A new report from the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center says property crimes in Alabama decreased in 2012, but violent crimes increased.
The center's annual "Crime in Alabama" report says Alabama had a 5 percent decrease in the total number of crimes reported in 2012.
The state saw a 10 percent decrease in property crimes from the prior year, including an 11 percent decrease in burglary and a 10 percent decrease in motor vehicle theft. Larceny/theft was down 3 percent.
A federal judge has scheduled a hearing on Sept. 19 for Halliburton Energy Services to plead guilty to destroying evidence following BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The company was arraigned Wednesday in New Orleans on a misdemeanor charge. Although company attorneys entered a plea of not guilty during the arraignment, Halliburton has agreed to plead guilty to one count of destruction of evidence in a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Starting Thursday, corporations can make unlimited contributions to Alabama candidates for state and local offices.
The Legislature passed a law to remove the $500 limit on corporate campaign contributions. A proponent of the law, Republican Rep. Mike Ball of Huntsville, said the cap didn't mean much because an attorney general's opinion allowed corporations to give $500 to a political action committee for every election in Alabama in one year. That meant a corporation could give several thousand dollars to a PAC, and it could give to multiple PACs.
Heavy rains flooded roads and highways in parts of Alabama, and one county was under a flash flood warning.
The National Weather Service early Wednesday issued a flash flood warning for Cullman County, where an emergency manager reported more than a foot of water covering Highway 69 in front of a truck stop. Forecasters said heavy thunderstorms were expected to produce even more rain in the area.
A new federal study says Alabama's imprisonment rate ranks third highest in the nation.
The study by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics says Alabama imprisoned 650 people per 100,000 state residents in 2012. Louisiana ranked first at 893 people per 100,000 residents and Mississippi was second at 717 per 100,000. Maine had the lowest rate at 145 people per 100,000 residents. The national average was 480 per 100,000.
Beginning Thursday, Alabamians with permits to carry concealed pistols may keep them locked in their cars while at work even if their employer prohibited it in the past.
That's part of Alabama's new gun law that takes effect Aug. 1. The law also provides that workers with hunting licenses can keep their unloaded rifles and shotguns locked away in their vehicles while at work during hunting season.
An Alabama lawmaker says he aims to shut down a little-known education foundation that may have brought in less money than the state's school system spent running it.
State Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa, has pre-filed a bill that would disband the Foundation for Local Schools.
The Anniston Star reports (http://bit.ly/162tY7S) that the foundation is a nonprofit set up by the Legislature to accept donations from wealthy people and corporations interested in setting up trusts to help fund public education.