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Football-Economic Impact
3:58 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Ala. Mayor Discusses UA Football's Economic Impact

Tuscaloosa city officials say the economic benefit of the University of Alabama's home football games far outweigh the cost the city spends on staff overtime during game weekends.
Credit apr

Tuscaloosa city officials say the economic benefit of the University of Alabama's home football games far outweigh the cost the city spends on staff overtime during game weekends.

Mayor Walt Maddox said Thursday that more than 400 city employees work overtime Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays on home game weekends. Maddox says the city spends roughly $750,000 each season to cover the cost.

Maddox says each of the school's home games has a roughly $17 million to $18 million impact on the city's economy.

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Politics & Government
9:27 am
Sun November 2, 2014

Tuscaloosa Adds Online Fee For Water, Sewer Bills

Some Tuscaloosa residents are upset after finding out last month they're being charged an extra fee for paying water, sewer and trash collection bills online.

  Some Tuscaloosa residents are upset after finding out last month they're being charged an extra fee for paying water, sewer and trash collection bills online.

The Tuscaloosa News reports new fees charge customers $2.95 for paying online with a credit card and $1 for using debit cards. The fees kicked in Oct. 1 at the same time water and sewer rates increased 3 percent.

The Tuscaloosa City Council approved the fees to offset revenue lost to convenience charges by credit card processors. Officials say cities such as Birmingham and Montgomery charge similar fees.

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Schools-Online Investigator
9:22 am
Sun November 2, 2014

Huntsville Schools Paid To Monitor Students Online

Records show Huntsville city schools paid a former FBI agent to oversee security measures that included monitoring students' social media accounts.

  Records show Huntsville city schools paid a former FBI agent to oversee security measures that included monitoring students' social media accounts.

Al.com reports documents it obtained from an open records request show 14 students were expelled in the last school as a result of security consultants watching their social media accounts. Madison County Commissioner Bob Harrison said he's concerned that 12 of those expelled students were black.

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Alabama Legislature-Election
9:14 am
Sun November 2, 2014

Hubbard Indictment Becomes Campaign Issue

Ethics charges against House Speaker Mike Hubbard are becoming a campaign issue in the partisan battle for seats in the Alabama Legislature.
Credit mikehubbard.com

  Ethics charges against House Speaker Mike Hubbard are becoming a campaign issue in the partisan battle for seats in the Alabama Legislature.

The Southern Progress Action Fund, an Arkansas group with deep Democratic Party ties, has begun airing ads featuring Hubbard's mug shot and urging voters to unseat incumbent Republicans.

Hubbard called the ads an attempt by an outside liberal group to influence Alabama elections.

The Alabama Legislature is almost certainly to remain majority Republican, but Democrats are seeking to regain some seats in swing districts.

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Politics & Government
4:27 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Court Says Siegelman To stay Imprisoned During Appeal

Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman will remain in prison while he appeals his conviction.
Credit Dave Martin / Associated Press

Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman will remain in prison while he appeals his conviction.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said the former governor must remain incarcerated while judges consider his request for a new trial. Al.com reports the hearing was scheduled to start in July. It's now expected to happen early next year.

Siegelman's attorneys said the prosecution was marred by judicial mistakes and politics.

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Education Grant
4:25 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Alabama's Black Belt Focus Of $49 Million Project

Gov. Robert Bentley said the GEAR UP Alabama program is critical to changing the mostly rural counties across central Alabama that traditionally have more poverty than the rest of the state.
Credit University of Alabama at Birmingham

A seven-year, $49 million project is starting in some of Alabama's poorest counties to try to raise the high school graduation rate and get more students in college.

Gov. Robert Bentley said the GEAR UP Alabama program is critical to changing the mostly rural counties across central Alabama that traditionally have more poverty than the rest of the state.

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Governor-Campaign Leftovers
4:17 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Gov. Bentley To Donate Leftover Campaign Funds

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he plans to use any leftover campaign funds to benefit the state.
Credit blog.al.com

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he plans to use any leftover campaign funds to benefit the state.

Bentley said Friday he will set up a charitable organization to receive his leftover funds and then distribute them to projects. He said no projects are definite, but one group he would like to help is foster children.

Bentley did something similar with his inaugural fund in 2011. He raised $1.6 million in donations to pay for his inauguration and had more than $300,000 left. He donated that to the state General Fund to support state agencies during a lean budget year.

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Arts & Life
6:25 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Bundle up for the Weekend!

