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Alabama Turkey Season
6:25 am
Wed May 8, 2013

State Panel Reverses Turkey Season Decision

Turkey hunters will be able to hunt during the fall after a state panel reversed its decision.
thesouthernlandbrokers.com

A state panel has reversed its decision to close fall turkey season in Alabama after hearing complaints from hunters.

The Daily Home of Talladega (http://bit.ly/ZNNJQv ) reports that the Alabama Department of Conservation Advisory Board changed course during a public meeting at Joe Wheeler State Park.

The board's decision in March to eliminate the fall season in the six counties where it's allowed ruffled the feathers of turkey hunters across the state.

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Health Overhaul-Alabama
4:47 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Alabama Passes Managed Care Medicaid Revision

The Alabama Legislature has passed a sweeping revision to Medicaid that replaces the way the program delivers and pays for care with regional managed care operators.
Credit Microsoft images

The Alabama Legislature passed a sweeping revision to Medicaid that replaces the way the program delivers and pays for care with regional managed care operators.

Under the legislation passed Tuesday, the State Medicaid Agency will no longer bear financial risks but will instead assume the role of contract administrators. Savings of $50 million to $75 million over five years and future cost containment is expected.

Privately owned Regional Care Organizations won't deal directly with patients, but will contract directly with doctors to provide care.

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School Security
4:39 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Ala. House Panel Votes To Allow Hiring Officers

An Alabama House panel has voted to allow the hiring of trained resource officers to provide security in schools.
Credit Trent Moore/The Cullman Times

An Alabama House committee has passed a bill that will allow school systems to hire trained resource officers to provide security in their schools and for the school system to pay for the cost of training and hiring the officers.


The director of Alabama's Department of Homeland Security, Spencer Collier, said it's a way of insuring that Alabama student are safe when at school.


"To get people trained as police officers is the best way to make sure schools are safe," Collier said.

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Tornado-Damaged Schools
4:28 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Tornado-Damaged Alabama Schools Closer To Repairs

The Alabama Legislature is closer to providing money to repair and rebuild public schools hit by tornadoes in 2011 and 2012 like Murphy High School in Mobile.
Credit G.M. Andrews/AP Photo

The Alabama Legislature is closer to providing money to repair and rebuild public schools hit by tornadoes in 2011 and 2012.

The Senate Finance and Taxation-Education Committee voted unanimously Tuesday for a bill that would allow the state to sell $30 million in bonds. Of that, $15 million would go to Murphy High School in Mobile, which was hit by a tornado in December.

Three schools in the Tuscaloosa area would benefit, with $3 million for Alberta City Elementary and $2.5 million each for University Place Elementary and Holt Elementary. They were hit on April 27, 2011.

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Gun Bills
4:16 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Constitutional Amendment On Guns Nears Final Step

State lawmakers are closer to letting voters decide, at least in theory, whether to make it harder for the government to adopt restrictions on firearms.
Credit Mike Saechang / Flickr

Alabama lawmakers are one step from letting voters decide, at least in theory, whether to make it harder for government to adopt restrictions on firearms.


A proposed constitutional amendment would apply a judicial standard called strict scrutiny to any limits on possessing weapons. The proposal cleared a Senate committee Tuesday. It must pass the full Senate before it goes on a statewide ballot.

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Private School Tax Credits
4:11 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Bill Moves To Clarify Ala. School Transfers

A bill to clarify the issue of student transfers in the Alabama Accountability Act is closer to passage.

The Alabama Legislature is one step away from passing a bill that would make sure private schools and non-failing public schools don't have to take students who want to transfer from failing public schools.


The bill making transfers optional won approval in the House last week and in the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday. The bill by Republican Rep. Jim Carns of Mountain Brook now goes to the Senate for what could be a final vote.

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Alabama Medicaid
8:31 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Medicaid Reform Bill Up for Debate Alabama House

blog.al.com

The Alabama House will consider a bill that would reorganize the state's Medicaid program.

The bill will be up for final passage in the House of Representative Tuesday.

The bill was recommended by a Medicaid Advisory committee created by Gov. Robert Bentley.

