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Belle Foods-Bankruptcy
5:02 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Ala.-Based Grocer Looking To Close 13 Stores

Belle Foods will close 13 stores in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia in an attempt to help pay off $42 million in debt.
Credit abc3340.com

Birmingham-based Belle Foods LLC., which filed for bankruptcy Monday, is planning to close 13 of its 57 stores within a month.


A bankruptcy judge ruled Wednesday that Belle Foods can close stores in Alabama, Florida and Georgia by Aug. 3 as part of its bankruptcy plan.


The plan calls for the company to sell off assets to try reconciling a $42 million debt.


Stores slated to close in Alabama include Food World locations in Hueytown, Gadsden, Florence, Decatur and Mobile.

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Gulf Oil Spill-Indictment
4:54 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Trial Delayed For Ex-BP Executive In Spill Probe

A federal judge has postponed the trial of a former BP executive charged with concealing information from Congress about the amount of oil that was spewing from the company's blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Credit The Associated Press

A federal judge has postponed the trial of a former BP executive charged with concealing information from Congress about the amount of oil that was spewing from the company's blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt agreed Wednesday to give David Rainey's attorneys more time to prepare for the trial that was scheduled to start on Oct. 14. His new trial date is March 10, 2014.

In May, Engelhardt dismissed an obstruction charge that was the backbone of the case against Rainey, who was BP's vice president of exploration for the Gulf.

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Governor-Money
4:47 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Bentley Finds Fundraising Easier As Ala. Governor

Robert Bentley is findinf that fundraising is much easier as an incumbent Governor than it was as a little known state representative four years ago.
Credit wikipedia.org

Robert Bentley is finding that raising campaign money as an incumbent governor is much easier than doing it as a state representative seeking statewide office for the first time.


Bentley filed a campaign finance report Tuesday night showing he took in $422,500 in contributions in his first month of fundraising for his re-election campaign. He had raised about $15,500 at the same point four years ago, when he was a little-known state representative from Tuscaloosa running in the Republican primary with six other candidates.

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Business & Education
8:25 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Alabama University Expands Programs in Brunswick

Troy University is expanding its satellite programs in the coastal Georgia town of Brunswick.
troy.edu

An Alabama university is expanding its programs in the coastal Georgia town of Brunswick.

   The Brunswick News reports (http://bit.ly/1cQmyXq) that Troy University is expanding its satellite programs in the Georgia community with its School of Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management.

   School officials say that beginning this fall, students will be able to obtain a bachelor of science degree in the three areas of concentration - hospitality, sports or tourism management.

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Gulf Oil Spill-Settlement
5:16 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Ex-FBI Director To Review BP Settlement Program

Ex-FBI director Louis Freeh has been chosen to review BP settlement program.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A federal judge has appointed former FBI Director Louis Freeh to conduct an independent investigation of alleged misconduct by a lawyer who worked for the court-supervised administrator of BP's multibillion-dollar settlement along with a team of private attorneys.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier issued an order Tuesday naming Freeh a "special master."

Freeh is a private consultant and recently led a university-sanctioned investigation of the Pennsylvania State University sex abuse scandal.

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Tornado Sirens
5:03 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

County To Have 'Site-Specific' Tornado Warnings

A tornado siren in Madison County. A new system will allow for warnings to be more "site specific."
Credit http://www.madisoncountyema.com

Emergency officials in an Alabama county plan to sound tornado sirens in specific areas where storms are, and will no longer activate all sirens in the county with every tornado warning.


Madison County's system is designed to alert only those in the vicinity of a dangerous storm and not alarm residents who may be 40 miles away and out of harm's way.

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Business & Education
7:03 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Belle Foods Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Birmingham-based Belle Foods cites a decline in business and technical issues with its accounting system as factors in decision to file for Chapter 11 bankrupcty.
abc3340.com

Birmingham-based Belle Foods has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying the company is struggling to pay debt with revenue from its 57 stores throughout the Southeast.

   AL.com (http://bit.ly/12ai8oy ) reports the company, which used to run Bruno's and Food World stores in the Birmingham area, filed for bankruptcy Monday.

   In April, the company announced plans to hire 300 part-time workers at its stores in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi.

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Business & Education
6:57 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Metal Manufacturing Company Expanding in Ala.

Busche plans to add up to 300 new jobs at its plant in Hartselle over the next five to six years.
hartselleenquirer.com

A metal manufacturing company has announced plans to add between 250 and 300 jobs at its plant in Hartselle.

