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Politics & Government
7:36 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Alabama AG Joins Brief in Support of Prayer

Ala. AG Luther Strange is joining attorneys general from 22 other states filing a brief in support of prayer at the start of government meetings.
lutherstrange.com

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has joined attorneys general from 22 other states in filing a brief at the U.S. Supreme Court in support of prayer at the start of government meetings.

   The brief asks the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling from New York that said prayer at the beginning of government assembly meetings violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

   The brief from the attorneys general asks the justices to reaffirm a Supreme Court ruling 30 years ago that upheld prayer at the start of legislative sessions.

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Politics & Government
7:30 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Baldwin County Commission Votes to Ban Wind Farms

The Baldwin County Commission has unanimously voted to ban a wind farm.
www.fox10tv.com

A south Alabama county commission has voted unanimously to block a company from installing wind turbines.

   AL.com reports the Baldwin County Commission (http://bit.ly/1eqihen ) passed two ordinances Tuesday to ban wind farming. One ordinance applies to areas of Baldwin County that fall within zoning regulations, and the other applies to unincorporated areas.

   The commission was concerned about a plan from Virginia-based APEX Wind Energy to build a wind farm in the county consisting of about 40 turbines.

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Private School Tax Credits
4:47 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

36 Ala. Private Schools Sign Up For Tax Credit Law

36 private schools have now signed up to participate in Alabama's new private school tax credit program with less than two weeks to go before most schools start classes.
Credit istockphoto

So far, 36 private schools have signed up to participate in Alabama's new private school tax credit program with less than two weeks to go before most schools start classes.

The state Revenue Department says the 36 schools range from Pope John Paul II Catholic High School in Huntsville to McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile.

Alabama's new Accountability Act provides state tax credits to parents who move their children from failing public schools to participating private schools.

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Alabama Sturgeon
4:39 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Wildlife Service Has Plan To Save Ala. Sturgeon

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a plan to build up the population of the Alabama Sturgeon, one of the rarest fish in America.
Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a plan to build up the population of the Alabama Sturgeon, one of the rarest fish in America.

Fish and wildlife officials say an Alabama Sturgeon was last captured in 2007.

Fish and Wildlife officials say the purpose of the new plan is to build up the population of the fish to the point that it no longer needs to be protected by the Endangered Species Act.

The Alabama Sturgeon has been listed as endangered since 2000 due to over-fishing and the loss of habitat in south Alabama rivers.

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1st Congressional District
4:31 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Former Ala. Sen. Lipscomb Drops Congressional Run

Former Republican state Sen. Albert Lipscomb has dropped his plans to run in the 1st Congressional District special election.
Credit Baldwin County

Former Republican state Sen. Albert Lipscomb of Magnolia Springs has dropped his plans to run in the 1st Congressional District.


Lipscomb announced July 30 that he would seek the seat vacated by Republican Jo Bonner, but when qualifying for candidates ended Monday afternoon, Lipscomb hadn't signed up. Spokesman J. Holland said Lipscomb cited the short notice for qualifying and the hardship and pressure it would have placed on his family.

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Politics & Government
8:23 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Groups Highlight Voting Rights Law in Alabama

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in 1965.
http://originalpeople.org

Supporters of the federal Voting Rights Act are planning a series of events across Alabama to highlight the importance of the law.

   Activities are being held in Selma, Huntsville, Montgomery, Birmingham and other cities on Tuesday in conjunction with what organizers are calling "National Voting Rights Day."

   The Supreme Court recently overturned a key section of the law, and activists are trying to draw attention to their claims that the act is still needed.

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Business & Education
7:59 am
Tue August 6, 2013

School Leader to Address 'Prayer Caravan' Concern

Cullman County School Superintendent Billy Coleman
www.myfoxal.com

An Alabama school superintendent says he's scheduled a news conference to address controversy surrounding a "prayer caravan" event that's drawn complaints from an atheist group.

   Cullman County School Superintendent Billy Coleman is also a pastor, and he has helped promote the event. But he denies that the school system is sponsoring the Aug. 10 event.

   The Cullman Times reports (http://bit.ly/16pT1BY) that Coleman has called a news conference for 2 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the matter.

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Politics & Government
7:43 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Ala. Airport Ranks as Country's Most Expensive

A new report from the U.S. DOT says travelers shell out more flying out of Huntsville International Airport than any other airport in the country.
www.huntsvillenewswire.com

A U.S. Department of Transportation report says Huntsville is home to America's most expensive airport, with fares averaging at about $543 per passenger.

