The Associated Press

Pages

Gun Control
5:27 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Ala. Senate Considers Bill Relaxing Gun Control

The Alabama Senate has started a debate on easing some of the state's gun restrictions.
Credit Mike Saechang / Flickr

The Alabama Senate has started a debate on easing some of the state's gun restrictions.


The Senate voted 26-7 Thursday to consider the bill, which was an indication of its support. The bill by Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale would allow workers to keep guns locked in their vehicles while at their jobs, and would allow people to get a lifetime permit to keep guns in their vehicles all the time.


The bill is supported by the National Rifle Association and opposed by some sheriffs and the Business Council of Alabama.

Read more
State Computers Hacked
5:02 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Hackers Got Personal Info From State Computers

Some state employees and vendors are being notified that hackers accessed their personal information.
Credit istockphoto

Some state employees and vendors who do business with the state are being notified that their personal information was accessed when hackers infiltrated a state computer system.


The state Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday that it was making the notifications, but wouldn't say how many state employees or vendors were affected. The department says the hackers accessed personal information such as names, Social Security numbers and taxpayer identification numbers, but they didn't access taxpayer records or tax returns.

Read more
Aviation Jobs
4:27 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Alabama Legislature Limits Aircraft Lawsuits

The Alabama Legislature has passed a bill designed to attract Airbus suppliers to the state.
Credit Airbus

The Alabama Legislature has passed legislation designed to attract Airbus suppliers to the state.


The Senate gave final approval to the bill 27-0 Thursday and sent it to the governor, who endorsed it. The bill limits lawsuits against a plane's manufacturer and suppliers to causes of action arising within 12 years after a plane is delivered. It applies only to commercial planes with at least 100 seats.

Read more
Bidding Public Buildings
4:23 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Bill To Allow No-Bid Construction Projects Stopped

A bill that would have allowed the construction of public buildings without going through the traditional competition with sealed bids has been stopped in the Ala. Senate.
Credit Jay Williams / Flickr

An Alabama Senate committee has stopped a bill that would have allowed the construction of public buildings without going through the traditional competition with sealed bids.


The chairman of the Senate Commerce, Transportation and Utilities Committee got his committee to vote Thursday to carry over indefinitely the bill that would create a new option for constructing public buildings. Chairman Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa said the construction industry was too divided over the bill, and the committee decided not to get involved.

Read more
Alabama Medicaid
8:10 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Joint Session Hears Public on Medicaid Overhaul

A joint session of the Alabama legislature heard a recap of bills intended to provide major changes to the way Medicaid is administered in the state.


Dr. Don Williamson, state health officer, says if the bill passes, eight or so regional care organizations would assume financial risk in exchange for set payments for patient care.


"We are creating a community based care system that moves from a `fee for service/state bears risk' model to a capitated model that puts a third party at risk," he told the group.

Read more
Gun Control Legislation
7:17 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Ala. Senate to Consider Bill Relaxing Gun Control

Leaders of the Alabama Senate say they expect to consider a bill easing some of Alabama's gun restrictions.


The bill by Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale is on the Senate's proposed work agenda for Thursday. The bill is supported by the National Rifle Association and opposed by some sheriffs and the Business Council of Alabama.


It would allow people to carry a pistol in their car without getting a pistol permit, and it would allow people to keep guns locked in their vehicles at work.

Scottsboro Boys Pardon
6:55 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Ala. House Plans Vote on Scottsboro Boys Pardon

Attorney Samuel Leibowitz sitting with Haywood Patterson with his good luck horseshoe. Patterson was one of the nine young black men convicted of raping two white women.
law2.umkc.edu

The Alabama House is to vote on final passage of a bill to clear the names of the Scottsboro Boys.


The action comes more than 80 years after the nine young black men were convicted by all-white juries of raping two white women. Legislation allowing the state parole board to issue the pardons posthumously is scheduled to be first up in the House Thursday.


The bill passed the Senate by a 29-0 vote.

Read more
Abortion Bill
4:44 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Gov. Robert Bentley To Sign Abortion Bill

Governor Robert Bentley is expected to sign legislation mandating stricter abortion clinic standards Thursday.
Credit governor.alabama.gov

Alabama's governor says he plans to sign legislation mandating stricter abortion clinic standards like Mississippi has done.


