Raymond Atkins, an English instructor at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, has a nice little career going.
“The Front Porch Prophet” (2008) won Georgia Author of the Year Award for First Novel.
His second, “Sorrow Wood” (2009), has won The Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction, given by Mercer University. Sams’ best-known novels are “Run with the Horsemen” (1982) and “The Whisper of the River” (1984).
SELMA, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Department of Education is monitoring Selma's school district and has drafted a more than 80-page corrective plan after probing allegations of sexual misconduct and administrators pressuring teachers to change students' grades. Superintendent Gerald Shirley told the Selma Times Journal district officials received a letter from the Department of Education Wednesday and district employees will be provided with a copy of the 83-page corrective plan. The plan lays out four broad goals and 17 more specific goals for the district.
Alabama farmers say heavy rain and fungus have put a dent in the pecan crop.
J. Ryan Williams of Quality Co-Op said his firm is paying 60 cents per pound of pecans this year compared to 90 cents last year. He told WAKA-TV that the crop probably won't be as good because of rain and fungus.
The manager of McGowin Farm, John Fuller, said the wet summer cost his operation thousands of dollars in treatments to prevent moisture-related diseases. He said the farm was able to save its harvest.
Some folks may be hesitant to adopt an older pet, but the advantages usually outweigh the disadvantages. Often the adoption fee is reduced for senior pets, making them a smart choice for adoption. In return, the human gets a healthy, loving pet, a companion and a new best friend!
A state agency director says the Tennessee Valley Authority employees slated for layoffs in Alabama will receive the same services as workers laid off by private industries.
The director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Jim Byard, says that once a closing date is known for TVA's six coal-fired generating units, the state will help laid-off workers with a variety of services. They include applying for unemployment insurance, getting job referrals, preparing resumes and securing money for job retraining.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama is getting $12.6 million for three projects designed to restore some of the natural resources affected by the Gulf oil spill in 2010. Gov. Robert Bentley says the money approved by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is the initial part of $356 million that is expected for Alabama projects from the federal government's plea deal with BP and Transocean. The governor said $6.8 million will go toward restoring degraded streams and reducing excessive erosion in the D'Olive Watershed.
Alabama's largest health insurance company and the state Insurance Department had more questions than answers after the president said consumers should be allowed to renew individual plans slated to end under the federal health care law.
At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, spokeswoman Koko Mackin said the company is reviewing the president's statement and evaluating its impact on the requirements for implementing the federal law.
The nation's largest public utility has voted to close six coal-powered units in Alabama and replace two more in Kentucky with a new natural gas plant.
At a Thursday meeting, Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson said increasingly stringent environmental regulations and flat power demand have made it necessary to rethink how the utility generates power.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell met with Johnson last month to seek continued operation of the coal-burning Paradise Fossil Plant in Drakesboro, Ky. One coal-fired unit will remain there.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - A Tuscaloosa County Circuit judge has dismissed a case involving a city school board candidate who accused University of Alabama fraternity and sorority members of manipulating the election. In a 14-page opinion, Judge James Roberts cited insufficient evidence as the reason he couldn't overturn and nullify the city's school board election. Kelly Horwitz has claimed that students were pressured to vote or received offers of alcohol, concert tickets and other perks in the election she lost on Aug. 27.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's first day in Japan included a meeting with a trade official.
A spokesman for the governor said he talked with Hiroyuki Ishige, the chairman and CEO of the Japan External Trade Organization. The group works to promote trade and investment. Bentley gave him a pen crafted from a dogwood tree downed by the April 2011 tornado in Tuscaloosa.
DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) - State higher education officials say the state has seen an increase in the number of international students coming to Alabama. Alabama Commission on Higher Education statistics show that more than 2,800 international students were enrolled in college classes in Alabama in 2011, which is the most recent year for which statistics are available. State education officials say less than 1,000 international students were studying in the state in 2006.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Arctic air is expected to bring freezing temperatures to northern Alabama. The National Weather Service projects that temperatures will dip to the lower to mid-20s in some areas. In the Gadsden area, low temperatures on Tuesday night could fall to around 26 degrees. The next night, forecasters expect the temperature to drop to around 21 degrees in Gadsden. In the Huntsville area, low temperatures are expected to be around 25 degrees Tuesday night and around 23 degrees Wednesday night.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A new national report shows Indian gambling in Alabama is growing by record numbers, while revenue from non-Indian gambling keeps falling.
Casino City's North American Gaming Almanac says total gambling revenue in Alabama grew by 25 percent in 2011, which was the biggest increase in the nation. It was fueled by Indian gambling, which grew more than 26 percent. Almanac editor-in-chief Vin Narayanan says Poarch Creek Indian casinos have benefited from the state's shutdown of non-Indian sites.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — AJ McCarron threw three touchdown passes, T.J. Yeldon ran for 133 yards and two scores and No. 1 Alabama overwhelmed No. 10 LSU 38-17 Saturday night. The Crimson Tide (9-0, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) turned to power football to take control of a game that was tied early in the third quarter. Yeldon carried 18 times in the second half, 25 overall, after catching the game-winning touchdown pass in last season's meeting with the Tigers (7-3, 3-3). Alabama scored the final 21 points to brush aside its first challenge since Game 2 against Texas A&M.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Jefferson County officials are seeking dismissal of two lawsuits by sewer customers as part of the county's plan to emerge from bankruptcy.
Al.com reports county attorneys filed a court motion last week asking a judge to throw out the lawsuits as part of the county's agreement with creditors. Attorneys for the plaintiffs in both cases, who sued over rate increases, said they oppose having the suits dismissed.