Alabama State Parks is considering a "state parks pass" for vehicles in response to a tight 2013 budget.
Without additional funding, Greg Lein, director of Alabama State Parks, says there could be layoffs and partial seasonal closures of some parks and golf courses. Lein says decisions on which operations could be affected will be made on a month-by-month basis.
Gov. Robert Bentley has filed tax returns showing he made more than $234,000 in 2012, and none of that was from a salary.
Bentley promised in his 2010 campaign that he would not take a salary as governor until Alabama's unemployment dropped to 5.2 percent. He also promised to release his tax returns each year. Press secretary Jennifer Ardis says Bentley makes his tax returns public so people will know he's keeping his promise not to take a salary.
The Alabama Tourism Department has introduced its first app for smart phones.
State Tourism Director Lee Sentell said the app is for the Alabama Civil Rights Trail. He said it provides a convenient way for visitors to explore the people, places and events surrounding the fight for equal rights. The app includes sites in several cities, including Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma and Tuskegee. It also includes an interactive timeline and a calendar of events happening in Alabama this year.
Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says officials are considering moving the city's planetarium downtown to join a growing number of attractions.
The planetarium has been in Oak Park since 1968, and its equipment is outdated. The mayor said officials are considering having it join the City-County Public Library and the Children's Museum of Alabama in the $22 million Questplex building. The building is at the opposite end of Dexter Avenue from the state Capitol.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Gov. Robert Bentley has drawn one largely unknown opponent for the Republican nomination in 2014, and some GOP leaders say he may not draw any well-known and well-funded opponents.
Former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy Lee George has announced his candidacy. But Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey, House Speaker Mike Hubbard, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsha and former Gov. Bob Riley say they don't plan to run.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says a Louisiana-based meat packing company has expanded a recall of meat products because of possible bacterial contamination. No illnesses have been reported
The Manda Packing Company recall announced this past week now includes 468,000 pounds of roast beef, ham, turkey breast, tasso pork, ham shanks, hog headcheese, corned beef, and pastrami.
The agriculture department said Friday the products were recalled because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Two bills that would further regulate and lower interest rates on payday loan and title pawn industries have been referred to subcommittee, a process that sometimes means death for legislation. But supporters say they remain hopeful that something will be done in the current session to make the loan transactions more consumer-friendly. The House Financial Services Committee voted after a public hearing Wednesday to send the bills to a subcommittee. Committee chairman Republican Rep.
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — The Auburn University Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to approve a tuition hike. The board voted Friday to raise tuition by an average of about 4.5 percent and 8 percent at its sister school Auburn University Montgomery. Officials say record reductions in state funding and rising mandatory costs factored into the decision to increase tuition. University officials expect the tuition hike to translate to a $6 million increase in revenue and $2.4 million increase in revenue at Auburn University Montgomery next fiscal year.
The Alabama Music Hall of Fame's board of directors has given its executive director the authority to consider offers to move the attraction to Birmingham or Huntsville.
The TimesDaily reports (http://bit.ly/Zj8kYS ) that the Tuscumbia facility remains closed with no plans to reopen.
Executive Director Wiley Barnard said he was approached by groups interested in moving the hall of fame and at least a portion of the museum to the other Alabama cities. He would not specifically identify who approached him.
The state Department of Veterans Affairs is planning a consecration service for Alabama's new Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spanish Fort on April 17.
A department spokesman said representatives of different religions will offer blessings and conduct rituals appropriate to their faiths during the 10 a.m. service. He said the service is in preparation for the cemetery's first interments.
The workers, who are part of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 765, are taking action against First Transit, a company contracted by the city of Montgomery to operate the bus system, which is also known as MATS.