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Alabama's unemployment rate is at its lowest figure in nearly five years. According to the state Labor Department, the state's jobless rate in July fell to 6.3 percent. In June, it was 6.5 percent. The July unemployment rate represents about 135,000 people looking for work, that's down by 5,000 people from the previous month. Alabama's Black Belt regions remains saddled with high unemployment, Wilcox County at 16.3 percent; Perry County at 14.7 percent and Dallas County at 14.4 percent. Shelby County recorded the lowest unemployment rate at 4.2 percent.
There was another scare involving a white powder substance. For the second time this week, someone mailed a letter to the Montgomery County Courthouse that contained a white powder. The letter was received Thursday. Montgomery County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Derrick Cunningham said the letter was mailed from a Department of Corrections facility. Cunningham said the powder appears to be harmless. Tests are being conducted on the powder. A similar incident occurred Wednesday in which white powder was found inside an envelope addressed to the Alabama Attorney General Office in downtown in Montgomery.
UPS Cargo Jet
Federal investigators say they're cautiously optimistic that experts will be able to gain clues from the voice and data recorders from a UPS cargo jet that slammed into a hillside in Birmingham Wednesday morning, killing the two pilots. The A-300 clipped trees at the end of the runway before going down.
A robbery-shooting in the town of Valley remains under investigation. Valley Police said two men entered the Triangle Gas station on U.S. Highway 29 and stole an undetermined amount of cash, then shot 62-year-old Chuck Hudmon in the shoulder. Hudmon is recovering in an area hospital. Valley Police and other law enforcement agencies have been searching for two males who were last seen in a gold-colored extended cab pickup truck. The vehicle has the initials "UK" in the back window. Anyone with information about the robbery-shooting is asked to contact the Valley Police Department at (334) 756-5200.
President Obama's administration has announced more than $1.4 million dollars in grants for Alabama organizations helping people enroll in the federally operated health insurance exchange in Alabama. Consumers are supposed to be able to start shopping October 1st for policies that will begin January 1st. More than 326,000 was awarded to the Tombigbee Healthcare Authority, the organization will focus on 18 counties in central and south Alabama.