Morning news update - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Morning news update

Shots exchanged after store robbery

A man who police say robbed the Vineyard Food Market in the 5900 block of Crestwood Boulevard in Birmingham was found with a gunshot wound shortly after getting into a shootout with a store employee. Birmingham police Sergeant Johnny Williams says a white male entered the Vineyard Food Market around 9:16p.m. Tuesday and robbed the store with a handgun. The suspected robber got away with an unknown amount of cash. Police say the store employee followed the suspected robber out of the store where shots were exchanged between the two men. After the gunfire ended the alleged robber was dead with several gunshot wounds. The store owner was not hurt. It will be up to the district attorney to decide if any charges will be filed. The coroner is expected to issue a report as to exactly what happened.

Sotomayor begins 3rd day of Senate questioning

Judge Sonia Sotomayor returns to Capitol Hill for another full day of Senate questioning. On Tuesday, she rejected allegations she would be biased in her opinions if she is confirmed as the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court. Sotomayor says a judge's background is part of her ability to decide cases. She says judges must challenge themselves to set aside prejudice when judging a case.

NASA to make another Endeavour launch attempt

NASA will attempt to launch the space shuttle for a 6th time. Endeavour holds the final piece of Japan's space lab. Thunderstorms at Cape Canaveral have delayed the mission three times and hydrogen gas leaks have caused two delays. If the shuttle does not take off today, another launch attempt cannot happen until July 26th.

Closing arguments begin in Jeffco Sheriff funding battle

Closing arguments are today in the budget battle between Jefferson County and Sheriff Mike Hale. Sheriff Hale took the stand Tuesday. He testified about the impact the five million dollars in cuts would have on his department. Hale says the cut would force him to lay off at least 155 deputies and leave the department under staffed. The county commission says the sheriff's department is not protected and must make cuts like other county departments. A final ruling is expected tomorrow. Meanwhile, county commissioners delayed a vote on laying off more than 200 workers. President Bettye Fine Collins says she wanted the vote to take place in Birmingham, where most of the workers are employed.

Personnel Board delays changes

The Jefferson County Personnel Board has postponed major pay changes. More than 200 employees turned out Tuesday to oppose the pay changes. The changes would have allowed cities to implement furloughs and reduce merit raises from 5% to 2.5%.

City Council votes to start work on domed stadium

City council members have voted to release funds for a domed stadium. The vote means the city can now spend eight-million dollars per year on design work. Mayor Larry Langford says finally, after years of talking about a dome, action is starting to happen. BJCC leaders say they will hold a groundbreaking ceremony soon.

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