Recent Articles
  • Volunteers at First United Methodist Church in Florence prepare for their Thanksgiving luncheon for the needy. (Carter Watkins / WHNT)

    Volunteers prepare for the largest Thanksgiving luncheon for the needy in the Shoals

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Dozens of volunteers at the First United Methodist Church in Florence are preparing for their annual Thanksgiving Day luncheon for the needy. It’s a huge undertaking one volunteer said, but one which brings great joy to everyone involved. “It’s a good tired. It’s an absolutely good tired,” explained volunteer organizer Lisa Matthews. For days, a volunteer army has been filling cranberry cups, cutting cakes, and readying the biscuits for more than 2,500 people.  First United Methodist […]

  • 112415 FR Holiday Smoke Detectors 6pm PKG

    Russellville fire officials urge residents to check smoke detectors as winter sets in

    FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Russellville Fire Department has urged residents to make sure they have working smoke detectors in their homes for years. In fact, they’ll come by and install them. Just a few weeks ago, a man was saved by a smoke detector in his apartment in Russellville. Days before fire fighters responded to the apartment fire at Holiday Plaza, Fire Marshal Justin Green had gone by to check smoke detectors in the units. With winter upon us, […]

  • Volunteers prepare the distribution center in Florence for Angel Tree donations to arrive. (Carter Watkins / WHNT)

    Shoals Angel Tree in need of adoptions, despite decrease in participants

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – The season of giving is upon us, and there’s one group in the Shoals asking for some help to make Christmas possible for hundreds of needy families. Item by item, bag by bag, the Women’s Auxiliary of the Salvation Army of Northwest Alabama prepares for the influx of presents at their distribution center.  The facility will house gifts for this year’s Angel Tree project. Families filled out applications earlier this year, and the Salvation Army noticed […]

  • Jeremy Williams sits and listens to testimony of a state medical examiner on Friday. (Carter Watkins / WHNT)

    Williams capital murder trial continues; Medical examiner testifies about 70+ stab wounds

    FLORENCE, Ala. – Friday, Lauderdale County prosecutors rested their case in the capital murder trial of Jeremy Williams in Florence. First, they called the state medical examiner in charge of Brioni Rutland’s autopsy. Defendant Jeremy Williams seemed uncomfortable as pictures of Rutland were introduced as evidence Friday. The pictures showed the gunshot wound to Rutland’s left eye and more than 70 stab wounds to his body. Dr. Kathleen Enstice, an Alabama Medical Examiner in Huntsville, performed the autopsy one day […]

  • Jeremy Williams sits and listens to his girlfriends testimony in his capital murder trial on Thursday. (Carter Watkins / WHNT)

    Williams’ girlfriend testifies as state witness in his capital murder trial

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – After interviewing state forensics experts early Thursday morning, prosecutors in the Jeremy Williams capital murder trial turned their attention to building the timeline after Brioni Rutland went missing. Lynn Stanley, a manager at Dollar Tree on Florence Boulevard, testified Jeremy Williams came into work on Wednesday with a cut hand, one day after the death of Rutland happened. She said Williams told her he cut it when a glass table broke and he had to clean […]

  • Jeremy Williams (left) listens to investigator testimony in his capital murder trial on Wednesday. (Carter Watkins / WHNT)

    Jury in Jeremy Williams’ trial in Lauderdale County shown blood splatter from alleged crime scene

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Wednesday began the first full day of testimony in the capital murder trial of Jeremy Williams in Lauderdale County. From friends of Brioni Rutland, to investigators who processed the alleged crime scene on Hawthorne Street, prosecutors worked to build a timeline. Shortly after his body was found in the waters of the Tennessee River, rumors started swirling of gambling activities Rutland was leading in Colbert County. Rutland disappeared on Tuesday, November 26, 2013. Prosecutors say Rutland was making […]

  • Charles B. Aday (Courtesy: Florence Police Department)

    Lauderdale County man arrested for arson; intentions caught on camera

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – A few years ago, surveillance cameras would only be found in department stores and gas stations. More and more home owners across the Valley are now protecting their homes with high-tech cameras. There`s numerous companies who monitor alarms around your home, and their signs are normally posted as a deterrent to criminals. But Robert Love is one of many residents who wanted to focus his attention on camera surveillance. He has several cameras mounted around his home, […]

  • 111615 LD Florence Ambassadors 10PM PKG

    Florence begins training for citizen ambassadors

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s been said a city’s residents can be the best sales people for the community they live in. With that in mind, city leaders are training up as many citizens as they can to be ambassador’s for the city of Florence. The first training session began Monday morning, with speakers covering topics from education, to historical facts. “When we get people who come here and visit us, regardless of the reason, they say they want to […]

  • "12 For Life" students

    ’12 For Life’ students have scholarship opportunities while working for top automaker

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Doors are opening for high school students involved in a very unique training program in Florence. One of the world’s top automakers is offering scholarships to students who will come to work for them. To an outsider, it may look like busy work for a group of high school students, but “12 For Life” is much more than that. Florence High School students are trained in workforce development and life skills, while also receiving school credits. […]

  • Shaiya Rowlett (Photo: Florence Police Dept.)

    Florence teen charged with rape

     FLORENCE, Ala. – A Florence teen has turned herself in to police to face charges of having sex with a minor. Investigators say 18-year-old Shaiya Rowlett is charged with rape second degree, a Class B felony. Florence Police say family members of the minor notified them of the inappropriate sexual relationship.  Investigators believe the sexual contact happened on numerous occasions starting in August. Rowlett has posted bond from the Lauderdale County Detention Center.

  • 111115 CO Flag Retirement Ceremony WEB PIC

    Sheffield VFW Post holds flag retirement ceremony to honor veterans

    SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s a proud symbol of our nation; one which many veterans died to keep it flying. When it becomes weathered and torn, the American flag must be retired with a ceremony and entombed. With flags in hand, about a dozen people gathered at the Sheffield Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wednesday morning. They assembled to pay tribute to veterans by retiring American flags. “I see my past relatives that have gone on, and I see my fellow soldiers that have gone […]

  • Robert Franklin Branton

    Florence war veteran receives his high school diploma more than 60 years later

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – After coming up one credit short of getting his high school diploma, a retired war veteran had a lifelong dream come true Tuesday. The year was 1953. Robert Franklin Branton was a senior at Coffee High School. Despite his best efforts, Branton was unable to pull up a physics grade to complete his requirements to graduate. Fast forward 62-years and a conversation between Branton and his wife. “We’ve done everything, seen everything, been everywhere, but I don’t have a […]


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