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.

npr.org

Republicans fighting a yearslong unionization effort at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee painted a grim picture in the days leading up to last week's vote. Workers rejected the United Auto Workers in a close vote, so attention turns now to whether the GOP can fulfill its promises that keeping the union out means more jobs will come rolling in. Regardless of what political consequences, if any, Republicans would face if that fails to happen, the Volkswagen vote established a playbook for denying the UAW its goal of expanding into foreign-owned plants in the region.

valmontfirearms.co.uk

A plan by Remington Outdoor Co. to open a plant in Huntsville that could employ thousands of workers has won the support of Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions. In a statement Sunday, Sessions said his office warmly welcomes the firearms manufacturer, and looks forward to the company's long-term success in the area. The company also makes ammunition and accessories. Sessions says the company's decision to open a plant in Huntsville "is great news and a further testament to the world class workforce" in the city. Although Remington officials haven't officially announced the deal, Gov.

auburnalabama.org

For former state Rep. Pete Turnham of Auburn, "The Monuments Men" is not a Hollywood movie about World War II. It's part of his life. The 93-year-old businessman spent the summer and fall of 1945 guarding a Bavarian castle where the Nazis hid thousands of artworks seized during the war. Turnham was the company commander for 200 troops who guarded Neuschwanstein Castle to make sure none of the art was stolen or destroyed while experts worked on returning it to the rightful owners.

bobikesbama.com

Bo Jackson is beginning his third annual charity bike ride from a city he knows well: Auburn. Organizers say this year's "Bo Bikes Bama" trek will begin on the Auburn University campus on April 19, the same day as the Tigers' A-Day spring football game. Participants can ride for either 22 or 62 miles, and money from registration fees and other fundraising goes to support the Governor's Emergency Relief Fund. The Heisman Trophy winner from Auburn started the bicycle rides after the deadly tornado outbreak of April 27, 2011.

archives.alabama.gov

The Alabama Department of Archives and History is opening a major new exhibit in Montgomery. A ribbon cutting is being held Saturday on the lawn of the Archives building for a new centerpiece exhibition called "Alabama Voices." Gov. Robert Bentley and first lady Dianne Bentley will attend. The department says the exhibit is the result of a decade of research, planning and fundraising. It covers the sweep of Alabama history from the early 1700s until today. The exhibition includes more than 800 artifacts and hundreds of images.

commons.wikimedia.org

Valentine's Day will be special for members of an Alabama National Guard unit that's coming home from Afghanistan. About 190 members of the 226th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade are returning home to Mobile on Friday morning. The troops will be welcomed by family members and friends at an armory in the port city. The group deployed in April 2013, traveling first to Fort Hood in Texas for training. Then they moved overseas to Afghanistan. The soldiers assisted with management operations for five base camps in Kabul.

Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images

A gay man whose husband was killed in a car accident is filing a federal lawsuit challenging the Alabama laws that prohibit the recognition of his marriage, which was legally performed in Massachusetts. The lawsuit in Montgomery federal court seeks to overturn Alabama's bans on the recognition of same-sex marriages legally performed in other states. Plaintiff Paul Hard and David Fancher, both of Montgomery, were married in 2011. Three months later, Fancher was killed in a car accident.

legislature.state.al.us

The Alabama House is calling on Congress to convene a state-led convention to amend the U.S. Constitution to impose limits on the federal government. A resolution sponsored by Republican Rep. Ken Johnson of Moulton cleared the Alabama House on Thursday and now goes to the Senate. It proposes a convention under Article V of the Constitution. It would be limited to imposing fiscal restraints on the federal government, limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and implementing term limits on federal elected officials.

blog.al.com

Alabama's newest congressman, Rep. Bradley Byrne, will have opposition after all in his first re-election bid. Democrat Burton LeFlore is seeking a rematch after losing to Byrne, a Republican, in the December special election to represent Alabama's 1st Congressional District. LeFlore's name was left off the initial candidate list distributed by the Alabama Democratic Party when qualifying ended last week. The winner of the Republican primary for Alabama's 6th Congressional District will also face opposition from a Democrat. Democrat Avery Vise qualified to run for the seat.

selmacityschools.org

State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice says a new leadership team should be in place at the Selma schools by the last week of February. Bice says state education officials are assembling the team because the state Board of Education voted unanimously to take over the Selma city school system. The takeover follows the arrest of a Selma High School teacher on charges of inappropriate sexual conduct with a student and an investigation by the state Department of Education.

