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Arts & Life
8:14 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Heavy Rains Lead to Flash Flooding in Birmingham

Authorities say heavy rains have led to flash flooding in several neighborhoods across the Birmingham metro area.

   Birmingham police reported that parts of Bessemer Road and Third Avenue North were among areas in the city to experience flooding after heavy rains fell Sunday afternoon.

   National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Westland tells Al.com that Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport received 3.17 inches of rain as of 8:30 p.m.

Politics & Government
5:38 pm
Sat July 20, 2013

Alabama sets first execution date since 2011

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's first execution in almost two years is scheduled for Thursday at Holman Prison in Atmore.

Court records show that 30-year-old Andrew Lackey asked the state to set his execution date, and he has not taken action to stop it.

Lackey is scheduled to die by lethal injection at Holman Prison in Atmore for the beating and shooting death of 80-year-old Charles Newman during a 2005 Halloween night robbery in Limestone County. Lackey is to be executed by lethal injection at 6 p.m. Thursday.

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Gulf Oil Spill-Settlement
4:54 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Judge Refuses To Suspend BP Settlement Payments

A federal judge has rejected BP's request to temporarily halt all settlement payments to Gulf Coast businesses and residents who claim they lost money after the company's 2010 oil spill.
Credit istockphoto

A federal judge has rejected BP's request to temporarily halt all settlement payments to Gulf Coast businesses and residents who claim they lost money after the company's 2010 oil spill.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled Friday after BP attorneys argued that payments should be suspended while former FBI Director Louis Freeh investigates alleged misconduct by a lawyer who helped administer the multibillion-dollar settlement program.

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Abortion Suit
4:41 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Alabama Abortion Law Enforcement To Get Delayed

Enforcement of Alabama's law setting stricter requirements on abortions won't go into effect this year.
Credit Julie Bennett / al.com

Alabama's new law setting stricter requirements for abortion doctors likely won't be enforced this year.

ACLU and Planned Parenthood attorneys challenging the law and state attorneys defending the law told a federal judge Friday that they want the law kept on hold until March 24, 2014, while they develop their cases. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson indicated he would go along with the timeline proposed by both sides.

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Business & Education
8:37 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Alabama Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday Aug. 2-4

Alabama retailers are getting ready for the annual tax free weekend for back-to-school merchandise.

   The state will waive its 4 percent sales tax from Friday, Aug. 2 through Sunday, Aug. 4. The Alabama Retail Association reports that a record 274 Alabama cities and counties are waiving their local sales taxes during that weekend.

   Items covered by the tax holiday include clothing priced at $100 or less, school supplies costing $50 or less, books that cost $30 or less, and computers and computer equipment selling for $750 or less.

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Politics & Government
8:26 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Ala Promoting Ministry to Veterans

A conference scheduled for August 1, 2013 in Auburn aims to help faith leaders reach out to military veterans.

The state of Alabama is promoting the idea of using faith-based ministries to help military veterans.

   The Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Volunteer Service is joining other groups in sponsoring a seminar to help pastors, clergy and other faith leaders reach out to veterans.

   Alabama has more than 400,000 veterans, and at least 4,000 of them are affected by post-traumatic stress syndrome. As many as 5 percent of them are believed to be contemplating suicide.

Politics & Government
8:17 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Hearing to Determine Restitution for Auburn Trees

Alabama fan Harvey Updyke could have to pay about $1 million in restitution for poisoning the oak trees at Auburn University.
usatoday.com

A judge will hold a hearing to determine whether University of Alabama fan Harvey Updyke should pay Auburn University about $1 million for poisoning its landmark oak trees.

   The Opelika-Auburn News (http://bit.ly/12RVcdW ) reports that Circuit Judge Jacob A. Walker III scheduled the hearing for Sept. 18.

   The hearing is to determine whether Updyke must pay restitution for killing the trees at Toomer's Corner. Auburn fans traditionally rolled the trees with toilet paper after a big win.

