News

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.

University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is honoring its first black student by renaming part of campus in his honor.  

A statement from the school says the University Commons area will now be called the Wendell W. Gunn University Commons.

Gunn was the first black student to enter what was called Florence State College at the time. He graduated with a degree in chemistry and mathematics in 1965 and earned a master's of business administration from the University of Chicago in 1971.

American Humane Association [Facebook]

In 1877, representatives from 27 humane organizations met in Cleveland, Ohio and started what would become the American Humane Association.  Go online to AmericanHumane.org and look at the history tab to see a year-by-year list of their accomplishments and activities!  It is a vivid picture of how the humane movement has evolved over the years!


Human Trafficking Subject of Performace This Weekend

Mar 2, 2018

The Alabama School of Fine Arts will present its production of Innocent Flesh Friday and Saturday. The play centers on victims of human trafficking. 

The production stars five high school students. They are only a few years older than the characters they play.

Susan McCain is directing the play. She says Alabama’s interstate 20 is considered the superhighway of human trafficking and she hopes this show raises awareness.

State officials are looking to impose a work requirement on a small number of Medicaid recipients.

Governor Kay Ivey’s office says the state will seek permission from the federal government to make that change to its Medicaid program. The proposal will only impact able-bodied parents of children under 19 who qualify for Medicaid because their family income is at or below 18 percent of the federal poverty level. That’s about $247 a month for a family of two.

The city of Gardendale, Alabama has stopped its efforts to form its own school district after a federal appeals court ruled the mostly white city can’t legally separate from the mostly black Jefferson County School System.

Gardendale Mayor Stan Hogeland and City Schools Board of Education President Michael Hogue sent a letter to the Jefferson County Board of Education yesterday saying they will not appeal the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision, and will not seek to elevate the case to the Supreme Court.

A spokesman for Alabama Governor Kay Ivey says Ivey is willing to debate her opponents ahead of the June primary.  

 Brent Buchanan told The Associated Press Wednesday that the governor is "happy to discuss her record" in a debate.

Alabama state employees would see their first cost-of-living raise in a decade under a bill that passed the state Senate yesterday.

Senators voted nearly unanimously to approve a 3 percent pay raise for state employees. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for debate.

Republican Senator Clyde Chambliss says “This is a long time coming. That being said, we’ve had some difficult waters economically between then and now.”

State employees haven’t had a cost-of-living pay increase since 2008, although there have been merit-based raises issued since then.

Sexual Assault Nurse Program Planned For Tuscaloosa

Feb 28, 2018
Katie Willem

A national news story may help to spark change in Tuscaloosa. Work is underway to offer a new service following the suicide of former University of Alabama student Megan Rondini. APR Student reporter Katie Willem has more on the program called SANE…

“Have you ever seen a SANE facility before? Let’s do that. Yeah, let’s do that.”

That’s Meg McGlamery. She’s the Executive Director at the Crisis Center in Birmingham. This includes what’s called a SANE facility. SANE is short for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. One of the first things you notice is the art on the walls.   

The Alabama Senate has approved a bill aimed at allowing the Ten Commandments to be displayed in schools and government buildings despite criticisms that it was an unconstitutional establishment of religion.  

 Senators voted 23-3 for the proposed constitutional amendment on Tuesday. It now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.

Alabama State House
AP

Alabama’s ethics law for public employees and state officials could see some changes soon.

State Senate President Del Marsh filed a bill late last week including several measures aimed at clarifying or in some cases strengthening the ethics law. However, the bill would also allow state legislators to create legal defense funds and would provide a lobbying exemption for “economic development professionals”, provisions that give current ethics officials pause.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in the case of a man sentenced to death for killing a Mobile police officer but who lawyers say can’t remember the 1985 murder.

The court took up Alabama death row inmate Vernon Madison’s case yesterday. Madison had been scheduled to be executed in January, but the court stayed the execution to consider whether to take the case.

Madison’s attorneys argue strokes and dementia have left him unable understand why he’s facing the death penalty, or to remember killing Mobile police officer Julius Schulte.

AL House, Senate Debating Marijuana Reform

Feb 26, 2018

Alabama lawmakers are considering a bill that would weed out less serious drug offenders.

Democratic Representative Patricia Todd and Republican Senator Dick Brewbaker are sponsoring a bill that would reclassify possession of less than ounce of marijuana as a civil offense. The bill has passed through the Senate and House Judiciary Committees and will now move to the Senate floor.

ci.tuscaloosa.al.us / City of Tuscaloosa

City leaders in Tuscaloosa are focusing on encouraging more development on the city’s west side and in other parts of the community.

The Tuscaloosa News reports plans involve luring new investors and development to west Tuscaloosa as well as eastern and southern areas of the city that have been neglected or fallen from favor.

