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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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Alabama Power Rates
4:11 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Alabama Power Defends Electric Rates To PSC

Alabama Power defended its rate structure before the state's utility regulatory board Wednesday.
Credit Alabama Power / Wikipedia

Alabama Power is defending its rate structure before the state's utility regulatory board.


Officials of Alabama Power told the Public Service Commission on Wednesday that its rates are below the national average. Officials said the total annual electric bill for the average Alabama home is above the national average because of hot, humid summers and because Alabamians tend to use more electricity and less of other energy sources, such as natural gas and fuel oil, than other Americans.

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Business & Education
7:35 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Southern States Closing 8 Stores in Rural Alabama

The Southern States store in Centre is one of several closing in the state.
southernstates.com

Southern States is closing eight farm supply and service cooperative stores in Alabama.

   The Cullman Times (http://bit.ly/1dEqHhN ) reports that the stores are shutting down as part of a corporate restructuring.

   The company is closing stores in Athens, Centre, Cullman, Danville, Geraldine, Headland, Henagar and Oneonta.

   Company officials say the affected stores account for only a small number of locations within its 17-state region. It's unclear how many jobs are affected.

Arts & Life
7:27 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Play About Bus Boycott to Premiere in Montgomery

Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in 1955. Her arrest led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
www.vibe.com

A stage play inspired by the events of the Montgomery Bus Boycott will have its premiere on July 26 at the Montgomery Performing Arts Center.

   The play was written, produced, directed and staged by faculty, staff and alumni of Alabama State University.

   The play, "The Meeting at Mount Zion," is based on the writings and notes from a meeting of the Montgomery Improvement Association, the group led by the Rev. Martin Luther King which helped lead the boycott.

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Politics & Government
7:15 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Ala. Governor Out as Defendant in Abortion Suit

Governor Robert Bentley is out as a defendent in a lawsuit challening Alabama's abortion law.
governor.alabama.gov

A federal judge has dismissed the governor and officials with three professional medical boards as defendants in a suit challenging a new Alabama law setting stricter regulations for abortion clinics.

   U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson removed Gov. Robert Bentley as a defendant Tuesday based on an agreement by all parties. He removed officials with the state boards for nursing, medical licensure and medical examiners on Monday. Bentley's attorney maintained he had no role in enforcing the new law.

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Alabama Power Rates
5:09 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Groups Recommending Changes In Alabama Power Rates

Some groups will call for rate changes for Alabama Power Co. when the state's Public Service Commission wraps up hearings Wednesday on the state's largest utility.
Credit http://www.psc.state.al.us/

Some groups will call for rate changes for Alabama Power Co. when the state's utility regulatory board wraps up hearings Wednesday on the state's largest electric utility.

AARP and Alabama Arise have filed position papers saying the current rate structure is too favorable to the company. Alabama Power says the rate structure is fair and reasonable, and it allows the company to provide a reliable product despite residential demand that is higher than the national average.

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Hurricane Exercise
4:52 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Alabama Officials Practice For Hurricane Season

Alabama officials conducted their largest hurricane exercise ever to make sure state officials were prepared for such a storm and were unified in their response.
Credit http://www.ema.alabama.gov/

Alabama Emergency Management Agency officials received an early wake-up call and were notified that Hurricane Juliet had made landfall at about 2 a.m. near Pascagoula, Miss.


Hurricane Juliet was not real, but it gave EMA local officials and the National Weather Service a chance Tuesday to practice what they would do in the event of a real category 3 storm.


Most of the exercise took place at EMA headquarters in Clanton.

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Scrushy Appeal
4:42 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Former HealthSouth CEO Scrushy Loses Appeal

A federal appeals court has rejected an attempt by former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to get a new trial on bribery charges.
Credit WBRC

A federal appeals court has rejected an attempt by former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to get a new trial on bribery charges.


The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals let stand Scrushy's 2006 conviction for arranging $500,000 in donations to former Gov. Don Siegelman's lottery campaign in return for Siegelman appointing him to a state hospital regulatory board. Scrushy argued that he should get a new trial because of judicial and juror bias, but the Atlanta-based appeals court ruled against him 3-0 Monday.

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Business & Education
8:17 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Ala School System Cuts Bus Service to Save Money

Hoover City Schools are ending school bus services to save about $2.5 million a year. The changes take effect next August.

One of Alabama's best-funded public school systems says it's ending school bus service to save money.

   The Hoover city school board voted Monday night to eliminate bus routes for everyone but special education students beginning in August 2014.

   Buses will run as normal during the upcoming school year. But officials say cutbacks will save $2.5 million annually after that.

   Hoover is located in suburban Birmingham and it's ranked among the state's leaders in per-pupil spending.

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Politics & Government
7:31 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Alabama Governor to Visit Geneva in Economic Tour

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is taking his road to economic recovery tour to Geneva in southeast Alabama.
The Associated Press

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will take his road to economic recovery tour back on the highway to visit Geneva in southeast Alabama.

Politics & Government
7:26 am
Tue July 16, 2013

IRS Plans Clothing Auction in Opelika

The IRS clothing auction in Opelika will be held July 25, 2013.

The Internal Revenue Service is planning a big clothing auction July 25 in Opelika.

   The IRS says the auction will involve more than 100 containers of new specialty clothing designed to transfer moisture. The clothing was seized for nonpayment of federal taxes due from THY Enterprises. It includes men's and women's pants, boxers, T-shirts, shorts, medical socks, sock liners and more.

Lt. Governor-Ninesling
4:39 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Democrat Scott Ninesling Seeks Ala. Lt. Governor

Scott Ninesling has announced he will run as a Democrat against incumbent Republican Kay Ivey for Alabama's Lieutenant Governor.
Credit linkedin.com

An Autauga County resident plans to run as a Democrat against Republican Kay Ivey.

Scott Ninesling (nihn-SLING') says he's making his first race for public office because he doesn't like how Ivey administered the state's prepaid college tuition program as state treasurer and how she's presided over the state Senate as lieutenant governor.

Ninesling is out of the country every other month because of his job as a fire chief at a liquefied natural gas plant in Africa, but he says he plans to run a well-planned campaign while he's home.

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Neighborhood Watch-Alabama Rally
4:28 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Hundreds Protest Zimmerman Acquittal In Birmingham

George Zimmerman's acquittal has prompted protests across the country including one that drew hundreds to Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham Monday.
Credit Associated Press

Hundreds of demonstrators are rallying at a park in downtown Birmingham to protest the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.

The 29-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer was acquitted Saturday in the February 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.

Marlon Wright was among the demonstrators who gathered at Kelly Ingram Park Monday and said he has to be wary around police as a young black man. He says he fears that Zimmerman's acquittal will only make matters worse.

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