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Local Updates from ABC News Radio for Birmingham.

Thursday
Jul312014

Treasurer Accused of Stealing Money from Decatur Organization

(DECATUR, Ala.) -- A woman was arrested on Wednesday, accused of stealing money from the Decatur Education Support Professionals Association.

Tabetha McLaurin, the association's treasurer, has been charged with first-degree theft of property, Decatur Police announced.

Officials said a representative from the association reported money being stolen from the association's bank account, and an investigation led to McLaurin being identified as a suspect.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul312014

Rainbow City Woman Killed in I-59 Crash

(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- A Rainbow City woman was killed in a Wednesday night crash on Interstate 59 near Argo.

Melissa Hill, 56, a passenger in a 2002 Toyota 4Runner, lost her life when the vehicle left the road and overturned around 11 p.m.

Rainbow City resident and driver Wayne Hill, 52, was injured in the incident and taken to University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, according to officials.

Alabama State Troopers continue to investigate the crash.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul312014

ATF Offers $5,000 Reward in Jefferson County Church Arson 

(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- A $5,000 reward is being offered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as investigators search for a man who started a fire at a church in Jefferson County last weekend.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said while deputies were responding to a burglary alarm at Bellview Baptist Church on Eastern Valley Road early Saturday morning, a witness called and reported that a man in a red Chevrolet Impala had broken a window at the front of the church, poured gasoline inside and set the place on fire.

The man reportedly fled the scene upon spotting the witness.

The suspect is described as a White man possibly in his 50s, about six feet tall, with a pronounced knot on his right cheek.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777 or the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office at 205-325-1450.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul302014

Tuscaloosa County Man Gets Prison Time for $3 Million Fraud Scheme

(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- A Tuscaloosa County man received a three-year prison sentence Tuesday for his plan to defraud financial institutions and the Small Business Administration of more than $3 million.

Danny Ray Butler of Fosters, Alabama pleaded guilty in February to three counts each of wire fraud and bank fraud, and also agreed to forfeit $1.76 million in illegal funds.

The 58-year-old owned and operated a used car lot, Butler Wholesale Inc., in Tuscaloosa, and Fosters Groceries LLC, and used both businesses to defraud the SBA and Alabama One Credit Union in connection with loans and inventory. He also created counterfeit documents, altered existing documents, and forged signatures, according to officials.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul302014

Kids Flee Pinson Home as Burglar Breaks in

(PINSON, Ala.) -- Two children were able to escape unharmed after being home alone when a burglar broke into their home in Pinson on Monday.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said a 14-year-old girl and her 9-year-old brother were in the home, located on the 5200 block of Highland Trace Circle, when a man broke in on Monday morning. The siblings reportedly called their mother and told her what was happening, and then ran to a neighbor's home.

Deputies were called to the scene, and upon arriving spotted 50-year-old William Robert Thomas climbing out of a window, officials said. Thomas allegedly dropped items he had taken from the home, and fled to a nearby wooded area. He was eventually taken into custody.

"Thomas told deputies that he had simply been out jogging and did not know anything about a burglary. He offered no explanation for his vehicle being parked in the victim's driveway," the Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Thomas, of Birmingham, has been charged with second-degree burglary and second-degree theft of property.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio