Town raises money for the families of 5 slain, LWV trying to increase turnout in elections

Aug 22, 2016

Residents of a southwest Alabama town where five people were slain are trying to raise money to help the victims' families pay funeral expenses.

Authorities say 27-year-old Derrick Dearman of Leakesville, Mississippi killed five people at a house where his estranged girlfriend has sought refuge from him.  The bodies were found Saturday.

Relatives of some of the victims have started an online fundraiser, and a plastic jug for donations sits on the counter of a convenience store a couple miles from the scene of the massacre near Citronelle, located in southwest Alabama.

Residents say all the victims were related by blood or marriage.

Dearman is awaiting extradition back to Alabama.

More exercise and less sitting can help stop the number one killer of Alabamians.

A new report from the American Heart Association recommends thirty minutes of exercise a day to help avoid heart disease and strokes. However, researchers say exercise doesn’t help people who spend the rest of their day sitting down.

Danielle Deavours* is with the Birmingham chapter of the American Heart Association. She says that’s an important message since thirty percent of Alabamians get no exercise at all…

“Heart disease is the number one killer of Alabamians, stroke is number four. Thirty percent of all deaths in the state of Alabama are caused by heart disease and stroke, killing over twelve thousand, six hundred Alabamians each year.”

Deavours says a lot of sitting occurs on the job. The American Heart Association has a program called the “fit friendly workplace” to encourage employers to support physical activity among workers.

League of Women voters is trying to increase voter turnout ahead of tomorrow’s municipal elections.

The League is encouraging voters to educate themselves about candidates for mayor and city council. These officials determine local issues like sales tax and salaries of first responders like police officers and firefighters. 

Kathryn Byrd is the first Vice President of the Alabama League of Women Voters. She says voter turnout is vital…

“It’s said that if you don’t vote, you have basically given a vote to someone else, a different opinion, which might not be something you like in the long run. If a citizen wants to have a say, they need to come out, get informed, and get to the polls.”

The League also emphasizes that polling locations may differ from other state or national elections. Polls will be open tomorrow from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.