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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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UA Fraternities-Hazing
6:51 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

UA Stops Fraternity Pledging Due To Hazing Reports

The university of Alabama has stopped fraternity pledging due to hazing reports.
ua.edu University of Alabama

The University of Alabama has ended all pledging activities by fraternities amid allegations of hazing at some fraternities.

UA Vice President for Student Affairs Mark Nelson said pledging activities were ended as of 1 p.m. Thursday because of reports that have been received on a hazing hotline.

Nelson said in a statement that UA has issued interim suspensions to one former member and two active members of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity for engaging in hazing at an off-campus location.

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Absentee Ballots
6:32 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Overseas Voters Get Extra Time To Vote In Ala.

Overseas voters will get more time to fill out their ballots for the November 6th election.
Expert Infantry Flickr

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman says absentee ballots for military and overseas voters went out late from 22 counties and an extra 10 days is being provided for the return of the ballots.

Chapman said federal law gives military and overseas voters 45 days to receive and return their absentee ballots. But not all ballots requested by the Sept. 22 deadline were sent out on time. She is extending the deadline for election officials to receive the ballots by 10 days to Nov. 16. But the ballots must be postmarked or given to a commercial carrier by Nov. 5.

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Union Organizing
6:16 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Alabama Voters To Decide Union Organizing Issue

Alabamians to decide on union organizing issue on November 6 ballot.
Maryland GovPics Flickr

Amendment 7 on Alabama's ballot looks like a simple measure to preserve the right to a secret ballot. In reality, it injects voters into a battle between labor and management.

The ballot measure provides that Alabama citizens have a fundamental right to vote for public office and employee representation by secret ballot.

If passed, it would prohibit unions from organizing by card check, where they get more than half of the employees at a company to check a box on a card saying they want union representation.

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Business & Education
9:43 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Workers Say They Saw Rules Broken at Ala. Schools

Montgomery Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Thompson.
mps.k12.al.us

Employees who entered computer data at two Montgomery high schools say they witnessed school administrators violating school policy to help students achieve higher grades with little or no work.

The Montgomery Advertiser reported the allegations Thursday (http://on.mgmadv.com/Tfjakq) as state officials continue to investigate allegations of widespread cheating in the Montgomery County public school system.

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Cooper Green
6:14 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Birmingham Loses Fight To Keep Hospital Open

Birmingham loses fight to keep Cooper Green Hospital for the poor open.
nelsonglass.com

The City of Birmingham has lost the court fight to keep the Cooper Green Mercy hospital open for the poor.

The city was unable to force Jefferson County in the latest round in court Wednesday to keep hospital open and operating as usual.

Lawsuits against the county are effectively frozen in place until the county emerges from bankruptcy under Chapter 9. The city asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett to lift a stay so the city could sue the county in state court.

Constitutional Amendments
6:08 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

11 Constitutional Amendments On Alabama Ballot

Alabamians will get to decide on 11 constitutional amendments on November 6.

A description of the 11 proposed constitutional amendments appearing on Alabama ballots statewide on Nov. 6:

Amendment 1: Extends the state's Forever Wild land preservation program for 20 years.

Amendment 2: Allows the state to sell more bonds to get money to offer industries to build or expand plants in Alabama.

Amendment 3: Makes the small Baldwin County community of Stockton a landmark district to protect it against annexation from a nearby town.

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Creek Casino
5:44 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Indian Tribe Halts Construction Of Casino Complex

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians have halted construction on a casino in Wetumpka.
PCI Gaming Poarch Band of Creek Indians

Leaders of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians have agreed to stop construction of a planned 20-story hotel and casino in Wetumpka.

The Poarch Band and the Muscogee Nation of Creek Indians said in statements that construction stopped on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

The Muscogee Nation had objected to the project. The tribe has historic ties to the land and is objecting to the graves of its ancestors being exhumed and moved to make way for the expansion by the Poarch Creeks.

Cemetery Search
5:39 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Volunteers Find More Graves At Old Cemetery

More graves discoverd by volunteers at Lincoln Cemetery in Montgomery.
Maggie Martin/APR News

Volunteers say they've discovered more graves at a Montgomery cemetery.

The volunteers are using ground-penetrating radar in hopes of finding the true boundaries of Lincoln Cemetery and a total count of everyone buried there.

Lincoln Cemetery was originally designed to hold around 700 burials, but so far 7,000 bodies have been discovered and now a few more graves can be added to the list.

Members of the Lincoln Cemetery Authority say grant money for the project has been depleted.

Meningitis-Alabama
5:30 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

2 Alabamians Who Got Injections Showing Symptoms

Two Alabamians who got injections show signs of meningitis symptoms.
http://www.neccrx.com/

Alabama health officials have contacted four of the six additional Alabamians who received injections of steroid medicine from a specialty pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak.

The state's deputy director of medical affairs, Dr. Tom Miller, said Wednesday that two are fine. Two are showing symptoms and will be seen by their physician to see if the symptoms are ordinary or something more serious. The Department of Public Health is trying to reach the other two patients. The six live in Alabama, but were treated in Florida.

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Business & Education
9:56 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Birmingham School Board President to Resign

Birmingham Board of Education President Edward Maddox is resigning following charges with using his public office for personal gain.
blog.al.com

The attorney for Birmingham Board of Education President Edward Maddox says his client plans to resign from the board.

Lawyer Richard Jaffe tells al.com (http://bit.ly/TaiTiM) that Maddox intends to step down from the board as part of an agreement with the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office.

Maddox has been charged with using his public office for personal gain.

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Science & Health
9:35 am
Wed October 17, 2012

TVA: Too Soon to Know When Wind Farm Might Be OKd

Bangui Wind Farm in the Philippines.
en.wikipedia.org

A Tennessee Valley Authority spokesman says it's too early to know when a proposed wind turbine farm atop Lookout Mountain could get the final go-ahead from TVA officials.

The Post reports (http://bit.ly/RBVL7u) that Texas-based Pioneer Green Energy hopes to build 8 to 10 of the turbines near Leesburg within the next 14 to 18 months.

TVA Renewable Energy Projects Manager Ed Stevens says that officials with the agency are reviewing data about the project.

Politics & Government
9:28 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Advocacy groups form coalition on youth issues

guidestar.org

A dozen advocacy groups across Alabama have joined together to form a coalition to address statewide issues that affect the future of young Alabama residents. The coalition will focus on issues ranging from school policies that alliance members believe push students out of the classroom into the juvenile justice system to the services offered to youth reentering the community from the custody of the Department of Youth Services.

The new coalition includes the Southern Poverty Law Center. It was announced at a news conference Tuesday.

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Business & Education
9:19 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Nominations Sought for 2 Auburn Trustees

Gov. Bentley is president of the Auburn University trustee selection committee.
http://governor.alabama.gov

Gov. Robert Bentley says people interested in serving in two open positions on the Auburn University board of trustees may submit their names to the trustee selection committee.

Bentley is president of the five-member committee. Bentley said the committee is looking for replacements for John Blackwell, who represents a seven-county area in the Tennessee Valley, and Sam Ginn, who has an at-large seat. The two men are not eligible to serve another term.

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