Education Budget
3:54 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Committee Approves Budget Without Teacher Bonus

A House committee has approved an education budget aimed at giving teachers more money for their health insurance instead of a raise or bonus.
Credit Alabama.gov

A House committee has approved an education budget aimed at giving teachers more money for their health insurance instead of a raise or bonus.

The House Ways and Means - Education Committee voted 10-4 for the budget Wednesday morning.

The spending plan strips away a one-time 1 percent bonus for public education employees approved by the Alabama Senate.

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Smoking Ban
3:46 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Alabama Smoking Restrictions Die In Legislature

Legislation to ban smoking in many Alabama businesses has died in the a House committee.
Credit khawkins04 / Flickr

Legislation to ban smoking in many Alabama businesses has died.

The bill by Democratic Sen. Vivian Davis Figures of Mobile failed in the House Health Committee 4-7 Wednesday.

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Science & Health
9:36 am
Wed March 12, 2014

UA Talk Focuses on Darwin Contemporary Alfred Russel Wallace

Alfred Russel Wallace, circa 1860, was a Welsh naturalist and explorer who, independently of Darwin, propounded the theory of evolution by natural selection. (NPR)
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

He doesn’t get as much attention as Charles Darwin.  But the work of Alfred Russel Wallace is perhaps just as important in building evidence for the theory of evolution through natural selection.  A talk Thursday night at the University of Alabama will focus on Wallace’s work.  Dr. James Costa is a biology professor at Western Carolina University.  He helped publish one of Wallace’s field notebooks that he says suggests his discovery wasn’t just an accident, as some have speculated.  He’ll be highlighting that work for his audience.

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Marijuana Derivative
4:38 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Bill For Marijuana Derivative Expands Into Study

A bill to allow the treatment of epileptic seizures with a marijuana derivative has turned into a $1 million medical study that will supply the product to Alabama families.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A bill to allow the treatment of epileptic seizures with a marijuana derivative has turned into a $1 million medical study that will supply the product to Alabama families.

Legislators pushing a bill known as "Carly's Law" announced the change on Tuesday and predicted it will win legislative approval in the next few weeks.

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UPS Crash-Runway
4:26 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Southwest Bans Landings On UPS Crash Runway

Southwest Airlines has barred its pilots from landing on the runway where a UPS cargo jet was trying to land when it crashed at Birmingham's airport last year.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Southwest Airlines has barred its pilots from landing on the runway where a UPS cargo jet was trying to land when it crashed at Birmingham's airport last year.

A spokeswoman for the Texas-based airline, Jenna Williamson, said Tuesday the passenger carrier took that action because pilots were getting cockpit alerts warning they were too close to the ground on approach.

Williamson says Birmingham's Runway 18 is no longer authorized for Southwest landings, but pilots can still use it for takeoffs.

Southwest's decision was first reported by Al.com.

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Common Core
4:15 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Common Core Sides Spar Over 'Opt Out' Bill

Opposing sides in the Common Core standards debate sparred over an "opt-out" bill in the Senate.
Credit iew.com

A state senator says letting local school systems opt out of Common Core would let policy makers compare outcomes between the new and old curriculum standards.

The Senate Education Committee is holding a public hearing Tuesday on the Common Core opt out bill. Schools could revert to the previous standards for math and English.

The latest bill brought out familiar arguments in the long-running Common Core debate.

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Phone: (850) 487-3086  x369

Stan Jastrzebski has spent a career in radio, with postings as News Director of NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, IN and time as a reporter at WGN Radio in Chicago and WIBC Radio in Indianapolis.  Stan holds a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Northwestern University and has won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, the Radio Television Digital News Association the Indiana Broadcasters Association.  He spends his time away from the newsroom with his wife and daughter and enjoys board games, tennis and trivia competitions. Follow Stan on Twitter @StanJast .

Science & Health
12:45 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Space Company Expanding in Huntsville

Alabama’s reputation as one of the leaders in the space industry is continuing to grow.  A private company building vehicles for space travel is expanding its work in Huntsville.  Sierra Nevada Company announced it’s teaming up with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and an engineering company.  Mark Sirangelo is Sierra Nevada’s corporate vice president.  He says they’re expanding in Huntsville to tap into the wealth of knowledge there. 

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Marijuana Deriviative
3:56 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Alabama Senate Facing Bill Allowing Marijuana Oil

A Huntsville legislator says he's working on changes to his bill allowing an extract from marijuana to be used to treat children's seizures from epilepsy.
Credit Laurie Avocado / Wikimedia Commons

A Huntsville legislator says he's working on changes to his bill allowing an extract from marijuana to be used to treat children's seizures from epilepsy.

Republican Sen. Paul Sanford says he will join other advocates to announce the changes Tuesday and he hopes it will improve the bill's chance of passing.

Sanford's bill was on the Senate's work agenda Thursday, but the Senate broke for the weekend without getting to it. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh says he expects it to be back on the work agenda on Tuesday.

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Voter ID
3:49 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Alabama Offering Free Photo IDs To Vote

Voters who don't have a valid photo ID to use in Alabama's elections can get one free at county board of registrars' offices.
Credit Vox Efx / Flickr

Voters who don't have a valid photo ID to use in Alabama's elections can get one free at county board of registrars' offices.

Alabama's chief election official, Secretary of State Jim Bennett, says registrars' offices in every county will be offering the free IDs, starting this week.

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