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Business & Education
8:23 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Selma Takes Over Running Historic Hotel

Selma is now running the city's historic St. James Hotel because the hotel's management company terminated its contract.
http://historicstjameshotel.com

The city of Selma is now running the historic St. James Hotel because the hotel's management company terminated its contract.

Politics & Government
8:18 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Study: Ala. Crime Reports Down 5 Percent in 2012

A new report says the number of crimes in Alabama fell 5% last year.
blog.al.com

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.

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Gulf Oil Spill
4:43 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Halliburton To Plead Guilty On Sept. 19

Halliburton Energy Services will plead guilty to destroying evidence following BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Halliburton was BP's cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded
Credit The Associated Press

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.

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Homes-Severe Weather
4:37 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Home Safety Money Available In 8 Alabama Counties

Gov. Robert Bentley announced hazard mitigation funds are now available for residents in eight Alabama to safeguard their homes from severe weather.
Credit The Associated Press

Residents in eight Alabama counties will have an opportunity to safeguard their homes from severe weather.

Gov. Robert Bentley said Wednesday that more than $900,000 in hazard mitigation funds is available in Baldwin, Covington, Dallas, Geneva, Mobile, Monroe, Perry and Pickens counties.

The funds are a result of the federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Isaac in 2012. People interested in applying should contact their county Emergency Management Agency office.

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ASU-Smoking Ban
4:27 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

ASU To Implement Temporary Smoking Ban

Alabama State University's president is looking to implement a temporary smoking ban.
Credit khawkins04 / Flickr

The president of Alabama State University says he's looking to implement a temporary smoking ban.


University President William Harris says that he's going to use executive authority to temporarily ban the use of all tobacco products on campus.


He says science has proven "that smoking causes grave difficulties to health," and university officials want students and staff to be as healthy as possible.

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Unlimited Campaign Contributions
4:20 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Alabama Campaign Contribution Cap Ends Thursday

Corporations can make unlimited contributions to Alabama candidates for state and local offices starting Thursday.
Credit 401K(2013) / Flickr

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.

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Politics & Government
8:23 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Bennett to Take Oath as Alabama Secretary of State

Former Alabama Secretary of State Jim Bennett will serve the remaining 17 months of Beth Chapman's term.
abc3340.com

Former Alabama Secretary of State Jim Bennett will take the oath of office Wednesday to replacing Beth Chapman who resigned the position effective Wednesday afternoon

   Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will administer the oath of office to Bennett at 5:01 p.m. Wednesday in the Old House Chamber at the Alabama State Capitol in downtown Montgomery.

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Arts & Life
8:17 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Flash Floods Make Roads and Highways Impassable

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Cullman County until 9:15AM.
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/bmx/

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.

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Politics & Government
8:13 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Ala Man Gets 40 years in Fatal Shooting at Party

Akeem Antwon Prewitt pleaded guilty to murder and to the assault of nine other guests at a May 2010 party.
Tuscaloosa News

A judge sentenced a man to 40 years in prison for a shooting that killed one person and injured at least nine others at a graduation party in Tuscaloosa.

   The Tuscaloosa News (http://bit.ly/13Zcvyk ) reports that 23-year-old Akeem Antwon Prewitt pleaded guilty to opening fire with a pistol at the party on May 15, 2010.

   The party was advertised on Facebook by a senior from Hillcrest High School, but others were allowed in, too.

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Politics & Government
8:10 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Study Ranks Alabama Third for Imprisonment Rate

A new study byt the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics says Alabama's imprisonment rate ranks third highest in the nation.

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.

1st Congressional District
4:57 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Former State Sen. Lipscomb Joins 1st District Race

Former state Sen. Albert Lipscomb is adding his name to the long list of Republicans running in the 1st Congressional District special election.
Credit Baldwin County

Former state Sen. Albert Lipscomb of Magnolia Springs is adding his name to the long list of Republicans running in the 1st Congressional District special election.

Lipscomb announced Tuesday that he will qualify for the seat being vacated by Republican Jo Bonner on Friday. The governor has set the primary election date for Sept. 24.

Lipscomb served three terms in the Senate. He was also a Baldwin County commissioner. He plans to resign his position as a Baldwin County voter registrar to run for Congress.

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New Gun Law
4:48 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Alabama's New Gun Law Takes Effect Thursday

Starting Aug. 1, 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.
Credit Andrew McGill / Flickr

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.

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Politics & Government
7:36 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Ala. Governor Takes Recovery Tour to Monroe County

Governor Robert Bentley will take his economic tour to Monroeville in Monroe County.
yellowhammerpolitics.com

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley takes his Road to Economic Recovery Tour back on the road with a visit to Monroeville in Monroe County.

   A release from the governor's office says Bentley will begin the tour at about 11 a.m. Tuesday with a visit to the Monroeville town square on the West Claiborne Street side.

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Politics & Government
7:34 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Lawmaker Seeks to Shutter Education Foundation

State Senator Gerald Allen wants to disband the Foundation for Local Schools.
twitter.com

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.

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Politics & Government
8:25 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Coastal Alabama Braces for Flood Program Changes

Water rushes under the Baldwin County 44 bridge with Fairfield Place homes in the background Thursday, July 11, 2013, in Fairhope, Ala.
Marc D. Anderson/al.com

Flood maps aren't due out for Alabama until next December, but the specter of rising flood insurance premiums is undeniable.

   Congress, seeking to undo the damage done to the National Flood Insurance Program after 2005, changed the policy to impose more stringent regulation on subsidies and second homes.

   The Press-Register reports (http://bit.ly/17b7Ve8) that those changes have painted a bull's eye on the state's two coastal counties.

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