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.

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.

Alabama Senate Democrats

The Alabama Ethics Commission has approved of a state senator contracting with the city of Montgomery to help with youth activities planned for the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange had asked the commission for advice concerning contracting with Democratic Sen. Quinton Ross of Montgomery. The commission approved it Wednesday. But the commission said Ross should not use state resources under his control to assist him in performing the contract.

governor.alabama.gov

Alabama first lady Dianne Bentley is leading a candlelight vigil at the state Capitol to bring attention to victims of domestic violence.

A spokeswoman for the governor's office says Gov. Robert Bentley will also attend the vigil Wednesday night. He will present a proclamation recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence says more than 20,000 domestic violence cases were reported in 2013.

The vigil starts at 7:30 p.m. This is the second year the first lady has served as host.

en.wikipedia.org

The state Conservation Department is asking hunters not to kill white-tailed deer that have been equipped with orange radio neck collars in four locations across the state.

UPS.com

Police say three people have been killed in a shooting at a UPS facility in Birmingham, Alabama.

Birmingham police Lt. Sean Edwards tells The Associated Press that the gunman was killed along with two other people in the Tuesday morning gunfire.

Edwards says the gunman was an employee of the company.

Atlanta-based UPS said in a brief statement that the shooting happened around 9:40 a.m. CDT. The company added that it is fully cooperating with the investigation.

Few other details were immediately available.

PBS

The National Governors Association says Alabama, Nevada and Washington will participate in a year-long project to examine ways to spur changes in how states pay for Medicaid and other health care services.

The NGA says the project should help the states reach agreements with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for changes in the delivery and payment of health care and in the improvement of health outcomes.

mobilebotanicalgardens.org

The state Tourism Department is launching the Alabama Garden Trail.

Tourism Director Lee Sentell says his agency will promote public gardens in several Alabama cities through a brochure and website. The Alabama Garden Trial will include Bellingrath Gardens in Theodore, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Dothan Area Botanical Gardens, Huntsville Botanical Garden, Jasmine Hill Gardens in Wetumpka, Mobile Botanical Gardens and Aldridge Garden in Hoover.

Uber

Tuscaloosa police are using undercover operations to nab drivers with the Uber ride-sharing service.

Police said Wednesday a two-night sting last week resulted in a 50-year-old Mississippi woman getting tickets for charges that include operating a cab without a business license. She allegedly picked up two undercover officers within an hour.

Police say six other drivers received warning citations for hiring out their vehicles without the proper licenses and inspections.

Another Uber driver and a passenger were arrested for marijuana possession and other charges.

Officials at Auburn University say they've eliminated plastic foam food and drink containers on campus to promote environmental sustainability.

Auburn University's Senior Executive Chef Emil Topel tells Al.com private vendors on campus will now use paper materials to hold food and beverages.

Director of Campus Sustainability Michael Kensler says moving to paper products over plastic foam will cost the university $5,000 more per year. Kensler says the cost won't impact the cost of student meal plans.

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