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Kids Count-Alabama
4:55 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Alabama Moves Up To 44th In Kids Count

Alabama has moved up to 44th in the annual Kids Count national rankings from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Credit VOICES for Alabama Children

Alabama has moved up one spot to 44th in the Kids Count national rankings.


The Annie E. Casey Foundation released the Kids Count data book Monday. Alabama showed improvements in children's health and education between 2005 and 2011. The teen birth rate declined and the rate of high school students not graduating in four years also declined.

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Politics & Government
8:10 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Abuses Point to Lack of Prison Security Cameras

Allegations of inmate abuse at Alabama's female prison and an inmate being beaten to death at a male prison have pointed to a lack of security cameras in state prisons.

   Testimony in a federal court trial in Montgomery has noted the lack of cameras to record what happened on the night inmate Rocrast Mack was beaten and stomped at Ventress Correctional Facility in Clayton. Allegations of inmate abuse at Tutwiler Prison for Women led to a federal report pointing out the need for cameras. The Legislature voted recently to fund cameras for Tutwiler.

Politics & Government
7:58 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Gov. Bentley to Speak at Ala. Education Conference

Governor Robert Bentley is slated to speak at the Alabama Community College Presidents Association in Mobile.
The Associated Press

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is expected to speak at the Alabama Community College Presidents Association summer conference.

   Bentley is slated to discuss the role of the state's community colleges in education, workforce development and job creation at the Monday morning meeting.

   The conference is being hosted at the Battle House Hotel in Mobile.

Arts & Life
7:38 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Women's Football League Holds Tryout in Birmingham

facebook.com/Women's Indoor Football League

The Women's Indoor Football League is planning to host a tryout in Birmingham to fill rosters for its teams there, in Montgomery and Atlanta.

   Ray Blanchette, CEO of Blanchette Sports Holdings, tells the Montgomery Advertiser (http://on.mgmadv.com/11xzlN9) the Women's Indoor Football League is meant to give women the opportunity to play the sport at a professional level as an alternative to the Lingerie Football League.

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Arts & Life
7:32 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Music Festival to Stay in Cullman for Next 5 Years

www.cullmansense.com

Organizers of Rock the South, a two-day country music festival, have signed a contract to keep the concert in Cullman for the next five years.

   Cullman Mayor Max Townson tells WBMA-TV (http://bit.ly/10c6BIy ) the city will likely conduct an economic impact study on the festival. Townson also praised the festival's organizers for making contributions to local organizations, including Children's Hospital in Birmingham.

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Business & Education
7:42 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Toyota Spending $150M at Ala Engine Plant

Toyota is spending another $150 million at its Huntsville engine plant, which will bring total investment at the plant up to $850 million.
al.com

Toyota is spending $150 million on equipment as part of its expansion at an engine plant in north Alabama.

   The car manufacturer said Thursday the machinery will help fill out space created during an $80 million plant expansion announced previously.

   The work is supposed to be finished by early 2014, and 125 jobs are being added in Huntsville. Once done, total employment will be 1,150.

   The company is expanding production capacity for V6 engines. The company also is adding new capacity at supplier plants in Troy, Mo., and Jackson, Tenn.

Business & Education
7:13 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Pupils May Not be Able to Go From Failing Schools

Elmore County Schools Superintendent Jeff Langham says his school system will not be taking any new students from surrounding counties at this time.
elmoreco.com

School officials in several higher performing Alabama districts say they doubt they will take many students looking to transfer from schools that have been listed as failing by state officials.

   Elmore County Schools Superintendent Jeff Langham says his fast-growing system outside Montgomery will not be taking new students from surrounding counties at this time.

   Langham says he has not had formal discussions with school board members about the issue. But he says the board has a policy in place which requires all students to be residents of Elmore County.

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Politics & Government
6:52 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Grant to Help Victims of Midland City Bus Killing

Jay Hare / Dothan Eagle
Law enforcement officials outside of the area where Tuesday's school bus shooting suspect was barricaded in a bunker.

The Southeast Alabama Child Advocacy Center in Dothan has been awarded a federal grant of nearly $142,000 to assist people affected by the Midland City school bus shooting.

