A civil rights group that tracks extremist groups warns that President Obama's tenure and the gun control debate after the Connecticut school shooting have led to surging numbers of anti-government "patriot" groups.
The Southern Poverty Law Center on Tuesday reported the rising numbers as it released its annual report on extremist groups.
The number of patriot groups, one category of extremist organizations tracked by the center, has risen dramatically over the past four years, from 149 groups in 2008 to 1,360 today.
Parents and teachers are expressing concerns about plans to close seven schools and lay off 133 workers in Birmingham City Schools.
At a Monday night meeting, community members said they feared the consequences of one aspect of the plan: Consolidating some seventh- and eighth-grade students with high school students.
Stephannie Huey says she's taught at the middle school and high school level, and doesn't think the two groups will mix well. She said middle school students would be exposed to more sexual activity, drugs and cigarettes.
Gov. Robert Bentley is ready to sign legislation providing tax credits to parents who move their children from failing public schools to private schools.
Republicans in the Legislature passed the bill on a party-line vote Thursday night, but the Legislature can't officially deliver the bill to the governor until Tuesday afternoon. Bentley says he will sign it after getting it. He calls it one of the best pieces of legislation passed in years.
The Alliance for School Choice says Alabama with become the 12th state with a tax credit program.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he believes the ultimate solution to the school safety issue rests with law enforcement.
The governor Monday addressed the opening session of a two-day seminar on school safety at a Montgomery hotel. Bentley, legislators and education officials have been discussing how to keep schools safe since the December shootings at a Connecticut elementary school.
Several Alabama legislators are proposing bills to place restrictions on payday and title loans, including capping the interest rates.
Legislators say their bills would limit annual interest rates at 36 percent. The loans can now have annualized rates of 456 percent on payday loans and 300 percent on title loans.
Democrat Ron Scott of Fairfield says he's optimistic about passage because the bills have a broad range of support, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, NAACP, AARP and Arise Citizens' Policy Project.
Vice President Joe Biden said nothing shaped his consciousness more than seeing TV footage of voting rights marchers being beaten by state troopers on Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965.
Biden traveled to Selma on Sunday to participate in the Bridge Crossing Jubilee. The event commemorates the 1965 march, which prompted Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act and add millions of African-Americans to Southern voter rolls.
An Alabama casino has won its bid for an expanded liquor license.
The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board says it could not conclude that specific gaming and machines at VictoryLand are illegal. The panel says that question would be up to the courts to decide.
Attorney General Luther Strange believes the ABC decision is moot following a state Supreme Court ruling that the machines don't resemble the game of bingo. Strange said the opinion should end debate about whether electronic bingo is legal.
The Birmingham school board is planning a series of community meetings before it votes on a plan to close seven city schools.
The meetings have been scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. A state takeover of the school district's finances has resulted in a plan to save $8 million by shedding 133 jobs and closing seven schools.
Eleven other schools would be reconfigured, and a proposal for two schools to teach grades seven through 12 has already proven controversial with some school board members.
Alabama motorists would have to move over for garbage trucks — as they currently do for emergency vehicles — under legislation being considered in the Legislature.
A bill by Republican Rep. Mac McCutcheon of Capshaw called "Move Over Alabama" is expected to be considered in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee Wednesday. Similar legislation by Republican Sen. Dick Brewbaker of Montgomery has cleared a Senate committee.
A congressional delegation headed to the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma will spend Saturday in Montgomery.
The delegation led by Rep. John Lewis of Georgia will conduct a wreath-laying ceremony at the Civil Rights Memorial at 11:30 a.m. A spokesman said it will honor people slain during the civil rights movement.
Members of Congress dabbed away tears while visiting the spot where former Gov. George Wallace made his "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door" against racial integration at the University of Alabama 50 years ago. Representatives and senators making a civil rights pilgrimage attended a campus commemoration on Friday.
They included Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, an Alabama native. He and others wiped away tears as Wallace's daughter, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, talked about her father never discussing the event with her before his death.
The governor says running over his own education allies was worth it to get tax credits to help children in failing public schools transfer to private schools.
Gov. Robert Bentley says he and other Republican leaders didn't tell the state school superintendent and other education leaders that they were planning to expand a school flexibility bill into a tax credit bill because they would have opposed it. School Superintendent Tommy Bice says the final product caught him by surprise and it was not the school flexibility bill that he had endorsed.