MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The head of the Southern Poverty Law Center is stepping down, the latest high-profile departure from the watchdog organization. Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen on Friday announced his resignation to staff. A spokesman for the organization said he could not comment on personnel matters. The law center is best known for its work monitoring extremist groups. The organization last week fired founder and prominent civil rights attorney Morris Dees for unspecified reasons.

BLOUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Police have arrested a substitute teacher in Alabama after his gun went off in a first-grade classroom. No one was injured in the incident Friday. But authorities tell news outlets that 72-year-old Henry Rex Weaver is in custody and will face charges. Blount County Sheriff Mark Moon says students were in the classroom with Weaver at Blountsville Elementary School when a gun that was in his pocket discharged. Records aren't yet available to show whether Weaver has a lawyer.

ATLANTA (AP) - Democrats' road back to the White House runs through the Republican-run South, and not just in the early nominating state of South Carolina. Elizabeth Warren just completed a trip to Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Kamala Harris is headed back to Georgia. And party officials across the region are trying to lure candidates to the states that are the anchor of Super Tuesday, on March 3, 2020. There are also key Southern battleground states including Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama's jobless rate has dipped to a record-low 3.7 percent as more workers continue joining the workforce. The state unemployment rate announced Friday for February is one-tenth of a percent worse than the national rate. But it's down from the February 2018 rate of 4 percent. A statement from Alabama Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington says the state has broken record highs for employment for nine months in a row.

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