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Business & Education
8:40 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Mercedes-Benz Club Holds Annual Event in Alabama

The Mercedes-Benz Club of America chose Alabama for its StarTech 2013 event.
www.automotiveaddicts.com

Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts and technical experts from across the U.S. are meeting in Alabama.

The Tuscaloosa News reports (http://bit.ly/18Thpic ) the Mercedes-Benz Club of America chose Alabama for its StarTech 2013 event, which brings together experts in Mercedes restoration, maintenance and performance for seminars and workshops. The four-day event began this weekend and runs through Tuesday.

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Politics & Government
7:02 pm
Sat May 18, 2013

Ala. Governor Seeks Votes on Delaying Tax Credits

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley
dyn.politico.com

Gov. Robert Bentley is spending the weekend trying to round up legislative support for his proposal to delay Alabama's new private school tax credits for two years.

Bentley spoke Saturday at the Alabama League of Municipalities convention in Montgomery and urged several hundred city officials to contact their legislators before the Legislature's last meeting day on Monday. Bentley said he's also contacting legislators by letter and in person.

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Arts & Life
9:28 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Outdoor Athletes Converge on Ala Park for Race

xterraplanet.com

Hundreds of athletes are converging on Alabama's largest state park for a major competition this weekend.

About 1,000 pro and amateur athletes will be at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham beginning Saturday for the XTERRA Southeast Championship.

The triathlon includes a one-mile swim, a 20-mile mountain bike ride and a 10k off-road run through woods just a few miles south of Birmingham.

This is the eighth straight year the regional competition has been held at Oak Mountain, which is considered one of the top mountain-biking destinations in the nation.

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Arts & Life
9:23 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Possible Tornado Surprises Athens

Athens fire Department checks roof damage from storm Friday afternoon at the Athens Walmart.
Bob Gathany | bgathany@al.com

An unconfirmed tornado has knocked down trees, flipped Dumpsters and damaged the roof of the nearby WalMart in Athens.

A forecaster at the National Weather Service in Huntsville said the suspected tornado started about a mile south-southeast of Athens and moved in a line toward southwest Ardmore Friday.

The unsettled weather system continued to concern forecasters as it moved north toward Tennessee.

Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson says he saw the backside of a wall cloud that had a tail. Police followed as it moved up Route 31 to Interstate 65.

Politics & Government
4:47 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Democrats Say Delay Won't Fix Alabama Tax Credits

Governor Robert Bentley isn't finding much love on either side of the aisle for his proposal to delay private school tax credits for two years.
Credit blog.al.com

Alabama's Republican governor isn't getting support from key Republicans or Democrats for his proposal to delay private school tax credits for two years.

The Republican architect of the tax credits, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, says a delay isn't needed.

The Senate Democratic Caucus and House Minority Leader Craig Ford say the tax credits should be repealed rather than delayed.

But Bentley is persisting. He sent a letter to legislators Friday and is contacting legislators urging them to support a delay when they wrap up the 2013 legislative session on Monday.

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Campaign Finance
4:42 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Sponsor Says Still Work To Do On Campaign Finance Bill

A key House Republican says lawmakers have more work to do before settling on final changes to Alabama campaign finance laws.
Credit fox10tv.com

A key House Republican says lawmakers have more work to do before settling on final changes to Alabama campaign finance laws.


But Rep. Mike Ball of Madison says he doesn't want to give in on House GOP proposals concerning political contributions by corporations and utilities, including the influential Alabama Power Co.

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Alabama Unemployment
8:56 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Alabama Unemployment Drops to 6.9 Percent

Alabama's unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in April.
www.aim.org

Alabama's unemployment rate has dipped to 6.9 percent.

Politics & Government
8:33 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Marsh to Block Plan to Delay School Tax Credits

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh wants to block Governor Bentley from delaying the private school tax credits by two years.
alprotem.com

The architect of Alabama's new private school tax credits intends to block the governor's proposal to delay the tax breaks for two years.

   Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh of Anniston said families of children trapped in failing schools need the option of school choice now. Marsh said Thursday he intends to block the governor's proposal, either by getting the Legislature to reject it or never bringing it up for a vote.

