Morning news update

Michael Jackson remembered

LOS ANGELES (AP) - They sang his songs among the stars and imagined him dancing across the moon. And for a few hours, during this most public of memorials, all eyes were on Michael Jackson one last time. Some 20,000 people gathered inside the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday for a somber, spiritual ceremony that was watched by untold millions more around the world. They celebrated a man whose immense talents almost drowned beneath the spectacle of his life and fame. Jackson's daughter, Paris-Michael, provided the only real surprise of the service: the first public statement of her 11 years. She tearfully told the crowd: "Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father I could imagine. I just want to say I love him so much." It's not clear what will happen to Jackson's body. A private service was held earlier at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills. But Jackson's brother Jermaine has expressed a desire to have him buried someday at Neverland, his estate in Southern California.

Jeffco judges seek budget cut solutions

Jefferson County judges want to know how the county's financial problems will affect the courts, and what they can do about it. Judges met Tuesday in hopes of finding answers. A few possible solutions to court budget cuts may be reducing the days courts are active and asking the state for money. The judges also worry that court security may be affected in the cuts and jail employees may have to be let go. Another large concern is the jails may have to release some non-violent offenders from the jail.

Jefferson County to not participate in sales tax holiday

Jefferson County will not participate in next month's sales tax holiday. The commission voted Tuesday not to give up the county's one percent sales tax. Commission President Bettye Fine Collins says the move will help the financially strapped county save 200-thousand dollars and prevent up to seven employees from being laid off.

Closing arguments begin for suspected rapist

Closing arguments begin today in the trial of Aaron Morrison. He is accused of impersonating a police officer then raping a woman. Two women testified against Morrison Tuesday. One woman claimed Morrison abused her while she was sleeping at a friend's house. The other testified that Morrison raped her after they met at a bar in Hoover. Morrison testified he did not even know the first woman. He claims the second woman engaged in consensual sex with him.

Australian appeals court to hear Gabe Watson case

An Australian appeals court will hear the government's appeal over a Hoover man's 12-month prison sentence for his wife's drowning death. Gabe Watson will go before an Australian appeals court July 17th. Watson pleaded guilty to manslaughter for his wife Tina's drowning during their honeymoon in 2002. Prosecutors want Watson to serve more time for the crime.