AL-MYSTERY RESPIRATORY ILLNESS
CDC chases cause of mystery illness in SE Ala.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Doctors throughout Alabama have gotten notices from the State Department of Health about the unidentified respiratory illness that has killed two and hospitalized five more.
The Centers for Disease Control and the Alabama State Department of Health were investigating a cluster of hospital admissions Wednesday of people that have recently been admitted with flu-like symptoms in southeastern Alabama. Three remain hospitalized and two have been released.
Dr. Mary McIntyre of the Alabama Department of Public Health said that all of the severe illnesses were accompanied by pneumonia and may have had more than one contributing factor. McIntyre says the two people that died had different, but relatively common, forms of influenza.
Further information from the CDC is expected on Thursday morning. McIntyre says obesity can complicate serious respiratory illnesses.
Alabama voters to get more info on campaign money
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama voters will soon be able to learn about candidates' contributions and expenditures without scrolling through page after page of campaign finance reports on their computers.
Secretary of State Beth Chapman said her office's new online campaign finance system will be available to candidates and the public May 29. A state law enacted in 2011 provided for the creation of the computer database. It also required candidates for state offices and political action committees to file their campaign finance reports electronically for the 2014 elections. Since the 1990s, the paper reports had been scanned in. They were available on the secretary of state's website, but they were not searchable by contribution or expenditure.
Chapman says the new system was developed by Quest Information Systems for $300,000.
GRADUATION PARTY SHOOTING
4 teens shot at high school graduation party
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Authorities say four teenagers were shot at a high school graduation party in Huntsville, and authorities were searching for the gunman early Wednesday morning.
WAFF-TV reports that the gunfire happened in the early hours Wednesday at a home on Michael Drive.
Madison County sheriff's deputies say a fight broke out during the party. Authorities said people jumped someone at the party, who then began shooting.
2 of the victims were taken by ambulance to Huntsville Hospital, and the other two went to a hospital in private cars.
Authorities said 1 of the victims was a female, who underwent surgery for a stomach wound.
Two male victims suffered leg wounds, and a third male was grazed by a bullet.
Few other details were immediately available.
TUSCALOOSA MAYOR-MUNICIPAL LEAGUE
Tuscaloosa mayor elected to municipal league post
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox has been elected president of the Alabama League of Municipalities.
The Tuscaloosa News reports that the election makes him the fourth Tuscaloosa elected official to hold the seat.
The league offers several services to Alabama municipalities, including legal advice and lobbying services for the Alabama Legislature.
The 40-year-old Maddox was voted in to the 1-year term on Monday.
Birmingham man found shot to death
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Birmingham police are investigating a shooting that claimed a man's life in the city's Ensley area.
WBRC-TV reports that the shooting happened Tuesday night on Avenue T.
Officers responded to a call around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday of a man in the street who had been shot. They found 27-year-old Lederious Peoples of Birmingham with multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to UAB Hospital, where he died a short time later.
Birmingham Police Lt. Curtis Mitchell says at least two guns were used based on evidence at the scene. He says police had no suspects, and that no eyewitnesses had come forward.
Animal protection groups praise Alabama bill
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Animal protection groups are urging Alabama's governor to sign legislation toughening the penalties for animal cruelty.
The Legislature passed a bill on the last night of its session to increase the penalty for animal cruelty from a maximum of 6 months in jail to a maximum of 1 year. The bill also adds a definition for torture that can cause the punishment to increase to a felony carrying up to 10 years in prison.
The Alabama director of the Humane Society of the United States, Mindy Gilbert, says the bill by Republican Rep. Joe Faust of Fairhope gives animals more protection. An official with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Sherry Rout, says the Legislature made clear that people committing animal cruelty will be held accountable.
Arkansas beats Mississippi 2-1 in 10 innings
HOOVER, Ala. (AP) - Brian Anderson scored on a wild pitch in the 10th inning to give Arkansas a 2-1 victory over Mississippi in the second round of the Southeastern Conference tournament on Wednesday.
Anderson started the Razorbacks' 10th inning rally with a one-out, ground-rule double. Dominic Ficociello followed with a single that moved Anderson to third and then Tyler Spoon was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Ole Miss pitcher Matt Denny struck out Jacob Mahan for the second out but then threw a wild pitch on his first offering to Eric Fisher, which scored Anderson and ended the game.
Jalen Beeks (6-1) pitched two scoreless innings of relief to earn the win for Arkansas. Aaron Greenwood (3-5) took the loss for the Rebels (37-21), who fall into the loser's bracket.
Arkansas (36-19) outhit Ole Miss 11-6. Matt Vinson led the Razorbacks with three hits.
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