The Associated Press

The Board of Education in Baldwin County meets today to hire additional teachers and other employees before classes begin on Aug. 20. A school system spokesman told The Mobile Press-Register that enrollment has increased roughly 2 percent.
 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

FEMA.gov

Residents of several Alabama communities ravaged by last year's tornadoes are completing storm shelters with some help from federal money.

The Florence TimesDaily reports (http://bit.ly/NwmoHX) that the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved 100 individual shelters for Franklin County with the promise that it would cover 75 percent of the cost of the shelter, as long as 75 percent of the cost did not exceed $4,000.

Dave Martin / Associated Press

Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman heads back to federal court in Montgomery today for a new sentencing hearing for his conviction on bribery and other charges.

A judge will decide Siegelman's new sentence and could order the 66-year-old former governor to immediately return to federal prison after more than four years of freedom. 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. 

The Alabama Department of Revenue says taxpayers should be on the lookout for an email scam that is using the department's name.

The emails say the taxpayer has been awarded gift cards or other prizes from the Department of Revenue. Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee says the department does not initiate communications with taxpayers through email. She said taxpayers should not reply to an email from someone who claims to represent the department and is seeking personal information.

Australia Network News

LONDON (AP) — The London Olympics opening ceremony had a cast of thousands — but it's a lone gatecrasher who is capturing media attention. Indian officials are mystified — and miffed — after an unknown woman managed to march with the country's delegation during the ceremony's athletes parade. Images from Friday's ceremony showed a young woman in blue trousers and a red jacket marching alongside Indian flag bearer Sushil Kumar at the head of the delegation of 40 athletes in bright yellow. Indian officials have complained to organizers about the intrusion.

NASA

MOSCOW (AP) — An unmanned Russian cargo spacecraft (similar to the one pictured here) has redocked with the International Space Station after an aborted attempt five days earlier. The Progress cargo ship had separated from the station a week ago to perform engineering tests and try out a new docking system and had been due to reconnect with the station on Tuesday. But problems developed with the avionics in the docking system. The second attempt early Sunday was successful. Video streamed from Russian mission control reported no problems.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana researcher says the "dead zone" that develops every spring and summer in the Gulf of Mexico is smaller than usual this year. Nancy Rabalais (RAB uh LAY) of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium says the area of low-oxygen in gulf waters covers 2,889 square miles. In a news release, Rabalais says that is the fourth smallest dead zone measured since mapping of the zones began in 1985. The dead zone forms because fertilizer and other nutrients run into the Mississippi River, which empties into the gulf.

LONDON (AP) — The United States has won its first medals of the London Olympics. Swimmer Ryan Lochte (LAHK'-tee) won gold in the in 400 IM, beating Michael Phelps among others. Phelps finished fourth. And the U.S. squad took the silver medal in men's team archery. Italy won the gold by one point on the final shot. Among the other medalists today: Wang Mingjuan of China won the gold medal in the women's 48-kilogram weightlifting with a total weight of 205 kilograms. Japan's Hiromi Miyake finished second and Ryang Chun Hwa of North Korea got the bronze.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A Jefferson County Circuit judge postponed an injunction hearing on the lawsuits against Birmingham school officials by the city and state superintendents. The Birmingham News reports that the postponements made Friday will give the school board a chance to decide whether to keep fight the lawsuits or settle. Circuit Judge Houston Brown says the injunction hearing will be postponed until Aug. 1. Brown agreed to delay the hearing that had been set for Monday.

Minnesota Public Radio

LONDON (AP) — There will be monarchs, presidents, prime ministers — and David Beckham. Friday's opening ceremony for the London Olympics is an A-list affair. Among the 60,000 spectators at Olympic Stadium will be Queen Elizabeth II — who as British head of state will officially open the games — along with royals including Prince William and his wife Kate, and Prince Harry. The British government says more than 80 heads of state and government will be in the audience, including royalty from Brunei, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. The U.S.

When a private firm failed to meet its promise of providing enough guards for the Olympics, the British military was called in to "mind the gap" in security.

But even though the government is bringing in those troops — as well as RAF Typhoon combat jets, surface-to-air missiles on rooftops, and an aircraft carrier on the River Thames — organizers say it will still look like the Summer Games, and not war games.

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