Regional News: B'ham 16th St Church Remembrance; Infant Death; Dengue Fever; Red Snapper

By: AP
By: AP

CHURCH BOMBING-ANNIVERSARY
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Attorney General Eric Holder and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be among those gathered in Birmingham Sunday to mark the 50th anniversary of a Ku Klux Klan bombing that killed four girls at the 16th Street Baptist Church.
The Justice Department says both are scheduled to speak at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, then will attend the church's memorial service. They will be joined by Gov. Robert Bentley, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell and Birmingham Mayor William Bell.
The church was an organizing spot for civil rights demonstrations, and a dynamite bomb planted outside went off as Birmingham's public schools were being integrated for the first time.
Rice grew up in Birmingham and knew one of the bombing victims.
A sculpture honoring the four girls was unveiled Saturday in Birmingham.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- Prosecutors have upgraded the charges against a north Alabama woman accused of leaving her 7-month-old child in a bathtub to drown.
Madison County prosecutors told WAFF-TV that the charge against 27-year-old Desiree Dawn Childers of Madison was increased Friday from murder to capital murder. Childers is accused of leaving her daughter, Blakely Alexandria Fairburn, fully clothed in a bathtub of hot running water on Aug. 30.
Prosecutors said Childers is being held at the Madison County jail without bond.
Defense attorney Patrick Hill said they are irregularities with Childers' arrest, which he plans to question. A hearing is scheduled Thursday.

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Prosecutors have increased the amount of restitution they are seeking from Harvey Updyke for the poisoning of the Auburn University's landmark oaks to $1.35 million.
Lee County District Attorney Robbie Treese filed court papers Friday increasing the restitution sought from $1.04 million. He said the prosecution is amending the amount as Auburn University compiles new cost figures. The new amount includes costs for the design concept for the new Toomer's Corner, landscape services, and consulting expenses. The actual costs are now around $675,000, but state law allows for recovering double the amount of costs.
Updyke's attorney, Andrew Stanley, told the Opelika-Auburn News that Updyke is indigent, and the burden is on the prosecution to prove he would need to pay the money.
A hearing is set for Sept. 18.

STUART, Fla. (AP) -- Public health officials continued to knock on doors Saturday along Florida's Treasure Coast (just north of West Palm Beach), alerting residents about a mosquito-borne illness that has already been confirmed in more than a dozen cases in the area.
Rachel Heid was one of the 18 residents who caught dengue fever. It was at the very beginning, she said, more than a month ago when she thought she just had the flu. Her symptoms were much worse than she had expected.
"I got sick at the very beginning before we knew what it was. I had 105 fever, headache, slightly nauseous and extremely, extremely tired was the biggest thing," she told WPTV.
Heid now has to see her doctor every three weeks until Nov. She said she was also spraying herself down with bug spray at least three times a day, to prevent any future exposure to mosquitoes.
Since Friday, blood samples were being collected from Rio and Jensen Beach neighborhoods where the outbreak appears to be concentrated. Randomly selected participants will be asked if they have recently suffered symptoms of dengue fever. They wialso be asked about their recent travel and about activities that might expose them to mosquitoes.
Health Department authorities said they would compile a report of how many people have so far consented to the test and survey and release the information within the next couple of days. The surveys will be conducted through Thursday.
Dengue is sometimes called "break bone fever" because of the severe joint pain it causes in extreme cases. Other symptoms include high fever, severe headache and a rash.

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Red snapper season will be open in state and federal waters come fall.
The National Marine Fisheries Service announced Friday plans for a 14-day supplemental snapper season, which will begin Oct. 1 and run through midnight Oct. 15.
The News Herald reports the federal season will be one week shorter than the 21-day state season, which was approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission last week. In Florida, federal waters begin nine nautical miles offshore.
The agency's Southeast Regional administrator, Roy Crabtree, says the season was shortened after catch estimates for June came in higher than expected.
Despite the stock looking healthy, Crabtree says it's unclear what kind of turnout the October season will bring.

Newspaper: Standardized test problems are common
ATLANTA (AP) -- A newspaper investigation shows that miscalculated scores, flawed questions and other errors on standardized tests have become common in public schools across the country.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that repeated failures in quality-control measures allowed mistakes to keep happening even as testing took on a more crucial role. Some students have been initially denied diplomas or entry into special academic programs because of incorrect scores.
The findings expose significant problems in the execution of the landmark No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. That legislation sought to use test scores to hold schools publicly accountable for students' academic performance.
The newspaper has previously reported other problems with standardized testing, exposing widespread cheating in Atlanta Public Schools. A follow-up in 2012 revealed nearly 200 school districts nationwide had high concentrations of suspect scores.

NAACP to rally for new inquiry in Ga. teen's death
VALDOSTA, Ga. (AP) -- The Georgia NAACP is calling for a federal investigation into the death of a Valdosta teenager found inside a rolled-up wrestling mat in his school gym.
Edward DuBose, president of the Georgia NAACP, was scheduled to attend a rally and march Saturday in Valdosta calling for the Justice Department to reopen the case of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson.
Lowndes County sheriff's investigators say Johnson's death Jan. 11 was an accident. They say he couldn't breathe after falling into the center of a wrestling mat that had been rolled up behind the gym bleachers.
But a second autopsy by a pathologist hired by Johnson's parents concluded he died from a blow to the neck.
The Justice Department has said it reviewed the case and found insufficient cause for a civil rights investigation.


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