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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.