The Associated Press

Three people are back on dry land after a water rescue twelve miles south of Dauphin Island. The Coast Guard and Alabama Department of Marine Resources received a report shortly before 7:30 a.m. on Friday about a collision between a catamaran with four people aboard and a pleasure craft with three people. The pleasure craft capsized and its three passengers were thrown into the water. The Alabama marine resources boat crew recovered the three survivors and transported them to emergency medical services at Billy Goat Hole.

Governor Robert Bentley hopes the incoming Trump administration will allow states to charge Medicaid premiums and set enrollment requirements. The Republican governor wrote House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy the day before Trump's inauguration, as Congress works on a repeal and possible replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Bentley says states need flexibility to set Medicaid enrollment requirements, reduce benefits and impose premiums on recipients. Bentley cautioned repealing the Affordable Care Act without a "clear replacement" could cause some insurers to withdraw from the market.

Novelist and filmmaker William Peter Blatty, a former Jesuit school valedictorian who conjured a tale of demonic possession and gave millions the fright of their lives with the best-selling novel and Oscar-winning movie "The Exorcist," has died. He was 89.

Blatty died Thursday at a hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, where he lived, his widow, Julie Alicia Blatty, told The Associated Press. The cause of death was multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, she said.

A group in the south Alabama city of Monroeville hopes to develop new attractions and draw more tourists to the hometown of the late "To Kill a Mockingbird" author Harper Lee. One project is a museum in the 1909 bank building that housed the office of Lee's father A.C. Lee. He served as the model for attorney Atticus Finch in "Mockingbird" and Lee's 2015 book "Go Set a Watchman." Other attractions could be added later, including reproductions of places mentioned in the books.

The Alabama Supreme Court has reversed a lower court and says the state can seize more than 800 electronic bingo machines from a west Alabama gambling hall. The unanimous decision released Friday involves the Greenetrack gambling facility, located in Greene County southwest of Birmingham. The justices say that eight hundred and twenty five machines confiscated from Greenetrack amount to illegal slot machines under state law. The justices rejected arguments that the machines are legal under laws that regulate bingo games.

Alabama officials say a tree cut down in a city park and used as a prop at President-elect Donald Trump's recent rally will be used to build cat scratching posts and bird houses. Colby Cooper of the Mobile mayor's office apologized for his role in having the large cedar tree cut down and decorated for Christmas. Cooper said he was "overzealous" in trying to meet expectations of Trump's team for the president-elect's "thank you" rally one week ago. City officials says Thursday the tree branches will be given to Girl Scouts so they can create cat scratching posts for animal shelters.

Florence Henderson, who went from Broadway star to become one of America's most beloved television moms in The Brady Bunch, has died, her manager and her publicist said. She was 82.

Henderson died Thursday night at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, after being hospitalized the day before, said her publicist, David Brokaw. Henderson had suffered heart failure, her manager Kayla Pressman said in a statement.

Family and friends had surrounded Henderson's hospital bedside, Pressman said.

President Obama said Sunday he doesn't intend to become his successor's constant critic — but reserved the right to speak out if President-elect Donald Trump or his policies breach certain "values or ideals."

Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton Kershaw, Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration at Wrigley Field.

Hurricane Matthew is roaring across the Caribbean Sea as a monster Category 5 storm on a course that puts Jamaica, as well as parts of Haiti and Cuba, in the path of its potentially devastating winds and rain.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center called it the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Felix in 2007, and said Matthew will be approaching Jamaica late Sunday night. It is expected to reach the eastern part of the island on Monday.

Alabama leads the nation in prescription opioid painkiller use, and politics may be one reason. Manufacturers and their allies have hired an average of eighteen lobbyists in Alabama each year since 2006. A joint investigation by The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that the organizations spent $880 million and hired an annual average of 1,350 lobbyists in state capitals around the country from 2006 through 2015. The organizations' lobbying in Alabama ranked 33rd in the country when drug makers' lobbying hires are compared to all lobbying activity.

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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says the north side is calming after violence in the wake of a police shooting that left one man dead.

The violence erupted a few hours after an officer shot and killed a 23-year-old man. Police said the man was fleeing a traffic stop and was armed with a gun. It wasn't immediately clear if he pointed it at or fired it at the officer.

Alex Rodriguez returned to the infield, hugged a reception line of teammates and was handed the final ball from his final game with the New York Yankees. He walked to the area behind third base, leaned down and grabbed a handful of dirt.

Baseball's most notorious star of the last two decades then headed back to the dugout after a Yankee Stadium finale Friday night that included a pregame ceremony punctuated by thunder cracks and cut short by a downpour, a first-inning RBI double and a surprising ninth-inning return to third base.

A failed asylum-seeker from Syria blew himself up and wounded 12 people after being turned away from an open-air music festival in southern Germany in what officials said Monday may have been a suicide bombing. It was the fourth attack to shake Germany in a week — three of them carried out by recent immigrants.

The 27-year-old blew himself up at a bar shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday, having been turned away from an open-air music festival in the southern town of Ansbach because he didn't have a ticket.

A burned body was found Saturday at the scene of a brushfire north of Los Angeles that has scorched 31 square miles and prompted the evacuation of 1,500 homes, authorities said.

The body was discovered outside a home on Iron Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, and detectives are trying to determine whether the person was killed by the blaze or another cause, Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Rob Hahnlein said. The home also may have burned, he said.

Creator closed with a rush and caught Destin at the wire to win the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday, with Preakness winner Exaggerator finishing well back in the field.

The 3-year-old gray colt trained by Steve Asmussen came flying down the stretch as Destin tried to hang on to the lead. But it was Creator, who finished 13th in the Derby and skipped the Preakness, who won by a nose. It was the fourth time the Belmont was decided by a nose — the closest possible margin of victory.

