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Justice Department files statement of interest in Alabama prison lawsuit

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Justice Department files statement of interest in Alabama prison lawsuit


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice, which sued Alabama over prison conditions, filed a statement of interest in a lawsuit by prisoners who said they are subjected to unconstitutional levels of violence and excessive force.

The Justice Department officials filed the statement last week in a 2014 lawsuit filed by inmates at St. Clair Correctional Facility. Justice Department officials said Alabama’s request for summary judgment should be rejected if there if is a genuine dispute over the accusations because, “these allegations, if proven, establish Eighth Amendment violations.”

“The Constitution requires prison officials to take reasonable steps to protect the people in their custody,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a press release. “We must not allow violence and sexual abuse to run rampant in our prisons and jails. We are committed to securing the constitutional rights of all people, including those who are incarcerated.”

The Alabama Department of Corrections will file a response later this month.

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A group of inmates housed at St. Clair Correctional Facility filed a federal lawsuit in 2014 alleging the Alabama Department of Corrections has failed to address a pattern of excessive force, prisoner-on-prisoner violence and sexual assault at the prison. The maximum-security prison houses about 1,000 male inmates

The Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit in 2020 against the state of Alabama accusing state officials of failing to protect male prisoners across the state from inmate-on-inmate violence and excessive force at the hands of prison staff.

The Alabama Department of Corrections has disputed the allegations in both cases.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.



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2024's 8 Most Beautiful Small Towns in Alabama

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2024's 8 Most Beautiful Small Towns in Alabama


Sweet Home Alabama, as it is fondly called, reflects the natural elegance, sophisticated cultures, and historic allure of the Southern United States. Find these southern charms and more across its beautiful small towns, which have remained unsullied for ages and glitter across all seasons. From the picturesque shoreline of Orange Beach to the waterfalls and lakes of Tuscumbia, these towns in Alabama reflect incredible beauty that only a few other places can boast of. These communities also host unique attractions that visitors will love, like a restaurant under a massive rock and one of the world’s largest artificial waterfalls. Step into these towns in Alabama in 2024 and get ready for unforgettable experiences.

Florence

A shop in downtown Florence, Alabama Image credit Luisa P Oswalt via Shutterstock

Florence is a majestic town in the Shoals region of Alabama, along the Tennessee River, where it courts the attention of tourists year-round. The town boasts many parks for recreational pursuits, but the River Heritage Park stands out for its scenic views of the Tennessee River and Wilson Dam from overlooks. The park also has an interactive fountain, a playground, and picnic shelters for more fun. Wilson Lake, Pickwick Lake, and Wheeler Dam are other local scenic outdoor attractions for water adventures like fishing, boating, canoeing, and kayaking.

The Tennessee River also invites tourists to more water adventures. History aficionados can check out the Rosenbaum House, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpieces, and art lovers can shop for local crafts at Stella and Goose. When hungry, hit top restaurants in town like Odette, The Pie Factory, and Lost Pizza for light and full-course meals.

Marion

Myrtle Hill Bed and Breakfast, Marion, Alabama.
Myrtle Hill Bed and Breakfast, Marion, Alabama. Image credit Ms. Rachael Jensen via Flickr.com

Marion is a historic town in Perry County that blends a glorious past with contemporary outdoor charms. Visitors to Marion will be greeted with historic attractions such as The Chapel and Lovelace Hall at Marion Military Institute (built in 1854), Henry House (built in the 1840s), and Kenworthy Hall (built from 1858 to 1860). Meanwhile, the Old Marion Depot is an ancient railway station in Marion, now a museum preserving the town’s history and its role in the Civil War.

Outside, Perry Lakes Park & Barton’s Beach Cahaba Preserve is a 700-acre environmental park in town to watch birds, hike trails in a hardwood forest, relax in picnic areas, and fish, canoe, or kayak in its four oxbow swamp lakes. Don’t miss a meal at Lotus Garden, one of the town’s finest restaurants offering Asian delicacies.

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Eufaula

Downtown Eufaula, Alabama.
Downtown Eufaula, Alabama. Image credit JNix via Shutterstock

Eufaula is a beautiful town along the Chattahoochee River on the Georgia-Alabama border, which is full of scenery and adventures. This town is home to Lake Eufaula, covering a 45,000-acre area along the Chattahoochee River, making the area ideal for water sports, from fishing to boating, kayaking, and more. Camping and picnicking are also offered in the lake area. For wildlife lovers, visit the 11,184-acre Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge and look out for American alligators, coyotes, and some of the area’s 300 species of birds, including great blue herons, wood ducks, and ospreys.

Eufaula also has something for history enthusiasts as it hosts the Italianate-style Fendall’s Hall (built around 1856) and Shorter Mansion (built around 1901). For shopping enthusiasts, visit Southern Charm to grab jewelry and souvenirs and enjoy a delicious meal afterward at Cajun Corner.

