Friday - May 24, 2019
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Regional News Headlines

Bill allowing electric utilities to offer high-speed internet to rural areas passes - Thu, 23 May 2019
MONTGOMERY — A bill to allow electric utility companies to offer high-speed internet to rural communities by way of their existing power networks cleared the Alabama Legislature Wednesday and now goes to the governor for her signature.Supporters say House Bill 400 will alleviate the cost of running new fiber lines to rural areas by allowing utilities like Alabama Power, the Tennessee Valley Authority and regional electric cooperatives to piggyback their existing networks [...]

Abortion ban sponsor prefers 'heartbeat' bill - Thu, 23 May 2019
Rep. Terri Collins, the Alabama lawmaker who sponsored what is now the state's near-total ban on abortions without exceptions for rape and incest, said recently that it’s not her preferred anti-abortion law.“I still like the heartbeat bill,” Collins told Alabama Daily News this week about the fetal heartbeat legislation she sponsored in previous legislative sessions. Unlike the state’s new law that makes performing almost all abortions at any stage of [...]

2 film productions quit Georgia after abortion law is signed - Wed, 22 May 2019
ATLANTA — Two film projects have pulled production from Georgia after the governor signed the so-called "heartbeat bill," which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.The heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks, before many women realize they are pregnant.The Lionsgate comedy "Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar," starring Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, and director Reed Morano's Amazon series "The Power" initially were to be shot in Georgia but now [...]

Huntsville auto plant announced; will create 650 jobs - Wed, 22 May 2019
HUNTSVILLE — A group of automobile suppliers announced plans to invest $220 million in a manufacturing facility in Huntsville, Alabama. The venture by Y-tec Keylex Toyotetsu Alabama is expected to create 650 jobs. The facility will produce structural body stampings and assemblies, as well as functional and chassis parts for Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A.Gov. Kay Ivey joined executives from a trio of Mazda and Toyota suppliers at a ceremony Wednesday announcing [...]

Alabama prison inmate indicted in 1974 Texas officer slaying - Wed, 22 May 2019
ALICE, Texas — An Alabama inmate serving a life sentence for robbery has been indicted in the 1974 fatal shooting of a Texas police officer.Prosecutors joined police in Alice, Texas, on Tuesday to announce the May 10 indictment of Roberto Lopez on a capital murder count. Officer Matthew Murphy was shot during a traffic stop in Alice, 120 miles (193.11 kilometers) south of San Antonio.Alabama Department of Corrections records show Lopez in 1981 was sentenced to life in [...]

Officials: Last slave ship from Africa ID'd on Alabama coast - Wed, 22 May 2019
BIRMINGHAM — Researchers working in the murky waters of the northern Gulf Coast have located the wreck of the last ship known to bring enslaved people from Africa to the United States, historical officials said Wednesday.Remains of the Gulf schooner Clotilda were identified and verified near Mobile after months of assessment, a statement by the Alabama Historical Commission said.The wooden vessel was scuttled the year before the Civil War to hide evidence of its illegal [...]

Hank Williams Jr. offers reward for grandfather's missing shotgun - Thu, 23 May 2019
CULLMAN — Country music star Hank Williams Jr. is offering a $6,000 reward for his grandfather's missing shotgun.The singer known for hits including "Family Tradition" has posted a letter online saying he spent time growing up in south Alabama with his grandfather.The letter says he can't locate the man's old Remington Model 11-48 shotgun, which he wants to pass on.An attorney for Williams, Steve Smith, says the gun is believed to be lost, not stolen. The reward [...]

Alabama House approves 'born alive' abortion bill - Thu, 23 May 2019
MONTGOMERY — Doctors would face prison sentences if they fail to treat babies "born alive" after an attempted abortion, under a bill approved Tuesday night by the Alabama House of Representatives.The measure patterned after legislation in Texas was approved after more than an hour of contentious debate. It comes a week after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed legislation seeking to outlaw almost all abortions in the state.Representatives voted 66-18 for the bill that now moves [...]

Mississippi 6-week abortion ban heads to federal court - Wed, 22 May 2019
JACKSON, Miss.— A federal judge who struck down Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban last year is hearing arguments about a new law that puts the ban even earlier.The law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, at about six weeks, when many women may not know they're pregnant.Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed it in March, and the state's only abortion clinic, Jackson Women's Health Organization, sued the state.U.S. District Judge [...]

Anti-abortion and abortion rights rallies fire up around the South - Wed, 22 May 2019
MONTGOMERY — Abortion opponents held a rally Wednesday at the Alabama Capitol, savoring victory after the state's governor signed the nation's most stringent abortion ban into law last week.Elsewhere in the South, abortion-rights supporters occupied much of a city block in New Orleans, chanting 'My body! My choice!"Standing in front of the banner, "Pro-Life Pro- [...]

Lawmaker: Lottery bill 'dead' for session - Wed, 22 May 2019
MONTGOMERY — A lottery bill is defunct for the legislative session, a key lawmaker said Wednesday."It's dead for this session. It won't be coming back this session," said Republican Rep. Steve Clouse, who was shepherding the bill in the House of Representatives.The bill hit a politically fatal mix of conservative opposition to gambling and longstanding feuds over electronic gambling and how to use lottery revenue. Clouse said they do not have the 63 bipartisan votes [...]

Alabama officer hurt in shooting that killed 1 improving - Wed, 22 May 2019
AUBURN — An Alabama police officer who was seriously wounded in a shooting that killed another officer is improving, officials said Wednesday as they made plans to remember the fallen man.Officer Webb Sistrunk has been moved into critical care at a hospital in Columbus, Georgia, according to a statement released by the Auburn Police Division. The change was an improvement because Sistrunk had been in intensive care.Sistrunk and two other officers were shot at a mobile [...]