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Science & Health
6:27 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Mysterious Illness Kills 2 in Southeast Alabama

State health officials say the CDC is analyzing lab tests from all seven infected by the mysterious illness.
gawker.com

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.

Voting Rights Center
7:22 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Alabama State To host Voting Rights Center

A new facility at Alabama State University will be home to the last stop on the route memorialized as the Voting Rights Trail.
Credit meetmycollege.com

The board of the Alabama Public Historical Sites and Parks Improvement Corporation has authorized $1.2 million in bond money for a landmark voting rights center in the capitol city.

A new facility at Alabama State University will be home to the last stop on the route memorialized as the Voting Rights Trail, officials said Tuesday.

Finance Director Marquita Davis told Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey and House Speaker Mike Hubbard the center had been funded in 2001, but the project didn't get off the ground.

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State Boards
7:12 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

More Than 70 Confirmations Die At Session's End

Governor Robert Bentley is exploring his options after 70 nominations to state boards died without a vote.
Credit governor.alabama.gov

When the Legislature adjourned Monday just before midnight, more than 70 nominations to state boards died without a vote.

The affected bodies range from university governing boards to the state environmental management board and the Real Estate Commission.

Of the pending nominations, 56 were from Gov. Robert Bentley, while another 14 came from legislative leaders or self-perpetuating boards.

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Budget-Courts
7:07 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Ala. Courts Facing Layoffs Without Extra Money

Chief Justice Roy Moore says latest budget not enough to stop layoffs.
Credit Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press

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.

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Proposed Amendment
7:01 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Ballot Question Could Add Foreign Law Protections

Alabama voter will get to decide if they want to prohibit the state from recognizing laws of other states in making legal decisions if they violate the public policy of Alabama.

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.

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Politics & Government
7:54 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Alabama Governor Signs Both State Budgets

Ala. Governor Robert Bentley has signed the state's education and general fund budgets into law.
governor.alabama.gov

Gov. Robert Bentley has signed the state General Fund budget and state education budget into law.

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Politics & Government
7:39 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Alabama Legislature Targets Elder Abuse

New legislation makes it easier to prosecute people who abuse, neglect or financially exploit senior 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.

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Politics & Government
6:43 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Ala. Legislature Responds to Caylee Anthony Case

New legislation makes it a felony for a parent to neglect to promptly notify authorities when their child is missing or dead. It's in response to the Caylee Anthony case in Florida.
www.forbes.com

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.

Politics & Government
6:36 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Alabama Governor Offers Help to Oklahoma

Tiffany Bauman comforted a dying dog that was injured by the tornado in Moore, Okla.
Nick Oxford for The New York Times

Alabama's governor says the state stands ready to help Oklahoma recover from a deadly tornado.

Private School Tax Credits
7:30 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Ala. Legislature Rejects Bentley's 2-Year-Delay

The Republican majority in the Alabama Legislature has handed the Gov. Robert Bentley a major defeat by rejecting his proposal to delay the start of private school tax credits for two years.
Credit State of Alabama

The Republican majority in the Alabama Legislature has handed the Republican governor a major defeat by rejecting his proposal to delay the start of private school tax credits for two years.

The House voted against the governor's proposal 57-10 Monday. Then the Senate agreed 19-15 at the urging of the architect of the tax credits, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh. Republicans provided the decisive votes.

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School Security
7:24 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Alabama Schools Get Authority To Hire Security

The state Legislature has authorized city and county school systems to hire armed security guards to protect students.
Credit Trent Moore/The Cullman Times

The Alabama Legislature has authorized city and county school systems to hire armed security guards to protect students.

The Senate voted 21-0 Monday to go along with changes the House made to a school security bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Dick Brewbaker of Montgomery. The bill now goes to the governor for review.

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Borrowing Millions
7:19 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Bond Issue Approved For Alabama Schools

Murphy High School is one of the many tornado-damaged schools that the bond issue will help.
Credit G.M. Andrews/AP Photo

The Alabama Legislature has approved selling bonds to borrow $30 million to repair tornado-damaged schools.

The Senate voted 26-6 Monday afternoon to give final passage to the bond legislation. The bill now goes to the governor for his review.

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Democrats-Medicaid
4:43 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Alabama Democrats Fail In Expanding Medicaid

Vivian Davis Figures, leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus, says the failure to expand Medicaid and the passage of the Alabama Accountability Act made this the worst legislative session she can remember.
Credit AP Photo/Dave Martin

Democrats in the Alabama Legislature failed to achieve their top goal for the 2013 session.


When the session began in February, Democratic legislators said their No. 1 goal was expanding Alabama's Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act. But they conceded on the session's last day Monday that their goal had failed. A bill to expand the program drew opposition from Gov. Robert Bentley and never went anywhere.

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Private School Tax Credits
4:28 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Alabama House Rejects Bentley's 2-Year-Delay On Tax Credits

The Ala. House has rejected Governor Robert Bentley's proposal to delay private school tax credits for two years.
Credit fox10tv.com


The Alabama House has rejected Gov. Robert Bentley's proposal to delay private school tax credits for two years.


The House voted 57-10 Monday to reject the governor's proposal. Now the proposal goes to the Senate on the last meeting day of the legislative session.

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Arts & Life
8:23 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Dothan Museum Hosts Exhibit of World War II Images

Major (Retired) Edward B. Ledford looks over photographs during the opening of an exhibition of WWII photos from Associated Press photographers at the Wiregrass Museum of Art.
Jay Hare/Dothan Eagle

A new exhibit at a southeast Alabama museum includes dozens of photographs from World War II.

   The exhibit, "Memories of World War II Photographs from the Archives of The Associated Press," will be on display at the Wiregrass Museum in Dothan now through July 14.

   The Dothan Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/14nBr1z) that the museum becomes one of more than 20 museums throughout the U.S. that have shown the exhibit since it originally opened to the public on May 24, 2004, at Washington's Union Station.

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