Concordia College Alabama will close its doors at the end of the spring semester. The Selma Times-Journal reports the faculty, staff and the student body were informed of the decision last week. Dr. James Lyons delivered the news. He’s the college's chief transition officer and interim president. The school was founded in 1922 and has a current student population of around four hundred. It is Selma's only four-year college accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Spay Day 2018

Feb 24, 2018
Humane Society of the United States

Spaying and neutering saves lives.  With fewer puppies and kittens being born and crowding the shelters, a homeless pet will have a better opportunity to find a new home and a caring owner!

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All sides are picking up the pieces following the postponed execution of Alabama death row inmate Doyle Lee Hamm. State officials called off the lethal injection process after the medical team unsuccessfully tried to find a usable vein to administer the three drug cocktail used in capital punishment. Technicians worked to insert the needle repeatedly in the prisoner’s legs, ankles, and groin in a process that caused Hamm severe bleeding and pain.

The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced a bill aimed at getting more oversight for hundreds of faith-based day cares that currently go uninspected by the state.

Committee members voted unanimously yesterday in favor of the bill, described as a compromise between child welfare advocates and church centers. The measure has already passed the House and now moves to the Senate floor for debate.

Alabama Death Row
EJI

A federal judge has ruled that an Alabama inmate battling serious health issues does, in fact, have good enough veins to safely undergo a lethal injection.

U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre denied a request from Doyle Lee Hamm to block his execution, currently scheduled for tomorrow. Hamm and his attorney have argued that lethal injection would be unconstitutionally cruel in his case, as drug use along with lymphoma and hepatitis C have severely compromised Hamm's veins. His lawyer also argues it would be inhumane to execute someone already battling cancer.

The Alabama Senate has approved a state general fund budget that gives additional money to the state prison system.

That’s part of an effort to comply with a court order to overhaul the health and mental health care provided to inmates. Last summer, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled that the prison mental health system was “horrendously inadequate” and that changes had to be made.

Alabama officials say the state exported a record $21.7 billion in automobiles, chemicals and other goods last year.

The Tuscaloosa News reports the combined value of state goods and services shipped overseas last year jumped more than 6 percent over 2016. Alabama’s Department of Commerce says exports have increased by more than half over the last decade.

An agreement has been reached to move a minor league baseball team from the Alabama Gulf Coast to the Tennessee Valley.

BallCorps LLC announced that a lease, license and management agreement has been signed for the Mobile BayBears to move to Madison, Alabama. The team will continue to play at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile through the 2019 season, and will then move to a new $46 million, 7,000 seat ballpark in Madison for the 2020 season.

Dr. Trudier Harris
UA

An Alabama native and African-American author has won the University of Alabama’s annual non-fiction writing award for her work on women and black southern writers.

The university released a statement late last week naming Dr. Trudier Harris as this year’s winner of the Clarence E. Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing. Dr. Harris has written or edited more than two dozen books including the award-winning “The Scary Mason-Dixon Line: African American Writers and the South”.

senior planning (Jacob Edward) [Flickr]

Poor dental health for your pet can lead to gingivitis or periodontal disease, common dental issues for your best friend.  It is estimated that most pets show signs of periodontal disease as early as three years old.  Regular checkups and good dental care can help to insure that your pet stays healthy, and keep you both smiling,

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 A federal judge has sentenced former Alabama House Majority Leader Representative Micky Hammon to three months in prison for felony mail fraud.  

 U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson on Thursday rebuffed a prosecution recommendation for Hammon to spend no time behind bars.

President Trump is speaking for the first time about the shooting at a high school in South Florida that left at least 17 people dead. Click the title to view live coverage of his speech...

 

The Alabama Department of Public Health has closed shellfish growing waters in Baldwin and Mobile counties.  

Authorities say Areas I, II, III, IV, V and VI are closed and includes Cedar Point, Portersville Bay, Heron Bay and Dauphin Island Bay.

    The order by Acting State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris closed harvesting as of 3 p.m. Monday. It was issued as a result of possible bacteriological contamination of the oyster beds due to recent rainfall.    Officials said Wednesday that harvesting will resume as soon as the areas meet acceptable bacteriological criteria. 

A federal appeals court says a mostly white Alabama city won’t be allowed to break away from a mostly black county school system in order to form its own educational district.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that a lower court was wrong to let the Birmingham suburb of Gardendale split from the Jefferson County school system. The city is more than 80 percent white, while the court decision says the county system is heavily black.

State Senator Slade Blackwell has dropped out of the race for Alabama governor, shortly after having announced his surprise candidacy.

Alabama Republican Party spokesperson Katie Lansford says Blackwell withdrew from the race yesterday. He had initially planned to run for another term in his Mountain Brook senate district, but signed up to run for governor just before the qualifying deadline on Friday instead.

Hank Sanders
via Twitter

Alabama's longest-serving state senator says he has decided to step aside in favor of his daughter.

Senator Hank Sanders announced Saturday that he will not be seeking a 10th term in office. He says his daughter, Malika Sanders-Fortier, will run in his place for the Senate District 23 seat, which covers the Selma area.

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