A massive fire broke out during a fireworks display in a Hindu temple in south India early Sunday, killing more than 100 people and injuring at least 200 others, officials said.

The fire started when a spark from the unauthorized fireworks show ignited a separate batch of fireworks that were being stored at the Puttingal temple complex in Paravoor village, a few hours north of Kerala's state capital of Thiruvananthapuram, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, the state's top elected official.

North Carolina will look for its sixth NCAA championship when the Tar Heels meet the Villanova Wildcats, trying for their second, on Monday night.

The Tar Heels (33-6) last won it all in 2009 and Villanova's only title came in 1985.

Both teams advanced to the championship game with lopsided wins, but Villanova's was far more of a blowout than North Carolina's.

Ford workers narrowly approved a new four-year contract, wrapping up five months of negotiations between the United Auto Workers union and Detroit automakers.

The UAW said late Friday that Ford's contract passed with a 51.4-percent vote. The agreement covers 53,000 U.S. hourly workers at 22 plants.

President Barack Obama's plan to protect from deportation an estimated 5 million people living in the United States illegally suffered another setback Monday in a ruling from a New Orleans-based federal appeals court.

In a 2-1 decision, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Texas-based federal judge's injunction blocking the administration's immigration initiative.

Republicans had criticized the plan as an illegal executive overreach when Obama announced it last November. Twenty-six states challenged the plan in court.

A German auto parts maker has announced plans to build its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Alabama. The Alabama Department of Commerce says Schmidt Maschinenbau GmbH is planning to build its plant in Auburn. Production of engine components is expected to begin in 2016. The plant will make parts for Mercedes-Benz and other German automakers. Governor Robert Bentley says the plant will create fifty jobs and the company is planning to invest roughly $17 million in the plant.

Anne Meara, the loopy, lovable comedian who launched a standup career with husband Jerry Stiller in the 1950s and found success as an actress in films, on TV and the stage, has died.

Jerry Stiller and son Ben Stiller say Meara died Saturday. No other details were provided.

The Stiller family released a statement to The Associated Press on Sunday describing Jerry Stiller as Meara's "husband and partner in life."

"The two were married for 61 years and worked together almost as long," the statement said.

A last minute interception by a player with football roots in Alabama sealed New England Patriots' 28-24 Super Bowl victory over the Seattle Seahawks. The hero of that play was Malcolm Butler of West Alabama, who earned enough of a reputation in college as a strong safety in the Gulf South Conference to be signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent last May. The Patriots rallied from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit. Brady threw four touchdown passes, including the game-winning 3-yard strike to Julian Edelman with 2:02 left.

A top leader of Yemen's al-Qaida branch has claimed responsibility for last week's attack on a Paris newspaper, when two masked gunmen killed 12 people, including much of the weekly's editorial staff and two police officers.

Nasr al-Ansi, a top commander of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP as the branch is known, appeared in an 11-minute Internet video posted Wednesday, saying that the massacre at Charlie Hebdo was in "vengeance for the prophet." The paper had published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which is considered an insult in Islam.

Tickets to the Alabama Crimson Tide's national semifinal matchup against the Ohio State Buckeye's may not be as high-priced as you think. At the least, the Sugar Bowl's secondary market is friendlier than for Alabama's recent national championship games, suggesting that fans are either tapped out or saving their money for a possible title game appearance on Jan. 12. According to Tiqiq.com, several online brokers have Sugar Bowl tickets available about a quarter to a third below market rates.

BCBS to cover legally married gay couples

Dec 14, 2014

Alabama's largest insurer now offers family coverage to legally married gay couples in order to comply with a federal rule that insurance companies must treat married couples the same, regardless of sexual orientation. A spokeswoman for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama said the company began offering same-sex spousal coverage for underwritten plans in early 2014 in response to federal regulations.

Meet Alabama's Writing "Hall of Fame" inductees

Dec 14, 2014

The inaugural class for the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame has been selected. The Tuscaloosa News reports 12 writers have been selected and will be inducted in June 2015. The hall of fame is a partnership between the Alabama Center for the Book and the Alabama Writer's Forum. The 12 writers selected are: Rick Bragg, Andrew Glaze, Harper Lee, Sonia Sanchez, Sena Jeter Naslund and posthumous inductees Johnson Jones Hooper, Augusta Jane Evans Wilson, Helen Keller, Zora Neal Hurston, William March, Albert Murray and Helen Norris Bell.

Alabama may balance budget by cutting tax breaks

Dec 13, 2014

In 2015, Gov. Robert Bentley will propose Alabama's first major revenue-raising package since voters defeated Gov. Bob Riley's $1.2 billion tax package in 2003. Since that defeat, Alabama's General Fund budget has been patched together with borrowed money, federal stimulus funds and other non-recurring revenue. Bentley says he's working a bold, long-term solution that he will have ready for the new Legislature when it convenes in March.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Reigning Heisman winner Jameis Winston is not a finalist for this year's award. When the Heisman trust announced Monday the finalists, the Florida State quarterback's name was not called. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon and Alabama receiver Amari Cooper are the candidates heading to New York. So Winston will not join former Ohio State running back Archie Griffin as the only players to win the Heisman Trophy twice. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher and Winston were not made available for comment after the announcement.

Alabama wins SEC Championship

Dec 7, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) — Blake Sims threw a pair of touchdown passes, T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry each had a couple of touchdown runs, and top-ranked Alabama pulled away in the fourth quarter to win its 24th Southeastern Conference championship with a 42-13 victory over No. 14 Missouri on Saturday. Missouri made it a one-score game in the third quarter, but Alabama (12-1) scored three touchdowns in the fourth to lock up its spot in college football's first playoff.

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