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MONTGOMERY – News reports that VictoryLand -- a casino that professes to be a “charitable electronic bingo” operation -- actually gives less than one percent of its annual profits to charity prompted this reaction from the office of Governor Bob Riley:
“All this talk of how VictoryLand is giving so much money to charities is an illusion, and this federal court ruling completely shatters that illusion. VictoryLand is nothing but an illegal scheme to enrich Milton McGregor and his cronies, and this federal court ruling lays that out for all to see. In his ruling, Judge Keith Watkins found that VictoryLand grossed more than $162 million in 2008 but gave less than one percent of that to 60 charities. That’s less than $22,000 per charity. In contrast, the press has reported former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford won more than that in a single day.
“This ruling is just more proof that so-called ‘charitable electronic bingo’ is nothing but a sham. The casinos mislead people into believing they’re helping charities. But the reality is, the only people who actually benefit from it are the casino bosses and their cronies.”
Walton County, FL (July 21, 2010) - Walton County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of domestic battery by strangulation of a pregnant female today and ended up in a manhunt off of White Creek Road in DeFuniak Springs.
The suspect, Jason Allen Hamilton fled on foot through the woods after his girlfriend called 911 and made the report. While deputies were on scene and taking the victim's statement, Hamilton appeared in an open field behind the home. Deputies attempted to approach Hamilton but he fled on foot into a swampy area, at which time deputies established a perimeter to contain Hamilton in the area. The Sheriff’s Office helicopter was dispatched to the area and with the assistance of the Walton Correctional Institute K-9 unit, Hamilton was located in the wooded area not far from the scene.
Hamilton was arrested and transported to the Walton County Jail, and is facing charges of felony battery by strangulation, aggravated battery on a pregnant female, domestic violence, and resisting arrest without violence.
Photo: Left- WCSO Sgt. Pitman, Center- Jason Allen Hamilton, and right- Walton Correctional Institute k-9 handler Allen Godwin
At least 105 people have gone to local emergency rooms, clinics and urgent care centers since May 14 complaining of ailments thought to be related to the oil spill, Alabama Department of Public Health officials reported today.
That compares with 47,316 patients treated for non-trauma care overall during that period. Health officials are conducting surveillance across the state to monitor effects related to the spill at more than 20 sites in Mobile and Baldwin counties.
Forty-seven of the patients complaining of oil-caused symptoms were exposed via inhalation, 25 by contact, three through ingestion, nine patients reported multiple exposures, and 21 were exposed indirectly, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Direct exposures are exposures to oil or oil by-products through contact, inhalation or ingestion, according to public health officials.
Indirect exposures occur because of other circumstances associated with the oil spill. For example, heat exhaustion during cleanup efforts or mental health concerns such as anxiety or depression, would be examples of indirect exposure, said Dr. Thomas Miller, with the Alabama Department of Public Health.
A tropical disturbance over the Caribbean could interrupt efforts to stop BP PLC's gushing well in the Gulf of Mexico, officials said today.
Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said crews would need five days to retreat from the well site, where oil had been spilling into the Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20.
Allen said this morning no decision had been made about whether to keep a closely-watched cap over the wellhead in the event of a storm.
The cap has been keeping oil from pouring out of the top of the well, although there have been signs of leaks around the machinery.
The National Hurricane Center reported at 1 p.m. that the tropical wave has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or tropical storm.
If operations must be stopped, the ongoing drilling of a relief well and other efforts to permanently plug the gusher could be interrupted for 10 to 14 days, Allen said.
Meanwhile, a BP spokesman in Mobile said a hurricane preparedness plan, including shutting down the Vessels of Opportunity program, began his morning across the Gulf Coast.
Capt. Chris Bryant, who lives on Dog River and has a boat in the Vessels of Opportunity program, said boat owners were told this morning to be on standby for five days.
Bryant said the break will allow owners to perform maintenance, get relief from the hot weather, and prepare their homes for a storm, if necessary.
"All of our people said, 'you know, a few days off would be nice,'" Bryant said.
A record 265 cities and counties will participate in the state's sales tax holiday weekend, set for Aug. 6-8, the Alabama Retail Association said today.
It's the fifth year for the annual event, which is geared toward back-to-school shoppers, with state and local sales tax waived on clothes, books and other school supplies.
The holiday is coming as state retail sales are showing improvement after recession-weary shoppers drastically cut their spending.
"The August sales tax holiday should provide the momentum needed for Alabama's recovery to roll right into the holiday season," Rick Brown, president of the association, said in a prepared statement.
Of the 265 cities and counties participating, 12 are doing so for the first time. Governments across the Birmingham area will also be a part of the holiday.
