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.

The Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's public employees need not be in any rush to plan how they are going to spend the pay raises recommended by Gov. Robert Bentley. Legislative leaders say they don't see any money to give a cost-of-living raise for state employees and finding the money for education employees will be tough. Bentley proposed a 2 percent raise for education employees in the 2014-2015 school year. He recommended a 4 percent raise for employees of state agencies, but it's conditioned on the state taking in more revenue than expected.

University of Wisconsin

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A federal judge has backed the Feb. 7 deadline for major party candidates to qualify for Alabama's election. Secretary of State Jim Bennett said Friday that a judge approved the date as part of a lawsuit that the U.S. Department of Justice filed against Alabama to make sure military personnel and other U.S. citizens living overseas would have enough time to cast their ballots. The lawsuit led to an agreement to move up the qualifying deadline for Republican and Democratic candidates. The qualifying period was originally supposed to end on April 4.

Vanderbilt University

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's school board has recommended 11 social studies textbooks, effectively dismissing complaints from critics who said the texts favored Islam over other religions. Department of Education spokeswoman Erica Pippins said the board voted to recommend the books with a 5-2 vote on Friday. The vote is only a recommendation. Local school districts still get to decide which texts their students will read.

Sorority Member Honored for Stand on Segregation

Jan 18, 2014
Michelle Lepianka Carter / AP

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A University of Alabama sorority member who spoke out against segregation among Greek organizations on campus has been honored at a banquet celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. reports that Melanie Gotz was recognized Friday night at the awards ceremony sponsored by local colleges and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Gotz made headlines last year when she told the university's student newspaper how alumnae of her all-white sorority had blocked undergraduates from accepting a qualified prospective member because she was black.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A summary of action in the Alabama Legislature on Thursday, the third meeting day of the regular session:


—Approved a bill to create an independent agency to oversee taxpayer disputes. Goes to Senate.

—Passed a bill to raise the threshold where small businesses have to make estimated sales tax payments. Goes to Senate.

—Approved a bill to set a $10,000 threshold for firms to file itemized statements when they pay taxes on movable property. Goes to Senate.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Summary of action in Alabama Legislature on Wednesday, the second meeting day of the legislative session:


—Met briefly for procedural business.

—Held a moment of silence to remember the late Rep. Demetrius Newton, D-Birmingham.


—Approved William Wynne to keep serving on the state parole board.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A summary of action in the Alabama Legislature on Tuesday, the opening day of the 2014 session:


—Met briefly to handle routine opening day business.

—Joined with the Senate for the governor's State of the State address.


—Saw Sen. Robert Bedford, a big Alabama fan put on an orange cap shaped like an eagle because he lost a bet on the Iron Bowl with Sen. Del Marsh, a big Auburn fan.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Two Republican leaders in the Legislature, House Speaker Mike Hubbard and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, are praising Gov. Robert Bentley's stand against expanding the state Medicaid program. The Republican governor used his State of the State speech Tuesday night to say America will never end of the plague of poverty by offering a deeper dependence on flawed government systems. Hubbard says it's the state's goal to create more jobs to get people off Medicaid rather than expanding the Medicaid rolls.

Cold Weather Returning

Jan 14, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Forecasters say there's a chance for rain and snow showers across parts of northern Alabama late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. However, little snow accumulation is expected. The National Weather Service says new snow accumulation of less than a half-inch is possible in the Birmingham area. Cooler temperatures are also in store for Alabama for the second half of the week. Lows temperatures of around 19 degrees are expected in the Huntsville and Florence areas by early Saturday.

2014 Legislative Session Begins

Jan 14, 2014
The Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Legislature is back in Montgomery to begin a three-month session that will lead into this year's elections. The session kicks off at noon Tuesday.  Governor Robert Bentley will outline his proposals in his televised State of the State address at 6:30 p.m. in the Capitol. The new session is getting off to a faster-than-normal start. The House and Senate usually meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The stakes were high and the vote was close as Boeing production workers agreed to concede some benefits in order to secure assembly of the new 777X airplane for the Puget Sound region.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Boeing hailed Friday's vote, which proponents said solidifies the aerospace giant's presence in the Seattle area.

"Tonight, Washington state secured its future as the aerospace capital of the world," Inslee declared.

Paul Walker, the star of the "Fast & Furious" movie series, died Saturday in a car crash that killed one other person north of Los Angeles, his publicist said. He was 40.

Walker died Saturday afternoon, Ame Van Iden told the Associated Press.

A statement on the actor's Facebook page said he was a passenger in a friend's car, and that Walker was in the area to attend a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide.

"We ... are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news," the statement said.

Americans Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller won the Nobel prize for economics on Monday for developing new methods to study trends in asset markets.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the three had laid the foundation of the current understanding of asset prices.

While it's hard to predict whether stock or bond prices will go up or down in the short term, it's possible to foresee movements over periods of three years or longer, the academy said.