Alabama bracing for winter storm, DoT scrambling and same-sex couple back in court

Feb 25, 2015

Tim Troutman, lead forecaster for Huntsville's National Weather Service

Governor Robert Bentley is declaring a state of emergency ahead of a winter storm expected to bring snow, ice, and freezing rain to the region.

Thirty Alabama counties stretching from the Tennessee border to Birmingham and Tuscaloosa are under a winter storm warning from 9 AM until midnight today.

Tim Troutman is the lead forecaster at Huntsville’s National Weather Service. He says everyone in the warning area should prepare for a lot of snow.

“The best chances for moderate to heavy snow will be midday through the evening. The probability in most areas is receiving 2 to 4 inches, and some locations may see some locally higher amounts.”

250 members of Alabama's National Guard have been mobilized to respond to emergencies. Alabama's law enforcement agencies are coordinating resources to assist stranded drivers.

Alabama’s wintry weather forecast has the state Department of Transportation scrambling its fleet to keep roads clear of snow and ice.

Crews were out all day yesterday pretreating roads in both the northern and central parts of the state.

Forecasters predict a substantial amount of accumulating snow will likely begin early Wednesday afternoon through the night, potentially causing travel hazards across most of the area.

The DOT is encouraging drivers to watch the forecast as they head to and from work today. They are using salt to help melt the precipitation that will likely fall during the day.

DOT officials say if you have to get out, use extreme caution and give yourself plenty of time to make it to your destination. They add that if you do not have to get out, stay home. Roads are expected to re-freeze as temperatures drop in the evening.

The couple whose lawsuit overturned Alabama's gay marriage ban is headed back to court.

Cari Searcy and Kim McKeand filed a lawsuit against Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis yesterday, after Davis refused to grant an adoption petition. Searcy is seeking to be recognized as a legal parent to their 9-year-old son.

Davis indicated last week that he would not process their adoption petition until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a national ruling on gay marriage later this year.

A lawyer for the couple said Davis has no legal justification to deny the request. U.S. District Judge Callie Granade ruled Alabama's gay marriage ban unconstitutional in late January in a case brought by Searcy and McKeand.

An Alabama judge is agreeing to limit medical testimony about a 9-year-old girl who was allegedly run to death by her grandmother.

Circuit Judge Bill Ogletree granted the state's motion to prevent testimony about how hospitals cared for the child after she collapsed in 2012.

Prosecutors say 59 year old Joyce Hardin Garrard forced granddaughter Savannah Hardin to run and carry wood until she collapsed as punishment for a lie about eating candy. She died three days later.

Hardin's defense planned to attack the standard of health care provided to the girl.

The judge restricted such testimony, but he says he may reconsider during the trial. Jury selection in that trial continues tomorrow.