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Alabama City Councilman Hit With New Auto Insurance Fraud Indictment

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Alabama City Councilman Hit With New Auto Insurance Fraud Indictment


Authorities have added four more insurance fraud charges to those already lodged against an city official in coastal Alabama.

Prichard City Councilman Derrick Griffin last week was indicted by a grand jury for the second time in four months. In December, he was charged with making fraudulent representations on the purchase of a BMW automobile.

On Thursday, the grand jury said he also misrepresented to insurance companies his ownership of an Acura, a Ford van, another BMW and a Nissan Frontier, according to local news reports.

The charges, if they result in a conviction, carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, authorities said.

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Alabama

Marijuana laws, colonoscopies: Down in Alabama

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Marijuana laws, colonoscopies: Down in Alabama


Welcome back. It’s a short work week, so we’d better get started. If you didn’t read yesterday, note that the answers and results from Friday’s quiz are there.

Dangerous storms

The storms that blew threw the state early yesterday knocked out power for some 137,000 Alabama Power customers and likely led to one death.

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According to authorities, a woman in her late 70s in Mountain Brook was killed when a tree fell on her apartment. She was alone at the time, and no other injuries were reported. The woman was pronounced dead on the scene.

Several thousand remained without power as of this recording, according to the Alabama Power outage map.

Attention pot enthusiasts

We may soon see the federal government reclassify marijuana. But, as Savannah Tryens-Fernandes reports, that would not affect state drug laws.

See, the FDA recently recommended that marijuana move from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule III drug. That move would reflect the FDA’s stated belief that the vast majority of weed users are not doing something that is dangerous to themselves or others.

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So last month, the DEA proposed to reclassify marijuana to reflect a view of the drug as less dangerous that it’s currently treated. There are still a few steps left on the federal level before that happens. If it does, it’ll probably give those in the marijuana business some tax advantages, but it doesn’t legalize or decriminalize it in Alabama.

Here, possession can be a misdemeanor if law enforcement believes the marijuana is just for you, and a felony if not. Selling it can get you up to 20 years in prison, and selling it to a minor can get you up to 99.

A life saver

If you’re someone who’s been sitting out your colorectal cancer screenings or you’re wondering whether having a colonoscopy is worth the time, here are some numbers that came up in a story that might interest you.

AL.com’s Sarah-Whites Koditschek reported on free screenings for low-income and underinsured Jefferson County residents that are being given at UAB through a state grant.

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UAB says that in the first year of the program, 100 colonoscopies were performed, mostly for low-income minority patients. Half of them resulted in removed polyps from the colon, and three of them resulted in the detection and treatment of early-stage cancer.

All three cancer cases were successfully treated.

In a state full of people who’d love a chance to play the lottery, 3% is a relatively sizeable portion, so make sure you start getting screened as you get into middle age.

The free screenings at UAB for patients of federally qualified health centers will be available through September.

Quoting

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“We’re just a gritty group of girls that are gonna scratch and claw their way to a world series. And we did it.”

Alabama softball catcher Riley Valentine, in an ESPN interview after the Tide upset Tennessee in a super regional to reach the Women’s College World Series for the second straight year.

More Alabama News

Born on this date

In 1916, writer Walker Percy of Birmingham.

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Alabama

EPA denies Alabama's coal ash disposal plan, prompting major environmental shift

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EPA denies Alabama's coal ash disposal plan, prompting major environmental shift


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rejected Alabama’s plan for managing coal ash, citing inadequate protections for water and communities, potentially forcing utilities to remove ash from unlined ponds.

Lee Hedgepeth reports for Inside Climate News.


In short:

  • The EPA found Alabama’s coal ash permit program less protective than federal standards, particularly regarding groundwater contamination.
  • If finalized, the decision would require utilities to excavate millions of tons of wet coal ash from unlined ponds.
  • This action aligns with the Biden administration’s commitment to environmental justice, especially for vulnerable communities.

Key quote:

“Exposure to coal ash can lead to serious health concerns like cancer if the ash isn’t managed appropriately. Low-income and underserved communities are especially vulnerable to coal ash in waterways, groundwater, drinking water, and in the air.”

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— Michael S. Regan, EPA Administrator

Why this matters:

Coal ash contains toxic substances like mercury and arsenic that can contaminate water sources, posing significant health risks. The EPA’s decision signals a potential upheaval for utility companies, who may now be compelled to excavate coal ash from unlined ponds—an expensive and logistically complex task.



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Weaver, Alabama, veteran walking across U.S. to raise awareness about mental illness – Alabama News Center

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Weaver, Alabama, veteran walking across U.S. to raise awareness about mental illness – Alabama News Center


Weaver, Alabama, native Robert Luna intends to spend the next five months walking from Calhoun County, Alabama, to Los Angeles, California, to raise awareness about mental illness among servicemen and women. Luna began his trek to the West Coast on May 18 in hopes of not only raising awareness but also donations to initiate mental health



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