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Open Records
5:03 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Gov. Bentley Rejects Open Records Request

Governor Robert Bentley has deneid an open records request from a state newspaper.
http://governor.alabama.gov

Gov. Robert Bentley's office says Alabama's open records law doesn't cover budget cut proposals he could have implemented if Alabama voters had rejected the transfer of $437 million to the state General Fund budget.

The Decatur Daily filed a public records request asking for correspondence between the governor and his staff or agency heads about possible cuts and about plans for early retirement incentives for public employees.

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Politics & Government
7:58 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Sharpton to Protest Closing of Cooper Green Mercy

Reverend Al Sharpton is expected to participate in a rally against the closure of Cooper Green Mercy Hospital on Friday.
en.wikipedia.org

Opponents of a decision to close the in-patient care unit at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital in Jefferson County hope a visit by the Rev. Al Sharpton will bring national attention to the issue.


Sharpton's visit to Birmingham on Friday will include attendance at a forum and rally against the hospital's closure.


The county commission voted last month to close the inpatient unit and emergency room at the county owned hospital.

Arts & Life
7:55 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Several Alabama Cities Plan Veterans Day Events

Several Alabama cities are planning parades, memorial services and other events for Veterans Day weekend.


The state tourism agency says Birmingham will stage its 65th annual commemoration with a big parade downtown on Monday, Nov. 12. It is one of the largest Veterans Day observances in the country. Mobile, Montgomery and Huntsville will also have parades that day. Mobile will have a patriotic concert that night at the USS Alabama Battleship Park.

Politics & Government
8:31 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Primaries Tuesday for 2 Vacant Alabama House Seats

Republican Rep. Elwyn Thomas of Oneonta resigned from his House District 34 seat to become director of the Alabama Manufactured Housing Commission.
openbama.org

Voters in four Alabama counties will begin the process Tuesday of filling two vacant seats in the Alabama House.

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Business & Education
8:24 am
Tue October 23, 2012

State Board Approves Bonds Sale for School Buses

A state board has approved the sale of $33 million in bonds to finance the purchase thousands of new buses for Alabama public schools.

The Alabama Public School and College Authority voted 2-0 Monday to approve the purchase of the bonds. Schools Superintendent Tommy Bice said state schools could buy as many as 5,743 buses with proceeds from sale of the bonds. But he said the number of new buses will likely be less because the money can also be used to pay off old transportation debt.

Politics & Government
8:18 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Some Coastal Ala. Towns Have Isaac-Delayed Votes

Bayou La Batre Mayor Stan Wright faces off former council member Henry Barnes in a runoff election.
blog.al.com

Voters in some towns in Baldwin and Mobile counties are headed to the polls to wrap up municipal elections delayed by Hurricane Isaac.

The election was originally scheduled for Aug. 28 but got pushed back to Sept. 11 because of the bad weather. That delayed the runoffs from Oct. 9 to Tuesday.

UAB-Facebook
5:21 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Facebook Makes Donation To UAB's Cyber Program

Facebook makes donations to UAB's Cyber Program for help fighting a social media virus.
uab.edu Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham

Facebook is donating $250,000 to the University of Alabama at Birmingham for helping stop international cyber criminals.

The school's cyber program played a key role in tracking down those behind the social-media virus Koobface.

It took three years to end the threat, according to Facebook, which credited then-student Brian Tanner and Gary Warner, UAB's head of research in computer forensics.

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Taxis-Fighting Crime
4:10 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Ala. Taxi Drivers Will Help Police Fight Crime

Taxi drivers in Birmingham and Jefferson County will help police as part of Taxis on Patrol.
http://www.birminghamyellowcab.com/ Birmingham Yellow Cab

Birmingham and Jefferson County are getting some extra help fighting crime.

About 100 taxi drivers in Jefferson County have been trained to be on the lookout for suspicious activity.

If they see something, they can call police and report it immediately.

Yellow Cab announced the new "TOP" or Taxis on Patrol program Monday in front of Birmingham City Hall.

Governor-Jobs
3:35 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Business Group Backing Bentley Ads For Job Money

Governor Bentley uses political firm to get ads out touting need to pass Amendment 2.
State of Alabama

The political consulting firm that helped Robert Bentley win the governor's office is now helping persuade voters to give him more money to lure jobs to Alabama.

Bentley is appearing in TV ads urging voters to vote yes on Amendment 2 in the election Nov. 6. The ads were done by Dresner Wickers Barber Sanders. That's a San Francisco firm that helped get across Bentley's message in 2010 that he would not draw a salary as governor until he got Alabama's high unemployment rate down to normal levels.

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Politics & Government
3:25 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

November vote may save Alabama town

istockphoto

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The future of the few hundred people who live in historic Stockton depends on Alabama's 2.7 million voters. Amendment 3 on the Nov. 6 ballot would create a landmark district for the unincorporated Baldwin County community. That would prevent the Legislature from passing a bill that annexes Stockton into another town. Annexation could then be achieved only by a vote of Stockton residents. Proponents say no nearby town is trying to annex Stockton.

Politics & Government
3:16 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

AP: Alabama agencies not in compliance with Immigration Law

ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) — Many state licensing boards have not yet complied with a requirement in Alabama's immigration law to verify the status of legal immigrants by using a federal database. A state official tracking compliance told The Anniston Star that few, if any, of the state's dozens of professional licensing board have been cleared to use the federal government's Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements. The law requires them to use the system to verify that legal status. John Norris of the Examiners of Public Accounts says the applications are filed with the U.S.

Politics & Government
11:33 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Fewer People than Expected Apply for Tornado Aid

A scene of devastation on Thursday, April 28, 2011 after a tornado hit Pleasant Grove, Ala., just west of downtown Birmingham Wednesday afternoon.
Butch Dill / AP

Officials in northern Alabama say they're surprised by the low number of applications for state assistance for residents who were displaced by the 2011 tornado outbreak.

Individuals and families who are qualified can receive up to $25,000 to help them find new homes.

Jack Green, chief outcomes officer at Community Partnership of North Alabama, tells The TimesDaily (http://bit.ly/R8sO3A) that the number of applicants is about half of what he expected.

Green said nearly 200 people have applied, but he thought the number would be closer to 600.

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Arts & Life
11:27 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Ground is Broken for Freedom Riders Park

Cobb Elementary students unveil a sign during the groundbreaking of the future Freedom Riders Park.
Stephen Gross/Anniston Star

Crews broke ground on a park aimed at illustrating the violence as well as the hope embodied following a 1961 attack on civil rights workers.

The Anniston Star reports (http://bit.ly/RMX0Eh) that the groundbreaking was held Thursday at Freedom Riders Park in the Anniston area.

The park commemorates a brutal attack on civil rights activists 51 years ago and the progress made since then.

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Business & Education
11:24 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Ala. Mayor: 'Shut Up' About Grade-Changing Probe

The mayor of Montgomery said everyone should "just shut up" about the investigation into whether grades were altered in Montgomery County's public school system.

Mayor Todd Strange said whatever the facts are, the board of education will do the right thing. He said his advice is for everyone to quit discussing the investigation until the results are seen.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports (http://on.mgmadv.com/R87Xjc) that the mayor made the comments as he closed his media briefing Thursday.

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Politics & Government
11:22 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Alabama Unemployment Drops After 4-month Climb

Alabama's unemployment rate dropped in September after climbing for the four previous months.

Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday that Alabama's rate fell from 8.5 percent in August to 8.3 percent in September. That's below last year's rate of 8.8 percent.

The September figure represents nearly 178,000 Alabamians looking for work. That's down from 183,000 the prior month.

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