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.

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Arts & Life
6:05 am
Tue June 17, 2014

50 in Mobile for 'Distinguished Young Woman'

Credit ajm.org

Fifty participants in the Distinguished Young Women program are in Mobile for two weeks of activities leading up to the final night on June 28.

They are vying for scholarship awards and the title of Distinguished Young Woman of America.

Their schedule includes lots of rehearsals and appearances. The participants are staying with host families in Mobile and will get to try Gulf coast foods while in the port city.

Tennessee's Distinguished Young Woman, Courtney Miller, says she is planning on trying oysters for the first time, but she's a little apprehensive.

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Business & Education
5:54 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Educators Conference in Tuscaloosa

Tommy Bice

School officials from throughout Alabama are expected to gather in Tuscaloosa this week for an education conference.

The Tuscaloosa News reports state schools Superintendent Tommy Bice is scheduled as the main speaker for the annual State of Our Schools luncheon at the Hotel Capstone.

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Politics & Government
5:45 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Bentley Offers Look at Personal Side

Credit State of Alabama

Alabama's governor says the best part of his job is getting to meet people and help them solve problems.

He says the worst part is having no privacy and having security with him around the clock. He says he can't go to Wal-Mart and Lowe's by himself any more.

Gov. Robert Bentley offered a rare personal glimpse about his life when he talked with Girls State delegates in Montgomery.

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Politics & Government
5:38 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Couple Seeks Ruling on Alabama Gay Marriage Ban

Credit Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images

Two women challenging Alabama's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages are asking a judge to decide the case without holding a trial.

Attorneys for Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand of Mobile filed the request in federal court in Mobile. They have one of three suits challenging Alabama's ban. They were married in California in 2008 and want Alabama to recognize the marriage.

Alabama's governor and attorney general are asking the judge to dismiss the suit.

The other two suits challenging the ban are pending in federal courts in Montgomery and Birmingham.

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Science & Health
6:36 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Alabama Wildlife Officials Tag Endangered Woodpeckers

Red cockaded woodpecker
Credit nature.org

Eric Spadgenske carefully places a noose of twine inside the cavity of a long-leaf pine and fishes out a rare thing — a red cockaded woodpecker nestling.

He balances atop a narrow, aluminum ladder, some 20 feet above the ground and carefully places the seven-day-old chick in a padded metal coffee can held in a pocket of his orange safety vest. The creak of his leather safety belt signals his attention has returned to the tree to bring out the other nestling.

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Politics & Government
6:25 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Montgomery Group Calls for Change at St. Clair

Credit eji.org

A group pushing for changes in Alabama's prison system is calling for a new warden at St. Clair Correctional Facility because of inmate violence.

The Equal Justice Initiative says three inmates have been killed in the last 10 months and five in the last 30 months. The executive director of the Montgomery-based group, Bryan Stevenson, says there have been many other stabbings and assaults. He says new leadership is needed to improve conditions

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Business & Education
6:05 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Montgomery's Historic Bell Building Gets New Role

The Bell Building in Downtown Montgomery
Credit wsfa.com

A building that has stood out in Montgomery for many years is getting a new role.

Mayor Todd Strange says an Indiana couple has purchased the Bell Building in downtown Montgomery. The 187-foot-tall office building was constructed in 1907 by businessman Newton Bell, and it was the tallest building in downtown for years.

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Politics & Government
6:02 am
Thu June 12, 2014

North Alabama Robotics Center Getting $6M in Funding

The Robotic Maintenance Training Center
Credit alabamartp.org

A north Alabama robotics center is getting another $6 million for construction.

Gov. Robert Bentley says the money will go to the Alabama Robotic Technology Park in Tanner. It's near Calhoun Community College.

A state bond issue provided $3 million for construction last year. The money being released now is from another state bond issue.

Bentley says the bond money is being released to fund a 50,000-square-foot building that will let employees of companies train on new machines and computer software before it's installed in a factory.

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Business & Education
5:55 am
Thu June 12, 2014

3 Alabama Community Colleges Change Leaders

Three of Alabama's community colleges have new leaders.

Community college Chancellor Mark Heinrich says the State Board of Education has approved the appointment of Andrea Mayfield as president of Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa. She had been at East Mississippi Community College for 18 years, including serving as a dean and a vice president.

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Politics & Government
6:34 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Poarch Creeks Elect First Female Council Chair

Stephanie A. Bryan
Credit poarchcreekindians.org

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians has elected its first female tribal chair.

Tribe officials said in a statement Tuesday that Stephanie A. Bryan has been elected to serve as the tribe's new leader. Officials say Bryan is replacing Buford L. Rolin, who is retiring.

In a statement, Bryan says she's humbled that the tribe's general council has put faith and confidence in her leadership abilities.

Officials say Bryan has served as the vice chair of the Poarch Creek Indians Tribal Council since 2006, and has held leadership roles on numerous boards and committees.

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Politics & Government
6:30 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Beeker Endorsed by 2 Opponents in PSC Runoff

Chip Beeker
chipbeeker.com

Two former candidates for Place 2 on the Alabama Public Service Commission have endorsed former Greene County Commission Chairman Chip Beeker in the Republican runoff July 15.

The primary election June 3 put Beeker in a runoff with incumbent Commissioner Terry Dunn.

Birmingham businessman Jonathan Barbee, who finished third, and Alabama Minority GOP Chairman Phillip Brown of Birmingham, who finished fourth, say they are throwing their support to Beeker. Barbee called Beeker the only remaining candidate who can effectively fight a radical environmental agenda.

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Politics & Government
6:37 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Ruling Expected by End of July in Alabama Abortion Law

Credit Julie Bennett / al.com

A federal judge says he intends to rule by the end of July on whether Alabama can enforce a new law requiring doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit patients to nearby hospitals.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson wrapped up a three-week trial Monday in Montgomery.

In closing arguments, American Civil Liberties Union attorney Alexa Kolbi-Molinas said the law will close all but two of Alabama's abortion clinics because they use out-of-state doctors who can't get admitting privileges.

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Politics & Government
6:34 am
Tue June 10, 2014

'Girls State' Being Held in Tuscaloosa

Credit American Legion Auxiliary Girls State

More than 350 young women are gathered in Tuscaloosa this week to learn more about government and leadership.

The American Legion Auxiliary's annual Girls State convention is being held at the University of Alabama through Friday.

Participants from around the state will learn about the way government works and hold mock elections.

They'll also hear from leaders including Air Force Lt. Col Shannon Juby and State Treasurer Young Boozer. On Thursday they'll visit the state capital of Montgomery.

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Business & Education
6:29 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Trustees Approve Tuition Increase at UNA

Officials at the University of North Alabama have approved a tuition increase for the coming school year.

The TimesDaily of Florence reports the board of trustees approved of increasing tuition by $11 per credit hour during a meeting Monday.

University President William Cale had proposed a $13 per credit hour increase to account for a 3 percent cost of living raise for faculty and staff.

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Science & Health
5:58 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Closing Arguments Set in Alabama Abortion Trial

Credit Getty Images

A federal judge is scheduled to hear closing arguments in a trial over a new Alabama law requiring doctors at abortion clinic to have approval to admit patients to nearby hospitals.

Clinic operators in Mobile, Montgomery and Birmingham say they use traveling doctors who can't get admitting privileges, and they will have to stop performing abortions if a federal judge allows the law to take effect. The state attorney general's office says enforcement of the law will make abortions safer.

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