Georgia did not renew a similar holiday this year because of budget constraints, so that state's shoppers could be lured to spend money in Alabama that weekend, the association said. Florida, Tennessee and Mississippi also have sales tax holidays, but only Tennessee's is on the same weekend as Alabama's.
The wife of a Hokes Bluff man found shot to death in his bed Tuesday has been charged with murder, authorities said today.
Carlotta Susann Kutschenreuter, 47, is being held in the Etowah County jail on $100,000 bond.
She is charged in the death of her husband, 53-year-old Joel David Kutschenreuter, who was shot three times while lying in bed.
His body was discovered about 5:40 a.m. Tuesday when sheriff's deputies were called to their home at 148 Clay Drive in the Ball Play community. Their son made the 911 call when he returned home from work, sheriff's officials said.
Sheriff's spokeswoman Natalie Barton said investigators are continuing to search for a motive in the slaying.
HUNTSVILLE, AL -- The Marshall County Emergency Management Agency is opening shelters for those who need to escape the heat.
"It's amazing how many elderly and low-income people do not have air conditioning or fans," said Anita McBurnett, the director of the Marshall County EMA.
The facilities will be solely to provide relief from the heat. Transportation won't be provided, nor will food or drinks.
"We hope it will help people who could otherwise suffer from heat stroke, heat cramps or things of that nature when they have that prolonged exposure to the elements," McBurnett said.
Individuals may call the facilities for the exact times they will be open as cooling centers.
Centers will be open in the following areas:
Arab: Senior Center and Recreation Center
Albertville: Senior Center, Recreation Center, the Martling Friendship Center, Brashiers Chapel Methodist Church and First Baptist Church.
Boaz: public library and fire department.
Grant: Nutrition Center.
Guntersville: Senior Center, St. Williams Catholic Church, Recreation Center and the public library.
Union Grove: town hall.
HUNTSVILLE, AL -- A Madison County sheriff's deputy fatally shot a woman in an April domestic violence hostage situation, refuting authorities who initially said the woman was killed by her husband, according to the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.
On April 18, sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call at the Hazel Green home of Jason Lee Earls, 28, a Madison County corrections officer, and his wife, Telisha Brady Earls, 28.
When deputies arrived on the scene, Jason Earls answered the door with a gun pointed at the deputy on the front porch of the home, the report said.
Madison County Chief Deputy Chris Stephens said the deputy backed off the porch with his gun drawn to provide cover to himself and Earls came out of the house with his wife in a headlock and a gun pointed to her head.
The ABI report states that during the standoff, the deputy repeatedly tried to reason with Earls to get him to drop the gun and tried to navigate around his car in order to shine a flashlight at Earls to distract him. During that process, the report said the deputy heard a shot from the direction of Earls.
The report states the deputy fired shots at Earls and did not see Telisha Earls when he fired. Stephens said the initial investigation showed Earls shot his wife in the head, and then he was fatally shot four times by the deputy. Forensic and ballistic tests showed the bullet that hit Telisha Earls was from the deputy's gun, not Earls' gun.
Stephens said the shooting was a "tragic accident." He said Sheriff Blake Dorning and others sat down with Telisha Earls' family earlier this week to show them the report.
"Know there are no winners in this event at all," Stephens said. "At the end of the day, those deputies didn't ask to go to that location, they were summoned there by the victim. Her husband and his violent actions led to this outcome."
Stephens said the deputy who fired the shots has been on administrative leave since the shooting pending the ABI report. He said no disciplinary action will be taken against the deputy.
"They believed (Earls) fired a round into her head and then the single deputy shot," Stephens said. "From the moment (Earls) put the gun to (the deputy's) face, it was a deadly force situation."
On July 19, 2010 the Houston County Sheriff's Office investigated reports of Rape 2ndallegations against Heather Maddox a 28 year old female of Dothan, Al. Heather Maddox was charged with two counts of Rape 2nd after the investigation led to evidence of Heather Maddox having had sexual intercourse with two juvenile males under the age of sixteen. Evidence showed that the acts had taken place around the middle of June 2010 on St. Mary Rd. Dothan, Al. Heather Maddox was booked into the and bond was set at $7,500.00 on each charge. Story provided by RSN
On July 19, 2010 the Houston County Sheriff's Office investigated reports of Rape 2ndallegations against Heather Maddox a 28 year old female of Dothan, Al.
Heather Maddox was charged with two counts of Rape 2nd after the investigation led to evidence of Heather Maddox having had sexual intercourse with two juvenile males under the age of sixteen. Evidence showed that the acts had taken place around the middle of June 2010 on St. Mary Rd. Dothan, Al.
Heather Maddox was booked into the and bond was set at $7,500.00 on each charge.
Story provided by RSN