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Alabama version of 'Skull and Bones' publicly exposed, Halloween sales

A secret student society is under fire at the University of Alabama.

A group called "The Machine" has operated in Tuscaloosa for a century or more. Members don't publicly acknowledge its existence, yet the group historically controls campus politics.

But 19-year-old sophomore Alex Smith wrote a column in the campus newspaper this week identifying herself as a Machine member and publicly resigning from the group.

Smith says the group uses intimidation and underhanded tactics to get its    way. She tells The Associated Press in an interview she no longer wants to be part of such a corrupt organization.

The president of Alabama's student government association is praising Smith for her bravery.

The university says it investigates all misconduct complaints, but it won't say if anyone has complained about The Machine.

The future of Alabama’s reigning teacher of the years remains uncertain. APR’s Pat Duggins has the latest on Ann Marie Corgill…

Alabama’s teacher of the year resigned after state and local education officials declared she was unqualified to teach.

Specifically, Anne Marie Corgill is considered uncertified to teach at the fifth grade level. The educator was moved to a fifth grade classroom after starting the semester teaching second graders.  Corgill resigned after hearing she was no longer to teach at her current class level after working in education for twenty one years.

Education officials for the state and city of Birmingham say Corgill is only able to teach up to the third grade. What may confuse the matter further is that Corgill was nominated for teacher of the year while teaching a fourth grade class.

Alabama businesses are hoping tomorrow’s Halloween celebration will scare up dollars for the local economy.

The spooky holiday is expected to generate up to seven billion dollars nationally. The average American is predicted to spend about seventy five dollars on their costume, as well as candy to give out to trick or treaters.

Melissa Warnke** is Communication Manager for Alabama Retail Association. She says Halloween used to be just for children, but that’s changed…

“I think several years ago, it used to be just about getting the kids dressed up and taking them trick-or-treating, but now, really, with social media becoming more popular and a lot more people getting into dressing up and having Halloween parties, it’s probably become just as much of an adult holiday as it is a kid holiday.”

Weather forecasters are predicting up to ninety percent chance of rain in Alabama tomorrow night. That could prompt trick or treaters to head out early or stay indoors. 

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