Former Alabama teacher accused of sexually abusing 23 girls

Good Thursday evening. We're hard at work in the WAFF 48 Newsroom putting together a newscast you'll definitely want to watch.

Small business owners have several obstacles to overcome, especially in this uncertain economy. Unfortunately, one of those obstacles is theft. But we've uncovered some owners of a small business in Athens who are taking a proactive approach when it comes to preventing crime. WAFF 48's Christine Pae sat down with the owners today who caught two women blatantly stealing items from their shop. In fact, they made off with between $2-3,000 worth of merchandise. The owners installed a security system after a previous theft. That captured this recent crime very clearly. And the owners also posted the video and information on their Facebook page on the internet. There's really a lesson to be learned here for other small business owners.

The military provides a huge economic boost to North Alabama. That's why news of President Obama's proposal to cut the defense budget by some $480 billion is rocking the Rocket City. Congressman Mo Brooks begs to differ with the President's assessment of our nation still being able to maintain a superior military force. We'll have more of our conversation with Brooks as he is prepared to fight a "battle" of his own.

Our team coverage of Monday night's BCS National Championship game between Alabama and LSU continues from New Orleans tonight. You may not know just how close A.J. McCarron came to not being around for this one. We'll have more on a frightening accident he had when he was just a youngster that took his sight, even his life. It involved being thrown onto a pier in a jet ski accident. This is a story that goes well beyond the football field. You don't want to miss this one.

And speaking of frightening stories, we're continuing to follow the story we first told you about earlier tonight involving a former Alabama school teacher who's accused of sexually abusing 23 girls over a period of 25 years. We're finding out more details of this horrendous crime. Join us for the very latest details and more reaction from those involved.

We'll see you in just a bit,

Mark Thornhill