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  • Patricia and Matthew Ayers, outside the courtroom on Jan. 30, 2015. (Photo: Carter Watkins/WHNT News 19)

    Judge to Lauderdale County couple convicted in child pornography case: “You both will die in prison”

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – A married couple was sentenced Thursday in Lauderdale County for making child pornography. The child was in their custody. Judge Mike Jones sentenced Matthew and Patricia Ayers, telling them they would both spend the rest of their natural lives in prison. Going into the sentencing hearing, both the Ayers had pleaded guilty to sodomy and producing child pornography with a 6-year-old girl they had custody of. “That was our number one objective, was to get this […]

  • Ashley Nicole Peters (Photo: Lauderdale County Detention Center)

    Police: Florence woman used dead sister’s identity to get a credit card

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Police say a Florence woman has been arrested for using her dead sister’s identity to get a credit card. Ashley Nicole Peters, 20, is charged with identity theft.  Investigators say she obtained a credit card using her sister’s credit information and used it at several businesses over a three-month period. Peters also faces charges for stealing a wood chipper and selling it to a pawn shop. She’s being held at the Lauderdale County Detention Center on bail […]

  • 012215 CO Store Burglary 630pm PKG

    Shoals police investigate series of burglaries; Tuscumbia store the latest hit

    TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) – A series of smash and grab burglaries have kept law enforcement in the Shoals very busy over the last few weeks. The latest took place in Tuscumbia, and investigators want the public to take a close look at the surveillance pictures that have been released. Just before 2 a.m. Thursday, Tuscumbia Police said 3 subjects approached the Handi Foodmart on Old Lee Highway and threw a brick through the front door. “It takes just a matter […]

  • 012115 CO Sheffield PD Body Cameras 6pm PKG

    Sheffield officers being outfitted with new body cameras

    SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WHNT) – At a time when police officers are under tremendous scrutiny across the nation for performing their duties, many departments are turning to technology to protect themselves.  Just this week, the city of Sheffield invested thousands of dollars to arm their officers not with guns, but cameras. In the coming days, when officers strap on their duty belts and head out on patrol they will have an additional piece of equipment to clip on.  Sheffield Police Chief […]

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    UPDATE: Lexington man accused of violent domestic assault arrested

    LEXINGTON, Ala. (WHNT) – Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Marshals apprehended a man accused of beating a woman and kicking her 5-year-old child. According to authorities, Timothy Joiner was taken into custody in Loretto, Tenn. When Lexington Police Chief Augie Hendershot first got to the home on Lauderdale County Road 51 Friday, he says his heart just dropped. “First thing I noticed was a small child, 5-year-old girl, sitting on the couch holding an ice pack to the back of her head and […]

  • Sheriff Rick Singleton has officially taken office in Lauderdale County. (Carter Watkins / WHNT News 19)

    Singleton takes over sheriff duties in Lauderdale County

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – There’s a new sheriff in Lauderdale County. Long-time Florence Police Chief Rick Singleton retired from the city police department to follow his dream of becoming sheriff in the county. After winning the November general election, he’s now behind the desk and looking to rejuvenate the department. Hanging on the wall of Sheriff Rick Singleton’s office is a reminder of where he’s been and where he wanted to get back to. 37-years ago, Singleton started at the […]

  • Demonstrators lay in the middle of Court Street in Florence as part of a "die in" to help bring attention to police brutality. (Carter Watkins/ WHNT News 19)

    Shoals group holds “die in” to protest police brutality

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) –  28 rallies against police brutality are taking place across the country, on a day when we observe the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  A group of Shoals residents gathered to demand equal justice by holding a “die in” on the steps of the Lauderdale County Courthouse. The North West Shoals Action Committee observed four and a half minutes of silence Monday, laying on the cold, hard pavement. The group wants to make […]

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    Florence Animal Control asking for help with influx of cats and dogs

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Florence Animal Control is asking for help with more than 45 animals picked up Friday during a hoarding investigation. The city agency is asking for temporary fosters to help with housing cats and dogs surrendered by the owner. Animal control officers say it was one of the worst cases they have seen in Florence in recent history. The animal shelter says in addition to housing, they could use food donations, as well as cat litter and […]

  • 011515 LD Scholar Dollars 6pm PKG

    Shoals Scholar Dollars program asks for gas tax to fund scholarships

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – There’s a plan being proposed to Shoals area county commissioners which could put 600 students a year into secondary education through public funding. One-hundred forty-one high school graduates, who had no other hope of going to college this past fall, were given a chance through Shoals Scholar Dollars. Executive Director Randy Pettus said the scholarships started this past year to help educate the future workforce. “We had too many young men and young women that were […]

  • 011415 LD Tourism Director Resigns 5pm PKG

    Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Director resigns; gets new job with state

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Just more than 12 hours after Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Director Debbie Wilson announced her resignation from the agency, her future was made clear. State Tourism Director Lee Sentell announced Wednesday morning Wilson has been named the manager of the Alabama Tourism Department’s Welcome Center Program. Sentell said she will be responsible for operating eight information centers, while also serving as regional tourism director for north Alabama. Wilson’s resignation from Florence-Lauderdale Tourism came as a shock to many […]

  • Task Force members sit and listen to State Representative Johnny Mack Morrow during a recent meeting over education concerns statewide. (Carter Watkins - WHNT News 19)

    NW Alabama task force formed to watch over Montgomery actions

    MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s a newly formed group of educators in northwest Alabama, with a mission to take a stand for their students. This week the group met for the first time to discuss concerns facing Alabama educators and the upcoming state legislative session. They call themselves the P-12 Education Task Force. It’s a group made up of superintendents, teachers, students, and support staff from each school district in Lauderdale, Colbert, and Franklin counties. They have united to […]

  • 011315 FR Kidnapping Arrests 6pm PKG

    Shoals men jailed in kidnapping case

    RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Two men were arrested for kidnapping a woman in Russellville Tuesday. What police said started as a joy ride with two men and a woman ended in Russellville Monday afternoon in kidnapping charges. Police Chief Chris Hargett said his officers responded to a domestic situation at the Budget Inn on Highway 43. That’s when police discovered the plot. “They had brought her here with intentions to use her as a prostitute,” explained Hargett. “At that time, she […]

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