Execution Date Sought for Tommy Arthur, Fire Safety Summit in Tuscaloosa

Jul 26, 2016

State lawyers are hoping to set a date for the execution of a death row inmate who unsuccessfully challenged Alabama's lethal injection method as unconstitutional.

Last week, the Alabama Attorney General's office asked the Alabama Supreme Court to set an execution date for Thomas Arthur "as soon as possible." The request comes after a federal judge ruled for the state and against Arthur's claims that the state's lethal injection method was unconstitutional earlier this month.

Arthur has been on death row since 1983 for the contract killing of Muscle Shoals businessman Troy Wicker in 1982. He's successfully fought off multiple execution dates on appeal.

Alabama fire departments are working to help state residents prevent fires in the first place.

The Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office will be holding a fire safety summit today and tomorrow in Tuscaloosa. The event is open to the public it will be focused on showing firefighters the right way to respond to an unexpected fire.

Steve Holmes is with the Alabama Fire Marshal’s Office. He says events like today’s can attract lots of people who want to learn more about fire prevention.

“We hope this will be an annual event. Right now it’s not only an annual event, but an annual event that carries college credit to some of our firefighters working towards degrees. The Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs saw this need. This is a nationwide organization that has seen this need.“

Holmes hopes this summit will help prevent future fire deaths. Nearly 100 people lost their lives in house fires in Alabama last year.

Caregivers and patients with Alzheimer’s disease will be gathering in Decatur today and tomorrow.

The fourteenth annual Lucy & John Caddell Alzheimer's Conference will feature speakers talking about the latest on Alzheimer’s and how to treat it.

Angie Spiegel is the Alzheimer’s program assistant for the Morgan County Health Association. She hopes that people will stop seeing this as a disease and more like a symbol for self-awareness for the future.

“I’m afraid it’s portrayed so much as this horrible, worse than death disease, but people living with this disease have a life to live, and our job as caregivers is to help them live it to their fullest, and they need to know that they still have a place in this world.”

Spiegel says they expect over 200 people to attend the conference and that they will have an overflow for the first time since the conference began. The event will be at the DoubleTree Hotel conference center in Decatur.

Scattered showers over the last few weeks haven’t done much to ease the extreme drought hurting farmers in northeast Alabama.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows extreme drought conditions in almost all of Jackson County and parts of DeKalb and Madison Counties. Much of northeast Georgia and the Chattanooga area are in extreme drought as well. The map puts almost all of north and central Alabama in moderate to severe drought conditions.

Norman Edwards is an agricultural extension agent for Walker County, Georgia. He says tougher crops like cotton and soybeans are surviving, but the corn crop is gone and so is most of the hay.

Livestock is also suffering. Pastureland across the region is so dry most beef farmers are having to feed their cattle hay, rather than grass. Many agricultural experts are predicting a hay shortage.