The Associated Press

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Arts & Life
9:31 am
Sun October 26, 2014

District 6 Race for Congress heats up

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The 6th District contest between Republican Gary Palmer and Democrat Mark Lester highlights Alabama's congressional races this year. Palmer and Lester are vying to replace the longest-serving member of Alabama's U.S. House delegation, Rep. Spencer Bachus. But Palmer is considered a heavy favorite in the overwhelmingly GOP district. Congressional incumbents elsewhere in Alabama face poorly funded challengers or don't have any opposition on Nov. 4.

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Arts & Life
4:32 pm
Sat October 25, 2014

The Dalai Lama visits Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Dalai Lama is in Birmingham this weekend, where he is expected to speak to thousands of people during appearances at a university, a baseball stadium and a theater. The Tibetan spiritual leader greeted supporters Saturday outside a downtown hotel at the start of his visit to the United States. WBMA-TV aired video of the Dalai Lama greeting supporters, who wore white scarves in hopes that he would bless them. Tibetan monks prepared sacred art in honor of the visit. The visit also drew about 250 protesters downtown, Al.com reported.

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Politics & Government
6:39 am
Sat October 25, 2014

Alabama VA Chief Fired

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Department of Veterans Affairs has fired the director of the central Alabama VA. The department announced on Oct. 6 that it was beginning the process of terminating James Talton as director of the Central Alabama Veterans Healthcare System. It announced Friday that he had been officially removed after allegations of neglect of duty were substantiated. He still has an appeal available, but he's off the payroll. U.S. Rep. Martha Roby of Montgomery says those who presided over misconduct and negligence in the Central Alabama VA must be held accountable.

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Politics & Government
5:05 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

AL. House Speaker Hubbard arrested on ethics charges

council of state governments

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard has been arrested on felony ethics charges. Acting Attorney General Van Davis says a grand jury in Lee County indicted Hubbard on 23 charges accusing him of misusing his office as speaker and his previous office as chairman of the Alabama Republican Party. Hubbard was processed Monday afternoon at the Lee County Jail.

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Civil Rights Anniversary
4:11 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

March 50th Anniversary More Than Celebration

Southern Christian Leadership Conference President Charles Steele, state Sen. Hank Sanders and others announced Wednesday that Selma's annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee will be expanded for the 50th anniversary in March.
Credit bcjubilee.org

Organizers of events marking the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march say it will celebrate what happened in 1965 and energize people to address challenges to voting today.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference President Charles Steele, state Sen. Hank Sanders and others announced Wednesday that Selma's annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee will be expanded for the 50th anniversary in March. It will include a re-enactment of the 50-mile march from Selma to the state Capitol in Montgomery.

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Politics & Government
4:15 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Group Sues Over Violence At St. Clair Prison

A federal lawsuit claims corruption and poor management are to blame for deaths and violence at St. Clair prison in Springville.
Credit Alabama Department of Corrections

A federal lawsuit claims corruption and poor management are to blame for deaths and violence at St. Clair prison in Springville.

The Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative filed suit Monday seeking changes at the prison, which holds more than 1,200 men and is badly overcrowded.

Corrections officials haven't responded to a message seeking comment.

The lawsuit says six people have been killed at St. Clair in the last 36 months, and stabbings and assaults are commonplace.

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SEC-Slive
4:12 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Slive To Retire As SEC Commissioner In July

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive will retire next summer after 13 years leading the league and plans to begin treatment for a recurrence of prostate cancer.
Credit al.com

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive will retire next summer after 13 years leading the league and plans to begin treatment for a recurrence of prostate cancer.

The 74-year-old Slive says his retirement will take effect July 31.

Slive took over the SEC in 2002 and it has become the nation's top football conference. The SEC had a string of seven consecutive BCS titles.

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Governor's Race
4:43 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Gov. Bentley Posts First Ad To Mention Griffith

Alabama's race for governor is heating up with Republican incumbent Robert Bentley releasing his first ad that focuses on his opponent.
Credit al.com

Alabama's race for governor is heating up with Republican incumbent Robert Bentley releasing his first ad that focuses on his opponent.

Bentley's campaign posted an ad on social media Monday describing how Parker Griffith was elected to Congress as a Democrat, switched to the Republican Party and lost, and then switched back to the Democratic Party to run for governor.

The 30-second ad asks, "If Parker Griffith doesn't know who he is or what he stands for, how can we trust him to lead Alabama?"