   The grant was announcement by the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs.

   The office said the grant is the result of Jimmy Lee Dykes killing a bus driver and kidnapping a student on Jan. 29. The office said the victims include 35 children who lost their bus driver and 20 who witnessed the bus driver's death.

Politics & Government
6:34 am
Fri June 21, 2013

State Adds Second Bloodhound to Sniff Out Arson

Blaze is a Forestry Commission dog with Alabama. He's stationed in south Alabama.
Amanda Sowards/Montgomery Advertiser

The Alabama Forestry Commission is adding a new dog to help sniff out possible cases of arson.

   The agency says it recently bought a second bloodhound to help investigate cases of suspected woodlands arson.

   The commission's head law enforcement officer, Craig Hill, says the hound will be based in north Alabama to help track down possible crimes there. Her name is "Ember."

   Hill says the agency's first bloodhound, named "Blaze," is stationed in south Alabama and it's not practical to have one animal for the entire state.

Politics & Government
7:36 am
Thu June 20, 2013

State Officials Approve New Hospital in Florence

State officials voted to allow RegionalCare Hospital Partners to build a 280-bed facility in Florence.

State officials have voted to allow a nearly 300-bed hospital to be built in northern Alabama.

   The TimesDaily of Florence (http://bit.ly/14KN7fM) reports the Certificate of Need board voted unanimously Wednesday to allow RegionalCare Hospital Partners to build a 280-bed facility in Florence.

   The facility is set to replace the Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital. Representatives from the Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield spoke out against RegionalCare's plan to build the new 280-bed facility, saying a hospital of that size could put Helen Keller out of business.

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Business & Education
7:31 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Auto Seat Maker Breaking Ground in Montgomery

DAS North America will build a new manufacturing plant in Montgomery. It's expected to create about 300 jobs.
Robert Fouts/ Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

An automotive supplier is breaking ground on a 300,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Montgomery.

   Gov. Robert Bentley and other officials will be on hand for a ceremony being held Thursday afternoon for DAS North America.

   The company makes seats for Kia and Hyundai vehicles. The expansion will create about 300 jobs in the Montgomery Industrial Park.

   The company is currently located in a temporary facility that employs about 100 people.

   The $37 million project is supposed to be complete next year.

Business & Education
7:24 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Few Transfers Expected Under Alabama Tax Credits

The leaders of two Alabama private school organizations don't expect many new students to apply in the wake of a law providing tax credits for students transferring from failing schools.

   The executive director of the Alabama Christian Education Association, Robin Mears, said he expects less than 100 transfers to his member schools. The executive director of the Alabama Independent School Association, Randy Skipper, said he hasn't heard about any students inquiring about transferring.

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Politics & Government
7:28 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Alabama Town Rejects Banning Bicyclists From Road

An Alabama town has decided not to pass an ordinance that would have banned bicyclists from riding on a stretch of road.

   The Irondale City Council this week voted against the ordinance, which involves Grants Mill Road.

   WBRC-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1bTKtEV) that the narrow, windy stretch of road has no shoulder so there's little room for cars to pass cyclists.

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Business & Education
6:36 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Alabama's New Tax Credits Limited to Transfers

Alabama's Department of Revenue says the state's new private school tax credits don't apply to students who are already in private schools, even though they are zoned for a failing public school.

   The department has been developing regulations to implement the Alabama Accountability Act, which the governor signed into law in March. State Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee said Tuesday the law is clear that the tax credits are to offset the cost of transferring students out of failing public schools, and it starts with the semester beginning in August.

Politics & Government
6:31 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Alabama 19th in Federal Revenue for State Spending

A new study ranks Alabama 19th among in the states in the amount of federal funding that goes into the state government's general revenue.

   The study by the Tax Foundation says federal funding accounts for 38.2 percent of the state government's revenue in Alabama. Mississippi ranked first at 49 percent and Alaska was 50th at 24 percent.

   Tennessee was at 44 percent, Georgia measured 41.1 percent, and Florida came in at 36.9 percent.

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