Associated Press

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Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images

An Alabama appeals court says a judge can't order child visitation following the split-up of a same-sex couple.

The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals ruled Friday that a Jefferson County judge was wrong to order child visitation for a woman who split up with her partner of 16 years.

The county judge based the decision on an adoption ruling issued in a Georgia case. But the Alabama appeals court says the ruling can't stand because the Georgia court lacked the power to issue such an order.

al.com

A federal investigation found Army officials discriminated against a transgender employee who underwent a sex change while working at an Alabama installation.

The Office of Special Counsel says Tamara Lusardi of Huntsville suffered gender identity discrimination as she transitioned from male to female in 2010.

Lusardi was working as a civilian software quality assurance specialist at the Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center at the time.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images via npr.org

Apple chief executive and Alabama native Tim Cook is being honored by his home state.

Cook and seven others including University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban are being inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor on Monday. A ceremony will be held at the state Capitol in Montgomery.

Cook is a native of Robertsdale, which is located near the coast in Baldwin County. The Auburn University graduate succeeded Apple founder Steve Jobs as CEO in 2011.

legislature.state.al.us

The first trial resulting from a special grand jury investigation in Lee County is set to begin.

Republican Rep. Barry Moore of Enterprise goes on trial Monday in Opelika on charges of perjury and making false statements to law enforcement. Prosecutors have accused Moore of lying to the grand jury during its investigation of possible government corruption.

Defense attorney Bill Baxley describes the evidence as the weakest he's seen.

Attorneys expect to conclude the trial within one week.

WBRC-TV

Two closed abortion clinics in Alabama have reopened, giving the state a total of five licensed clinics.

An attorney with the state health department says the Planned Parenthood Southeast clinic in Birmingham has reopened after taking corrective actions. The clinic closed in January after firing two employees for selling abortion medication to a person in the clinic parking lot. The clinic replaced its staff and made other changes.

redsticknow.com

Alabama's unemployment rate has declined to 6.6 percent.

Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday the September rate is an improvement from 6.9 percent in August.

The preliminary numbers show Alabama had about 6,600 fewer unemployed people than in August. But the preliminary figures also show that the number of employed Alabamians declined by about 1,600 and the civilian labor force shrank by nearly 8,200.

Alabama's unemployment rate is higher than the 6.4 percent recorded in September 2013, and it remains above the national unemployment figure of 5.9 percent.

Vanderbilt University

A national study says Alabama's cuts in spending for K-12 education have been deeper than nearly every other state.

The Washington-based Center for Budget and Policy Priorities says spending per pupil dropped 17.8 percent from fiscal 2008 to the current fiscal year. That is second only to Oklahoma. The study said the amount cut per student in Alabama was $1,128 between fiscal 2008 and now. That is $114 per student steeper than any other state.

Alabama Reapportionment Office / State of Alabama

The U.S. Supreme Court has announced it will hear arguments Nov. 12 on lawsuits challenging how Alabama's legislative districts are designed.

The suits were brought by the Legislative Black Caucus and the Alabama Democratic Conference. They are arguing that the Legislature drew districts that packed black voters into overwhelmingly black districts and diminished their influence in other districts. The two groups appealed to the Supreme Court after losing at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Alabama Education Association

Powerful Alabama teacher lobbyist and former gubernatorial candidate Paul Hubbert has died. He was 78.

A spokeswoman for the Alabama Education Association said Hubbert died Tuesday afternoon at a Montgomery hospital. Spokeswoman Amy Marlowe said he was hospitalized Oct. 6 after a fall and died from complications.

The Associated Press

Federal prosecutors say three people have been convicted of fraudulently filing Gulf Oil Spill Fund loss claims.

Officials say 53-year-old Marcella Truss, her 42-year-old husband Martee Davis and the woman's 42-year-old brother Howard Carroway were each found guilty of trying to steal more than $3 million from a fund established by British Petroleum. The fund was established after a massive oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Prosecutors say the three were convicted of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, filing false claims and aggravated identity theft.

istockphoto

U.S. Department of Justice officials say Jefferson County will use a federal grant to create a service center for inmates who are paroled from state prisons.

Federal officials said in a statement that the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles is being given a Second Chance Act grant of more than $687,100 to launch a day reporting center. The day reporting center is meant to help inmates navigate inmates' return to society and cutting the likelihood of Birmingham-area probationers committing new crimes.

University of North Alabama

The search for a new president of the University of North Alabama is down to three people after one of the finalists removed himself from consideration.

Officials say Robin C. Capehart of West Liberty University has dropped out of the running.

That leaves Provost Kenneth D. Kitts of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke; Chancellor Randall W. Hanna of the Florida College System; and Chancellor Sandra J. Jordan of the University of South Carolina-Aiken.

The three will be on campus in Florence for interviews starting later this week.

National Weather Service

Severe storms that raced through Alabama toppled a tree that fell on a mobile home, killing a woman. The storms also damaged buildings in several communities and knocked out power to thousands across the state.

Walker County Coroner J.C. Poe says a tree fell on the mobile home about 25 miles northwest of Birmingham, killing a 75-year-old woman and injuring her husband.

In Marengo County, the emergency manager reported to the National Weather Service that a roof was blown off a Laundromat on U.S. 80, just east of Demopolis on Monday.

yazclassaction

A jury will begin deliberations Friday in the trial of a former Alabama Department of Education official accused of using her position to provide millions to the company that employed her husband.

Attorneys presented closing arguments Thursday in the ethics trial of Deann Stone and her husband, Dave Stone. She was director of federal programs at the Department of Education.

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

Attorneys for an Alabama death row inmate have filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the state's new lethal injection drug combination has never been tried on any prisoner in the United States and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

Attorneys for Christopher Lee Price filed the suit Wednesday night. It asks a federal judge to block the state from using the new, three-drug combination. The state prison system developed the combination after running out of one of the drugs in its old execution protocol.

