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

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TWINS KILLED

Mental exam ordered in Alabama triple homicide

HAYNEVILLE, Ala. (AP) - A Lowndes County judge has ordered a mental exam for a man charged with killing 9-year-old twins and their baby sitter.

Circuit Judge Terri Bozeman Lovell ordered that Deandra Lee be examined by the state Department of Mental Health to see if he lacks the ability to assist in his defense.

Lee has pleaded not guilty in the 2012 shooting deaths of Jordan and Taylor Dejernett of Montgomery and their 73-year-old baby sitter, Jack Mac Girdner of Hope Hull. The three were reported missing on June 4, 2012. Their bodies were discovered the next day off a dirt road near Hayneville in Lowndes County. Lee was arrested a few days later at an apartment in Selma.

Lee is scheduled for trial Oct. 14.

TUSCALOOSA-TICKET SCALPING

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.

NEGLECTED DOGS-ARRESTS

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.

BROTHER SLAIN

Ala man charged in brother's slaying

SELMA, Ala. (AP) - A west Alabama man is being held in the shooting of his younger brother.

Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman tells WAKA-TV that 58-year-old Eddie Mixon is charged with murder.

Huffman says the man is charged with killing his 53-year-old brother Stanley Mixon during an argument in Plantersville.

Huffman says the two men had a dispute that ended with Stanley Mixon being shot three times with a .22-caliber rifle.

The younger man died at a hospital.

Eddie Mixon is in the Dallas County jail awaiting a bond hearing.

TUSCALOOSA-TICKET SCALPING

Tuscaloosa changes ordinance on ticket scalping

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - The city council in Tuscaloosa has approved an amendment to the municipal ordinance that now requires all members of a ticket reselling business to be licensed by the city.

Tuscaloosa police Capt. Rodney Gilliam told a city council committee last week that runners purchase tickets from other individuals before sporting events - primarily University of Alabama football games - and return them to the licensed reseller.

The city council's vote on Tuesday means that runners as well as the re-sellers must purchase a $100 business license in order to legally operate.

The Tuscaloosa News reports that the licenses must be on display while the resellers are in operation.

Officials say the city has been licensing ticket resellers, also known as scalpers, since the 1970s.

SHARPTON-BIRMINGHAM

Rev. Al Sharpton to visit Birmingham next week

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Birmingham city officials say the Rev. Al Sharpton is planning a trip to Birmingham to help open a local chapter of the organization he heads.

Al.com reports that Sharpton, president of the New York-based National Action Network, will be in town July 30 for the grand opening of the network's local chapter headquarters.

Sheila Tyson, president of the organization's Birmingham chapter, said the headquarters on First Avenue North is being spruced up and will be ready for Sharpton's visit.

She said the grand opening is tied to Sharpton's push to commemorate the 1964 Freedom Summer activities, where civil rights leaders, activists, local citizens and others gathered in Mississippi for an extensive voter registration project.

DRUG TRAFFICKING

Texas-based drug ring leader gets nearly 23 years

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) - Prosecutors say the leader of a Texas-based drug ring that supplied at least eight other states has been sentenced to nearly 23 years in federal prison.

Alejandro "Alex" Gonzales of Alvin was sentenced Tuesday in Beaumont.

The 36-year-old Gonzales in January pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine. Investigators say Gonzales and his associates for several years were supplied by cartels in Mexico.

The drugs were distributed throughout Texas as well as to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Oklahoma.

Gonzales was among more than two dozen people indicted last August in the drug trafficking conspiracy and firearms investigation. Further details on the other defendants weren't immediately available.

FARLEY-NRC

NRC names new resident inspector at Farley Nuclear

COLUMBIA, Ala. (AP) - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has named a new resident inspector at the Farley Nuclear Plant in southeast Alabama.

Kenneth Miller is taking over the job at the Southern Nuclear Operating plant near Columbia. Miller previously worked as an inspector at TVA's Watts Bar plant in Tennessee.

Each U.S. nuclear plant has at least two resident inspectors, and Miller joins another senior resident inspector at Farley.

Resident inspectors are based in plants to conduct inspections, monitor large projects and provide general government oversight.

Farley is a twin-reactor plant located near the Chattahoochee River in Houston County.

FOWL RIVER-MANAGEMENT PLAN

Contractor chosen for Ala. watershed management

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program has picked a company to develop a management plan for the Fowl River Watershed.

Officials said in a statement Tuesday that Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood Inc. has been chosen to develop the Fowl River watershed management plan. The company specializes in architecture, engineering, environmental planning, landscaping and surveying. Officials say the company employs more than 300 people and has offices in Mobile and throughout the Southeast.

Mobile Bay National Estuary Program officials say money to develop the watershed management plan came from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.

Officials say the watershed covers more than 52,700 acres and is a direct contributor to the Mobile Bay.

TROPICAL WEATHER

Tropical depression approaching Lesser Antilles

MIAMI (AP) - The U.S. National Hurricane Center says a fast-moving tropical depression in the Atlantic is expected to approach the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday night.

The depression's maximum sustained winds early Wednesday are near 35 mph. The depression is expected to degenerate into a trough of low pressure on Thursday.

The tropical depression is centered about 550 miles east of the Lesser Antilles and is moving west-northwest near 20 mph.

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

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