OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — Twenty-seven schools from Alabama and Georgia are set to compete in the War Eagle BEST Robotics competition. Saturday's event is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in the Auburn University Student Activities Center. The Opelika-Auburn News reports competing teams have been given six weeks to design and build a robot that simulates the construction of a computer. The robot must collect and move items that represent transistors, gates and other CPU components. The robot will go through three-minute stages where it can earn points based on its performance.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A target of former FBI Director Louis Freeh's probe of alleged misconduct in the settlement program for compensating victims of BP's 2010 Gulf oil spill is questioning Freeh's impartiality, citing his ties to a law firm that represents the London-based oil giant. Before a judge appointed him to investigate, Freeh disclosed he is a partner at a law firm that is working on an unrelated case with lawyers from Kirkland & Ellis, which represents BP.
TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia reopens Friday after being closed due to financial problems. Officials say the ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. will include legendary music producer Rick Hall and members of the Muscle Shoals Sound rhythm section, who were known as the Swampers. Gov. Robert Bentley appointed three new board members for the hall of fame during the summer and the board set a goal of getting the tourist attraction reopened. Bentley said Thursday that he's glad the hall can again share Alabama's musical heritage with people.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A congressional study expected to be released later this month shows that two nuclear power plants in Alabama racked up 241 safety violations between 2000 and 2012. The Government Accountability Office report obtained by the Associated Press shows that Browns Ferry in Decatur was issued 141 safety violations during the time period. According to the report, six of the violations were for higher-level offenses. According to the report, Plant Farley, in Ashford, was also issued 100 violations between 2000 and 2012.
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - Former Alabama community college chancellor Bradley Byrne has picked up an endorsement in the 1st Congressional District race from the third-place finisher in the Republican primary. State Rep. Chad Fincher of Semmes says Byrne will stand up for south Alabama values and be honest with constituents. Byrne got an endorsement earlier from the fourth-place finisher, conservative columnist Quin Hillyer. Byrne led in the Republican primary on Sept. 24 and is in a runoff Nov. 5 with the second-place finisher, Orange Beach businessman Dean Young.
Alabama Public Radio continues its collaboration on the television program about business called "Alabama, Inc." The show is going statewide on your local Alabama Public Television station. This week's episode features my profile of University of Alabama graduate, and New York based fashion designer, Amanda Perna.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has asked the Alabama State University Board of Trustees to temporarily halt a search for a new president until he and the board can discuss the preliminary findings of an audit of the board's activities commissioned by the governor. Bentley said in his letter that preliminary findings by the forensic auditing firm Forensic Strategic Solutions contain "very serious" information that "deserves our full attention." The governor says the review was based partly on information he received from former ASU Pres.
ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) - Some court officials are calling the practice of contracting probation services to third party companies extortion, while others say it's an efficient way of collecting the associated fees. The Anniston Star reported Sunday that there's growing concern over municipalities outsourcing probation management duties to third-party companies. Some say the arrangements can lead to defendants becoming locked into major financial obligations for relatively minor offenses and can end up in jail for nonpayment, even if they haven't been found guilty of the original charge.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Department of Human Resources says the state is among several in the U.S. affected by a glitch that's temporarily left people unable to buy groceries with food stamp debit-style cards. A statement by the Alabama agency Saturday afternoon said the cards should be operational within a few hours. It also stressed the problem isn't associated with the partial shutdown of the federal government. States from Maine to Mississippi were also reporting problems Saturday with the Electronic Benefits Transfer system.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Four Democrats and a Republican have qualified to run for the Alabama House District 53 seat in Birmingham. Democrats qualifying included Anthony "Alann" Johnson, assistant pastor at Zion Star Baptist Church; Birmingham attorney Arthur D. Shores Lee; Demetrius C. Newton Jr., an instructor at Miles College; and Frank Topping, who is retired. The seat became open with the death of Newton's father, longtime Democratic Rep. Demetrius Newton. Qualifying as a Republican was Birmingham real estate broker Willie "W.A." Casey.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - DCH Health System officials say the medical center is bracing for a budget shortfall because of federal funding cuts and a decrease in Medicare reimbursements. DCH Vice President of Finance Nina Dusang told the Tuscaloosa News the decreasing Medicare reimbursements are part of a national trend that's expected to continue. She says DCH is expecting a reduction of at least $3 million from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dusang says the shortfall could reach up to $8 million.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Officials at Alabama State University and the state Department of Public Health say they're investigating a case of pulmonary tuberculosis at the school. Assistant state health officer for disease control and prevention Mary McIntyre says the ADPH is working closely with the university to administer precautionary testing, investigation and control.