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Newscast
9:13 am
Tue May 19, 2015

Layoffs for Alabama Workers, Solar Sail Set to Launch

A Walter Energy mine in Tuscaloosa County

Alabama workers are facing layoffs at the state’s Blue Bell Creameries facilities and at Walter Energy.

Blue Bell is trimming its workforce nationally due to the temporary closure over listeria concerns. Over 250 Blue Bell employees in the state will be temporarily furloughed, with another 45 losing their jobs entirely. Blue Bell recently stated that they’ll be cutting a third of their workforce nationwide.

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News
4:38 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

UA Students compete in NASA Competition, UAB football saga continues

Engineering students from Alabama are helping NASA design ways to dig for minerals on other planets. The agency’s Robotics Mining Competition begins this morning at the Kennedy Space Center.  Students from the University of Alabama and Shelton State Community College have built a robot digger for the competition.

Dr. Kenneth Ricks is an associate professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering.  He says this is robotics mining competition puts his team up against some of the best programs on the planet…

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Newscast
10:03 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Time Crunch for State Budget, NASA Robotics Mining Competition

Alabama engineering student Kellen Schroeter adjust his team's mining robot.

With only eight days left in the current legislative session, state lawmakers are running short on both time and options to patch a $200 million hole in the General Fund Budget.

The Alabama House of Representatives is set to vote tomorrow on a budget draft totaling $1.6 billion for next year. That would cut around 200 million dollars from funding for a wide variety of state agencies. House Speaker Mike Hubbard says his aim is to get that budget onto the Senate floor, and then work with Senators on a possible solution to avoid those cuts.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat May 16, 2015

What the Dog Ate

Belgian Malinois with a durable toy in its mouth
Credit mt-sign (Marc-Andre Trage) [Flickr]

Limiting your dog's access to harmful items may not be easy, especially if your dog is intelligent or crafty.  But it's worth the effort if it keeps your best friend safe and healthy. 

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News
4:38 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Hangout Music Fest, Nepal Fundraiser in Birmingham

The sixth annual Hangout Music Fest kicks off this afternoon on the beaches of Gulf Shores.

The three-day music festival features more than 80 performances by some of the biggest music names in the world, like Beck, the Foo Fighters, My Morning Jacket and plenty more.

Forty thousand people are expected to head to Gulf Shores for the event, which means a big economic boom for the community. Grant Brown is the Recreation and Cultural Affairs Director for the City of Gulf Shores.

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Newscast
9:35 am
Fri May 15, 2015

General Fund Budget Taking Shape, Alabama Unites for Nepal

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

Alabama’s general fund budget is slowly starting to take shape after some action in the state house.

The House Ways and Means General Fund Committee has approved a budget that makes deep cuts to state agencies. The budget would cut Medicaid, mental health and state prisons corrections by five percent. Other state agencies would be cut by nine percent.

This proposal would impact the general fund budget. Alabama’s schools are funded by a separate spending plan.

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News
4:38 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Alabama General Fund budget, Hobdy's Bridge

Alabama’s general fund budget is slowly taking shape. APR’s Pat Duggins reports on action in the State House…

The House Ways and Means Committee has approved a budget that makes deep cuts to state agencies. The budget would cut Medicaid, mental health and state prisons corrections by five percent. Other state agencies would be cut by nine percent.

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Newscast
9:11 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Judge kills Hubbard's subpoenas, Selma tax audit and Civil War reenactment

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard

A judge recently stopped another effort from Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s defense to have his ethics case dismissed.

Lee County Judge Jacob Walker III granted a state motion to kill subpoenas against Governor Robert Bentley and the custodian of records for the Alabama Ethics Commission.

Hubbard’s lawyers say those subpoenas were necessary to learn about possible communication records from Governor Bentley regarding Attorney General Luther Strange recusing himself from the case and appointing chief prosecutor Van Davis.

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News
4:40 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Selma Audit, Alabama officers honored in Washington D.C.

Selma city officials are asking for a state audit.  A-P-R’s Stan Ingold reports the investigation may determine why the city's tax revenue during the Bloody Sunday 50th anniversary was lower than anticipated.

Mayor George Evans told the Selma Times-Journal the city's tax revenue for the month of March was roughly sixteen thousand dollars more than it was in March 2014. That's despite thousands of extra visitors coming to town for the anniversary weekend.

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Newscast
9:20 am
Wed May 13, 2015

GOP waits on tax vote, oil train regulations and fallen Alabama officers honored

Aftermath of a 2013 oil train derailment in Aliceville, AL.
Credit Reuters

The Alabama House of Representatives has delayed debate on a series of GOP-backed tax bills aimed at solving the state's General Fund Budget shortfall.

Yesterday, leaders in the legislature chose not to debate that series of tax bills that have divided Alabama’s Republican party. House Rules Chairman Mac McCutcheon says the budget bills are still being worked on.

The main piece of legislators’ new revenue plan is a 25-cents-per-pack cigarette tax increase.

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News
4:40 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

House delays votes on tax bills, UAB Alzheimer's study

The Alabama House is expected to delay votes on a series of tax bills aimed at solving the state's general fund shortfall.

The House rules committee today proposed a new agenda instead of a number of GOP-backed bills that had divided some members of the party.

The package would raise less than a third of the $541 million requested by Gov. Robert Bentley in a separate tax package.  The largest plank of the revenue plan is a 25-cents-per-pack cigarette tax increase.

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Newscast
9:18 am
Tue May 12, 2015

Gambling bill hearing, potential mental health cuts and Alzheimer's research

Mobile Greyhound Park, one proposed location for a casino in Alabama

Supporters and critics of legalized gambling and an Alabama state lottery are scheduled to meet in Montgomery today.

If approved by voters, the measure would allow casino gambling at four state dog tracks along with lotto drawings. Critics of lotteries claim they’re a tax on the poor and a study by the non-partisan John Locke Foundation in North Carolina appears to support that idea.

Foundation spokesman Mitch Kokai says they examined who bought tickets during the first year of North Carolina’s lottery in 2007.

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News
4:38 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

Michelle Obama comments, Alabama Launchpad competition

Forecasters say scattered strong thunderstorms are possible across northern Alabama, with the potential that some could become severe.

The National Weather Service says the main threats from Monday's storms will be damaging winds of up to 60 mph, large hail and frequent lightning.

Forecasters expect the storms to develop Monday afternoon and evening ahead of a slow-moving cold front.

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Newscast
9:03 am
Mon May 11, 2015

Restraining order against Lear Corp, First Lady at Tuskegee and Tallapoosa County tax vote

First Lady Michelle Obama at Tuskegee University

A federal judge in Alabama recently ruled to leave a temporary restraining order in place against a Hyundai auto supplier after the company was accused of firing an employee during a federal safety investigation.

The ruling is a continuation of an order requested by the U.S. Labor Department after Lear Corp. fired former employee Kimberly King for making public allegations about exposure to hazardous chemicals in the plant.

King and several other employees had developed asthma and other breathing problems after working in the plant.

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