The Associated Press


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.

Read more
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 ( ) 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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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 /

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

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.

Read more
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.

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.

Read more
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.

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. reports ( ) 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.

Read more
Mobile Pipeline
3:36 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

Study To Look At Pipeline Proposed Near Mobile Lake

The red line represents the pipeline with Big Creek Lake outlined in yellow. The easternmost finger of Big Creek Lake, is about 3000 feet away from the proposed pipeline.

Local officials in Mobile County say a study will look at safety concerns with building a proposed oil pipeline near the lake that provides most of Mobile's drinking water.

The pipeline project is on hold for now after the city of Semmes placed a stop-work order on construction. The Alabama Public Service Commission approved the pipeline and Mobile County granted a license agreement in March - though county officials say they were unaware of possible threats to Big Creek Lake.

Read more
Flood Warning
3:17 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

Forecasters Issue Flash Flood Warnings In Alabama

Lots of rain expected for Alabama of the next couple of days with flood warnings Thursday evening and a flood watch through Saturday morning.
Credit National Weather Service Birmingham /

Heavy rains have prompted the National Weather Service to issue flash flood warnings for several Alabama counties.

Huntsville forecasters placed northwest Madison County under a flood warning Thursday until 6 p.m. CDT. A warning was also in effect until 5:15 p.m. for central Morgan County, southeast Limestone County, southeast Lawrence and northwest Cullman County.

Meteorologist Jennifer Schuller says the weather service received many phone calls from people reporting heavy rain and roads blocked by flooding in north Alabama.

Read more
Business & Education
8:27 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Mobile Schools Settle Lawsuit Over Suspensions

The Mobile County school system is agreeing to not suspend students for minor infractions such as not tucking a shirt or being late to class.
Press-Register file/Victor Calhoun

The Mobile County school system has agreed not to suspend students for minor infractions such as not tucking a shirt in or being late to class.

   The agreement was part of a settlement of a lawsuit filed by the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center challenging the Mobile system's past practice of sometimes giving students lengthy suspensions for minor infractions.

   The settlement requires approval of the superintendent for a proposed suspension of longer than 20 school days.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:37 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Extra Alabama Law Enforcement During Holiday

Alabama state troopers are stepping up patrols this July 4th holiday.

State troopers and local law enforcement agencies are stepping up patrols during the long Fourth of July holiday weekend.

   Sixty-nine police and sheriff's departments are joining with the state troopers to target drunken drivers and other violators by conducting sobriety checkpoints and additional patrols. Funding from the extra patrols comes from grants awarded by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the state Department of Transportation.