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AEA-Dues Lawsuit
4:50 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Systems To Stop Collecting AEA Dues Under Order

Under a new court order, systems can't collect money for the Alabama Education Association after June 30 without special certification.
Credit Alabama Education Association

Alabama school systems will have to stop collecting dues for the state's largest teachers' group under a new court order.

Shelby County Circuit Judge Bill Bostick approved an agreement Thursday that means systems can't collect money for the Alabama Education Association after June 30 without special certification.

The order came in a lawsuit filed earlier this month by a Hoover woman who claimed officials were moving too slowly to implement a Republican-backed law that forbids payroll deduction to political groups.

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Birmingham-Mobile Population
4:43 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Birmingham, Mobile Post Modest Population Gains

Birmingham is one of a few of Alabama's largest cities to show a modest gain in population.

City officials in Birmingham and Mobile say new population estimates showing modest gains are important because they show growth in each case.

Al.com reports that Birmingham's net gain was barely a blip - 672 people between July 2012 and July 2013. Mobile's gain was even more modest: The city added 11 people, for a .01 percent growth rate.

The estimates were released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Both cities have struggled with declining populations for years, and both cities remain below their 2010 census populations.

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Hurricane Preparedness
4:09 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Bentley, Faulkner Discuss Storm Preparedness

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Art Faulkner say state agencies are participating in an exercise to help state workers and law enforcement agencies prepare to respond to hurricanes.
Credit http://www.ema.alabama.gov/

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Art Faulkner say state agencies are participating in an exercise to help state workers and law enforcement agencies prepare to respond to hurricanes.

Bentley and Faulkner said at a news conference in Montgomery Wednesday that the state conducts similar exercises every year, but one purpose this year is to make sure workers have not become complacent because there has not been a major hurricane in the last year or so.

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

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Prescription Drug Collection
4:00 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Drug Take-Back Nets 9,800 Pounds Of Unwanted Pills

State officials say more than 9,800 pounds of expired and unwanted prescription drugs were collected during a recent take-back event.
Credit The Javorac / Flickr

State officials say more than 9,800 pounds of expired and unwanted prescription drugs were collected during a recent take-back event.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said in a statement Wednesday that he's pleased with the public's response to prescription drug take-back day, which featured more than 100 collection sites throughout the state.

Officials say Alabama's first prescription drug take-back event was held in September of 2010. Since then, more than 34,400 pounds of unwanted or expired prescription drugs have been collected.

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Civil Rights-Interpretive Center
3:55 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Civil Rights Center To Stay At Alabama State Univ.

A civil rights interpretive center will remain on the Alabama State University campus for now, following a vote by the Montgomery City Council.
Credit meetmycollege.com

A civil rights interpretive center will remain on the Alabama State University campus for now, following a vote by the Montgomery City Council.

WAKA-TV reports that after some debate, the council voted not to reconsider the location. The station reports that the National Park Service selected ASU as the site of the center in 2011.

Montgomery City Councilman Tracy Larkin has proposed a resolution to reconsider the current location at Alabama State, favoring a site along the Selma to Montgomery March route.

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Alabama Legislator-Arrest
5:18 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Judge Hears Arguments Over Alabama Legislator

A defense lawyer is urging a judge to dismiss perjury charges against Republican state Rep. Barry Moore of Enterprise.
Credit legislature.state.al.us

A defense lawyer is urging a judge to dismiss perjury charges against Republican state Rep. Barry Moore of Enterprise.

At a court hearing Tuesday in Opelika, attorney Bill Baxley said the indictment was vague and improperly constructed. Baxley also questioned if Acting Attorney General Van Davis was legally appointed after Attorney General Luther Strange stepped aside from the case.

Moore's lawyers are seeking to dismiss the charges and to subpoena records about Strange's recusal.

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George-Lottery
5:04 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Alabama Governor Candidate Promotes Lottery Plan

Republican candidate for governor Stacy George says his state lottery proposal could produce up to $200 million annually to help five programs.
Credit Facebook

Republican candidate for governor Stacy George says his state lottery proposal could produce up to $200 million annually to help five programs.

During a news conference Tuesday in Montgomery, George said he would divide the money between volunteer fire and rescue squads, technical college scholarships, voluntary pre-kindergarten, the state General Fund, and downtown revitalization projects. He says contracts for the revitalization would have to go to companies in the communities being served, which would generate jobs in each town.

