Three-year-old girl drowns in grease pit

AUBURN, Ala. — Authorities say a 3-year-old girl fell into a grease pit at an Alabama ice cream shop and drowned.

The Opelika-Auburn News reported the girl's body was pulled Saturday from an in-ground container used to trap cooking grease at Brewster's Real Ice Cream in Auburn.

Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said video evidence from the scene showed the girl playing with siblings when she apparently fell through a lid covering a grease pit on the ice cream parlor's property.

Harris said no foul play is suspected.


Park to hold anniversary events

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — Little River Canyon National Preserve is celebrating its 25th anniversary on Oct. 21 with a variety of games, hikes and programs.

All-day activities include the displays of live reptiles, Native American games and atlatl spear throwing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT.

A hike from the Canyon Center to Little River Falls starts at 9 a.m., and at 10 a.m. a ranger will present the "Oscar the Otter" children's water safety program. There will be a live birds of prey show at 10:30, followed by lunch at noon and speakers starting at 1 and a birthday cake cutting at 2. Final activities include a half mile nature walk and, at 3 p.m., a performance by the Jacksonville State University Steel Drum Band.

For more information, call Little River Canyon National Preserve at 256l845-9605, online at or on Facebook at "lirinps."


Atlanta police charge mother after young sons found dead

ATLANTA (AP) — Police charged an Atlanta with murder after finding two of her young sons, ages 1 and 2, dead with evidence of burns on their bodies.

Lamora Williams, 24, was jailed in Fulton County after police were called to her apartment late Friday. Atlanta police said in a statement the preliminary investigation found burn marks — possibly from a stove — on the bodies of 1-year-old Ja'Karter Penn and 2-year-old Ke'Yaunte Penn.

An autopsy was planned to determine the cause of the boys' deaths, media outlets reported. Police removed the stove from the apartment for further investigation.

"I ain't got no soul no more," the boys' father, Jameel Penn, told WSB-TV during a vigil with friends and family Saturday night. He said the slain brothers were "my world, my everything. I'm lost."

Williams told police she found her sons dead after she had left them with a caregiver all day Friday. Atlanta police spokesman John Chafee said investigators, after interviewing witnesses and examining evidence, don't believe she left them with anyone.

Williams was scheduled to appear in court Monday. It was not immediately known if she had a defense attorney.

Penn told WXIA-TV he was separated from his children's mother and he would see the boys on weekends. He said Williams called Friday night "and she is like, they're dead. And I'm like, who's dead?"

Williams and Penn also have a 3-year-old son who was found unharmed in the mother's apartment. Penn held the surviving boy during the vigil Saturday.


Car hits, kills pedestrian

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — No charges or citations will be lodged against a driver who struck and killed a man walking on North Lee Highway in Bradley County, according to the sheriff's office.

The incident happened overnight in the 7700 block of North Lee Highway, a news release states.

Sheriff's office spokesman Lt. James E. Bradford Jr. said investigators determined Jesse Lee Burchett, 29, of Chattanooga, was walking south in the northbound traffic lane in a very dark area when he was struck.

The release did not provide the driver's identity.

Bradford said North Lee Highway was briefly shut down as the office's Public Safety Unit reconstructed the scene with the assistance of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.


Fire destroys Birchwood house

CHATTANOOGA — Firefighters battled a house fire Sunday evening in the Birchwood area, according to Hamilton County Emergency Services' Amy Maxwell.

A 911 call came in about 6:05 p.m. reporting a house fire with possible entrapment on the 12100 block of Dolly Pond Road.

The Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department found the house so fully ablaze it was unsafe for firefighters to go in and search for anyone inside, Maxwell said in a news release. There was no information on possible victims late Sunday night.

The house is a total loss and the cause of the fire is under investigation by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.