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.

slate.com

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.

historymakers.com

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.

Alabama Crimson Tide
Mackenzie Bates / APR

The Alabama Crimson Tide won their 25th Southeastern Conference Championship Saturday, defeating the Florida Gators 29-15.

Heisman Trophy favorite Derrick Henry rushed for 189 bruising yards and the Tide sealed its spot in the College Football Playoff, beating #18 Florida with a dominating defensive performance.

The Crimson Tide (12-1, No. 2 CFP) held the Gators to a total of 3 yards in the second and third quarters. Florida (10-3, No. 18 CFP) only managed an 85-yard punt return from Antonio Callaway and a late touchdown that made little difference in the game.

tripadvisor.com

The life-size bronze sculpture of Rosa Parks has received a makeover.

With the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery bus boycott on Tuesday, sculptor Erik Blome recently returned to touch up the sculpture 15 years after the statue was placed in the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery. The sculpture was touched up after wearing down and losing some color from constant touching and interaction.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that Blome touched up the sculpture Nov. 19. The sculpture depicts Parks sitting on a bus seat, hands settled on a purse in her lap.

www.nasa.gov

 NASA has named an interim director to lead the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.

NASA officials say that Todd May has been named to the post after the retirement of former director Patrick Scheuermann.

May has served as the space center's deputy director since August and had managed the Space Launch System Program since 2011. Officials say May started his career with NASA in 1991 at the Materials and Processes lab at Marshall.

 

The future looks bright for the tourism industry in Mobile.

City leaders are touting the return of Carnival Cruise Lines to the city next year, the new GulfQuest Maritime Museum just opened near the downtown cruise terminal, and the region's is economy looks good. Despite its rich history, antebellum architecture and emerging art and music scene, locals say Mobile has long been overlooked by tourists heading west to New Orleans or east to the Florida Panhandle.

 

A federal judge says the state of Alabama may not use a large dose of a sedative to execute five death row inmates.

U.S. District Judge William Keith Watkins issued an order Thursday denying the state's requests to dismiss lawsuits from five inmates who have challenged Alabama three-drug lethal injection procedure. The inmates were asked to present alternative means of execution and among other things suggested single doses of midazolam in amended complaints.

 

 Alabama is updating its science standards to require that students understand evolution and learn about climate change.

Educators say the new rules don't require that students in the Bible Belt state believe in evolution or accept the idea that climate is changing globally.

However, students will be required to understand the theory of evolution starting next year. Teachers will address climate change, which wasn't a focus in the state's previous, decade-old standards.

The state school board approved the new standards unanimously late last week.

 

Dr. Don Williamson is stepping down next month to take a job as president of the Alabama Hospital Association.

For more than two decades, Williamson has served as Alabama's state health officer.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Williamson said he's proud of the work the state has done to establish a statewide trauma system and to provide health insurance to children. The state's ALL Kids program provides subsidized insurance to more than 80,000 children and has won Alabama praise for reducing rates of un-insurance for children.

www.talladega.com

 

  Talladega's mayor says a recent assault outside a barbershop where he works part time won't derail the final push of his re-election campaign.

Talladega Mayor Larry Barton was attacked August eighth in Vestavia Hills, roughly 55 miles east of his city, where municipal elections are set for August twenty-fifth.

Police have said 71-year-old Benny Green has been charged with assault in the attack. Police have not released details on his motive.

The Alabama Legislature is honoring two Huntsville police officers for extraordinary courage in the line of duty.

 Lawmakers bestowed the annual Alabama Legislative Medal of Honor for Law Enforcement to officers Jason Moore and Reynard Robinson on Thursday.

   A domestic-violence suspect opened fire on the two officers with a shotgun and rifle last year. Moore was shot in the face, neck, and shoulder and still has dozens of birdshot pellets in his face and body. He stayed on the scene despite his injuries.

al.com

     

The last known surviving member of the German engineering team that came to the United States and designed the rocket that took astronauts to the moon has died.

   Oscar Carl Holderer died Tuesday at age 95 in Huntsville. His son Michael Holderer says his father suffered a stroke last week and didn't recover.

   The German-born Holderer came to the United States in 1945 with a group of rocket engineers led by Wernher von Braun.

Credit Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press

   

   Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore says he's concerned that the recognition of same-sex marriages will lead to the recognition of marriages with multiple partners or marriages within a family.

