The Associated Press

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Arts & Life
11:02 am
Sun December 14, 2014

BCBS to cover legally married gay couples

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's largest insurer now offers family coverage to legally married gay couples in order to comply with a federal rule that insurance companies must treat married couples the same, regardless of sexual orientation. A spokeswoman for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama said the company began offering same-sex spousal coverage for underwritten plans in early 2014 in response to federal regulations.

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Arts & Life
7:14 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Meet Alabama's Writing "Hall of Fame" inductees

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — The inaugural class for the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame has been selected. The Tuscaloosa News reports 12 writers have been selected and will be inducted in June 2015. The hall of fame is a partnership between the Alabama Center for the Book and the Alabama Writer's Forum. The 12 writers selected are: Rick Bragg, Andrew Glaze, Harper Lee, Sonia Sanchez, Sena Jeter Naslund and posthumous inductees Johnson Jones Hooper, Augusta Jane Evans Wilson, Helen Keller, Zora Neal Hurston, William March, Albert Murray and Helen Norris Bell.

Arts & Life
4:26 pm
Sat December 13, 2014

Alabama may balance budget by cutting tax breaks

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — In 2015, Gov. Robert Bentley will propose Alabama's first major revenue-raising package since voters defeated Gov. Bob Riley's $1.2 billion tax package in 2003. Since that defeat, Alabama's General Fund budget has been patched together with borrowed money, federal stimulus funds and other non-recurring revenue. Bentley says he's working a bold, long-term solution that he will have ready for the new Legislature when it convenes in March.

Arts & Life
6:03 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Tide Receiver Amari Cooper named a Heisman Finalist

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Reigning Heisman winner Jameis Winston is not a finalist for this year's award. When the Heisman trust announced Monday the finalists, the Florida State quarterback's name was not called. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon and Alabama receiver Amari Cooper are the candidates heading to New York. So Winston will not join former Ohio State running back Archie Griffin as the only players to win the Heisman Trophy twice. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher and Winston were not made available for comment after the announcement.

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Arts & Life
7:20 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Alabama wins SEC Championship

ATLANTA (AP) — Blake Sims threw a pair of touchdown passes, T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry each had a couple of touchdown runs, and top-ranked Alabama pulled away in the fourth quarter to win its 24th Southeastern Conference championship with a 42-13 victory over No. 14 Missouri on Saturday. Missouri made it a one-score game in the third quarter, but Alabama (12-1) scored three touchdowns in the fourth to lock up its spot in college football's first playoff.

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Arts & Life
7:32 am
Sun November 30, 2014

Sunday Weather--Nice and Mild

SELMA—

SUNDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 70S.

SUNDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY. LOWS IN THE LOWER 50S.

MONDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 70S.

TUSCALOOSA—

SUNDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 60S.

SUNDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY. LOWS IN THE MID 50S.

MONDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY WITH A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF RAIN SHOWERS. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 60S.

MONDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF RAIN SHOWERS. LOWS AROUND 50

MOBILE—

SUNDAY...MOSTLY SUNNY. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 70S.

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Arts & Life
12:56 am
Sun November 30, 2014

Tide wins Iron Bowl...next stop, Atlanta!

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Amari Cooper tied his own school record with 224 yards receiving and caught three touchdown passes in No. 2 Alabama's 55-44 comeback victory over No. 15 Auburn on Saturday night in the highest-scoring Iron Bowl. Quarterback Blake Sims and the Crimson Tide (11-1, 7-1 Southeastern Conference) turned to the Heisman Trophy candidate for touchdowns of 39 and 75 yards in the third quarter. Alabama had already clinched a spot in the SEC championship game against No.

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Business & Education
6:58 am
Sat November 29, 2014

Black Friday upstaged by Thursday?

