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Ben Benton

Stories by Ben

A line of storms that produced a strong EF2 tornado early Friday in Northeast Alabama also produced EF1 tornadoes in Coffee and Franklin counties in Tennessee the night before, underlining the importance of paying attention to weather watches and warnings, officials say.

A tragic crash Monday night in rural Bledsoe County claimed the lives of an infant and a child and injured their mother.

Operating costs of a new middle school and a new 400-bed jail could mean Coffee County, Tenn., residents get hit with a property tax increase, a new wheel tax or both.

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — An EF2 tornado injured one person, damaged more than two dozen homes and buildings — at least five of them structurally — and left residents shocked by the sudden storm that ripped through this small town around 12:30 a.m. CST Friday.

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — Strong storms that struck Fort Payne, Ala., overnight didn't surprise some people even though they came after midnight.

The May 6 primary ballot in Franklin County, Tenn., is loaded so far with potential GOP candidates for county mayor and sheriff and some county posts, while only two posts could be contested among Democrats and one among independents.

Prosecutors and investigators say a grand jury presentation still could be weeks away in the investigation of a Marion County, Tenn., baby's death in June 2012.

HALETOWN, Tenn. — The $21.6 million project launched in March 2011 to replace the Marion Memorial Bridge over the Tennessee River in Marion County is still about 30 percent shy of completion.

There are 50 different Eskimo words for snow, including "softly falling snow" and "snow that is good for driving sled," according to the British magazine "The New Scientist."

Signal Mountain Police said that road crews were salting parts of Taft Highway this morning to get rid of some icy patches.

Alabama officials opened the state Emergency Call Center at 6 a.m. today to provide travel information about road closures and conditions.

Consider Tuesday’s winter weather a boxer’s light left jab to set up the big right.

All four men charged in the March 2013 cornfield slaying of Corey N. Matthews near Cowan, Tenn., could end up with their cases being tried separately, now that two of the cases already have been pulled out.

The next time you hear a sonic boom and spy one of the latest U.S. military jets streaking across the sky, you can give a little credit to some folks in Tullahoma, Tenn.

Officials in Winchester, Tenn., are reviving a decades-old plan for a city-owned marina on Tims Ford Lake in Franklin County.

State auditors hit Grundy County, Tenn., with 21 findings, 16 of them divided between the director of schools' office and the highway superintendent's office, in an audit released Wednesday.

State auditors dinged Grundy County with 21 findings, 16 of them divided between the director of schools' office and the highway superintendent's office, according to an audit released this morning.

Across at least five Southeast Tennessee counties, local governments face an almost $2 million liquor-by-the-drink tax tab due to their respective county school districts, according to County Technical Assistance Service officials.

Saharah Weatherspoon's big brother can't accept that she's gone.

A body found in the Sequatchie River last month has been identified as that of a man reported missing in November 2013.

The Tennessee comptroller's office on Wednesday slapped Meigs County with 20 findings in an audit of fiscal year 2013.

As you slip into downtown Trenton from the south, just before you get to Dade County’s picturesque courthouse building, something will tickle your nose.

The state Comptroller's office slapped Meigs County with 20 findings today in an audit of the fiscal year ending Jun 30, 2013.

Call it the inch of snow that started an avalanche.

Bledsoe County, Tenn.'s May 6 primary ballot could be loaded with contested Republican primaries as the list of people picking up qualifying petitions grows longer.

JASPER, Tenn. — School system officials hope Friday's court action will put to rest a vandalism scandal surrounding cross-county rivals Marion County High School and South Pittsburg High School.

A second former Marion County High School assistant football coach has entered a guilty plea to reduced charge of misdemeanor vandalism under terms of judicial diversion during a hearing this afternoon before General Sessions Court Judge Mark Raines.

JASPER, Tenn. — One of the two former Marion County High School assistant football coaches charged in a vandalism scandal at their own school last November pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor vandalism under terms of judicial diversion after action in that county's General Sessions Court today. He will also pay court costs.

Forecasters say Chattanooga’s latest deep freeze will bottom out Friday morning with lows dipping near the single digits.

Marion County, Tenn., officials say they believe they know the identity of a man whose body was found floating in the Sequatchie River on Monday.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Aaron Lawson's father testified Thursday night that his son called him from the home of Eddie and Debbie Phillips the day they were killed, April 19, 2011.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Prosecutors put a neighbor and her sister on the stand this morning and reviewed TBI gun and shell casing evidence in the double-homicide trial of Aaron Dean Lawson in Bradley County.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — On the second day of testimony in the double-homicide trial of Aaron Dean Lawson, his daughter and her mother took the stand and prosecutors introduced text and cellphone records among the three, his parents and the victims.

On the second day of testimony in the double-homicide trial of Aaron Dean Lawson, his daughter and her mother took the stand and prosecutors introduced text and cell phone records between the three, his parents and the victims.

In the opening salvos in the double-homicide trial of Aaron Dean Lawson, who is accused of gunning down the grandparents of his then-11-year-old daughter in their yard, defense counsel presented the possibility that another person was there and involved, while prosecutors painted the shootings as an ambush.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — A jury has been selected and opening arguments are expected this afternoon in Bradley County Circuit Court in the first-degree double-murder trial of Aaron Dean Lawson, who is accused in the April 2011 slayings of his daughter's grandparents.

Alabama candidates for major party primaries in 2014 had better get on the stick.

DUNLAP, Tenn. — Pauline Cain had probably made the trip hundreds of times during the 70-plus years she lived on Old Mill Road along the banks of the Sequatchie River.

Sequatchie County Sheriff Ronnie Hitchcock says a 95-year-old native of the county and Hitchcock's wife's aunt, was found in the Sequatchie River Monday night after apparently trying to fetch water for her chickens.

As Jackson County, Ala., swings into the new year, its government is facing a more than $1 million budget deficit that has officials eyeing a couple of new local laws that could cut the deficit and increase revenue streams.

Inmates in one of the buildings at the new Bledsoe County Correctional Complex west of Pikeville, Tenn., had a chilly day as temperatures dipped inside after the heat went out.

Multiple electric utilities are asking customers to reduce their power usage despite dangerous freezing temperatures outside.

Weather officials say the wind chill this morning stands at about 10 degrees and cold temperatures will continue downward through the day to a bone-chilling 5 or 6 degrees by morning.

• Christopher Coty Tatum: Tatum, 28, died Aug. 25 at SkyRidge Medical Center, where he was taken for treatment after a shooting, while Gaberila Wendy Gasparian, 33, was treated for her gunshot wound at Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga.

The Alabama trio arrested in connection with the death of a 38-year-old man and charged last week with kidnapping now faces more charges in Marshall County.

A 20-year-old Crossville, Ala., woman who claimed a falling shoe rack injured her infant son is facing an indictment charging her with child abuse in what medical officials called "nonaccidental trauma."

The Alabama trio arrested in connection with the death of 38-year-old Gary Lee Willis were charged last week with kidnapping first-degree, but have now had more charges filed against them in Marshall County.

Two-year-old Sahara Palmer's short, troubled life ended on New Year's Day from apparent head injuries she suffered while in foster care in Catoosa County, Ga., and authorities are trying to sort out what occurred.

DeKalb County, Ala., has been awarded more than $672,000 for improvements to roads damaged in the April 2011 tornado outbreak that claimed 35 lives there.

A Jackson County, Ala., man was arrested on a string of charges after leading police on a chase, dodging tire spikes, going the wrong way on Interstate 59 and eventually fleeing into woods on a dead-end road.

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