Alabama health officials investigating a cluster of respiratory illnesses say the total has increased to 10, but they are closing the investigation.
State Health Officer Don Williamson said Thursday the cases are unrelated and all have reasonable explanations. He said health officials took extraordinary caution because of two new viruses - one in China and another in the Middle East. But they found no evidence of new or unexpected viruses or bacteria in the cluster of cases in southeast Alabama.
Alabama's governor has signed legislation that expands where people can carry guns in Alabama. The bill by Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale passed the Legislature Monday, and Bentley's office announced he signed it into law Wednesday.
House Speaker Mike Hubbard said the governor's signature makes Second Amendment rights more secure.
The new law says employees can have firearms in their cars at work, and businesses can't be sued for any harm resulting from the use of those weapons.
President Barrack Obama plans to sign a bill Friday that awards the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously to the four girls killed in the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church.
Alabama Reps. Terri Sewell and Spencer Bachus sponsored the bill, which received final approval May 9. Sewell told al.com (http://bit.ly/Z0FxeP ) that some members of Alabama's congressional delegation will attend the signing ceremony at 12:15 p.m. Friday.
Also planning to attend are some family members of the four girls killed in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing.
Animal protection groups are urging Alabama's governor to sign legislation toughening the penalties for animal cruelty.
The Legislature passed a bill on the last night of its session to increase the penalty for animal cruelty from a maximum of six months in jail to a maximum of one year. The bill also adds a definition for torture that can cause the punishment to increase to a felony carrying up to 10 years in prison.
State health officials say a mysterious respiratory illness has left five people hospitalized and two dead in southeast Alabama.
In a statement, Alabama Department of Public Health spokeswoman Mary McIntyre says seven people have been admitted to hospitals with a fever, cough and shortness of breath. Two of the seven have died and McIntyre says the department and the Centers for Disease Control Respiratory Laboratory are analyzing lab tests from all seven.
Alabama's chief justice expects to lay off 150 employees after the state's new fiscal year starts Oct. 1 unless the court system gets more money than the Legislature appropriated.
Chief Justice Roy Moore says he's grateful that the General Fund signed by the governor on Monday increases the court system's appropriation by $5.6 million to $108 million for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1.
But he says that is $8.5 million short of what's needed to maintain the current staff.
In a swift-moving late-night session, the Alabama Legislature approved a bill that will put a Constitutional amendment in the hands of the voters.
If passed, the amendment would prohibit the state from recognizing laws of other states in making legal decisions if they violate the public policy of Alabama. Further, it would prohibit applying foreign law in violation of the rights of citizens.
The Alabama Legislature is making it easier to prosecute people who abuse, neglect or financially exploit senior citizens.
The House and Senate passed different versions of the bill earlier in the Senate and then agreed on the same version on Monday night shortly before the 2013 legislative session ended.
The Protecting Alabama's Elders Act was pushed by Republican Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster and Republican Rep. Paul DeMarco of Homewood. Proponents said it better defines what constitutes elder abuse and increases the penalties for the most serious offenses.
The Alabama Legislature has passed a bill making it a felony for a parent to neglect to promptly notify authorities when their child is missing or dead in response to the Caylee Anthony case in Florida.
The bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Juandalynn Givan of Birmingham, received final passage in the Senate and House Monday and now goes to the governor for his review.
The bill was inspired by Anthony, who was not reported missing for 31 days.