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Politics & Government
9:20 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Ala. Governor Reinstating Merit

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is reinstating merit raises starting January 1, 2014.
dyn.politico.com

Alabama state employees are going to get their first raises in five years.

   Gov. Robert Bentley says he plans to reinstate merit raises starting Jan. 1. State employees got their last merit raises and cost-of-living raises in late 2008. There have been none since then because the recession affected state tax collections.

   Bentley signed a letter saying state employees have been asked to do more with less for several years, and it's time to resume merit raises. They can be up to 5 percent annually for meritorious performance.

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Arts & Life
9:14 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Crews Cleaning Up After Storms in North Alabama

Workers are cleaning up after strong storms caused scattered damage in north Alabama.

   Utilities workers from Huntsville were clearing streets Tuesday after overnight storms left damage in the Gurley area.

   In Athens, officials say more than 2,000 electric customers lost power because of storms with high winds on Monday.

   Forecasters say more rain is possible, and storms could be strong in central and south Alabama.

Business & Education
8:25 am
Tue June 18, 2013

School Volunteers to be Checked for Sex Offenders

The Tuscaloosa City Board of Education is considering a new policy that would require guests and volunteers to undergo a sex offender registry check.
http://www.abc3340.com

The Tuscaloosa City Board of Education is set to vote on a new school guest and volunteer policy that would require visitors at Tuscaloosa City Schools to undergo a sex offender registry check.

   The Tuscaloosa News reports (http://bit.ly/14HGBqi ) that the proposal up for a vote Tuesday would also require that some volunteers be subject to a full criminal background check before they can work with students.

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Politics & Government
8:21 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Southern GOP Leaders Meeting in Alabama

Alabama Republican Chairman Bill Armistead says GOP leaders from 10 Southern states are meeting in Alabama.
blog.al.com

Republican leaders from 10 Southern states are meeting in Alabama to plan strategies for making new GOP inroads across the region.

   Alabama Republican Chairman Bill Armistead says the two-day meeting of state party chairs and executive directors concludes Tuesday in Birmingham.

   Party leaders hope to retain all their current U.S. Senate seats and pick up six new ones, which would allow the GOP to take control of the Senate.

Business & Education
8:13 am
Tue June 18, 2013

State to Release List of Schools Failing in Ala

The state is releasing the names of schools that are failing under a new Alabama law that lets parents receive tax credits for sending their children to a better school.

   State Superintendent Tommy Bice holds a news conference in Montgomery on Tuesday morning to make the names public.

   The schools are being labeled as failing under the Alabama Accountability Act, passed by the state's Republican-controlled Legislature this year.

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Business & Education
8:05 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Carnival Files Suit Against Ala. Ship Repair Firm

After three months in Mobile the disabled Carnival Triumph headed back out to sea.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection / Flickr

The Carnival Corp. has filed a lawsuit seeking more than $12 million in damage its cruise ship, Triumph, sustained in an early April windstorm.

   AL.com reports (http://bit.ly/18Til8K ) the company filed the lawsuit last week and argues mooring equipment being used by BAE Systems was defective. The ship broke free of its mooring during a storm that packed winds of over 60 mph and killed a dock worker.

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Politics & Government
7:47 am
Tue June 18, 2013

New Alabama Medicaid Districts Unveiled

Acting Medicaid Director State Health Officer Don Williamson.
al.com

Alabama Medicaid officials have divided the state into five districts under a new care management plan that's supposed to streamline the system.

   The Legislature earlier this year approved a reorganization of Medicaid into districts around the state. State Health Officer Don Williamson, the acting Medicaid director, said it was difficult to decide how to divide the counties, and added that some counties could be shifted before the map is finalized Oct. 1.

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Politics & Government
7:47 am
Tue June 18, 2013

New Alabama Medicaid Districts Unveiled

Acting Medicaid Director State Health Officer Don Williamson.
al.com

Alabama Medicaid officials have divided the state into five districts under a new care management plan.

