At least 17 people are injured, several of them critically, after an early morning shooting in downtown Tuscaloosa. Police are looking for a gunman who opened fire in the Copper Top Bar. The Tuscaloosa News has interviews with people who were in the bar who report that patrons scattered when the shooting started and that there was a trail of blood throughout the bar. As of 10 a.m. there were no deaths reported and the gunman had not been apprehended. The Tuscaloosa Police chief confirms three University of Alabama students were among the injured. Check back regularly at our website, Facebook page, and Twitter for updates.
In other news:
It could be another long day for members of Birmingham's school board. Later today, the board will consider proposals by a state intervention team to lay off or demote about 200 people and delay the state of school by three days. The board previously rejected the layoffs, leading the Alabama Department of Education to take over the school district. State officials say cuts are necessary to meet a state law requiring that school districts keep at least one month's operating expenses in reserve. Birmingham has about $2 million of the $17 million required. It's also losing %6 million in state funding next year because of a decline in enrollment.
Casino developer Ronnie Gilley will spend nearly seven years in prison. U-S district Judge Myron Thompson sentenced Gilley yesterday. He also sentenced lobbyist Jarrod Massey to more than five years and former state representative Terry Spicer to almost five years in prison. The men pleaded guilty to a Alabama Statehouse bribery scheme to several years. They had asked for leniency since they testified against nine other people in the case. Those nine were acquitted.
One of three men who pleaded guilty to arson in a series of 2006 rural Alabama church fires is getting out of prison early. Yesterday, Bibb county Circuit Judge Marvin Wiggins ordered the release of 25- year-old Russell DeBusk. The former Birmingham-Southern College student was convicted of setting fires at five Bibb county Churches. He was sentenced to seven years in federal prison and 15 years in state prison. District attorney Michael Jackson says he's look at an appeal.
Lawyers for a former Alabama university professor charged in a campus shooting rampage are asking the Alabama Supreme Court to order the state to pay expert witnesses for her insanity defense. The Huntsville Times reports that defense attorneys for Amy Bishop argue the state has improperly ignored a judgeâs orders to pay an expert psychiatrist. They also want the state to pay for neurological testing at UAB. Bishop is accused of killing three colleagues and wounding three others at the University of Alabama in Huntsville two years ago. She was declared indigent, and taxpayers are paying for her defense. Her trial is set to begin September 10 in Huntsville. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. It could be another long day for members of Birminghamâs school board. Later today the board will consider proposals by a state intervention team to lay off or demote about 200 people and delay the start of school by three days. The board previously rejected the layoffs â leading the Alabama Department of Education to take over the school district. State officials say cuts are necessary to meet a state law requiring that school districts keep at least one month's operating expenses in reserve; Birmingham has about $2 million of the $17 million required. It is also losing $6 million in state funding next year because of a decline in enrollment.
A church group is suing the city of Alabaster over the constitutionality of two ordinances restricting door-to-door solicitations. The Birmingham News reports the 7th Day Adventists are challenging the cityâs requirement that door-to-door solicitors first register and pay a license fee. A member of the churchâs Summer Student Missionary Program was ticketed in June by an Alabaster police officer for selling books without a city permit.
Alabama has a new federally-designed water trail. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar named the Alabama Scenic River Trail yesterday. It runs along much of the Coosa and Alabama Rivers. The new designation is meant to encourage state, local and federal governments to work together to increase water-based outdoor recreation, to promote tourism and help local economies. Salazar also named water trails in Georgia and Missouri.
July 17, 2012