More than 25 Fourth of July celebrations and fireworks shows are planned across Alabama.
The Alabama Tourism Department says the events include the Spirit of America at Point Mallard in Decatur, the Thunder on the Mountain fireworks show at Vulcan in Birmingham, and Independence Day 1776 at the American Village in Montevallo.
Fireworks shows will stretch from Gulf Shores on the coast to Athens in the Tennessee Valley and from Demopolis in west Alabama to Auburn in east Alabama.
City leaders in Gulf Shores have voted to conduct a study to gauge the economic impact of the Hangout Music Festival.
WALA-TV reports (http://bit.ly/14VPM6v ) the mayor and city council voted unanimously Monday night to spend $12,500 on a six-week study that will compare the cost of hosting the event with lodging and sales tax revenue the festival generates.
The city has hosted the three-day, beachfront festival for four years and officials say they want an independent examination of its impact on the city.
Alabama's Republican agriculture commissioner, John McMillan, is getting ready to kick off his re-election campaign.
McMillan said he will announce his candidacy for a second term Tuesday at a meeting of the Alabama Agribusiness Council in Gulf Shores. McMillan is returning to his home county of Baldwin for the announcement.
The Mobile County Commission is hoping to meet with officials from a company planning to build a crude-oil pipeline to address concerns over its proposed proximity to Big Creek Lake.
AL.com reports (http://bit.ly/12lxI0d ) Mobile Area Water and Sewer System Director Charles Hyland told commissioners during a meeting Monday the proposed Plains Southcorp pipeline is expected to come within 3,000 feet of the lake - which provides drinking water for the Mobile area.
Alabama's voluntary pre-kindergarten program is expected to see a roughly 40 percent increase thanks to increased funding.
Commissioner of the Department of Children's Affairs, Jeana Ross, told AL.com (http://bit.ly/12lVDg7) Monday that grant funding has helped state officials to form pre-kindergarten programs at 93 new schools.
New agriculture statistics prepared for Alabama counties reveal that agriculture, forestry and related industries have an annual economic impact in Alabama of $70.4 billion.
The study was conducted by Auburn University and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. It shows that the Alabama counties that receive the greatest economic impact from agriculture are Mobile, Cullman and DeKalb.
The election to replace outgoing Secretary of State Beth Chapman is turning into a contest.
Crenshaw County Probate Judge Jim Perdue has joined state Rep. John Merrill of Tuscaloosa in the Republican primary. Former Montgomery County Probate Judge Reese McKinney says he plans to run as a Republican and will kick off his campaign in a few days.
Alabama has moved up one spot to 44th in the Kids Count national rankings.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation released the Kids Count data book Monday. Alabama showed improvements in children's health and education between 2005 and 2011. The teen birth rate declined and the rate of high school students not graduating in four years also declined.
Allegations of inmate abuse at Alabama's female prison and an inmate being beaten to death at a male prison have pointed to a lack of security cameras in state prisons.
Testimony in a federal court trial in Montgomery has noted the lack of cameras to record what happened on the night inmate Rocrast Mack was beaten and stomped at Ventress Correctional Facility in Clayton. Allegations of inmate abuse at Tutwiler Prison for Women led to a federal report pointing out the need for cameras. The Legislature voted recently to fund cameras for Tutwiler.
The Women's Indoor Football League is planning to host a tryout in Birmingham to fill rosters for its teams there, in Montgomery and Atlanta.
Ray Blanchette, CEO of Blanchette Sports Holdings, tells the Montgomery Advertiser (http://on.mgmadv.com/11xzlN9) the Women's Indoor Football League is meant to give women the opportunity to play the sport at a professional level as an alternative to the Lingerie Football League.
Organizers of Rock the South, a two-day country music festival, have signed a contract to keep the concert in Cullman for the next five years.
Cullman Mayor Max Townson tells WBMA-TV (http://bit.ly/10c6BIy ) the city will likely conduct an economic impact study on the festival. Townson also praised the festival's organizers for making contributions to local organizations, including Children's Hospital in Birmingham.