Construction is still ongoing in Tuscaloosa for a new$16 million 911 dispatch center serving all county emergency agencies and the Emergency Management Agency.

The Tuscaloosa News reports work on the Tuscaloosa County Emergency Operations and Communications Center is expected to finish by the end of the year, with staff occupying the building next spring. Work on the building began last August.

Dave Hogg [Flickr]

Keeping your pets happy and maybe even entertained while you're away is something a pet sitter may  be able to do, with or without a bird video!

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An attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a formal complaint with the Alabama State Bar against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. 

ACLU attorney Christopher Anders argues Jeff Sessions made false statements during his confirmation hearing to become Attorney General.

Some high school students in Tuscaloosa are meeting with their state representative later today to ask him to sponsor and introduce a new bill regarding pets in hot cars.

Lawmakers are attempting to define what criminal convictions should disqualify a person from voting.    The House of Representatives voted unanimously Thursday for the bill.  

 The Alabama Constitution says people convicted of felonies involving "moral turpitude" are no longer able to vote, although politicians have disagreed through the years on what crimes should be on that list.

A state general fund budget has passed committee, and it looks like state employees won’t be getting a raise after all.

The House Ways and Means General Fund Committee approved a lean general fund budget yesterday. It gives level funding to most state agencies and removes a proposed pay raise for state employees. Lawmakers say the state can’t afford it.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley had proposed a 4 percent pay raise for state workers.

lynching memorial
Alex AuBuchon / APR

Community members gathered alongside the Equal Justice Initiative in Tuscaloosa earlier this week to shine a light on one of the darkest periods in Alabama’s history. The EJI’s Community Remembrance Project unveiled a marker commemorating the eight documented lynching victims in Tuscaloosa County.

APR’s Alex AuBuchon prepared this look at the unveiling and program.

The Alabama Senate has approved a bill that would stop requiring probate judges to sign marriage licenses.

The bill comes as a few probate judges in the state continue to refuse to issue marriage licenses to anyone so they do not have to issue them to same-sex couples.

Senators voted 22-6 for the bill yesterday. The measure now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.

Instead of a license signed by the probate judge, Republican Senator Greg Albritton's bill would require couples to file a form and affidavit with the probate judge to record their marriages.

Being Blue in a Red State...

Mar 7, 2017
Allison Mollenkamp

This Tuesday Tuscaloosa is holding municipal elections and the job of Mayor is on the ballot. Voters will choose between incumbent Walt Maddox and newcomer Stepfon Lewis. In August Birmingham will make a similar choice between William Bell and Randall Woodfin. Three of the candidates share one thing in common. They’re democrats in a deeply Republican state.

These are the two names Tuscaloosa voters will see on the ballot for Mayor. Walt Maddox is the incumbent and Stepfon Lewis is the challenger. Forty minutes away, a similar race is underway.

Some Alabama Voters Heading to Polls Today

Mar 7, 2017

Voters in Tuscaloosa as well as a House district in the Birmingham area are heading to the polls today to decide the future of their community representation.

District 58 needs a new representative in the Alabama House after Oliver Robinson retired last fall. Today the district is holding its primary election. If there is no need for a run-off, the general election will be held May 23.

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