Guntersville

Lake Guntersville at Sunset in Guntersville, Alabama
Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama. Image credit Wileydoc via Shutterstock

Step into Northern Alabama and be stunned by the beauty of Guntersville, a charming town in Marshall County. The town lies on the shores of Lake Guntersville, Alabama’s largest lake at 69,000 acres. Enjoy majestic views of the lake at Lake Guntersville State Park, and immerse in its beauty by kayaking, boating, fishing, paddling, and hiking inland trails. Zipline canopy tours are also available in the park for more scenery and thrills.

Away from the lake, adventurers can hike on the 3.7-mile Sunset Drive/Walking Trail on an idle evening to capture some of the best sunset views in Alabama. A bit of history always makes a vacation exciting, and the Guntersville Museum and Cultural Center invites visitors to glimpse into the area’s bygone area via its artifacts, relics, and bird exhibits. When hungry, visit Fire By The Lake or Big Mike’s Steakhouse for some of the best local meals.

Fairhope

Aerial view of Fairhope, Alabama.
Overlooking Fairhope, Alabama.

Fairhope dazzles in picturesque elegance and historic beauty on the eastern shores of Mobile Bay in Baldwin County. Once here, walk along the Fairhope Municipal Pier and admire the yachts and sailboats floating on the bay waters, watch birds, and stop to swim on the bay. There is also a marina on the pier for boating on the bay, alongside shops and restaurants for indulgences.

Proceed to the Weeks Bay Preserve to see marshes, wetlands, forests, birds, and wildlife, such as snakes, hermit crabs, and baby alligators, while hiking on a nature trail. For art lovers, patronize the works of local artists at the Eastern Shore Art Center and use them as souvenirs. As for history, the Fairhope Museum of History brings the past to the present via exhibits and presentations, while tours are also offered.

Tuscumbia

Scenes from downtown Tuscumbia, Alabama shops and restaurants.
Downtown Tuscumbia, Alabama shops and restaurants. Image credit Luisa P Oswalt via Shutterstock

Tuscumbia is an iconic town along the Tennessee River, framed by the magnificent Appalachian Mountains where natural scenery meets history. A visit here can start on a historical note at the Ivy Green Historic Museum, the home and birthplace of renowned activist Hellen Keller, who made her mark in the world via activism despite being deaf and blind. The museum contains artifacts that helped her connect with the world and other exhibits that reflect her life and times.

Tuscumbia also hosts the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, where the legacies of music icons across the state are preserved and celebrated. Away from history, visitors can head to the Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve to explore hiking trails that wind through woods, shrubs, and along waterfalls. Next, visit Spring Park to see one of the largest man-made stone waterfalls. The park also features a spring-fed lake with a jet fountain and picnic shelters for relaxation. After exploring, head to Rattlesnake Saloon, located beneath a massive rock overhang, to enjoy an incredibly unique dining experience.

Orange Beach

Overlooking, Orange Beach, Alabama.
Overlooking Orange Beach, Alabama.

Orange Beach is a beautiful town along the Gulf of Mexico surrounded by turquoise water and sugar-white sand beaches that help tourists and locals lose track of time. The temptations are even harder to resist, with beaches like Cotton Bayou and Orange Beach Waterfront Park bubbling with kayaking, boating, swimming, fishing, surfing, and sightseeing activities.

Join the fun or stroll along the beach to savor the picturesque coastal sights and sounds. On the side of history, the town hosts the Orange Beach History Museum, housing artifacts and memorabilia related to the area’s Native American and fishing heritage. For more relaxation and enjoyment, Orange Beach invites visitors to The Gulf, an outdoor waterfront restaurant offering mouth-watering seafood in a casual ambiance with great views.

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Fort Payne

Gault Avenue in downtown Fort Payne, Alabama.
Gault Avenue in downtown Fort Payne, Alabama. Image credit Thomson200 via Wikimedia Commons

Fort Payne is a historic town in DeKalb County full of beauty. Positioned in the Cumberland Plateau region, with Lookout Mountain nearby and Big Wills Creek flowing along the city borders, this town is soaked in picturesque natural beauty. Catch stunning views of the mountain from an overlook at DeSoto State Park and capture unforgettable vistas of DeSoto Falls thundering down 104 feet amid a landscape of greenery.

More exciting things to do in the park include ziplining, fishing, and bird watching. Proceed to the Little River for kayaking, canoeing, boating, picnicking, and whitewater rafting adventures. Cool off from the outdoor adventures with a meal at Woody’s and some entertainment at Fort Payne Opera House, representing Alabama’s oldest theater still in use. Before heading out of town, discover railroad history at Fort Payne Depot Museum, while country music aficionados can satisfy their curiosity at the Alabama Fan Club and Museum.

