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Arts & Life
5:43 am
Mon November 26, 2012

NWS: 2012 Below Average Year for Twisters in Ala

Forecasters say 2012 is a below-average year for tornadoes in Alabama, at least so far.


While Alabama has 40 tornadoes in an average year, the National Weather Service says only 32 tornadoes occurred in the state through Thanksgiving.

If no more twisters occur this year, 2012 will end with the state's lowest tornado total since 1999, when 23 occurred. But November and December are considered a secondary tornado season for the state.

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Politics & Government
5:40 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Williamson: Ala Medicaid Faces $30M Shortfall

Dr. Don Williamson is director of the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Credit al.com

Alabama's top health officer says state Medicaid is facing a major funding shortfall.


The director of the Alabama Department of Public Health, Dr. Don Williamson, says federal changes will add $30 million to the state's Medicaid funding needs for 2014.


The Anniston Star (http://bit.ly/TdPa3M ) reports that state officials didn't know about the additional cost when voters approved using $437 million from a state fund to plug the Medicaid budget in September.

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Arts & Life
9:31 am
Sun November 25, 2012

Book Program to Benefit Black Belt Schools

A University of Alabama program plans to give more than $5,000 worth of books to at least five schools in Alabama's Black Belt region in December.

The Tuscaloosa News reported that schools in 18 counties can apply for the "Book Bonanza" program conducted by the university's School of Library and Information Studies.

The program began in 2009. Each school typically gets between $1,000 and $1,500 in new fiction and non-fiction books. University officials will make the awards in December based on need.

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Arts & Life
9:16 am
Sun November 25, 2012

SEC Championship Tickets Spiking for Ala. vs. Ga.

Credit times-herald.com

Tickets to the SEC Championship football game in Atlanta next weekend continued to climb as Georgia and Alabama each demolished their archrivals.

By early Saturday evening, after Georgia's 41-10 win over Georgia Tech and with Alabama leading Auburn 42-0, the cheapest ticket on StubHub.com was $324. That doesn't include shipping and handling. Those add-ons would push the price closer to $400.

And don't think that would get you nice seats, either. That's just for seats just a few rows from the top of the Georgia Dome in the corner of the end zone.

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Arts & Life
8:50 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Mayors of Auburn, Tuscaloosa Place Bets on Game

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox
Credit cw.ua.edu

The mayors of Auburn and Tuscaloosa have something riding on the outcome of this year's Iron Bowl.

Auburn Mayor Bill Ham and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox made a friendly wager on Saturday's game between Auburn University and the University of Alabama.

Ham will make a contribution to the city of Tuscaloosa's tornado recovery fund if the No. 2 Crimson Tide beats unranked Auburn.

Maddox will make a donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lee County if the Tigers pull off an upset and defeat Alabama.

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Business & Education
8:43 am
Sat November 24, 2012

State, Local Leaders from Ala Head to Germany

Airbus announced plans for a new factory in Mobile, Ala in July 2012.
Credit money.cnn.com

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and other leaders are heading to Europe to promote Alabama at an aviation gathering.

The officials will attend the Aviation Forum 2012 for a special panel presentation about Airbus' decision to build aircraft in Mobile.

WKRG-TV (http://bit.ly/UyzeL2) reports the two-day gathering will be held in Hamburg, Germany, starting Tuesday.

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Arts & Life
8:35 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Distance No Problem for Ala. Black Friday Shoppers

Credit blog.al.com

Distance was no object for Alabama shoppers looking for the best Black Friday deals.

The Sprinkle family traveled almost 200 miles from the Mobile County town of Coden to Montgomery on a trip that combined three favorite family activities — football, hunting and shopping.

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Business & Education
8:25 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Ala. Becomes 10th State to Partner with Microsoft

Credit abcnews.go.com

More than 140 high schools in Alabama are partnering with Microsoft to add business software programs to their curriculum.

The Montgomery Advertiser (http://on.mgmadv.com/Tb0HkP ) reports that Alabama will become the 10th state to use Office software in a partnership with the company.

Gov. Robert Bentley made the announcement Tuesday at the Autauga County Technology Center in Prattville.

Bentley says technology partnerships with 143 schools in the state are essential as industries become increasingly tech-driven.

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Politics & Government
8:05 am
Wed November 21, 2012

New Director Hired at Anniston Housing Authority

Credit publichousing.com

The Anniston Housing Authority is hiring a new executive director to fill a position that's been vacant since June of 2011.

The Anniston Star (http://bit.ly/TfopzA ) reports that Willie "Sonny" McMahand will begin heading the agency on Dec. 3.

McMahand is a 56-year-old native of Greenville, S.C. He has experience working in the public housing system there, in Durham, N.C. and in Charlotte, N.C.

McMahand also worked in Durham until he was laid off in December 2011 because of budget cuts.

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Arts & Life
7:55 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Auburn Police Seek 2 After Toomer's Oaks Fire

Auburn University's landmark oak trees at Toomer's Corner.
Credit bleacherreport.com

Auburn police are trying to identify two people who were near the landmark trees at Toomer's Corner shortly before they burst into flames early Sunday.

Police say city webcams captured images of the two, who both appear to be wearing dark-colored pants and light-colored shirts.

Auburn police Capt. Tom Stofer says investigators want to talk to the two to either rule them in or out of the case.

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Business & Education
7:32 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Bice: Findings in Grade-Changing Probe 'Troubling'

Ala Superintendent Tommy Bice
Credit montgomeryadvertiser.com

Alabama's schools superintendent says a state investigation into grade-changing allegations at Montgomery Public Schools has turned up "significant findings."

Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice tells The Montgomery Advertiser that he has been provided with a large number of documents related to the findings, which he called "troubling."

Bice said the findings uncovered in the investigation are serious enough that he planned to spend part of the upcoming holiday period reviewing the documents.

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Arts & Life
7:25 am
Wed November 21, 2012

US Senate: Birmingham is First Home of Vets Day

Birmingham has long claimed to have the nation's oldest celebration of Veterans Day.

Now, the U.S. Senate agrees.

The Senate has passed a resolution stating that Birmingham is home to the nation's first and longest-running observance of Veterans Day.

The resolution comes nine years after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution recognizing Emporia, Kan., as the "founding city" of the holiday.

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Business & Education
8:16 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Ala Stores Target in Wal-Mart Black Friday Strike

Credit blog.al.com

Alabama stores are among the locations being targeted in a Black Friday strike by Wal-Mart workers.


AL.com (http://bit.ly/SN6cW4 ) reports the planned strike includes 55 Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores in Alabama. A website set up by organizers includes stores in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery and others.

Only the Wal-Mart in the Birmingham suburb of Pelham has a strike leader name and lists a time when the walk-out will begin.

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Arts & Life
8:12 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Ala. Humane Society Requests Emergency Funding

Credit hamptonroads.com

Officials at an Alabama humane society say their agency needs emergency funding to continue operations.


The Montgomery Advertiser (http://on.mgmadv.com/UQRQnW ) reports that the Montgomery Humane Society has roughly $2,000 in the bank.

Humane society representatives told the newspaper in a story published Monday the agency won't be able to pay employees after the next pay period without additional funding.

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Science & Health
7:47 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Lawmaker to Get Update on Birmingham Pollution

(Information in the following story is from: The Birmingham News, http://www.al.com/birminghamnews )

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell will soon get an update on environmental contamination in a North Birmingham neighborhood.

Sewell plans a meeting Monday with officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is conducting testing in the area.

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