      Moore spoke out  after sending a letter to the governor saying a ruling by a federal judge in favor of a same-sex couple in Mobile is not binding on Alabama's probate judges. He says he's encouraged by the Alabama Probate Judges Association advising probate judges to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Lawyers for House Speaker Mike Hubbard are now asking prosecutors to disclose any conversations they had with legislators or members of the executive branch about the case.

Defense lawyers filed a discovery motion today asking a judge to force prosecutors to disclose any calls with legislators or executive branch members. They also asked for any copies of conversations that might have been recorded.

Hubbard's lawyers had already asked prosecutors to disclose any media calls.

       

Deadlines for two types of U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans are coming up in several Alabama counties.

      Officials say small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private non-profit organizations in several south Alabama counties have until February 6th to submit disaster loan applications for severe weather between April 28th and May 6th. The counties are:

Baldwin, Covington, Escambia, Geneva and Houston.

al.com

Governor Robert Bentley is telling Attorney General Luther Strange that the state has limited resources to fight gambling.   The governor, in a January 13th letter to Strange, says the primary duty rests with local law enforcement.

The governor says he was responding to a memo that Strange sent district attorneys and local law enforcement officials suggesting that state police would be a "valuable resource" to them in trying to shut down gambling operations.  Strange said he expected them to enforce gambling laws.

Washington Post

Alabama prisons are changing the way razors are distributed.

The change comes from an agreement with lawyers for inmates suing the state over medical care.  Attorneys had accused the state of giving razor blades to inmates who were known to be suicidal or mentally ill, leading to repeated suicide attempts.

www.nyhistory.org/exhibitions/the-1965-march

First came the movie; now the exhibition.

"Freedom Journey 1965: Photographs of the Selma to Montgomery March" is opening at the New-York Historical Society on Friday.   It follows the pivotal Civil Rights march through the photographs of Stephen Somerstein.

Somerstein was a 24-year-old picture editor at his college newspaper in New York. He went to Alabama in January 1965 to document the five-day, 54-mile march. Somerstein took over 400 photographs. Those in the exhibition include images of marchers being cheered by black people and jeered by whites.

The Alabama House has re-elected indicted Representative Mike Hubbard as speaker.   The newly-elected Alabama Legislature convened Tuesday in Montgomery for its organizational session.

House majority leader Micky Hammon nominated Hubbard for a second four-year term as speaker.   Hubbard was unopposed in his effort to maintain the leadership.  Hammon called Hubbard a man of integrity and honesty.

Polaris Industries is planning a manufacturing plant that will bring as many as 2,000 jobs to north Alabama.  Governor Robert Bentley and other leaders announced the factory during an event in Huntsville on Friday.

The 600,000-square-foot plant will construct off-road vehicles in Limestone County west of Huntsville. Production is slated for 2016.The project adds a new twist to Alabama's growing vehicle industry, which mainly involves automobiles.  

apr.org

 Prosecutors say indicted House Speaker Mike Hubbard is making unfounded accusations about investigation leaks in an attempt to distract the public from the criminal charges against him.    In a Monday court filing, prosecutors fired back at misconduct claims by defense lawyers. Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart says no confidential information was disclosed when he had an off-the-record conversation about the case with a radio talk show host.

Birmingham News/ Joe Songer

The Alabama Supreme Court is reviving the state's attempt to keep about $94,000 in cash and hundreds of alleged gambling machines seized from a west Alabama gaming center.

The court on Friday overturned a judge's decision dismissing the state's attempt to confiscate $93,917 and 376 machines from Greenetrack Inc.

State agents seized the money and machines during a raid at Greenetrack on June 1, 2011, and operators went to court trying to get the items returned.

wikipedia.org

 Faculty members at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have drafted a no-confidence resolution against the president following his decision to kill the school's football program.    A document released Thursday accuses UAB President Ray Watts of failing to share governance of the university with faculty members.    The resolution sites a series of moves including the recent decision to disband athletic programs at UAB.    The Faculty Senate is scheduled to vote on the document during a special meeting on Jan. 15.

wikipedia.org

 A federal appeals court has upheld Alabama's ballot access law that was challenged by third-party presidential candidates trying to get their names before voters in 2012.    The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the decision of a trial court dismissing the lawsuit.    Alabama requires third-party candidates to collect signatures equal to 3 percent of the votes cast in the last governor's election in order to be listed on the ballot with their party affiliation.

wikipedia.org

Troy University's new School of Science and Technology just received a one million dollar donation.

   Troy officials say the donation will fund an eminent scholar faculty position beginning in the spring. The money comes from Former U.S. Rep. Terry Everett.   Everett says he's been interested in science and technology since he served in the Air Force and he believes supporting science and technology is vital.

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