Alabama's Unemployment Rate Rises

Aug 18, 2014

Governor Robert Bentley's administration is putting a positive spin on Alabama's unemployment rate which is higher than a month ago.  In July, the jobless rate rose to 7 percent, two-tenths of a percent higher than the June rate of 6.8 percent.  Tara Hutchinson, a Labor Department spokeswoman, predicts the jobs outlook will improve in coming months.  But the Democratic leader in the Alabama House, Craig Ford of Gadsden said in a statement, that Alabama is the only state in the country with a rising unemployment rate.  Ford said the state created only 366 new jobs in 2013.  

 Arson Charge

Montgomery Fire and Rescue investigators have arrested a Montgomery woman after she allegedly poured gasoline on her boyfriend's house and then attempted to set the structure on fire.  The incident occurred early Sunday morning about 3 a.m. at a residence in the 500 block of Glade Park Drive.  24-year-old Veronica Orogun was arrested Sunday and charged with first-degree attempted arson.  Orogon is accused of driving her sport utility vehicle into a bedroom window.  Fire Department officials said gasoline was poured on a brick portion of the house causing minor damage.  Six people were in the house and none were injured.  Authorities said Orogon, who awaits a bond hearing, had been involved in a domestic dispute earlier in the day. 

DUI Suspect Dies

An Auburn man who was arrested for a suspected DUI died in a cell hours after being taken to the Lee County jail.  Officials say 23-year-old James Hubbard was arrested Friday and was put in a holding cell for observation that evening.  Sheriff Jay Jones tells the Opelika-Auburn News that corrections staff said Hubbard didn't show any signs of severe medical issues when he was brought in.  Jail staffers later found the man lying unresponsive on the floor.  Hubbard's body was sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences lab in Montgomery for an autopsy.

ASU Donation

A treasure trove of materials from the civil rights era has been placed in the Alabama State University Archives.  The small collection was donated Sunday by Maude Ballou from her work as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s secretary.  Ballou and her son Howard Ballou were honored at ASU's National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African American Culture.  The Ballou family won a legal battle to retain ownership of the King papers.