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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Politics & Government
6:35 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Legislators Return to Work

The Associated Press

Alabama legislators are returning to Montgomery after last week's meeting schedule got interrupted by the winter storm. Both the Senate and the House get back to work Tuesday afternoon. Alabama Senate leaders hope to vote on a proposal to ban legislators from becoming lobbyists for two years after they leave office. A loophole in current law allows lawmakers to resign and immediately lobby the chamber opposite where they served. Some Republicans are pushing the bill after several GOP lawmakers resigned last year.

Politics & Government
8:22 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Beason Won't Seek Re-election in Alabama Legislature

Sen. Scott Beason (R)
legislature.state.al.us

Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale won't seek another term in the Alabama Legislature.

Beason issued a statement Friday saying it's time to end his time at the Statehouse.

He was first elected to the Alabama Legislature in 1998.

Beason was behind Alabama's sweeping immigration bill, considered the toughest in the nation before it was largely gutted by the courts.

The lawmaker also the sponsor of Alabama gun legislation last year. The bill pitted the National Rifle Association against business groups over the issue of guns in workplace parking lots.

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Politics & Government
7:13 am
Mon February 3, 2014

US Rep. Rogers Under Fire for Controversial Remarks

Rep. Mike Rogers (R)
mike-roger.house.gov

An Alabama gay and lesbian advocacy organization and the state association of realtors are blasting an Alabama congressman for making statements they consider inappropriate and offensive.

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Politics
12:54 am
Sun February 2, 2014

New Orleans Mayor Wins Re-Election In A Landslide

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu greets supporters after winning reelection in New Orleans on Saturday.
Gerald Herbert AP

Boosted by a drop in the city's murder rate and an endorsement from President Barack Obama, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu won a landslide victory Saturday in his bid for a second term.

"The results tonight confirm what we hoped was true four years ago: that the people of this great city are ready to move forward," Landrieu told is supporters in a victory speech.

Landrieu had 64 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting in Saturday's election.

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Politics & Government
6:57 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Bentley: Don't Play the Blame Game

NPR

Gov. Robert Bentley says people shouldn't be playing the blame game for the epic ice storm that caught Birmingham off guard, stranding motorists on interstates and students in schools.

Bentley said Thursday schools and emergency officials made plans off forecasts that predicted the worst of the weather would hit about 100 miles south of Alabama's largest city. The state moved resources south to prepare for snow in Montgomery and ice in lower Alabama.

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Science & Health
6:38 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Some Schools Still Closed Friday

Associated Press

Thousands of Alabama school kids are getting another day off from class because of the winter storm.

School systems throughout central Alabama are taking Friday off because of lingering icy spots on roads. That includes all schools around Birmingham, the state's most populous area.

Much of the snow and ice melted Thursday as temperatures rose above freezing. But many county roads and side streets still have slick spots, and freezing temperatures overnight made them worse.

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Politics & Government
8:34 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Selma Councilman Wants Moratorium on Businesses Selling Alcohol

Cecil Williamson
selma-al.gov

A Selma City Council member is proposing a temporary ban on new businesses that sell alcohol.

Councilman Cecil Williamson says the west Alabama city doesn't need any more of what he calls "liquor establishments."

So Williamson is proposing a six-month moratorium on city licenses for some new businesses.

The Selma Times-Journal (http://bit.ly/1i3zu0Z ) reports the ban could include liquor stores, bars and convenience stores. Williamson says he wants to research the number of such businesses that other, similarly sized cities have.

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Science & Health
6:56 am
Mon January 27, 2014

UAB Opening Medical Center in Montgomery

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is opening a new medical program in Montgomery.

The UAB Montgomery Regional Medical Campus opens Tuesday at Baptist Medical Center South in Montgomery.

The center will train medical students in areas including family medicine, surgery and pediatrics. Six third-year medical students will be accepted starting in May, and more will arrive next year.

The Montgomery campus joins existing regional campuses in Tuscaloosa and Huntsville, plus the main UAB campus in Birmingham.

Science & Health
6:36 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Snow Likely Tuesday for Central Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama; Jan. 17, 2013
Associated Press

A winter storm could bring more than 2 inches of snow and sleet to parts of central Alabama early this week.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for much of central and southern Alabama starting Tuesday morning. Forecasters say areas likely to see the most accumulation are those south of Interstate 85 and U.S. 80.

The Weather Service says more than 2 inches of snow and sleet are possible in cities including Montgomery, Auburn, Tuskegee and Selma. The heaviest snowfall is expected from noon Tuesday to 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Politics & Government
4:57 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Propane Shortage Prompts Disaster Declaration

Governor Robert Bentley
The Associated Press

A potential propane gas shortage linked to recent severe winter weather has prompted Alabama Governor Robert Bentley to declare a state of emergency.

Bentley said Thursday that declaring a state of emergency "will help Alabamians have an uninterrupted supply of propane gas and other home heating fuels during this period of winter weather."

Politics & Government
4:50 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Legislative Overview for Friday

The Associated Press

A summary of action in the Alabama Legislature on Thursday, the sixth meeting day of the regular session:

HOUSE:

—Approved a bill to end the Alabama Health Insurance Program for high-risk people who have trouble getting health insurance because the new federal health care law provides coverage. Goes to Senate.

—Approved a bill to create the Fair Ballot Commission, which would issue statements on what would happen if people vote for or against a proposed constitutional amendment. Goes to Senate.

SENATE:

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Politics & Government
7:36 am
Thu January 23, 2014

House Passes Tax Credits for Adoption

Rep. Paul Lee
legislature.state.al.us

The Alabama House has approved a bill to give adoptive parents a $1,000 tax credit to make it financially feasible for more people to adopt.

The House approved the bill 72-23 Wednesday, and it now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Paul Lee of Dothan, is an adoptive parent. He says the income tax credit would apply to a private intrastate adoption and the adoption of an Alabama foster child where both the birth mother and the adoptive parents are from Alabama.

Politics & Government
7:26 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Lawmaker Behind Accountability Act Won't Run Again

Rep. Chad Fincher
legislature.state.al.us

The state representative who sponsored the Alabama Accountability Act has decided not to run again for the Legislature.

Republican Rep. Chad Fincher of Semmes announced Wednesday that he will not seek a third term this year.

Fincher told al.com that he will focus on his new role as executive director of the Mobile Area Association of Realtors, which he began in November.

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Politics & Government
6:55 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Legislative Overview for Thursday

A summary of action in the Alabama Legislature on Wednesday, the fifth meeting day of the regular session:

HOUSE:

—Approved a $1,000 tax credit for Alabamians who adopt a child from Alabama. Goes to Senate.

—Approved a bill clarifying that the state's sovereign immunity from lawsuits applies to teachers and state employees when they are carrying out their official duties. Goes to Senate.

SENATE:

—Approved the governor's appointees to some state boards.

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Politics & Government
7:03 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Tuskegee Mayor Considering Higher Office

Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford
Associated Press

Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford says he's looking at running for higher office to make sure black voters turn out for the November general election.

Ford said that he is considering running for the state Senate seat held by Democrat Billy Beasley of Clayton if Beasley runs for governor. If Beasley runs for re-election, Ford says he will consider running for secretary of state.

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