The Associated Press


Politics & Government
4:39 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

AG Says Boost Penalty For Operating Gambling Machines

Alabama's attorney general will ask the Legislature to increase the penalty for operating illegal gambling machines.

Luther Strange said Monday that he wants the penalty to go from a misdemeanor to a felony. He said the current penalty is a slap on the wrist compared to the large amounts of money that operators make.

Strange was in Hoover on Monday to talk to legislators about their upcoming regular session, which starts Feb. 5.

Oil Spill Lawyers
4:32 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

La. AG's Oil Spill Tab Nears $24M

Louisiana's attorney general has spent nearly $24 million building the state's legal case against BP over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Credit MoneyBlogNewz / Flickr

Louisiana's attorney general has spent nearly $24 million building the state's legal case against BP over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. And records show much of the money has gone to outside law firms that have contributed to his campaigns.

The $15.4 million that Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has paid to outside lawyers accounts for about two-thirds of his total spending.

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Arts & Life
9:22 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Flooding, Wintry Precipitation Possible in Ala

The mix of heavy rains and colder temperatures is causing potential weather problems across Alabama.

The National Weather Service says persistent rains already have caused flash flooding in areas, and it has issued flood warnings for the Tennessee Valley region and west Alabama.

Some parts of north Alabama received up to 3 inches of rain quickly, and forecasters say additional rains will only increase runoff and cause more flooding.

There's a flood watch out for much of central Alabama.

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Business & Education
9:16 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Cullman Auto Supplier Expanding, Adding 200 Jobs

Gov. Robert Bentley will join other officials in Cullman on Monday for the groundbreaking of an expansion at an automotive parts manufacturing company.

A spokesman for Bentley says about 200 jobs will be created by the expansion at REHAU. The company announced the 150,000-square foot expansion in June. The expansion will allow the company to develop and produce bumper assemblies for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and M-Class vehicles.

When the company announced the project, it set the first round of production for mid-2013.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Science & Health
9:11 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Ala Trying to Address High Suicide Rate

(Information in the following story is from: The Anniston Star,

Officials hope to reduce Alabama's suicide rate, which is worse than the national average.

The Alabama Suicide Prevention and Resources Coalition is planning an advertising campaign for this summer to address the taboo against talking about suicide.

State suicide prevention director Debra Hodges tells The Anniston Star the campaign will be funded with a $1.47 million, three-year grant aimed at youth suicide prevention.

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Obama - Alabama Football
5:03 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Obama Congratulates Coach Saban On Championship

President Barack Obama has congratulated Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban on another BCS Championship.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

President Barack Obama is congratulating University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban on another BCS championship, joking that "he and the Crimson Tide are beginning to make this a habit."

Alabama won its third championship during Obama's presidency on Monday night, defeating Notre Dame 42-14 in Miami.

Obama called Saban on Thursday afternoon and noted that it was the third time he'd made the congratulatory call to the coach.

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Alabama Tornadoes
4:46 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Ala. Town To Get $840K For Delayed Demolition Work

Federal officials give Cordova, Alabama $840K for delayed demolition work.

Federal officials say they'll provide an Alabama town with $840,000 to fund the long-delayed demolition of buildings that were badly damaged in the 2011 tornado outbreak.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says the grant will cover 90 percent of the cost of demolishing what's left of downtown Cordova, which was hit by two twisters in the April 27 onslaught.

But it could still be weeks before any work begins in the Walker County city of 2,100 people.

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Gulf Oil Spill
4:33 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

BP Says Government Overestimated Size Of Spill

BP is urging a judge to rule on a claim by the oil company that the government overestimated the size of the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
Credit ideum / Flickr

BP has urged a federal judge to rule the company can't be penalized for millions of gallons of oil that spewed from its blown-out well but was captured before it could spill into the Gulf of Mexico.

A court filing Friday by BP says the federal government overestimated the size of the spill because workers captured more than 34 million gallons of crude and either burned it or shipped it to shore.

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Alabama Flu
4:28 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Flu Cases Up In Alabama From Last Season

State Health Officer Don Williamson says Alabama's flu season started earlier than a year ago and there are more cases. But he said it's not out of line with some of the busiest years during the last decade.

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Politics & Government
6:37 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Alabama Counties Approved for Disaster Assistance

The front wall of the parish hall at Trinity Episcopal Church on Dauphin Street in Mobile, Ala. was torn off by a tornado Christmas Day Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012 in Mobile, Ala.
Bill Starling/

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says Mobile, Pike and surrounding counties have been approved for disaster assistance because of damage sustained in the Christmas Day outbreak of tornadoes.

Bentley says the assistance will come in the form of low interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The two primary counties listed on the disaster declaration are Mobile and Pike. But it also includes Baldwin, Barbour, Bullock, Coffee, Crenshaw, Dale, Montgomery and Washington counties in Alabama and George, Greene and Jackson counties in Mississippi.

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Arts & Life
6:30 am
Fri January 11, 2013

NTSB: No Radio Contact in Ala Crash That Killed 3

Federal authorities removing wreckage of the plane involved in the crash.

A preliminary federal investigation says the teenage pilot of a small airplane didn't have any radio contact before the aircraft crashed in Alabama on New Year's Day, killing three people.

The National Transportation Safety Board report released Thursday says authorities learned of the crash in Walker County after witnesses called 911.

The report doesn't say what caused the crash, in which a 17-year-old student pilot and two friends died.

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Politics & Government
6:22 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Roy Moore to be Sworn-In as Alabama Chief Justice

Roy Moore will be sworn-in as Chief Justice this afternoon.

Roy Moore is to take the oath of office as Alabama's Supreme Court Chief Justice.

Investiture ceremony for Moore and for Supreme Court Justice-elect Tommy Bryan will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the Supreme Court courtroom in the Alabama Judicial Building.

Moore served as chief justice from 2001 to 2003, but was removed from office for refusing to obey a federal judge's order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the judicial building.

Arts & Life
6:00 am
Fri January 11, 2013

NWS: Rainfall Totals of 5 Inches Possible in Ala

Get out an umbrella: Forecasters say the next few days will be soggy across Alabama.

The National Weather Service says parts of the state could see as much as 5 inches of rain between Friday and early next week, and some areas could receive even more rain in small downpours.

While forecasters aren't predicting severe weather, they say brief periods of heavy rain and strong, gusty winds are both possible. So are rising streams and rivers that could lead to flooding.

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Hiring Rivals
4:38 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Dale Peterson Out At Ala. Ag Department

Former candidate for Agriculture Commissioner Dale Peterson announced he will not join the Ag department as a special assistant.

A plan by state Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan to hire another of his rivals from the 2010 campaign is off.

McMillan had planned to hire Shelby County businessman Dale Peterson, who ran against McMillan in the Republican primary in 2010, but Peterson announced Thursday he's not going to work at the state agriculture department. Peterson says he realized McMillan was trying to neutralize him and keep him from being a potential candidate in 2014.

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Utility Rates
4:27 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Ala. PSC Rejects Call For Formal Review Of Rates

The Alabama Public Service Commission rejects call for formal review of rates of state's three largest investor-owned utilities.
Credit / Alabama Public Service Commission

The Alabama Public Service Commission has blocked Commissioner Terry Dunn's request for a formal review of the rate structures for Alabama's three largest investor-owned utilities.

Dunn made a motion Thursday for formal reviews of Alabama Power, Alabama Gas and Mobile Gas, but commissioners Twinkle Cavanaugh and Jeremy Oden said an informal process is the best way to proceed. That will begin later this month with Mobile Gas.

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