Tuscaloosa, AL – There will be only two parties listed on Alabama's election ballot this year -- Republican and Democratic. Alabama's Libertarian Party was listed on the state ballot in 2002 but was unable to get enough votes to stay on the ballot for this year's elections. Alabama Public Radio's Butler Cain spoke recently with James Hines, Mobile district chair for Alabama's Libertarian Party. Hines says being kept off the ballot prevents voters from choosing a political alternative.
Tuscaloosa, AL – Workers at two B-F Goodrich Tire plants faced a midnight deadline Wednesday to agree on a new contract. If it doesn't happen, more than 25 hundred workers could strike. More than 13-hundred workers are at the tire-maker's Opelika plant and about 12-hundred work at a Tuscaloosa facility. A representative with the United Steel Workers of America says the union wants promises that manufacturing jobs at the Opelika factory will not be sent overseas. Other issues include health benefits and wages.
Montgomery, AL – Governor Bob Riley signed an executive order Wednesday to form a group that will search for ways to improve Alabama's Black Belt region. The move came almost a year and a half after he first announced he would create the commission. Riley says its members will not just study the region's problems. Instead, he says the group will begin providing solutions. State Senator Hank Sanders and state Treasurer Kay Ivey will lead the commission, which will consist of several subcommittees.
Miami, FL – Forecasters in the Gulf of Mexico are focusing on Tropical Storm Bonnie. They say Bonnie is a small system that's currently centered about 390 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River. It's moving west-northwest at about eight miles an hour, and it's expected to turn north this week. Bonnie's also expected to gain strength. But forecasters say such small systems can change strength and direction quickly. Landfall is also difficult to predict.