The Associated Press

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Arts & Life
2:38 pm
Sun August 25, 2013

Future of Alabama Music Hall of Fame uncertain

Alabama Music Hall of Fame

TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Music Hall of Fame board chairman says the organization is has considered relocating the attraction and is fighting to survive. The attraction has been closed since November and the TimesDaily of Florence reported Sunday that discussions on moving the hall of fame have sparked angry responses from county officials who fought to bring the attraction to Tuscumbia. A page on its website says the hall of fame is closed due to a lack of funding, and would-be visitors should contact state politicians to have them reopen it.

Business & Education
9:37 am
Sun August 25, 2013

Campaign integrates education/business needs

istockphoto

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Two former leaders in Montgomery are back in new roles. Former state school superintendent Joe Morton and former House budget committee chairman Jay Love are leading the new nonprofit Business Education Alliance of Alabama. The Business Council of Alabama provided the launching pad for the new organization. Morton and Love say they will provide well-researched information about what's working and what's not in education and then unite business and education interests in making changes in Alabama.

Politics & Government
6:47 am
Sun August 25, 2013

Tuscaloosa cracks down on post tornado clutter

File photo: Clean up begins following the April 27, 2011 tornado that struck Tuscaloosa
APR

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Tuscaloosa is trying to make property owners clean up land left vacant after the 2011 tornado that ravaged the city. WBRC-TV reports the city is cracking down on overgrown lots left by the April 27 twister. The tornado destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses that haven't been rebuilt, and weedy, vacant lots are scattered all over town. City workers are placing notices on lots to warn owners they'll face a penalty if they don't clean up the area. More than 500 violations have been handed out so far.

Arts & Life
2:42 pm
Sat August 24, 2013

Former business partner of Auburn coach Tuberville pleads guilty

Auburn University

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — A one-time business partner of former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville has pleaded guilty in a financial fraud. The Opelika-Auburn News reports 42-year-old John David Stroud of Auburn entered the plea on Friday. Stroud was accused of defrauding investors out of millions of dollars between 2008 and 2012. Tuberville was not charged. But a federal lawsuit over the fraud allegations names both Stroud and Tuberville, and a trial date is set for Oct. 15. Stroud and Tuberville were partners in a number of Auburn-area investment companies.

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Arts & Life
7:30 am
Sat August 24, 2013

$1 million dollar gift to help UA students

University of Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — The University of Alabama plans to use a $1 million gift for scholarships to help students avoid taking out education loans.

Business Dean Michael Hardin says the fund will focus on gifted undergraduates who would otherwise need loans to cover their college costs.

The Tuscaloosa News reports that Eliza and Hugh Culverhouse Jr. gave $1 million to the university's Culverhouse College of Commerce to fund the scholarships.

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Arts & Life
7:22 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Congress to recognize victims of 16th Street Baptist church bombing

npr

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Congressional leaders will hold a ceremony Sept. 10 in Washington to bestow the Congressional Gold Medal on the four girls killed by a bomb at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. The ceremony in the National Statuary Hall at the Capitol will come five days before the 50th anniversary of the explosion on Sept. 15, 1963. Congress voted earlier this year to bestow the medal on Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley. All were 14 years old except for McNair, who was 11.

Casino Raid
4:38 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Ala. Judge Must Step Aside In Casino Raid Case

The Alabama Supreme Court has ordered a Macon County judge to step aside from a case involving the state attorney general's seizure of electronic gambling machines from VictoryLand casino in Shorter.
Credit blog.al.com

The Alabama Supreme Court has ordered a Macon County judge to step aside from a case involving the state attorney general's seizure of electronic gambling machines from VictoryLand casino in Shorter.

The court ruled Friday on a request by Attorney General Luther Strange to have Macon County Circuit Judge Tom Young step aside. Young has initially refused to give the attorney general a search warrant for the raid in February, but did so reluctantly after being ordered by the Supreme Court.

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GOP-Gay Marriage
4:30 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

College Republican Upsets Some Older GOP Members

A college Republican leader has upset some older Republicans in Alabama by supporting gay marriage.
Credit RNC

A college Republican leader has upset some older Republicans in Alabama by supporting gay marriage.

The chairwoman of the College Republican Federation of Alabama, Stephanie Petelos, spoke in favor of the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.

