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Arts & Life
7:52 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Cruise Ship Departs Mobile Late; 2 Workers Injured

Carnival's Conquest cruise ship was diverted to Mobile over the weekend after a tugboat sank in the Mississippi River.
Mike Brantley/mbrantley@al.com

Carnival's Conquest cruise ship departed Mobile about two hours late on a shortened cruise to the Bahamas.

   The New Orleans-based ship docked at Mobile on Sunday because the Mississippi River was closed to ships due to a tugboat sinking. It was supposed to depart about 4 p.m. Monday, but it got away about 6 p.m. because a bus carrying baggage arrived late from New Orleans.

   The general manager of Mobile's cruise terminal, Sheila Gurganus, told al.com (http://bit.ly/1bkvztU ) that two workers suffered minor injuries when heavy luggage fell from a forklift.

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Secretary Of State Resigning
4:44 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Ala. Secretary Of State Joining Farmers Federation

Secretary of State Beth Chapman is taking a political consulting job with the Alabama Farmers Federation when she resigns her public office at the end of the month.
Credit sos.state.al.us / Alabama Secretary of State

Secretary of State Beth Chapman is taking a political consulting job with the Alabama Farmers Federation when she resigns her public office at the end of the month.


Federation officials say Chapman will start her new job Aug. 1 and work through the 2014 election.


The federation's director of government relations, Brian Hardin, says the organization has a long-standing relationship with Chapman, including endorsing her for state auditor and then two races for secretary of state.

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Alabama Traffic Deaths
4:39 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

4 Killed In Ala. Fourth Of July Weekend Crashes

Alabama Department of Public Safety officials say four people were killed in crashes during the Fourth of July travel period.
Credit dailyhome.com

Alabama Department of Public Safety officials say four people were killed in crashes during the Fourth of July travel period.

The holiday travel period began at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and ended at midnight on Sunday. State patrol officials say they investigated 434 traffic crashes, which resulted in 154 injuries.

The four traffic fatalities don't include traffic accidents that were investigated by other law enforcement agencies. Officials say they're unsure of whether alcohol was linked to any of the crashes and seatbelts were used in one of the four deadly accidents.

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Brown's Ferry
4:33 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Engineer Warns Of Problems At Ala. Nuclear Plant

A Tennessee Valley Authority engineer and federal regulators have warned the largest nuclear plant in Alabama has been operating without a fully functioning failsafe system.
Credit tva.com / Tennessee Valley Authority

A Tennessee Valley Authority engineer and federal regulators have warned the largest nuclear plant in Alabama has been operating without a fully functioning failsafe system.


The engineer and regulators have warned problems at Browns Ferry reported by regulators have included that a cooling pump didn't work and cooling lines sat blocked and unnoticed for years.


A TVA engineer, Joni Johnson, says mechanical and managerial shortcomings at the nuclear plant on the Tennessee River in Limestone County could have led to a meltdown.

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Politics & Government
8:13 am
Mon July 8, 2013

533 Citations in 1 Month From Opelika Cameras

A traffic camera is seen at the intersection of Highway 280 and Pepperell Parkway on Tuesday in Opelika.
Albert Cesare/Opelika-Auburn News

Red light cameras in Opelika generated more than 500 citations in the first full month.

   Mayor Gary Fuller says 794 warnings were issued in April when the cameras started being used and motorists were getting used to them. The grace period ended when May started, and 533 citations were issued that month. He said June figures aren't complete, but he expects about 300 for the month.

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Business & Education
7:53 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Officials Note Shortage of Workers in Tech Fields

State officials say they're working with educators and business owners to address a gap between students and a shortage of workers for in-demand job markets in the state.

   Director of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, Gregory Fitch, tells the Montgomery Advertiser (http://on.mgmadv.com/16Yr9Wn ) technical and industrial fields ranging from trucking to engineering and welding are seeing a shortage of qualified workers in Alabama because they're careers that students no longer consider as options.

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Arts & Life
7:35 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Carnival Cruise Ship Departs Ala. Monday Afternoon

The Carnival Conquest cruise ship, pictured here at its dock in downtown New Orleans, was diverted to Mobile Sunday because of the closure of a 10-mile stretch of the Mississippi River.
Carnival Cruise Lines

The Carnival Conquest cruise ship is due to depart Mobile about 4 p.m. Monday.

   Carnival diverted the ship from New Orleans to Mobile on Sunday because the Mississippi River was closed to ship traffic due to a tugboat sinking.

   The ship had been scheduled to unload Sunday in New Orleans and depart the same day with a new load of passengers. Instead, Carnival says it has shortened this week's cruise to six days and is busing passengers from New Orleans to Mobile for departure.

