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Arts & Life
8:24 am
Sat February 15, 2014

"Alabama Voices" Exhibit Opens in Montgomery

Alabama Archives Building
archives.alabama.gov

The Alabama Department of Archives and History is opening a major new exhibit in Montgomery.

A ribbon cutting is being held Saturday on the lawn of the Archives building for a new centerpiece exhibition called "Alabama Voices." Gov. Robert Bentley and first lady Dianne Bentley will attend.

The department says the exhibit is the result of a decade of research, planning and fundraising. It covers the sweep of Alabama history from the early 1700s until today.

Arts & Life
6:57 am
Fri February 14, 2014

National Guard Unit Coming Home

commons.wikimedia.org

Valentine's Day will be special for members of an Alabama National Guard unit that's coming home from Afghanistan.

About 190 members of the 226th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade are returning home to Mobile on Friday morning. The troops will be welcomed by family members and friends at an armory in the port city.

The group deployed in April 2013, traveling first to Fort Hood in Texas for training. Then they moved overseas to Afghanistan.

Politics & Government
5:00 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Lawsuit Challenges Alabama Policy on Same-Sex Marriage

Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

A gay man whose husband was killed in a car accident is filing a federal lawsuit challenging the Alabama laws that prohibit the recognition of his marriage, which was legally performed in Massachusetts.

The lawsuit in Montgomery federal court seeks to overturn Alabama's bans on the recognition of same-sex marriages legally performed in other states.

Plaintiff Paul Hard and David Fancher, both of Montgomery, were married in 2011. Three months later, Fancher was killed in a car accident.

Politics & Government
4:52 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Ala. House Wants Changes to US Constitution

Rep. Ken Johnson (R)
legislature.state.al.us

The Alabama House is calling on Congress to convene a state-led convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to impose limits on the federal government.

A resolution sponsored by Republican Rep. Ken Johnson of Moulton cleared the Alabama House on Thursday and now goes to the Senate. It proposes a convention under Article V of the Constitution. It would be limited to imposing fiscal restraints on the federal government, limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and implementing term limits on federal elected officials.

Politics & Government
4:48 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Democrat Leflore to Challenge Byrne

blog.al.com

Alabama's newest congressman, Rep. Bradley Byrne, will have opposition after all in his first re-election bid.

Democrat Burton LeFlore is seeking a rematch after losing to Byrne, a Republican, in the December special election to represent Alabama's 1st Congressional District.

LeFlore's name was left off the initial candidate list distributed by the Alabama Democratic Party when qualifying ended last week.

The winner of the Republican primary for Alabama's 6th Congressional District will also face opposition from a Democrat.

Christmas-Hanukkah
4:25 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Bill Says Schools Can Teach Christmas, Hanukkah

The Alabama Senate has approved a bill that the sponsor says will keep education about Christmas and Hanukkah in public schools.
Credit istockphoto

The Alabama Senate has approved a bill that the sponsor says will keep education about Christmas and Hanukkah in public schools.

The Senate voted 22-7 Thursday for the bill by Republican Sen. Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa. His bill now goes to the House for consideration.

Allen's bill allows schools to educate students about the history of traditional winter celebrations and allows student and staff to exchange traditional greetings.

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Workforce Council
4:15 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Legislature Votes To Create Ala. Workforce Council

The Alabama Legislature has agreed to create a council of business executives to advise state leaders on workforce development issues.

The Alabama Legislature has agreed to create a council of business executives to advise state leaders on workforce development issues.

The Senate voted 28-1 Thursday to go along with changes the House made in a bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Paul Bussman of Cullman. The bill now goes to the governor for signing into law.

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Weather-Tax Holiday
3:59 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Severe Weather Sales Tax Holiday Upcoming

Alabamians wanting to stock up on supplies for the next round of bad weather can save a little money with the upcoming tax-free shopping weekend.
Credit istockphoto

Alabamians wanting to stock up on supplies for the next round of bad weather have a tax-free shopping weekend coming up.

