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Doctors across Alabama have received notices from the State Department of Health about the unidentified respiratory illness that has killed two and hospitalized five more. The Center for Disease Control and the Alabama State Department of Health were investigating a cluster of hospital admissions Wednesday of people that have recently been admitted with flu-like symptoms in southeastern Alabama. Three remain hospitalized and two have been released. Dr. Mary McIntyre of the Alabama Department of Public Health said that all of the severe illnesses were accompanied by pneumonia and may have had more than one contributing factor. Dr. McIntyre says the two people that died had different, but relatively common, forms of influenza.
Campaign Finance Report Online
Alabama voters will soon be able to learn about candidates' contributions and expenditures without scrolling through page and page of campaign finance reports on their computers. Secretary of State Beth Chapman said her office's new online campaign finance system will be available to candidates and the public May 29th. A state law enacted in 2011 provided for the creation of the computer database. It also required candidates for state offices and political action committees to file their campaign finance reports electronically for the 2014 elections.
Animal Cruelty Legislation
Animal protection groups are urging Alabama's governor to sign legislation toughening the penalties for animal cruelty. The Legislature passed a bill on the last night of its session to increase the penalty for animal cruelty from six months maximum to one year maximum. The bill also adds a definition for torture that can cause the punishment to increase to a felony carrying up to 10 years in prison.