Tropical Storm Barry forms off Mexican coast
MIAMI (AP) - Forecasters say Tropical Storm Barry has formed off the southeastern Mexican coast.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the Atlantic season's second tropical storm is drenching areas in its path with up to 10 inches of rain in some places, raising the threat of flash floods.
Barry was about 75 miles (115 kilometers) east-northeast of Veracruz, Mexico, on Wednesday afternoon. It is expected to make landfall Thursday morning in Veracruz.
The storm has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (64 kph), just above the threshold of at least 39 mph (63 kph) to become a named storm. It formed as a depression off the coast of Belize on Monday.
A tropical storm warning is in effect from Punta El Lagarto to Barra de Nautla.
GULF OIL SPILL-INDICTMENT
Ex-BP employees face new indictments over spill
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Federal prosecutors have secured new indictments against a former BP engineer and a former BP executive charged separately with obstructing probes of the company's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Wednesday's indictment of former BP executive David Rainey adds language alleging that he knew of the pending congressional investigation he is charged with obstructing. A federal judge had dismissed the obstruction of Congress charge from Rainey's original indictment, in part because it didn't contain that allegation.
A grand jury also handed up a new indictment Wednesday against former BP engineer Kurt Mix, who is charged with deleting text messages about the company's response to the spill. The new indictment makes few substantive changes to the version it replaces and doesn't add any new counts.
Ala teen charged in case of baby found in Texas
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Authorities say an Alabama teenager is charged in the alleged abduction of a 10-month-old boy who was found in Texas.
Police say 19-year-old Breanna Nicole Walker of Birmingham is charged with kidnapping.
She was in federal custody Wednesday in Texas, where 10-month-old De'Anthony Dejuan Kelly was found safe late Tuesday in Dallas.
Birmingham police Sgt. Johnny Williams says no charges have been filed against the 14-year-old girl who allegedly took the child from a home in Birmingham. But Walker is believed to have been in a car that left Alabama with the child and the 14-year-old.
Williams says police are still investigating a man who was allegedly driving the car.
Authorities say the little boy's godmother was taking care of him at the time of his disappearance.
PRIVATE SCHOOL TAX CREDITS
Few transfers expected under Alabama tax credits
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The leaders of 2 Alabama private school organizations don't expect many new students to apply in the wake of a law providing tax credits for students transferring from failing schools.
The executive director of the Alabama Christian Education Association, Robin Mears, said he expects less than 100 transfers to his member schools. The executive director of the Alabama Independent School Association, Randy Skipper, said he hasn't heard about any students inquiring about transferring.
They cited two reasons. The list of 78 failing schools is shorter than many originally anticipated. Middle schools make up much of the list, but there are few high schools. Mears questioned whether parents would move their children from a failing middle school to a private school if the tax credit wouldn't be available for high school.
Fired Ala. guard says she lied about dead inmate
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A fired prison guard has testified that she initially lied about a fatal inmate beating because her supervisor told her to do it.
Fired correctional officer Melissa Brown testified Wednesday in federal court that she wanted to tell the truth that she hit inmate Rocrast Mack first, but her supervisor, Lt. Michael Smith, told her to report that Mack hit her first. Mack died after being repeatedly hit by officers at Ventress Correctional Facility in Clayton in 2010.
Smith was the prison supervisor when the beating occurred. He is on trial in Montgomery on charges of violating Mack's rights by fatally beating him, conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
Brown got fired by the Department of Corrections, but she is not among the four officers charged in the beating.
NRC proposing $70K fine against TVA for violations
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is proposing a $70,000 fine against the Tennessee Valley Authority for violations related to 1 of its East Tennessee nuclear plants.
According to a NRC news release on Wednesday, the violations have to do with the commercial grade dedication program during the construction of Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 2.
The NRC requires certain components in a nuclear plant to meet strict nuclear quality assurance standards. Commercial grade dedication is a process that provides reasonable assurance that components purchased from a commercial supplier are equivalent to nuclear grade items.
NRC inspectors found a breakdown in the program resulting in construction of unknown quality, a failure to report that breakdown and a failure to identify that issue as a significant condition affecting quality.
A TVA spokeswoman did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press for comment.
Rapid reopened after rafters flipped into water
COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) - A rapid that has gained a notorious reputation as part of a new whitewater course on the Chattahoochee River has been reopened after dozens of rafters were dumped into the rushing water during its first week.
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports at least 10 of 17 large rafts flipped on the Cut Bait rapid shortly after the course opened in May. More than 70 of the first rafters who traversed the rapid were dumped into the river that separates Georgia and Alabama in the Columbus area.
No injuries were reported, but the rapid was off-limits to paying customers for a couple weeks after as guides went through additional training.
Whitewater Express owner Dan Gilbert says the additional training has led to a much higher success rate through the rapid.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.