Associated Press

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A study by Alabama researchers is looking at a potential method for reducing the number of gun suicides in the United States.

A report published by the American Association of Suicidology suggests that many patients at risk for killing themselves would voluntarily place their names on a list of people who can't purchase firearms.   

That could be important since guns account for about half of all suicides, and suicide was the tenth-leading cause of death in the United States in 2013.

Encyclopedia of Alabama

 The first black person to attend the University of Alabama, Autherine Lucy Foster, is among four people who are being honored as the newest members of the university's Alabama Educator Hall of Fame.

The group was honored at a ceremony Saturday night at NorthRiver Yacht Club in Tuscaloosa.  

Foster became the first black person to attend Alabama in 1956. Campus riots broke out and the university removed her. Foster's expulsion was reversed in 1988, and she graduated from Alabama with a master's degree in elementary education in 1992.

Alabama voters on Election Day will have their say on 14 proposed statewide amendments. One of those is aimed at protecting money for the Yellowhammer State's twenty one state parks.

Amendment 2 would prohibit money generated at state parks— as well as tax dollars earmarked for park maintenance — from being transferred to other government functions. It would also allow more private entities to run hotels, golf courses and restaurants at the parks.

Alabama's first female lieutenant governor, Democrat Lucy Baxley, has died.

A statement released by Baxley's family says she died Friday at home. She was 78. Baxley was elected lieutenant governor and presided over the Senate during a four-year term that began in 2003.

She was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2006 but lost to Republican Bob Riley. Baxley served as state treasurer before becoming lieutenant governor and she was elected president of the Alabama Public Service Commission in 2008 despite having suffered a serious stroke after her gubernatorial bid.

No  more "A's," or "F's," for Alabama schools, at least for now. The Alabama Board of Education is postponing plans to assign schools letter grades. Board members tabled a vote on rules pertaining to the proposed new report cards. The vote came after several board members raised skepticism over the plans and suggested additional conversations with lawmakers and new education Superintendent Michael Sentance.  Alabama lawmakers in 2012 approved legislation requiring the development of the A-F report cards. The first report cards were scheduled for December.

Moody's Investor Services has raised its outlook on Mobile from negative to stable. It's a move that Mayor Sandy Stimpson says will help ongoing efforts to put the city on a more solid financial footing. Mobile remains at an Aa2 credit rating, but Stimpson says the change in outlook will have real benefits. The Mayor says the city is getting ready to go back into the market to refinance some existing debt and the timing of the Moody report was perfect.


Wildfires are burning across Alabama as drought conditions worsen. Forecasters say there isn't enough rain in the forecast to lessen the threat anytime soon. The Alabama Forestry Commission reported that about 70 blazes burned around 730 acres of land on Sunday alone. The situation is worse in north Alabama, where drought conditions are most severe. The state issued a fire danger warning for 46 of Alabama's 67 counties last week, and officials said it will continue until rain returns to the state.

Fuel truck drivers may be working extra hours in the coming days. The governors of Alabama and Georgia have lifted restrictions on the number of hours these drivers can work. Robert Bentley and Nathan Deal hope to prevent gasoline shortages after the shutdown of a leaking pipeline in rural Alabama. Bentley's order remains in place for thirty days unless he cancels it. Governor Deal issued seven day order. Governors can suspend federal regulations during emergencies. Colonial Pipeline has said most of the leaked gasoline is contained in a retention pond near the city of Helena.

 Dabney Montgomery, who served with the all-black Tuskegee Airmen in World War II and marched with Martin Luther King Jr., has died. He was 93.

His wife, Amelia Montgomery, said he died of natural causes Saturday morning at a Manhattan hospice care facility. He had lived in Harlem until he entered the facility August 25th.

Montgomery was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007.         

 Alabama's attempt to rebuild its beachfront state park using oil spill money is again embroiled in controversy. 

Businessman Tom Schlinkert says officials are shutting down his zip line adventure ride at Gulf State Park in Gulf  Shores and refusing him $40,000 in compensation as construction continues on a new coastal hotel. That project is being funded in part with BP money, even though a hurricane destroyed the old lodge years before the oil spill.

The Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind Foundation has received a one million dollar gift from an anonymous donor.

The Gadsden Times reports the gift received Monday will be used to develop a new agriculture center. The center will focus on giving students hands-on training to help them develop skills related to agriculture.

The center will be located on 20-plus acres behind the Helen Keller School.  

TVA is closing and capping 10 coal ash ponds at power plants in Tennessee and Alabama, against the urging of environmentalists who want the ash dug up and removed. TVA issued its decision on Friday, affirming plans to keep the coal ash at six fossil plants where the ash was dumped over the past half century. TVA says the best, fastest and cheapest method of cleaning up the ponds is to close them and put a cap on the wastes to prevent leakage.

A judge dismissed Alabama's lawsuit against the federal government over refugee placement. U.S. Magistrate Judge John Ott rejected Alabama's claim that federal officials are not consulting with states on refugee placement. The dismissal comes a month after a judge threw out a similar Texas lawsuit, ruling that states had no authority over resettlements that are handled by the federal government. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley filed the lawsuit in January. The state asked the judge to block any refugee settlement unless the state was given security and medical information on each refugee.

A judicial ethics panel wants Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore swiftly removed from office for urging the state's probate judges to defy the federal courts on gay marriage. The Judicial Inquiry Commission says that Moore's actions merit the highest possible sanction against a sitting judge, which is immediate removal from office. Moore told state probate judges in January that a state injunction against gay marriage was in "full force and effect" despite higher court rulings.

