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Alabama News Aug 19

By: AP
By: AP

LIGHTHOUSE RESTORATION
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) -- A 127-year-old lighthouse in Mobile Bay is looking brighter after major restoration work that began two years ago.
The Press-Register reports the Alabama Historical Commission was impressed with progress on the Middle Bay Lighthouse after the group's architect performed an inspection last month. Originally built in 1885, the lighthouse was mothballed 45 years ago. Preservationists launched a $270,000 restoration project in 2010.
The work has included structural repairs, replacing deteriorating windows and giving the entire exterior a new paint job for better protection against rot.
Bill Lees, president of the Alabama Lighthouse Association, says there's still a little work to be done. The lighthouse's wrought-iron handrails need replacing, which is expected to cost about $30,000.

SIEGELMAN-OBAMA
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Several thousand people have signed a petition asking President Barack Obama to keep former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman from spending the next few years in prison. But Siegelman realizes the odds of getting a presidential commutation are about the same as winning a state lottery.
More than 5,700 people convicted of federal crimes have asked Obama for a commutation of their sentences. Siegelman says only one has been approved.
Despite the long odds, Siegelman says he's proud of his daughter for starting an online petition to ask the president to commute his sentence. He says it's his only hope.
With credit for nine months already served and good behavior, attorneys say the 66-year-old could be out in about five years. A commutation could shorten that sentence or erase it entirely.

CREEK CLEANUP
MIDFIELD, Ala. (AP) -- Dozens of Alabama volunteers are wading into Valley Creek to help clean up its trash-strewn banks.
The Birmingham News reports about 90 people turned out Saturday morning despite a drizzle of rain in Midfield and Bessemer, where the clean-up efforts were being focused.
Jefferson County health department officials urged volunteers to watch out for snakes as they headed toward the water, some wearing hip waders.
County officials started pulling larger pieces of trash from the creek Thursday, including shopping carts, bicycles, tires and televisions.
Officials say last year about 200 volunteers helped remove 24.7 tons of trash from Valley Creek.


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