Alabama’s prison system and justice system are in the national spotlight and not for good reasons. The State’s prisons are one hundred percent overcapacity. Alabama is criticized for spending the least amount of money per inmate per day for rehabilitation, housing, and supervision in the nation. This $26 daily amount is blamed for the State’s 30% recidivism rate.  Alabama likes to trumpet its Wrongful Incarnation Act, which is supposed to compensate people sent to prison for crimes they didn’t commit.

Areas of Alabama are cleaning up after what’s called significant damage from tornadoes last night. The National Weather Service in Huntsville says at least three confirmed tornadoes hit the area. Rooves were ripped off and power lines torn down, but there are no reports of injuries. Alabama Power says nearly ten thousand customers spent the night without power, with Calhoun County being the hardest hit spot. The athletic director at Jacksonville State University reports there was significant damage to the campus. The school’s Coliseum suffered damage, but it’s still standing.

An organization that preserves Civil War battlefields is looking for volunteers to help clean up historical sites across Alabama.

The Civil War Trust says volunteers will be working at more than 160 sites nationwide during its annual cleanup day on April 7.

In Alabama, Fort Morgan is on the list of places slated for work. The red-brick fort located at the tip of the Fort Morgan Peninsula played a key role in the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864.

A German automotive supplier has opened a new $46.3 million plant in central Alabama.

MöllerTech officials say the company will hire 222 employees at the new supply plant by the end of 2019. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held this week almost 16 months after the company announced it would build the plant in Bibb County.

The plant currently has 50 employees.

The supply plant is located next door to Mercedes-Benz's new Global Logistics Center at the Scott G. Davis Industrial Park. The automaker will also have an after-sales North American hub in the park.

Alabama lawmakers are advocating to keep daylight saving time year-round and stop changing clocks.

The Alabama Senate approved a resolution Thursday by Republican Sen. Rusty Glover to "forever put an end to the deadly, energy-wasting, productivity-killing, twice-yearly changing of time." It was co-sponsored by 24 of 35 members and now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives for a final vote.

Irish Pets

Mar 17, 2018
Martin Hasketh [Flickr]

Knowing the history of a pet's breed and the purpose for which it was originally bred can help you appreciate the animal.  The Kerry Blue Terrier was originally bred to hunt rabbits and foxes; it would also herd cattle and sheep.  It is a hardy, devoted and playful friend.

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A man convicted of killing his former boss at a traveling carnival nearly two decades ago was put to death last night after having dropped his appeals and asking courts to execute him.

50-year-old Michael Wayne Eggers died at 7:29 p.m. after receiving a lethal injection at a southwest Alabama prison. He was sentenced to death for the murder of his former employer Bennie Francis Murray in 2000. Prosecutors say Eggers admitted to strangling Murray during an argument.

Alabama lawmakers are set to hold public hearings this morning on proposals to allow some teachers to carry concealed handguns into schools.

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on the bill by Republican Representative Will Ainsworth this morning. The bill would allow public school teachers and administrators to carry a pistol on school property after undergoing police training.

Ainsworth's bill is one of a number of ideas introduced to make schools safer after the fatal shooting of 17 people at a Florida high school.

State lawmakers have approved an $85 million increase for Alabama’s prison system in an effort to comply with a federal court order to improve mental health care for inmates.

Yesterday, The House of Representatives approved $30 million for the Department of Corrections before September as well as a $55 million boost in next year's general fund budget.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled last year that mental health care in Alabama's prisons was "horrendously inadequate" and ordered the state to improve conditions.

Lawyers say a settlement is possible in the case of an Alabama inmate whose lethal injection was halted last month when the execution team could not find a usable vein.

Lawyers for both the state of Alabama and death row inmate Doyle Lee Hamm wrote that they were in "serious settlement discussions." The filing did not elaborate, so it's unclear what a potential settlement may entail.

Hamm's attorney is seeking to block Alabama from attempting to execute him again.

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