Some state lawmakers have reportedly received subpoenas for their campaign finance records in what appears to be a review of campaign spending.

At least two Alabama lawmakers have confirmed with the Associated Press that they received subpoenas from the state attorney general’s office. They say they believe the focus of the subpoenas is on the use of credit cards in political campaigns, and making sure all card purchases are campaign-related.

The city of Gulf Shores has hired its first school superintendent as part of the process of establishing an independent school district.

Former Pike Road schools superintendent Suzanne Freeman was hired as the interim superintendent for 180 days while officials search for a permanent replacement. Gulf Shores city school board president Kevin Corcoran says the hire was made to “remove a legal argument on whether a superintendent needs to be in place to move ahead with negotiations”.

The new mayor of Alabama’s largest city is asking the city council to approve $90 million toward the construction of a new stadium downtown.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin asked for the $90 million total to be allocated toward a new stadium on the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex-owned property downtown.

Last week, the mayor proposed that the city contribute $3 million per year for 30 years for the project, which would include a new stadium as well as additional expansion and renovation of the complex, including to the Legacy Arena.

Two North Alabama's newspapers are cutting back on their paper editions. The Decatur Daily and the Times Daily report they are discontinuing print editions on Saturdays and Mondays beginning next month. Publisher Clint Shelton says the change is due to the rising cost of newsprint and the changing habits of its readers, who are turning more to the online edition of the newspapers. “While the frequency of the print edition is changing,” says Shelton. “The newspaper's commitment to covering news, sports, events and stories every day of the week remains a 24/7 priority."

You can add one more unusual memorial to Alabama, which is known for a list of them. The city of Eufaula is adding to the list with a monument to a fish. Officials in the lakeside town on the Georgia border have unveiled a 12-foot-tall replica of a largemouth bass to celebrate its claim as the "Big Bass Capital of the World." Bass fishing draws thousands of people to Lake Eufaula each year, and the state tourism agency awarded a grant to construct the monument. It was unveiled Tuesday.

Health officials in Alabama are investigating fifty four flu-related deaths. The list includes one child. Data from the Alabama Department of Public Health shows the bulk of the deaths have occurred in the Northern District of the state and in Jefferson County. Both areas have combined for twenty three flu-related deaths in the state. quotes the ADPH which says nine deaths tied to the flu were reported in northeastern and east central Alabama, while the west central and east regions have four each. Mobile only has one reported flu-related death to the ADPH.

The Flu - in Dogs

Feb 3, 2018
lizasperling [Flickr]

With the flu season being especially difficult for humans this year, concern is growing about the threat of dog flu.  Yes, dogs have their own strain of flu, not contagious to humans but very easily spread to other dogs and even to cats.  The advice is the same for your dog as it is for you - get the flu shot.


Dennis Edwards, the lead singer of the Motown group The Temptations, has died at the age of seventy four.

The Fairfield, Alabama native joined the band in 1968 and went onto to record hits including “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” “I Can’t Get Next to You,” and “Cloud Nine.” Edwards’ family confirmed to CBS News that the singer died yesterday in Chicago. A cause of death was not revealed. Edwards would have turned seventy five years old today.

The Alabama Department of Education released report cards yesterday assigning letter grades to every school and school system in the state for their performance.

A dozen of Alabama’s 137 school systems received an A. 52 received a B and 54 received a C. The remaining 19 got a D, and no school systems were deemed failing. The grades are based on the latest test scores as well as the rate of student improvement in reading and math from one year to the next.

A state Senate committee has delayed a vote as to whether a man who was freed after spending nearly three decades on death row is entitled to financial compensation.

State Senator Paul Bussman has proposed legislation that would grant Anthony Ray Hinton $1.5 million in compensation over three years. Hinton was freed in 2015 after spending 28 years on Alabama’s death row for two murders that occurred during separate robberies of fast food restaurants in Birmingham in 1985.

Alabama’s prison system has been in the news a lot this year, and not for good reasons. Inmate riots, allegations of mismanagement and corruption, and a failed prison building plan in the state legislature have pointed out plenty of problems. The Alabama Public Radio news team has spent the past several months examining what happens as people go into the state’s prison system and what happens when they come out. This week, I examine what the State of Alabama does when people are convicted of crimes they didn’t do. Critics say, not much…

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

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, 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.  


Vernon Madison

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.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a temporary stay in the case of convicted Alabama killer Vernon Madison. His legal team has argued that the inmate should be spared because he has developed dementia and can't remember killing a police officer three decades ago. Madison was sentenced to death for the 1985 killing of Mobile Police officer Julius Schulte. The lawman had responded to a report of a missing child placed by Madison's then-girlfriend. Prosecutors said Madison crept up and shot Schulte in the back of the head as he sat in his police car.

Smithsonian Institution

When people go to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., they seem to have a checklist of what they want to see. At the National Air and Space Museum, visitors frequently start at the Apollo 11 capsule that carried astronauts to the Moon.

Alabama State House
Jay Williams / Flickr

In the wake of the first Democratic U.S. Senate victory in Alabama in a quarter-century, state lawmakers are working to get rid of special elections for Senate.

House members voted 67 to 31 yesterday in favor of a bill that would change how Senate vacancies are filled in Alabama. Instead of a special election, the governor would appoint an interim senator who would serve until the next statewide general election – up to two years.

Alabama death row

The Supreme Court has paved the way for a death row inmate to be put to death on Thursday, despite his lawyers pleading he doesn’t currently remember his crime or even understand his looming execution.

Attorneys for Vernon Madison petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday asking them to review his case and whether executing him would constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Justices rejected that request this morning without issuing a written explanation.

Gov. Kay Ivey says U.S. Congress' inability to fund the federal government will not have an impact on delivering state services.

Ivey joined Alabama's Congressional Republicans to criticize Senate Democrats for the government shutdown, which took effect after the Senate rejected a continuing resolution to keep the federal government operating last Friday.

Agencies shut down for the first time in more than four years after senators rejected a temporary spending patch. Bipartisan efforts to find an alternative fell short as a midnight deadline came and went.

Alabama's unemployment rate is holding steady at a record low level.

Gov. Kay Ivey's office says the state's jobless rate was 3.5 percent last month. That's the same as November, when the state matched its all-time low for unemployment.

Ivey's office says the December rate means nearly 2.1 million people were employed overall in the state. That's the most ever, surpassing the December number by about 45,000 residents.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey is clashing with some state lawmakers over a proposal to significantly alter the position of lieutenant governor.

Republican Sen. Gerald Dial is proposing legislation that would strip the lieutenant governor of any legislative duties, so that they would no longer preside over the Alabama Senate. The sole function of the post would be to succeed the governor in the event of his or her death, removal or resignation.

Rather than the lieutenant governor, the Senate would elect a sitting senator as presiding officer.

Kerri Lee Smith [Flickr]

Shelter workers and rescue groups make a major difference for animals every day.  Folks who make contributions  or volunteer allow them to continue helping pets.  Pitch in today to change the life of pets - you may find your own life has changed for the better, too!


Harley Barber
via Instagram

A University of Alabama student who repeatedly used a racial slur in videos on social media received immediate condemnation from her sorority and her school.

UA President Stuart Bell called the videos “highly offensive and deeply hurtful” and says the student, Harley Barber, is no longer enrolled at the university.

The videos, in which Barber repeatedly uses a racial slur for African-Americans, were first posted on a private Instagram account. However, recordings of the videos were widely shared on social media and eventually caught the attention of school administrators.