Montgomery, AL – Attorney General Troy King is applauding a federal judge's decision in a discrimination lawsuit against the Alabama Department of Transportation. A consent decree in the case requires the state to pay fines of $63,000 a week until the case is settled. Federal Judge Myron Thompson has cut those weekly fines in half. King says that will save the state more than $1.6 million. The attorney general says he now plans to work to try to end all the fines in the settlement.
Montgomery, AL – Representative Alvin Holmes says he plans to introduce a lottery bill in the 2005 regular legislative session. Holmes says his proposal would give half of lottery proceeds to the state's education trust fund, with the other half going to the general fund budget. He says he challenges lottery opponents to come up with a better way to raise money for the state.
Undated – Beginning Friday, Alabama's senior citizens will have two more weeks to get 600 dollars from Medicare. The money would come through the program's drug discount card program. After December 31st, the program's 2005 cycle will begin, and seniors will NO longer be able to collect the 2004 benefit amount. Nationwide, only five-point-eight million of the more than 34 million eligible seniors have signed up for the cards.
Undated – Rural, two-lane highways across the Southeast apparently are the deadliest in the nation. A Georgia Tech study suggests nearly a third of the nation's traffic deaths happened in Alabama and throughout the South between 1996 and 2000. About 64 percent of those accidents happened on rural roads. Most of the accidents involved late-night drivers who were either tired or drunk. Most of those involved were males aged between 16 and 25, and the accidents usually happened on weekends.