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Forecasters say a cold front is expected to bring frost and freezing temperatures to much of the state. The National Weather Service in Birmingham is projecting that wind chill values will plunge into the 20s in parts of Alabama by late this weekend. Wind Chill, commonly used to describe how cold it feels, is the combined effect of low temperature and wind. For Halloween night on Friday, forecasters expect mostly dry weather for trick-or-treaters. They say temperatures around 10 p.m.

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Alabama Legislator Trial
4:12 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Jury Finds Alabama Lawmaker Not Guilty Of Perjury

Jurors have found Republican Rep. Barry Moore of Enterprise not guilty of charges of perjury and giving false information.
Credit legislature.state.al.us

Jurors have found Republican Rep. Barry Moore of Enterprise not guilty of charges of perjury and giving false information.

Prosecutors had accused Republican Rep. Barry Moore of lying to a grand jury about comments he made to his 2014 primary opponent.

Acting Attorney General W. Van Davis said Moore told his 2014 primary opponent that the house speaker would withhold economic development funds unless he withdrew from the race. Moore later denied relaying the threat when he testified to grand jury.

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Ebola-Alabama
4:08 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Alabama Monitors 3 From Ebola Areas

Dr. Don Williamson says his staff has monitored three people who traveled to Alabama from west African countries with Ebola outbreaks, and there have been no problems.
Credit blog.al.com

Alabama's health officer says his staff has monitored three people who traveled to Alabama from west African countries with Ebola outbreaks, and there have been no problems.

Dr. Don Williamson and Gov. Robert Bentley provided an update Thursday on Alabama's preparations for Ebola.

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Permanent Daylight Saving Time
4:03 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Bill Would Keep Daylight Savings Time Year-Round

If state Sen. Rusty Glover has his way, Sunday will be the last time Alabama residents turn back the clock one hour to standard time.
Credit Lee Haywood / Flickr

If state Sen. Rusty Glover has his way, Sunday will be the last time Alabama residents turn back the clock one hour to standard time.

The Republican legislator from Semmes has no opposition in Tuesday's general election, and he is already making plans to introduce a daylight savings bill in the 2015 legislative session. It would keep Alabama on daylight savings time year-round once people make the switch in March 2015.

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Alabama Legislator Trial
4:36 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Alabama Lawmaker's Perjury Case Goes To Jury

Jurors have begun deliberations in the perjury trial of Representative Barry Moore from Enterprise.

Jurors have begun deliberations in the perjury trial of an Enterprise lawmaker.

Prosecutors in closing arguments on Wednesday described Rep. Barry Moore as a scheming liar, while defense lawyers said he was being unfairly accused.

Acting Attorney General W. Van Davis says Moore tried to bully his primary opponent to get out of the race by saying the House speaker would withhold economic development funds for a project in their district. Davis said Moore then lied about it before a grand jury.

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Jefferson County-Heroin
4:45 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

100 Heroin-Related Deaths Noted In Jefferson Co.

Jefferson County's medical examiner says there have been 100 heroin-related deaths in the county this year, surpassing 58 that were recorded in 2013.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Jefferson County's medical examiner says there have been 100 heroin-related deaths in the county this year, surpassing 58 that were recorded in 2013.

Al.com reports Chief Medical Examiner Gregory Davis is asking the Jefferson County Commission for a 2 percent funding increase to help cover autopsy costs and renew a contract with UAB to provide toxicology services. A committee approved his request and the full commission is expected to vote on it Wednesday.

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Alabama Legislator Trial
4:15 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Star Witness Testifies In Rep. Moore's Trial

Prosecutors in the perjury trial of Republican Rep. Barry Moore played tape recordings of Moore and his primary opponent discussing if state funds would be in jeopardy if he ran against Moore.

Prosecutors in the perjury trial of Republican Rep. Barry Moore played tape recordings of Moore and his primary opponent discussing if state funds would be in jeopardy if he ran against Moore.

On one tape Tuesday, former primary candidate Josh Pipkin asked Moore if the Enterprise area would lose state money for a jobs projects if he stayed in the race.

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City E-Mail Hack
4:12 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Ala. City Blames Cyber-Attack For Email Shutdown

City officials in Mobile say its email system is functioning after a shutdown they blame on a cyber-attack.

City officials in Mobile say its email system is functioning after a shutdown they blame on a cyber-attack.

Al.com reports that the six-day shutdown started on Tuesday afternoon.

City officials say anyone who sent an email to city employees or departments last week, including police and fire, should resend those messages.

City spokesman George Talbot says no citizen's private information was compromised during the attack. He says authorities are investigating.

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