The state is waiving its sales tax and more than 200 cities and counties are waiving their local sales taxes from Friday, Feb. 21 through Sunday, Feb. 23 for severe weather preparedness supplies. That includes flashlights, first-aid kits, battery-powered or hand-cranked radios, plastic sheeting, batteries, duct tape, plywood, fire extinguishers, window film and coolers.

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Events
2:29 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

2014 Kitchens of Consequence Tour

Mark your calendars!  The 2014 Kitchens of Consequence double event is this week! 

The "Toast of the Tour" & Silent Auction will be held Thursday, February 20th from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The 19th Annual Kitchen Tour will be held Saturday, February 22nd from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Kitchens may be toured in any order.

More information and updates can be found on our Kitchen Tour web page.

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Business & Education
7:27 am
Thu February 13, 2014

State to Take Over Selma Schools

selmacityschools.org

State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice says a new leadership team should be in place at the Selma schools by the last week of February.

Bice says state education officials are assembling the team because the state Board of Education voted unanimously to take over the Selma city school system.

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Politics & Government
6:58 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Bill Would Allow School Prayers

Rep. Steve Hurst (R)
legislature.state.al.us

An Alabama lawmaker is seeking to let public school teachers begin each day by reading opening prayers that were given in Congress.

The House Education Policy held a public hearing Wednesday on the legislation.

The bill would set aside 15 minutes at the start of each school day to study the procedures of Congress, and give a verbatim reading of a congressional opening prayer.

Bill sponsor, Rep. Steve Hurst, says teachers could choose a prayer that related to the day's lesson. He says teachers might choose a prayer that was said on a particular day in history.

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Science & Health
5:43 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Senate Passes Smoking Ban

wikipedia commons

The Alabama Senate has again passed a bill to ban smoking in many work places and in many businesses.

Democratic Sen. Vivian Davis Figures guided her bill through the Senate on a 21-8 vote Tuesday. Figures has passed similar legislation in the Senate before, only to have it die in the House. Figures is uncertain how it will fare in the House this time.

Her bill bans smoking in most businesses, but bars and private clubs are excluded. It also does not affect smoking in homes, unless the homes provide day care services.

Science & Health
5:39 am
Wed February 12, 2014

House Clamps Down on Tanning Beds

tanaholicapp.blogspot.com

The state House of Representatives has voted to ban teens from using tanning beds unless they have a parent's written consent.

Representatives approved the proposal Tuesday by a vote of 92-2. The bill now moves to the Alabama Senate.

Teens age 16 and 17 would have to have a parent's written consent to use a tanning bed.

Fifteen-year-olds would need to have a parent's written consent, and have the parent present at the tanning facility during the tanning sessions.

School Closings
4:15 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

School Closings For Wednesday

Many school systems in north Alabama are closing for tomorrow due to winter weather.

Many businesses, schools, and government offices will be closed in much of north Alabama and parts of central and east Alabama tomorrow.

Below is a less than complete list of schools closings in those areas.

- Albertville City Schools - Closed Wednesday. All 12-month-employees report only if road conditions allow.

- Arab City Schools - Closed Wednesday

- Boaz City Schools - Closed Wednesday

- Colbert County Schools - Closed Wednesday

- Cullman County Schools - Closed Wednesday

- Decatur City Schools - Closed Wednesday

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Prisoners Voting-Alabama
3:57 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Gov. Bentley Reacts To US Attorney General

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is calling on Alabama and 10 other states to do a better job of restoring voting rights to ex-felons.
Credit ryanjreilly / Flickr

Alabama's governor says he's always believed someone should get their voting rights restored after serving their full sentences.

Gov. Robert Bentley reacted Tuesday to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder calling on Alabama and 10 other states to do a better job of restoring voting rights to ex-felons.

Bentley says he's willing to look at a reasonable request for restoration of voting rights for people who are trying to become productive citizens again.

In Alabama, people convicted of felonies, except driving under the influence and drug possession, lose voting rights.

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