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Campaign Finance
4:42 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Sponsor Says Still Work To Do On Campaign Finance Bill

A key House Republican says lawmakers have more work to do before settling on final changes to Alabama campaign finance laws.
Credit fox10tv.com

A key House Republican says lawmakers have more work to do before settling on final changes to Alabama campaign finance laws.


But Rep. Mike Ball of Madison says he doesn't want to give in on House GOP proposals concerning political contributions by corporations and utilities, including the influential Alabama Power Co.

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Alabama Unemployment
8:56 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Alabama Unemployment Drops to 6.9 Percent

Alabama's unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in April.
www.aim.org

Alabama's unemployment rate has dipped to 6.9 percent.

Politics & Government
8:33 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Marsh to Block Plan to Delay School Tax Credits

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh wants to block Governor Bentley from delaying the private school tax credits by two years.
alprotem.com

The architect of Alabama's new private school tax credits intends to block the governor's proposal to delay the tax breaks for two years.

   Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh of Anniston said families of children trapped in failing schools need the option of school choice now. Marsh said Thursday he intends to block the governor's proposal, either by getting the Legislature to reject it or never bringing it up for a vote.

   The new law provides tax credits for parents who send their children to private schools rather than public schools rated as failing.

Hangout Festival
8:15 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Hangout Fest Opens Friday in Gulf Shores

The 3rd annual Hangout Festival opens today in Gulf Shores.
bandsthatjam.com

It's a big weekend for live music on the Alabama coast.

   The third annual Hangout Festival opens Friday on the public beach in Gulf Shores.

   Organizers say three-day festival passes are sold out, but single-day tickets are still available.

   Started during the BP oil spill in 2010, the Hangout Festival provides the coastal tourism industry with a big jumpstart on beach season.

   Acts this year include Kings of Leon, Stevie Wonder and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Arts & Life
8:17 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Miss America Visiting Ala Hometown

Mallory Hagan grew up in Lee County, but moved to New York City and was representing the state of New York when she was crowned Miss America.
The Associated Press

Miss America is paying a visit to her hometown in east Alabama.

   Mallory Hagan will tour Opelika on Thursday. Her stop includes a sold-out luncheon and an evening reception.

   The Opelika-Auburn News (http://bit.ly/13yTRNp ) reports Hagan met with local leaders include school board members on Wednesday.

   Hagan says it's wonderful to be part of a community where everyone is on her side.

Politics & Government
7:17 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Alabama Governor: Budgets Basically Look Fine

Governor Bentley says the state education and general fund budgets are basically fine.
yellowhammerpolitics.com

Gov. Robert Bentley says his first impression of the state education and state general fund budgets is that they are basically fine.

   Bentley said Wednesday it appears legislators put some pork projects into the budgets and he's still reviewing a few items. But he sad he hasn't seen any major problems yet.

Private School Tax Credits
5:10 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Gov. Bentley Wants 2-Year Delay On Tax Credits

Gov. Robert Bentley wants the Legislature to delay Alabama's private school tax credits for two years.
Credit The Associated Press


Gov. Robert Bentley wants the Legislature to delay Alabama's private school tax credits for two years.


Bentley told chamber of commerce leaders Wednesday that a delay will give schools time to try to get off the failing list and will help the state repay a $423 million debt before the tax credits begin.


House Speaker Mike Hubbard and Senate leader Del Marsh says they will discuss Bentley's proposal with their members.

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Water Wars
5:01 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Ga. Avoids Limit On Reservoir Use Sought By Ala. In Senate Bill

Georgia avoided a limit to access to two reservoirs including Lake Lanier. Alabama and Florida were both seeking restriction to the water.
Credit http://www.sam.usace.army.mil/lanier/ / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

A water plan passed by the U.S. Senate will not limit Georgia's water use from two federal reservoirs, a restriction sought by lawmakers in Alabama and Florida.


The Senate voted 83-14 on Wednesday to approve legislation authorizing a number of water projects nationally.


A long-running water dispute in the Southeast provoked a political clash over the bill.

