The Associated Press


Civil Rights Trail App
8:25 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Alabama Releases Civil Rights Tourism App

The Civil Rights Trail app includes sites in several cities, including Birmingham.
Alabama Tourism Department

The Alabama Tourism Department has introduced its first app for smart phones.

State Tourism Director Lee Sentell said the app is for the Alabama Civil Rights Trail. He said it provides a convenient way for visitors to explore the people, places and events surrounding the fight for equal rights. The app includes sites in several cities, including Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma and Tuskegee. It also includes an interactive timeline and a calendar of events happening in Alabama this year.

Montgomery Planetarium
8:17 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Montgomery May Move Planetarium Downtown

Montgomery's Planetarium is managed by Troy University and has been in Oak Park since 1968.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says officials are considering moving the city's planetarium downtown to join a growing number of attractions.

The planetarium has been in Oak Park since 1968, and its equipment is outdated. The mayor said officials are considering having it join the City-County Public Library and the Children's Museum of Alabama in the $22 million Questplex building. The building is at the opposite end of Dexter Avenue from the state Capitol.

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Politics & Government
2:54 pm
Sun April 14, 2013

Governor Bentley not unopposed for GOP nomination for another term


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Gov. Robert Bentley has drawn one largely unknown opponent for the Republican nomination in 2014, and some GOP leaders say he may not draw any well-known and well-funded opponents.

Former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy Lee George has announced his candidacy. But Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey, House Speaker Mike Hubbard, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsha and former Gov. Bob Riley say they don't plan to run.

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Arts & Life
6:34 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Meat recall involves Alabama retailers


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says a Louisiana-based meat packing company has expanded a recall of meat products because of possible bacterial contamination. No illnesses have been reported

The Manda Packing Company recall announced this past week now includes 468,000 pounds of roast beef, ham, turkey breast, tasso pork, ham shanks, hog headcheese, corned beef, and pastrami.

The agriculture department said Friday the products were recalled because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.

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Politics & Government
3:45 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Supporters of "payday loan" legislation fight to keep bills alive


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Two bills that would further regulate and lower interest rates on payday loan and title pawn industries have been referred to subcommittee, a process that sometimes means death for legislation. But supporters say they remain hopeful that something will be done in the current session to make the loan transactions more consumer-friendly. The House Financial Services Committee voted after a public hearing Wednesday to send the bills to a subcommittee. Committee chairman Republican Rep.

Arts & Life
8:35 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Auburn University approves tuition hike

Auburn University

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — The Auburn University Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to approve a tuition hike. The board voted Friday to raise tuition by an average of about 4.5 percent and 8 percent at its sister school Auburn University Montgomery. Officials say record reductions in state funding and rising mandatory costs factored into the decision to increase tuition. University officials expect the tuition hike to translate to a $6 million increase in revenue and $2.4 million increase in revenue at Auburn University Montgomery next fiscal year.

Alabama Music Hall of Fame
8:34 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Alabama Music Hall of Fame Considers a Move

Alabama's Music Hall of Fame has been closed since December 2012 because of financial struggles.
Maggie Martin/APR News

The Alabama Music Hall of Fame's board of directors has given its executive director the authority to consider offers to move the attraction to Birmingham or Huntsville.

The TimesDaily reports ( ) that the Tuscumbia facility remains closed with no plans to reopen.

Executive Director Wiley Barnard said he was approached by groups interested in moving the hall of fame and at least a portion of the museum to the other Alabama cities. He would not specifically identify who approached him.

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Alabama Veterans Cemetery
8:23 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Consecration Set for Alabama Veterans Cemetery

Alabama's new Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spanish Fort.

The state Department of Veterans Affairs is planning a consecration service for Alabama's new Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spanish Fort on April 17.

A department spokesman said representatives of different religions will offer blessings and conduct rituals appropriate to their faiths during the 10 a.m. service. He said the service is in preparation for the cemetery's first interments.

Montgomery Area Transit System
8:14 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Montgomery Transit Workers Threaten to Strike

Kala Kachmar/ Montgomery Advertiser

Unionized bus drivers and mechanics with the Montgomery Area Transit System are threatening to go on strike.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports ( that wages and insurance costs are key issues in the dispute.

The workers, who are part of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 765, are taking action against First Transit, a company contracted by the city of Montgomery to operate the bus system, which is also known as MATS.

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Severe Weather
7:14 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Ala on Alert For Chance of Severe Weather

Forecasters say there's a medium risk of tornadoes, flooding and damaging winds across central Alabama today. The National Weather Service

Forecasters say there's a chance of severe weather across Alabama, and many areas already are taking precautions.

The weather service says there's a medium risk of tornadoes, flooding and damaging winds across central Alabama on Thursday, although chances are lower in the northern and southern ends of the state.

Dozens of school systems in central counties are dismissing students early as a precaution, and emergency managers are monitoring conditions in case the weather turns violent.

Education Budget
6:27 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Alabama House Oks Education Budget; Pay Hike

The Alabama House has approved a $5.7 billion dollar education budget. It now heads to the Senate.

The Alabama House has adopted a $5.7 billion budget that gives teachers and other education employees their first pay raise since 2008.

The spending plan gives public school employees a 2 percent raise. That's less than the 5 percent increase supported by Democratic lawmakers.

The budget was adopted late Wednesday after more than six hours of debate on the spending plan and a separate pay raise bill.

House members voted 62-37 against a proposed amendment by Democratic Rep. Richard Lindsey of Centre to increase the raise to 5 percent.

Alabama-Shooting Plan
4:56 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Alabama Plan Addresses Active Shooters

Ala. Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier has prepared a plan for preventing and responding to active shooters.
Credit Office of the Governor

Alabama's secretary of law enforcement has prepared a plan for preventing and responding to active shooters.

Secretary Spencer Collier says law enforcement can't predict when a person intends to kill several people, but they can be trained and prepared to decrease a potential shooter's chances of executing the crime.

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Road Repairs
4:51 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Gov. Bentley Signs Law To Fund Road Repairs

Governor Bentley signed legislation that would give even greater access to counties to participate in road and bridge projects.

Gov. Robert Bentley has signed legislation to help all counties participate in a program to repair roads and bridges.

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Birmingham Barons
8:15 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Minor League Team Opens New Birmingham Ballpark

The Birmingham Barons play their first game tonight at the new Regions Field in downtown Birmingham.
The Birmingham News

Birmingham's minor league baseball team is returning to the city after an absence of two decades.

The Birmingham Barons play their first game Wednesday night at the new, 8,500-seat Regions Field in downtown Birmingham.

The team is moving back to the city after playing its home games at a city-owned stadium in metropolitan Hoover for 20 years.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell will throw out the first pitch, and city promoters are hoping the $64 million stadium will add to a revitalization of the inner city.

Unemployment Benefits
7:58 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Alabama Losing 9 Weeks of Unemployment Benefits

State officials say Alabama is no longer eligible for the extra nine weeks of unemployment benefits. Department of Labor

Unemployment benefits for some Alabamians who have been out of work a long time are changing.

Alabamians have been able to qualify for 63 weeks of benefits, but that is being reduced by nine weeks to 54 weeks. Alabama Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said the state is no longer eligible for the extra nine weeks of federally funded benefits because the state's unemployment rate fell below 7 percent in November, December and January.