legislature.state.al.us

An Alabama lawmaker is seeking to let public school teachers begin each day by reading opening prayers that were given in Congress. The House Education Policy held a public hearing Wednesday on the legislation. The bill would set aside 15 minutes at the start of each school day to study the procedures of Congress, and give a verbatim reading of a congressional opening prayer. Bill sponsor, Rep. Steve Hurst, says teachers could choose a prayer that related to the day's lesson. He says teachers might choose a prayer that was said on a particular day in history.

wikipedia commons

The Alabama Senate has again passed a bill to ban smoking in many work places and in many businesses. Democratic Sen. Vivian Davis Figures guided her bill through the Senate on a 21-8 vote Tuesday. Figures has passed similar legislation in the Senate before, only to have it die in the House. Figures is uncertain how it will fare in the House this time. Her bill bans smoking in most businesses, but bars and private clubs are excluded. It also does not affect smoking in homes, unless the homes provide day care services.

tanaholicapp.blogspot.com

The state House of Representatives has voted to ban teens from using tanning beds unless they have a parent's written consent. Representatives approved the proposal Tuesday by a vote of 92-2. The bill now moves to the Alabama Senate. Teens age 16 and 17 would have to have a parent's written consent to use a tanning bed. Fifteen-year-olds would need to have a parent's written consent, and have the parent present at the tanning facility during the tanning sessions. Children 14 and younger would be banned from using tanning beds unless it was prescribed by a doctor.

NPR

Gov. Robert Bentley is issuing a statewide state of emergency in advance of dangerous winter weather that's forecast to hit the state. The state of emergency begins at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Bentley says the state is taking no chances as the winter weather nears the state. The governor says he is urging schools to close if they are in an area predicted to have snow and ice accumulations. He is urging people to be cautious and avoid all unnecessary travel. Bentley says a wrecker unit of the Alabama National Guard is on standby with crews positions throughout north Alabama.

opensecrets.org

Former U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith of Huntsville is running for governor as a Democrat. Griffith turned in his qualifying papers at state party headquarters in Montgomery shortly before the deadline on Friday. Griffith served as a Democrat in the Alabama Senate and then was elected to Congress to represent part of north Alabama. After his election he switched to the Republican Party and lost a GOP primary bid to Mo Brooks, who now represents the 5th District. Griffith recently rejoined the Democratic Party.

A summary of action in the Alabama Legislature on Thursday, the 11th meeting day of the regular session:

HOUSE:

—Approved a bill to give deployed military members extra time to renew their vehicle registration. Goes to Senate.

— Approved a bill to specify that write-in votes will only be counted if there are enough votes to impact the race, or if there is a request. Goes to Senate.

SENATE:

Roy Moore
AP

Known for fighting to display the Ten Commandments in his state's judicial building, Alabama's chief justice is jumping into the national gay marriage debate. Roy Moore has sent letters to all 50 governors urging them to get their legislatures to call for a convention to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution recognizing only unions between one man and one woman. Moore says the country's moral foundation is under attack, and a state-initiated convention under Article V of the Constitution is the only way to stop it. An Article V convention has never been held.

The Univeristy of Central Florida / library.ucf.edu

An administrator from the University of Central Florida has been named president of the University of South Alabama in Mobile. Trustees unanimously selected Tony G. Waldrop as president during a meeting Thursday. Waldrop is provost and executive vice president at Central Florida, which is located in Orlando. He also held administrative positions at the University of North Carolina and the University of Illinois. At South Alabama, Waldrop replaces the late Gordon Moulton, who retired last July 1 and died in September.

The Associated Press

A summary of action in the Alabama Legislature on Wednesday, a committee meeting day:

COMMITTEES:

—Senate Finance and Taxation-General Fund Committee approved a bill to give a one-time pension bonus to retired state employees. Goes to Senate.

—Senate Finance and Taxation-General Fund Committee approved a House-passed bill to provide an income tax credit to Alabama families that adopt children in Alabama. Goes to Senate.

Alabama House of Representatives / legislature.state.al.us

Tomorrow’s filing deadline for political candidates is prompting several Democrats to announce their intentions.  House minority leader Craig Ford of Gadsden says he’ll run for re-election rather than seeking higher office.  He had been considering a run for Governor or Lieutenant Governor but says he can do more from the state legislature. 

