Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

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Science & Health
7:18 am
Wed April 16, 2014

BP: Shore Clean-up after Gulf Oil Spill Ends in La

Kate Mercer/Press-Register

Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.

Earlier Tuesday, the Coast Guard issued a directive transitioning the cleanup to a phase in which Coast Guard teams, BP cleanup crews and equipment will be pre-positioned to respond to new reports of oil as needed.

Politics & Government
7:14 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Bentley Releases His Tax Return

http://governor.alabama.gov Office of the Governor

Gov. Robert Bentley's tax return shows he's still not receiving any income from being governor, but he and his wife reported an adjusted gross income of nearly $373,000 for 2013.

About $233,000 of that came from Bentley selling his interest in the building where his medical practice was located in Tuscaloosa. Much of the remainder was from IRA distributions and Social Security.

The governor and first lady paid more than $81,000 in taxes. They also donated more than $15,000 to charities.

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Politics & Government
6:58 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Democrats to Campaign in Huntsville

Most of the Democrats seeking the top offices in Alabama are scheduled to be in Huntsville for a political event Thursday.

The event is being called "Hot Dogs and Yellow Dogs." Organizer and host Pam Miles says it will include gubernatorial candidates Parker Griffith and Kevin Bass, lieutenant governor candidate James Fields, attorney general candidate Joe Hubbard, state auditor candidate Miranda Joseph, and agriculture commissioner candidate Doug Smith. They are seeking offices currently held by Republicans.

Politics & Government
6:53 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Sarah Palin Coming to Alabama

Sarah Palin
Ed Reinke/AP

Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is scheduled to be in Alabama next week.

Palin will speak at an event organized by the Baldwin County Republican Party on April 25 at the Wharf in Orange Beach.

The former Alaska governor last visited Baldwin County on May 3, 2011, when she delivered a speech to the Exceptional Foundation.

Palin has pursued a career as a political commentator, public speaker and author since running with John McCain in 2008.

Politics & Government
9:02 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Crowded Field Seeks GOP Nod in 6th District

Rep. Spencer Bachus decided he would not seek re-election
www.politico.com

A crowded field of seven candidates is running in the GOP primary for Alabama's 6th Congressional District. The 6th Congressional District is strongly Republican, but political observers say it encompasses a diversity of GOP voices, from a strong business community to active tea party groups. The seat is open after Rep. Spencer Bachus decided not to seek re-election. Gardendale Sen. Scott Beason, Harbert Management Corp. vice president Will Brooke, Homewood Rep.

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Politics & Government
8:59 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Judge Rules in Favor of Indian Casinos in Alabama

Poarch Band of Creek Indians

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the state which challenged the rights of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to operate three casinos in Alabama.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that U.S. District Court Judge Keith Watkins ruled Friday that the state has no authority to prohibit the activity on Indian lands.

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Politics & Government
8:37 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Group asks Supreme Court to Consider Ala. Tax Case

commons.wikimedia.org

Attorneys for a group of poor Alabama schoolchildren and their parents are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to considering scrapping Alabama's property tax system.

The group maintains in a petition filed with the court that Alabama's property tax system is unfair to minority students.

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Politics & Government
9:35 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Alabama Legislature Ends Session

The Alabama Legislature's 2014 session has come to a close.

The House and Senate wrapped up their session about 7:30 p.m. Thursday after passing the state education budget.

Numerous bills died on the last night, including one rewriting Alabama's open meetings law and another keeping secret the companies that supply drugs for lethal injections.

Other dead bills included legislation protecting spay-neuter clinics and one banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Politics & Government
9:33 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Mom Intervenes in Suit Over Same-Sex Marriage

Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

The mother of an accident victim is now involved in a federal lawsuit filed by his same-sex partner, who is trying to overturn Alabama's ban on gay marriage.

A federal judge in Montgomery says Pat Fancher can intervene in a lawsuit filed after the death of 53-year-old David Fancher.

Fancher's longtime partner, Paul Hard, sued in December. The two men were legally married in Massachusetts, but Alabama law doesn't recognize same-sex marriages.

Hard's lawsuit asks a court to strike down Alabama laws banning same-sex unions.

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Politics & Government
9:28 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Lawmakers Approve Welfare Changes

AP

The Alabama Legislature has passed a bill requiring people to apply for three jobs before seeking welfare benefits.

The Senate voted 28-1 Thursday to go along with changes the House made in the bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur. The bill applies to applications for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, commonly called welfare. It not only requires applicants to apply for three jobs, but to keep applying for jobs once they receive benefits.

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Politics & Government
3:40 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

Weekend Events Push Health Care Signups

U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Programs are being planned across Alabama this weekend to help people sign up for health insurance through the federally operated marketplace before Monday's night deadline.

Alabama Arise says enrollment events are being held Saturday at St. Stephens AME Church and the Moorer Public Library in Mobile, as well as at Medical Outreach Ministries in Montgomery.

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Politics & Government
3:32 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

Griffith Trying to Rebuild Democratic Base

opensecrets.org

Democrat Parker Griffith and Republican Robert Bentley are both 71, both doctors and both running for governor. But Griffith is emphasizing their differences in his race for governor.

Griffith says he would repeal the state immigration law that Bentley signed and replace it with a law that doesn't put so many regulations on businesses. He says he would also expand the state Medicaid program under the federal health care law, and he would repeal the Alabama Accountability Act and its private school scholarships.

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Science & Health
1:44 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Disease Deadly to Bats Spreads to Alabama

Hibernating Indiana bats, an already endangered species, show signs of "white-nose syndrome." (NPR)
Al Hicks/New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Federal officials say a disease known to be fatal in bats has been found in two animals in the Bankhead National Forest in Lawrence County, north Alabama.

U.S. Department of Agriculture officials said in a statement Thursday that two bats in the Armstrong and Backwards-Confusion caves tested positive for white-nose syndrome.

USDA officials say white-nose syndrome is fungal growth around the muzzle and wings of hibernating bats that has quickly spread from New York and has been found as far south as Georgia and Alabama.

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Politics & Government
11:22 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Alabama Prepares for 50th Anniversary of Voting March

bcjubilee.org

The 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march is a year away, and both cities are making plans to draw big crowds next year.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, County Commission Chairman Elton Dean and Alabama State University President Gwendolyn Boyd announced Tuesday that Montgomery is planning two big weekends of events that they expect to draw thousands.

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Politics & Government
11:18 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Lawmakers Give Themselves Tourism Grant Money to Dole Out

Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Limestone, Madison, Morgan)
legislature.state.al.us

The Alabama Senate has added $1 million to the state tourism department's proposed budget for grants that will be doled out at lawmakers' recommendation.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that each House district will get $5,000 and each Senate district will get $15,000 to help distribute.

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