Marshall County

Five school systems in north Alabama with about 25,000 students total are canceling classes because of high incidences of the flu.

The city school systems in Albertville, Boaz and Guntersville have joined the Cullman County and Marshall County systems in shutting down until next week.

State statistics show Marshall County is the largest system affected by the illness with 5,468 students enrolled in kindergarten through the 12th grade. Marshall County does not plan to resume classes until Tuesday; the other four systems plan to return to class on Monday.

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  An Alabama county faces a financial mystery.

The criminal charge against former Marshall County Revenue Commissioner Joey Masters is serious, but hardly jaw-dropping. He's accused on a misdemeanor count of taking a few hundred dollars from a petty cash fund.

But a civil lawsuit contends the allegations are but a pin prick in a scandal that cost the county nearly as much as its annual budget of nearly $23 million.

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The Colorado-based Pilgrim's Pride Corp. is closing a poultry plant that employs more than 1,000 people in northeast Alabama.

A secretary for Boaz Mayor Tim Walker says the company announced Tuesday that it will close a chicken processing plant in the Marshall County town.

Executives told workers about the decision in a meeting at the plant, but a company spokesman didn't immediately return messages seeking comment.

Poultry is a major regional industry, and Pilgrim's Pride is one of the largest employers.