A Birmingham apartment complex caught fire last night in an early morning blaze. The Montevallo Gardens Apartment complex on 3rd Avenue Southwest had a fire that started around 4:00 a.m. The fire caused severe damage throughout the building. Authorities are saying that the blaze begun in an empty upstairs apartment and then spread throughout the complex. Fortunately, everyone was able to evacuate the building safely. One thing that authorities are concerned with is that there was a blaze in the same apartment complex at 9 p.m. last night. The owner of the complex says he will set up any displaced tenants in a hotel until they can get a new apartment.
Tornadoes Strike Through Virginia
There is a state of emergency in Virginia. Three tornadoes hit the state Monday. The twisters created a 25-mile path of damage and destruction. More than 220 people were hurt. No one was killed. Right now, it is too early to determine how many buildings and homes are destroyed. The National Weather Service has confirmed that it was three tornados that struck down in Virginia. More than 200 people were hurt but when you look at the devastation it's clear this could have been much worse. The first tornado was reported around 1 p.m. in Brunswick County. The second took aim on Colonial Heights nearly three hours later and the third touched down multiple times shortly before 5pm. That twister cut a path about 25 miles wide from Sulfolk to Norfolk. Homes have been destroyed and cars overturned in some instances vehicles were even tossed into trees. Many businesses have been severely damaged as well. Residents are being told to stay off the streets if at all possible because of downed and potentially dangerous power lines. For thousands more there is no power. Despite all this, fire officials say folks here are quite lucky and survivors are saying the same thing. A state of emergency has been declared for the areas of Virginia affected by the twisters. The overall cost of the damage will be assessed later today.
Glen Iris Elementary Students to Receive XO Laptops Today
Today is the big day for students at Glen Iris Elementary in Birmingham. Administrators will hand out XO laptops to the students as they take part in the city's first laptop program. Glen Iris teachers were trained on the laptops over the weekend to prepare for the today's laptop distribution. Mayor Larry Langford wants to give a computer to every elementary school student in Birmingham city schools.
Jeffco Commission to Vote on Bus Fares Today
Today is also a big day for the Jefferson County Commission. They will vote whether or not to allow max riders to ride free of charge. Commission President Bettye Fine Collins says the county is moving too quickly in approving the fare change without additional information. Collins also doubts it will boost Max ridership. If approved, the free bus rides could start Thursday. Monday, the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority approved a resolution to scrap fares from May 1st to September 1st.
Missing Toddler Returned Home
A missing toddler is home again. It is a happy ending for a family in Jefferson County. Police say the young boy was in the yard with his mother at their home on Brookside Coalburg Road. She went inside for a minute to check on something and came back out to find he was gone. He was found in the woods about a quarter of a mile away from his home. Also in the Brookside area, deputies found the bodies of two people killed in a motorcycle crash. One of the victims may be a 17-year-old girl who's been missing since Saturday. The other victim is a 38-year-old male. The bodies were found off Cherry Avenue around 3:30 yesterday.
Three Men Charged With Vandalism in West Jefferson
Some West Jefferson County families are mortified about what vandals did to the graves of their loved ones. Nearly 100 graves were damaged or destroyed. Three young men including Adam Busby, Stephen Hickey, and Girlis "Scooter" Serratt have all been charged with criminal mischief. A fourth suspect, a juvenile, is also expected to faces charges. Nearly 100 tombstones were turned over or broken. Some tombstones were toppled over and others were broken. Vandals also damaged about a dozen windows at nearby West Jefferson Elementary School.