The Associated Press

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Arts & Life
9:13 am
Sat August 10, 2013

Efforts underway to reopen Alabama Music Hall of Fame

Alabama Music Hall of Fame

TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (AP) — Acting State Finance Director Bill Newton says he's making it a priority to find a way to reopen the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia. Newton was recently appointed to the hall of fame's board, and he toured it for the first time Friday. He called it a valuable asset for the state. He told the TimesDaily that the state needs to do whatever it takes to get it reopened even though state money is tight. The hall of fame has been largely closed since December because of financial problems.

Arts & Life
7:37 am
Sat August 10, 2013

NYPD investigates vandalism of Jackie Robinson statue

Warner Brothers

NEW YORK (AP) — The reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of those responsible for defacing a statue of Jackie Robinson in New York with swastikas and hate speech is now $50,000. The Jackie Robinson Foundation says Friday it has received two donations totaling $40,000. The Daily News has offered $10,000 for information in the case. On Wednesday, the words "Heil Hitler," an expletive and racist epithets were discovered scrawled on the statue in black marker. The statute of Jackie Robinson and a teammate stands outside Brooklyn's minor league baseball stadium.

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House-Special Election
4:53 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Date Changed In Mobile House Seat Special Vote

Gov. Robert Bentley has changed the date of a special primary election for the vacant seat in House District 104 in Mobile County because of a conflict with a local election in Mobile County.

Gov. Robert Bentley has changed the date of a special primary election for the vacant seat in House District 104 in Mobile County because of a conflict with a local election in Mobile County.

Bentley said Friday the special primary election in District 104 will be Tuesday Oct. 15 instead of Oct. 8 as originally scheduled.

A runoff election, if needed, will be Tuesday, Dec. 3.

If a runoff election is not needed, the general election will be Tuesday, Dec. 10. If a runoff is needed, the general election will be Tuesday, Jan. 28.

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School Guns
4:45 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Alabama School Chief Says Guns Still Prohibited

Superintendent Tommy Bice said in a letter this week that all school systems should continue to enforce existing policies banning firearms and other weapons from school property.
Credit montgomeryadvertiser.com

Alabama's school superintendent is telling city and county school officials that policies prohibiting firearms on school property were not affected by the state's new gun law.

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Politics & Government
8:30 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Judge Orders Clinic to Stop Performing Abortions

A judge is ordering New Woman, All Women Health Care in Birmingham to stop performing abortions.
WBRC-TV

A judge has ordered a Birmingham clinic to stop performing abortions because the facility isn't licensed to provide them.

   Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Boohaker said Thursday that the clinic - New Woman, All Women Health Care - is considered a hospital under state law but doesn't have a current state health board license.

   Health officials cited the clinic for dozens of violations last year and the operators agreed to close. But a doctor was still performing abortions at the site.

Politics & Government
8:26 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Major National Guard Center Set For Decatur

State officials say a large National Guard training center is set to be up and running in Decatur by the end of 2017.
www.nationalguard.mil

A large National Guard training center is planned for north Alabama.

   Gov. Robert Bentley and state Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur announced that the training center will be developed on the old site of the Lurleen B. Wallace Developmental Center in Decatur. The facility was operated by the state Department of Mental Health until it closed a decade ago. The Department of Mental Health turned over the deed to the National Guard on Thursday.

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Oil Spill Indictment
5:33 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

10 Accused Of Ala. Oil Spill Fund Fraud Indicted

The Attorney General's office says 10 people accused of filing fraudulent BP oil spill compensation claims have been indicted.
Credit lutherstrange.com

State officials say 10 people accused of filing fraudulent BP oil spill compensation claims have been indicted.


Attorney General Luther Strange said Thursday that the defendants are accused of creating and submitting fraudulent documents claiming that they lost income because of the oil spill.


Officials say the suspects are charged with theft of property, criminal conspiracy to commit theft of property and possession of a forged instrument.

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Private School Tax Credits
5:24 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Rule On Private School Transfer Raises Concerns

The only proposed rule for Alabama's new private school tax credits that's raising any concern is one saying the credits don't apply for children already in private school.

The only proposed rule for Alabama's new private school tax credits that's raising any concern is one saying the credits don't apply for children already in private school.