Carnival Ship Diverted
1:21 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

Carnival Ship Diverted To Alabama Cruise Terminal

Carnival Cruise Lines is diverting one of its ships to Alabama's Cruise Terminal.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Carnival Cruise Lines officials say a ship is being diverted from the Mississippi River in New Orleans to the Alabama Cruise Terminal after a tugboat sank on Saturday.

Officials say the ship, named The Carnival Conquest, is expected to arrive at the terminal Sunday afternoon as U.S. Coast Guard officials continue investigating the tugboat incident on the river.

It is unclear how many passengers are aboard the ship, and officials say passengers will be driven from Mobile to New Orleans.

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Downtown Montgomery Patrols
1:11 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

Police Ramping Up Patrols In Downtown Montgomery

Montgomery Police say they're increasing downtown patrols after complaints of underage drinking and other inappropriate conduct near the riverfront entertainment district.
Credit Montgomery Police Department / http://www.montgomeryal.gov/

Montgomery Police say they're ramping up downtown patrols after complaints of underage drinking and other inappropriate conduct near the riverfront entertainment district.

Public Safety Director J. Christopher Murphy says officers will patrol the area on bicycles and marked patrol cars, and undercover officers will also canvass the area at night.

Montgomery City Council passed an ordinance last year to establish a downtown entertainment district and some say underage visitors have started bringing their own liquor and loitering in the area.

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Alabama-College Preparedness
1:03 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

Ala. Education Officials Probe College Readiness

Alabama education officials say more than a third of college freshman from the state needed remedial coursework last fall.
Credit Microsoft Images

Alabama education officials say more than a third of college freshman from the state needed remedial coursework last fall.

Deputy Superintendent of Education, Sherrill Parris, says the amount of students who graduated high school and needed remedial coursework factored into Plan 2020 — a statewide initiative to improve education over the next seven years.

Parris and executive director of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, Gregory Fitch, say standards requiring students to enroll in remedial courses varies between the state's public colleges and universities.

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Governor - France
2:53 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

Governor Bentley's Trip To Paris $88,000 To $97,000

Governor Bentley's trip industry-hunting trip to France last month is estimated to cost the state between $88,000 and $97,000.
Credit dyn.politico.com

The state Department of Commerce estimates Gov. Robert Bentley's industry-hunting trip to France last month will cost the state between $88,000 and $97,000.

The department says that estimate includes seven people: Bentley; his wife, Dianne; two security staff members; Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield; and two other department employees. The Department of Commerce leads the state government's industrial recruitment effort.

Department spokeswoman Gerri Miller said the goal of the trip to the Paris Air Show in mid-June was to bring home jobs.

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Immigration-South
2:47 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

2 Years After Immigration Laws, Ga., Ala., Stable

Two years after implementing strict immigration laws, Georgia and Alabama find undocumented workers returning to the state's agricultural areas.
Credit Florida Atlantic University

Two years after Georgia and Alabama passed tough laws to drive away people living in the country illegally, the states' agricultural areas are still heavily populated with foreign workers, many of whom don't have legal authorization to be here.

Farmers say many of the migrants have returned because the laws are not heavily enforced and it once again seems safe to be here.

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Lieutenant Governor-Ivey
4:58 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Alabama's Lieutenant Governor Waits On Fundraising

Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey has announced her run for a second term, but is holding off on fundraising for the campaign for now.
Credit ltgov.state.al.us

Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey is seeking re-election to a second term, but she did not report raising any campaign funds in the first month that candidates could receive donations.


State law allowed candidates for the 2014 elections to start raising money in early June. Those that did had to publicly report their contributions this week, but Ivey reported none.

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Arts & Life
7:54 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Some Roads Closed, Homes Flooded in Alabama

The National Weather Service says flood watches and warnings continue for most of Alabama.
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/bmx

Flood watches and warnings continued for much of Alabama, as heavy rain continued to fall on already saturated ground.

   In northern Alabama, emergency managers reported flooding across parts of central Morgan and much of central and eastern Lawrence counties.

   In Moulton, authorities said several roads were impassable and several houses had flooded near the city's downtown area.

   Authorities said numerous roads were also impassable in and around Decatur and Hartselle.

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Politics & Government
7:26 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Republican Dyas Announces for Rep. Bonner's Seat

Fairhope builder Daniel Dyas is joing the growing list of candidates looking to fill congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Jo Bonner of Mobile.
blog.al.com

Fairhope builder Daniel Dyas says he's joining the growing field of candidates looking to fill the Alabama congressional seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Jo Bonner of Mobile.

   Al.com reports (http://bit.ly/123GBAC ) 31-year-old Dyas, also a Republican, ran for a Baldwin County Commission seat in 2010 and finished third in the GOP primary.

   Bonner is resigning from Congress effective Aug. 15 to become a chancellor of the University of Alabama System. Gov. Robert Bentley will call a special election once Bonner's 1st District seat is officially open.

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