The Associated Press


Business & Education
7:28 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Ala. Student Awarded Grant for HIV/AIDS Research

UA doctoral student Martina Thomas has been awarded a $16,000 grant to research HIV/AIDS.

A University of Alabama doctoral student has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to research social factors surrounding the spread of HIV/AIDS.

   Anthropology student Martina Thomas has been given a $16,000 grant for her research. reported Wednesday ( ) that Thomas formed her project after interviewing black women and their daughters for a project she needed to complete to earn her master's degree.

UPS Plane Crash
5:11 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

UPS Jet Crashes Near Birmingham Airport, Killing 2 And Scattering Wreckage Over Neighborhood

Wreckage from Wednesday morning's UPS cargo plane crash just outside of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport.
Credit Ralph Hicks / National Transportation Safety Board

Neighbors near the area where a UPS cargo plane crashed say they heard engines sputtering shortly before the fiery explosion.

The pilot and a co-pilot of the shipping company's Airbus A300 were killed early Wednesday when their plane crashed into a grassy field on approach to an airport in Birmingham.

Ryan Wimbleduff, who lives near the airport, said balls of fire rolled toward his property and shook his house.

Authorities say the plane was en route from Louisville, Ky., and the cause of the crash is unclear.

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AG-Suspicious Powder
4:43 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Suspicious Powder Found At Alabama AG's Office

A suspicious powder was found at the Attorney General Office Wednesday morning forcing the building to be evacuated.
Credit Office of the Attorney General

A section of the downtown Montgomery office building that houses the Alabama Attorney General's office was evacuated and the adjacent street closed after an employee opening an envelope found a suspicious white powder.

Capt. Mark Williams of the Montgomery Fire and Rescue Department said there were no injuries reported Wednesday morning. Williams said U.S. Postal Service inspectors conducted a preliminary inspection of the powder and determined it was non-toxic.

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VictoryLand Closure
4:27 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Court Rules For VictoryLand Employees On Layoffs

A federal appeals court in Atlanta has upheld a lower court ruling that VictoryLand casino and dog track may owe its former employees millions.
Credit AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey Welsh

A federal appeals court in Atlanta has upheld a lower court ruling that VictoryLand casino and dog track may owe its former employees millions.

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Arts & Life
8:28 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Actor Jamie Foxx to Host Human Rights Show in Ala

Actor Jamie Foxx will host the BBVA Concert for Human Rights on September 14.

Actor Jamie Foxx will host a concert next month in Birmingham to help mark the city's role in the civil rights movement.

   The BBVA Concert for Human Rights will be held on Sept. 14, the eve of the 50th anniversary of the deadly bombing of Birmingham's Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.

   The show will include singer-songwriter Jill Scott and R&B performer Charlie Wilson.

   Foxx says in a statement he is looking forward to participating in the event, which will be held at the BJCC Arena.

Politics & Government
8:22 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Change to Mobile Gas Rates Become Final

Mobile Gas is going along with the PSC's adjustment to its rate structure. Officials estimate the change will save the average residential customer about $31 a year.

Mobile Gas is going along with the Alabama Public Service Commission's adjustment to its rate structure, which will allow the new rates to go into effect in December.

   The PSC voted in July to lower the range of return on equity for the natural gas utility that serves southwest Alabama. The range had been 13.35 percent to 13.85 percent, and the PSC lowered it to 10.45 percent to 10.95 percent.

Politics & Government
7:25 am
Wed August 14, 2013

US: UPS Cargo Jet Crashes in Birmingham, Ala.

The site of a UPS cargo plane that crashed near Bimringham-Shuttlesworth International Airport this morning.
Peter Torres/Eyewitness

An airport spokeswoman says the large UPS cargo plane that crashed went down in an open field just outside an airport in Birmingham, Ala.

   Toni Herrera-Bast, a spokeswoman for Birmingham's airport authority, says there are no homes in the immediate area of the crash.

   U.S. Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says the A300 plane crashed on approach to the airport before dawn Wednesday.

   There is no information yet on injuries, but UPS spokesman Jeff Wafford says there were two crew members aboard.

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Alabama Power Rates
4:16 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

PSC Backs New Rate Plan For Alabama Power

PSC President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh says under the newly approved rate plan customers should see annual savings between $30 and $110, depending on their usage.
Credit Alabama Public Service Commission

Alabama's utility regulatory board has approved a new rate plan for Alabama Power Co., but commissioners disagree on how it will affect customers.

