These are some stories from the 9/17/12 version of the Tennessee Valley news update (633, 733, 833am, 304, 404, 504, 604pm) …
MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAAY) - A longtime Madison County pilot and a student have been identified as the victims in a crash that killed two people when an airplane went down at an airport during an event for aviation enthusiasts. WAAY-TV reports that George Myers and 17-year-old Chris Schmitt died when a plane went down Sunday at the annual Moontown Fly-In in Madison County. Myers is a former owner of the Moontown Airport at Brownsboro, and the teenager was learning to fly. Witnesses say a vintage Russian airplane was flying in formation with other aircraft when it went down. Federal investigators will determine the cause of the crash.
MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAAY) - The National Transportation and Safety Board and FAA will look into what caused a deadly plane crash Sunday afternoon near the Moontown Airport. Officials said the pilot was participating in the annual Moontown Grass Field Fly-In event. The Huntsville Times reports that four planes were flying in formation. An eyewitness said that just before the crash, the fourth plane in formation started to fall back. The third plane in the formation - the plane that crashed - started to fall as it tried to perform its final flip, he said. The Madison County Coroner said George Gilbert Myers, 74 and Christian Schmitt, 17 were killed in the crash.
MONTGOMERY, AL (AP) - Gov. Robert Bentley says he's optimistic Alabama voters will approve a constitutional amendment Tuesday to take $437 million out of a state trust fund to prevent cutbacks in state services. Bentley said the constitutional amendment is supported by a broad assortment of associations, and they have worked hard to get a good turnout by people who are directly affected by the issue. He says he's also optimistic because there has been no angry groundswell against it.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WLRH) - The woman who admitted shooting six coworkers at the University of Alabama in Huntsville could receive royalties from UAH for an invention that's expected to start generating revenue soon. Amy Bishop and her husband, Jim Anderson, invented a cell incubator that has been developed for sale. UAH owns the patent, but Bishop and Anderson are in line for part of the royalties.
AUBURN, AL (AP) - The University of Alabama fan charged with poisoning Auburn University's landmark oak trees will go on trial in two weeks. But it's still unclear if that will happen in Opelika or another city. Harvey Updyke has twice cited extensive publicity and news coverage in asking a judge to move his trial outside of Lee County. Updyke's first trial there ended abruptly during jury selection in June after the school's student newspaper quoted Updyke as admitting his guilt. The judge said he would consider the venue question later, indicating he may attempt a second time to begin jury selection and determine whether an impartial panel can be selected in Lee County.
BIRMINGHAM, AL (AP) – Two World War II veterans who served with the Tuskegee Airmen have received Congressional Gold Medals. The Birmingham News reports that U.S. Rep. Terry Sewell presented the medals to Elijah James Oliver Jr. and Beatrice Muse Price during ceremonies Sunday in Birmingham. Oliver was a flight officer and Price was a nurse for the nation’s first group of black fighter pilots. Sewell said the battle that Oliver and Price fought against racial discrimination led to the opportunities that many enjoy today. Congress awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the Tuskegee Airmen as a group in 2007, but members of Congress can present bronze replicas to individuals in their districts who served in the group. Oliver, who’s 87, called the award one of the greatest things that ever happened to him.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (Popular Science) - The editors at Popular Science Magazine have given UAHuntsville some recognition. The Propulsion Research Center at UAH has been named one of the top laboratories I the country by the influential publication. The magazine featured 10 laboratories across the nation where students do serious research and career training by “blowing stuff up.”
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) – Polls will be open across Alabama tomorrow for a special constitutional amendment. The amendment will allow lawmakers to take money out of the Alabama Trust Fund, which was previously restricted. Lawmakers say they need the funds to cover budget shortfalls and other services. A “yes” vote would authorize lawmakers to borrow up to $147 million each year for the next three years.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) – Alabama’s northern counties are under a flood watch as potentially heavy rains move into the state. The national Weather Service says storms crossing into the Tennessee Valley will bring rainfall totals from 1 to 3 inches by Tuesday, as some areas could receive as much as 5 inches of rain. The heaviest precipitation is expected to fall overnight Monday. Forecasters say northeastern Alabama should receive the heaviest rains. The weather service says streams along the Tennessee River will rise because of runoff from the storms. The flood watch lasts through Tuesday morning in 11 northern counties. Forecasters say south Alabama will also see heavy rains, and damaging winds or isolated tornadoes are possible.