Latest Alabama news, sports, business and entertainment:
Heat wave continues with no let up in sight
UNDATED, Ala. (AP) -- Make plans to stay cool this weekend
because the intense heat blanketing the state shows no signs of
The National Weather Service office in Birmingham issued a heat
advisory yesterday for 39 of the state's 67 counties. It was set to
expire at 7 p.m. today but has now been extended through tomorrow.
Thermometer readings were in the upper 90's yesterday from
Huntsville to Mobile with heat index values surpassing the 100
degree mark. More of the same is expected today.
Meanwhile, the threat of heat-related illness remains high.
Health experts say the most important thing for people to remember
is to stay hydrated.
To combat the loss of salts and potassium through sweating,
people should drink sports drinks that replenish electrolytes and
eat bananas to restore potassium.
The National Weather Service says the intense heat wave is
expected to remain in place though the weekend.
AIR PATROL SUSPENSION
Commander of Civil Air Patrol suspended during test-taking probe
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The Civil Air Patrol has suspended its
national commander, Major General Tony Pineda, after investigating
allegations that another patrol member took Air Force exams for
him. The suspension by the patrol's board of governors came after
it received an inspector general's report. The report was not made
The board's chairman says the suspension will be for up to six
months while the board determines its final action.
Pineda said yesterday he's never cheated on any test in his
life. And he's hired a lawyer to fight the suspension.
The Civil Air Patrol is the volunteer auxiliary of the Air
Force. It conducts search and rescue missions throughout the
country. The patrol's headquarters is in Montgomery.
More troopers to patrol the state's roads next week
UNDATED (AP) -- You may want to ease up on the gas pedal next
More than 200 extra state troopers will be on Alabama roads next
week as part of their "Take Back Our Highways" campaign.
The campaign comes in response to Alabama's traffic fatality
rate, which is the highest since 1973.
Troopers will patrol throughout the state the week of August
13th. They will be looking for the top five accident-causing
infractions: speeding, driving under the influence, following too
closely, failure to yield right-of-way and driver inattention.
The traffic fatality rate in Alabama went up 5 percent from 2005
to 2006. The national rate dropped 2 percent during the same time.
Like Worley, Alabama governor to miss judge's voting deadline
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Governor Bob Riley has something in
common with former Secretary of State Nancy Worley.
He's going to miss a deadline for developing a statewide
computerized voter registration system.
The governor's legal adviser notified a federal judge that
Alabama won't achieve compliance until 30 to 60 days after the
court-ordered deadline of August 31st. The report from the
governor's office said Alabama should be more than 95 percent
compliant by the deadline.
Worley, who was originally responsible for implementing the
computerized system, said she wasn't surprised Riley will miss the
deadline because she had told the federal judge last year that it
would take until the fall to get the work done.
The federal Help American Vote Act mandated that each state
develop a computerized statewide voter registration system and
provided money for equipment.
Worley missed the January 1st, 2006, deadline for finishing the
job and got sued by the U.S. Justice Department. On August 8th,
2006, U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins gave Riley the job with a
deadline of August 31st, 2007.
Woman charged with stealing identities of 500 Alabamians
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Attorney General Troy King said a woman
who works for the company that processes Alabama Medicaid claims
has been charged with stealing the identities of nearly 500
Kwantrice Thornton, who is 24, was charged with stealing the
information from Electronic Data Systems Incorporated. King said
the theft was part of a Medicaid and tax fraud scheme that included
selling 50 of the identities to other people.
Thornton was charged with trafficking in stolen identities and
violating the Alabama Computer Crimes Act, The Birmingham News
reported yesterday. King said Thornton turned herself in and was
released on $5,000 bond.
King said all of those whose identities were stolen were
notified by the state in February. They have been offered free
credit-monitoring services and identity theft assistance.
Softball umpire in Wetumpka gets prison on child porn charges
WETUMPKA, Ala. (AP) -- A 41-year-old Wetumpka man who umpires
girls' softball games was sentenced to prison for having child
Byron Keith Cannon was sentenced to eight years in prison for
possession of child pornography. He also got 90 days for three
counts of harassing an eight-year-old girl, The Montgomery
Advertiser reported on its Web site yesterday.
Elmore County Circuit Court Judge John Bush said in a statement
that the material Cannon had was -- quote -- "worse than anything
I have ever seen."
Cannon had at least 10 photos of young children in sexually
explicit poses. He also admitted to owning computers containing
Compass shareholders approve acquisition by Spanish bank
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Shareholders of Birmingham-based Compass
Bancshares have approved the acquisition by Spain-based Banco
Compass CEO D. Paul Jones Junior said the name, headquarters and
employment base of Compass will not change. The bank holding
company has some 2,500 workers in Birmingham.
The deal, announced in February by BBVA and valued at about $9.6
billion, is expected to close September 7th pending regulatory
Under terms of the purchase, Compass shareholders can choose to
receive either 2 point 8 shares of Banco Bilbao or $71.82 in cash
per Compass share. The election deadline will be announced at least
10 business days in advance of the deadline.
New Alabama teachers will be coached by mentors
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- New teachers have sometimes found
themselves going straight from college to standing in front of a
classroom full of young pupils with little idea of what to expect.
Governor Riley hopes a new mentoring program will give young
teachers some help when they take those first steps into a public
school classroom. The new program is funded by a $4 million
appropriation from the Legislture. Governor Riley says the program
will allow every first-year teacher to have a mentor in the new
The mentors will be experienced teachers. They will each be paid
a $1,000 stipend to be mentors to a young educator.
The mentoring program was recommended by the governor's
Commission on Quality Teaching.