The Associated Press

Hartselle's Mayor can't drive soon

Sep 28, 2014

HARTSELLE, Ala. (AP) — The mayor of a north Alabama city is preparing for life without a license after being arrested on a DUI charge. The Decatur Daily reports a judge issued a temporary license for Hartselle Mayor Don Hall that is set to expire on Oct. 20 and his license will be suspended for 90 days after that. Hall was stopped on Sept. 5 and was arrested for DUI after refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test. After his arrest, Hall took a two-week leave of absence and said during a...

The "A.B.C's" of Hospitality

Sep 28, 2014

GULF SHORES, Ala. (AP) — The University of South Alabama will soon offer courses in hospitality and tourism in Gulf Shores. University officials will start holding the classes in January at the Gulf Shores Cultural Center. Al.com reports students who earn an associate's degrees in hospitality management from Faulkner State and can then enroll at the University of South Alabama to earn their bachelor's degree. University President Tony Waldrop and Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft said the...

Alabama State works to keep Accreditation

Sep 27, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama State University officials say they're prepared for a campus visit from the school's accrediting agency. ASU President Gwendolyn Boyd told school board members on Friday that Southern Association of Colleges and Schools officials will evaluate the school's health during the October visit. Board says the association's board will then meet in December to discuss ASU's status. WSFA-TV reports that Boyd told the board that the university is three months into a six...

Hepatitis "A" in Alabama

Sep 27, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Department of Public Health is investigating three cases of hepatitis A in Clarke County in southwest Alabama. The department says two of the cases involve people who have a history of international travel. The health department says signs of hepatitis A appear 15 to 50 days after exposure and commonly include mild fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and tiredness. The disease varies in severity from about two weeks to six weeks or more. The...

Alabama Education Association

The Alabama State Employees Association and Alabama Education Association have lost a lawsuit over a state law that cut off a major source of their funding. The Alabama Supreme Court on Friday reversed a preliminary injunction that the two groups got a Montgomery judge to issue against the state comptroller. It had blocked the comptroller from enforcing rules to implement a 2010 law. That law prohibited Alabama's public employees from having membership dues deducted from their paychecks if...

Associated Press

The state teachers' organization, the Alabama Education Association, has become the biggest contributor to Democrat Parker Griffith's campaign for governor. Griffith filed a campaign finance report late Thursday afternoon showing he had received a $300,000 contribution from AEA. Prior to the contribution, he was reporting $25,050 in his campaign account. The contribution comes after AEA's political action committee reported borrowing $700,000 from a bank on Sept. 4. AEA helped Republican...

roby.house.gov

An Alabama congresswoman says she has complete mistrust of the health care system for veterans. Rep. Martha Roby of Montgomery made the comment Thursday. That was one day after she met with top officials of the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System. The interim director of the Central Alabama VA announced earlier this week that wait times for new patients had been cut by one-third. Roby says veterans are telling her that's incorrect. She said the veterans say they get appointments made...

Energy Committee to meet in Mobile

Sep 25, 2014

More than 200 people from across the South are expected in Mobile starting Sunday for annual meeting of the Southern States Energy Board. The board represents 16 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Gov. Robert Bentley says he's honored to have the board meeting in Mobile for three days, and he will welcome the group to the Port City. Other speakers include Canada's ambassador to the U.S., Gary Doer, West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Alabama Power President Mark Crosswhite and...

Center for Public Integrity

A national report says Alabama ranks 11th among the states in spending on TV ads for the 2104 state campaigns. The report by the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity found that candidates for state level offices in Alabama had spent $6.9 million on TV ads that had aired through Sept. 8. Nearly half of that came in legislative races. Many larger states didn't come close to that level of spending in legislative races. One of the study's authors says low TV ad rates in Alabama make the...

A deputy state attorney general is asking for the appointment of an independent investigation into accusations that he interfered with a public corruption investigation. Deputy Attorney General Sonny Reagan sent a letter Monday to his boss, Attorney General Luther Strange, saying he did nothing wrong. Reagan asked for Strange or Gov. Robert Bentley to appoint an independent person to look into the accusations against him as well as a misconduct complaint Reagan previously filed against Matt...

