TIME Appreciation

Alabama Postal Worker Saves Man’s Life After Noticing He Hadn’t Picked Up His Mail

Tommy Hope had taken a bad fall 10 days earlier

A 66-year-old Alabama resident who spent 10 days stranded on the floor of his home after a bad fall is now safe and sound in a Montgomery hospital—and he has his local mail carrier to thank.

The mail carrier, Cissy Cartwright of Hope Hull, Ala., is being hailed as a hero after she rescued the injured Tommy Hope from his secluded rural home last week when she noticed he hadn’t checked his mail in an uncharacteristically long time, NBC News reports. After making her way up Hope’s long driveway and noticing that his front door was wide open, Cartwright found Hope, who has a history of back problems, lying dehydrated with broken broken bones. He’d been trapped since July 4.

Hope Hull Post Master Sherry Hughes told NBC that Hope had survived primarily by “[scooting] on his back to his front door to catch rain water.”

Hope has reportedly called the post office daily with an update on his recovery, grateful for Cartwright.

[NBC News]

TIME alabama

Alabama Governor Orders Removal of Confederate Flags From Capitol

alabama confederate flag state capitol
Martin Swant—AP State workers take down a Confederate national flag on the grounds of the state Capitol, June 24, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala.

"This had the potential to become a major distraction as we go forward," Governor Robert Bentley said

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has ordered that the Confederate flags on the state Capitol’s grounds be taken down.

Bentley made the order Wednesday morning as calls to remove the flag from government buildings and stores mount following the Charleston, S.C. shooting at a black church last week, the Associated Press reports.

“The Governor ordered flags removed from the Capitol this morning,” his office said in a statement to TIME. “He does not want the flags to be a distraction from other state issues so he ordered them removed.”
The statement echoes what Bentley told AL.com as he was leaving the Capitol on the way to an event Wednesday.

“This is the right thing to do,” he said. “We are facing some major issues in this state regarding the budget and other matters that we need to deal with. This had the potential to become a major distraction as we go forward. I have taxes to raise, we have work to do. And it was my decision that the flag needed to come down.”

Bentley said he checked to see if there were any state laws preventing the removal of the flag and found none. Workers also removed three other Civil War-era Confederate flags from the Confederate memorial on the Capitol grounds, AL.com reports.

Other governors have distanced themselves from the flag since the shooting. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the state Capitol grounds on Monday, while Arkanasas Governor Asa Hutchinson commended the decision from Wal-Mart, one of Arkansas’ largest employers, to stop selling Confederate flag merchandise.

[AP]

TIME viral

This 5-Year-Old’s Random Act of Kindness Brought Waffle House Customers to Tears

Dickens couldn’t have scripted it better

Kids often say the darnedest things, but other times they act in the most humane fashion.

At a Waffle House in Prattville, Ala., 5-year-old Josiah Duncan shocked fellow customers after he asked his mother to help a destitute man who walked into the eatery and was being ignored.

As the visibly impoverished customer waited, Duncan begged his mother to buy the man a meal after learning that he was likely homeless.

“He came in and sat down, and nobody really waited on him,” Ava Faulk, the boy’s mother, told local news outlet WSFA. “So Josiah jumped up and asked him if he needed a menu because you can’t order without one.”

After ordering a burger topped with bacon, the child insisted on saying a prayer before breaking bread with the homeless patron, eliciting tears from fellow customers.

“Watching my son touch the 11 people in that Waffle House tonight will be forever one of the greatest accomplishments as a parent I’ll ever get to witness,” said Faulk.

[WSFA]

TIME portfolio

Inside the Most ‘Bible-Minded’ City in America

Earlier this year, the American Bible Society named Birmingham, Ala., the nation's most "Bible-minded" city

Earlier this year, the American Bible Society named Birmingham the nation’s most “Bible-minded” city, with the largest number of people who say they have read the Bible at least once in the past week and strongly believe in its accuracy. As Mark Pettus, an associate pastor at the Church of the Highlands, puts it, “You walk into coffee shops like Starbucks in the morning, and you’re going to see a group of people with the Bible open.”