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Alabama State Trustees
4:57 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

2 Selected To Serve On ASU Board Of Trustees

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has chosen two replacements to serve on the Alabama State University Board of Trustees.
Credit asu.edu

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has chosen two replacements to serve on the Alabama State University Board of Trustees.

Bentley nominated Elmore County Schools Superintendent Jeff Langham and Regions Bank Vice President Angela McKenzie to the board on Tuesday.

Langham and McKenzie will replace two of Bentley's appointments who were blocked by the Senate Confirmation Committee in April. Bentley had initially selected Macon County Schools Superintendent Jacqueline Brooks and Tuscaloosa businessman Fitzgerald Washington for the posts.

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Newscast
5:14 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Pensions and PSC Race

APR

4:32 pm Newscast

Monday May 19, 2014

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Disaster Assistance Loans
4:11 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

More Than $1M In Loans Approved For Disaster Aid

Officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration say more than $1 million in disaster assistance loans have been approved for Alabama residents.
Credit U.S. Small Business Administration

Officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration say more than $1 million in disaster assistance loans have been approved for Alabama residents trying to recover from severe weather in late April and early May.

SBA field operations director Frank Skaggs said in a statement Monday that the department has approved 33 loans for $1,017,000 for Alabama residents trying to recover from recent storms, tornadoes and floods.

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Alabama-Pension Study
3:55 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Study: Ala. Pension Funds Could Run Out In Decade

A study says pension funds serving more than 335,000 Alabama state workers and retirees could run out of money in a decade if changes aren't made.
Credit watchdog.org

A study says pension funds serving more than 335,000 Alabama state workers and retirees could run out of money in a decade if changes aren't made.

The study released Monday was conducted by the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy State University. It says the Retirement Systems of Alabama are underfunded and rely on unrealistic expectations of 8 percent investment returns per year when calculating how much money will be available to pay future retirees.

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Tuscaloosa-Tornado Recovery
3:39 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Tuscaloosa May Tweak Rules Over Tornado Recovery

Local officials in Tuscaloosa are considering changes to local ordinances that govern rebuilding of commercial areas after the devastating tornadoes of April 2011.
Credit ci.tuscaloosa.al.us / City of Tuscaloosa

Local officials in Tuscaloosa are considering changes to local ordinances that govern rebuilding of commercial areas after the devastating tornadoes of April 2011.

The Tuscaloosa News reports Mayor Walt Maddox planned to present amendments to the city code Monday night to the Planning and Zoning Commission. One of the changes being pushed by the mayor would require businesses to hide larger trash bins from public view. Others proposals deal with design details for commercial buildings in the tornado recovery zone.

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Casino Raid
3:37 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Judge Delays Trial Over VictoryLand Casino Raid

Attorney General Luther Strange sought the delay because the gambling expert used by the attorney general's office for at least a decade died recently.
Credit americasvoiceonline.org

The judge has delayed a trial over the state attorney general's raid of VictoryLand casino in Shorter.

Attorney General Luther Strange sought the delay because the gambling expert used by the attorney general's office for at least a decade died recently. Bob Sertell died May 6 in Vineland, New Jersey, from cardiac problems.

Circuit Judge William Shashy signed an order Thursday postponing the trial from June 23 to Sept. 9 to give the attorney general time to find a new expert witness.

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Alabama Unemployment
3:30 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Alabama Unemployment Rises To 6.9 Percent

State Commerce Secretary Tom Surtees says the rise in April is due in part to how unemployment figures are seasonally adjusted.
Credit http://dir.alabama.gov / Alabama Dept. of Industrial Relations

Alabama's unemployment rate has risen for the third month.

State Commerce Secretary Tom Surtees says April's rate of 6.9 percent is up from 6.7 percent in March. That's higher than the rate a year ago of 6.5 percent.

Alabama began the year at 6.1 percent unemployment in January and then increased to 6.4 percent in February.

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Governor's Race-Prisons
4:11 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Gov. Bentley Opponent Calls For Releasing Inmates

Stacy George says if elected Governor, he would create a second parole board like Gov. Bob Riley did to expedite the parole of non-violent inmates.
Credit Facebook

A prison guard running against Gov. Robert Bentley says Alabama's prison system is at risk of a federal takeover because of severe overcrowding.

At a news conference Thursday in Montgomery, Stacy George said that if elected, he would create a second parole board like Gov. Bob Riley did to expedite the parole of non-violent inmates. George said he will ask the Legislature to repeal the habitual offender law that provides for longer sentences for repeat offenders and he will make the repeal retroactive. He says that could reduce the prison population by more than one-fourth.

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