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 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.

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


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. / 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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.


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.