The Alabama Department of Insurance is hitting Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama with an eight million dollar penalty. The insurer is being fined for charging rates higher or lower than those approved by the state. The unauthorized rates were imposed between 2005 and 2013 and resulted in thirty three million dollars in over charges and one hundred and seven million in undercharges. Al.com reports the charges occurred in about 1,400 plans issued to small group employers and some insurance plans for former employees.

The National Weather Service put counties on the eastern side of Alabama under a tropical storm warning ahead of Irma. Communities in east Alabama, including Huntsville and Guntersville, could see tropical storm force winds with gusts up to seventy miles per hour. Governor Kay Ivey activated the Alabama National Guard and Alabama’s Emergency Response Center ahead of the storm. Georgia spent the day under a Hurricane warning after State troopers turned Interstate 16 into a one-way escape route for a few hours Saturday as evacuees packed cars and fled the Georgia coast ahead Irma.

Trusted Companions

Sep 9, 2017
jeici1 [Flickr]

Even at times when you don't have access to TV, you can always listen to Alabama Public Radio.  On the road, running errands, to and from work, even during a storm when the power is out, you can stay connected to what's interesting, what's important, what you need to know.

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ballotpedia.org

A former state representative in Birmingham has pled guilty to multiple charges in connection with an EPA Superfund site in the area.

 

Federal prosecutors are charging former Representative Oliver Robinson with conspiracy, bribery, wire fraud and tax evasion. Prosecutors say Robinson took a contract with a private law firm in exchange with using his position in the state legislature to fight the expansion of an EPA Superfund site in Birmingham. The Superfund site is heavily contaminated with lead, arsenic, and other chemicals.

 

Strange Hoping for Boost as Runoff Election Nears

Sep 8, 2017

As the Alabama Senate race heads into its final stretch, incumbent Luther Strange may need a lot of help from Washington to have a chance. Three polls show the senator trailing former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore by double digits. Two more show Strange behind, but within the margin of error. 

Alabama Braces for Irma Evacuees

Sep 8, 2017
NOAA

 Hurricane Irma is causing one of the largest mass evacuations in United States history, and the state of Alabama is prepping to help Floridians seek shelter.  

 A heavy influx of traffic is expected along Interstates 65 and 10 through coastal Alabama and into the rest of the state.  Alabama transportation officials will meet to discuss possible gridlock concerns, especially on Interstate 10 in downtown Mobile, which is already notorious for traffic backups.

 

Governor Kay Ivey Announces Official Gubernatorial Run

Sep 7, 2017

Alabama’s Governor has announced she will run to keep her office next year. Governor Kay Ivey has announced that she will enter the gubernatorial race in 2018. Ivey served as lieutenant governor before Robert Bentley resigned in April. Ivey says she has “steadied the ship” after the scandal that forced then Governor Bentley out of office.   

All year long, the Alabama Public Radio news team has been investigating rural healthcare in the state. Studies often list Alabama as having the worst infant mortality rate in the nation. One factor is the lack of maternity units in rural hospitals in Alabama. This can lead to premature births or delayed care, which are often blamed for early infant death. APR’s Pat Duggins has more on a hospital business model that could help, but possible changes to the Affordable Care Act might make matters worse…

Two Alabama death row inmates are asking the state Supreme Court to halt their executions scheduled for next month.  

 Lawyers on Wednesday asked the Alabama Supreme Court to stop the executions since the 11th Circuit Court ordered hearings in a separate lawsuit challenging the humaneness of the state's lethal injection procedure.

 Governor Kay Ivey has raised $1 million for her still unannounced gubernatorial campaign.     A campaign finance report showed that Ivey's gubernatorial campaign committee has gathered the donations for the 2018 race.   

 Ivey, a Republican, has not yet announced that she plans to run for governor in 2018. However, she has begun raising money and created a campaign committee and related nonprofit. Both are signs that she intends to run.

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