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Arts & Life
6:32 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Tribe Files Lawsuit to Stop Ala. Casino Expansion

This is a rendering of the expansion of the casino that the Poarch Band of Creek Indians are building in Wetumpka.
Credit The Poarch Band of Creek Indians

(Information in the following story is from: Montgomery Advertiser, http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com)


A Native American tribe in Oklahoma has filed a federal lawsuit to stop the $246 million expansion of a hotel and casino, saying the construction desecrates ancestral and ceremonial land.


The Montgomery Advertiser reports the Muscogee Creek Nation of Oklahoma filed the lawsuit Wednesday against the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Montgomery.

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Business & Education
6:24 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Sentencing Thursday for Former Ala. Legislator

Former state Rep. James Thomas was found guilty of having sexual contact with a female student at the high school where he was principal.
Credit blog.al.com

A former state legislator is to be sentenced Thursday on a charge of having sexual contact with a female student at the high school where he was principal.


Former state Rep. James Thomas is to be sentenced at a hearing at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Wilcox County Courthouse in Camden. A jury last month found the 69-year-old Thomas guilty of the misdemeanor charge while finding him not guilty of a felony sexual abuse charge.

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Arts & Life
8:55 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Sheriff to Inspect Games for Ala. Casino Restart

The sheriff of Macon County is planning to inspect new gambling machines being installed in VictoryLand in anticipation of the casino reopening soon.

An attorney for VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor said Sheriff David Warren will be at the casino in Shorter on Wednesday afternoon.

VictoryLand was once Alabama's largest casino with more than 6,000 games. It shut down in 2010 under pressure from the governor's gambling task force. The casino maintained that its games were legal electronic bingo, but the task force labeled them illegal slots.

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Business & Education
7:53 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Birmingham School Superintendent Gets Extension

Birmingham School Superintendent Craig Witherspoon is receiving a two year contract extension.
Credit blog.al.com

Leaders have approved a contract extension for the superintendent of Birmingham's troubled school system.


The city school board extended Craig Witherspoon's contract by two years during a meeting Tuesday.

Some members weren't happy, saying they felt pressured to vote because of state support for Witherspoon. The extension passed on a 5-4 vote.


The state took over Birmingham's city school system in June, citing financial problems. The system lacks sufficient funding reserves required under a state law.

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Arts & Life
7:23 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Judge Sets Date to Rule on BP Plea Deal Over Spill

Workers remove oil from the beach at Gulf Shores on June 12, 2010.
Credit Kate Mercer/Press-Register

A federal judge says she will decide next month whether to accept a plea deal that calls for BP PLC to pay a record $4.5 billion in penalties for its role in a deadly 2010 rig explosion and the massive oil spill it triggered in the Gulf of Mexico.


To resolve a Justice Department probe, the London-based oil giant agreed last month to plead guilty to criminal charges involving the deaths of 11 workers and lying to Congress about how much oil spilled from its blown-out well.

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Politics & Government
7:11 am
Wed December 12, 2012

2 Republicans Victorious in Ala. Special Elections

Two Republicans appear to be headed to the Alabama State House of Representatives following special elections.


Republican David Standridge, of Hayden, won district 34 on Tuesday with nearly 55 percent of the vote. His Republican opponent Chris Latta, of Oneonta, received 45 percent. Alabama Republican Party Executive Director Timothy James Maloney said there was no Democratic contender. The district covers most of Blount County and part of Jefferson County.

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Arts & Life
8:37 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Alabama Farmers See Record Yields in 2012

State agriculture officials say Alabama's record yields in cotton, soybean and peanut crops in 2012 helped to offset lower than average corn yields.


The Gadsden Times reports (http://bit.ly/W2ALK8 ) that soybean and cotton yields in northeast Alabama also likely set records this year.

David Derrick, regional extension agent for the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, says this year has been one of the best ever for row crop farmers.

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Politics & Government
7:21 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Ala. Prisons Make Changes Concerning Complaints

(Information in the following story is from: Montgomery Advertiser, http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com)


Alabama's prison system has changed a policy that required placing inmates who make a complaint into segregation while the issue is being investigated.

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Politics & Government
7:12 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Task Force to Recommend Ala. Law Enforcement Cuts

A state task force report will recommend ways to cut Alabama's law enforcement spending, most likely by combining some of the state's 22 law enforcement agencies.


The Anniston Star reports (http://bit.ly/UwnWEE) that members of the Integrated State Law Enforcement Task Force aren't yet giving specifics of what would be cut under the proposal. The report is to be delivered to Gov. Robert Bentley this weekend.


Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said the recommendations should bring Alabama in line with neighboring states.

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Politics & Government
6:47 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Gulf Coast Restoration Council Meeting in Mobile

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council is holding its first public meeting in Mobile today.
Credit restorethegulf.gov

A council that's supposed to develop a plan to restore the environment and economy after the BP oil spill is holding its first public meeting.


The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council meets Tuesday afternoon in Mobile. The council includes federal officials and state officials from the five Gulf Coast states. A spokesman for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said he plans to attend the meeting.

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Politics & Government
11:43 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Ala. Legislators Plan Bill to Curb Elder Abuse

Credit ehow.com

Two Republican legislators are planning to push legislation in the upcoming session to prevent elder abuse and increase the penalties for offenders.

Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster and Rep. Paul DeMarco of Homewood plan to announce the legislation Monday afternoon, along with the state's director of Senior Services, Neal Morrison. . The event will be at the Heardmont Senior Center in Shelby County.

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Arts & Life
11:41 am
Mon December 10, 2012

City With Alabama's 1st YMCA May Lose It

Credit ymcaofselma.org

A city that was a pioneer in developing YMCAs in Alabama is in danger of having to close its facility.

Selma opened its first YMCA in 1858. Now it is trying to raise $1 million by Dec. 31 to pay off some of the debt on its existing YMCA.

The YMCA's Bill Porter says money is coming in, but there is a real possibility the YMCA could close if it can't raise the money by the deadline. Porter is a former Selma City Council president and banker who is trying to get the Y on sound financial footing.

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Arts & Life
8:14 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Storms Lead to Possible Damage in Birmingham

UPDATE: Birmingham Mayor William Bell said there are no reports of injuries from severe weather that damaged roofs and broke windows in one part of the city.

The severe weather struck about 4:45 a.m. Monday in the area around Finley Avenue. Residents reported seeing a funnel cloud, but the mayor said officials have not yet confirmed if it was a tornado. He said the city is providing tarps to residents whose roofs were damaged.

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Arts & Life
6:56 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Alabama Participating in Wreaths Across America

Credit thepattersonfoundation.org

Alabama is participating with other states in the Wreaths Across America program to honor veterans and their families.

Gov. Robert Bentley will join other state officials along with veterans and their families for a wreath-laying ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the state Capitol auditorium.

Officials in other states and in Washington will hold ceremonies at the same time Monday. The state Department of Veterans Affairs says the ceremonies promote a week-long celebration of veterans and their families.

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Business & Education
6:38 am
Mon December 10, 2012

2 With Ties to Suspended Ala. State President Cut

ASU President Joseph Silver was placed on paid administrative leave last month.
Credit article.wn.com

(Information in the following story is from: Montgomery Advertiser, http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com)


Two Alabama State University employees with ties to suspended university President Joseph Silver are out of their jobs.


University vice president Danielle Kennedy said the vice president for business and finance, Edward Patrick, and the senior assistant to the president, Joyce Outler, no longer work for Alabama State because the board of trustees did not approve their hiring.

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