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 University of Alabama says it's reviewing the use of a popular song at athletic events after students turned it into an obscene chant during the Auburn game.    Athletics director Bill Battle issued a statement Wednesday saying school officials will discuss whether to continue playing "Dixieland Delight."    The song was first released by the band Alabama more than 30 years ago, and the university often plays it over the public address system at football games. Fans sing along and students add chants.    Some of the words are usually vulgar.

The Birmingham News File

The Alabama Supreme Court has heard arguments on the constitutionality of a law that gives low-income families tax credits to pay for private school.

   A lawyer representing individuals challenging the Alabama Accountability Act said Wednesday that it does an end run on Alabama's prohibition of using education funds to support private religious schools.

   However, a lawyer representing families using the credits said it supports parents seeking education opportunities for their children, not private schools.

UAB is shutting down the football program. The university announced the decision Tuesday minutes after President Ray Watts met with the Blazers players and coaches. UAB made the decision after a campus-wide study conducted by a consulting firm over the past year. Watts says financial realities "are starker than ever and demand that we take decisive action for the greater good of the athletic department and UAB." He says UAB subsidizes two-thirds of the $30 million annual operating budget.


An Airbus assembly line under construction in Mobile is hiring workers. reports the firm is seeking maintenance technicians and quality inspectors for the final assembly line. Some of those positions require six to nine months of training.

At least 120 workers in Huntsville could see job losses as work shifts on a new rocket.

Boeing will issue layoff notices Friday to 60 aerospace workers, including 50 based in Huntsville.  reports another 70 contract employees will be sent back to their own companies for possible layoffs.

Alabama cities rank poorly in an advocacy group's report measuring legal protection and inclusion for gays and lesbians.

The Human Rights Campaign issued a report measuring more than 300 cities for legal protections, city policies and inclusion efforts.

Of the five Alabama cities included in the survey, Birmingham had the highest score at nine points. Montgomery followed with eight points.

Huntsville and Mobile both scored four points. Tuscaloosa had the lowest score at three.

The national average score was 59 points.

University of Alabama officials say a senior chemical engineering and chemistry student has been chosen to participate in a conference on climate change being hosted by the United Nations.

University officials said in a statement that Catherine King of Huntsville is one of eight students the American Chemical Society selected to attend the UN's conference in Lima, Peru. The event is expected to include representatives from more than 190 countries.

Republicans are sticking by Rep. Mike Hubbard as their choice for House speaker despite his indictment on ethics charges. House Republicans yesterday voted to support Hubbard for another term as speaker of the house. The full House of Representatives will officially select a speaker in January during an organizational session. Hubbard was indicted last month on 23 felony ethics charges. The Auburn Republican has maintained his innocence and says he sees no reason to give up his leadership role.

Vox Efx / Flickr

The turnout for Alabama's election Tuesday was lowest since Alabama became a two-party state. Nearly complete election results indicate that about 41 percent of Alabama's nearly 2.9 million active registered voters participated. The turnout for gubernatorial elections in Alabama had ranged between 51 percent and 58 percent since 1986, when Alabama elected its first Republican governor since Reconstruction.

Republicans strengthened their grip on the Alabama Statehouse in a Tuesday election sweep that saw House Speaker Mike Hubbard win re-election despite his indictment on felony ethics charges.

The GOP built upon the existing supermajority won in 2010 and increased their numbers in both chambers. Republicans will hold nearly 70 percent of the seats, a formidable number that will allow them to cut off filibusters and push through legislation if they stick together as a caucus.

Tuskegee University is gearing up for an event showcasing electric vehicles, toys and renewable energy for local students and teachers.

University officials say hundreds of children and educators are expected on campus Thursday for Tuskegee University Electric Vehicle Transportation Day.

School officials say the event will also feature guest lectures from Alabama Power Co., the University of Central Florida and the Florida Solar Energy Center.

U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Alabama consumers will see more competition when the health insurance marketplace opens Nov. 15 for its second year.

United Healthcare has signed up to offer individual policies in all 67 counties. UHC did not participate the first year. Regulators say Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama will be back in all counties. Humana will again offer policies in Jefferson, Shelby and Madison counties.

Alabama Arise spokesman Jim Carnes says increased competition should be good for consumers.

The enrollment period is Nov. 15 through Feb. 15.

Alabama voters will decide Nov. 4 whether to give new protections to public schools against unfunded mandates enacted by the Legislature.

Amendment Four requires that at least two-thirds of the Legislature must pass a law that causes city and county boards of education to collectively spend more than $50,000 in local funds if the state is not going to pay for the increased expense. Currently, that can be done by a majority vote.

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.

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

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.

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.


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.

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.


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.


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 and mail it to their county board of registrars or they can go by their county board of registrars' office to register.

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.