Ahead of Easter Sunday, TIME sent photographer Matt Eich to visit some of the people who helped Birmingham earn that designation. His pictures show congregants at a megachurch, the generation gap at one of the city’s historic houses of worship, and the intimate moments of family prayer.

LISTEN: A sermon at The Church of the Highlands

TIME Books

Harper Lee’s Upcoming Book Raises Concerns About Aging Author’s Care

In this Aug. 20, 2007 photo, author Harper Lee appears in Montgomery, Ala.
Rob Carr—AP In this Aug. 20, 2007, photo, author Harper Lee appears in Montgomery, Ala.

Has Harper Lee been unduly pressured to publish her forthcoming novel?

Fans of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird rejoiced in February when the famously reclusive author announced a forthcoming HarperCollins title, Go Set a Watchman.

However, rumors immediately circulated that Lee, now 88 and residing at an assisted-living facility, may have been burdened to release a book against her volition. The state of Alabama is currently investigating whether Lee was subjected to elder-care abuse in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala.

Given Lee’s literary stature, it is clear that any upcoming book would likely spell commercial success for the publisher, literary agent and author. However, Lee’s decades of withdrawal from the spotlight had fans and friends questioning if she had a genuine wish to publish the novel at all.

Read more at the New York Times.

Read next: So Where Has Harper Lee Been All These Years?

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: March 10

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. How do we convince Americans that justice isn’t for sale — when in 39 states, it is?

By Sue Bell Cobb in Politico

2. It took pressure from customers and investors to make corporations environmentally sustainable. It’s time to do the same for gender equity.

By Marissa Wesely in Stanford Social Innovation Review

3. London’s congestion pricing plan is saving lives.

By Alex Davies in Wired

4. Libraries should be the next great start-up incubators.

By Emily Badger in CityLab

5. Annual replanting has a devastating impact. Could perennial rice be the solution?

By Winifred Bird in Yale Environment 360

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME weather

Southern Snowstorm Knocks Out Power, Wipes Out Flights

Breck Gorman
Steve Helber—AP Breck Gorman clears his driveway with a blower during a snowstorm in Richmond, Va. on Feb. 26, 2015.

The storm left a trail of travel headaches, school closings and power outages

A swift-moving storm that dumped as much as 10 inches of snow and slush across the Deep South on Wednesday brought a wintry blast to the Mid-Atlantic on Thursday. Washington, D.C., and its suburbs were hit with 1 to 3 inches of snow before the storm tapered off after 10 a.m., The Weather Channel reported. It will remain too far offshore to bring significant snowfall to New York or hard-hit Boston.

The storm left a trail of travel headaches, school closings and power outages. More than 156,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina were without power, along with 4,000 in Virginia, 13,000 in Alabama and 2,400 in Georgia…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Law

Alabama’s Governor Apologizes to India After a Man Was Injured in a Police Encounter

The 57-year-old man was left partially paralyzed after being wrestled to the pavement near his son's home

The governor of Alabama has tendered an apology to the government of India for the actions of two police officers in the city of Madison last week that resulted in serious injuries to an Indian man.

“I deeply regret the unfortunate use of excessive force by the Madison Police Department on Sureshbhai Patel and for the injuries sustained by Mr. Patel,” reads a letter from Governor Robert Bentley to Ajit Kumar, the Indian Consul General in Atlanta.

Patel, 57, was left partially paralyzed after being thrown on the ground by two police officers who stopped him on the sidewalk near his son’s home on Feb 6. Patel had come from India to help take care of his 17-month-old grandson.

“I sincerely hope that Mr. Patel continues to improve and that he will regain full use of his legs,” Bentley’s letter reads.

Bentley said he has also initiated an investigation into the incident by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, parallel to the one being conducted by the FBI.

Eric Parker, the 26-year-old policeman who turned himself in following the release of dashcam footage of the incident, and who was subsequently fired, has pleaded not guilty to assault charges leveled against him.

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