Undated – An effort to begin a national lottery in Russia has a tie to Alabama. Dog track owner Milton McGregor is among several American businessmen who are helping with the venture. McGregor is a board member of Global Trust Partners, the group financing the Russian lottery. McGregor says he's excited about the business project, and he says he's considering some non-gaming opportunities in Russia. McGregor owns the VictoryLand greyhound track in Macon County.
Montgomery, AL – Alabama's official state insect is the monarch butterfly. It has reigned in that position since 1989. However, a change may be on the horizon. Some new legislation would give the title to the queen honey bee. State Representative Sue Schmitz has proposed the change, saying the new designation would highlight Alabama's bee industry. The House agriculture committee has already approved the bill, and it now awaits action in the House. The state does have an official butterfly -- it's the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.
Montgomery, AL – The state has reached an agreement with Medicaid. Governor Bob Riley confirmed it Friday. He says the deal will end a 15-year-old federal challenge concerning how the Alabama Medicaid office funds benefits. Federal officials had complained for years that the state takes more than its fair share for charity care. The federal government said the state owes more than one billion dollars in back payments. The state has denied that claim. Specific details of the agreement were not immediately released
Mobile, AL – It became official Friday morning. Mobile Mayor Mike Dow will not run for re-election. It's not much of a surprise. He has said before that he will leave public office to spend more time with his family. He says he also would like to return to the business world. Dow has spent nearly 16 years as Mobile's mayor -- that's four terms in office. Meanwhile, former state Senator Ann Bedsole says she will campaign for the city's top job. She says if she wins, she'll serve only one term.