Wastewater main leak affecting Northport; repairs scheduled, Tuskegee Airman and dies at 94

Jul 5, 2016

Workers in the Tuscaloosa area spent their holiday weekend dealing with a massive sewage spill that could pose a serious threat to area waterways.

Officials with the city of Northport say four pump stations were forced to close Saturday in order to perform emergency repairs on the main sewer pipeline. Those stations overflowed, leaking an unknown amount of raw sewage into three area creeks and the Black Warrior River.

Nelson Brooke is the Black Warrior Riverkeeper. He says city officials are waiting on guidance from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management before starting to clean up.

“…and that’s absolutely not the way it should be. They should have been on scene doing cleanup and disinfection, and putting out public notices at downstream public access points as the spill was happening.”

Brooke adds the city’s single post on Facebook to announce the spill was not nearly enough to communicate the potential danger, especially during a holiday weekend as thousands of people were using the river. ADEM officials are currently sampling water and investigating the extent of the spill.

A member of the famous Tuskegee Airmen during World War II has died.

Family members say 94-year-old Roscoe Brown Jr. died at a Bronx, New York Hospital this past Saturday.

Brown with five other airmen accepted the Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of the Tuskegee Airmen back in 2007.  The airmen were a segregated unit in Alabama.

President George W. Bush and Congress awarded the airmen with one of the nation's highest honors for fighting to defend their country even as they faced bigotry at home.

Brown also served as president of the Bronx Community College and director of the Institute of Afro-American Affairs at New York University.

The Fourth of July Weekend is in the books and that means the money making season is in full swing for Alabama’s gulf coast.

The state’s beaches are the busiest up until the Labor Day weekend. Alabama tourism officials say those tax dollars benefit the whole state.

Brian Jones is with the state department of tourism. He says the beaches bring in over twelve point five billion dollars during the summer months to the state in revenue…

“Because of the impact, each household ends up saving about four hundred and twenty something odd dollars that they don't have to pay in taxes because of the tax revenue generated by tourism.”

Jones says that the beaches usually have something planned every weekend.  The point there is turn one-time visitors into repeat customers in the future.