BP May get an Oil Spill settlement refund

Sep 24, 2014

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The federal judge for Gulf of Mexico oil spill cases will hear arguments about whether BP PLC should get back hundreds of millions of dollars from businesses that got settlement payments between August 2012 and October 2013. The oil company says that's only fair because Judge Carl Barbier found that the formula used then was incorrect and ordered a change. Attorneys for plaintiffs say BP is trying to get out of its obligations. They say the release plaintiffs sign to get a...

Veterans Administration officials say services at the troubled central Alabama VA health care facilities are improving, with more staff and shorter waits for new patients to get an appointment. The VA's Southeast director, Charles Sepich, said the goal is to rebuild veterans' trust. A VA report in June said the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System had an average wait time for new patients of 75 days. That was the seventh-worst nationally. Acting Director Robin Jackson says that was...

Alabama Gas Company

A judge has lifted his ban that temporarily blocked the Montgomery Advertiser from publishing information from Alabama Gas Corp. documents. Jefferson County Circuit Judge Robert Vance issued an order Tuesday dissolving his order that prohibited the newspaper from using information from a utility document about gas lines. Alagasco sought the ban arguing that information in the document could present a national security threat, and the judge agreed initially. Vance now says he was wrong. The...

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz plans to add 200 production jobs at its operations in Tuscaloosa County. Al.com reports the company says the move is spurred by customer demand for its vehicles. The new jobs come on top of an estimated 1,400 positions that had already been announced in recent years. The state's worker training agency plans to post ads for the jobs on its website and in newspapers this fall and winter. The jobs are expected to be filled in 2015. Jason Hoff, head of the German automaker's Alabama...

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Federal statistics show a record number of homeless students in Alabama public schools during the 2012-2013 school year. Al.com reports that U.S. Department of Education data released Monday show there were 29,749 homeless students enrolled in Alabama preschools and K-12 schools that year. That's an increase of 68 percent over the previous year. The country as a whole reached a new record, but the increase in Alabama's number of homeless students outpaced the national...

Wikimedia Commons

The Moral Mondays movement has spread from North Carolina to Alabama. Founder William Barber urged a crowd on the state Capitol steps Monday to push Alabama's Republican-controlled Legislature to adopt a moral agenda. He said that would include expanding Medicaid, repealing a law to require voters to show a photo ID at the polls, and making sure all citizens have access to justice. Barber said the tea party has hijacked the Republican Party in Alabama and some of the current leadership should...

The University of Alabama System

University of Alabama trustees selected Karen Brooks to lead the board, making her the first woman to hold the role in 183 years. The Tuscaloosa News reports that the board members approved Brooks as president pro tempore on Friday. She replaces Paul Bryant Jr., who served the three maximum terms allowed by the board's bylaws. Brooks says she has huge shoes to fill. Board members also approved budgets for the system's three campuses and central offices, and a resolution to increase the budget...

The Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley says anyone with information that leads to a suspect's arrest and conviction in an eight-year-old girl's death will receive a $5,000 reward. Hiawayi Robinson was reported missing Tuesday, and her body was found on Thursday. Bentley says in a statement released Friday that he and his wife were heartbroken by Robinson's death. He says state law enforcement agencies have assisted police in the girl's hometown of Prichard, and 10 State Bureau of Investigation agents will...

A deputy attorney general has been put on leave following accusations that he leaked information about an ongoing public corruption probe. A prosecutor says that Deputy Attorney General Sonny Reagan was placed on administrative leave on Thursday by Attorney General Luther Strange. Van Davis, the acting attorney general in the corruption probe, says Reagan for months had undisclosed communications with individuals affiliated with people indicted, or under investigation, by a Lee County grand...

Shelton State Community College

Alabama's unemployment rate has declined slightly. Gov. Robert Bentley announced Friday the 6.9 percent measured in August was down from 7.0 percent in July. But the rate was higher than the 6.5 percent recorded a year ago and it was higher than the national figure of 6.1 percent. Bentley says the August rate represents about 147,000 unemployed Alabamians. That is down about 1,300 from a month ago. State Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington says all but two counties saw declines in...

