Rock slides wreak havoc, close encounters with great white shark, gray whale: News from around our 50 states

Arkansas Republican state Sen. Jason Rapert speaks at the unveiling of a Ten Commandments monument outside the state Capitol in Little Rock. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker has ordered a trial over the display of the commandments. Opponents of the privately funded display argue it’s an unconstitutional endorsement of religion by government and are seeking its removal.



Huntsville: Hartselle schools called off classes Thursday because water from a rising creek flooded a water pumping station, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement posted on Facebook. Utility officials in the town of about 14,000 people asked residents to conserve water. Elsewhere, transportation officials shut down a major highway leading to Huntsville because of a crack that developed in the road after days of heavy rain. Crews were repairing both sides of U.S. 231 near Lacey’s Springs, forcing commuters to take detours. Flood warnings cover much of north and west Alabama. Workers had to clear roads in Lawrence County after strong winds overnight knocked down trees that toppled over in saturated soil. A flood warning for the Tennessee River at Florence in northwest Alabama is in effect until Feb. 20. Parts of central Alabama have received more than 6 inches of rain since Tuesday, and rainfall totals in excess of 3 inches were common.


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