Enrollment in Alabama marketplace increasing
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Enrollment in Alabama's health insurance marketplace is increasing, although the number served is only a tiny part of the uninsured in the state.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that through Nov. 30, there were 3,448 people who had selected an insurance plan through the marketplace. That number for the first two months of operation was up significantly from the 624 who enrolled in the first month.
The number of people completing applications in the first two months was more than 25,000. It was nearly 10,600 in the first month.
The increase covers a small portion of the more than 675,000 Alabamians under 65 who are uninsured.
The insurance marketplace opened Oct. 1.
Hyperventilating students prompt school evacuation
HOKES BLUFF, Ala. (AP) - Officials in Etowah County say Hokes Bluff Middle School has been evacuated after a group of students began hyperventilating during gym class.
County school Superintendent Alan Cosby told the Gadsden Times on Thursday that about 350 students were being bussed to Hokes Bluff High School, and parents can come pick their children up if they wish.
Cosby says more than 50 students were participating in the gym class when about 15 of them began hyperventilating. Cosby says some students were taken to the Gadsden Regional Medical Center and authorities are unsure of what caused them to begin hyperventilating.
Hokes Bluff Police Chief Mitchell Hill says Alabama Gas Corp. didn't detect any gas leaks at the school.
Hokes Bluff is about 10 miles east of Gadsden.
ALABAMA COUNTY MYSTERY
Former commissioner refusing questions in lawsuit
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A former tax official is refusing to answer questions in a lawsuit claiming millions of dollars are missing from an Alabama county.
Attorneys for Joey Masters have filed papers saying they canceled sworn testimony in a taxpayer lawsuit claiming improper tax assessments cost Marshall County as much as $20 million.
The lawyers say Masters shouldn't have to testify while a criminal investigation continues.
Masters resigned as Marshall County's revenue commissioner last month after being charged with a misdemeanor ethics count involving what officials say was a few hundred dollars in missing money.
The charges follow a state audit that says Master's office made $17 million in assessment errors. The audit says Masters improperly reduced assessments for himself and others.
An attorney suing Masters is trying to force him to testify.
Student faces another suspension after protest
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama State University student could miss another semester after officials say he interrupted interim university president William Harris during the school's fall convocation program in September.
ASU junior Mark Myles was found guilty of disorderly conduct on Wednesday in Montgomery Municipal Court after authorities say he shouted allegations of theft at Harris during the convocation. Myles was given a 10-day suspended sentence and ordered to pay fines and court costs.
Myles said an October administrative hearing at ASU also resulted in him being suspended for the remainder of that semester and ordered to do 75 hours of community service.
Now, Myles tells The Montgomery Advertiser that a misunderstanding over when he was to start the community service has left him suspended from ASU for the spring semester as well.
Search to continue for missing Alabama fisherman
AUTAUGAVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Crews planned to resume their search of a gravel pit lake for a missing fisherman from Autaugaville.
WAKA-TV reports that the search for 43-year-old David Taylor was to resume Thursday at the lake in Autauga County.
Searchers say it has been a slow and difficult process because the water is dark and there are many thick roots at the bottom.
Investigators have said Taylor went on a last-minute fishing trip to the lake on Sunday and hasn't been seen or heard from since then. Autauga County deputies say Taylor's truck and tacklebox were found, along with his boot and upside down canoe.
Selma to arm police officers with stun guns
SELMA, Ala. (AP) - Some police officers in Selma will be armed with stun guns after a vote by the city council.
The Selma Times-Journal reports that the council's unanimous vote means that 27 stun guns will be purchased at a cost about $36,000.
Mayor George Evans said he hopes the purchase will allow the police department to take less lethal measures when in danger.
Ward 4 councilwoman Angela Benjamin says she thinks the stun guns will help save lives if officers are able to subdue subjects without using lethal force.
Chief of Police William Riley said the stun guns would be given to lieutenants, sergeants and field training officers in his department, meaning two to three officers would be on shift with a stun gun at any given time.
SELMA ROBBERY-2 DEAD
Police: Attempted robbery victim, suspect killed
SELMA, Ala. (AP) - Police are investigating after two people were shot to death during a robbery attempt in Selma.
Selma police Lt. Curtis Muhannad says 77-year-old Selma resident Willie "Dusty" Berry died of gunshot wounds. Police say he was returning to his home at Highland View condominiums on North Broad Street Tuesday evening when he was approached by two suspects.
Muhannad tells The Selma Times-Journal that investigators think Berry was shot first in his abdomen, then returned fire with his own weapon, striking one suspect in the head. Police say Berry then tried to get to a neighbor's house and was shot two more times by the second suspect.
Muhannad said Berry and the suspect who was shot both died later at a Montgomery hospital. The whereabouts of the second suspect remained unknown.
Ala., W.Va. sign concealed-carry gun agreements
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia and Alabama have agreed to recognize each other's concealed-carry handgun permits.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced the reciprocity agreement on Wednesday in a news release.
Morrisey says the agreement brings to 30 the number of states with which West Virginia has full reciprocity agreements. It's the sixth agreement announced since July.
Six other states recognize West Virginia's concealed-carry permits. Morrisey says West Virginia does not currently recognize permits issued by those states.
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