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This Hour: Latest Alabama news, sports, business and entertainment

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7 days of marches planned around Alabama Capitol

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - More than 20 people, including civil rights leaders and ministers, have marched around the state Capitol and Statehouse in the first day of a seven-day protest that stretches across the Southeast.

Democratic state Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma says the marchers in Alabama are joining those in North Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Virginia to protest attacks on civil and human rights.

The Alabama group marched around the Capitol and Statehouse in hot, humid weather Friday afternoon. It plans to repeat the march for six more days. Sanders said they are inspired by the biblical story of Joshua marching around the walls of Jericho until they fell on the seventh day. He said many rights gained in the 1960s are under attack within the walls of both buildings.


Former Ala. band director arrested on sex charges

BREWTON, Ala. (AP) - A former high school band director charged with having sex with students in Alabama says "there's always more than one side to the story."

Jeffrey Lance Gainous said that, and nothing else, to reporters gathered Friday as he was led in a jailhouse jumpsuit into the courthouse in Brewton, Alabama. WKRG-TV reports a judge set Gainous' bond at $350,000.

Authorities say Gainous has sexual encounters with at least eight girls attending T.R. Miller High school. He's been charged with counts of sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and six counts involving a teacher having sex with students.

He was arrested Wednesday in Georgia, where Gainous had just started a new job as band director at Thomas County Central High School in Thomasville. He resigned following his arrest.


Ala. officer charged for putting puppy in freezer

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama animal control officer has been charged after police say he left a puppy inside a storage freezer.

The Dothan Eagle reports the mixed-breed pup died not long after it was discovered by another employee. Dothan police say animal control officer William Henry Roberson knowingly put the puppy in the freezer, where it stayed for 20 minutes or longer.

Dothan police Sgt. Mac Eggleston said 57-year-old Roberson of Webb was charged Friday with misdemeanor animal cruelty and jailed on $500 bond.

It was not immediately known if Roberson had an attorney. He was placed on administrative leave from his job pending a hearing.


'Critical habitat' for endangered frog upheld

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal judge says U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials' were within the law when they declared thousands of acres in Louisiana and Mississippi as 'critical habitat' for an endangered frog species.

The case involved 1,544 acres in St. Tammany Parish and 5,000 acres in Mississippi named as critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog.

Landowners had argued that the Fish and Wildlife Service should have prepared an environmental impact statement on the designation, and that the service failed to adequately consider the possible economic impact of its decision.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman rejected those and other arguments Friday.

Landowners worry that the designation could cost more than $33 million in lost development. A wildlife service lawyer argued Thursday that such a high cost is unlikely.


Second man arrested in slaying of ex-'Bama player

GREENVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Authorities say a second man is in custody is the shooting death of former University of Alabama football player Ozell Powell.

Police in Powell's hometown of Greenville say Samarjay Demontes Peterson surrendered on Friday morning.

Peterson is now charged with murder. He's jailed without bond.

Authorities previously charged 22-year-old Eric Simmons in the killing.

Powell was shot twice in the chest at an apartment complex on Wednesday night and died later at a hospital.

Police haven't disclosed a possible motive.

Powell played at Alabama from 1993 through 1996, starting 25 games on the defensive line. He'd been living in Greenville a few years.


Grand jury to get case of former Alabama principal

GREENSBORO, Ala. (AP) - A district attorney in west Alabama says a Hale County grand jury will review a complaint against former Greensboro High School principal Dyana Thomas.

The state Ethics Commission decided Aug. 6 that there was probable cause to believe Thomas may have violated the ethics law. It sent the case to District Attorney Michael Jackson.

Jackson said Friday he will present the case to the next grand jury, which should convene before the end of the year. Jackson said the complaint involves whether Thomas used his school position for personal gain.

Thomas doesn't have a listed phone number and couldn't be reached for comment.

He pleaded guilty to mail fraud in 2007 involving his position as principal of Greene County High School. He got five years on probation.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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