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Politics & Government
8:13 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Chilton County Looks to Build New Hospital

Chilton County's hospital closed several months ago. County officials are exploring funding methods for a new hospital.
chiltonmedicalcenter.net

Chilton County commissioners and the Clanton hospital board met Tuesday to explore funding methods for a new hospital.

   The commission has raised $1 million that they thought would work to reopen the hospital that closed seven months ago. When that was deemed unfeasible, they looked toward building a new facility.

   Chilton County residents are frustrated about the length time they must do without a local medical center.

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Alabama Civil Rights Movement
6:37 am
Wed May 15, 2013

FBI, Civil Rights Leaders Meet on 50th Anniversary

FBI officials and civil rights leaders will talk about violations of the nation's civil rights laws at a conference held at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.
en.wikipedia.org

Birmingham's FBI office and the Civil Rights Institute will examine violations of the nation's civil rights laws at its annual public conference on civil rights and law enforcement.

   "Fifty Years Forward-Toward Progress and Partnership" will be held at the 16th Street Baptist Church May 19 and 20. The church was bombed 50 years ago. Rev. Carolyn McKinstry and FBI agents will share perspectives on the 1963 church bombing and its aftermath.

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Alabama Special Olympics
6:30 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Special Olympics to Draw Nearly 1,000 to Troy

The Special Olympics games in Troy, AL will include swimming competitions.
Frank Couch/fcouch@al.com

Nearly 1,000 athletes with intellectual and functional disabilities and about 350 coaches and chaperons will be in Troy on May 17-19 for the Special Olympics Alabama State Games.

   Troy officials say competitions will be on the Troy University campus and at venues in Troy and Montgomery. The opening ceremony is set for 7 p.m. May 17 in Trojan Arena.

   Officials say athletes will compete in 11 sports: swimming, gymnastics, equestrian, bowling, track and field, softball, bocce, power lifting, cycling, flag football and golf.

Politics & Government
6:25 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Ala Group Dropped Tax-Exempt Bid Amid IRS Delays

Pete Riehm is chief executive of the Common Sense Campaign, based in Mobile.
Press-Register/Bill Starling

An Alabama tea party group says it gave up its bid for tax-exempt status amid what seemed like delays and unusual scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service.

   Now, the head of the group says it appears the organization was caught up in the IRS's admitted practice of targeting conservative groups.

   Pete Riehm is chief executive of the Mobile-based Common Sense Campaign. He says the IRS asked for the names of donors and their employers while considering whether the organization should be exempt from paying taxes.

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Arts & Life
5:46 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Remembering civil rights icon Rev. Nimrod Reynolds

University of Alabama

A civil rights leader from east Alabama has died.

The Anniston Star reports Monday that the Rev. Nimrod Q. Reynolds died on Sunday. He was 82.

Fifty years ago, a crowd of whites beat Reynolds as he and another man tried to enter a library to check out a book. The library and many other facilities were racially segregated at the time.

Reynolds continued working for decades to win rights for blacks in the Anniston area. He later led the Community Action Agency, a community service and anti-poverty organization.

Roads-Bridges Projects
9:10 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Road, Bridge Improvements To Aid All Counties

Governor Robert Bentley has announced plans for bridge and road improvement projects across the state.
Credit Hannah Rosen / Flickr

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has announced plans for bridge and road improvement projects across the state.

Bentley announced the improvement plans Monday and the governor's staff members say bridge safety is a top priority. Many of the 22 counties receiving money for improvement projects through the Rural Assistance Match Program have deteriorated bridges that must be replaced or rehabbed.

The rural assistance program is providing money for some of this year's projects so rural counties that may not have been able to fund the improvements would be included this year.

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Accountability Act
7:59 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Gov. Bentley Considers Change To School Accountability

Governor Bentley has indicated he may be sending changes to the Alabama Accountability Act back to legislators.
Credit blog.al.com

The schools Accountability Act, which will give tuition grants for students to transfer from failing schools, may not be in its final form.

At a chamber of commerce breakfast on Monday, Gov. Robert Bentley indicated that he is reviewing the act and is considering sending it back to the Legislature with executive amendments by mid-week.

The governor's staff confirmed that although no specific approach has been finalized, Bentley is considering some possible amendments that would clarify its intent.

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