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The chaos of Black Friday appears to have come on Thursday. From Huntsville to Mobile, bargain hunters lined up hours ahead of Thanksgiving night openings in search of deep discounts on flat-screen televisions, computers and toys. Some shoppers said they even began camping out Wednesday night to make sure they were among the first in the stores. That left thinner crowds Friday morning and a quieter shopping experience on what has traditionally been the busiest shopping day of the year.

Gun Control-Maryland
4:15 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

21 States Push To Overturn Md. Gun-Control Law

Twenty-one states are asking a federal appeals court to overturn provisions of Maryland's gun-control law that ban 45 assault weapons and limit gun magazines to 10 rounds.
Credit Mike Saechang / Flickr

Twenty-one states are asking a federal appeals court to overturn provisions of Maryland's gun-control law that ban 45 assault weapons and limit gun magazines to 10 rounds.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey led the coalition in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, last week.

The brief says the law violates the Second Amendment right to keep firearms in homes for self-protection.

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Politics & Government
12:38 pm
Sun November 23, 2014

Governor Bentley possibly hinting at tax hikes?

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Gov. Robert Bentley said he wants to be upfront with voters. The state is facing a budget crisis and fixing it the right way will require changes that some people probably won't like. "It's going to require more revenue. Is everyone going to be happy? No, they're not" Bentley said. The governor said taxes are a last resort, but he believed the state would reexamine current tax deductions. That includes a tax break that only Alabama and a few other states give.

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Alabama Unemployment
4:55 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Alabama Unemployment Rate Declines To 6.3 Percent

Alabama's unemployment rate has dropped to 6.3 percent, but it remains above the national average.

Alabama's unemployment rate has dropped to 6.3 percent, but it remains above the national average.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced Friday that Alabama's rate declined from 6.6 percent in September to 6.3 percent in October. That's the same rate Alabama recorded a year ago. The October rate is higher than the national figure of 5.8 percent.

Bentley says Alabama is seeing healthy growth in jobs and is seeing a decline in the amount of unemployment benefits being paid.

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Bentley-Ebola
4:52 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Fearing Ebola, Gov. Bentley Asks Colleges About Travel

The governor asked that schools provide the names of anyone planning travel to West Africa, their contact information and return dates.
Credit The Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley wants Alabama colleges to identify students or instructors returning from Ebola-ravaged countries in West Africa.

Bentley wrote in a letter to college officials that students and instructors from West Africa may return home for the holidays to visit family and friends.

The governor asked that schools provide the names of anyone planning travel to West Africa, their contact information and return dates. The Decatur Daily reports state public health officials should be notified when travelers return to Alabama.

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VA-Health Care
4:16 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Firing Of Central Alabama VA Director Upheld

The Veterans Administration terminated James Talton in late October for neglect of duty, but he appealed to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.

A federal appeals board has upheld the firing of the former director of the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System.

The Veterans Administration terminated James Talton in late October for neglect of duty. He appealed to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board. The board has issued a 32-page decision upholding the termination.

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Alabama Earthquake
4:13 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Small Earthquake Rattles West Alabama

An intensity map of today's earthquake in Alabama.
Credit USGS National Earthquake Information Center

A small earthquake rattled west Alabama in the pre-dawn hours.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 3.8 quake occurred about 10 miles northwest of Eutaw around 4:25 a.m. Thursday.

The quake was about 3 miles beneath the surface of the Earth.

While the earthquake was strong enough to be felt, officials say no damage is being reported in the rural area.

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Ship Company Citations
4:05 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Mobile Ship Building Company Issued Safety Citations

Federal labor officials have issued 12 citations to the Austal USA shipbuilding company and are proposing that it pay a $41,500 fine.
Credit Official U.S. Navy Imagery / Flickr

Federal labor officials have issued 12 citations to a coastal Alabama shipbuilding company and are proposing that it pay a $41,500 fine.

U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials said Wednesday that among the nine serious violations the Austal USA ship building company has been cited for is failing to install railings on all staircases, allowing workers to be overexposed to copper fumes during welding and failing to ensure that employees follow safety procedures.

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