These beautiful small towns in Alabama, where the scenery is bewitching and vibes among locals are welcoming, are worth visiting in 2024. Each town unravels a unique side to the state and region, ranging from historic charms to cultural values and culinary indulgences. The outdoors is even more stunning, with smooth-flowing rivers, gorgeous lakes, waterfalls, creeks, and lush, dense forests to explore. There are plenty of things to do, see, and eat once in these towns. Even history enthusiasts have a fair share of attractions to enjoy, proving there is something for everyone in these towns in Alabama.



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Alabama man arrested for brutally murdering wife, 2 children, niece and nephew in ‘horrific tragedy’

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Alabama man arrested for brutally murdering wife, 2 children, niece and nephew in ‘horrific tragedy’


A man from Alabama has been accused of murdering 5 people, his victims including his wife, two children, his niece and nephew in Bibb County on Thursday. According to the court records, the man identified as Brandon Allan Kendrick II was arrested on five counts of capital murder for the deaths of five members of his family. The incident occurred just an hour after a birthday celebration at home.

The accused identified as Brandon Allan Kendrick II murdered his wife and four children of the family.(PHOTO: BIBB COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE)

Also Read: Philadelphia woman arrested after shooting infant at point-blank range, horrifying video viral

Man shoots wife and 4 children in Alabama

Kendrick II was accused of murdering his wife and the four children of the family with a handgun just an hour after one of the children celebrated their birthday. The extended family has been raising funds at the fundraising site, GoFundMe identified the family members as Kelce Kendrick, the wife aged 24 years, and two children named, Kaleb and Kynil aged 6 and 2, respectively. The cousins were Colton aged 8 and Haley aged 6, as reported by The Mirror.

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According to the claims, all the victims were shot in the head by a handgun after they returned from Colton’s birthday celebration. Kendrick II was not at the birthday celebrations as he was held at his pastor father’s home and he called his wife to hurry back home. The two cousins also were staying with family at the time as their mother was under surgery.

Also Read: Donald Trump says he would prefer being electrocuted than devoured by shark in peculiar rant at Michigan rally

Here’s what the authorities have to say about murders

According to the reports, the police arrived at the scene after someone called emergency officials to inform them that a child had been shot. Official Wada said, “As officers are going, they are saying there are more children that have been shot.” He also said, “It’s absolutely horrible. It’s unimaginable what the family is going through, what the friends of the family are experiencing, what the community is feeling right now. It was just a horrific scene that even seasoned officers told me it is the worst thing they’ve ever seen.”The accused did not reveal any motive behind the murders when he was arrested.

The remaining extended family, Kelce’s uncle Eli Morrow and his wife, Brittany posted the fund online. She said, “We live 45 minutes away. I wish to God they had asked us to take them for the night. What we are struggling with the most, is that it was a last-minute decision to take them over there, it was never in the plan.”

On the fundraising site, Kelce’s uncle wrote, “We are heartbroken to share the devastating news that our niece, Kelse Kendrick, age 24, along with her two children, Kaleb Kendrick and Kynli Kendrick, lost their lives in this unimaginable event…Additionally, their cousins, Colton Daniels and Haley Daniels, were also victims of this horrific tragedy.” GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform that helps raise funds for various events.

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The case is currently handled by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s State Bureau of Investigation.



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Alabama State names Camise Patterson Head Softball Coach – WAKA 8

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Alabama State names Camise Patterson Head Softball Coach – WAKA 8


Alabama State Softball

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After former Head Softball Coach Todd Bradley recently stepped down to focus on his health, Alabama State names Camise Patterson the 8th Head Coach of the program. The announcement was made by Alabama State University Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Dr. Jason Cable.

“I am beyond excited to welcome Camise to the Bama State family,” Cable said. “What she did in a relatively short time at FAMU was remarkable. As we got to know Camise during this process, her core values, passion for the game, and the student-athlete experience directly aligned with what we want to accomplish at ASU. The future of Bama State softball is bright under her leadership.”

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Last season Patterson was the Head Coach of the Florida A&M Rattlers where she helped lead them to a SWAC East Division Title. Patterson was also last season’s SWAC Coach of the Year.

“I am deeply honored and grateful to be the next Head Softball Coach at Alabama State University,” Patterson said. “Being able to continue coaching the sport I love is a true blessing from God. I want to extend my sincere thanks to Dr. Cable and the search committee for their confidence in my abilities and this incredible opportunity. I’m excited to build on the program’s past success and look forward to being part of the SWARM!”

Throughout Patterson’s time at Florida A&M University she was elevated from volunteer to assistant coach to head coach. Before Florida A&M, Patterson also had a brief coaching stop at Bethune-Cookman in 2020.

Patterson played college softball at Campbell University.

(Information from Alabama State University)

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