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

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Bentley says special legislative session an option

OXFORD, Ala. (AP) - Gov. Robert Bentley says a special session of the Legislature to address economic incentives to attract industries is an option.

Bentley discussed calling a special session during an appearance at a workforce development summit Wednesday in Chatom. He discussed having it after the November election. He clarified his remarks in a speech Wednesday night in Oxford. He said the special session is an option, and he may make proposals in the regular session in the spring.

Bentley's remarks Wednesday night came after Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said he hasn't seen enough information to warrant going into special session.

The governor said the state is nearly out of economic incentives needed to attract new industry, but he said it's too early to discuss details of what he might propose.


Governor's office: Immigrant children expected

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A spokeswoman for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says the federal government has notified the governor that immigrant children will be placed at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery.

Communications Director Jennifer Ardis says the governor's chief of staff got a call from the Federal Emergency Management Agency late Wednesday afternoon. She said it's not known how many children will be placed at the base or how soon they will arrive.

She says no state resources are being used to help the children. But she noted that Bentley joined five other governors in sending a letter to the president on Tuesday. It expressed their concern that immigrant children will end up using public schools, social services and health systems largely funded by the states.


Mayor surrenders to face criminal charges

EUTAW, Ala. (AP) - Authorities in Greene County say that Forkland Mayor Derrick Biggs has surrendered to face charges of first-degree theft and tampering with government records.

The Tuscaloosa News reports that Biggs was booked into the Greene County Jail at 11:49 a.m. Wednesday.

The first-term mayor had been sought by authorities since Greene County deputies and Forkland officials discovered more than $6,000 missing from the town's water department.

Allene Broadwater, Forkland's water clerk, said a total of $6,413.19 was unaccounted for between December and April.

It wasn't known Thursday whether Biggs has an attorney.


Army: Patient IDs wrongly trashed at Ala base

OZARK, Ala. (AP) - The military says as many as 2,300 patients are affected by a breach of personal information at the Lyster Army Health Clinic at Fort Rucker.

Paper records with the names and Social Security numbers of patients were tossed into a recycling bin at the southeast Alabama base on July 2.

The Army says no medical information was released. But it's now sending letters to about 2,300 patients whose identifying information may have been compromised.

A spokeswoman says officials believe the papers were shredded before anyone could see them. The letters are going out to tell patients they can get free fraud monitoring for the next year because of the mistake.


Ala crash kills 2 in plane that took off in Fla

LILLIAN, Ala. (AP) - Authorities say two people are dead after a sightseeing airplane that took off in Pensacola, Florida, crashed in remote southwest Alabama.

The Baldwin County Sheriff's Office says the crash killed 67-year-old pilot Dean Legidakes and 15-year-old Marli Shea McManus.

The two were in a small airplane that took off from Pensacola on Wednesday morning. The plane didn't return on time, and authorities used a signal from the pilot's cellphone to find an approximate location.

A state helicopter spotted plane wreckage in a swampy area near Lillian about five hours later. The area is so isolated searchers had difficulty reaching it.

The sheriff's office says the two were in a Great Lakes 2T-1 biplane. The crash occurred northeast of a small airport near the Alabama-Florida line.


Bus stranded after mechanical woes, driver illness

FORT DEPOSIT, Ala. (AP) - Authorities said passengers aboard a Megabus that had a mechanical breakdown in Alabama were aboard another bus and on their way New Orleans.

WSFA-TV reports that passengers were stuck in Fort Deposit on Wednesday after the bus unexpectedly lost its air conditioning system and the driver later became ill.

The bus was heading from Atlanta to New Orleans when it lost air conditioning around 5 p.m. Wednesday and pulled into a service station.

Sean Hughes, the company's associate director of corporate affairs, said a relief bus had arrived by late Wednesday evening to take the passengers to New Orleans. The Montgomery station reports that another driver had been found to replace the one who got sick.

In a statement, Megabus apologized and said all the passengers are getting a full refund.


Surveys explore U-boat, oil spill impact

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The photos taken nearly a mile under the Gulf of Mexico are so clear that small holes are visible in a lifeboat that may have gone down with a passenger ship sunk in 1942 by a Nazi submarine, or may have been scuttled after passengers and crew were rescued.

Interpretations differ. But the pictures taken by a pair of mini-subs tethered to Robert Ballard's exploration vessel Nautilus are among the brightest and clearest ever taken of the Robert E. Lee and the U-166, which was sunk by depth charges from the Lee's escort on July 30, 1942.

Ballard's two submersibles provide much more light than the singleton available to most scientists.

The U-166 was among dozens of German U-boats that menaced U.S. shipping during World War II in an operation Germany code-named "Drumbeat."


Threatening president case on hold for mental exam

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The prosecution is on hold for a southeast Alabama man charged with threatening the president.

Deryke Pfeifer of Ozark was scheduled for arraignment Wednesday in federal court in Montgomery, but that got postponed.

Assistant federal defender Stephen Ganter says Pfeifer will be sent to a federal facility for a psychiatric examination to determine his competency now and at the time he was charged. Ganter says that will put the arraignment on hold for several weeks.

The Secret Service brought charges against Pfeifer on July 3. He's accused of making phone calls to the Federal Protective Service and using Facebook to threaten the president. Court papers say Pfeifer posted one threatening video holding a Glock pistol, and a Glock was later found at his residence.


9 scholarships awarded from $24.8 million raised

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A report by the Alabama Revenue Department shows scholarship granting organizations raised nearly $24.8 million in tax-deductible donations through the Alabama Accountability Act, but granted only nine scholarships in their first semester.

The scholarship granting organizations began raising money last summer to help students attend private school. Their first reports to the Revenue Department ran through the end of 2013, which covered the first semester of the new program. Supporters of the program had predicted there would be few scholarships awarded the first semester because the program began so close to the start of the school.

The report says five of the nine scholarship recipients would have otherwise attended public schools rated as failing.

The biggest fundraiser was former Gov. Bob Riley's Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund with $17.8 million.

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

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