Regional News: Dead Man under House; Tub Drowning; Sea Turtles, Dolphins; Fla Child Abuse; Southern Storms

By: ap
By: ap

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Authorities near Birmingham are investigating the death of a man found sitting in a chair in the crawl space of a home.
Jefferson County sheriff's Chief Deputy Randy Christian says a plumber who went under the house to repair broken pipes discovered the 55-year-old man dead Friday afternoon.
Christian tells that the dead man is the ex-husband of the woman who lives in the house in Center Point, northeast of Birmingham. The dead man no longer lived there, and it's unclear what he was doing beneath the house. The man's ex-wife said she was unaware why he would be under the house.
Christian said no foul play is suspected. He said the cause of death is under investigation, and it's possible it was the result of exposure to cold weather.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- A line of powerful storms flooded creeks, knocked down trees and prompted a tornado watch in parts of Alabama. There were reports of trees down in several Alabama counties after the storms rolled across Alabama early Saturday. Forecasters say there were no immediate reports of any tornado touchdowns.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama hired former Southern California coach Lane Kiffin yesterday as its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Kiffin spent a week in Tuscaloosa, Ala., last month exchanging ideas with coach Nick Saban and his staff and observing Alabama's offense.

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Police are investigating after a 1-year-old child was found unresponsive in a bathtub in Panama City Beach home.
Investigators said Gaudalupa Ritchie Martinez was home with his mother and two siblings Friday and may have been briefly unsupervised. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Panama City Beach Police Chief Drew Whitman said they don't suspect foul play but are investigating to determine if the child was neglected.
The News Herald reports authorities said they are waiting on autopsy results.

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Florida wildlife officials say nearly 75 endangered sea turtles have been rescued and taken to a rehab after suffering a cold stun from severe weather.
Florida Wildlife and Conservation Commission officials say turtles suffering from cold stun typically stop moving and end up just floating in the water or even washing ashore. Officials, volunteers and researchers rescued the turtles this week all along the Gulf Coast. The majority were discovered in St. Joseph Bay near Panama City.
The Pensacola News Journal reports the turtles are now in intensive care at the Gulf World Marine Institute where they are recovering in warm water.
The turtles will likely be released back into the wild within the next few weeks.

MARATHON, Fla (AP) -- Dozens of wounded military veterans got some dolphin therapy in the Florida Keys this week when they got to swim with the mammals.
At the Dolphin Research Center, retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Robert Rivera held onto a dolphin and was towed on Friday. Rivera sustained a spinal injury in Iraq in 2010.
Rivera said he was most excited to see the reactions of his comrades, many who lost limbs in Iraq or Afghanistan or are suffering from injuries that are not visually apparent.
The dolphin visit was part of Soldier Ride, organized by the nonprofit Wounded Warrior Project. About 50 wounded military veterans and their supporters are participating in the combination bus and bicycle trip through the Florida Keys.
Soldier Ride ends Sunday in Key West.

TITUSVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- A woman has been convicted of seven felonies after authorities say she and her boyfriend kept an emaciated 13-year-old boy locked in a cage.
Glass was convicted Friday of several charges including child abuse. She and Michael Marshal were arrested in 2012 after authorities say they locked the boy in a closet as punishment and strapped him to a bed for long periods of time. Investigators said the couple also starved the boy. He weighed just 40 pounds when he was found.
Florida Todayreports Glass denied involvement in the alleged abuse and blamed Marshal. Her attorney said she should have intervened but didn't participate in the abuse.
Marshall faces similar charges, but a trial has not been scheduled.

MIAMI (AP) -- A Miami Beach strip club has temporarily closed its doors after police say a 13-year-old runaway was forced to dance for money.
City officials issued an emergency order to Club Madonna's manager Friday night shortly before it opened.
City Manager Jimmy Morales said he revoked Club Madonna's certificate of use for six months because the club was a threat to the community.
Richard Wolfe, an attorney for Club Madonna, said the city had no basis for such actions. The club and city have battled for years over an alcohol ban in such clubs.
The Miami Herald reports police arrested three people earlier this week for allegedly forcing a runaway teen to prostitute herself and dance at the club.
Club Madonna's owner said he was unaware the girl performed there.

Storms topple trees in Ga.
ATLANTA (AP) -- Much of central Georgia was under a tornado watch as a line of powerful storms swept through the state, toppling trees and flooding streets.
In metro Atlanta, fire crews freed a 14-year-old child from a mobile home Saturday morning after a tree crashed into a back bedroom of the Cherokee County residence. Fire officials said the girl, who was alert and conscious and was talking to paramedics during the rescue operation, was in serious condition.
A 2-year-old child in the same mobile home was taken to a hospital to be treated for abrasions.
Georgia Power reported that more than 10,000 customers were without power Saturday morning.
More than 2,000 of the outages were in Rabun County in far northeast Georgia, with most of the rest scattered throughout north Georgia.

ATLANTA (AP) -- Georgia Power says it set a record for winter peak demand earlier this week as temperatures plummeted below freezing in Georgia and other parts of the country. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the record was set Tuesday.

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