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Death Penalty
4:31 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Legislators Work To Speed Up Alabama Executions

Alabama legislators are showing their support for expanding Alabama's death penalty law to cover more crimes and to expedite executions by shortening appeals.
Credit Alabama.gov

Alabama legislators are showing their support for expanding Alabama's death penalty law to cover more crimes and to expedite executions by shortening appeals.

The House and Senate Judiciary Committees voted Wednesday to approve bills being pushed by Attorney General Luther Strange and the Alabama District Attorneys Association.

One bill expands Alabama's death penalty law to cover several additional crimes, including killing someone on a school campus or in a child-care center.

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Farley Nuclear Plant
3:52 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

NRC Inspecting Farley Nuclear In Southeast Ala.

Federal regulators are conducting a special inspection at Farley Nuclear Plant in southeast Alabama following an electrical failure earlier this month.
Credit nrc.gov

Federal regulators are conducting a special inspection at Farley Nuclear Plant in southeast Alabama following an electrical failure earlier this month.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says a two-member team will assess the plant, which is located at Columbia along the Chattahoochee River.

The NRC says the failure occurred during testing on electrical circuits on the plant's Unit 2 reactor.

The circuits that failed would start cooling equipment during an accident at the plant, but regulators say backup systems were available.

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Welfare Benefits
3:42 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Alabama Legislators Seek Tougher Welfare Rules

Arthur Orr is one of two state senators seeking tougher welfare rules in Alabama.
Credit arthurorr.com

Two Alabama senators are finding support for bills aimed at toughening the rules for welfare benefits, including requiring drug testing of some welfare applicants.

The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability Committee overwhelmingly approved four bills Wednesday that are sponsored by Republican Sens. Trip Pittman of Daphne and Arthur Orr of Decatur.

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Alabama Fire Deaths
3:29 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Alabama Sees Alarming Spike In Fire Deaths In 2014

19 people have died in fires across the state so far this year.
Credit Alabama Department of Insurance

Alabama fire officials say the state has seen an alarming increase in fire deaths.

19 people have died in fires across the state so far this year.

In 2012, 71 people died in Alabama fires. Only six of them died in January 2012, well below the number of people who have died so far this year.

In Jefferson County alone, seven people died in fires in the first 21 days of 2014. There were only two for the same time period last year. In all of 2013, there were 24 fire fatalities.

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Alabama Legislature
4:45 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Alabama House Reacts To IRS-Tea Party Issues

The Alabama House has voted to make it a misdemeanor crime for state or local tax officials to audit an individual or group because of their political views.

The Alabama House has voted to make it a misdemeanor crime for state or local tax officials to audit an individual or group because of their political views.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Wayne Johnson of Ryland, says it is the result of how the Internal Revenue Service handled tea party groups and similar organizations.

The bill cleared the House 74-22 Tuesday, with support coming primarily from Republicans and opposition from Democrats. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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Constitutional Convention
4:42 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Legislators Push For US Constitutional Convention

Republican legislators concerned about the federal debt are trying to set up the guidelines for Alabama to participate in a state-led constitutional convention.
Credit fox10tv.com

Republican legislators concerned about the federal debt are trying to set up the guidelines for Alabama to participate in a state-led constitutional convention.

Sens. Trip Pittman of Daphne and Arthur Orr of Decatur have introduced bills setting up how Alabama's delegates would be chosen and the limits they would operate under if there is ever a state-led constitutional convention called under Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution.

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Democrat's Agenda
4:39 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Alabama House Democrats Push Lottery, Tobacco Tax

Minority Leader Craig Ford is calling for another statewide vote for a state lottery as part of the House Democratic Caucus' legislative agenda.
Credit AP Photo/Dave Martin

Democrats in the Alabama House have announced their support for a state lottery referendum, 6 percent raise for public employees and a tobacco tax increase.

The House Democratic Caucus unveiled its agenda Tuesday. House Minority Leader Craig Ford of Gadsden says it's been 15 years since Alabama voters turned down a state lottery, and it's time for another statewide vote.

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Science Museum Expansion
4:42 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Cook's Plans $7M Expansion Of Ala. Science Museum

Cook's Pest Control announced Monday it will spend $7 million moving the museum the company opened in the 1960s to a downtown building with 35,000 square feet.
Credit Cook's Pest Control

One of the nation's largest pest control companies has big plans to expand a science museum near its Alabama headquarters.

Cook's Pest Control announced Monday it will spend $7 million moving the museum the company opened in the 1960s to a downtown building with 35,000 square feet.

