OIL SPILL-SCHOOL CLAIM
Ala. school system to file claim over BP spill
(Information in the following story is from: WKRG-TV, http://www.wkrg.com/)
FOLEY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama school system on the Gulf Coast says it's filing a claim seeking compensation for lost revenues blamed on the BP oil spill in 2009.
WKRG-TV reports attorneys for the Baldwin County public schools say they plan to file the claim next week. School superintendent Alan Lee won't divulge how much money the school system wants from BP, but he says it's a seven-figure amount.
The Baldwin County revenue department says the local schools received $48.7 million in funding from property taxes before the 2009 oil spill, but those revenues dropped sharply through 2012. County officials blame the spill.
It's not the first time Baldwin County schools have sought a check from BP. They received nearly $2 million in compensation for losses in 2011.
Ala. man faces sentencing in strangling death
(Information in the following story is from: The Daily Sentinel - Scottsboro, http://www.thedailysentinel.com)
SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama man convicted of strangling a woman to death will face a possible life sentence when he's sentenced by a judge next month.
The Daily Sentinel reports sentencing for Michael Anthony Bunch has been scheduled for Feb. 4.
A Jackson County jury last November convicted Bunch of murder in the 2009 death of Lisa Harper. Authorities say they had dated for three years before she her body was found near Highway 79.
Circuit Judge Jennifer Holt will decide Bunch's punishment. Sentencing guidelines show he faces 10 years to life in prison.
DOG SKINNING DEBUNKED
Ala police: Animal hurt 'skinned' dog
GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) — Contributors gave about $900 to help solve what appeared to be a cruel crime in Gadsden last month: The killing of a 9-year-old Dachshund that appeared to have been skinned alive.
Officials now say the dog wasn't skinned at all — it was injured and died after being attacked by another animal.
And The Gadsden Times reports that police plan to refund the donations that were given as potential reward money.
Authorities initially said it appeared the dog was purposely mutilated in early December. A man was named as a person of interest and taken into custody on unrelated charges.
But Gadsden police now say an examination showed the dog wasn't skinned. They say its injuries were actually caused by another animal.
Police say they will refund the contributions.
Ala. hospital stops hiring tobacco users
(Information in the following story is from: The Birmingham News, http://www.al.com/birminghamnews)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A hospital in Birmingham has announced tobacco users are no longer being considered for employment.
AL.com reports Children's of Alabama, which employs about 4,200 people and makes about 800 hires annually, stopped hiring tobacco users on Jan. 1.
Doug Dean, chief of human resources at the hospital, says the policy is a move toward promoting healthy behavior which is consistent with the hospital's mission. He says the policy is likely to translate to lower costs for health claims, reduced absenteeism and fewer employee breaks.
Other hospitals in the area are considering similar measures.
Ala. man charged in death of robbery accomplice
(Information in the following story is from: The Huntsville Times, http://www.al.com/huntsville)
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A Huntsville man who was arrested in a robbery is being indicted in the shooting death of his alleged accomplice despite not having been inside the store at the time of the shooting.
AL.com reports 33-year-old Courtneay Neal Nance was a getaway driver for a man who was fatally shot by a store clerk during a robbery on Aug. 16.
Under state law, if a person is killed during the commission of a felony, their accomplices can be charged for their death. The same law is being applied in a case involving three teens who were charged in the death of a 17-year-old girl during the commission of an alleged burglary at a south Alabama fishing camp.
NCAA grants 6th year to Auburn offensive lineman
The NCAA has granted Auburn offensive lineman Shon Coleman a sixth year of eligibility.
Coleman was diagnosed with leukemia in the spring of 2010 about a month after signing with the Tigers. Auburn kept his scholarship available, and Coleman signed with the Tigers a year later.
He hasn't played the past two years, which Auburn said was due to leukemia.
Tigers coach Gus Malzahn says Coleman "has been courageous in his fight and we look forward to him returning to the football field."
The 6-foot-6, 302-pounder from Memphis, Tenn., was one of the nation's top offensive line prospects out of high school.
Coleman received treatment at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.