A judge is siding with Alabama Gas Corp. and blocking a newspaper from publishing information about the utility's safety plan for gas lines. Jefferson County Circuit Judge Robert Vance granted a request by Alagasco to temporarily prevent the Montgomery Advertiser from using information it says it received from the Alabama Public Service Commission. Vance issued an order Thursday saying he'll hold a hearing Monday on whether his order should stand. The newspaper says the ban is...

CNN

A lawyer for an Alabama federal judge isn't saying whether the judge will step down over his arrest in a domestic violence case. Attorney Barry Ragsdale declined comment Thursday on statements by Alabama's U.S. senators who are calling on U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller to resign. Ragsdale says Fuller is still working through the complaint process initiated by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals following his arrest last month. That process could result in action including a reprimand or a...

A lawyer for Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard is calling for an investigation into comments attributed to a state prosecutor. An employee of the attorney general's office said prosecutor Matt Hart told him that he was going to take down Hubbard and dismantle former Gov. Bob Riley's political "machine." Sonny Reagan made the accusation in a July 22 internal memo included in court filings that were unsealed Wednesday. Hubbard's lawyer said the comments are evidence of a political inquisition...

apr

Officials say non-resident students now outnumber Alabama residents at the University of Alabama. Al.com reports that there are 17,830 Alabama residents enrolled this fall compared to 18,325 out-of-state, military and international students. In the 2014 freshman class -- the largest in school history -- there are 2,474 Alabama residents and 4,382 out-of-state students (including military and international). Out-of-state students tipped the numbers in their favor this year after a six-year...

Alabama Congresswoman speaks out on Domestic Violence

Sep 16, 2014
Alexandriava.org

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama congresswoman is speaking out about domestic abuse and says she's closely monitoring a case involving a federal judge from Montgomery. Republican U.S. Rep. Martha Roby issued a statement Tuesday saying the disciplinary process for U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller is ongoing and Congress has the power to impeach members of the judicial branch for misconduct. The 55-year-old judge was arrested Aug. 10 after a fight with his wife at an Atlanta hotel. Fuller was...

Rivers A. Langley / Wikimedia Commons

An Alabama Department of Corrections veteran says she's using her position as deputy commissioner of women's services to improve worker education and inmate safety in women's prisons. The Montgomery Advertiser reports the state Department of Corrections appointed Wendy Williams to serve as a deputy commissioner in April. Williams oversees the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, the Montgomery Women's Facility and Birmingham Work Release. Federal officials have criticized Tutwiler and the state...

renegadehealth.com

A campaign offering flu shots to University of Alabama students, faculty and staff begins on Monday. College of Community Health Sciences Dean Dr. Richard Streiffer tells the Tuscaloosa News that the vaccine is the "first and most important" step to prevent the flu. Nurses will visit sites all over the campus during the next three months to provide the free shots, and no insurance is required. All students and employees need is their campus identification. The vaccines also are available to...

educationnews.org

The Alabama Education Association board of directors met behind closed doors for four hours Friday to discuss concerns raised by its longtime leader. Former AEA executive secretary Paul Hubbert, in a Tuesday letter to board members, said AEA was in crisis. Hubbert said he was concerned about the association's finances and also the management style of current executive secretary Henry Mabry. AEA President Anita Gibson said board members had extensive discussions about the issues raised by...

al.com

VictoryLand casino is trying to break the attorney general's winning streak in a series of cases involving gambling machines seized in raids. A four-day trial ended Friday involving the legality of 1,600 gambling machines the attorney general seized from VictoryLand in Macon County last year. Circuit Judge William Shashy will rule in a few weeks. The outcome will determine whether VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor can reopen what was once Alabama's largest casino or whether the attorney...

Alabama Power / Wikipedia

Alabama Power Co. is warning its customers to be on the lookout for a new type of scam. The company says scammers are sending text messages warning that a payment is due immediately. The text message lists the name of a bill payment company and a reference number to use in paying the bill. Alabama Power spokesman Ike Pigott says the reference number could belong to anyone and once the money is transferred it is almost impossible to trace. Pigott says customers with questions about their...

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