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Auburn offers $10K reward after 2 campus threats

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Auburn University and police are offering a $10,000 reward following a pair of threats of campus violence.

A statement from the school says the FBI is investigating, and the reward is for information leading to the identification and arrest of whoever is responsible for the threats.

The reward was announced after a bomb threat forced the evacuation of the Haley Center on Tuesday. No explosives were found.

The entire campus shut down for a full day a week ago after a threat scrawled in a campus bathroom prompted safety concerns.


Body of missing Ala. man found in crashed truck

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Tuscaloosa police say the body of a 77-year-old man who was reported missing earlier this week has been found in a crashed truck. reports the body of John Douglas Perry was found in a wrecked truck near New Watermelon Road in Northport on Tuesday. Authorities say the truck Perry was riding in hit a tree.

Tuscaloosa County police Sgt. Dale Phillips says foul play isn't suspected in Perry's death, and authorities are working to determine the cause of the crash.

Perry was reported missing Monday morning.


Vehicle tags not affected by license closure

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Revenue Department says license plate transactions will continue while the Department of Public Safety shuts down the issuance of driver licenses for a few days.

Revenue officials say vehicle owners with valid licenses or non-driver IDs can continue renewing their motor vehicle registrations or purchasing new license plates at county license plate offices.

The Department of Public Safety says it has to convert a driver license database to comply with federal regulations. All systems, including online services, will be shut down from 5 p.m. Friday until 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 30.

The closure will also affect probate judges' offices, license commissioners' offices and other agencies that involve Alabama driver license transactions or reviews.


3 Alabama schools honored for environmental work

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Education has honored three Alabama schools for going green.

F.E. Burleson Elementary School in Hartselle, Brock's Gap Intermediate School in Hoover and Homewood Middle School were among the Green Ribbon Schools announced Tuesday. Officials say 48 schools and nine districts were recognized.

The award is given to schools that are reducing their environmental impact and utility costs, promoting health for students and staff and encouraging students to learn about the environment.


Suspected gas leak reported at Gurley City Hall

GURLEY, Ala. (AP) - Officials in Gurley say a suspected gas leak prompted the evacuation of City Hall.

Mayor Robert Sentell tells WAFF-TV a town clerk, a police officer and a volunteer firefighter were taken to a local hospital after the suspected leak was reported Tuesday afternoon. Information on their conditions wasn't immediately available.

The cause of the suspected leak is unclear.

Gurley is east of Huntsville.


4 want to plead guilty in dog fighting probe

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Four of the 14 people arrested in a multi-state dog fighting investigation have filed court papers saying they want to plead guilty.

Lawrence Watford of Adel, Ga., William Oneil Edwards of Elba, Ala., and DeMontt Allen of Houston, Texas, filed papers in federal court in Montgomery late last week and early this week saying they want to change their pleas to guilty.

Another defendant, Irkis Forrest of Theodore, Ala., notified the court earlier that he wants to plead guilty to one count.

The defendants were arrested last year on charges accusing them of participating in or providing dogs for high-stakes fights in east Alabama.


First M&F merger keeps boosting Renasant profit

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - Regional bank Renasant Corp. says profit in 2013's fourth quarter rose 80 percent in the second period following its takeover of First M&F Corp.

Renasant posted quarterly profit Tuesday of $13.6 million, or 43 cents per share. That's up from $7.6 million, or 30 cents per share, in 2013's first quarter. Because that earlier period was before the Sept. 1 merger, results aren't strictly comparable.

Analysts polled by FactSet estimated 39 cents per share for the quarter, on average.

The bank reported merger expenses of $195,000 during 2014's first three months, down from $1.9 million in 2013's fourth quarter.

Total loans fell slightly, as a drop in loans acquired from First M&F outweighed growth elsewhere.

Based in Tupelo, the $5.9 billion bank has offices in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.


Trustmark profits rise as credit quality improves

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Regional bank Trustmark Corp. says profit in 2013's fourth quarter rose 17 percent from the same three months of 2013, aided by gains from an earlier merger.

Trustmark posted quarterly profit Tuesday of $29 million, or 43 cents per share. That compares to $24.9 million, or 38 cents per share, in 2013's first quarter.

Analysts polled by FactSet had estimated 42 cents per share, on average.

The bank released about $800,000 from bad loan reserves, aiding profit, and it recovered more from bad loans than it charged off.

Trustmark says loans increased by $125 million over the last three months.

BancTrust Financial Group, of Mobile, Ala., merged into Trustmark on Feb. 15, 2013.

Jackson-based Trustmark has $12.1 billion in assets with offices in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and Texas.

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