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Politics & Government
10:22 am
Sat November 17, 2012

No tax refund for Jefferson County residents and businesses

Microsoft Images

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A ruling from Alabama's Supreme Court means that Jefferson County will not have to reimburse workers and businesses for roughly $100 million in taxes. That ruling helps pave the way for the county's exit from bankruptcy. The case began in 2010 when Circuit Judge Charles Price ruled that Jefferson County's occupational tax was invalid because the law enabling it was unconstitutionally passed by state lawmakers. AL.com (http://bit.ly/TZceVs ) reports that Price ordered some refunds, but not $100 million requested by parties representing taxpayers.

Science & Health
7:54 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Infection Data from Alabama Hospitals Online

The public now has access to some of the information reported by Alabama hospitals about healthcare-associated infections.


The Legislature passed a law in 2009 requiring hospitals to report infection information to the Alabama Department of Public Health. Now, the department has started putting that information online at: http://www.adph.org/hai

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Politics & Government
7:45 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Aircraft to Stay at Maxwell Air Force Base

908th Airlift Wing C-130 over Maxwell AFB Alabama
Credit en.wikipedia.org

U.S. Air Force officials have told Alabama officials that it has altered an earlier proposal and no longer plans to relocate C-130 aircraft from the 908th Airlift Wing stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base.


Earlier this year, cuts to the U.S. Department of Defense budget prompted the U.S. Air Force to announce that it would retire older aircraft — which could include seven of Maxwell Air Force Base's eight C-130H cargo planes. That decision could affect hundreds of employees.

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Politics & Government
7:39 am
Fri November 16, 2012

Ala Senators Press Justice for Action on Spill

Sen. Jeff Sessions of Mobile
Credit sessions.senate.gov

Members of Alabama's congressional delegation say the Obama administration should continue pursuing BP over the Gulf oil spill.


The company has agreed to pay $4.5 billion in criminal penalties, but many civil claims over the 2010 oil spill aren't resolved.

Sen. Jeff Sessions of Mobile says he hopes the Justice Department continues pursuing BP under the Clean Water Act and the Restore Act, which was passed to send money to communities affected by the spill.

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Politics & Government
9:27 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Ala Coastal Leaders: BP Criminal Penalties Proper

Credit money.cnn.com

Leaders and activists on the Alabama coast are pleased BP will face criminal penalties for the Gulf oil spill, but they say civil payments are the real key.

The executive director of Mobile Baykeeper, Casi Callaway, said Thursday oil still washes on to the Alabama coast daily and criminal sanctions are warranted. She wants to know how much money will be available for repairing the environment.

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Science & Health
8:23 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Medicaid Might Use Managed Care in Alabama

Dr. Don Williamson is leading the state's Medicaid reform effort.
Credit blog.al.com

An Alabama health officer says the state's Medicaid program probably will move to some type of managed care system.


The Tuscaloosa News reports (http://bit.ly/XIrxX2 ) that such a program would operate much like private insurance functions with commercial management companies or community-based care.

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Business & Education
6:35 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Birmingham PD Hosts Anti-Bullying Conference

Credit bullyingproject.com

Police in Birmingham are trying to combat bullying among young people.


The Birmingham Police Department will host an anti-bullying conference that's scheduled for Thursday evening.

The meeting is open to both parents and students in the metropolitan area. It will include a keynote speaker and tips on ways to prevent bullying.


Alabama is one of 49 states with laws aimed at preventing bullying among students, but concerns remain in many of the state's 132 school districts about implementing the law.

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Arts & Life
6:26 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Ala. Theaters Mark Anniversary of "Mockingbird"

Atticus Finch (played by Gregory Peck) talking with his daughter, Scout (played by Mary Badham).
Credit rantery.awardspace.com

Turner Classic Movies is marking the 50th anniversary of the movie "To Kill a Mockingbird" with special screenings around the country, including eight in Alabama.


TCM says the classic film will be shown Thursday night at the Rave theaters in Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Montgomery and Daphne; the Regal theaters in Trussville and Huntsville, and the Cobb theaters in Tuscaloosa and Gulf Shores.

State tourism director Lee Sentell said he expects many students to attend because Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" is widely assigned in Alabama schools.

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Business & Education
1:00 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Ala. governor, others advocate pre-K expansion

The governor is adding his voice to business and education leaders calling for an expansion of Alabama's small pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-olds.

Gov. Robert Bentley says he wants to expand pre-K education and considers it more important than the Alabama Reading Initiative.

Bentley's comments to a Birmingham business group came less than a week after the State Board of Education called for an extra $5 million next year. A coalition of business leaders, educators and children's advocates is pushing for an even bigger increase.

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Science & Health
12:55 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

UAB Medical Agencies to Stop Hiring Tobacco Users

UAB Medicine says it's going to quit hiring anyone who uses tobacco starting next year.

The system announced Wednesday that its hospitals, clinics and other divisions will no longer hire anyone who smokes or uses smokeless tobacco products after July 1, 2013.

The policy doesn't apply to the broader college community of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

UAB Health System chief executive Will Ferniany says tobacco is a major cause of illness and death in Alabama, and the medical system wants to encourage people to stop using tobacco.

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Arts & Life
12:46 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Letters of Convicted Ala Church Bomber Now Open

Letter from Robert
Credit blog.al.com

Birmingham's public library has a new resource about the city's civil rights history: Letters written from prison by one of three Ku Klux Klansmen convicted in a deadly church bombing that killed four black girls.

The library obtained the letters written to and by Robert Chambliss and opened them for public use on Wednesday, the 35th anniversary of his trial.

Archives director Jim Baggett says Chambliss never admits any wrongdoing in the letters.

A retired agent says the FBI obtained the letters from a niece of Chambliss and gave them to the library.

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Politics & Government
8:22 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Ala. Governor Prepares Workforce Development Group

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley speaks at the Birmingham Business Alliance 2012 Governor's Luncheon.
Credit The Birmingham News, Tamika Moore

Gov. Robert Bentley says he plans to appoint a task force to help provide seamless workforce development training from the middle school through college.

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Arts & Life
8:13 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Ala. Governor to Again Pardon Clyde the Turkey

The Bates Family Farm in Greenville donates Clyde the Turkey.
Credit Bates House of Turkey

Clyde the Turkey will live to see another day.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will continue a decades-old Alabama tradition Wednesday when he pardons Clyde the turkey.

First Lady Dianne Bentley will join the governor at noon for the pardoning ceremony at the Governor's Mansion in Montgomery. The governor and first lady will reflect on the meaning of Thanksgiving during the ceremony,

The turkey comes from the Bates Family Farm, which provides turkeys for the Bates House of Turkey restaurant in Greenville.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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Business & Education
7:56 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Blast at Ala Plant Injures 1

An explosion at an industrial plant rocked the Shoals area of northwest Alabama and injured one person.


Authorities say the blast occurred shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday at Cherokee Nitrogen, which is located in Cherokee.


Plant officials say the explosion happened in a section of the factory where workers make ammonia. It rattled homes throughout Colbert County and into Lauderdale County.

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Politics & Government
8:12 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Ala Town Shut Down Amid Dispute Moves Forward

An Alabama town shut down amid a political dispute is trying to move forward.


The sheriff unlocked town hall in the Cullman County city of Colony so four council members could take their oaths of office on Monday.


The Cullman Times (http://bit.ly/RA0NDo ) reports the council agreed on an operating framework for the city as the search for a new mayor continues.

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