   The Decatur Daily reported Monday (http://bit.ly/16KaC8c ) that Indiana-based Busche plans to hire new employees over the next five to six years. The company makes parts for heating and ventilation units, air conditioning compressors and tractor-trailers.

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Baseball Game-Gun Giveaway
5:31 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Ala. Baseball Team Cancels Gun Giveaway

The Huntsville Stars has canceled a gun raffle that was supposed to be featured during its Second Amendment Night promotion.
Credit al.com

An Alabama minor league baseball team has canceled a gun raffle that was supposed to be featured during its Second Amendment Night promotion.

Huntsville Stars spokeswoman Nicole Collins said Monday that the raffle during the team's Wednesday night game against the Chattanooga Lookouts was canceled after Minor League Baseball officials said the promotion was likely not in the franchise's best interest.

Collins says Second Amendment Night will still feature free admission for members of the National Rifle Association who present their membership card.

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Interpretive Center-Grant
5:11 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Ala. Officials Award Grant To Voting Rights Center

State officials have awarded Alabama State University $800,000 in grant funding for the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights Interpretive Center.
Credit meetmycollege.com

State officials have awarded Alabama State University with $800,000 in grant funding for the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights Interpretive Center.


The funding will be added to an existing grant of $1.2 million.


Director of Alabama State University's National Center for the study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture says the center will be located near Hornet Stadium on the university's campus.


Organizers say they hope to open the center in time for the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March in March 2015.

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Governor's Veto Power
5:02 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Commission Says Don't Change Governor's Veto Power

A commission established to study ways to revise the state Constitution has rejected a recommendation from Gov. Robert Bentley to expand the governor's veto power.
Credit State of Alabama

A commission established to study ways to revise the state Constitution has rejected a recommendation from Gov. Robert Bentley to expand the governor's power by making it harder for the Legislature to override his vetoes.

The commission is studying the 1901 Constitution and recommending proposed changes. Any changes would have to be approved by the Legislature and Alabama voters.

When the governor currently vetoes legislation, it takes a simple majority vote of the membership to override the veto. That's 53 votes in the House and 18 in the Senate.

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Secretary of State Resigning
4:56 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Alabama Secretary Of State Resigning

Secretary of State Beth Chapman is resigning her position to take a job in the private sector 17 months before the end of her term.
Credit sos.state.al.us / Alabama Secretary of State

Republican Secretary of State Beth Chapman says she plans to resign Aug. 1 and enter private business with 17 months left in her term.


Chapman tells The Associated Press she has an offer in government and public relations consulting that she can't pass up, and she will end her decade in public office to take the position. She has not released details of the new job, but she said it doesn't involve lobbying.

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Jefferson County Bankruptcy
6:35 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Jefferson County Files Bankruptcy Exit Plan

Jefferson County attorneys have filed a plan to exit the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history.
Credit rollingstone.com

Attorneys for Jefferson County have filed a 101-page plan to exit the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history.

The plan calls for cutting the county's $4.2 billion debt by more than $1.2 billion and raising sewer rates annually by 7.41 percent for four years. Rates would rise by 3.49 percent annually for an undetermined amount of years after that.

The plan must be approved by Thomas Bennett, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Alabama.

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New Laws
6:25 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

New Alabama Laws Affect Scottsboro Boys, Red Tape

Several new laws go in to effect on Monday, July 1st including ones effecting the Scottboro Boys and cutting red tape.
Credit The Governor's Office

Alabama has several new laws taking effect Monday, including one allowing the state parole board to issue posthumous pardons for the Scottsboro Boys.

The founder of the Scottsboro Boys Museum, Sheila Washington, says paperwork will be filed soon asking the board to issue pardons removing rape convictions that occurred more than 80 years ago. She says pardons would mean shame is gone from the names of the Scottsboro Boys.

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Cuban-American Play
12:04 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Cuban-American Troupe To Perform In NY, Havana

Director Seth Panitch, left, with cast members in “Alcestis Ascending.”
Credit UA News

It's difficult enough for actors to perform a play in two languages and make sure the audience understands. An Alabama-based partnership of Cubans and Americans is tackling that and more with an unusual engagement in New York.

The cast and crew of "Alcestis Ascending" are preparing for one of just a handful of joint Cuban-American plays to hit the Big Apple since the Cuban revolution of the 1950s.

They'll perform in Tuscaloosa starting Monday, then move the show to New York on July 9. Finally, the production will head to Havana.

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