Opponents say Alabama's legislation will be challenged in court like Mississippi's.


The Republican-led House and Senate approved the bill Tuesday night, mostly along party lines. It now goes to Gov. Robert Bentley. He said Thursday he plans to sign it after his lawyers make sure there have been no unanticipated changes from the bill he endorsed early in the legislative session.

Read more
Abortion Rally
5:17 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Rally Against Abortion Clinic Bill Draws 200

A rally at the capitol today drew both protestors and supporters of an abortion clinic regulation bill.
Credit Julie Bennett / al.com

A rally to defeat a bill that would impose restrictive rules for Alabama's abortion clinics drew advocates to the Statehouse steps on Tuesday.


Organizers from Planned Parenthood and several Democratic legislators spoke to a crowd of about 200 people urging defeat of HB57. Several speakers asserted that by imposing more restrictions on women's health clinics, the legislature is attempting to limit access to constitutionally guaranteed abortion care.

Read more
School Safety Bill
5:07 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Bill To Allow Armed School Volunteers Re-Filed

A bill to allow armed school volunteers in Franklin County schools has been re-filed.

A school superintendent visited the Alabama Statehouse to plead for passage of a re-filed bill that would allocate state funds for armed guards in his schools.


Franklin County Schools Superintendent Gary Williams Tuesday expressed fear that students who are familiar with guns will come to school armed for protection. He says school officials are anxious because the district's rural schools in northwest Alabama are about 30 minutes from sheriff's officials.

Read more
Chapman's Future
5:01 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Ala. Sec. Of State Won't Run In 2014

Secretary of State Beth Chapman won't seek office in 2014.
Credit sos.alabama.gov

Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman says she won't seek any position in next year's election and will take a sabbatical from elective office.


Chapman has served two terms in her current office and could not seek a third term. She had been mentioned as a contender for higher office, possibly including governor, but she said Tuesday she wants to take a break to pursue entrepreneurial ideas and business opportunities. She said she will support Republican Gov. Robert Bentley for re-election.

Read more
Tuscaloosa Co. Superintendent
7:34 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Finalists Vie for Superintendent in Tuscaloosa Co.

Elizabeth Swinford, superintendent of the Vicksburg Warren School District in Mississippi, is one of 5 finalists for Tuscaloosa County superintendent.
vwsd.k12.ms.us Vicksburg Warren School District

Tuscaloosa County school board members plan to interview five finalists for superintendent by next week.


Kendy Behrends, a consultant with the Alabama Association of School Boards, which conducted the search, identified the finalists at Monday's school board meeting.


The Tuscaloosa News reports (http://bit.ly/10unlZ1) that finalists include:


—Walter Davie, the deputy superintendent of the Tuscaloosa County School System.


—Valya Lee, an executive consultant for EducTrax who has been superintendent of Twiggs County Schools in Georgia.

Read more
2013 Legislative Session
6:55 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Alabama Legislature Back From Spring Break

The Alabama Legislature is returning from its spring break and beginning the second half of its 2013 session.

The House Ways and Means-Education Committee has scheduled a public hearing on the state education budget for Tuesday morning. The House has a proposed work agenda Tuesday afternoon that includes a bill to legalize home brewing of beer and wine.

Alabama Traffic Deaths
5:55 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Seatbelts Not Worn In 59 Percent Of Car Fatalities

Alabama Highway Patrol traffic statistics show that seatbelts weren't worn in 59 percent of traffic fatalities in 2012
Credit Press-Register/Mike Kittrell

Alabama Department of Transportation officials say more than half of the people killed in car crashes last year were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.


State officials Monday released a report based on preliminary data from the Alabama State Troopers indicating that 59 percent of people who died in traffic accidents in 2012 were not wearing seatbelts.

Read more
School Security
8:01 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Survey: Ala. Teachers Support Having Armed Guards

A new survey of Alabama teachers finds that a majority of them support having armed security officers in their schools.

The same survey found that teachers who responded said they oppose allowing administrators and teachers having guns in school.


Al.com reports (http://bit.ly/14zGVZr) that the survey was conducted by the Capital Survey Research Center, the polling arm of the Alabama Education Association.

Read more

Pages