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  • Defense attorneys discuss a plea deal with Shannon Brewer prior to a hearing on Tuesday in Lauderdale County Circuit Court. (WHNT - Carter Watkins)

    Brewer pleads guilty in Lauderdale County capital murder case

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – A surprising turn of events in Lauderdale County Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon, as a capital murder suspect pleaded guilty. The plea comes just 10 days before the trial for Shannon Paul Brewer was scheduled to start. Scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Tuesday afternoon, Brewer was escorted into the courtroom of Judge Mike Jones.  But instead of the hearing, Brewer’s attorneys and prosecutors finalized the paperwork in which he entered a guilty plea to murder, assault, and […]

  • harlan_elem

    Florence polling site loses power for brief time, all restored now

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Some voters in Florence experienced a power outage Tuesday morning while trying to cast their votes. According to the Lauderdale County Probate Judge’s office, for about 30 minutes Tuesday morning at Harlan Elementary, voters were unable to process their ballots electronically. The judge’s office says emergency procedures were followed, allowing voters to fill out their ballot and submit it into a secured drawer for electronic counting after polls close tonight. Polling inspectors report things have been […]

  • co_truck

    Overturned tractor trailer blocks traffic on Hwy. 20 for several hours

    COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Traffic along Highway 20 in Colbert County was slowed Tuesday morning due to an overturned tractor-trailer. According to State Troopers, the semi was trying to avoid a car which was stopping in front of it, when it left the road and overturned. The wreck happened just before 7:30 a.m., two miles east of Muscle Shoals.  The driver of the truck was not hurt. One eastbound lane of Highway 20 was blocked for several hours while […]

  • Florence Police Det. Brad Holmes speaks to students at Florence Middle School about possible social media fall-outs from bad decisions. (WHNT - Carter Watkins)

    Police warn Florence Middle School students about social media dangers

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – They are one of the largest user groups of social media, and some of the least prepared to deal with the fall-out from a bad decision. That’s why the Florence City School System and Florence Police Department are taking steps to help students make the right decisions when it comes to social media. Snapchat, Facebook, Vine and Twitter; they are some of the latest social media sites opening up the world around us, and students at […]

  • Drivers who travel along Wood Avenue in Florence deal with numerous potholes and depressions in the road bed. (Carter Watkins - WHNT News 19)

    Florence road replacement hits state delay over trees

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – A multifaceted road and utilities project being funded by the Alabama DOT in Florence has hit a possible roadblock. It’s a beautiful view of the fall foliage for those drivers who travel Wood Avenue each day. But as nice as the scenery is above, city leaders say the road below their tires is crumbling. $4 million has been secured through state ATRIP funds to replace the roadway and relocate the utilities underneath. But state engineers have […]

  • The Florence Freshmen Center was paid for through a 2012 bond issue to the city school board. (Carter Watkins - WHNT)

    Florence schools ask city for $3 million in continued funding

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – A bond issue bought in 1995 by the city of Florence to fund capital projects and other initiatives within the school system is set to be paid off next year. Now the school system is approaching city leaders asking for earmarked sales tax money to continue coming their way. Within the Florence City Schools District, construction has hit nearly every campus due to growth in the number of students.  About 4,500 students walk the hallways each […]

  • Carolyn Watson (Photo: Lauderdale County Detention Center)

    Shoals woman charged with duping elderly man out of $16,000

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Police in the Shoals say a restaurant employee is accused of duping an elderly man out of more than $16,000. Carolyn Watson is charged with financial exploitation of the elderly.  Police say Watson worked at Burger King on Florence Boulevard and befriended a man in his 80s who comes in frequently. Police say Watson told the man several stories about how she needed money, and he withdrew over $16,000 during a three-week period and gave it […]

  • Mourners gather to pay their final respects to the family of Deshler football coach Jake Linville at First United Methodist Church in Tuscumbia on Thursday. (Carter Watkins / WHNT News 19)

    Deshler community pays final respects to beloved coach

    TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) – The Deshler community continues to mourn the sudden passing of their beloved head football coach. Hundreds gathered at First United Methodist Church in Tuscumbia on Thursday to say their final goodbyes to Jake Linville and remember the good times he shared with them. Linville died Sunday, October 19.  He was in his first year as head football coach at Deshler, but he had already made a serious impact on the students and teachers. Many of the […]

  • A welding student at the Muscle Shoals Career Academy practices cutting a piece of metal during lab work. (WHNT - Carter Watkins)

    New Career Academy opens in Muscle Shoals

    MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) – With the cut of a ribbon and a round of applause, the new multi-million dollar Muscle Shoals Career Academy officially opened its doors to students Friday. It’s been a long time vision of Gary Dan Williams, the Director of Career and Technical Education for the Muscle Shoals School System. “We want them to be able to be educated, we want to be able to draw business and industry here, so all students will have an […]

  • (Courtesy: Florence Police Department)

    Florence police search for accused novel thief

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT / Shoals Area Crime Stoppers) – Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Some books leave us free and some books make us free.” While that may stand true, this man (pictured) may not be free for very much longer. Surveillance cameras caught this book worm concealing novels down his pants at Books-A-Million in Florence. Investigators say he walked into the store twice on October 2nd, and walked out with just under $300 worth of books. Florence police […]

  • Joshua Lynn Balentine (Photo: Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office)

    UPDATE: Man makes confession in Lauderdale County murder

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – According to sheriff’s investigators, a Lauderdale County man has confessed to the April 2014 murder of a crippled man inside his Anderson mobile home. Earlier this week, deputies were called to the Alcorn County Jail because an inmate there needed to get something off his chest. No stone has gone unturned in the murder case of 62-year-old Royce Varnell, who was found beaten to death on April 7th inside his county road 511 mobile home. Chief […]

  • Tuscumbia street department workers continue their on going efforts to clear tornado debris from the city. (WHNT - Carter Watkins)

    Tuscumbia leaders hope for help as cleanup costs rise

    TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) – As cleanup efforts get underway in Colbert County from Monday night’s tornado, officials are keeping a close eye on costs. Tuscumbia is crunching numbers, hoping federal assistance will be available for their already tight budget. As professional crews start the process of removing trees off of homes along High Street in Tuscumbia, street department crews continue their work. Since Monday night’s EF1 tornado struck, city employees have worked with little rest. “Everybody has shifted into whatever […]

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