Two campers from Alabama have been arrested in connection with a wildfire that has destroyed three homes and three buildings north of Nederland in Boulder County. 

Boulder sheriff's deputies said Sunday afternoon that 28 year old Jimmy Andrew Suggs, and 26 year old Zackary Ryan Kuykendall,  both of whom are from Vinemont, Alabama face felony arson charges because of the dangers the fire poses, the Denver Post reported The men were booked into the Boulder County Jail, the newspaper reported.

The construction of a new hangar and support facility could increase the workforce by as many as 200 employees. reports that Yulista broke ground on a 60,000-square-foot aviation hangar and 20,000-square-foot support facility at the Huntsville Executive Airport on Friday. The expansion will bring the airport's aviation campus from 94,000 square feet to more than 165,000 square feet.  

The Yulista M5 Hangar is expected to be fully operational by 2017. The expansion took two years.

Customers at more than 120 Walmart locations across Alabama will be able to checkout using their smartphones.

Customers could start using Walmart Pay as early as Thursday. Company spokeswoman Molly Blakeman told the service also rolled out in three other southern states including Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.


Walmart Pay is already available in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. It will soon be available nationwide.

Members of the Alabama Legislature will elect a new House speaker in February, possibly sooner if Governor Bentley calls a special session.  

Contenders for the job are beginning to emerge after former House Speaker Mike Hubbard was removed from office after being convicted on twelve ethics charges.


Alabama Republican Mike Hubbard was once a man who moved political mountains. He’s credited with helping to stage the 2010 GOP takeover of the state legislature which gave the Republicans a supermajority. It also gave Hubbard the gavel as House Speaker. Now, his political career is in tatters as he faces up to 240 years in prison after being convicted of 12 felony ethics charges.


Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard's conviction on ethics charges automatically removes him from office and could mean years in prison for the powerful Republican. He faces up to 20 years in prison for each count, or 240 years total. Sentencing is set for July 8. Jurors on Friday found the one-time GOP star guilty of 12 counts of public corruption for using the influence of his political office to benefit his companies and clients. He was acquitted of 11 other counts.

Lee County Sheriff's Office

A jury has convicted Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard on 12 charges of violating the state ethics law.

The jury returned the verdict Friday evening after deliberating for seven hours. Sentencing is set for next month.


Hubbard faced 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using political positions as House speaker and chairman of the state GOP to make money and investments from lobbyists and company owners.

Tennessee Valley Authority engineers say water temperature tests being performed on Wheeler Lake this week could improve efficiency at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant and keep power rates from increasing. 

The Decatur Daily reports that a team of TVA engineers is collecting water temperature and velocity information from the lake to use in computer forecasting models, which can help run TVA's dams and nuclear plants more efficiently.

 State lawmakers ended the 2016 session with three big items of unfinished business: the oil spill settlement division; Medicaid funding and prison construction. 

Governor Robert Bentley recently said he's considering calling a special session later this year for another try.

The governor's $800 million prison construction plan was the centerpiece of his agenda, but didn't get approved by lawmakers.

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has been suspended with pay from his office and faces removal from the bench. The action comes from his effort to block same-sex marriage from coming to Alabama despite the U.S. Supreme Court that effectively legalized gay marriage nationwide.   

The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission on Friday filed ethics charges against Moore accusing him of abusing his authority and failing to respect the judiciary

Alabama A&M University fired a tenured professor after the school discovered sex tapes of him and two students on campus. The school filed court documents in federal court stating that the pornographic videos were found on a school laptop. The recordings allegedly showed twenty year veteran professor Edward Jones performing three sex acts, two of which involved male students. The school says all three instances occurred on the Alabama A&M campus. Jones had been placed on administrative leave from his duties in October due to concerns raised by the Alabama Department of Education.

An Alabama electrical cooperative is helping rural residents of Tennessee get high-speed internet. The developer of a private mountaintop community outside of Chattanooga teamed up with the North Alabama Electrical Cooperative to get high-speed Internet access for the neighborhood. Developer John Thornton tried and failed to get the Tennessee legislature to expand broadband in rural areas. The proposal would have allowed municipal utilities that offer broadband to provide ultra-fast Internet outside their service area.

 A north Alabama school superintendent says a state law regarding virtual schools needs to be clarified to allow state funding to follow the students.

The Decatur Daily reports that Athens City Schools Superintendent Trey Holladay says he believes virtual schools should receive funding if they are fully educating students. Two Morgan County superintendents say more time is needed to allow systems to get used to virtual school rules before any funding changes are made.


Alabama voters head to the polls next week to name their picks for presidential nominees.

Super Tuesday, with contests in 12 states, represents the biggest single-day delegate haul in the entire nomination process. This also marks what is known as the SEC Primary where several southern states brought their elections dates together to draw more interest from the candidates. Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Ben Carson all plan stops in Alabama before Tuesday's election.

Ozell Sutton, a longtime civil rights activist who was associated with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., has died. He was 90. 

His daughter, Alta Sutton, told The Associated Press on Sunday her father died at Saint Joseph Hospital in Atlanta on Saturday. She said the family had celebrated his birthday nearly a week ago. Ozell Sutton marched for equal rights alongside King in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 and was present at the Memphis hotel where King was assassinated in 1968.

A push for casino gambling in Alabama has lost its highest profile advocate in the Alabama Legislature.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh says he won't sponsor casino legislation in the upcoming session as he had originally planned.

Marsh says he did not think the votes were there for the casino legislation so he will move on in the upcoming session.

The Republican Senate leader said hoped that lawmakers would consider casinos because of the potential revenue for the state.