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The Sunrise News Sampler

Children in the Tuscaloosa City Schools system returned to class today, while students in Tuscaloosa County Schools are still out because of lingering ice on some roads. The University of Alabama, Shelton State and Stillman College all resume normal operations today.

Stillman College’s HBCU Summit, which was to begin today, has been postponed to a later day.

Governor Bentley says no one is to blame for the ice storm that caught Birmingham off guard, as the inclement weather was expected about 100 miles south of the city.

The latest reading on economic growth is helping to boost stocks this morning. The government says the economy grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of the year, fueled by a 3.3 percent growth rate in consumer spending.

Yesterday, an Italian court upheld the conviction against Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend in the death of her British roommate. Lawyers say they’ll appeal, and there could also be a long extradition battle in the works.

Last night, a fight at an interstate truck stop allegedly led to an on-the-road confrontation that resulted in a wreck and subsequent shootout that left one man dead near Exit 100 on Intertstate 20/59. Motorists were at a standstill for hours while officers searched for an involved party.

Yesterday, the Alabama Senate voted 18-1  to increase the penalties for alcohol-related boating deaths to the same as deaths caused by drunken car drivers. A similar measure passed the House 83-0 the same day.

CEOs from numerous large companies are heading to the White House today where President Obama is asking for their help in hiring the long-term unemployed. Despite improvement in the overall U.S. jobs picture, long-term unemployment remains a major problem.

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