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RED SNAPPER COUNT

Ala red snapper count disputes federal estimate

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Alabama officials say new state statistics dispute federal estimates that led to restrictions on red snapper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Alabama's Marine Resources Division says a state study determined that 418,000 pounds of the highly prized fish were caught in state waters through June 30.

That's only 40 percent of the 1.04 million pounds of red snapper estimated by the federal government's Marine Recreational Information Program.

Federal numbers from years past were used to impose a record-short season of nine days this year.

Gulf Coast states continue to push the federal government to extend the recreational season for catching snapper. The issue is important because tourists who go fishing spend millions on the coast.

ANTI-VIOLENCE SERVICE

Cities in Ga., Ala. join for anti-violence service

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) - Leaders of neighboring cities in Georgia and Alabama are asking residents to come together for a Sunday service seeking a break from violence in their communities.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports the mayors of Columbus, Georgia, and Phenix City, Alabama, along with local clergy organized the Stop the Violence Memorial Service. It was scheduled for Sunday afternoon at the Columbus Civic Center.

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says residents have been requesting a community response to a recent spate of violent crimes. Phenix City Mayor Eddie Lowe agreed to join her for the service, which will feature prayers for love, tolerance and forgiveness.

Tomlinson says clergy and social service agencies can help combat domestic violence and other problems that can be difficult for police to prevent.

COTTON SEASON

Ala. cotton, peanut farmers hoping for rain

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) - Cotton and peanut farmers in Alabama's Wiregrass region are hoping for rain to boost their yields.

Agronomist Brandon Dillard told The Dothan Eagle that farmers have already lost some of their crop to dry conditions. He says more losses are possible unless there is more rain.

Federal meteorologists have classified the Wiregrass as "abnormally dry." Part of Henry County is considered in a moderate drought.

The dry summer stands in contrast to the past few wet years. By comparison, none of Alabama was considered abnormally dry or in drought last year.

A survey by the National Agriculture Statistical Service indicates 51 percent of cotton growers in Alabama says their crops are still in good condition. Only 36 percent of peanut growers identified their crops as in good condition.

ALABAMA STATE-PRESIDENT

Alabama St. holds week of inaugural events

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama State University is holding a week of activities to celebrate the inaugural of its first female president.

Events begin Sunday with a women's empowerment luncheon honoring President Gwendolyn Boyd.

The activities continue through the week and include a speech by former United Nations ambassador Andrew Young on Tuesday. On Thursday, former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun will appear at a luncheon.

Boyd is a Montgomery native who was working as an administrator at John Hopkins University before she was selected by Alabama State in December. She began work in February.

Boyd was hired to replace Joseph Silver, who resigned in late 2012 after questioning financial practices at the university.

PEDESTRIANS KILLED

2 pedestrians killed in Opelika accident

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) - Two pedestrians were killed in a traffic accident in Opelika.

Lee County Coroner Bill Harris says police found two people, 42-year-old Angela Brooks and 51-year-old Ronald Edwards, seriously injured Friday night in an accident on Columbus Parkway.

Brooks was flown by helicopter to Midtown Medical Center in Columbus, Georgia, where she died.

Edwards was taken to East Alabama Medical Center, and then flown to UAB Hospital in Birmingham. He died in the hospital's intensive care unit.

Authorities say Brooks and Edwards were attempting to cross the parkway when they apparently stepped in front of a westbound vehicle. The accident remains under investigation.

FATAL COLLAPSE

Birmingham man killed in trench collapse

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A 31-year-old man was killed in Birmingham when an underground trench gave way as he worked on plumbing.

WBMA-TV reports firefighters were unable to reach the man in time after the accident Saturday.

Part of the road where the accident happened will be closed because emergency excavations made it unsafe.

Fire officials say the victim was working on an excavation project, and the ground gave way while he was in the hole.

Fire Battalion Chief Buddy Wilks says the ground kept collapsing as rescuers were digging to free the man.

The victim's name was not immediately released.

EMERGENCY CARE

Ala. community seeking stand-alone emergency room

HARTSELLE, Ala. (AP) - The mayor of an Alabama community that lost its hospital is interested in pursuing a stand-alone emergency room.

Hartselle Mayor Don Hall told WHNT-TV that his town has lobbied Huntsville Hospital to re-open some form of emergency care.

Huntsville Hospital bought the Hartselle Medical Center after it closed several years ago, but announced it was not practical to reopen the facility. That left Hartselle without a hospital or emergency medical care.

But in Birmingham, state officials have licensed a $13.5 million stand-alone emergency room. Hall says such a facility might work in his community, too.

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

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