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Mercedes Supplier-Union
4:24 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Ala. Mercedes Supplier Rejects UAW Bid

Employees at Faurecia Interior Systems turned down the UAW proposal by a vote of 86-to-62 on Thursday.
Credit Faurecia Corporate

Workers at a Mercedes-Benz supplier in Tuscaloosa have rejected a bid to join the United Auto Workers union.

Employees at turned down the UAW proposal by a vote of 86-to-62 on Thursday.

While UAW organizers urged workers to support unionization, a group of employees joined a group called Union-Free Faurecia to oppose the bid.

The company makes center consoles, instrument panels and other components for car interiors.

Workers at two other Mercedes suppliers in Cottondale voted to join the union last year. The Mercedes plant itself isn't unionized.

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Montgomery Schools-Altered Grades
4:14 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Montgomery School Leaders Surprised By New Claims

Montgomery school board members say they're being kept in the dark about allegations of improper grade changing and other issues.
Credit kootation.com

Montgomery school board members say they're being kept in the dark about allegations of improper grade changing and other issues.

Board members say they didn't realize an in-depth probe was being conducted by the state.

New allegations were contained in a letter sent from the state to Montgomery Superintendent Barbara Thompson. It was made public this week.

A number of issues were detailed, including more improper grade changes, teacher intimidation and an atmosphere that placed more emphasis on promotion than education.

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Civil Rights Movement
7:43 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Commemorative Gas Light Recognizes Freedom Riders

Alagasco is unveiling the fourth of five gas lights commemorating the civil rights movement in Alabama.
blog.alagasco.com

Alagasco has unveiled the fourth of five gas lights commemorating the civil rights movement in Alabama.

   A ceremony was held Thursday in Anniston for a gas light recognizing the Freedom Riders. They set out across the South in 1961 to test enforcement of federal rules banning segregation on interstate bus travel. But their Greyhound bus was burned in Anniston and they were attacked by a mob.

   The light is located near the Freedom Riders mural in Anniston, and it is across the street from the original Greyhound bus station.

College Colors Day
7:35 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Mascots Join Ala. Governor to Promote Colors Day

Governor Robert Bentley and First Lady Dianne Bentley standing with mascots from Alabama public universities to promote College Colors Day in 2012.
http://firstladydiannebentley.blogspot.com

This is the one day each year where crazy antics and colorful costumes are encouraged at the state Capitol.

   Gov. Robert Bentley is being joined Friday by mascots from Alabama's public universities to promote the upcoming College Colors Day. The annual promotional event will take place on the Capitol's south lawn at 3:30 p.m. It always includes the mascots trying out humorous moves that they will use at upcoming football games.

Special Grand Jury
5:06 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Special Grand Jury Convened In Lee County

A special grand jury has been convened in Lee County, but prosecutors aren't saying what it is about.
Credit istockphoto

A special grand jury has been convened in Lee County, but prosecutors aren't saying what it is about.

Court records show Circuit Judge Jacob Walker III signed an order July 29 empaneling the grand jury at the request of the state government. Members of the grand jury were selected from potential jurors who reported for jury duty Monday, according to the records.

A spokeswoman for state Attorney General Luther Strange declined comment. Lee County District Attorney Robert Treese did the same.

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Private School tax credits
4:38 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Ala. Superintendent Says Few Transferring Schools

State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice says preliminary survey data shows 51 students have used the new Alabama Accountability Act to transfer from a failing public school to a private school.
Credit The Montgomery Advertiser

Alabama's public schools aren't seeing an exodus of students taking advantage of private school tax credits.

State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice told the state school board Thursday that preliminary survey data shows 51 students have used the new Alabama Accountability Act to transfer from a failing public school to a private school.

He told AL.com that not all school systems have responded to a department survey, but he doesn't expect the figure to increase much because the state's largest systems have responded.

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Drummond Coal Co.
8:30 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Appeals Court Hears Ala Case of Colombian Slayings

Drummond Co. has invested $2.5 billion in its Colombian coal mine operations, shown here in a 2006 photo.
The Birmingham News / Russell Hubbard

A federal appeals court in Montgomery is considering a case involving the Birmingham-based Drummond Coal and three killings that happened in South America more than a decade ago.

   A panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments Thursday that could revive a federal lawsuit over the slayings.

   Children of slain three coal miners filed suit in 2009 claiming Drummond hired paramilitary gunmen to kill their fathers near its Colombian coal mine in 2001. The men were union leaders.

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