The Medicaid bill will be debated Tuesday with just three days remaining in the 2013 legislative session. The bill replaces the current payment method with the regional care organizations.

Politics & Government
8:24 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Coastal Governors Call for More Offshore Drilling

Six coastal governors say more offshore drilling would create jobs, strengthen the nation's economy and lower gas prices.
en.wikipedia.org

Six coastal governors have called on Washington to open up more waters to offshore drilling and to make permitting a quicker, more efficient process.

The governors of Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Alaska spoke Monday at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston. Officials from Louisiana and Virginia also spoke.

They say a federal moratorium on offshore drilling after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and permitting requirements put in place after that, have made it difficult for companies to develop resources.

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Arts & Life
8:15 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Archbishop Delivers Annual Blessing of Boats

Fishing vessels are decorated for the 64th annual Blessing of the Fleet Sunday, May 5, 2013, in Bayou La Batre, Ala.
Mike Brantley

Fisherman gathered over the weekend off Alabama's coast for the annual the 64th annual Blessing of the Fleet.


The Press-Register reports (http://bit.ly/18plF8X) that Sunday's event was the largest fund-raiser of the year for St. Margaret Catholic Church. It was also a highlight of the two-day community festival in Bayou La Batre.

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Arts & Life
8:02 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Huntsville Hockey Player, Brother Win Amazing Race

Bates Battaglia, left, and Anthony Battaglia have claimed the $1 million price of "The Amazing Race."
cbs.com

An Alabama pro hockey player and his brother have claimed the $1 million prize of TV's Amazing Race.


Al.com reports (http://bit.ly/16Klp54) that Huntsville Havoc player Anthony Battaglia and his brother Bates were shown winning the event in a two-hour finale that aired Sunday night.


Good note-taking skills turned out to be a key part of their victory after all the running, swimming and scrambling across the globe.

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Alabama Farming
7:38 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Ala. Farmers Cope with Cool Temps, Saturated Soil

Tony Traffanstedt shows off some of his farm's produce at the Calhoun County farmer's market.
Trent Penny/The Anniston Star

Alabama farmers say they're trying to cope with several weeks of cool temperatures and excessive rainfall, which has oversaturated the soil.


Agriculture experts say that has slowed farming across the state, which could threaten yields.


Farmer Keith Bryant tells The Anniston Star (http://bit.ly/13ls16h) that he's being slowed down in his efforts to plant 400 acres of cotton this year. But he said his cotton harvest will be fine as long as he can plant by May 15.

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Campaign Donations
7:29 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Alabama Campaign Donations Getting More Visible

Alabama voters will soon be able to follow campaign donations in the 2014 elections through an online database.

Alabama voters will have a much easier time following campaign donations in the 2014 elections for state offices.


The Alabama secretary of state's office plans to launch a searchable online database of campaign donations by the end of May. It will replace the old system of paper documents and scanned-in documents, and it will premier in time for the start of fundraising for the 2014 elections.

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2013 Legislative Session
7:23 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Budgets Priority for Alabama Lawmakers

montgomeryalrealestate.org

The Alabama Legislature enters the final three days of the 2013 legislative session with the main priority being passage of the education and General Fund budgets.

Passage of the two budgets are the only tasks lawmakers are constitutionally required to complete before the end of the regular session, expected to be May 20.

Bentley's Cabinet
5:06 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Alabama Finance Director Taking Birmingham Job

Alabama Finance Director Marquita Davis is resigning to take a new job in Birmingham.
Credit http://governor.alabama.gov/

Gov. Robert Bentley's state finance director, Marquita Davis, is leaving for a new job in Birmingham.


Bentley's press secretary, Jennifer Ardis, said Davis has accepted a job as executive director of the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity. She will move to her new job after the current legislative session ends later this month.


Davis served as director of the state Department of Children's Affairs in Gov. Bob Riley's Cabinet and in Bentley's Cabinet before he made her finance director in August 2011.

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Politics & Government
7:52 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Ala. Legislature Cracks Down on Painkiller Abuse

The Alabama Legislature has passed a three-bill package aimed at combating the abuse of prescriptions for painkillers.


The bills won approval in the Senate on Thursday after passing the House earlier in the session. They now go to the governor for review.

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