TimesDaily: Local News

Florence, AL | Wed, March 4, 2015
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Education task force meeting rescheduled

FLORENCE — The Pk-12 education task force will meet Monday at 5 p.m. at the Lauderdale County Board of Education annex.

Education task force meeting rescheduled

FLORENCE — The Pk-12 education task force will meet Monday at 5 p.m. at the Lauderdale County Board of Education annex.

Off-duty police officer saves choking victim at restaurant

MUSCLE SHOALS — Police Chief Robert Evans said being a police officer is a calling.

Warm today, icy tonight

Today's high temperature will reach into the 60s, but don't let that fool you.

Light agenda for Florence council

FLORENCE — The City Council whizzed through a meeting agenda Tuesday morning that was short on substance and long on explanations as a roomful of high school seniors watched.

Florence resident attends, applauds Netanyahu speech

Florence resident Marty Abroms said Tuesday he hopes the nation and world paid attention to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress that warned against a possible nuclear agreement with Iran.

Police arrest 1, seek 1 in robbery

FLORENCE — One person is in jail and police are continuing the search for a second suspect in a home invasion that occurred Sunday night.

Students face off in JAG competition

FLORENCE — Students representing their respective schools' Jobs for Alabama's Graduates (JAG) programs participated Tuesday in the seventh annual North District Career Development Conference and competition at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center.

Commission OKs request for school tax referendum

TUSCUMBIA — Colbert County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved the Board of Education's request to hold a referendum for a 3-mill property tax that is expected to generate $960,000 for the county school system.

Florence sets 2 makeup days

FLORENCE — The Florence school board has approved two makeup days for students — March 20 and April 27.

County catching up on recycling

FLORENCE — Not only did the ice and snow cause delays for garbage pickup in Lauderdale County last week, it also put the transportation of recyclables behind schedule, county officials said.

News Briefs

SHEFFIELD — A benefit for the Shoals homeless will be tonight at Singing River Lounge at Jameson Inn.

Motel room slaying trial delayed

FLORENCE — The murder trial of a man accused of killing a Florence woman and stuffing her body under a motel room bed has been postponed until May, court officials said Tuesday.

Law & Order

Alexandria T. Clement, 30, 155 Oakdale Drive, Florence; five counts of second-degree manufacturing a controlled substance and seven counts of attempting to commit a controlled substance crime.

Torie E. Parker 21, 1020 Wildwood Park Road, Florence; second-degree manufacturing of a controlled substance.

Alabama Supreme Court halts same-sex marriage

The Alabama Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the state's probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, a decision that flies in the face of numerous rulings by federal judges in Alabama and other states across the country who have said banning gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.

The all-Republican court sided with a pair of conservative organizations Tuesday in ruling that the U.S. Constitution doesn't alter the judges' duty to administer state law, which defines marriage as between only one man and one woman.

Six justices concurred in the 134-page opinion, which wasn't signed, but the court's most outspoken opponent of gay marriage, Chief Justice Roy Moore, recused himself.

Gay marriages began in some Alabama counties on Feb. 9 following a decision by U.S. District Judge Callie Granade of Mobile, who ruled that both Alabama's constitutional and statutory bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional.

Immediately after the judge's ruling, Moore told probate judges across the state they were not obliged to issue same-sex marriage licenses. His stance created widespread confusion, prompting some judges to refuse to issue the licenses and others to shut down their operations for all couples, gay and straight, until they could get a clear answer.

The court's ruling Tuesday came in response to a request from the Alabama Policy Institute and the Baptist-run Alabama Citizens Action Program to halt same-sex unions after Granade's ruling.

Justice Jim Main agreed with the result but said he has concerns about procedural aspects "of this highly unusual case."

In a dissent, Justice Greg Shaw said it was "unfortunate" that federal courts refused to delay gay marriage in the state until the U.S. Supreme Court could settle the issue nationally. But, Shaw said, the state Supreme Court doesn't have the power to consider the issue.

The court released the decision while Gov. Robert Bentley and most state leaders were assembled in Montgomery for the state of the state address. A spokeswoman for Bentley said the administration was reviewing the decision and had no immediate comment.

Joe Godfrey, executive director of the Alabama Citizens Action Program, said he was "very excited" about the decision blocking judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"We are concerned about the family and the danger that same-sex marriage will have. It will be a devastating blow to the family, which is already struggling," Godfrey said.

Godfrey said the decision will give "some stability" in Alabama until the U.S Supreme Court rules later this year. An attorney couples who filed suit to allow gay marriages said the court showed "callous disregard" in the decision and overstepped its bounds by declaring that Alabama's ban on same-sex marriages is constitutional, something the justices hadn't been asked to consider.

"It is deeply unfortunate that even as nationwide marriage equality is on the horizon, the Alabama Supreme Court is determined to be on the wrong side of history," said Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Over 400 students from north Alabama compete in J.A.G. competition

FLORENCE — Students representing their respective schools’ Jobs for Alabama’s Graduates (J.A.G.) programs participated Tuesday in the seventh annual North District Career Development Conference and competition at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center.

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