Green Garden Girl [Flickr]

The dog house pictured here is a nice one - roomy, elevated a couple of inches off the ground, with shingles that keep things dry inside.  The only improvement would be a little shade in the hot summer sun!

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The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has directed a judge to redo the sentencing order for a man sentenced to die for killing his ex-girlfriend in 2011. 

 Appellate judges on Friday ruled that Cedric Jerome Floyd should get a new sentencing order. The court ruled that the judge who sentenced Floyd to the death penalty failed to adequately explain the finding, as required by law, that the crime was particularly heinous and warranted a death sentence.

Mo Brooks
Getty

The race to fill Alabama’s second U.S. Senate seat is heating up, and a recent informal poll could spell bad news for the incumbent.

Nine candidates, both Republican and Democrat, vying for Jeff Sessions’ former Senate seat participated in a candidate forum and straw poll last night in Huntsville. Al.com reports the event was organized by the Christian Citizen Task Force, with over 300 people in attendance.

State prosecutors are urging an appellate court to uphold the ethics conviction of former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard.  

The attorney general's office argued this week in a court filing that Hubbard's behavior was in clear violation of the law.

Lindsay Turner Trammell
Schoolyard Roots

Since 2010, the Druid City Garden Project has operated teaching gardens in Tuscaloosa city and county elementary schools. The gardens enhance students’ math, science and even English classes – and a University of Alabama study has shown working in the school gardens has not only improved students’ education, but also their eating habits and propensity to eat healthier food options.

Now, the organization is announcing some changes to take the program beyond the boundaries of Tuscaloosa.

weather.gov

 Strong storms have caused isolated damage in north Alabama.  

The National Weather Service says storms with winds blowing as hard as 50 mph knocked down trees and toppled power lines in the northeast Alabama city of Gadsden on Wednesday.

    No injuries were reported, but storms were still moving through the region. Forecasters say heavy rain and more damaging winds were possible north of Interstate 20.    The weather service says strong storms also were developing in south Alabama.    

After a bloody stretch in the state’s capital, Montgomery officials are working to get guns off the streets by appealing to people's pocketbooks.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports CrimeStoppers and the Central Alabama Community Foundation partnered for a gun buyback program this past weekend, where people were offered cash in exchange for turning in weapons. Rifles, shotguns and functioning handguns were worth $50 each, and weapons considered high-capacity – able to shoot more than a regular 12-round magazine – were worth $100.

A lot of outdoor activities are scheduled for Independence Day today. The temperatures are also creeping into the nineties with lots of humidity. So, health officials say it’s important to be aware of the risk of heat illness. One of the most common conditions is heat exhaustion. That’s when you get overheated and lose electrolytes through sweating. If it goes untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which can be fatal. Dr. Ed Geno teaches family medicine at the University of Alabama. He says people need to know what to look out when it comes to heat stroke…

A new survey shows optimism is high among Alabama business leaders. The latest Alabama Business Confidence Index shows level of sixty one point six percent. That's well above the five-year average for the third straight quarter. The report is compiled from a survey on expectations for the coming quarter. Those numbers are compared to the current quarter. The index looks at industry sales, profits, hiring, capital expenditures, plus expectations for Alabama’s economy and the nation’s. The survey is conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama.

If your Fourth of July plans include a visit to Orange Beach, it’ll cost less to get there. The company that operates the Beach Express Toll bridge is lowering its prices for the summer. Toll rates for visitors to Orange Beach are dropping by seventy five cents. The toll is going from three dollars and fifty cents to two dollars and seventy five cents until after Labor Day. Orange Beach residents will see their tolls drop by a twenty five cents, down from a dollar twenty five to just a dollar. The drop is meant to help ease congestion on Alabama highway fifty nine.

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