BC-AL--Alabama News Digest, AL

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Associated Press

Posted on January 13, 2013 at 7:00 AM

EDITORS:

The day editor is Ray Henry.

If you wish to contribute stories of statewide interest or breaking news, please send by electronic carbon, e-mail to moge(at)ap.org, or fax to (334) 265-7177, or call the Montgomery AP at 1-800-821-3737.

AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com.

Technical problems may be reported to (800) 535-4195.

For repeats call AP Service Desk 1-877-836-9477.

The AP's general Web site is http://www.ap.org. The Alabama AP's Web site is http://www.ap.org/Alabama/

TOP STORIES:

SCHOOL SAFETY-BUSES

MONTGOMERY — One of the first bills proposed in reaction to the Connecticut school shootings would strengthen penalties for trespassing on Alabama school buses. The bill pre-filed by Republican Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster would establish a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison. By Bob Johnson.

HOME RULE

MONTGOMERY — Alabama's counties could accept or reject changes that the state Legislature makes affecting local government under a proposed change to the state's constitution. The proposal, called ratification, was the newest of four options unveiled Friday by the Constitutional Revision Commission, a 16-member panel appointed to reshape the state's 1901 constitution. If the commission's recommendations are approved by the state Legislature, residents would likely vote on the proposed constitutional changes in 2014.

MEMBER EXCHANGES:

BIG MACHINE-COAL

BROOKWOOD — The scale of the thing is such that, when you see it in person, your mind at first refuses to believe what your eyes insist is true. It looks less like a machine than a monster movie robot, towering out of place above the Tuscaloosa County woods as it trudges eastward toward Jefferson County. Its path is nearly as wide as a football field, and it packs the ground behind it into a dense, red clay crust. It carries behind it a single claw -- a 78-cubic-yard bucket big enough to park a truck in, which it uses to tear down mountains and pull tons of coal at a time from the ground. Its arm, a 300-plus foot boom, is so tall that, on a wet December morning, the top disappears into the low-hanging clouds. The beast is a dragline crane, a breed of machine among the largest mechanical marvels in the world. This one even has a name. They call it Mr. Tom. And it's moving. By Kyle Whitmire. al.com.

AROUND THE SOUTH:

AROUND THE SOUTH:

EPISCOPAL FUTURE

CHARLESTON — With the years of angst and controversy behind, the split of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina from the national church has brought clarity and allows the faithful to look to the future, Bishop Mark Lawrence says. "We as a diocese can begin to dream," he said recently in a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press. "We can dream of how God would have us fulfill our vision. We can dream of planting new churches and strengthening existing churches and working with Anglicans around the world." By Bruce Smith.

AP Photos.

ALSO:

— DOTHAN FIRE — Authorities cannot determine cause of Dothan blaze that killed 2 children

— BIGELOW AEROSPACE — NASA awards $18M contract to Bigelow Aerospace for module on International Space Station

— TEEN FATALLY STRUCK — Man, woman ordered to trial on charges stemming from November crash death of SE Pa. teenager

— EQUIPMENT THEFTS — Man sentenced in Mississippi to 8 months equipment theft scheme in Ala., Ark., La., Miss.

SPORTS:

BKC--TENNESSEE-ALABAMA

TUSCALOOSA — Tennessee has lost two straight games entering a visit to Alabama, which has dropped three of four. By John Zenor.

AP Photos.

Eds: Game starts 12 p.m.

IMPORTANT:

A reminder to check your "p'' queue for Alabama political news.

A reminder to check your "f'' queue for Alabama business news.

Entertainment copy is now moving with an "e'' category code.

The Alabama AP

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