Representatives from Baldwin County Schools and the newly-formed Gulf Shores school system are heading back to the negotiating table this afternoon.

Talks surrounding the Gulf Shores split from Baldwin County Schools started last week in contentious fashion, with Baldwin County superintendent Eddie Tyler threatening to call off negotiations altogether if Gulf Shores didn’t put a superintendent in place. Gulf Shores representatives argue they have a qualified team handling the transition and want to have a plan in place before hiring a superintendent.

fentanyl dose
Kensington Police Service

The Alabama Senate has voted in favor of tougher penalties for distributing fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.

Senators voted unanimously in favor of the bill yesterday. It now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives for debate.

Sen. Cam Ward, the bill's sponsor, said an influx of fentanyl, which is significantly more powerful than heroin, is causing a spike in overdose deaths. Ward says state penalties for fentanyl possession are disproportionately low, and the new bill would make the penalties similar to those for heroin.

Alabama lawmakers are holding a public hearing later today on legislation that would allow state officials to inspect church-affiliated day cares.

The House Children and Senior Advocacy Committee will discuss the proposal to allow state inspections of church-affiliated day cares at least once per year. The centers would also have to submit proof of insurance as well as the names of all workers and their criminal histories to the state.

Several of Alabama’s government heads have announced their plan for fighting the opioid epidemic currently gripping the state.

The Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council issued its report and action plan last week to find solutions to the state’s opioid crisis.

Spanish Fort High School
Wikimedia

Complaints are continuing over the curriculum in an advanced placement government class at a high school in south Alabama.

This past summer, the reading list for Gene Ponder’s AP Government class at Spanish Fort High School made news for its inclusion of titles like “Liberalism is a Mental Disorder: Savage Solutions” by conservative radio host Michael Savage and “Guilty: Liberal Victims and their Assault on America” by commentator Ann Coulter.

 The University of Montevallo received the largest gift in the school's history going toward a new building for it business school.

A $3.6 million gift was donated to the University of Montevallo's Stephens College of Business, Al.com reports. The school made the announcement Thursday. 

The college is named after Michael E. Stephens, who died last year. The college of business was named in his honor in 1997.

Stephens bequeathed the money to the school of business for the facility.

Newly elected U.S. Senator Doug Jones of Alabama addressed Mississippi Democrats at their annual dinner in Brandon.  

The dinner had traditionally been called the Jefferson-Jackson-Hamer dinner, but Democrats are now calling it the Hamer-Winter dinner, named for civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer and former Democratic Gov. William Winter.

Naming the Cat

Jan 27, 2018
Mindy Norton

This is Gypsy.  If you look closely, you will see her "tipped" left ear.  The tip was surgically removed to indicate she has already been spayed, to alert anyone who might find her, to prevent unnecessary surgery in the future.  

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Vernon Madison
EJI

Alabama inmate Vernon Madison was scheduled to be put to death last night at 6 p.m., but he is still alive this morning.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of execution last night in order to consider arguments from the 67-year-old inmate’s attorneys. Madison had been sentenced to death for the 1985 killing of Mobile police officer Julius Schulte. In the three decades since, Madison’s lawyers say he’s suffered multiple strokes and now has vascular dementia. That has left him unable to remember the crime he committed or understand his looming execution.

A gay Alabama businessman and former police officer says GOP leaders refused to let him run for sheriff after a review including questions about his sexual orientation.

Jason White tells the News-Courier of Athens that members of the Limestone County Republican Executive Committee voted to deny his bid for sheriff earlier this week. He says that decision is almost certainly linked to the fact that he’s gay and is married to another man.

White is a former Athens police officer and did run for sheriff as a Republican in 2002. He was married to a woman at that time.

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