Here is the latest Alabama news from The Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Gov. Robert Bentley says the House is off to a good start on closing a $200 million projected budget shortfall after a key House committee okayed a 24-cent cigarette tax hike proposal. The full House is now considering that and other revenue measures that cleared a House Ways and Means committee earlier in the week.

DETROIT (AP) — An Alabama company that made a tractor-trailer hitch involved in a deadly Ohio crash last year is bowing to government pressure and will recall 6,800 hitches. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says Fontaine Fifth Wheel of Trussville agreed to the recall and will replace the defective hitches with a different model.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Thursday marks the second day of the jury phase in the trial of a north Alabama police officer accused of using excessive force against and Indian grandfather. Madison police officer Eric Parker has said he took the 58-year-old man to the ground after he resisted officers during a suspicious person investigation. Jurors were given the case late Wednesday.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Police in Tuscaloosa say they are looking for the driver of a black Honda Accord who swerved around a stopped schoolbus and hit a kindergarterner on Wednesday morning. Authorities say the 6-year-old girl had to be treated for her injuries at a medical center and was sent home.

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