Originally created 01/06/02

Across the Southeast



Son disputes alibi of bombing suspect

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -Former Ku Klux Klansman Bobby Frank Cherry's estranged son says he doesn't recall his father being home the night before a 1963 church bombing, when prosecutors say Mr. Cherry and others planted the explosives that killed four black girls.

Tom Cherry's comments Friday contradict the alibi his father has given in the bombing. Bobby Frank Cherry, facing a murder trial, has said he was home taking care of his sick wife the night before the deadly blast.

Tom Cherry's comments came in a telephone interview from Los Angeles, where he attended the debut of a movie about him, his father and the deadliest crime of the civil rights era.

Sins of the Father premieres tonight on the FX cable channel. The movie uses Tom Cherry's supposed realization that his father's alibi was a lie as a key plot element.

Reporting, immunities cited in AIDS case rise

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -Health officials say an increase in new AIDS cases in North Carolina may be attributed in part to better reporting by disease investigators and a growing immunity to anti-AIDS drugs.

Preliminary figures released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the state reported 947 AIDS cases in 2001, nearly 41 percent higher from the 673 new cases in 2000.

Final statistics will show "a pretty significant jump," in AIDS cases, said Del Williams, the head of epidemiology for the state office that tracks HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Much of the increase can be attributed to improved surveillance and the diminishing effectiveness of anti-AIDS drugs, he said.

POW camp specialists will go on active duty

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -About 80 members of a Tallahassee-based military police unit whose duties include running prisoner-of-war camps are to be activated Monday, Army Reserve officials announced.

It will be the largest activation of Army Reserve troops in Florida since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The soldiers are members of the 160th Military Police Battalion, which also was called up during the Persian Gulf War.

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said during a briefing last week that an undetermined number of prisoners captured in Afghanistan would be moved to the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.