The state Public Service Commission voted 2-1 Tuesday to base Alabama Power's rates on weighted cost of equity, rather than return on equity, which has been used for the last 31 years.

PSC President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh says customers should see annual savings between $30 and $110, depending on their usage. Commissioner Jeremy Oden says residential customers and small businesses should save between $30 and $45 a year.

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Politics & Government
8:39 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Group Votes to Change Wording in Ala. Constitution

Alabama's 1901 constitution still includes language madating separate schools for "white and colored children."
The Birmingham News file

The Alabama Constitutional Revision Commission has voted to propose striking segregationist language from the Alabama's 1901 constitution mandating separate schools for "white and colored children."

   The Anniston Star reports the commission voted 9-7 Monday ( ) to propose that Section 256 of the document instead say the state will maintain a system of public schools and drop references to segregation.

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Politics & Government
8:33 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Deadline Near For Loans For Drought Assistance

The Small Business Administration says small businesses, non-profits and small agricultural cooperatives have until Sept. 9 to file for disaster loans related to drought conditions.
U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and non-profit organizations that Sept. 9 is the last day to file for federal disaster loans as a result of economic injuries from the drought that began in November.

   The SBA says the loans are available in Autauga, Barbour, Bullock, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Crenshaw, Dale, Elmore, Henry, Houston, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Montgomery, Pike, Randolph, Russell, St. Clair, Shelby, Talladega and Tallapoosa counties.

Arts & Life
8:28 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Ala Sponsoring Dove Hunts for Kids

Alabama's wildlife agency is sponsoring the 13th annual youth dove hunt in September. Online registration begins August 16.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Alabama's wildlife agency is sponsoring a series of dove hunts for children.

Arts & Life
8:23 am
Tue August 13, 2013

NWS: Ala at Risk For Heavy Rains, Strong Winds

NWS forecast for August 13, 2013.
The National Weather Service-Birmingham

Forecasters say heavy rains could bring flash flooding to north and central Alabama.

   The National Weather Service says a slow-moving cold front will cause showers and thunderstorms across the northern two-thirds of the state on Tuesday.

   Flash floods are possible mainly along and west of Interstate 65, and forecasters say winds could gust to 40 mph.

   Rains are supposed to diminish overnight, but the system is expected to slow down and bring more heavy rains on Wednesday, mainly south of Interstate 20.

Politics & Government
8:23 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Civil Rights Leader to be Honored in Birmingham

C.T. Vivian will be honored in Birmingham with a lifetime achievement award from the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Land Assistance Fund.
AP Photo/David Goldman

The Federation of Southern Cooperatives Land Assistance Fund will honor a civil rights activist with a lifetime achievement award this week.

   Spokeswoman Angela Brown said in a release that C.T. Vivian, a freedom rider and Southern Christian Leadership Conference organizer, is being honored by the organization Thursday at its 46th annual Anniversary Celebration at the Sheraton Hotel in Birmingham.

   Vivian joined in his first sit-in demonstrations in the 1940s in Peoria, Ill., long before the movement became national news.

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Science & Health
8:14 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Stingray Influx Prompts Warning on Ala Coast

Beach officials posted purple flags on Alabama beaches after several beachgoers reported being stung by stingrays.

Officials say a stingray invasion prompted warnings for beachgoers along the Alabama coast.

   Purple flags are flying on beaches because of a large number of stingray sightings, and more than 20 people have complained about coming into contact with them.

   The beach safety director in Orange Beach, Melvin Shepard, tells WALA-TV ( ) several people have been stung.

   Stingrays get their name from a barb in their tail, which they swing as a defense mechanism. The barb can hit anyone walking in the water on the lower leg.

Politics & Government
11:26 am
Sun August 11, 2013

Alabama gun law may complicate concealed weapons permits


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Many Alabama sheriffs are seeing more young people ages 18 to 20 seek permits to carry concealed handguns now that a new state gun law makes it tougher to deny them. The Alabama Sheriffs Association's executive director says sheriffs could ignore a pistol permit application in the past if they thought someone was too immature to get one. But that changed under the new law that took effect Aug. 1. Bobby Timmons says sheriffs now have to process the application and, if they deny it, they must give written reasons that will stand up in court.