Selma, AL – A Selma woman who is a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy says she's upset that someone added the title Wizardess to her name in a Christmas card from Governor Riley. Patricia Godwin told the Governor's office about her concerns, and Riley did write her a letter of apology. Meanwhile, the Governor's spokesperson Jeff Emerson says Godwin had previously used that title to refer to herself, so he says staff members thought she preferred it. Godwin also helped create a group named for a female Confederate spy.
Montgomery, AL – President Bush is expected to come to Montgomery next week. He's planning to deliver a speech to promote his plan to restructure Social Security. Some Republicans who are familiar with the plan say the president will arrive in Montgomery on Thursday, March 10th. Auburn University Montgomery has been asked to reserve its gymnasium for the appearance. Bush would be the first president ever to speak at A-U-M. He spoke at Auburn's main campus in October 2002.
Birmingham, AL – A former Jefferson County assistant district attorney has pleaded guilty to federal assault charges. Stephen Grey Mahon told a judge Monday that he assaulted a passenger aboard a Continental Airlines flight last June. The incident happened when Mahon was apparently intoxicated and started harassing passengers on the flight. After being moved for safety reasons, Mahon then punched a man seated next to him. He was sentenced to one year probation and was ordered to undergo alcohol counseling.
Montgomery, AL – State Senate President Pro Tem Lowell Barron says Alabama needs a program to focus on the development of the state's rural areas. He announced Monday he will introduce legislation to create the Center for Rural Alabama. A board appointed by state officials would look for ways to help rural areas become just as successful as urban areas. State Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks says it's important to keep small businesses thriving in rural areas because many farmers have second jobs.