Alabama News: '63 Bombing Victim Suffered Guilt; Russell Brands Layoffs; Alabama Readies for BCS Bowl; Manatee in Distress; Carnival Season Starts

By: AP
By: AP

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- It's common today for survivors of tragedies like last month's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school get counseling. But a survivor of one historic event from 50 years ago says things were different back then.
Carolyn McKinstry was 15 years old and in the Birmingham, Ala., Sixteenth St. Baptist church that was bombed in 1963. Four girls were killed in what became a key moment in the civil rights movement.
McKinstry said the only time the bombing was mentioned in her own home afterward was when the FBI came to interview her. She later suffered from depression and a form of survivor's guilt.
McKinstry was in California to talk about an Investigation Discovery network show about the civil rights movement that will air next month.

ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) -- A farm in Piedmont has started delivering produce to people receiving government assistance.
Forever Sunrise Organics began accepting debit cards in December from residents receiving assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Until recently, SNAP recipients were forced to pay in cash if they wanted produce deliveries.
Farm co-owner Roxanna Sims told The Anniston Star ( ) that the cash-only rule for assistance recipients was unfair.
Those receiving assistance through SNAP receive a card that can be used for food purchases, much like an ATM card. The farm uses a mobile credit card scanner to collect payments.
A 2009 federal report found that the cost of healthier food and transportation expenses discouraged poor households from eating healthier.

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. (AP) -- A clothing manufacturer in Alexander City has announced it will lay off 190 workers this year.
Mayor Charles Shaw said that he received a letter informing him that Russell Brands would cut those jobs on March 5. Russell Brands LLC is a Fruit of the Loom company.
The company specializes in embroideries, screen printing and uniforms. The firm said in a statement that its Alexander City decoration operation is not cost competitive compared to other locations.
Shaw said the unemployment rate had recent dropped in the city, though he expects it will increase with the layoffs.

MIAMI (AP) -- Days after team leaders held a players-only meeting, Alabama coach Nick Saban says the Crimson Tide's performance in Monday's BCS championship will show a lot about whether his players have put aside the "clutter" that comes with their success.
Saban spoke Saturday at media day for the title game, which pits No. 2 Alabama against No. 1 Notre Dame. Alabama is favored by more than a touchdown.
Saban says that two days after the Tide beat LSU in last year's BCS title game, he told players they were no longer the national champions.
Then it was Brian Kelly's turn. The Notre Dame coach says he gets the vibe that his team is ready for Monday night. He says he doesn't want the "outside, perceived pressure to weigh heavily" on players.

MIAMI (AP) -- For the first time since Christmas 2006, Nick Saban is back working on the field at Sun Life Stadium.
Saban spent two years coaching in that stadium, the home of the NFL's Miami Dolphins. He went 9-7 in his home games there with the Dolphins and will lead second-ranked Alabama onto that field Monday night against No. 1 Notre Dame in this season's BCS national title game.
On Saturday, he was on the field for Alabama's media day.
Saban insisted for several weeks late in 2006 that he would not leave the Dolphins for the Crimson Tide, famously saying at one point: "I guess I have to say it. I'm not going to be the Alabama coach."
Less than two weeks after uttering that phrase, he was the Alabama coach.
And now he's trying for his third national title in four seasons.

KILN, Miss. (AP) -- Efforts are under way to find and possibly rescue a manatee spotted in the Jourdan River near Kiln.
The Sun Herald reports that the Institute for Marine and Mammal Resources is sending a crew to the river. The institute's executive director, Moby Solangi, said a federal fish and wildlife official and Alabama's Dauphin Island Sea Lab will also assist in locating the manatee.
Ruth Carmichael, senior marine scientist for Dauphin Island Sea Lab, said if the animal is still in the area Saturday, a team will come and prepare for a rescue.
Solangi said the manatee appeared to be in distress when it was spotted Friday. It appeared to have some type of skin problem.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Christmas wreaths and holiday parties are giving way to king cakes and street parades as the Carnival season kicks off this weekend along the Gulf Coast.
In New Orleans, the noisy and colorful streetcar ride of the Phunny Phorty Phellows troupe will mark the first street appearance of the Carnival season. The costumed revelers will board a St. Charles Avenue streetcar on Sunday. That day is Twelfth Night, the traditional start of the Carnival season. For many Christians, it also marks the end of the Christmas season.
Between this weekend and Fat Tuesday -- Feb. 12 -- parades will roll through dozens of communities along the Gulf Coast, where the Mardi Gras tradition arrived with French explorers and colonists who established Mobile, Ala., Biloxi, Miss., and New Orleans.

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