The Sunrise News Sampler
- Tonight, the Crimson Tide goes head-to-head against Notre Dame for the BCS Championship, and fans attending the game will get to see a public service announcement to combat binge drinking, directed by Shaquille O'Neal and filmed by UA students. Tonight's game is said to be one of the most anticipated games in years. While Notre Dame is looking for its first national title since 1988, the Tide is playing for its third title in four years and is trying to become the first school to win back-to-back BCS titles.
- According to our daily, there were 16 homicides in Tuscaloosa County last year, and the only one that remains unsolved is the shooting death of 18-year-old Labarron Rice, which occurred in a parking lot outside a strip of businesses on 10th Street toward the end of the year.
- In state news, this year, eligibile Alabamians will have three options for receiving their state tax returns: the traditional check by mail, direct deposit, and now a Visa debit card.
- Remember the case of the 9-year-old who was run to death by her stepmother and grandmother? Well, Etowah County Circuit Judge Billy Ogletree reduced the bond for the stepmother, Jessica Hardin, from $500,000 to $150,000, which he said to be in line with other non-capital cases.
- In other news across the state, a Lee County judge is considering a request from prosecutors to revoke the bond for Harvey Updyke, the man accused of poisoning the oaks at Auburn's Toomer's Corner, based on Updyke's arrest in Hammond, Louisiana, where he was accused of threatening an employee at a home improvement store.
- Interviews with a dozen female soldiers and Marines have revealed little interest in the toughest front-line infantry fighting jobs, even as the Defense Department moves toward changing its rules to allow women in direct ground combat jobs.
- In sports news, the Seattle Seahawks beat the Redskins yesterday 24-14 and will visit the top seeded Atlanta Falcons next Sunday.
- And in entertainment news, funk icon George Clinton has been ordered to hand over the copyrights to four of his songs to pay off debts to former lawyers.