A new federal judge will soon take the bench in Alabama.
New Orleans native Madeline Haikala will start her new job Monday as a U.S. magistrate judge hearing cases in a district composed of 31 counties in the northern part of Alabama. The Birmingham News reports (http://bit.ly/QpmFyA ) that Haikala is the first new magistrate judge in 14 years.
Magistrate judges hear federal misdemeanor cases and conduct pre-trial proceedings.
A new superintendent could be picked for Jefferson County next week.
The county's Board of Education plans to meet Monday morning to discuss which person it should select among the five candidates who were recently interviewed.
The Birmingham News (http://bit.ly/QpsFrj ) reports that the board received a total of 24 applicants from 15 states. Officials have aimed to have the new superintendent in place by Jan. 2. The current superintendent, Phil Hammonds, will retire early next year.
The district attorney prosecuting cases in Monroe and Conecuh counties will soon retire.
Tommy Chapman will step down Monday from his post as district attorney for the 35th Judicial Circuit. Gov. Robert Bentley has appointed Chapman's chief assistant, Steve Wadlington, to fill the remainder of Chapman's term.
Gov. Guy Hunt first appointed Chapman as the local district attorney in 1990. He was re-elected four times.
State officials are criticizing a plan that would limit lock usage on the Alabama and Chattahoochee rivers.
Citing budget cuts and low river traffic, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said starting Oct. 7 it will allow commercial boats to transit the locks if boat operators make an appointment 72 hours in advance. The locks allow boats to bypass dams that obstruct river travel.
Recreational boats can use the locks only if the locks are being used for another purpose.
A Montgomery man says he's not guilty in a shooting that killed two one-time Auburn University football players and a third man in June.
Desmonte Leonard entered the plea in Lee County on Thursday.
A judge scheduled a bond hearing for the 22-year-old Leonard for Nov. 14.
Police say Leonard opened fire at a pool party near the Auburn campus on June 9. Former Auburn football players Edward Christian and Ladarious Phillips were killed, along with DeMario Pitts of Opelika.
An automotive parts manufacturing company is officially opening its newly expanded facility in Cullman and has created 250 new jobs.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will take part in the ribbon cutting and dedication at 2 p.m. Friday of the newly expanded Topre America Corp. facility in Cullman. Bentley will be joined by Cullman area-leaders and Topre America officials at the ceremony.
Topre America supplies parts to Honda, Toyota and Nissan. This is the company's fourth expansion since it located in Cullman in 2004.
A federal judge gave his final approval Thursday to a $42.6 million class-action settlement between companies that made and installed government-issued trailers after hurricanes in 2005 and Gulf Coast storm victims who claim they were exposed to hazardous fumes while living in the shelters.
U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt ruled from the bench after hearing from attorneys who brokered a deal resolving nearly all remaining court claims over elevated levels of formaldehyde in trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency following hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Top state and federal criminal justice officials are urging Alabama residents to participate in a program that will allow people to turn in prescription drugs with no questions asked.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, U.S. Attorney George Beck and Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Special Agent in Charge Clay Morris on Thursday announced there would be 60 sites around the state Saturday that would accept prescription drugs being turned in by the public.
Alabama officials said they have expanded the state's participation in what has been a national program.
Law officers in some eastern Alabama jurisdictions have yet to issue any citations under the state's new law banning texting and driving.
The law went into effect on Aug. 1.
The Anniston Star reports (http://bit.ly/Rkz1er) that the Anniston, Jacksonville and Oxford police departments and the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office all said they've issued no citations for the offense.
Several Alabama cities are planning ghostly events during the month of October.
The state Tourism Department says Athens will hold its annual Historic Haunts Walk each Tuesday night in October. Demopolis has its Tombigbee Haints and Haunts tours on Oct. 26-27. Florence is planning its 10th annual Haunted History at the Shoals Ghost Walk nightly from Oct. 19-31. Huntsville will conduct ghost walking tours on Friday and Saturday nights in October and the Maple Hill Cemetery Stroll on Oct. 14.