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November 17, 2006   Email to Friend 

David C. Rickey
(334) 613-4034
November 17, 2006

From left, Alfa President Jerry A. Newby and CBS-8 General Manager Jim Caruthers watch a demonstration by Alan West of Stratus Station on how the live video and weather station works when it is placed at Alfa.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Alfa Insurance and WAKA, CBS 8, today announced a partnership to create one of the most unique developments in local weather coverage in recent history.

Beginning in early 2007, the two companies will establish a remote camera system in several area communities that will allow live views of weather any time of day, any day of the year. CBS 8 is one of the first TV stations nationwide to provide this cutting edge technology to its viewers. Internet users can access the live cameras by logging on to CBS 8's website. www.waka.com. Current weather conditions for each location, like temperature and rainfall, will also be available.

"As we've seen just in the past few days, weather can have a profound effect on all of us in Alabama," said Jerry Newby, Alfa President and CEO. "This service will keep us better informed about conditions that could threaten our homes, affect driving conditions, alter farming decisions or just impact our routine activities. This will be a real benefit for all of us in this region."

"This is a step above anything most people have ever seen on a local weathercast," said Chris Bailey, CBS 8 Chief Meteorologist. "Most stations show you radar or satellite when the weather is bad. This camera system will show live video from in the communities. A lot of times radar or satellite will show conditions after they've occurred or moved on. Our skycam network will show you exactly what's going on, what people right there are experiencing on the ground, at that exact moment in time."

The live cameras will be located in Montgomery, Prattville, Wetumpka, Selma, Troy, Greenville and Andalusia. However, there's a strong probability that other cameras in additional towns will be added soon after the initial startup.

"Our goal is to eventually have cameras in all major cities in our viewing area as well as provide additional coverage in frequently visited areas like the Gulf Coast," said Jim Caruthers, CBS-8 General Manager.

The entire system, provided by StratusStation of Hamilton, Ala., should be operational in the first quarter of 2007.

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