Associated Press

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The National Weather Service has confirmed it was a tornado that tore through a northern Alabama county Friday night, uprooting and destroying a mobile home and leaving two adults and two children with minor injuries.

NWS officials confirmed an EF-2 tornado struck the areas of Jones Chapel and Vinemont in Cullman County around 7 p.m. Friday.

One of Alabama's most populous counties has a plan to put armed police officers in each of its public schools.

Officials in Baldwin County on the Gulf Coast say agencies are partnering to provide permanent school resource officers at each of its 46 campuses beginning this August. Currently, only some county schools have officers on duty constantly.

Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack says Baldwin already has 30 school resource officers, meaning 16 more are needed. The sheriff's office and city police departments will have to fill those positions.

A police lieutenant in Alabama’s largest city has resigned amid charges of forcibly raping a teen relative.

Al.com reports Birmingham Police Lt. Pete Williston submitted his resignation Tuesday. Defense attorney Scott Morro says Williston is remorseful and he and his family along with the police department need "healing."

Morris Police Chief Mike Nazarchyk says a 24-year-old woman reported the abuse in May. She told police that Williston sexually abused her from 2008 to 2011, starting when she was 14 years old.

Members of the Mobile City Council are asking Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to approve funding to help restart passenger train service between the port city and New Orleans.

WALA-TV reports members sent Ivey a letter yesterday saying renewed Amtrak service would help increase tourism and economic development in Mobile.

Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi must commit almost $35 million total over three years by today to be eligible for the same amount in federal funds that would let Amtrak trains travel the northern Gulf Coast for the first time since Hurricane Katrina.

Alabama's governor is distancing herself from President Donald Trump on the issue of trade, saying import tariffs like those supported by the Trump administration would hurt the state.

Gov. Kay Ivey released a statement yesterday saying import tariffs could cause retaliatory tariffs that would drive up the cost of items made in Alabama and sold abroad.

The administration already has imposed new tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, plus steel and aluminum from China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

Bill Canary
BCA

Alabama's largest electrical utility is quitting a business group that tries to influence policy and politics in Montgomery.

News outlets report Alabama Power Co. is leaving the Business Council of Alabama in a disagreement over its leadership and other issues.

Tax documents filed by the business group show most of its money comes from dues and assessments, so losing a large member like Alabama Power could affect its future operations.

Gulf State pier
Alabama State Parks

A new pilot program will allow shark fishing two days this month at Gulf State Park.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says the shark fishing events will take place at the park's saltwater fishing pier tomorrow and June 26. Registration is required and fishing is limited to 10 anglers.

Parks Director Greg Lein said the trial program is being implemented after feedback from people who fish at the pier. Lein says many anglers have expressed concern that they can't catch other species because of the abundance of sharks around the pier.

Low-income residents receiving federal assistance in Alabama might soon see their rent go up by more than $800 a year.

Al.com reports the possible rate increase could impact more than 180,000 people and about 83,000 households according to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The center says the average US. Department of Housing and Urban Development rent would go up 20 percent.

Marshall Space Flight Center
NASA

The director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama is retiring.

Marshall officials say Todd May announced his retirement to employees yesterday. It is set to take effect July 27.

A statement from U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks of Huntsville says May is being replaced on an acting basis by Marshall's deputy director, Joan A. "Jody" Singer.

May was first named acting director of Marshall in 2015 and then took over the position on a permanent basis. Before that, the Fairhope native managed the Space Launch System, NASA's heavy-lift rocket that's still in development.

A onetime county official accused of taking three quarters of a million dollars in public funds in north Alabama is going to prison.

News outlets report that Judge Pride Tompkins sentenced former Franklin County administrator Crista Lynn Madden to 20 years in prison during a hearing Monday.

The 49-year-old Madden pleaded guilty in March to felony charges of using her office for personal financial gain.

Josh Coleman
via Facebook

The mayor of Alabama's largest city has hired its first LGBTQ liaison.

AL.com reports Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin announced yesterday at PrideFest that Josh Coleman will serve as both a city spokesman and a representative of LGBTQ interests. Coleman is currently the vice president of Central Alabama Pride, and will start his new city job on June 25.

Woodfin says Coleman's appointment upholds the legacy of "the city that taught the world the importance of inclusion."

An Alabama lawmaker has been indicted on federal charges that he paid kickbacks to a doctor's office that referred Medicare patients to his health care business.

The indictment against Republican state Rep. Ed Henry of Hartselle was unsealed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Montgomery. He is charged with six counts of paying illegal kickbacks and other federal crimes.

Birmingham will be the seventh city with a team featured in the newly-formed Alliance of American Football.

The spring professional football league, which will begin play the weekend after the Super Bowl in February, announced Birmingham’s addition yesterday. Other cities with teams in the Alliance are San Diego, Atlanta, Orlando, Memphis, Salt Lake City and Phoenix.

Authorities say an Alabama death row inmate was found dead in his cell from an apparent suicide Sunday morning.  

The Alabama Department of Corrections said 57-year-old Jeffrey Lynn Borden was found hanging by a bed sheet in his cell during a security check at 2:30 a.m. He was pronounced dead at 3 a.m., a prison spokesman said.

The four Republicans running for Alabama attorney general are slugging  

their way toward an anticipated runoff. Attorney General Steve Marshall faces challenges from former U.S. Attorney Alice Martin, former Attorney General Troy King, and lawyer Chess Bedsole. The contest has become heated as the four vie for the two runoff spots.

Alabama Republicans say they won't certify the votes of a statewide candidate who's come under scrutiny for what the party calls "egregious" comments.

