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
7:27 pm
Sat May 17, 2014

Hangout Festival Drawing Huge Crowds to Alabama Coast

Credit http://wfpk.org

The Hangout Music Festival on Alabama's coast was continuing to draw huge crowds on Saturday.

AL.com reports that the event began Friday in Gulf Shores, opening to a sold-out crowd of 40,000 music fans at 11 a.m.

More than 70 bands are appearing this year including The Avett Brothers, The Black Keys, The Killers, Jack Johnson, Outkast, Dawes, Queens of the Stone Age and The Flaming Lips.

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Politics & Government
11:59 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Marijuana Possession Doesn't Stop Voting in Alabama

Credit Tomas Rodriguez/Corbis

Alabama's secretary of state has sent county voter registrars a reminder that people convicted for simple marijuana possession are eligible to vote and should not be blocked from registering.

The reminder came after a discovery that some people in Houston County were wrongly kept off the voting rolls.

The secretary of state's chief legal adviser, Jean Brown, says a conviction for possession for personal use does not bar a person from voting. Possession with the intent of resale does constitute a crime of moral turpitude and would cause someone to lose their voting rights.

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Business & Education
11:53 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Summer Lunch Program for Kids Resumes

Credit Jay Hare/Dothan Eagle

Alabama officials will soon resume a free summer lunch program for students.

The state Department of Education offers free meals to children while school is out to make sure low-income children don't go hungry.

The Dothan Eagle reports that roughly 137,000 children participated in the program last year. The goal is to serve more than 500,000 children who already receive free or reduced-price lunches at schools.

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Business & Education
6:22 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Alabama Brewery Back Forty Expanding

Credit backfortybeer.com

An Alabama-based brewery is expanding its operations into a new state.

Back Forty Beer Co. will spend about $500,000 this year to double its brewing capacity and begin canning operations at its facility in Gadsden.

The Gadsden Times reports the company will soon begin expanding in to Tennessee. It's already distributed in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida.

Back Forty Beer was honored Wednesday as the state's Small Manufacturer of the Year.

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Politics & Government
6:01 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Voting Registration Deadline is May 23rd

University of Wisconsin

Alabama's secretary of state says residents have one week left to register to vote in the primary election June 3.  Secretary of State Jim Bennett says residents needing to register should contact their county board of registrars by May 23.

Politics & Government
4:25 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Ala Senate Candidate Responds to DA Probe

Tim Sprayberry
Credit timsprayberry.com

An east Alabama state Senate candidate is accusing a district attorney of blatant electioneering.

State Senate candidate Tim Sprayberry of Heflin responded Wednesday to an announcement by District Attorney E. Paul Jones. Jones announced Friday that he had begun a preliminary investigation into Sprayberry's campaign finances, including whether he spent campaign funds on personal expenses. Sprayberry says he has kept meticulous records of contributions and expenditures, but the district attorney has never asked him for information about any of them.

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Politics & Government
4:16 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Alabama AG Seeks Appeals Court Help in Barron Case

Lowell Barron
Credit Glenn Baeske/Huntsville Times

The attorney general's office says a trial judge's rulings are fatal to its criminal case against former state Sen. Lowell Barron if they are not reversed.

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Science & Health
7:15 am
Wed May 14, 2014

13 More Alabama Counties Get FEMA Aid

Associated Press

Thirteen more Alabama counties are qualifying for federal assistance due to the storms, tornadoes and flooding that hit the state in late April and early May.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says state and local government programs and some nonprofit organizations may apply for disaster assistance in Blount, Butler, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Geneva, Lamar, Perry, Pickens and Tuscaloosa counties. Five other counties — Baldwin, Jefferson, Lee, Limestone and Mobile — were approved for the aid earlier.

Business & Education
7:05 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Two Alabama Schools Finalists for ACT Awards

Credit Vanderbilt University

Two Alabama schools are among the finalists for an award given by the ACT organization to recognize schools and people that excel at preparing students for college and careers.

The Iowa-based testing group says Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa among four finalists for an award honoring schools for career preparedness.

Spain Park High School in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover is among four finalists for an award honoring schools that prepare students for the transition to college or careers.

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Business & Education
6:25 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Alabama Pre-K Gets Highs Marks for Quality

Credit Alabama School Readiness Alliance

Alabama's voluntary pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-olds gets high marks in a new national report.

The National Institute for Early Education Research says Alabama is one of only four states with pre-kindergarten programs that meet all the institute's quality standards. But the report says access is very limited in Alabama, with only 6 percent of 4-year-olds being served during the 2012-2013 school year.

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Science & Health
5:58 am
Tue May 13, 2014

NWS Confirms Small Tornado in South Alabama

The National Weather Service is confirming that a small tornado hit south Alabama over the weekend.

A preliminary damage report says an EF1 tornado with winds as strong as 110 mph struck Geneva County on Saturday.

The twister left a path of damage that's more than 2 miles long and 100 yards wide.

Two homes were damaged and the storm knocked down trees, but no one was injured.

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Politics & Government
6:04 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Bentley to Tour Dothan Monday

politico.com

Governor Robert Bentley is taking his Road to Economic Recovery Tour to Dothan.

The governor announced he will visit Blue Plate West around lunch time Monday. Then he tours Dothan High School and Panhandle Converters.

He is scheduled to participate in a small business discussion at 3:30 p.m.

Bentley's tour of Alabama towns usually involves visit to a restaurant and businesses, as well as a discussion with civic leaders and business people.

Politics & Government
10:26 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Crowded Field for State Auditor

The Republican race for state auditor features four candidates seeking to replace Republican Sam Shaw.

There's former Public Service Commission member Jim Zeigler of Mobile, who calls himself "Mr. 49 Percent" because he's lost so many close races.

There's also retired Shelby County businessman Dale Peterson, who became an Internet sensation in 2010 with his video where he carried a gun and promised to run the thugs out of Montgomery.

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Politics & Government
6:43 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Southern Group Protesting Same-Sex Marriage

Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

A Southern heritage group is defending Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage.

The Alabama-based League of the South is planning a protest for Friday morning in Montgomery outside the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is trying to overturn the ban.

A statement from the president of the league, Michael Hill, says the liberal legal organization supports overturning what he calls "the building block of our civilization."

The Southern Poverty Law Center is representing a gay man who filed suit seeking to overturn Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage.

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Politics & Government
6:38 am
Fri May 9, 2014

FEMA Authorizes Aid for More Alabama Counties

Associated Press

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says the state has been approved for more federal disaster assistance to help five counties recover from severe storms in late April.

Bentley says the Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized residents of Blount, DeKalb, Etowah, Mobile and Tuscaloosa to apply for individual assistance, which could range from money for temporary housing to home repairs and assistance with medical bills.

Bentley says loans may also be available to homeowners through the U.S. Small Business administration for expenses that aren't covered by insurance.

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