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Alabama Unemployment
5:18 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Alabama Unemployment Drops To 6.5 percent

Alabama's jobless rate fell to its lowest rate in four years for the month of June.
Credit www.aim.org

Alabama's unemployment rate dropped to 6.5 percent in June, which is lowest rate in more than four years.


The state Department of Labor said the June rate was down from 6.8 percent in May, and it was the lowest rate recorded since Alabama hit the same figure in November 2008. It was also below the national figure of 7.6 percent.


The rate was supposed to be announced Friday, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics inadvertently released it early. State officials then provided details of the new rate.

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Gulf Oil Spill-Settlement
5:10 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Judge Urged To Let BP Settlement Payments Continue

Lawyer's are urging a federal judge to reject BP's bid to suspend settlement payments to Gulf Coast businesses and residents who claim they lost money after the company's 2010 oil spill.
Credit Associated Press

A team of plaintiffs' lawyers has urged a federal judge to reject BP's bid to suspend settlement payments to Gulf Coast businesses and residents who claim they lost money after the company's 2010 oil spill.


In a court filing Thursday, attorneys who brokered a multibillion-dollar settlement with BP PLC say the company hasn't provided any evidence that court-supervised claims administrator Patrick Juneau has wrongfully paid any claims.

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Governor Bentley
4:56 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Governor Bentley Gets 1st Major Endorsement

Governor Robert Bentley scores the first endorsement for his 2014 re-election campaign.
Credit wikipedia.org

The Alabama Forestry Association has thrown its support to Gov. Robert Bentley's re-election campaign.


Bentley said Thursday the forestry group was the first major organization to endorse him in 2010 and now it's the first for the 2014 election. But there's a big difference. It didn't endorse him in 2010 until after he won the Republican primary.

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Business & Education
8:25 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Wind Project Moving Forward in Northeast Alabama

A cluster of windmills catch the wind blowing on Stetson Mountain in Maine in this photo from July 14, 2009.
The Associated Press

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Politics & Government
8:14 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Civil Rights Museum Offers Free Admission Thursday

The SPLC's Civil Rights Memorial Center is offering free admission Thursday, July 18 in honor of Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday.
gypsynester.com

Alabama-Emergency Rooms
4:46 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Ala. Clears Way For Stand-Alone Emergency Rooms

State officials have adopted rules to establish stand-alone emergency medical centers in Alabama like this one planned by Brookwood Medical Center.
Credit Shelby County Reporter

State officials have adopted rules to establish stand-alone emergency medical centers in Alabama.

The rules are also expected to regulate the stand-alone emergency rooms, which are typically miles from their parent hospitals.

Stand-alone emergency departments don't exist in the state yet, although three in the Birmingham area have already been approved for construction.

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Auburn-Smoking Ban
4:32 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Smoking Banned At Auburn University

A new policy has banned smoking on the campus of Auburn University. The ban will go into effect on Aug. 21.
Credit Auburn University

A new policy has banned smoking on the campus of Auburn University.


Four campus groups passed resolutions to ban smoking on campus and officials say the ban will go into effect on Aug. 21.


Auburn University student Liz Howerton told the newspaper that most students she's talked to are supportive of the idea and that it "can only do good for the campus."


Lee Bradberry, who owns a nearby cigar shop, says he applauds the school's concerns for public health but has misgivings about the policy because he thinks it infringes on individual rights.

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New Budget Chairman
4:24 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Poole Named Ala. House Education Budget Chairman

Republican state Rep. Bill Poole of Tuscaloosa has been named chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Education Committee.
Credit http://gpr-law.com/

Republican state Rep. Bill Poole of Tuscaloosa has been named chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Education Committee.


Poole was appointed to the position Wednesday by Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard of Auburn. Effective Aug. 1, he will replace Republican Rep. Jay Love of Montgomery, who last week announced he is resigning his position in the Legislature.

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