Alabama voters will decide on Nov. 6 whether to continue a 20-year-old program that has allowed the state to buy 220,000 acres of public land to be used for hunting, fishing, birding and other activities.
It's the second time Alabama residents have been asked to vote on Forever Wild. The first was in 1992, when voters authorized the state to buy wilderness lands.
The U.S. Justice Department has cleared Alabama's new legislative districts for use in the 2014 elections.
Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez notified state Attorney General Luther Strange of the decision Friday. The Justice Department has to review new political boundaries in Alabama to make sure they don't violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act by disenfranchising black voters.
Agriculture experts are predicting a bountiful year for northern Alabama's cotton crop.
Heavy rain this week forced some farmers to delay harvesting another week or two.
However, planters say the fall rain has been welcome after a scorching summer that featured consistent heat and little rain.
Eric Schavey, regional extension agent for northwest Alabama, predicts a solid cotton crop this year. He said less rain over the coming days would be more beneficial to the cotton crops. More rain could lead to boll rot, some of which he's seen in some plants.
A small cell phone company has won a more than $10 million federal grant to expand wireless service in one of Alabama's most isolated regions.
The Federal Communications Commission says Pine Belt Cellular was the only company that sought the money to build new cell phone infrastructure along almost 1,600 miles of roads in five west Alabama counties.
The president of the company, John Nettles, says Pine Belt will use the funding to construct and connect towers and antennas in parts of Choctaw, Dallas, Marengo, Perry and Wilcox counties.
More than a dozen volunteers from the United Arab Emirates are helping to rebuild damage in Tuscaloosa from the April 27, 2011, tornado.
The Tuscaloosa News reports (http://bit.ly/SxLkoJ ) that the 13 volunteers traveled more than 30 hours to get to Tuscaloosa this week. They're part of a volunteer social program called Takatof, part of the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development. Takatof has helped mobilize volunteers and has sent them all over the world, including China, Korea, Africa and Pakistan.
Alabama's governor is asking for federal assistance for five more counties affected by Hurricane Isaac.
Gov. Robert Bentley sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency saying Covington, Dallas, Geneva, Monroe and Perry counties in south and west Alabama suffered $2.5 million in damage. Bentley said that's based on damage assessments completed this week.