   The new law provides tax credits for parents who send their children to private schools rather than public schools rated as failing.

Hangout Festival
8:15 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Hangout Fest Opens Friday in Gulf Shores

The 3rd annual Hangout Festival opens today in Gulf Shores.
bandsthatjam.com

It's a big weekend for live music on the Alabama coast.

   The third annual Hangout Festival opens Friday on the public beach in Gulf Shores.

   Organizers say three-day festival passes are sold out, but single-day tickets are still available.

   Started during the BP oil spill in 2010, the Hangout Festival provides the coastal tourism industry with a big jumpstart on beach season.

   Acts this year include Kings of Leon, Stevie Wonder and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Arts & Life
8:17 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Miss America Visiting Ala Hometown

Mallory Hagan grew up in Lee County, but moved to New York City and was representing the state of New York when she was crowned Miss America.
The Associated Press

Miss America is paying a visit to her hometown in east Alabama.

   Mallory Hagan will tour Opelika on Thursday. Her stop includes a sold-out luncheon and an evening reception.

   The Opelika-Auburn News (http://bit.ly/13yTRNp ) reports Hagan met with local leaders include school board members on Wednesday.

   Hagan says it's wonderful to be part of a community where everyone is on her side.

Politics & Government
7:17 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Alabama Governor: Budgets Basically Look Fine

Governor Bentley says the state education and general fund budgets are basically fine.
yellowhammerpolitics.com

Gov. Robert Bentley says his first impression of the state education and state general fund budgets is that they are basically fine.

   Bentley said Wednesday it appears legislators put some pork projects into the budgets and he's still reviewing a few items. But he sad he hasn't seen any major problems yet.

Private School Tax Credits
5:10 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Gov. Bentley Wants 2-Year Delay On Tax Credits

Gov. Robert Bentley wants the Legislature to delay Alabama's private school tax credits for two years.
Credit The Associated Press


Gov. Robert Bentley wants the Legislature to delay Alabama's private school tax credits for two years.


Bentley told chamber of commerce leaders Wednesday that a delay will give schools time to try to get off the failing list and will help the state repay a $423 million debt before the tax credits begin.


House Speaker Mike Hubbard and Senate leader Del Marsh says they will discuss Bentley's proposal with their members.

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Water Wars
5:01 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Ga. Avoids Limit On Reservoir Use Sought By Ala. In Senate Bill

Georgia avoided a limit to access to two reservoirs including Lake Lanier. Alabama and Florida were both seeking restriction to the water.
Credit http://www.sam.usace.army.mil/lanier/ / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

A water plan passed by the U.S. Senate will not limit Georgia's water use from two federal reservoirs, a restriction sought by lawmakers in Alabama and Florida.


The Senate voted 83-14 on Wednesday to approve legislation authorizing a number of water projects nationally.


A long-running water dispute in the Southeast provoked a political clash over the bill.

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Politics & Government
8:13 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Chilton County Looks to Build New Hospital

Chilton County's hospital closed several months ago. County officials are exploring funding methods for a new hospital.
chiltonmedicalcenter.net

Chilton County commissioners and the Clanton hospital board met Tuesday to explore funding methods for a new hospital.

   The commission has raised $1 million that they thought would work to reopen the hospital that closed seven months ago. When that was deemed unfeasible, they looked toward building a new facility.

   Chilton County residents are frustrated about the length time they must do without a local medical center.

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Alabama Civil Rights Movement
6:37 am
Wed May 15, 2013

FBI, Civil Rights Leaders Meet on 50th Anniversary

FBI officials and civil rights leaders will talk about violations of the nation's civil rights laws at a conference held at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.
en.wikipedia.org

Birmingham's FBI office and the Civil Rights Institute will examine violations of the nation's civil rights laws at its annual public conference on civil rights and law enforcement.

   "Fifty Years Forward-Toward Progress and Partnership" will be held at the 16th Street Baptist Church May 19 and 20. The church was bombed 50 years ago. Rev. Carolyn McKinstry and FBI agents will share perspectives on the 1963 church bombing and its aftermath.

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