   The Legislature earlier this year approved a reorganization of Medicaid into districts around the state. Acting Medicaid Director State Health Officer Don Williamson says it was difficult to decide how to divide the counties, and added that some counties could be shifted before the map is finalized Oct. 1.

Business & Education
8:28 am
Mon June 17, 2013

UNA to Implement Fee for Dual Enrollment Program

High school students looking to earn college credit at UNA will have to pay a $100 per course fee.
en.wikipedia.org

High school students looking to earn college credit through a University of North Alabama program will now have to pay to participate.

   School officials recently approved instituting a $100 per course fee for high school students working to earn college credits. The dual enrollment program initially offered free courses, but university officials say the program has grown more than administrators anticipated.

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Politics & Government
8:23 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Etowah Co. Officials Hosting Elder Abuse Forum

Etoway County officials are hosting the 8th annual Elder Abuse Awareness Day Summit.
www.southerncaliforniadefenseblog.com

Etowah County officials are preparing to host a conference focusing on elder abuse and financial exploitation of seniors.

   The eighth annual Elder Abuse Awareness Day summit is set for Wednesday morning at the Senior Activity Center in Gadsden.

   Jon Costa, of the Council on Aging of Etowah County, tells the Gadsden Times (http://bit.ly/13LpPp3) more than 200 cases of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation in Etowah County are reported to the Department of Human Resources each year.

Arts & Life
8:17 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Shoals Area Sees Bump in Annual Tourism

Colbert Tourism Director Susann Hamlin said her county's 2012 numbers have grown
quadcitiesdaily.com

State tourism officials say lodging revenue in Colbert and Lauderdale counties in 2012 was $1.1 million - up by about $30,000 from 2011.

   The TimesDaily of Florence reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/16v0eBO ) that state tourism officials said the increase in lodging revenue was part of a nearly $303 million impact tourists had on the shoals area of northern Alabama last year.

   The total includes money spent on hotels, restaurants, entertainment, retail shopping, admissions to attractions and tourist events.

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Politics & Government
9:56 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Ala. Offering Food Safety Training

www.food-safetycertificate.co.uk

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System is offering food safety training to producers who sell at farmers markets.

Officials say the goal is to prevent outbreaks of foodborne illness.

Auburn University professor Jean Weese studies food safety. She said even one outbreak traced back to a farmers market can undermine years of effort that goes into building a customer base.

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Arts & Life
5:29 pm
Sat June 15, 2013

Montgomery to Dedicate Park to Wright Brothers

Orville and Wilbur Wright
en.wikipedia.org

Montgomery officials hope the heroics of American aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright will help boost the city's image.

The famous brothers spent less than a year in Montgomery in 1910 running the nation's first civilian flight school.

The Wright brothers weren't in Montgomery long, but they left a lasting legacy in Alabama's capital city. Julie Hedgepeth Williams, author of a book about the brothers' time there, said Maxwell Air Force Base can trace its beginnings to the Wrights' Montgomery stint.

Politics & Government
8:14 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Alabama Governor Headed to Paris Air Show

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is heading to the Paris Air Show.
yellowhammerpolitics.com

Gov. Robert Bentley is headed to the Paris Air Show after he helps kick off peach season in Chilton County.

   Bentley will join state and local leaders at the Durbin Farms Market in Clanton at 11 a.m. Friday. Spokesman Jeremy King says the governor will leave later in the day for Paris on an industry-recruiting trip. King says the governor will be building relationships with companies and trying to get jobs for Alabama. One focus will be recruiting suppliers for the Airbus aircraft assembly plant scheduled for construction in Mobile.

Business & Education
9:02 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Ala. Company Issues Recall for Beef Jerky

Alabama-based Hickory Hollow Jerky issued a recall for about 1,800 pounds of beef jerky.
http://www.hickoryhollowjerky.com

An Alabama-based company has issued a recall for about 1,800 pounds of beef jerky, saying the products are misbranded and don't include information about an allergen.

   United States Department of Agriculture officials said Wednesday that products manufactured by Eufaula-based Hickory Hollow Jerky, LLC contain Worcestershire sauce and anchovy paste. Officials say fish is a known allergen and should be listed on the product's labels.

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