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Sun Apr 20 11:55:27 PDT 2014
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Regional News: Farley Exercise; Bo Jackson; Big Sharks off Fla Panhandle
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DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) -- Officials at the Farley Nuclear Plant near Dothan are telling people not to get excited if they see a lot of law enforcement and emergency vehicles around the plant next week. It's only a drill. Farley official Cheryl Gayheart says the nuclear power plant will be conducting a hostile action exercise Wednesday afternoon along with federal, state and local emergency officials. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires nuclear power plants to conduct the exercises at least once every eight years. Gayheart says people may see law enforcement vehicles, emergency vehicles and law enforcement helicopters at the plant and in the community. The Farley Nuclear Plant is part of the Southern Co., the parent company of Alabama Power. AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson is leading his third annual charity bicycle ride. The "Bo Bikes Bama" event was held Saturday with Auburn as the starting point. That's where the Alabama native played football and baseball for the Tigers before going on to the NFL and major league baseball. Riders pay to participate and can choose either a 22-mile or 62-mile ride. Both routes go through the Auburn University campus. Celebrity riders including former pro baseball player Ken Griffey Jr., Olympic skier Picabo Street and the NFL's Donald Driver are set to participate. The ride raises money for the Governor's Emergency Relief Fund, which was established after the deadly tornado outbreak of 2011. Promoters say the rides have raised more than $700,000 for storm relief in the state. MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- A narrow majority of Alabama legislators have accepted an automatic pay increase that they were eligible to receive this spring. Sixty-six of the state's 104 sitting representatives accepted the raise, while 38 declined it, according to numbers provided by the clerk of the House of Representatives. Twenty-one of the 35 senators also declined the raise, according to Alabama Senate data. The other 14 senators will receive the pay increase. Legislators get an annual raise in their monthly expense allowance to reflect any increase in the federal consumer price index. They automatically receive the raise unless they sent written notice saying they do not want to receive it. Lawmakers' total compensation now equals about $56,868 if they have taken the automatic pay increases. DESTIN, Fla. (AP) -- Panhandle fisherman say they are seeing more and more super-sized sharks in the northern Gulf this spring. In Destin, Capt. Curt Gwin caught a 668-pound mako shark on April 10. On April 2, two men from Milton caught an 11-foot, 805-pound short fin mako. That shark could set a world record. Okaloosa County commissioner and boat captain Kelly Windes tells The Northwest Florida Daily News (http://bit.ly/1eT6nQG ) that this spring has seen an unusual number of really big sharks. Earlier this month, another man caught a 720-pound mako shark off the waters of Destin. Experts say part of the reason fisherman are seeing the big sharks now is the eastward cobia migration. Most of the fisherman were targeting the cobia when they snagged the big sharks. SPACE ROBOT CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- The first out-of-this-world humanoid robot is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up at the International Space Station. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot won't be stuck on a pedestal and can go mobile. The robot's legs are packed aboard a SpaceX supply ship that launched Friday, more than a month late. The cargo arrives on Easter Sunday morning. It's the next big step in NASA's quest to develop robotic helpers for astronauts. With legs, the 8-foot Robonaut will be able to climb throughout the space station, performing mundane cleaning chores and fetching things for the human crew. Each leg has seven joints. Instead of feet, there are grippers, each with a light, camera and sensor. SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) -- Police say a 62-year-old Sarasota woman was killed early Saturday when another woman drove a car into the side of her home. Eleanor Ball was asleep when the car went through a side wall of her home and into her bedroom. Investigators say the car was driven by a 24-year-old Tampa woman was driving away from police after they had been dispatched to her ex-boyfriend's home for alleged break in. Officials say Ball died at the scene. The driver was taken to the hospital and was expected to be booked into the Sarasota County Jail later Saturday. She faces charges of vehicular homicide, burglary, battery, petty theft, and obstruction. ATLANTA (AP) -- Peach is returning to the name of Atlanta's college bowl game. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Chick-fil-A Bowl officials are planning a news conference Monday to announce the bowl game will revert to Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Peach has been left out of the name for the last eight years. Bowl President Gary Stokan says it gets down to the game's history and heritage. The return of Peach to the name stems from a decision by the College Football Playoff organizers to make the Atlanta bowl one of six rotating sites for the national semifinal games. The organizers stipulated that the Atlanta bowl's name would have to become more in sync with the other five in the semifinal rotation. They all include a traditional name and a corporate sponsor.


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