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This Hour: Latest Alabama news, sports, business and entertainment

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Gadsden voters approve Sunday alcohol sales

GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) - You'll soon be able to buy alcohol legally on Sundays in the city of Gadsden.

Voters in the northeast Alabama city of 36,000 residents approved Sunday sales in voting Tuesday with 69 percent of the ballots favoring the change.

The Gadsden Times reports sales could begin in September once the City Council certifies the vote results and approves rules for selling on Sunday.

The area Chamber of Commerce says the change will help economic growth in the city.

The head of the Gadsden Commercial Development Authority, Lesa Osborn, says she will be calling restaurants and developers that were awaiting the outcome of the vote.


Reward offered in theft at Rosa Parks' former home

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - CrimeStoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information about thefts that heavily damaged the Montgomery apartment complex where Rosa Parks lived when she refused to give up her seat to a white person on a city bus.

CrimeStoppers Director Tony Garrett tells The Montgomery Advertiser that officials think someone probably saw copper items being taken from the apartments.

Parks' former apartment and several other now-vacant units are being renovated. Montgomery police said workers discovered the thefts Monday.

Parks' former apartment at 634 Cleveland Court is listed as her address in the 1955 police report following her arrest on the bus. Her refusal to give up her seat in defiance of a Montgomery law sparked a bus boycott and became an enduring symbol of the U.S. Civil Rights movement.


Ala city settles suits over jailing court debtors

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The city of Montgomery is settling lawsuits that accuse it of wrongfully jailing people who can't pay fines.

The Southern Poverty Law Center represents two people involved in the suits and calls the agreement a victory for low-income residents.

The settlement results from lawsuits filed by people who were jailed for accumulating thousands of dollars of unpaid court fines and fees. The suit claims the practice of jailing debtors violates a past Supreme Court ruling.

The Montgomery Advertiser ( ) reports that court documents show the city will review all cases and follow Supreme Court decisions on the issue.

Poor people will have the option of paying $25 a month or performing community service work.

A federal judge still must approve the settlement.


Officials probe suspicious fires in Autauga County

PRATTVILLE, Ala. (AP) - State and local officials are investigating five fires with a six-week period in the Marbury area.

Autauga County sheriff's reports show the fires have happened at homes and a barn in an area along Alabama 143. A vacant home on Bridgewater Court burned Monday night.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports all of the blazes happened at night.

Authorities say one woman suffered from smoke inhalation, but no other injuries were reported.

Al Cooper, who lives in the area, said the fires have left residents on edge.

Autauga County Chief Deputy Joe Sedinger said the state fire marshal's office is assisting in the investigation. He said that as of Tuesday afternoon, none of the fires had been ruled arsons.


Ala. law enforcement on alert for holiday weekend

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama law enforcement officials say they're planning to beef up enforcement on state highways and waterways during the holiday weekend.

Officials from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency say departments throughout the state will work together to help curb crimes and accidents that lead to death and injury over the weekend. Officials say part of the enforcement effort will involve officers riding in unmarked vehicles on state highways and waterways.

Officials are urging drivers and boat operators to not drive under the influence, use seatbelts and life vests. Authorities say grills should never be left unattended and there should be a 3-foot safe zone around grills to keep children, pets and others from being injured.

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

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