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Regional News: Carnival Refuses to Reimburse US for Disabled Ship

By: AP
By: AP
Carnival ship Triumph - The cruise line has refused to reimburse the US 780,000 dollars the government spent coming to the aid of the disabled cruise ship and its passengers and crew in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year.

Carnival ship Triumph - The cruise line has refused to reimburse the US 780,000 dollars the government spent coming to the aid of the disabled cruise ship and its passengers and crew in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year.

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- Police in north Alabama say a pilot is unharmed after his small plane crashed in Lake Guntersville.
Guntersville police officer Ryan Bradford says the pilot was having engine trouble Saturday when he crash landed in the lake about 35 miles southeast of Huntsville.
Bradford says fishermen who witnessed the crash pulled the pilot from the water and took him to land. He says the pilot escaped uninjured and no one else was aboard the single-engine plane.
The name of the pilot was not immediately released.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Two bills that would further regulate and lower interest rates on payday loan and title pawn industries have been referred to subcommittee, a process that sometimes means death for legislation. But supporters hope something will be done in the current session to make the loan transactions more consumer-friendly.

BAY MINETTE, Ala. (AP) -- Owners of an Alabama pet rescue where hundreds of animals were found malnourished, dead or dying last year will avoid jail time. Roberta and Sharon Dueitt pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges Friday. Authorities say 71 dogs and 46 cats were saved from their Summerdale pet rescue.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- A company that makes tent-like shelters for the U.S. military says it plans to move 110 jobs from other states to its operation in the Huntsville area. DHS Systems LLC is relocating some operations from Orangeburg, N.Y., and Crestview, Fla., later this year to a new 130,000-square-foot addition in Limestone County.

MIAMI (AP) -- Carnival Corp. is indicating it will not reimburse the U.S. government for hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs to rescue its disabled cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico.
Carnival told U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia in a recent letter that maritime tradition is to render assistance to anyone in need. Rockefeller asked Carnival if it would reimburse the Coast Guard nearly $780,000 in costs to respond to the Carnival Triumph when it lost power in February after an engine fire.
Thousands of passengers were stranded for five days in squalid conditions while the Triumph was towed to Alabama for repairs.
Carnival told Rockefeller that its ships are frequently called upon to help other damaged vessels or with rescues at sea.
Rockefeller is calling the response shameful.

Migrant rafters rescued by 2 cruise ships
MIAMI (AP) -- Two cruise ships have rescued migrant rafters off the Florida Keys.
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney said that the Disney Wonder and the Carnival Conquest both spotted "rustic vessels" in separate incidents Friday afternoon.
According to a Carnival statement, the Conquest picked up 13 Cuban nationals about 40 miles from Key West. The ship was expected to rendezvous with a Coast Guard cutter near Key West to transfer them.
A Disney statement says the Wonder picked up eight people about 45 miles from Key West, but their nationality wasn't immediately known. The company was working with the Coast Guard to determine its next steps.
Crews on both ships provided their new passengers with food, water and medical attention. No injuries or deaths were reported.
It wasn't immediately known what would be done with the migrants, but Barney said undocumented, non-U.S. citizens heading toward American waters are usually repatriated to their home countries.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Wildlife officials say a rare Florida panther seems to be doing well in the wild after being raised in captivity.
The male panther was rescued as a kitten with its sister in 2011 after their mother was found dead. The cats were raised with limited human interaction at a conservation center in northeast Florida.
The male was released April 3 in southwest Palm Beach County. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologists have been tracking the animal's movements. They said Friday that the panther isn't having any trouble hunting so far. It killed a coyote within its first 24 hours of freedom and later hunted down an armadillo.
The female was released in southwest Florida in February. Both panthers are wearing collars to help researchers track them.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) -- The mother and older sister of a coastal Georgia teenager charged with killing a baby last month are pleading not guilty to charges that they tried to dispose of a gun police believe was used in the slaying.
The Brunswick News reports that Karimah Elkins and her 19-year-old daughter, Sabrina Elkins, entered written pleas Friday. Both are charged with evidence tampering in the case against 18-year-old De'Marquise (deh-mahr-KEESE) Elkins. He faces a malice murder charge and other counts in the March 21 slaying of 13-month-old Antonio Santiago in coastal Brunswick.
An indictment accuses the two Elkins women of disposing of a .22-caliber pistol in a small saltwater pond where it was later found by police. The gun is being tested to determine whether it matches the weapon that killed the child.
Authorities ID man killed in Ga. police shooting

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (AP) -- Authorities say a 52-year-old suburban Atlanta man shot and wounded an officer and a female driver before police fatally shot him at the end of a chase in Fulton County.
On Saturday, an investigator for the Fulton County medical examiner identified the suspect slain in Friday's incident as 52-year-old Curtis Hicks of Marietta. Investigator Mark Ruffin said he had no further details.
Alpharetta police spokesman George Gordon said Friday that an officer was shot three times after stopping a truck for a tag violation. He said the shooter fled and wounded a second person, a female driver, while firing at police.
Authorities say officers shot and killed Hicks after he crashed, exited his car and shot at them.
Gordon said both the wounded officer and woman were expected to survive.

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) -- Federal authorities say a Georgia-based soldier and his wife pleaded guilty to swindling more than $150,000 worth of goods from the Army. 29-year-old Bo Dukes billed the Army for televisions, cameras, power tools and other goods that were shipped to his home.
Goats return to UGA to eliminate invasive plants

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- The goats are back to work on the campus of the University of Georgia.
UGA says the herd has returned to its temporary grazing area along Tanyard Creek on the north campus. The goats are part of an experiment in "prescribed grazing," a process that uses livestock to remove invasive vegetation from the banks of the stream and other patches of forest on campus.
The goats will be working on kudzu, English ivy, privet and other invasive plants.
The university says over 200 volunteers worked more than 500 hours last year to help clean up the area, plant seeds to help stabilize the soil and cut down vegetation too tall for the animals to reach on their own.


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