It looks as though drivers will have to dig deeper into their pockets for gas money. Violence in Iraq is pushing U.S. gasoline prices higher during a time of year they usually decline. AAA reports the national average price $3.67 per gallon is the highest for this time of year since 2008. Fortunately, gas price statewide are a bit lower, according to AAA Alabama, today's average statewide price for a gallon of regular is $3.42. Midgrade fuel costs $3.63 while premium gas averages $3.83 per gallon.
A former state corrections officer has been acquitted of sexual misconduct with a death row inmate at the Julia Tutwiler prison for women. An Elmore County jury took about 30 minutes to return a not guilty verdict in the trial of 33-year-old Matthew Hall of Montgomery. Hall had been accused of kissing and fondling a death row inmate in 2011. Hall told reporters that justice was served because he did not commit a crime. Following the verdict, the Department of Corrections issued a statement that DOC officials were disappointed but they respect the jury process.
Searchers recovered the body of a 15-year-old boy who drowned in the Coosa River in Wetumpka. Elmore County Sheriff' deputies said rescuers found the boy's body shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday. Sheriff Bill Franklin said a group of teenagers were swimming near Corn Creek Park along the river when one teenage boy attempted to swim across it, became distressed and went under. Franklin said a kayaker tried to rescue the teen but was unsuccessful. The boy's name wasn't immediately released. Elmore County Superintendent Jeff Langham said he was a student at Wetumpka High School.
A massive drug raid in west Alabama's Perry County resulted in the arrests of 40 people. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, federal, state and local law enforcement officers executed search warrants Wednesday at residences in Marion and Selma. Federal authorities said dozens of individuals are facing drug and weapons related charges. The illegal drugs seized include cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs. Authorities said 25 people were charged with federal offenses and 15 others were charged with state crimes.
A newspaper is reporting Montgomery Police Chief Kevin Murphy is expected to retire. The Advertiser article states Murphy, who has been on bereavement leave since the death of his twin brother, soon will retire. Rumors have surfaced in recent days regarding Murphy's tenure as Montgomery's police chief, a position he has held since February 2011.