Saturday - July 20, 2019
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Regional News Headlines

Government seeks to dismiss Alabama lawsuit over Census - Sat, 20 Jul 2019
MONTGOMERY — The federal government on Friday asked a judge to dismiss Alabama's lawsuit seeking to include only citizens and other legal residents in 2020 U.S. census counts.U.S. Department of Commerce made the request in a filing responding to the state's lawsuit.Alabama and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks sued the Commerce Department and U.S. Census Bureau last year over the practice of counting all U.S. residents, regardless of their citizenship status.The lawsuit [...]

Alabama jobless rate down to record-low 3.5% - Fri, 19 Jul 2019
Alabama's unemployment rate is down to what officials say is a record-low 3.5%.A news release from the state Friday says the preliminary, seasonally adjusted rate for June dropped two-tenths of a percent from the May rate of 3.7%.It's the state's lowest jobless rate ever, and better than the most recent national unemployment rate of 3.7%.The number represents a growth in employment of 10,456 jobs from last month. The number of people counted as unemployed dropped to 79, [...]

Capital murder charge in Sept. death of 'Good Samaritan' - Fri, 19 Jul 2019
WETUMPKA — An Alabama man arrested in the stabbing death of a good Samaritan now faces a capital murder charge.The Montgomery Advertiser reports that a grand jury recently indicted 32-year-old Ronald Jason Mann, of Elmore County in the death of 47-year-old Davon Waldrep, also of Elmore County.Waldrep came to Mann's aid at a car wreck in September and was stabbed when he refused to give the driver his cellphone, Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin said."This man [...]

Accident damages 7 cars at Alabama police station - Fri, 19 Jul 2019
MUSCLE SHOALS — Police in Alabama didn't go far to investigate an accident that damaged multiple vehicles and knocked out utility service: It happened at the police station.A utility pole fell outside the Muscle Shoals Police Department on Thursday after a tractor-trailer rig clipped it during a turn.Police Chief Clint Reck tells the TimesDaily that five police vehicles were damaged along with the personal vehicles of two officers. Mayor David Bradford says one vehicle [...]

3 jailed, 1 sought in north Alabama slaying - Fri, 19 Jul 2019
HUNTSVILLE — Three men are in custody and facing murder charges in the death of a 72-year-old Alabama woman.AL.com reports that a fourth suspect was still at large Friday.The victim was identified as Diane Ferguson Ballard of Madison County. She was found dead early Tuesday in the Ardmore area, just south of the Tennessee line. Police have released few details about the case. Ardmore is in Limestone County but some nearby Madison County areas have Ardmore addresses. [...]

Police ID man killed in gunbattle with Alabama officers - Fri, 19 Jul 2019
BIRMINGHAM — Authorities in Alabama have identified a man who was killed by police during a gunbattle that left an officer critically wounded.Officials say 35-year-old Roderick Wilson of Pinson was fatally shot after wounding the officer, Cullen Stafford.Stafford was shot multiple times and is recovering from surgery. Police Chief Patrick D. Smith said Thursday that Stafford's bulletproof vest likely saved his life.The Jefferson County Coroner's Office says Wilson [...]

Alabama begins tax holiday for school supplies - Fri, 19 Jul 2019
MONTGOMERY — Alabama's sales tax holiday for school supplies is this weekend.Purchases of items including most clothes, computer equipment, paper, writing instruments and other school-related items are exempt from the state's 4% sale tax from Friday through Sunday.A list published by the state Revenue Department includes most everything that's exempt. It also includes items where the state tax still applies, including sports supplies and musical instruments.Cities [...]

Ex-Alabama officer gets prison for assaulting handcuffed prisoner - Fri, 19 Jul 2019
MONTGOMERY — A former Alabama police officer is going to prison for assaulting a handcuffed prisoner.Federal prosecutors in Montgomery say a judge sentenced former Tallassee police investigator Michael Brandon Smirnoff to nearly two years in prison.Smirnoff pleaded guilty earlier this year to violating the rights of a 24-year-old man he was arresting in 2016.Prosecutors say a man, identified only by the initials J.M., led officers on a chase on a four-wheeler [...]

Alabama surplus property buyers can start the bidding online - Fri, 19 Jul 2019
MONTGOMERY — Alabama residents can now bid on state and federal surplus property more than three times a year.News outlets report the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs announced they'll be moving the public surplus property auction online and year-round starting this month.Director Kenneth Boswell says moving the auctions online will make the process more efficient and allows for more items to be available throughout the year.The Surplus [...]

Man shot, wounded after trying to run Alabama officer over - Fri, 19 Jul 2019
FORT PAYNE — Police in Alabama say a man tried to pour gasoline on a woman and attempted to run an officer over before he was shot and wounded by authorities.News outlets report 40-year-old Jeffery Scott Johnson was charged Tuesday with domestic violence and theft of property.Fort Payne Police Chief Randy Bynum says Johnson attempted to pour gasoline on a woman and then left the scene in a stolen minivan. Officers pursued Johnson in the vehicle. He tried to ram his car [...]

Former Alabama officer gets prison for assault - Fri, 19 Jul 2019
MONTGOMERY — A former Alabama police officer is going to prison for assaulting a handcuffed prisoner.Federal prosecutors in Montgomery say a judge sentenced former Tallassee police investigator Brandan Smirnoff to nearly two years in prison.Smirnoff pleaded guilty earlier this year to violating the rights of a 24-year-old man he was arresting in 2016.Prosecutors say a man, identified only by the initials J.M., led officers on a chase on a four-wheeler before [...]

Alabama authorities recapture inmate mistakenly released - Thu, 18 Jul 2019
DOTHAN — An inmate in Alabama who was mistakenly set free has been taken back into custody ahead of a murder trial.News outlets report 34-year-old Andrea Duhreal Flagg was captured Wednesday morning in the Dothan area. He had been out since his July 11 release from Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer where he completed a sentence for an unrelated charge.Houston County Circuit Clerk Carla Woodall says there had been a hold on Flagg's case that he shouldn't be [...]