Phenix City

A shopper in Alabama who tripped and broke his hip while buying a watermelon at a Walmart has won a $7.5 million verdict against the retailer.

Henry Walker of Phenix City, Alabama was awarded the damages earlier this week after a jury trial. Walker had sued Walmart, saying his foot got trapped in a pallet beneath the watermelons as he reached for one at the Phenix City Walmart in June 2015.

A company constructing an interstate natural gas pipeline is donating $50,000 to fund 100 scholarships for students at Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phenix City, Alabama.

The college recently announced Sabal Trail Transmission's grant to the CVCC Foundation will generate 20 $500 scholarships per year for the next five years.

Beginning next semester, students in the adult education, applied technology and public safety programs will be eligible to apply for the scholarships.

Alabama State House
Jay Williams / Flickr

Four Republican hopefuls are running for former House Speaker Mike Hubbard's legislative seat.

The Alabama Republican Party announced late last week that Jay Conner, Joe Lovvorn, Brett Smith and Sandy Toomer have all qualified to run for the Lee County House seat. No Democrats are running for the legislative district.

Hubbard was removed from office last month after a jury convicted him of 12 felony ethics charges. He was sentenced to serve four years in prison. Hubbard is appealing his conviction.

The primary election for the vacant seat will be held Sep. 13.

Mergers for seven of Alabama's community colleges originally planned for this summer are on hold until 2017.

Three east Alabama community colleges were expected to form one regional institution upon final approval by the Alabama Community College System board of trustees this July. Those colleges are Southern Union State Community College in Opelika, Wadley and Valley; Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City, Childersburg and Talladega; and Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phenix City.

Wikipedia

As Alabama wrestles over the issue of same-sex marriage, state lawmakers are getting involved.

They are seeking legal protections for judges, ministers and others who refuse to officiate at or recognize weddings that violate their religious beliefs.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 9-4 Thursday to approve the bill.

Republican Rep. Jim Hill said he has gotten phone calls from ministers and probate judges who are concerned they will be forced to marry gay couples.