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
8:59 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Judge Rules in Favor of Indian Casinos in Alabama

Poarch Band of Creek Indians

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the state which challenged the rights of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to operate three casinos in Alabama.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that U.S. District Court Judge Keith Watkins ruled Friday that the state has no authority to prohibit the activity on Indian lands.

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Politics & Government
8:37 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Group asks Supreme Court to Consider Ala. Tax Case

commons.wikimedia.org

Attorneys for a group of poor Alabama schoolchildren and their parents are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to considering scrapping Alabama's property tax system.

The group maintains in a petition filed with the court that Alabama's property tax system is unfair to minority students.

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Politics & Government
9:35 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Alabama Legislature Ends Session

The Alabama Legislature's 2014 session has come to a close.

The House and Senate wrapped up their session about 7:30 p.m. Thursday after passing the state education budget.

Numerous bills died on the last night, including one rewriting Alabama's open meetings law and another keeping secret the companies that supply drugs for lethal injections.

Other dead bills included legislation protecting spay-neuter clinics and one banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Politics & Government
9:33 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Mom Intervenes in Suit Over Same-Sex Marriage

Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

The mother of an accident victim is now involved in a federal lawsuit filed by his same-sex partner, who is trying to overturn Alabama's ban on gay marriage.

A federal judge in Montgomery says Pat Fancher can intervene in a lawsuit filed after the death of 53-year-old David Fancher.

Fancher's longtime partner, Paul Hard, sued in December. The two men were legally married in Massachusetts, but Alabama law doesn't recognize same-sex marriages.

Hard's lawsuit asks a court to strike down Alabama laws banning same-sex unions.

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Politics & Government
9:28 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Lawmakers Approve Welfare Changes

AP

The Alabama Legislature has passed a bill requiring people to apply for three jobs before seeking welfare benefits.

The Senate voted 28-1 Thursday to go along with changes the House made in the bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur. The bill applies to applications for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, commonly called welfare. It not only requires applicants to apply for three jobs, but to keep applying for jobs once they receive benefits.

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Politics & Government
3:40 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

Weekend Events Push Health Care Signups

U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Programs are being planned across Alabama this weekend to help people sign up for health insurance through the federally operated marketplace before Monday's night deadline.

Alabama Arise says enrollment events are being held Saturday at St. Stephens AME Church and the Moorer Public Library in Mobile, as well as at Medical Outreach Ministries in Montgomery.

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Politics & Government
3:32 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

Griffith Trying to Rebuild Democratic Base

opensecrets.org

Democrat Parker Griffith and Republican Robert Bentley are both 71, both doctors and both running for governor. But Griffith is emphasizing their differences in his race for governor.

Griffith says he would repeal the state immigration law that Bentley signed and replace it with a law that doesn't put so many regulations on businesses. He says he would also expand the state Medicaid program under the federal health care law, and he would repeal the Alabama Accountability Act and its private school scholarships.

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Science & Health
1:44 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Disease Deadly to Bats Spreads to Alabama

Hibernating Indiana bats, an already endangered species, show signs of "white-nose syndrome." (NPR)
Al Hicks/New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Federal officials say a disease known to be fatal in bats has been found in two animals in the Bankhead National Forest in Lawrence County, north Alabama.

U.S. Department of Agriculture officials said in a statement Thursday that two bats in the Armstrong and Backwards-Confusion caves tested positive for white-nose syndrome.

USDA officials say white-nose syndrome is fungal growth around the muzzle and wings of hibernating bats that has quickly spread from New York and has been found as far south as Georgia and Alabama.

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Politics & Government
11:22 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Alabama Prepares for 50th Anniversary of Voting March

bcjubilee.org

The 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march is a year away, and both cities are making plans to draw big crowds next year.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, County Commission Chairman Elton Dean and Alabama State University President Gwendolyn Boyd announced Tuesday that Montgomery is planning two big weekends of events that they expect to draw thousands.

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Politics & Government
11:18 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Lawmakers Give Themselves Tourism Grant Money to Dole Out

Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Limestone, Madison, Morgan)
legislature.state.al.us

The Alabama Senate has added $1 million to the state tourism department's proposed budget for grants that will be doled out at lawmakers' recommendation.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that each House district will get $5,000 and each Senate district will get $15,000 to help distribute.

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Politics & Government
11:02 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Former CIA Agent Valerie Plame to Speak in Alabama

National Public Radio

Former CIA agent Valerie Plame is scheduled to speak to University of Alabama students and screen a documentary about her experiences.

University officials say Plame will speak with students of Stephen Schwab, a UA adjunct assistant professor and former CIA analyst, when she visits the Tuscaloosa campus March 31.

She's also expected to screen the film at 7:30 p.m. March 31 in Farrah Hall. That event is free and open to the public.

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Politics & Government
6:35 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Ruling on Abortion Suit Delayed

Getty Images

A federal judge is delaying enforcement of an Alabama law regulating abortion clinics for one more week while he tries to rule on a lawsuit challenging the law.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson had planned to rule on the lawsuit by Monday. But he issued an order extending a prohibition against enforcing the law through April 2 to give him more time to rule.

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Business & Education
6:33 am
Tue March 25, 2014

GM Sued Over Ignition Switch in Alabama Fatality

(AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

A northwest Alabama man is suing General Motors, claiming his daughter's death was caused by an ignition switch that is the subject of a large recall.

Steve Smith filed the suit Monday in Lauderdale County Circuit Court on behalf of his daughter, Aubrey Wallace Williams. The suit says the ignition in her 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt went out on Dec. 4, 2013, causing the vehicle to become uncontrollable. Her car crossed into the oncoming lane and hit an 18-wheeler log truck. She was killed instantly.

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Business & Education
6:26 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Deadline Near for Disaster Loans in South Alabama

Associated Press

The deadline is approaching in nine south Alabama counties for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most non-profit organizations to apply for federal disaster loans due to the frost and freezing temperatures on March 25-29, 2013.

The Small Business Administration says the deadline is April 14 in Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Covington, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe and Washington counties. The loans are for working capital and can be up to $2 million. The interest rates are 4 percent for eligible small businesses and 2.875 percent for non-profit organizations.

Business & Education
1:58 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Alabama SGA Delays Anti-segregation Resolution

Pat Duggins/APR News

The student Senate at the University of Alabama delayed considering a resolution that opposed racial segregation within the school's fraternities and sororities.

Student government representatives voted Thursday to send the resolution to a committee rather than consider its merits.

The student newspaper, the Crimson White, reports the move killed the resolution for this year.

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