BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - One of the nation's largest Pepsi bottlers has filed suit against PepsiCo over its franchise territory. The Birmingham-based Buffalo Rock Co. says in a news release has tried for years to resolve differences with PepsiCo. But Buffalo Rock says the larger company has violated its franchise agreements and intruded into its exclusive territories. The company has distribution centers in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. PepsiCo didn't immediately return an email seeking comment.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A judge has overturned an Alabama law that prevents the removal of Confederate monuments from public property. A ruling issued late Monday by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Michael Graffeo says a 2017 state law barring the removal or alteration of historical monuments violates the free speech rights of local communities. The state sued the city Birmingham after officials tried to remove an obelisk that was erected to honor Confederate veterans in a downtown park in 1905.

CULLMAN, Ala. (AP) - A Catholic priest who served prison time for vandalizing abortion clinics in Alabama has died at 79. reports that Rev. Edward Markley died Monday morning at St. Bernard Abbey, where he was a Benedictine monk. Markley was convicted for splashing red paint on equipment at a Huntsville clinic in June 1984, and ordered to pay restitution to two employees who required medical treatment.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Former Congressman Jo Bonner will serve as Gov. Kay Ivey's new chief of staff. Ivey announced the change Tuesday, a day after the inauguration. Steve Pelham, Ivey's longtime chief of staff, is leaving to take a position at Auburn University.

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