Regional News: Strong Storms Likely for Northern Al & Ga; 'Purple Heart' Day in Ga; Child and Animal Abuse Cases

The Purple Heart Award
By  | 

Severe storms expected for Northern Ala. next week
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- Much of Northern Alabama is expected to see severe thunderstorms starting early next week, with a chance of hail, damaging winds and brief tornadoes starting Monday morning and continuing through Tuesday.
Thunderstorms could begin as early as Sunday afternoon and strengthen early Monday.
National Weather Service meteorologist Tim Troutman says the Huntsville office will monitor the system's progress as it moves across the Midwest this weekend.
Troutman says flooding also is a concern, with predictions of three to five inches of rain for northern Alabama. Flash flooding during the storm is possible. Flooding from streams, rivers or creeks also is possible as the system tapers off.
The NWS recommends that people review severe weather plans this weekend and determine a safe place to go if a storm warning is issued.

Severe storms predicted for NW Ga. starting Monday
ATLANTA (AP) -- Northwest Georgia is predicted to see severe thunderstorms, with heavy rain and the potential for hail, damaging winds or tornadoes starting early next week.
National Weather Service meteorologist Trisha Palmer says the storms beginning Monday afternoon or evening will affect areas northwest of Atlanta, following a line from Carrollton to Gainesville. During Tuesday daytime hours, the storm threat will spread across most of north and central Georgia.
The NWS office in Peachtree City, Ga. is watching the storm as it moves across the Midwest this weekend and will update those forecasts regularly.
Palmer says people should review their severe weather plans, including a safe location if warnings are issued. This spring has been the 3rd slowest severe weather season for northwest Georgia since 2000, with three tornadoes reported.

Ga. proclaims Aug. 7 'Purple Heart Day'
ATLANTA (AP) -- August 7 will be known as Purple Heart Day in Georgia each year.
Gov. Nathan Deal signed the bill creating the designation on Saturday. The proclamation honors men and women wounded or killed while serving in the U.S. Armed Services.
Deal says the day will give Georgians the chance to honor those wounded or killed during combat.

Ga women charged with locking boy in dog crate
DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. (AP) -- A west Georgia mother is jailed on charges of locking her 6-year-old son in a dog crate and dousing him with syrup and cat litter.
Authorities say 24-year-old Crystal Jean Hostetter of Douglasville and her girlfriend, 30-year-old Sarah Elizabeth McClain, are charged with child cruelty.
Douglasville police say the two women placed Hostetter's young son in the dog cage for about two hours and coated him with syrup and cat litter.
The Douglas County Sentinel reports evidence at a bond hearing shows the women told welfare workers the boy was being disciplined. It's unclear whether they have lawyers.
Authorities say the boy suffers from a psychological condition and doesn't like sticky things. While inside the cage, the child allegedly screamed, "Please don't kill me."
Neighbors heard and called police.

Ala. county jail inmates re-cover mattresses
MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (AP) -- Officials at an Alabama county jail say they're saving money by having inmates make mattresses.
Madison County Jail Chief Steve Morrison tells WAFF-TV that the change has saved $75,000 since it began about a year ago. Padding from old or ripped mattresses is re-covered for about $20, instead of buying a new mattress for $80.
One inmate says he hopes the work could help him find a job once he leaves the jail.
Madison County officials say they've been contacted by other jails interested in starting a similar program.

'Bollywood Oscars' to be held in Tampa
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Indian film stars and Hollywood celebrities are scheduled to walk the green carpet -- not red -- at the International Indian Film Awards, which is being held in the United States for the first time.
The five-hour long awards ceremony will take place Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. It's drawing the biggest Indian celebrities, including Deepika Padukone, Anil Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan.
Informally known as "the Bollywood Oscars," it celebrates the best of Indian cinema.
The show promises lots of music and dance, similar to the colorful, large-scale Bollywood musicals.
The IIFA awards caps off four days of events, including a scheduled master acting class with Hollywood star Kevin Spacey. John Travolta will also be honored Saturday.
Some 25,000 people are expected to attend the show.

Lakeland police say cats being mutilated
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- Lakeland police say someone is mutilating cats in a neighborhood on the city's south side.
At least two cats were mutilated and a third dead cat is could be part of the same trend, police spokesman Gary Gross told The Ledger.
Mary Spake reported the front portion of a cat was found in her yard on Easton Drive. The animal was cut behind its front two legs. Spake said five neighbors have said their cats have gone missing in the last six weeks.
The first killing was reported by David Dewitt in March when he found his cat torn in half in the front yard of his Newport Avenue residence. His other two cats remain missing.
Another cat was reportedly found with a grapefruit-sized hole in its side.

Model pleads not guilty to animal cruelty in porn
MIAMI (AP) -- A Miami model has been charged with animal cruelty for her role in fetish pornographic videos. Sara Zamora, 28, pleaded not guilty Friday after being accused of torturing chickens and rabbits.
Model Stephanie Hird, 29, also faces charges and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.
The Miami Herald ( ) reported that Zamora and Hird had starring roles in "animal crush" videos produced by South Florida fishing boat captain Adam Redford. The videos show animals being killed while the models participate in sex acts.
Redford has yet to be arrested, but has been named as a co-defendant.
Detectives were informed of the videos by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.