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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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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Politics & Government
11:02 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Former CIA Agent Valerie Plame to Speak in Alabama

National Public Radio

Former CIA agent Valerie Plame is scheduled to speak to University of Alabama students and screen a documentary about her experiences.

University officials say Plame will speak with students of Stephen Schwab, a UA adjunct assistant professor and former CIA analyst, when she visits the Tuscaloosa campus March 31.

She's also expected to screen the film at 7:30 p.m. March 31 in Farrah Hall. That event is free and open to the public.

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Politics & Government
6:35 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Ruling on Abortion Suit Delayed

Getty Images

A federal judge is delaying enforcement of an Alabama law regulating abortion clinics for one more week while he tries to rule on a lawsuit challenging the law.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson had planned to rule on the lawsuit by Monday. But he issued an order extending a prohibition against enforcing the law through April 2 to give him more time to rule.

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Business & Education
6:33 am
Tue March 25, 2014

GM Sued Over Ignition Switch in Alabama Fatality

(AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

A northwest Alabama man is suing General Motors, claiming his daughter's death was caused by an ignition switch that is the subject of a large recall.

Steve Smith filed the suit Monday in Lauderdale County Circuit Court on behalf of his daughter, Aubrey Wallace Williams. The suit says the ignition in her 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt went out on Dec. 4, 2013, causing the vehicle to become uncontrollable. Her car crossed into the oncoming lane and hit an 18-wheeler log truck. She was killed instantly.

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Business & Education
6:26 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Deadline Near for Disaster Loans in South Alabama

Associated Press

The deadline is approaching in nine south Alabama counties for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most non-profit organizations to apply for federal disaster loans due to the frost and freezing temperatures on March 25-29, 2013.

The Small Business Administration says the deadline is April 14 in Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Covington, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe and Washington counties. The loans are for working capital and can be up to $2 million. The interest rates are 4 percent for eligible small businesses and 2.875 percent for non-profit organizations.

Business & Education
1:58 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Alabama SGA Delays Anti-segregation Resolution

Pat Duggins/APR News

The student Senate at the University of Alabama delayed considering a resolution that opposed racial segregation within the school's fraternities and sororities.

Student government representatives voted Thursday to send the resolution to a committee rather than consider its merits.

The student newspaper, the Crimson White, reports the move killed the resolution for this year.

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Politics & Government
1:54 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Roy Moore Issues Dissent in Obama Citizenship Case

Ala. Chief Justice Roy Moore says the Ala. Secretary of State should have determined if President Obama was qualified to be on a state ballot. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Chief Justice Roy Moore says Alabama's secretary of state should have been required to determine whether President Obama was born in the United States and qualified to be on the state ballot in 2012. The all-Republican Alabama Supreme Court on Friday upheld a lower court's dismissal of a case that sought to require the secretary of state to demand a birth certificate from presidential candidates. Moore and Justice Tom Parker dissented. Moore writes the secretary of state is a gatekeeper and has a duty to determine if candidates are natural-born U.S. citizens.

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Politics & Government
9:57 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Senate Approves Gun Bill

The Alabama Senate has approved a bill to allow people to carry loaded handguns in their vehicles without getting pistol permit.

The bill by Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale cleared the Senate 20-7 Wednesday night and now goes to the House for consideration.

Currently, people without a pistol permit can carry a handgun in their vehicles provided it is unloaded and out of reach. They need to buy a pistol permit from a county sheriff to carry a loaded gun in their vehicles. Beason said citizens shouldn't have to buy a permit to protect themselves.

Politics & Government
9:55 am
Thu March 20, 2014

House Approves Legislative Reorganizing Bill

Trance Mist Flickr

The House of Representatives has approved a bill that would reorganize much of the legislative branch of state government.

Representatives voted 64-30 for the bill Thursday.

Republicans said the changes would streamline a hodgepodge of existing oversight. Democrats expressed concerns that it will give the majority party too much power over legislative functions.

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Science & Health
9:03 am
Wed March 19, 2014

BP Making 31 Bids in Gulf Oil Lease Sale

Associated Press

In the first federal oil lease sale since the government said BP PLC can again get federal contracts, BP has bids on 31 tracts in the central Gulf of Mexico.

The sale is also the first since 2008 offering tracts in the eastern gulf, but nobody bid on any of those tracts.

A total of 42 companies bid on 326 blocks in the central gulf, and one company — Exxon Mobil Corp. — bid on three blocks in the western gulf.

The bids will be opened and read out starting at 9 a.m. CDT.

Politics & Government
7:25 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Marijuana Oil Bill Moving Ahead

Laurie Avocado Wikimedia Commons

A proposal to study the impact of using a marijuana derivative to treat seizures is one step closer to becoming state law.

A House Committee on Tuesday voted to fund a $1 million University of Alabama At Birmingham study on the effectiveness of using cannabidiol to control seizures.

Parents of children with seizure disorders are seeking the marijuana oil, which does not get users high, based on anecdotal evidence that it is effective.

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Politics & Government
6:55 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Alabama House Passes Education Budget

The Associated Press

The House of Representatives narrowly approved an education budget that divided lawmakers over the lack of a teacher pay raise.

Representatives approved the $5.9 billion budget in a 51-47 vote Tuesday.

Tuscaloosa Republican Rep. Bill Poole says the plan puts more money toward insurance. He says that should help avoid large premium increases for current and retired education employees.

Poole argued that was the best use of limited funds. Democrats contended teachers deserve a raise after going several years without one.

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