacks - the worst attacks on U.S. soil in American history. The exhibit came to Birmingham Thursday. It includes photos and stories from survivors, responders and families who lost loved ones in that tragedy.