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Does the engine turn over fast or is it sluggish? Headlights bright or dim? If engine turns over sluggish and headlights are dim, I'd suspect a defective/discharged battery or possibly a charging problem causing the battery problem. Start by making sure the battery cable terminals at the battery posts are clean and tight.
Put a voltmeter across the battery posts with the engine off, you should measure 12.8 volts if the battery is fully charged. Less voltage and the battery is not fully charged. When you try to start the engine, the battery voltage will drop momentarily when the starter is engaged. I would not be surprised to see the voltage to drop to 8-9 volts when the starter is engaged and the engine turning over. If it drops to a lower voltage, I would suspect a battery problem. The "service emmisions" light I would expect to be a secondary indication and resolve itself once the engine starting problem is resolved.
if you can charge the battery and drive it for a while then sounds like the altenator has failed and is not re-charging the battery, good way to test is to charge the battery, start the car and turn the light on, if everything is dimm or the motor dies there is little to no charge voltage, and will require altenator work
Sure sounds like alternator, or belt, or maybe just fuse for charging circuit. Get battery re-charged, make sure belt to alternator is tight, and if you have access to multimeter (voltmeter) attach it to battery for reading when it starts. Note voltage when not running, before you start it, and then start & watch meter. Voltage should increase when running. Be aware, it would not be uncommon for belt to come right off on those vehicles, especially when a deep puddle is hit. Confirm it's even there & on properly before you get too carried away.