Vox Efx / Flickr

Alabama's chief election official is reminding residents that the deadline to register to vote in the general election is Oct. 20.

Secretary of State Jim Bennett says residents can download a registration form from a state website alabamavotes.gov and mail it to their county board of registrars or they can go by their county board of registrars' office to register.

topics.nytimes.com

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is making a pair of stops in Alabama to support Republicans.

The one-time presidential candidate will be in Troy on Thursday morning for a rally with GOP Attorney General Luther Strange. Strange is being opposed by Democrat Joe Hubbard in November.

Santorum will be in Birmingham in the afternoon for an appearance with 6th District congressional candidate Gary Palmer before a fundraiser for the Jefferson County GOP. Palmer is opposed by Democrat Mark Lester in the general election.

Alabama Taking Steps to Prevent Ebola Infections

Oct 8, 2014
Associated Press via npr.org

Alabama's governor and state health officer say the state has taken steps to make sure health care workers are able to identify a case of Ebola quickly and take precautions to make sure others don't become ill.

Gov. Robert Bentley and Dr. Don Williamson said Wednesday that includes providing training material to Alabama hospitals and reminding health care workers of the importance of checking a person's travel history. It also includes taking steps to protect other patients and staff.

al.com

The trial of a Canadian business executive in north Alabama has been rescheduled for April.

Gregory Aziz of Hamilton, Ontario, had been scheduled for trial this week in Tuscumbia on securities fraud charges. Colbert County Circuit Judge Jacqueline Hatcher delayed the trial at the request of the defense. She issued an order setting it for April 6.

nasa.gov

The nation's first Hispanic female astronaut is visiting NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center to observe Hispanic Heritage Month.

Ellen Ochoa will speak at the facility in Huntsville on Tuesday morning. The theme is "Hispanics: A legacy of history, a present of action and a future of success."

Ochoa became an astronaut in July 1991 and first flew aboard the space shuttle in 1993. The California native logged nearly 1,000 hours in space on that and three subsequent flights.

Ochoa is currently director of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Roger Clay (outdooralabama.com)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says a snake found only in longleaf pine forests of southern Mississippi and Alabama should be listed as threatened.

It's asking for public comment about its proposal to list black pinesnakes as threatened.

Black pinesnakes are burrowing constrictors colored dark brown to black. Their small heads have pointed snouts. Adults range from 4 feet to nearly 6 feet long.

bennycarle.com

An Alabama broadcasting pioneer is dead.

A family statement released Monday says television entertainer Benny Carle died at his home in Florence after a brief illness. He was 89.

The Birmingham native died on Thursday.

Carle was best known as the host of local television shows in Birmingham, Decatur and Huntsville from the late 1940s until the late '70s.

Carle's career began on radio in the late 1940s after his service in the Merchant Marine during World War II.

bigfootencounters.com

The southern tip of Cullman County has slipped into a drought despite recent rain.

The Cullman Times reports dry conditions have been a concern for farmers growing winter livestock grasses.

Scattered thunderstorms Friday brought some relief, but not enough to make up for the past month of dry weather.

smoothdentalgroup.com

A judge has upheld an Alabama law banning non-dentists from providing teeth-whitening services.

Two people filed a lawsuit last year challenging the constitutionality of the Alabama Dental Practice Act, which requires that people be licensed dentists if they cosmetically whiten teeth.

Al.com reports the Virginia-based Institute for Justice sought to overturn the law, saying it only protected dentists from competition and kept prices high.

Uber

A ridesharing service is pressuring Tuscaloosa's city government to let it enter the market without local licensing.

Uber sent a message to its Tuscaloosa users last week seeking their support in a dispute with city officials. The city's college students are a lucrative market for the firm's business model.

Tuscaloosa authorities say Uber drivers must get vehicle inspections and purchase business licenses like other vehicle services.

Uber accuses city officials of stifling innovation.

The race for state auditor pits Republican Jim Zeigler against Democrat Miranda Joseph.

Joseph says her accounting degree and her work as an internal auditor for a Birmingham bank make her the most qualified candidate. Zeigler says his background as a lawyer makes him uniquely qualified because there are legal implications to most things in state government.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has been awarded a seven-year grant worth $49 million to increase the number of low-income students prepared to enter college and succeed.

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

Attorneys for a condemned inmate say Alabama's new lethal injection drug combination needs review because it relies on a drug used in two recently botched executions.

Lawyers for Tommy Arthur on Friday asked the Alabama Supreme Court to deny the state's request for an execution date.

Suhana S. Han tells that inmates executed in Ohio and Arizona took from 25 minutes to two hours to die, and that suggests the first drug given, the anesthetic midazolam, is unreliable.

Han says the new combination needs court scrutiny before it is used in Alabama.

http://governor.alabama.gov / Office of the Governor

Gov. Robert Bentley has surpassed the $6 million fundraising mark in his quest to win a second term in office.

Bentley has raised $6.1 million over the last two years, according to fundraising reports filed Thursday.

Republican Bentley maintains a lopsided fundraising advantage over Democrat Parker Griffith a month ahead of the November election.

Griffith has raised $347,000 in cash donations since announcing his bid for governor.

The former congressman has also loaned his campaign $391,000.

Mercedes-Benz

Union officials from Germany and with the United Auto Workers have scheduled a press conference Friday to discuss their efforts to gain labor representation for workers at the Mercedes factory in Alabama.

The event coincides with a visit from Michael Brecht, the top labor representative on the supervisory board of Mercedes parent Daimler AG, and Joerg Hofmann, the vice president of IG Metall, the union representing most auto workers in Germany.

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