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MLK Holiday-Alabama
4:34 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

MLK Holiday Draws Volunteers Across Alabama

Volunteers are turning out across Alabama to participate with service projects on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Credit americaslibrary.gov

Volunteers are turning out across Alabama to participate with service projects on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The nonprofit Hands On Birmingham expects Monday to exceed its record turnout of 1,800 volunteers last year. The group is helping coordinate more than 30 projects ranging from pulling weeds on overgrown lots to painting hallways and classrooms at a middle school.

Stephanie Willis, director of Hands On Birmingham, calls the holiday honoring the late civil rights leader "our largest day of service throughout the year."

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Tax Bills
3:53 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Alabama House Passes Republican Tax Bills

The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a slate of tax bills that are part of Republicans' election-year agenda.
Credit Alabama.gov

The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a slate of tax bills that are part of Republicans' election-year agenda.

One proposal approved Thursday would create an independent body to oversee taxpayer disputes. Current law allows the Department of Revenue to appoint administrative judges to settle disagreements. Lawmakers say that system gives the agency too much power.

Another bill would let the Revenue Department suspend tax collections if the collection cost exceeds the revenue generated.

Two other bills are aimed at small businesses.

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Open Meetings
3:45 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

New Bill Designed To Strengthen Open Meetings Law

Sen. Cam Ward is one of two republican legislators pursuing a bill to strengthen Alabama's open meetings law.
Credit camward.com

Two Republican legislators have the backing of Gov. Robert Bentley in pursuing a bill to strengthen Alabama's open meetings law.

The bill introduced by Rep. Mike Hill of Columbiana and Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster says Alabama's Open Meetings Act applies to the Legislature, legislative committees, and committees and subcommittees of governmental bodies that exchange information among a quorum of members.

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$5 Campaign Issue
4:02 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

$5 Donation Becomes Issue In Alabama Race

Five dollars has become an issue in the race for lieutenant governor.
Credit istockphoto

Five dollars has become an issue in the race for lieutenant governor.

Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey's campaign treasurer, Will Sellers, made a $5 donation Tuesday to her Republican primary opponent, Stan Cooke. Sellers sent the money through Cooke's campaign website hours after candidates for statewide office were supposed to suspend fundraising.

Cooke says it was a deliberate attempt to trap him.

Sellers says he noticed that Cooke's website was still accepting donations after the cutoff, and he decided to have some fun by making a small donation.

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Confederate Monument
3:46 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Selma Leaders Give Up Land In Monument Lawsuit

The vote ends a lawsuit that Virginia-based KTK Mining filed against the city after leaders revoked a building permit for a memorial to confederate general and former Ku Klux Klan member Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Credit http://en.wikipedia.org

The protests of Selma residents weren't enough to keep city council from voting to give a one acre tract of land at a cemetery to a chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

The Selma Times-Journal reports that city leaders decided to relinquish control of the land in a 5-4 vote while residents protested during a meeting Tuesday.

The vote ends a lawsuit that Virginia-based KTK Mining filed against the city after leaders revoked a building permit for a memorial to confederate general and former Ku Klux Klan member Nathan Bedford Forrest.

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Politics & Government
3:40 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Bentley's Budgets Would Increase Education Funding

Gov. Robert Bentley is proposing state budgets that would require most state agencies to get by next year with about the same amount they are receiving this year.
Credit governor.alabama.gov

Gov. Robert Bentley is proposing state budgets that would require most state agencies to get by next year with about the same amount they are receiving this year.

Bentley's proposals include increases for all levels of public education.

Bentley's office released his recommended budgets Tuesday, which is the second day of the Legislature's 2014 session.

Bentley's state General Fund budget for the next fiscal year would spend $1.8 billion. The biggest increase is $70 million is for Medicaid. Courts would get a small increase.

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Forever Wild
3:34 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Trust To Hold 3 Public Meetings On Forever Wild

Leaders of Alabama's Forever Wild Land Trust are holding a series of meetings to help plan the future of the program.
Credit http://alabamaforeverwild.com/ / Alabama Forever Wild

Leaders of Alabama's Forever Wild Land Trust are holding a series of meetings to help plan the future of the program.

Officials are announcing plans for three public sessions to aid in the development of a long-range plan for the program, which purchases and preserves unspoiled acreage all over the state.

The first session will be held Jan. 23 in Huntsville, followed by a meeting on Feb. 20 in Spanish Fort and a final one in Birmingham on Feb. 27.

The main goal is to plan and discuss future land acquisitions by the program.

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