Orange Beach oil
Julie Dermanksy

A massive grant from the RESTORE Act and the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council will help fund a variety of projects in southwest Alabama.

Fifty projects will be given funding for infrastructure, environmental restoration and economic development thanks to that $315 million grant. The biggest payouts include $56 million for road expansion projects in Baldwin County, $28 million for a new facility at the Port of Mobile, $27 million for projects affecting Aloe Bay on Dauphin Island and $21 million to redevelop the docks in Bayou La Batre.

The director of the state Ethics Commission says a bill before Alabama lawmakers could weaken ethics enforcement in the state. “Considerably,” chairman Tom Albritton says of the potential damage. The House of Representatives approved a bill to exempt economic developers from the definition of “lobbyist” under the state ethics law.

Supporters argue it is needed to help Alabama compete with other states for projects and factories by keeping developers' activity confidential. Critics said it opens up an exemption in the ethics law that governs interactions with government officials.

Mindy Norton

We are fortunate to have a friend who takes care of our furry friends when we are away.  It's really a personal choice but if she were not available, I would probably consider hiring an experienced pet sitter.

****************************

A bill that passed the Alabama Senate yesterday would give payday loan customers longer to repay their loans.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Arthur Orr, would give borrowers 30 days to repay a loan, instead of as little as 10 days in some cases. Orr says that change would give people a much better chance at paying off the loan. He says the change drops the effective yearly interest rate of payday loans from 450 percent APR down to 220 percent.

A north Alabama man pleaded guilty to terrorism charges yesterday, admitting he bought bomb-making materials and had hoped to conduct terrorist attacks.

In federal court in Birmingham, Aziz Sayyed, 23, of Huntsville, entered the guilty plea to charges that he sought to aid a foreign terrorist organization.

Huffman police
Brynn Anderson / AP

One of the largest schools in Birmingham is closed today after metal detectors and other security measures failed to prevent a 17-year-old student from being fatally shot and another wounded in an apparent accident.

Investigators are reviewing surveillance video and interviewing students and staff to try to figure out exactly what led to the shooting at Huffman High School yesterday at dismissal time.

Birmingham Interim Police Chief Orlando Wilson says “We consider it accidental until the investigation takes us elsewhere. We have a lot of unanswered questions.”

A lawyer representing an Alabama death row inmate whose lethal injection was recently halted after staffers could not connect an intravenous line says his client should not face a second date in the death chamber.

An attorney for Doyle Lee Hamm wrote in state court filings yesterday that Hamm had experienced "torture" during the failed attempt to execute him two weeks ago. Bernard Harcourt says attempting the procedure again would violate a constitutional ban on cruel punishment.

Hamm has severely compromised veins from a battle with lymphoma as well as past drug use.

More civil rights groups are challenging a federal judge's ruling that a law requiring Alabama voters to show a valid photo ID is not discriminatory.

Alabama has required voters to present government-issued photo identification at the polls since 2014. The Alabama NAACP and Greater Birmingham Ministries sued over the law in 2015, arguing it disproportionately affects minorities.

twitter.com

Wilder survived a pummeling from Luis Ortiz, then knocked out the challenger in the 10th round Saturday night to retain his crown. Befitting the undefeated champion from Alabama, it was a wild affair for the final few rounds after Wilder gave Ortiz a solid lead.  

Even after Wilder knocked down Ortiz in the fifth round, the bout remained in the Cuban's favor.

Then, in the seventh, Wilder was dazed and confused by Ortiz's assault. Though he never hit the canvas, he stumbled to his corner when that round ended. The end seemed near.

rex-lumber.com

A $110 million lumber manufacturing facility will be built in southern Alabama. 

The Florida-based Rex Lumber Co. will build the state-of-the-art facility and create more than 110 jobs, Al.com reported.

Governor Kay Ivey says the plant called "Project Red Fox" will produce a minimum of 240 million board feet per year. The plant will be located in an unincorporated part of Pike County.

Work on the site will begin March 15.

Pages

Latest APR Newscast

StoryCorps - Mobile Stories

Don Noble's Book Reviews

Program: Don Noble's Book Reviews

This Week Don Reviews "The Vain Conversation: A Novel" By: Anthony Grooms

Speaking of Pets with Mindy Norton

Steve Flowers' Political Commentaries