New Orleans – (AP) - There will be a major indication Tuesday of whether the falloff of oil and natural gas prices is stifling interest in exploration and production.
The federal Minerals Management Service releases pre-sale figures for Wednesday's auction of offshore leases in the central Gulf of Mexico, one of the nation's most prominent energy-producing regions.
In recent years, low spot prices - such as those now dominating
markets - have not had as much effect on the sale.
Analysts say that with drilling in the deepwater of the Gulf of

Montgomery, Alabama –
(AP) - The chancellor of Alabama's two-year college system says he will recommend that the State Board of Education waive tuition increases for three years for participants in Alabama's prepaid college tuition plan.
Byrne serves on the plan's 10-member board. He said Monday about
one-fifth of the college students in the plan attend a two-year
college. That's more than 1,900 students.
Byrne says waiving tuition increases is one part of a multi-part
solution being developed by the plan's board to deal with dwindling

Washington –
(AP) - Federal lawmakers, including Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, are heaping criticism on insurance giant AIG, after learning the bailed-out company has been passing out millions of dollars in executive bonuses.
The Tuscaloosa Republican tells ABC's "Good Morning America"
that Congress needs to make sure that government money going to AIG
is properly handled. The Alabama Republican adds that AIG brought
its problems on itself and that "a lot of these people should be
fired, not awarded bonuses."

Geneva,Alabama – (AP) - Funeral services have been held for a Geneva
county sheriff deputy's wife and infant daughter who were slain in
a shooting rampage across two counties in rural Alabama.
Deputy Josh Myers joined other law enforcement officers Tuesday
in a chase to stop 28-year-old Michael McLendon, who had killed 10
people and was armed and ready to shoot more.
Myers was unaware his wife Andrea and their 19-month-old
daughter Corrine Gracy were among the victims. Their other

March 13,2009 – GENEVA, Ala. (AP) - The investigation into the life of the Alabama gunman that killed 10 people and then himself paints a troubling portrait of a depressed young man who couldn't hold a job.
He was also a self-proclaimed survivalist who ordered instructional videos on how to commit violence.
At a news conference last night, state law enforcement officials said Michael McLendon had talked recently about being depressed over failing to become a Marine or a police officer.

Montgomery, Alabama – SAMSON, Ala. (AP) - Authorities say the gunman who killed 10
people and committed suicide in a rampage across the Alabama
countryside had struggled to keep a job and left behind lists of
employers and co-workers he believed had wronged him.
District Attorney Gary McAliley says the lists found in Michael
McLendon's home included a metals plant that had forced him to
resign years ago and where he ended up killing himself Tuesday to
end the rampage.
At a prayer service at First Baptist Church of Samson on

Montgomery, Alabama – (AP) - Alabama's January unemployment rate soared to 7.8 percent. That's compared to December's rate of 6.5 percent.
Alabama Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees said January's
figure represents 167,774 unemployed Alabamians.
He said the state lost 40,700 jobs in January with most
occurring in the trade, transportation and utilities sector.
Wilcox County leads Alabama in unemployment for January with
19.5 percent, Chambers at 17.9 and Dallas at 17.3 percent. The