The decision announced Thursday means Jim Bonner, who's running for the utility-regulating Public Service Commission, won't get the party's nomination even if he wins Tuesday's primary.

The two-time delegate to the Republican National Convention is trying to unseat incumbent Jeremy Oden. But he's made several comments on social media and radio that could be seen as offensive to women, blacks, Jews and Muslims.

Six women are suing a north Alabama rheumatologist, accusing him of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior while they were his patients.

News outlets report the lawsuit was filed in Morgan County Circuit Court Wednesday against Dr. Michael Dick of Decatur.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit have been identified by pseudonyms, seeking to preserve privacy. Dick referred questions to his lawyer, who declined to comment.

Officials say Hyundai is planning to invest more than $350 million to build a new plant in Alabama in addition to updating the existing plant in Montgomery.

News outlets report the South Korean automotive manufacturer announced yesterday that it will invest $388 million to construct the 260,000-square-foot engine head manufacturing plant, as well as enhance its assembly plant in Montgomery.

The U.S. Coast Guard in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi launched emergency preparations ahead of the arrival of subtropical Storm Alberto. The National Weather Service says the system is speeding up and is expected to hit the Florida panhandle Monday afternoon before heading north into east-central Alabama. Alberto is expected to retain tropical storm force through much of its trek up Alabama. Heavy downpours were expected to begin lashing parts of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Sunday.

Government forecasters are set to release their prediction later today for how many hurricanes and tropical storms they expect to form over Atlantic and Caribbean waters in the next six months.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts Friday, June 1 and ends on November 30.

wikipedia.org

Yellowing court records from the arrests of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. 

and others at the dawn of the modern civil rights era are being preserved and digitized after being discovered in a courthouse box.

Archivists at Alabama State University are cataloguing and flattening dozens of documents found at the Montgomery County Courthouse. Circuit Clerk Tiffany McCord hopes electronic versions will be available for viewing as early as late June.

Patricia Todd
via Twitter

An LGBTQ organization in Florida founded in the aftermath of the PULSE nightclub shooting is taking back a job offer from an Alabama lawmaker. This comes after she made a social media post speculating about the governor's personal life.

The One Orlando Alliance announced yesterday it has retracted a job offer to Patricia Todd, Alabama's only openly gay lawmaker. Todd was set to become the group's executive director. Chairwoman Jennifer Foster said Todd showed a "lapse" in judgment with regard to her comment.

Sheriff Ron Abernathy
Tuscaloosa County

The sheriff of Tuscaloosa County is threatening legal action against social media commenters and others who have criticized his department over the suicide of a former student at the University of Alabama.

Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy raised the possibility of legal action yesterday during a news conference to discuss the death of Megan Rondini and an investigation into her allegations of sexual assault.

Authorities say an Alabama prisoner stabbed another inmate to death at a state prison Tuesday.

Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Bob Horton released a statement saying an inmate fatally stabbed 35-year-old Jeveria Odess McCall at a housing area at Bibb Correctional Facility Tuesday evening. McCall was hospitalized and later died.

29-year-old Keandre Derrod Houston is charged in McCall's death. Horton said officials recovered a makeshift knife believed to be used in the stabbing.

A peaceful rally for the Poor People’s Campaign yesterday ended with some people arrested after sitting in the street to block traffic in Montgomery’s Court Square.

Al.com reports the rally was part of a coordinated national effort, with protests planned in 30 states as well as the District of Columbia.

The Rev. Carolyn Foster of Greater Birmingham Ministries says the goal of the event is to "Draw attention to the fact that people are starving, children are hungry, [and] benefits are being cut back in the wealthiest country in the world."

Bright Blue Dot / Wikimedia

A candidate for Alabama governor says the arrest of a campaign worker accused of violating the state's sex offender registration and notification act was "politically motivated."

Democratic candidate Sue Bell Cobb tells AL.com she accepted Paul Littlejohn III's resignation late last week. Littlejohn was her campaign's Jefferson County field director.

As a registered sex offender, Litlejohn is charged with working too close to a school or daycare through his work at a church and failing to update his employment status.

Alabama health officials say they've identified an Auburn University student with a case of pulmonary tuberculosis. The state Department of Public Health says they notified the school this week of plans to investigate and ensure that students and employees will be screened quickly to see if they were infected. Last Wednesday, the state and university began identifying students enrolled in classes, as well as faculty and staff, who might have been in close contact with the student. Symptoms can include chest pain, chronic coughing, coughing with blood, chills, fever and loss of appetite.

Birmingham's Steel City Jazz Festival has been canceled this year. Organizers say the event will be back in 2019. The festival was set for June after moving from Linn Park to Legion Field. Founder Cedric Allen says the festival's fans didn't like the change. Al.com reports ticketholders can get refunds at the place of purchase or hold their tickets until next year's event. Since its inception in 2014, the Steel City Jazz Festival has presented a mix of jazz, soul, funk and R&B acts on its stage in downtown Birmingham.

Tuition is going up for Alabama's community and technical colleges this fall.

The Decatur Daily reports the Alabama Community College System approved a $10-per-credit-hour increase earlier this week, set to go into effect for the 2018-2019 school year.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is set to begin charging its utilities a fixed fee that will likely be passed on to customers, no matter how much energy they use.

The decision by the TVA's board yesterday is deeply frustrating advocates for ratepayers and green energy. They say it will penalize people who turn off their lights or use renewable energy to save on bills.

The TVA says it is offsetting the fixed fee it needs to maintain the power grid with an equal reduction of about a half-cent per kilowatt-hour in the variable wholesale rate for electricity.

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