Jordan Smith's mother says he fell in love with flying at an early age and was just one test short of earning his private license when the small plane he was piloting crashed after taking off from a county airport northwest of Birmingham, Alabama.
Sherrie Smith disputes reports from officials that her 17-year-old son and two friends took the plane without permission Tuesday night. All three teens died in the crash.
A former professor who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting three colleagues during a staff meeting has been notified by the Alabama Criminal Court of Appeals that her appellant's brief is due by Jan. 28.
WAFF-TV (http://bit.ly/1355jyA ) reports Amy Bishop Anderson, formerly of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, is appealing her conviction and life sentence for capital murder. Bishop fatally shot three colleagues and wounded three others during a biology department staff meeting in February of 2010.
Authorities say all three people aboard a small plane were killed when it crashed in the Jasper area, northwest of Birmingham.
Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen tells The Associated Press that the Piper PA 30 went down less than a mile west of the Walker County Airport in Jasper around 10:40 p.m. Tuesday.
Walker County sheriff's Chief Deputy James Painter said the three occupants of the plane were young people. Their names have not yet been released.
All six Republicans in Alabama's House delegation voted against legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff, while the state's lone Democrat voted for it.
Republican U.S. Reps. Jo Bonner, Martha Roby, Mike Rogers, Robert Aderholt, Spencer Bachus and Mo Brooks cast no votes, and Democratic Rep. Terri Sewell voted yes on the legislation that passed 257-167 Tuesday.
HONG KONG (AP) — Oil prices rallied today after U.S. lawmakers passed legislation to avoid a "fiscal cliff" that would have pushed the world's biggest economy into recession. The U.S. House of Representatives voted near midnight to send the bill to President Barack Obama after a frantic day of political brinksmanship in Washington. Benchmark crude for February delivery rose 95 cents late afternoon in Hong Kong to $92.77 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.02 to finish at $91.82 per barrel in New York on Monday.
PELHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's state parks have an alternative to sitting around the house on Jan. 1. Six state parks will be offering what officials are calling "First Day Hikes" on New Year's Day. The events are free guided hikes that are meant to encourage people to spend time outdoors. Visitors still have to pay park admission fees, however. The hikes will be held at Alabama's largest state park, Oak Mountain, in suburban Birmingham; DeSoto in northeast Alabama; Gulf State Park on the coast; Joe Wheeler near Decatur; Lake Guntersville; and Monte Sano park overlooking Huntsville.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The tax package negotiated by President Barack Obama and Senate Republicans and passed by Congress will protect 99 percent of Americans from an income tax increase. But that doesn't mean that most of them won't see their taxes rise. In fact, the vast majority of workers will pay higher federal taxes in 2013, largely because a temporary reduction in Social Security payroll taxes expired on New Year's Day. The tax package did nothing to prevent that from happening.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama legislator has proposed a measure that would make the right to bear arms a fundamental right in the Alabama Constitution. That right is already in the U.S. Constitution as the Second Amendment. Republican Rep. Mike Jones of Andalusia told the Web site al.com his proposal would allow state voters to make it part of the state constitution. He said this would make it more difficult for state courts to restrict the right to gun ownership.