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Politics & Government
3:49 pm
Sun July 28, 2013

Tuscaloosa Offers $500K in Tornado Recovery Loans

Several Tuscaloosa neighborhoods were completely devastated by the April 27th tornadoes.
Maggie Martin/APR News

Tuscaloosa city officials will soon be taking applications for loans of up to $20,000 aimed at helping businesses rebuild in the city's tornado recovery zone.

The Tuscaloosa News reports (http://bit.ly/15TZchw) the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs recently gave the city approval to use $500,000 for the loans. Businesses meeting certain terms will have their loans revert to grants, meaning the money won't have to be repaid.

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Business & Education
6:36 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Few Ala. Private Schools Participate in Tax Credits

With the start of the year just three weeks away for most districts, only seven private schools have signed up for Alabama's new program of tax credits to help students transfer from failing public schools.

The state Department of Revenue is developing regulations for the tax credits, and it reports that it hasn't seen much interest from private schools.

Robin Mears of the Alabama Christian Education Association says one reason is the lateness of the regulations. Schools start around Aug. 19, and the state's regulations won't be final until after that.

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Politics & Government
6:27 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Miss., Ala. Govs Call for Oil Sands Assessment

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley
http://abcnews.go.com

The governors of Mississippi and Alabama say the two states will partner to study oil sands resources.

Oil sands is a sandy mixture found below the surface containing bitumen. After extracting the sand, the bitumen can be transformed into crude oil that can be refined.

A news release says Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced the partnership Saturday while speaking to the Southern States Energy Board during a meeting in Mobile, Ala.

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Politics & Government
6:13 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Ala. Companies Raise $23K for Okla. Tornado Relief

Employees of Nucor Steel a€“ from left in orange, Kristy Riggs, James Swindle and Michael Kassay a€“ talk with one of the tornado victims from Moore, Okla., when they visited to distributed donations earlier this month.
Bank Independent/Nucor Steel

Two businesses in northern Alabama say they raised more than $23,000 to help residents of an Oklahoma city that was devastated by tornadoes two months ago.

Al.com reports (http://bit.ly/13cJq2R ) the money came from a joint fundraising effort by Florence-based Bank Independent and Nucor Steel of Decatur, which produces sheet steel.

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Business & Education
7:31 am
Sat July 27, 2013

Group Asks Cullman Schools to Stop Prayer Caravan

Officials with Cullman County Schools say they are going ahead with a prayer caravan in August, despite protests from a Wisconsin-based group.
briandoddonleadership.com

A group has sent a complaint to Cullman County Schools over a prayer caravan set for early August, claiming the district forcing religion on students.

The Cullman Times reported Friday (http://bit.ly/1aNHFe7 ) the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to Superintendent Billy Coleman this week asking that he cancel the Aug. 10 event, which involves a short prayer at each school campus before the school year starts.

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Arts & Life
7:26 am
Sat July 27, 2013

Bicyclists Hit Tuscaloosa Streets for Hot Hundred

Cyclists make their way along University Boulevard for the Hot Hundred ride in 2012.
Dusty Compton/ The Tuscaloosa News

Some 600 bicyclists will be taking to the streets in Tuscaloosa for the 11th annual Hot Hundred on Saturday.

AL.com reports (http://bit.ly/13aHPdC ) the event is so named because it's rarely not hot in Alabama in late July and one of the routes includes a 103-mile trek in and around Tuscaloosa.

The race starts at 7 a.m. and includes five courses, which start at 29 or 36 miles and go up from there.

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Politics & Government
7:18 am
Sat July 27, 2013

Meeting of Southern Lawmakers Set for Mobile

The Southern Legislative Conference will be held at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center.
mobileconventions.com

The annual meeting of theSouthern Legislative Conference kicks off Saturday in Mobile.

AL.com reports (http://bit.ly/13jEDsu ) the four-day conference includes state lawmakers from across the South and is expected to draw more than 1,000 people to the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center. Policy discussions on economic development, agriculture, energy and other issues are planned.

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Alabama-Adapted Golf
5:03 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

UA Establishes Adapted Golf Program

Ford Burttram will coach the team and says he is still working on getting the right equipment.
Credit UA News

The University of Alabama says its establishing the nation's first collegiate adapted golf program.


The university's adapted athletics program is already home to the national championship men's and women's wheelchair basketball teams. Head Coach Ford Burttram says feedback from athletes and student veterans encouraged the creation of the program.


The team is expected to compete in upcoming Amputee Golf Association events.

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Voting Rights Act
4:44 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Southern States Gird For New Fight On Voter Laws

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder efforts to put Texas back under voting rights laws knocked down by the Supreme Court has other states waiting to see if they're next.
Credit ryanjreilly / Flickr

New efforts by the Obama administration to put Texas back under voting rights laws knocked down by the Supreme Court has other states waiting to see if they're next.

The Justice Department wants Texas to continue seeking federal preapproval to change voting laws. That's despite justices stripping that requirement from the Voting Rights Act last month.

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School System-Buses Eliminated
4:38 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Alabama School System To Host Forum On Bus Plans

The Hoover School System is back-tracking on its plan to end all school bus service after a wave of complaints by parents and school bus drivers.
Credit hoovercity.schoolinsites.com

A school system in suburban Birmingham is back-tracking on its plan to end all school bus service after a wave of complaints by parents and school bus drivers.


The Hoover School System's superintendent and school board members are expected to be at an Aug. 8 forum to give parents a chance to give feedback.


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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Arts & Life
6:46 am
Fri July 26, 2013

APR prepares to move to new digital media center

APR news team (L to R) Ryan Vasquez, Maggie Martin, News Director Pat Duggins, and Stan Ingold in the new digital media center under construction in Bryant-Denny stadium
APR

Politics & Government
5:56 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Alabama executes first inmate in 2 years

UC Berkeley

Birmingham Schools-Probation
4:56 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Birmingham School System Put On Probation

The Birmingham School System has been put on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Birmingham School System has been put on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


School system officials said Thursday that although probation is a serious matter for the district, all of its schools are still accredited for the time being.


The accreditation agency sent a review team to Birmingham in mid-May and a report outlined micro management among other issues in the school district.

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State Auditor-Endorsement
4:41 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Secretary Of State Endorses Employee For Auditor

Republican candidate for state auditor Adam Thompson has picked up an endorsement from his boss, outgoing Secretary of State Beth Chapman.
Credit thompsonforauditor.com

Outgoing Secretary of State Beth Chapman has endorsed one of her employees, Adam Thompson, for state auditor.


In a statement Thursday, Chapman said Thompson was her right hand when she served as state auditor from 2003 to 2007, and he is the only candidate with experience in the auditor's office. Thompson currently works in the secretary of state's office.


He faces Anniston attorney Ray Bryan in the Republican primary on June 3, 2014. Democrat Miranda Joseph of Birmingham is also running.

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Arts & Life
7:38 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Paula Deen to Visit Ala. for Hospital Fund-raiser

Paula Deen is set to visit an Alabama hospital. Her appearance comes more than a month after controversy arose over comments Deen made in a court case.
Chia Chong

Celebrity chef Paula Deen is planning to visit a hospital in an Alabama town to help raise money for a hospital and its foundation.

   Deen is set to appear at an Aug. 29 ceremony at the Ozark Civic Center in honor of longtime Ozark physician Connie Chandler.

   Event coordinator Jenny Tidmore said Deen and Chandler are friends, are Deen agreed in January to attend the event.

   Tidmore tells The Dothan Eagle (http://bit.ly/13co3K9) that Deen will entertain the audience "by being her witty, Southern, charming self."

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