— Good Thursday morning to you. Here’s your morning update of what’s happening in Limestone County and beyond.
Today, sunny, with a high near 90. Calm wind becoming south between 10 and 15 mph. Tonight, clear, with a low around 66. South wind between 5 and 10 mph becoming calm.
AROUND THE COUNTY
• No events today. Get out and enjoy the sunshine, but wear sunscreen.
TOP FIVE HEADLINES
Alabama lawmakers asked to reform or repeal ‘shoot-first’ law
A group trying to reduce vigilante shootings sent letters Wednesday to 140 members of the Alabama Legislature urging them to reform or repeal the state’s “shoot-first” law.
Letters were also sent to 4,000 lawmakers in 25 other states that have similar laws.
The so-called “shoot-first” law, also known as the Castle Doctrine or stand-your-ground law, states that a person may use force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of a threat, without an obligation to retreat first. In some cases, a person may use deadly force in public areas without a duty to retreat.
In the letter, Ginny Simmons, director of Second Chance on Shoot First, asks legislators to reconsider Florida-style shoot-first laws that have sparked an increase in vigilantism across the nation.
Armed man arrested after going to Ala. school
REMLAP, Ala. (AP) — Authorities have arrested an armed man they say showed up at a Blount County elementary school.
The school was put on lockdown Wednesday afternoon after the man was noticed in the school's parking lot. Sheriff's deputies arrived and chased the suspect into nearby woods.
Authorities say the man fired one shot, though he did not aim the gun at deputies. He was caught about half an hour later.
School officials say the man's car broke down on the highway nearby and he went to the school to steal another car. The suspect's name has not been released.
Authorities did not say what charges the man faces.
Huntsville students in grades 4-12 getting laptops
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — All students in grades four through 12 in the Huntsville public school system will have laptop computers when they return to class in August.
The school system has agreed to lease 11,000 computers from Hewlett-Packard for about $2.3 million a year. Huntsville's director of support operations, Aaron King, said it would have cost about $12 million to buy the laptops.
King told The Huntsville Times (http://bit.ly/Lld23E ) that laptops will be assigned to students in the sixth- through 12th-grades. The school system already has enough laptops to cover the fourth and fifth grades. King said wireless Internet should be available in all school facilities sometime in the first semester.
Alabama's prominent golf trail celebrates 20 years
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Signs and billboards across Alabama point to sites on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, a near-ubiquitous complex of scenic courses that has helped make the state known for something besides college football and civil rights battles.
There's pretty good golf here, too. The 11-site, 26-course trail has become the best-known golf commodity in Alabama since it was born two decades ago as an investment and a lure for tourists and industry.
To David Bronner, it has succeeded in all three of those categories. It's been a nice swing at positive PR, too, for non-residents of the state that was still known partly for late Gov. George Wallace's stand in a schoolhouse door to block integration.
"When we started out the project, Gov. Wallace was still alive, and that's all they knew about Alabama," said Bronner, head of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, which funded the trail. "RTJ has given us the opportunity to talk about something else. It gave us the ability to recruit industry like Mercedes and Hyundai and Honda and Navistar.
|It's provided us an opportunity that we didn't have before."
Romney promotes education agenda, defends Bain
WASHINGTON (AP) — Originally planning to focus on education, Mitt Romney instead reignited the debate over his business credentials on Wednesday, welcoming scrutiny of the private equity firm he co-founded and declaring he's a far more qualified steward of the economy than President Barack Obama.
At the same time, Romney said that if he wins the White House, he wants Congress to delay addressing looming tax increases and spending cuts until after he takes office.
"Right now we have an economy in trouble, and someone who spent their career in the economy is more suited to help fix the economy than someone who spent his life in politics and as a community organizer," Romney told Time magazine.
6-year-olds wander from Pa. school to museum
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Public Schools officials are investigating an impromptu field trip of sorts that occurred when two 6-year-old students wandered away from their school and walked to the city's Children's Museum a few blocks away.
District spokeswoman Ebony Pugh says she can't specify what sort of discipline officials at Martin Luther King Elementary School will face for the incident Monday, because that's a personnel matter.
A museum spokesman tells WTAE-TV (http://bit.ly/KcnmKo ) that the students showed up at the museum about 2 p.m. Monday and asked if admission was free. When they were told no, the students ran into the museum until they were caught by security guards.
The school was locked down after a teacher noticed the students were missing.
Pugh says the school is developing a plan to prevent future incidents.
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE DAY
With nearly 10 million views, the Harvard baseball team’s synchronized van dance is a viral video hit. Yes, Harvard.