The Associated Press


Private School Tax Credits
5:09 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Ala. Senator Offers Changes To School Tax Credits

Senator Del Marsh's latest bill looks to clarify some questions over Alabama's new law on private school tax credits.

An architect of Alabama's new law on private school tax credits is proposing some modifications to answer questions raised by educators and parents.

The Senate Education Committee has scheduled a public hearing Tuesday on the legislation sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, of Anniston.

Read more
Parks Budget
5:01 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Budget Squeeze Still Threatening State Parks

Director of Alabama State Parks Greg Lein says without additional funding there could be layoffs and partial seasonal closures of some parks and golf courses.

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.

Read more
Governor's Tax Return
4:55 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Governor Bentley Makes $234,000, But No Salary

Governor Robert Bentley released his 2012 tax returns.
Credit NPR

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.

Read more
Shelton State Community College
8:28 am
Mon April 15, 2013

3 finalists Named for Shelton State President

The three finalists for president of Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa come from Alabama, Arkansas and Kansas.

Read more
Civil Rights Trail App
8:25 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Alabama Releases Civil Rights Tourism App

The Civil Rights Trail app includes sites in several cities, including Birmingham.
Alabama Tourism Department

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 Planetarium
8:17 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Montgomery May Move Planetarium Downtown

Montgomery's Planetarium is managed by Troy University and has been in Oak Park since 1968.

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.

Read more
Politics & Government
2:54 pm
Sun April 14, 2013

Governor Bentley not unopposed for GOP nomination for another term


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.

Read more
Arts & Life
6:34 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Meat recall involves Alabama retailers


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.

Read more
Politics & Government
3:45 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Supporters of "payday loan" legislation fight to keep bills alive


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.

Arts & Life
8:35 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Auburn University approves tuition hike

Auburn University

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.

Alabama Music Hall of Fame
8:34 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Alabama Music Hall of Fame Considers a Move

Alabama's Music Hall of Fame has been closed since December 2012 because of financial struggles.
Maggie Martin/APR News

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 ( ) 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.

Read more
Alabama Veterans Cemetery
8:23 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Consecration Set for Alabama Veterans Cemetery

Alabama's new Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spanish Fort.

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.

Montgomery Area Transit System
8:14 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Montgomery Transit Workers Threaten to Strike

Kala Kachmar/ Montgomery Advertiser

Unionized bus drivers and mechanics with the Montgomery Area Transit System are threatening to go on strike.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports ( that wages and insurance costs are key issues in the dispute.

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.

Read more
Severe Weather
7:14 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Ala on Alert For Chance of Severe Weather

Forecasters say there's a medium risk of tornadoes, flooding and damaging winds across central Alabama today. The National Weather Service

Forecasters say there's a chance of severe weather across Alabama, and many areas already are taking precautions.

The weather service says there's a medium risk of tornadoes, flooding and damaging winds across central Alabama on Thursday, although chances are lower in the northern and southern ends of the state.

Dozens of school systems in central counties are dismissing students early as a precaution, and emergency managers are monitoring conditions in case the weather turns violent.

Education Budget
6:27 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Alabama House Oks Education Budget; Pay Hike

The Alabama House has approved a $5.7 billion dollar education budget. It now heads to the Senate.

The Alabama House has adopted a $5.7 billion budget that gives teachers and other education employees their first pay raise since 2008.

The spending plan gives public school employees a 2 percent raise. That's less than the 5 percent increase supported by Democratic lawmakers.

The budget was adopted late Wednesday after more than six hours of debate on the spending plan and a separate pay raise bill.

House members voted 62-37 against a proposed amendment by Democratic Rep. Richard Lindsey of Centre to increase the raise to 5 percent.