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Around the Nation
11:40 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

One Dead, 28 Sickened By Carbon Monoxide At New York Mall

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 2:21 am

A 55-year-old restaurant manager died and more than two dozen others were taken to hospitals Saturday after being overcome by carbon monoxide at a New York mall, police said.

Suffolk County police identified the man who died as Steven Nelson, a manager at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on Long Island.

Police said 28 others affected by carbon monoxide were taken to area hospitals.

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Science & Health
5:51 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

NWS Confirms 4 Tornadoes Hit Alabama

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service says at least four tornadoes touched down in Alabama during this week's storms, including an EF-2 tornado that flung a semitrailer onto the roof of an industrial plant in the Fort Payne area.

The Fort Payne-area twister was brief but powerful, with estimated winds up to 125 mph. Survey crews from the weather service say it flipped three large semitrailers, vaulting one into the air and onto the factory's roof around 12:30 a.m. Friday.

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Politics & Government
10:45 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Lawmakers want Ten Commandments displayed in schools

The Alabama House has approved a bill aimed at allowing the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public schools and state buildings.

Representatives voted 77-19 Thursday for the proposed constitutional amendment that goes to the Senate and would also have to be approved by voters.

Valley Republican Rep. DuWayne Bridges says Alabama should celebrate the country's religious roots. He predicted that Alabamians would overwhelmingly approve the measure.

The legislation specifies that the display would have to be intermingled with other historical documents.

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Politics & Government
8:00 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

AT&T-Backed Bill Wins Senate Support

The Alabama Legislature has agreed to end the ability of landline phone customers to call the state's utility regulatory board with service complaints.

The Alabama Senate voted 33-0 Thursday to approve a bill that does away with the Public Service Commission's authority to handle landline phone complaints. The bill passed the House earlier and now goes to the governor for his approval.

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Politics & Government
7:53 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Ala Senate Votes to Regulate Tanning Beds

The Alabama Legislature is set to regulate the use of tanning salons by teens.

The Alabama Senate voted 23-3 Thursday to give final approval to a tanning bed regulatory bill. It passed the House earlier this month 92-2.

The bill prohibits children 14 and under from using tanning beds unless prescribed by a physician. 15-year-olds could get a tan if a parent is present and gives written permission. 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds could get a tan with written permission from a parent.

Science & Health
7:50 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Tornado Watches Issued in Alabama

The National Weather Service has issued tornado watches covering most of the state.

One watch set to expire at 1 a.m. Friday includes Bibb, Dallas, Tuscaloosa Counties and others. Another watch set to expire at 3 a.m. includes Cullman, Etowah, Jefferson, Limestone and Montgomery counties, among others.

A storm system moving eastward out of Mississippi will mean a threat of strong storms beginning in central Alabama Thursday night. The National Weather Service says chances are greatest northwest of a line extending roughly from Selma to Anniston.

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Business & Education
12:07 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

School Proposed "Traditional Couples Only" Prom

A south Alabama school superintendent says one high school erred in its attempt to limit prom attendance to "traditional couples."

Greenville High School has since rescinded the rules that stated only male/female couples would be allowed to dance at the 2014 Junior/Senior Prom.

Butler County Superintendent Amy Bryan says the school made a mistake and that discrimination of any kind would not be tolerated in the district.

Bryan says the school administrator who issued the prom rules was mistaken in trying to micro-manage the event.

Politics & Government
8:39 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Ala Attorney General Criticizes Budget

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says he is concerned about what lawmakers' proposed General Fund budget will mean for his office.

The House Ways and Means General Fund Committee on Wednesday approved a budget that zeroes out the office's current $7 million appropriation. The budget bill says the office should instead use $7 million from the national settlement with five big mortgage companies.

Strange says it is troubling that lawmakers would not guarantee full funding for the office that prosecutes criminals and is trying the BP oil spill case.

Politics & Government
8:35 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Parker Griffith Kicks Off Campaign for Governor

Former U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith kicked off his Democratic campaign for governor by calling for the creation of a state lottery to fund college scholarships and an expansion of the state Medicaid program under the federal health care law.

Griffith says a healthier, better educated Alabama will lead to more jobs.

Griffith outlined his campaign agenda of jobs, education and health care in a letter posted on his new campaign website Wednesday. In interviews, he called Republican incumbent Robert Bentley timid for not expanding Medicaid.

Politics & Government
6:51 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Committees Taking Up High-Profile Bills Wednesday

Legislative committees will be busy today with some high-profile bills set to be considered. 

The House Education Policy Committee will consider a bill that would allow teachers to read the opening prayers of Congress at the start of the school day and another bill to clarify that private schools are not subject to regulation by the State Department of Education. 

Also, the House Health Committee is considering multiple abortion bills - including one that would ban abortion after the fetal heartbeat is detected. 

Politics & Government
3:56 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Legislative Overview for Wednesday

The Associated Press

A summary of action in the Alabama Legislature on Tuesday, the 15th meeting day of the regular session:


—Approved a bill creating a gap insurance program so schools destroyed by fire or a natural disaster can be rebuilt to current school standards. Goes to Senate.

—Approved a bill creating a board to govern the Local Government Health Insurance Program. Goes to Senate.


—Honored 2002 Olympic gold medalist Vonetta Flowers of Birmingham.

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Business & Education
7:40 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Toyota Plant in Huntsville Hits a Milestone

State and local officials are set to celebrate a milestone for a north Alabama auto engine plant.

Gov. Robert Bentley, U.S. senators Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby and others plan to commemorate the production of the 3-millionth engine at Toyota Motor Manufacturing's plant in Huntsville.

The plant produced a record 540,000 engines last year and is the only Toyota plant globally to build four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines.

The celebration comes on the heels of an announcement Monday that firearms manufacturer Remington Outdoor Co. plans to expand to Huntsville.

Business & Education
6:57 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Saban Wants Mercedes Dealership; Plans on Hold for Now


Nick Saban confirms he and a partner are working to open a Mercedes-Benz dealership in the Birmingham area. reports the Alabama football coach said a statement Monday he's "honored to join the Mercedes family" and "extremely excited" about the business venture planned for Irondale.

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Politics & Government
8:24 am
Mon February 17, 2014

After UAW Defeat, Can GOP Fulfill Promise of Jobs?

Volkswagen workers assembling Golf 6 cars

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.

Business & Education
8:18 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Gun Maker Opening Plant in Huntsville

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.