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“Because This is Auburn — A Campaign for Auburn University,” 

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Auburn University recently completed the most successful fundraising campaign in its history, raising more than $1.2 billion. The university announced this milestone during Saturday’s A-Day game at Jordan-Hare Stadium. In addition to breaking university records, “Because This is Auburn — A Campaign for Auburn University,” which concluded Dec. 31, 2017, surpassed previous state efforts, making Auburn the first university in Alabama to raise more than $1 billion in a fundraising campaign. One-third of the gifts and commitments made during the campaign were in support of the endowment — funds that are invested to create a perpetual source of income — which provides financial security and crucial resources for present and future expenditures.

DOG MAULING DEATH

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— The owners of the dogs that mauled a woman whose death prompted legislation have been charged. 43-year-old Brian Graden & 45-year-old Melody Graden were booked Tuesday on charges of criminally negligent homicide & failure to immunize a pet for rabies. The Gradens owned the 5 dogs that fatally attacked 24-year-old Emily Colvin Dec. 7 & injured another woman. In February, Alabama lawmakers passed “Emily’s Law,” under which dog owners face harsh fines or prison time if their animals injure or kill another person. The Gradens could not be charged under that law, as it was passed after the Colvin’s death.

Cusseta Man Arrested

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A 43-year-old Cusseta man has been charged with first-degree robbery and second-degree domestic violence following his Wednesday arrest after he was accused of assaulting a female victim with a knife, according to a news release from Capt. Lorenza Dorsey of the Auburn Police Division. The arrest of Willie Bonnor Huguley resulted after authorities addressed a disturbance at a business located in the 2500 block of Innovation Drive. Police were told Huguley had taken a female’s purse after physically assaulting her in the parking lot. Authorities further investigated the incident and discovered that the victim was a 34-year-old relative of Huguley, who’d confronted the victim when she arrived for work. Following a verbal confrontation, Huguley used a knife to attack the victim before fleeing. The victim was taken via a private vehicle to the EAMC emergency room so she could receive treatment for non-life threatening injuries. With the assistance of Lee County deputies, Auburn police found Huguley shortly afterward at his Cusseta residence. Huguley was taken to the Lee County Jail where he was was being held on a $155,000 bond.

Investigation Closed

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A grand jury has closed an investigation surrounding Gov. Robert Bentley and others without new indictments, but with an urging to strengthen the state ethics law.

According to a grand jury report given to reporters Wednesday, the grand jury did not indict any additional individuals.  Panel members said they found “serious concerns about current state law that hinder successful prosecution.”

Among the problems, jurors said the state ethics law covers spouses, but not romantic relationships.

Bentley faced an ethics investigation and an impeachment push amid accusations of an affair with a former top staffer. The announcement from special prosecutor Ellen Brooks came almost one year after Bentley stepped down and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor campaign finance violations.

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Senior right-handed pitcher Kaylee Carlson recorded her program record-tying 62nd win at Auburn (62-8) as she helped lead the No. 11 Tigers to a 2-1 midweek nonconference win over Kennesaw State Wednesday at Jane B. Moore Field. Carlson improved to 16-1 w/an ERA of 0.63, which ranks third nationally and is by far the lowest in a single season in program history. 

Auburn now turns their attention towards the No. 8 Tennessee Volunteers, for a three-game set at Jane B. Moore Field tomorrow through Sunday.

Congratulations to Opelika Middle School

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Yesterday Attorney General Steve Marshall presented Opelika Middle School with the Attorney General’s Safe School Initiative Award of Excellence for the second year in a row.  Schools were selected from seven Alabama State School Board of Education districts, as well as private schools for 3 regions of the state. Attorney General Marshall said in choosing Opelika Middle school, judges noted many things that distinguished the School including excellent procedures for making sure all students are accounted for following a drill or actual emergency; outstanding use of traditional and social media to keep parents and community leaders informed, and local collaboration that allows advanced law enforcement tactical teams to train within the school building.” Principal Keith York said “Safety is always of the utmost importance for Opelika Middle school,” and gave full credit to the teachers and staff. Principal York went on to say “We are honored to be recognized again by the Attorney General with the Alabama Safe Schools Award.”

21 Year-Old Arrested

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A 21-year-old Auburn man was charged with third-degree burglary and fourth-degree theft of property by the Auburn Police. Alex Mershon’s arrest came after Auburn police responded to a report of a burglary in progress at approximately 1 a.m. Saturday at an apartment complex on West Longleaf. Mershon, had been seen shining a flashlight inside a residence, and tried to flee through a rear window, when police arrived. Police discovered that Mershon had taken property from the residence he entered, The items were recovered following Mershon’s arrest. Mershon was taken to the Lee County Jail and given a $4,000 bond.

Opelika has a Brand New Logo/Website

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-The city of Opelika introduced a new brand identity and a redesigned, more user-friendly website yesterday. The new brand will be featured on buildings, fleet graphics, signage and business packages, while the city’s updated website –will entail highlights like a Community Voice module to allow posting of comments and ideas from citizens. The city’s brand, represented by a railroad emblem, symbolizes Opelika’s heritage, growth and prosperity as a destination, lifestyle, community and home. The website will give faster, more engaging delivery of information & news through the Citizen Request Tracker & Notify Me modules.

Infant Sustains Head Trauma

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Police in Alabama say a 2-month-old child suffered severe head trauma and a woman has been arrested. the department’s Juvenile Division was called to Children’s of Alabama hospital in Birmingham on Wednesday to investigate what led to the infant sustaining severe head trauma.

Once at the hospital, an investigation into the assault of the child was launched. The findings led to 24-year-old LaKendra Yashekia Williams being charged with first-degree domestic assault. Police say more charges could be pending.

Fast Food Chain Facing Lawsuit

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— Fast food chain Arby’s is facing a federal lawsuit after several teenaged female employees were allegedly sexually harassed at an Arby’s in Atmore. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission sued the companies Friday. According to the lawsuit, Arby’s hired a team leader trainee in May 2016 who repeatedly pressured young female employees to have sex with him using graphic language, followed them home and deliberately touched one in an unwelcome sexual manner. The lawsuit also says that employees and others complained about harassment to supervisors and managers, but Arby’s took no action for several months until the harasser physically injured one of the victims.