AL Senator Scott Beason says he won’t seek re-election

He stated that “personal convictions” are behing his decision.

When gluttony stock is a smart buy

Many investors are turning to collections of company stocks based on themes or long-term trends. NYT.

Coroner identifies woman killed in Southside Birmingham fire

A woman who died in a house fire in Southside Birmingham has been identified.

Cramer’s consistent high-yielder

Are you thinking about parking some money in a more consistent stock with a higher yield?

Judge denies new trial for Jody Byrd

A Bibb County judge has denied a new trial for a man convicted in the shooting death of his wife.

Judge denies new trial for Jody Byrd

A Bibb County judge has denied a new trial for a man convicted in the shooting death of his wife.

Local school replenish and clean up after winter storm

Although man students across central Alabama had the day off Friday, educators and other school employees are working hard.

Pope Francis graces cover of ‘Rolling Stone’

‘Rolling Stone' magazine features Pope Francis on its Feb. 13th issue cover.

Snowstorm doesn’t stop movie production in Helena’s Old Town area

HELENA, Alabama — As Tuesday's snow turned into ice outside and many of the film's crew couldn't travel to the movie set in Old Town Helena, director Dave Alan Johnson made the best of the situation. "We had actors who couldn't get here," the Los Angeles filmmaker said in an interview today. "We moved other scenes around with the…

HELENA, Alabama — As Tuesday’s snow turned into ice
outside and many of the film’s crew couldn’t travel to the movie set in Old Town
Helena, director Dave Alan Johnson made the best of the situation.

“We had actors who couldn’t get here,” the Los Angeles
filmmaker said in an interview today. “We moved other scenes around with the
actors who were here. … We were shooting inside and we kept going.”

Tuesday’s snowstorm that crippled much of central Alabama
due to icy roads clogged with stranded motorists and wrecked vehicles also hit
the film crew members from California and elsewhere who came to the historic Shelby
County street to shoot their romantic-comedy “Coffee Shop.”

“We knew that just being here working, we were certainly better
off” than attempting to travel or being stuck somewhere, Johnson said.

The film that stars Laura Vandervoort, Jon Lovitz and
Kevin Sorbo comes, in part, from Birmingham natives Jon and Andrew Erwin, the
filmmakers behind “October Baby” who are serving as producers on “Coffee Shop.” Also
starring in the movie are “October Baby” actors Rachel Hendrix and Jason Burkey.

Johnson described the film as a “‘You’ve Got Mail’ in a
coffee shop” that involves many issues and challenges in the life of the movie’s
main character played by Vandervoort. As for Lovitz’s character, “he’s one of
the sources of the problem,” the director said about the plot.

Helena and the surrounding area are becoming regular stops
for movie productions. A film crew last May used locations
in Old Town Helena to shoot scenes for the low-budget thriller “Freshwater.”
The Erwin Brothers shot
scenes for their latest movie, “Moms’ Night Out,” in nearby Pelham at the
Oak Mountain Lanes bowling alley.

“Maybe we can make this a yearly thing,” said Rosalie
Oetting, who with her husband, Jeff, co-owns the Ice & Coal Gallery, where
the film crew is shooting “Coffee Shop.”

“We want more people to come into the community,” Oetting
said, noting the movie publicity can be good for business. “We also want people
to come into the community and see what other businesses are here, and those
that are interested in opening small businesses to come in and look.”

Considering the treatment received by the film crew
during the snowstorm, other movies could come knocking. “The people of Helena
just opened their doors to us,” said Johnson, who served as executive producer
on “October Baby.”

Helena residents brought blankets, bedding, pillows and
food for the roughly 55 crew members stuck inside the Old Town Helena buildings
that served as the shooting location. Some crew members stayed in local homes,
others slept on floor space anywhere they could find in the buildings owned the
Oettings.

“Everybody went to bed somewhere in this building or
outside in a truck,” Johnson said. “Being here has been great. Rosalie and Jeff,
who own this place, have been great.”

Producer Daryl Lefever of Los Angeles praised the Helena
Police Department for assisting the crew during the storm. “They did little runs”
for the crew to get supplies and gave people rides, Lefever said.

“The town really rallied for these people,” Jeff Oetting said.
“We definitely showed all these California people some Southern hospitality,
that’s for sure.”

Johnson said the production will shoot about 75 percent
of the film in Old Town Helena, where locations served as a restaurant, a bank,
an apartment and, of course, a coffee shop. “We just found all of our locations
right here,” he said.

“We looked all over the Birmingham area for a perfect
coffee shop and found that they don’t exist much anymore,” Johnson said. “We
came here to look at the one next door.”

Theresa Preston, who co-wrote the script for “October
Baby,” knew about the coffee shop in Helena when it was open. “She wrote it in
there,” Johnson said about her work on the “October Baby” script.

“Right next door is the Ice and Coal Art Gallery. We
walked in there, I looked around and I said, ‘This would be a great coffee
shop,’” he said. “This just really became our central hub.”

The two-week filming schedule in Helena ends on Saturday, and the crew will
next travel to Fairhope for about a week to complete the shooting.

Mayor Mark Hall said he appreciates the latest film crew coming
to town to shoot a movie. “I am excited about another film crew working in
Helena, bringing notoriety and a perhaps a boost to the local economy as the
crews work in the area. This kind of production brings positive attention to
the city, in particular the Old Town historic district,” Hall said.

2 killed, 1 seriously injured in fire at camper near Cullman, according to report

Sandra Lynn Mills, 58, of Moulton and Erwin Dewayne Owens, 51, of Cullman, have died and another man is at UAB Hospital with serious injuries after the fire at Cullman Campgrounds off Alabama Highway 157 just outside of Cullman.

VINEMONT,
Alabama — Two people are dead and another is hospitalized with
life-threatening injuries after a camper caught fire Friday in Vinemont, according
to The Cullman Times.

Sandra Lynn
Mills, 58, of Moulton and Erwin Dewayne Owens, 51, of Cullman, have died and
another man is at UAB Hospital with serious injuries after the fire at Cullman
Campgrounds off Alabama Highway 157 just outside of Cullman, the newspaper
reported.

Neighbors told
the Times Owens and the other man, Randall Mills, 54, of Moulton, were on fire
when they left the burning camper.

Authorities
said Sandra Mills was pronounced dead at the scene. Owens died at UAB Hospital.

Owens lived
at the scene, the Times reported. Sandra Mills was his sister and Randall Mills
was his brother and law; they were visiting from Lawrence County.

Read
the full story at The Cullman Times.