   AL.com reported Monday that (http://bit.ly/13VraXa ) a 2013 first quarter report by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics found that Huntsville's average airfares are about $164 higher than the national average.

   Huntsville has ranked as the country's most expensive airport for three consecutive quarters.

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Business & Education
7:35 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Crews to Install Wires to Temporarily Replace Oaks

The poisoned oak trees at Toomer's Corner were removed earlier this year.
www.myfoxatlanta.com

Auburn University officials say crews will begin installing wires that will temporarily replace poisoned oak trees that were cut down and removed from campus.

   The Opelika-Auburn News (http://bit.ly/15ICdXR ) reports that Auburn city crews will begin installing the wires at Toomer's Corner on Tuesday. School officials say the wires will be strung along three poles and will form a "V" over the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and College Street.

Politics & Government
7:28 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Ala Wildlife Group Honors NRA President with Award

Birmingham attorney and NRA President, Jim Porter, will be honored by the Alabama Wildlife Federation as its conservationist of the year.
NRANews/YouTube

The Alabama Wildlife Federation is honoring a Birmingham attorney and gun rights leader as its conservationist of the year.

   The organization recently presented the honor to James W. Porter II, who made news earlier this year when he became president of the National Rifle Association.

   The wildlife group credits Porter with helping develop the state's original Forever Wild legislation in the early 1990s to protect natural areas.

Gulf Oil Spill-Settlement
5:10 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

BP Cites New Fraud Allegations In Spill Settlement

BP renewed its request for a judge to temporarily suspend settlement payments while former FBI Director Louis Freeh leads an independent investigation of the court-supervised settlement program.
Credit Associated Press

BP says it has uncovered new allegations of fraud and conflicts of interest inside the settlement program that has awarded billions of dollars to Gulf Coast businesses and residents following the company's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


In a federal court filing Monday, BP renewed its request for a judge to temporarily suspend settlement payments while former FBI Director Louis Freeh leads an independent investigation of the court-supervised settlement program.

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Alabama Abortion Clinic Shutdown
4:58 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Judge Considers Bid To Close Abortion Operation

A circuit judge says he will rule by Friday on whether to shut down what Ala. health regulators say is an illegal abortion clinic in Birmingham.
Credit WBRC-TV

Alabama health regulators are telling a judge that a doctor and a building owner are operating an illegal abortion clinic in Birmingham.

Health Department lawyer Brian Hale argued during a hearing Monday that Dr. Bruce Norman and Diane Derzis are wrongly running an abortion clinic, despite Derzis surrendering her abortion clinic license last year over health violations.

Norman testified that he performs abortions at the site regularly. But attorneys for him and Derzis say the facility is a legal doctor's office, not an abortion clinic under state law.

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Women's Prison Transfers
4:46 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Senators Object To Transfers From Conn. Prison To Ala.

11 Senators from northeastern states are criticizing the federal Bureau of Prisons for transferring women from a prison in Danbury, CT to a new facility in Aliceville, AL.

Eleven U.S. Senators from northeastern states are criticizing the federal Bureau of Prisons over plans to turn the women's prison in Danbury into a facility for men.


In a letter dated Friday to Charles E. Samuels, Jr., the bureau's director, the senators say the plan would leave the region without any federal prison beds for women and create a hardship for the inmates' families.


The senators say the plan calls for moving up to 1,000 women from Danbury to a prison in Aliceville, Ala. The transfers are slated to begin this month and be completed by December.

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Business & Education
8:17 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Questions Remain About Gun Law's Impact on Campus

University of Alabama officials are evaluating how Alabama's new gun law will apply to campus.
www.abc3340.com

As University of Alabama students prepare to return for the fall semester, state and school officials say they're still evaluating how Alabama's new gun law will apply to the campus.

   The Tuscaloosa News reports (http://bit.ly/13A1SCx) that the new law allows a lawful gun owner to openly carry firearms in public places, with certain exceptions.

   The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale, said the intent was to make sure lawful gun owners could have access to their firearms to defend themselves if needed.

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Politics & Government
8:12 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Ala. Governor Sets Ceremonial Signings for Bills

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will hold a ceremonial signing of bills aimed at reducing the abuse of prescription drugs.

   Bentley's office said the governor will be joined by officials with the Medical Association of Alabama and other leaders at the ceremonial signing ceremony. The governor officially signed the legislation earlier this year.

   The ceremony will be at 1 p.m. Monday in the Old House chamber at the Alabama Capitol.

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