ALABAMA WEATHER-RECORD LOWS
Cold air sets new records across Alabama
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Unusually cold air is setting records -- breaking some marks that have stood for more than a century -- for low temperatures across Alabama.
The National Weather Service reports that several record low temperatures for July 30 were shattered early Wednesday morning.
In Anniston, Wednesday morning's low of 54 was far lower than the previous record of 61 for the date, which was set in 1903.
Birmingham's low of 57 Wednesday broke the previous record of 61 from 1994.
In Montgomery, the low of 59 on Wednesday broke a previous record of 66, which was recorded in 1889.
In Huntsville, Wednesday's low of 56 broke the previous record of 60 from 1914.
Muscle Shoals' low of 55 broke the previous record of 56, also set in 1914.
Franklin schools to use volunteers for security
RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Officials in northwest Alabama are getting ready to announce a one-of-a-kind school security program.
Democratic state Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow of Red Bay and Democratic Sen. Roger Beford of Russellville are planning a news conference Thursday with Franklin County school officials and law enforcement to announce a new school security plan that may include armed volunteers.
Morrow passed legislation in 2013 to allow Franklin County to set up its own school security system using volunteers who have undergone training. The bill passed despite objections from the governor. Morrow says the Protection Institute from Charleston, South Carolina, is helping develop the program. He says Franklin County plan will be the only one of its type in the state.
ALABAMA STATE TRUSTEES
Former ASU trustee threatens to sue governor
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Circuit Judge Marvin Wiggins is threatening to sue Gov. Robert Bentley for removing him as a trustee of Alabama State University.
Wiggins sent an email to the governor saying the removal violates his due process rights and is in violation of the standards of the university's accrediting agency.
A spokeswoman for the governor says he's reviewing the letter.
Bentley removed Watkins as a trustee on Friday after Watkins refused the governor's request to resign. Bentley said Wiggins had failed in his duties as a trustee. He cited Wiggins' wife making about $30,000 for operating a summer camp hosted by Alabama State.
In a related development, The Montgomery Advertiser reports Alabama State has spent $318,000 in legal fees suing a forensic auditing firm hired by the governor.
Hospital: No evidence that penis amputated there
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (AP) - A Birmingham hospital is disputing a man's account that his penis was amputated at its facility.
Johnny Lee Banks Jr. says in a lawsuit that he went to Princeton Baptist Medical Center last month for a circumcision that he says went horribly wrong.
In court documents, Princeton Baptist says there is no evidence that an amputation of Banks' penis occurred at the facility. The hospital is asking that it be dismissed from the suit.
An attorney for two doctors accused in the lawsuit of amputating Banks' penis also denied the allegations and asked that the lawsuit be dismissed.
The plaintiffs say the lawsuit filed July 22 is frivolous and designed to harm their reputations.
Banks' attorney, John Graves, has said he stands by the allegations and doesn't file frivolous lawsuits.
LGBT rights group hires ex-pastor in Mississippi
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A national group that pushes equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people has hired a former clergyman to lead its efforts in Mississippi.
Rob Hill grew up in Mississippi, and spent 12 years as a United Methodist pastor. He said Tuesday that he started work July 14 for Human Rights Campaign and its "Project One America."
HRC announced in April that it will spend $8.5 million for the project in Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, which currently have no laws to prohibit people from being fired from jobs or evicted from housing based on sexual orientation. Hill says he wants to seek such legal protections for Mississippi residents.
The 39-year-old Hill is gay. He worked nine years as pastor of Jackson's Broadmeadow United Methodist Church, leaving in June.
NASCAR MEMORABILIA STOLEN
More than $20,000 in NASCAR collectibles stolen
OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) - Sheriff's deputies are investigating the theft of more than $20,000 in NASCAR memorabilia from a residence in the east Alabama town of Phenix City.
Lee County sheriff's Capt. Van Jackson said deputies received the call about the burglary on Sunday afternoon. The victim told deputies that several NASCAR collectibles had been taken.
The resident also reported that speakers had being taken, as well as a camouflage jumpsuit, jacket, tote bag, game cameras and a Honda Recon 250 all-terrain vehicle.
The Opelika-Auburn News reports that sheriff's officials are asking that anyone with information on the thefts contact the sheriff's office or CrimeStoppers.
Ala teen rescued after falling 50 feet in cave
ONEONTA, Ala. (AP) - A teenager who spent more than three hours trapped in a north Alabama cave is recovering following surgery for a broken leg.
WBRC-TV reports the young man was exploring a Blount County cave with friends when he fell about 50 feet into a ravine Monday night.
His friends called 911. Rescuers had to walk a half-mile to get to the teen, and then they had to rappel inside the cave to reach him.
The teen suffered a broken leg, but he was conscious and his vital signs were OK when rescuers reached him.
Crews emerged with the teen about 11:30 p.m., and a medical helicopter flew him to UAB hospital. He underwent surgery on the leg Tuesday.
GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING FRAUD
Ex-Ala. government contractor sentenced in fraud
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a former government contractor has been sentenced to nine years in prison in a $14 million fraud scheme.
Prosecutors said Tuesday that 41-year-old Joseph Shane Terry of Meridianville was sentenced on charges of wire fraud, making false statements to the Small Business Administration, making false statements on loan applications and money laundering.
Prosecutors say Terry, owner of Government Technical Services, applied for disadvantaged or minority-owned business status from the SBA in 2003 by submitting fraudulent tax returns. Authorities say he filed false returns between 2004 and 2008 to maintain the special status, which helped his company win government contract work. Prosecutors say Terry's company wrongfully secured more than $14 million in contracts.
Terry also was ordered to forfeit more than $1 million as proceeds of illegal activity.
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