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Science & Health
5:51 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

NWS Confirms 4 Tornadoes Hit Alabama

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service says at least four tornadoes touched down in Alabama during this week's storms, including an EF-2 tornado that flung a semitrailer onto the roof of an industrial plant in the Fort Payne area.

The Fort Payne-area twister was brief but powerful, with estimated winds up to 125 mph. Survey crews from the weather service say it flipped three large semitrailers, vaulting one into the air and onto the factory's roof around 12:30 a.m. Friday.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat February 22, 2014

World Spay Day

Tuesday, February 25th, is World Spay Day!
Credit WorldSpayDay.org

Spaying female pets and neutering male pets is the most reliable way to prevent the births of companion animals that continue to add the the problem of pet overpopulation.  World Spay Day reminds us that this is not a local problem but a global one.  And every pet owner can help to do something about it!

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Politics & Government
10:45 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Lawmakers want Ten Commandments displayed in schools

blog.al.com

The Alabama House has approved a bill aimed at allowing the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public schools and state buildings.

Representatives voted 77-19 Thursday for the proposed constitutional amendment that goes to the Senate and would also have to be approved by voters.

Valley Republican Rep. DuWayne Bridges says Alabama should celebrate the country's religious roots. He predicted that Alabamians would overwhelmingly approve the measure.

The legislation specifies that the display would have to be intermingled with other historical documents.

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Politics & Government
8:00 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

AT&T-Backed Bill Wins Senate Support

att.com

The Alabama Legislature has agreed to end the ability of landline phone customers to call the state's utility regulatory board with service complaints.

The Alabama Senate voted 33-0 Thursday to approve a bill that does away with the Public Service Commission's authority to handle landline phone complaints. The bill passed the House earlier and now goes to the governor for his approval.

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Politics & Government
7:53 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Ala Senate Votes to Regulate Tanning Beds

tanaholicapp.blogspot.com

The Alabama Legislature is set to regulate the use of tanning salons by teens.

The Alabama Senate voted 23-3 Thursday to give final approval to a tanning bed regulatory bill. It passed the House earlier this month 92-2.

The bill prohibits children 14 and under from using tanning beds unless prescribed by a physician. 15-year-olds could get a tan if a parent is present and gives written permission. 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds could get a tan with written permission from a parent.

Science & Health
7:50 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Tornado Watches Issued in Alabama

The National Weather Service has issued tornado watches covering most of the state.

One watch set to expire at 1 a.m. Friday includes Bibb, Dallas, Tuscaloosa Counties and others. Another watch set to expire at 3 a.m. includes Cullman, Etowah, Jefferson, Limestone and Montgomery counties, among others.

A storm system moving eastward out of Mississippi will mean a threat of strong storms beginning in central Alabama Thursday night. The National Weather Service says chances are greatest northwest of a line extending roughly from Selma to Anniston.

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Business & Education
12:07 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

School Proposed "Traditional Couples Only" Prom

http://ghs.butlerco.k12.al.us/

A south Alabama school superintendent says one high school erred in its attempt to limit prom attendance to "traditional couples."

Greenville High School has since rescinded the rules that stated only male/female couples would be allowed to dance at the 2014 Junior/Senior Prom.

Butler County Superintendent Amy Bryan says the school made a mistake and that discrimination of any kind would not be tolerated in the district.

Bryan says the school administrator who issued the prom rules was mistaken in trying to micro-manage the event.

Politics & Government
8:39 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Ala Attorney General Criticizes Budget

lutherstrange.com

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says he is concerned about what lawmakers' proposed General Fund budget will mean for his office.

The House Ways and Means General Fund Committee on Wednesday approved a budget that zeroes out the office's current $7 million appropriation. The budget bill says the office should instead use $7 million from the national settlement with five big mortgage companies.

Strange says it is troubling that lawmakers would not guarantee full funding for the office that prosecutes criminals and is trying the BP oil spill case.

Politics & Government
8:35 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Parker Griffith Kicks Off Campaign for Governor

opensecrets.org

Former U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith kicked off his Democratic campaign for governor by calling for the creation of a state lottery to fund college scholarships and an expansion of the state Medicaid program under the federal health care law.

Griffith says a healthier, better educated Alabama will lead to more jobs.

Griffith outlined his campaign agenda of jobs, education and health care in a letter posted on his new campaign website Wednesday. In interviews, he called Republican incumbent Robert Bentley timid for not expanding Medicaid.

Politics & Government
6:51 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Committees Taking Up High-Profile Bills Wednesday

Legislative committees will be busy today with some high-profile bills set to be considered. 

The House Education Policy Committee will consider a bill that would allow teachers to read the opening prayers of Congress at the start of the school day and another bill to clarify that private schools are not subject to regulation by the State Department of Education. 

Also, the House Health Committee is considering multiple abortion bills - including one that would ban abortion after the fetal heartbeat is detected. 

Politics & Government
3:56 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Legislative Overview for Wednesday

The Associated Press

A summary of action in the Alabama Legislature on Tuesday, the 15th meeting day of the regular session:

HOUSE:

—Approved a bill creating a gap insurance program so schools destroyed by fire or a natural disaster can be rebuilt to current school standards. Goes to Senate.

—Approved a bill creating a board to govern the Local Government Health Insurance Program. Goes to Senate.

SENATE:

—Honored 2002 Olympic gold medalist Vonetta Flowers of Birmingham.

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Lethal Injection
4:02 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Ala. Seeks To Keep Secret Execution Drug Suppliers

Alabama lawmakers are seeking to keep secret the manufacturers and suppliers of the drugs used in lethal injection executions.
Credit blog.al.com

Alabama lawmakers are seeking to keep secret the manufacturers and suppliers of the drugs used in lethal injection executions.

The House Judiciary Committee approved the bill Tuesday.

The bill would require the state to keep the identities of people and companies who provide the drugs to the state confidential.

Rogersville Republican Lynn Greer says the state needs to make sure it can continue to obtain the lethal injection drugs.

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Business & Education
7:40 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Toyota Plant in Huntsville Hits a Milestone

al.com

State and local officials are set to celebrate a milestone for a north Alabama auto engine plant.

Gov. Robert Bentley, U.S. senators Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby and others plan to commemorate the production of the 3-millionth engine at Toyota Motor Manufacturing's plant in Huntsville.

The plant produced a record 540,000 engines last year and is the only Toyota plant globally to build four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines.

The celebration comes on the heels of an announcement Monday that firearms manufacturer Remington Outdoor Co. plans to expand to Huntsville.

Business & Education
6:57 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Saban Wants Mercedes Dealership; Plans on Hold for Now

APR

Nick Saban confirms he and a partner are working to open a Mercedes-Benz dealership in the Birmingham area.  Al.com reports the Alabama football coach said a statement Monday he's "honored to join the Mercedes family" and "extremely excited" about the business venture planned for Irondale.

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Science & Health
6:44 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Alabama Researcher Observes Black Hole Destroying a Star

An illustration of a tidal disruption event. As the star approaches the black hole, it gets torn apart by the gravitational forces and accretes around the black hole. Image credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss
astrobites.org

A University of Alabama researcher and his team believe they’ve been able to observe a black hole destroying a star in a galaxy far, far away.   Peter Maksym led the study of data from NASA’s Chandra telescope that observed a large x-ray flare. 

Peter Maksym: “You have this tiny little galaxy that appears to have had a really huge x-ray flare.  This is really solid evidence that it’s got a massive black hole of some sort.”

Maksym says the flare was probably created when a star got too close to the black hole and was destroyed. 

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