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AL governor says he plans to call special session

CHATOM, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he plans to call a special session of the Legislature to use money from the state's education budget to pay for economic incentives to lure new businesses. reports Bentley made the remarks Wednesday at a workforce development summit in Washington County. He said the special session would come after the election in November.

The governor says the state is short on money to draw manufacturers and other large employers. That money usually comes from the General Fund budget, which pays for non-education government agencies. But Bentley says the Education Trust Fund is the main beneficiary of the taxes generated by new businesses.

Bentley did not give specifics of his plan.

Lawmaker reaction to the idea of a special session was mixed.


9 scholarships awarded from $24.8 million raised

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A report by the Alabama Revenue Department shows scholarship granting organizations raised nearly $24.8 million in tax-deductible donations through the Alabama Accountability Act, but granted only nine scholarships in their first semester.

The scholarship granting organizations began raising money last summer to help students attend private school. Their first reports to the Revenue Department ran through the end of 2013, which covered the first semester of the new program. Supporters of the program had predicted there would be few scholarships awarded the first semester because the program began so close to the start of the school.

The report says five of the nine scholarship recipients would have otherwise attended public schools rated as failing.

The biggest fundraiser was former Gov. Bob Riley's Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund with $17.8 million.


Threatening president case on hold for mental exam

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The prosecution is on hold for a southeast Alabama man charged with threatening the president.

Deryke Pfeifer of Ozark was scheduled for arraignment Wednesday in federal court in Montgomery, but that got postponed.

Assistant federal defender Stephen Ganter says Pfeifer will be sent to a federal facility for a psychiatric examination to determine his competency now and at the time he was charged. Ganter says that will put the arraignment on hold for several weeks.

The Secret Service brought charges against Pfeifer on July 3. He's accused of making phone calls to the Federal Protective Service and using Facebook to threaten the president. Court papers say Pfeifer posted one threatening video holding a Glock pistol, and a Glock was later found at his residence.


Alabama man pleads guilty in 5 killings

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A teenager on trial in a shooting that left five people dead has pleaded guilty to murder.

Nineteen-year-old Artavius Underwood of Fairfield cut short his trial Wednesday by accepting a deal from prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to five counts of capital murder.

A judge sentenced him to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole under the agreement. Underwood could be eligible for release in less than 15 years.

Two more teens are awaiting trial on capital charges in the shootings.

Police found five men shot to death in a home in Birmingham on Jan. 29, 2012. Authorities say they were slain during a robbery.

Relatives of the victims expressed satisfaction with the guilty plea.


Tuscaloosa OKs license fee for ticket sellers

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - The city of Tuscaloosa is joining Auburn in clamping down on ticket scalpers.

The Tuscaloosa City Council has approved a law that requires anyone involved with a ticket reselling business to get a license from City Hall.

The Tuscaloosa News reports that the license will cost $100 for both resellers and runners who purchase tickets from other individuals.

The city has been regulating ticket scalpers since the 1970s.

The city of Auburn imposed a $155 license on ticket sellers earlier this month.


Northeast Ala men charged with animal cruelty

COLLINSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Police say two northeast Alabama men are charged with animal cruelty after more than two dozen dead or malnourished dogs were discovered.

Collinsville police say 68-year-old William Allen Stewart and 51-year-old Major Lavaughn Ford are each charged with 19 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals.

The Gadsden Times reports that police found 22 malnourished dogs and the remains of five others at a house last week. Officers were investigating a complaint about a foul odor from the property.

Eighteen of the dogs had to be euthanized.

Police say neither man lived at the home, but each owned some of the animals.

Stewart and Ford are both free on bond. Court records aren't yet available to show whether either man has an attorney.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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