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Commissioner Released
4:12 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Former Mobile Co. Commissioner Released From Jail

Former Mobile County commissioner Stephen Nodine, who was sentenced to two years in jail on perjury and harassment charges, has been released.
Credit Press-Register file/John David Mercer

A former Mobile County commissioner who was sentenced to two years in jail on perjury and harassment charges has been released.

Al.com reports 51-year-old Stephen Nodine was released Monday morning. Nodine was charged in the death of his 45-year-old ex-girlfriend Angel Downs but a jury deadlocked on murder charges.

Nodine was instead sentenced on a perjury charge for lying about being able to afford an attorney, harassing Downs and an ethics charge linked to his use of a county-issued truck.

Nodine has maintained that he was not involved in Downs' death.

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Alabama Parole
11:58 am
Sun October 12, 2014

Researchers Say Fewer Ala. Inmates Being Paroled

Researchers say despite prison overcrowding concerns, fewer Alabama inmates are being paroled and prisoners are spending more time behind bars before being released on parole.
Credit istockphoto

Researchers say despite prison overcrowding concerns, fewer Alabama inmates are being paroled and prisoners are spending more time behind bars before being released on parole.

Council of State Governments research manager Andy Barbee tells the Montgomery Advertiser that the average length of an inmate's prison term before parole release has increased from 30 months in 2009 to 43 months in 2014. Barbee says the number of eligible inmates being released has also fallen from about 42 percent in 2009 to 36 percent in 2013.

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Alabama Ad Spending
9:50 am
Sat October 11, 2014

Alabama Ranks 14th In Campaign TV Ad Spending

The report says $2.6 million has been spent in the governor's race, with Republican incumbent Robert Bentley accounting for $2.1 million of that.
Credit al.com

A new national study says Alabama ranks 14th in the nation for money spent so far on television advertising during the 2014 elections.

The study by the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity says candidates in Alabama had aired more than 30,000 TV ads through Oct. 6 that cost an estimated $10 million. That's about $2.80 per eligible voter.

The report says $2.6 million has been spent in the governor's race, with Republican incumbent Robert Bentley accounting for $2.1 million of that.

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Immigration Law Challenge
4:12 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Alabama Won't Publish Immigration List

Alabama has agreed not to enforce a provision of the state's controversial immigration law that required the state to publish a list of people known to be unlawfully in the country.
Credit Florida Atlantic University

Alabama has agreed not to enforce a provision of the state's controversial immigration law that required the state to publish a list of people known to be unlawfully in the country.

Lawyers say they have reached a settlement agreement in the lawsuit challenging what critics called a "scarlet letter list."

The 2012 law required the state to publish a list of people living in the state illegally who have been arrested.

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Veterans-Health Care
4:05 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Termination Begun For 2nd Alabama VA Official

Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson announced Friday that termination proceedings had begun against Dr. Cliff Robinson, from his position as chief of staff at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System.
Credit defenseimagery.mil. / Wikimedia Commons

The Veterans Administration has started termination of a second official at its troubled medical centers in central Alabama.

Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson announced Friday that termination proceedings had begun against Dr. Cliff Robinson, who was put on paid administrative leave in August from his position as chief of staff at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System.

Gibson announced Monday that termination proceedings had begun against James Talton, who was also placed on leave in August from his position as director of the Central Alabama VA.

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VA Healthcare-Changes
3:46 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

VA Takes Step To Change Central Alabama Leadership

The Department of Veterans Affairs has taken the first step toward removing the director of the Central Alabama VA Healthcare System following months of problems.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has taken the first step toward removing the director of the Central Alabama VA Healthcare System following months of problems.

The VA's deputy secretary, Sloan Gibson, said Monday that he proposed the removal of James Talton following an investigation that substantiated allegations of neglect of duty.

Talton was placed on administrative leave in August after reports that hundreds of X-rays went unread, patients experienced long delays in getting appointments, and one employee took a patient to buy illegal drugs.

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Alabama Taxes-Court
3:39 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Supreme Court Declines To Review Alabama Taxes

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a legal challenge to Alabama's property tax system.
Credit yazclassaction

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a legal challenge to Alabama's property tax system.

The Supreme Court's decision Monday means one of the nation's lowest property tax rates remains intact.

Attorneys representing families in Lawrence and Sumter counties had challenged the fairness of Alabama's property taxes, particularly the low rates on timber and farm property. They lost in U.S. District Court and at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Then they asked the Supreme Court to review the case.

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