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Ward releases statement on DUI arrest, Nike Factory Store opens in Tuscaloosa

The chairman of the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee says he's seeking professional help after his arrest on a DUI charge.

Alabaster Republican Senator Cam Ward released a written statement this morning following his release from the Shelby County jail.  Ward says his failure at dealing with stress resulted in what he calls "incredibly reckless decisions."

Ward says he used alcohol as a crutch and is apologizing to his family, friends and constituents.  Sheriff's officials say the 44-year-old lawmaker was arrested Wednesday afternoon by Alabaster police.

Court records show Ward's only previous legal scrapes are speeding tickets in 1997 and 2007. He pleaded guilty to both.

A former star of the Alabama Crimson Tide was in Tuscaloosa today on behalf of Nike. Oakland Raiders player Amari Cooper helped cut the ribbon on the new Nike Factory story in T-Town’s Midtown Village this morning. Hundreds of  people lined up outside to get a glimpse of Nike’s first college-town factory store to grab a deal on shoes and other apparel.

Zoe Krislock is the Vice President of Nike’s Factory Stores in North America.  She says it was a no-brainer in opening a store in Tuscaloosa…

“Nike as a brand and the University of Alabama have been in partnership for sport for over 40 years.  The passion around sport both for young athletes, high school and college kids really makes Tuscaloosa an optimal community for us to try this new adventure.”

Amari Cooper mingled with fans and signed autographs after the ribbon cutting.

The Fourth of July is coming up—so, what’s the best city in the U.S. to celebrate Independence Day?

The personal finance website Wallethub did a study and found Birmingham is one of the best cities to observe the birthday of the United States. The Magic City is ranked seventeenth out of one hundred cities on the list.

Wallethub spokeswoman Jill Gonzalez says food and entertainment costs figured into the results…

“You want to think about how congested a city is going to be, you also want to make sure that there is enough entertainment and activities to go around; hopefully at a lower cost.”  

Gonzalez says Wallethub rated Birmingham and the other cities on several other criteria. The list included the length of firework shows, the cost to get in to them, number of festivals, and performances to choose from.

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