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Casino-Liquor License
2:03 pm
Sun March 3, 2013

VictoryLand Casino Wins Expanded Liquor License

VictoryLand Casino won its bid for an expanded liquor license.
Credit AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey Welsh

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.

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Birmingham Schools
1:49 pm
Sun March 3, 2013

Meetings Planned On Birmingham School Closures

The Birmingham school board is planning a series of community meetings before voting on a plan to close seven city schools.
Credit istockphoto

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.

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Garbage Trucks-Pullover
4:19 pm
Sat March 2, 2013

New Ala. Move Over Law Would Include Trash Trucks

"Move Over Alabama" law for emergency and service vehicles would extend to garbage trucks.
Credit P. Gordon / Flickr

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.

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Congress-Selma
4:11 pm
Sat March 2, 2013

Governor Bentley Hosting Congressional Group

Governor Robert Bentley will host a reception at the Capitol for the congressional delegation, civil rights figures and other leaders.
Credit Sutherland Boswell / Wikimedia Commons

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.

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Alabama-Schoolhouse Door
4:55 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Lawmakers Visit Scene Of '63 Ala. Race Stand

Outside Foster Auditorium during the 13th Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage at the University of Alabama.
Credit Chris Pow / al.com

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.

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Private Schools Tax Credits
4:43 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Education Leaders Say GOP 'Bushwhacked' Them

Governor Robert Bentley says running over his own education allies was worth it to get a private school tax credits bill passed.
Credit blog.al.com

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.

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Casino Raid
4:37 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Court Says Seized Casino Games Don't Resemble Bingo

Alabama's Supreme Court says games seized from Victoryland Casino last month don't resemble bingo.
Credit al.com

The Alabama Supreme Court says the gambling machines seized from VictoryLand casino don't resemble the game of bingo.


The court issued an opinion Friday explaining why it ordered a search warrant for a raid by the attorney general after a Macon County judge refused.

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School Flexibility bill
6:37 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Alabama School Flex Bill with Tax Credits Passes

The Alabama Legislature has passed a school flexibility bill that was expanded by Republicans to include tax credits for parents who move their children from failing public schools to private schools.


The revised version of the bill got passed by the House 51-26 Thursday night and then 22-11 by the Senate after a long shouting match. The bill now goes to the governor, who says he will sign it.


State school Superintendent Tommy Bice dropped his support for the bill. He said what started out as a good bill will now have a negative impact on public schools.

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Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage
6:28 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Lawmakers' Visit Marks Segregated Past at Alabama

Attempting to block integration at the University of Alabama, Governor George Wallace stands defiantly at the door while being confronted by Deputy U.S. Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach.
en.wikipedia.org

Members of Congress are visiting the University of Alabama to see the place where former Gov. George C. Wallace made his "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door" against racial integration 50 years ago.

The leaders will be in Tuscaloosa on Friday for commemoration program.


The event will held at the auditorium where Wallace tried to block the enrollment of black students at Alabama in 1963.


Among those greeting the delegation will be a daughter of Wallace, Peggy Wallace Kennedy.

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Arts & Life
4:39 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Resolution Seeks Parks' Monument At Ala. Capitol

A resolution in the Alabama legislature looks to erect a monument to Rosa Parks at the state Capitol in Montgomery.
Credit USIA / Wikimedia Commons

One day after a monument to civil rights icon Rosa Parks was unveiled at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, a resolution was introduced in the Alabama House for a similar monument to be placed at the state Capitol in Montgomery.


The resolution was introduced Thursday by Democratic Rep. Alvin Holmes of Montgomery. Parks helped spark the Civil Rights Movement when she was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white man.


Holmes' resolution says Parks was a source of pride for Alabama residents.

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School Flexibility
4:22 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Alabama School Flexibility Bill Divided By Tenure

The Alabama House and Senate remain divided on school flexibility bill.
Credit Jay Williams / Flickr

The Alabama House and Senate are divided over whether a school flexibility bill should include flexibility with teacher tenure laws.


The House passed a bill Feb. 14 to allow city and county school systems to have flexibility in complying with state education laws, including tenure. The Senate rewrote the bill Thursday to exclude tenure. The House refused to go along with the Senate's changes and sent the bill to a six-member conference committee to try working out the differences.

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Payday Loans
4:11 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Alabama Legislature Mulling Payday Loan Regulation

The Alabama Legislature is considering better regulation of payday and title loan lenders.
Credit Jason Comely / Flickr

A coalition of groups is pushing legislation to place tighter regulations on payday and title loans, including limiting interest to 36 percent annually.

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2013 Legislative Session
7:36 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Ala. Nurse Practitioners Seek Prescription Power

The Alabama Senate Health Committee has passed a bill that will allow nurse practitioners and nurse midwives to write prescriptions for certain controlled substances.


The committee's unanimous vote Wednesday sends the bill to the Senate for consideration.


Proponents of the bill say it aims to increase access to medical care, especially in rural areas. They said some rural residents must travel 30 miles or more to get a prescription for cough syrup or to renew prescriptions.

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Gulf State Park
7:15 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Ala. House Panel Approves Coastal Convention Hotel

Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
cb4go.com

An Alabama House committee has approved legislation that would allow the construction of a large hotel and conference center on the beach at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores.

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Abortion Clinic Bill
6:58 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Alabama Committee Sets Vote on Abortion Rules

State Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin sponsors legislation that would establish tighter regulations for abortion clinics in the state.
Facebook/Mary-Sue-McClurkin-for-House-of-Representatives

A state Senate committee is scheduled to vote in one week on a bill that would establish tighter regulations for abortion clinics.


The Senate Health Committee heard public comments on the bill Wednesday and set a vote for next Wednesday.


The bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin of Pelham, has already cleared the House. A favorable vote by the Senate committee would send the bill to the full Senate for a final vote.


Under the bill, doctors who perform abortions would be required to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

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