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ALABAMA: 5 found slain in home

Five people were found dead in a west Birmingham home when police arrived to investigate a possible robbery, authorities said. Police Sgt. Johnny Williams said officers arrived around 3:30 a.m. Sunday. He said homicide investigators were interviewing potential witnesses. The cause of death was not released. Beatrice Houston, 64, who lives across the street, said she believes a woman, her son and her brother have lived in the house for the last year or so.

CALIFORNIA: Railway barrier ignored; 3 die

Investigators were trying to determine what motivated the driver of a sport utility vehicle to ignore a downed crossing arm and flashing lights and pull into the path of a commuter train in Sacramento. Three died after the Saturday afternoon collision south of downtown, including a 21-month-old boy. One of the four people in the Nissan Pathfinder was being treated for serious injuries in the University of California, Davis, Medical Center in Sacramento. In addition to the toddler, the dead included a 25-year-old woman and a 62-year-old man, who was ejected when the vehicle was struck by the southbound light rail train traveling at 55 mph shortly after 4 p.m. A police department spokeswoman said the woman in the hospital was the man's wife.

ARIZONA: Barred candidate to appeal

A city council candidate barred from running because she doesn't speak English proficiently is vowing to appeal the judge's ruling. Alejandrina Cabrera conceded to the Yuma Sun that she needs to improve her command of English. But the San Luis resident said the judge's decision that she doesn't satisfy a state law requiring elected officials to be proficient is unjust. "He can't take away my constitutional rights, and if he takes away my rights, he takes away the rights of the community," she told The Sun's Spanish-language edition. State law requires that elected officials know English, but Cabrera's attorneys have argued the law does not define proficiency in the language.


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