Alabama's Revenue Department planned a full day Thursday for a public hearing about its proposed rules for implementing the new Alabama Accountability Act. Few people showed up.

The new law provides state tax credits for parents who transfer their children from a failing public school to a private school.

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Redistricting Lawsuits
5:13 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Lawmaker Denies Republican Slant In Redistricting

Republican Sen. Gerald Dial, during testimony in federal court, denied that the senate redistricting process was intended to create more Republican districts.
Credit blog.al.com

A state senator who was in charge of a committee that drew Alabama's senate districts has denied that the process was intended to create more Republican districts.

Republican Sen. Gerald Dial of Lineville testified in federal court Thursday that his only goals going into the redistricting process were to prevent incumbents from facing each other, to avoid reducing the percentage of minorities in majority black districts, and to protect communities of interest.

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1st District Race
5:02 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Democrats Missed Deadline In 1st District Race

Secretary of State Jim Bennett says he could have kept he two Democratic candidates in the 1st Congressional District off the ballot but he decided it was best for the 1st District to include them.
Credit abc3340.com

Secretary of State Jim Bennett said two Democratic candidates in the 1st Congressional District will be included on the special election ballot even though the Alabama Democratic Party missed a deadline to turn in their names by one hour.

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Montgomery-Credit Rating
4:41 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Moody's Places City Of Montgomery Under Review

Moody's Investors Service has placed the city of Montgomery under review for a possible credit rating downgrade.
Credit AP Photo

Moody's Investors Service has placed the city of Montgomery under review for a possible credit rating downgrade.


The Montgomery Advertiser reports that the city's current Aa2 rating is in jeopardy.


A recent report said the current rating is in jeopardy because of a deteriorated reserve fund, a deficit in funding medical insurance and the city's recent failures to achieve projections established in previous budget plans.

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School System-Buses Eliminated
4:28 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Alabama School System To Host Forum On Bus Plans

The Hoover school system is planning a forum Thursday night for parents to weigh in on earlier plans to eliminate bus routes.
Credit hoovercity.schoolinsites.com

A school system in suburban Birmingham is planning a forum for parents to weigh in on earlier plans to eliminate bus routes.


The Hoover school system plans the forum for 7 p.m. Thursday at Spain Park High School.


School system officials have been reconsidering some aspects of the plan after a wave of complaints by parents and school bus drivers.


Earlier, the school board had voted to eliminate bus routes for everyone but special education students beginning in August 2014 as part of a plan to save $2.5 million annually.

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Politics & Government
8:24 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Sponsors Sign On for Birmingham 'Empowerment Week'

More than 100 groups have signed on to sponsor an event coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the 16th Steet Baptist Church bombing.
crossfitharlem.com

The city of Birmingham says more than 100 companies, churches and other groups have signed on to sponsor an event coinciding with the 50th anniversary of a church bombing that killed four black girls.

   The city's "Empowerment Week" is scheduled for Sept. 11-15, and groups have pledged more than $1 million to make it happen.

   The event will include a citywide day of service and panel discussions on the city's progress in the last half-century.

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Bond Sales
5:02 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Alabama Sells News Bonds For Industrial Incentives

State officials are issuing $33 million in bonds to keep promises to new and expanding industries and refinancing nearly $140 million in old bonds to save $12 million.
Credit istockphoto

State officials are issuing $33 million in bonds to keep promises to new and expanding industries and refinancing nearly $140 million in old bonds to save $12 million.

Two state boards headed by the governor voted unanimously Wednesday to refinance $1.9 million in bonds sold in 2001 for improvements at state parks and $137.7 million in bonds sold between 2001 and 2005 to pay for incentives the state promised new and expanding industries.

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Barton Resigns
4:52 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Jim Barton Resigns His South Alabama House Seat

A House budget committee chairman, Republican Rep. Jim Barton, says he is resigning from the House to take a lobbying job in Montgomery.
Credit legislature.state.al.us

The chairman of a House budget committee, Republican Rep. Jim Barton of Mobile, says he is resigning from the House to take a lobbying job in Montgomery.

Barton says his resignation is effective immediately. Barton was chairman of the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee, which develops the budget for most non-education state agencies. House Speaker Mike Hubbard named Rep. Steve Clouse of Ozark as the new committee chairman.

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