Meanwhile, Florence Democrat Tammy Irons says she will NOT be seeking re-election.  The Republican majority redrew her district significantly.  She says her expanded district could mean she’d have less time with her family and law practice.

A summary of action in the Alabama legislature on Tuesday, the 10th meeting day of the regular session:

HOUSE:

—Approved a bill to end the requirement to publish lists of registered voters in newspapers and instead publish the list on the county's website. Goes to Senate.

—Approved a bill to authorize warrantless arrests under certain conditions for trespassing on the property of an education insitution. Goes to Senate.

ourcampaigns.com

Anthony "Alann" Johnson is leading the race to become the Democratic nominee for House District 53 in Birmingham.

Al.com reports that Johnson pulled away from attorney Arthur Shores Lee as the final boxes were counted in the Democratic runoff.

With 23 of 24 precincts reporting Tuesday night, Johnson had 297 votes, or 56 percent of the vote, to Lee's 236 votes, or 44 percent.

margiewilcox.com

Republican Margie Wilcox has easily won the Alabama House District 104 special general election in Mobile County. Unofficial election returns show Wilcox defeated Democrat Stephen Carr with 2,931 votes, or 91 percent, to 307 votes, or 9 percent. The district in western Mobile County leans heavily Republican. Wilcox is the owner of Yellow Cab of Mobile. She will take her seat in the Alabama Legislature later this week. The seat was vacant after Rep. Jim Barton resigned in August to join a Montgomery lobbying firm.

holmes4house.com

The former chairman of the Elmore County Republican Executive Committee, Mike Holmes, has won the Republican runoff in Alabama House District 31 and will be joining the Legislature. Holmes pulled 2,028 votes, or 57 percent, in the special election Tuesday against Wetumpka car dealer Jimmy Collier, who got 1,550 votes, or 43 percent. The winner faced no Democratic opposition in the heavily Republican district, which covers parts of Elmore and Coosa counties in central Alabama.

istockphoto

Voters in four Alabama counties are going to the polls to fill three vacancies in the Alabama House of Representatives. House District 31 in Elmore and Coosa counties is having a Republican runoff between Mike Holmes and Jimmy Collier. The winner has no Democratic opposition. Voters in part of Jefferson County are choosing between Anthony "Alan" Johnson and Arthur Shores Lee in the Democratic runoff for House District 53. The winner faces Republican Willie "W.A." Casey in March.

The Associated Press

Alabama legislators are returning to Montgomery after last week's meeting schedule got interrupted by the winter storm. Both the Senate and the House get back to work Tuesday afternoon. Alabama Senate leaders hope to vote on a proposal to ban legislators from becoming lobbyists for two years after they leave office. A loophole in current law allows lawmakers to resign and immediately lobby the chamber opposite where they served. Some Republicans are pushing the bill after several GOP lawmakers resigned last year.

legislature.state.al.us

Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale won't seek another term in the Alabama Legislature. Beason issued a statement Friday saying it's time to end his time at the Statehouse. He was first elected to the Alabama Legislature in 1998. Beason was behind Alabama's sweeping immigration bill, considered the toughest in the nation before it was largely gutted by the courts. The lawmaker also the sponsor of Alabama gun legislation last year. The bill pitted the National Rifle Association against business groups over the issue of guns in workplace parking lots.

mike-roger.house.gov

An Alabama gay and lesbian advocacy organization and the state association of realtors are blasting an Alabama congressman for making statements they consider inappropriate and offensive.

Boosted by a drop in the city's murder rate and an endorsement from President Barack Obama, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu won a landslide victory Saturday in his bid for a second term.

"The results tonight confirm what we hoped was true four years ago: that the people of this great city are ready to move forward," Landrieu told is supporters in a victory speech.

Landrieu had 64 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting in Saturday's election.

NPR

Gov. Robert Bentley says people shouldn't be playing the blame game for the epic ice storm that caught Birmingham off guard, stranding motorists on interstates and students in schools. Bentley said Thursday schools and emergency officials made plans off forecasts that predicted the worst of the weather would hit about 100 miles south of Alabama's largest city. The state moved resources south to prepare for snow in Montgomery and ice in lower Alabama. The governor says there was little warning before the swift-moving storm slapped Jefferson and Shelby counties.

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