Unemployment benefits for some Alabamians who have been out of work a long time are changing.
Alabamians have been able to qualify for 63 weeks of benefits, but that is being reduced by nine weeks to 54 weeks. Alabama Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said the state is no longer eligible for the extra nine weeks of federally funded benefits because the state's unemployment rate fell below 7 percent in November, December and January.
A trial date has been set for a man accused in a July 2012 shooting that left 18 people injured at a Tuscaloosa bar.
Nathan Van Wilkins is accused of opening fire on patrons at the Copper Top bar in July 2012. The Tuscaloosa News Tuesday reported (http://bit.ly/16KjBXn ) he's scheduled to appear in court May 6. The man is also accused to shooting a man at a house in Northport and setting fire to his former workplace and the house of his former co-worker.
Gov. Robert Bentley has announced he will seek a second term.
The 70-year-old Republican governor put to rest Tuesday any speculation about his future plans.
House Speaker Mike Hubbard says he has no plans to run against Bentley.
Bradley Byrne, who finished second to Bentley in the GOP race in 2010, says he hasn't decided what he will do in 2014. Tim James, who finished a close third, says he's not running now, but you never say never in politics.
Alabama's governor has signed into law stricter abortion clinic regulations.
Gov. Robert Bentley signed the bill Tuesday at the Capitol while surrounded by legislators who supported it.
The new law requires clinics to use doctors who have approval to admit patients to local hospitals. Bentley, who is a physician, said a doctor who can't get admitting privileges from a hospital probably ought not to be practicing in the state.
The bill also sets stricter building standards for abortion clinics, and it gives them a couple of months to comply.
Airbus is breaking ground on its new aircraft assembly plant in Mobile.
Top executives will be in the port city Monday for a ceremony to mark the start of construction on the Airbus plant at Brookley Aeroplex.
The $600 million factory is expected to employ 1,000 people once production of the Airbus A320 jet begins around 2015.
The state's first major Airbus supplier, Safran Engineering Services, is opening its new office in Mobile on Monday. The company plans to employ as many as 50 people at an engineering support facility.
Alabama lawmakers have passed bills that would make it easier to criminally charge people who abuse, neglect or financially exploit the elderly.
The sponsors say they expect the governor to sign one of the bills into law once the two slightly different versions are reconciled.
The Senate sponsor, Republican Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster, says only one word in the measure that passed the Senate is different from the House-passed version sponsored by Republican Rep. Paul DeMarco of Homewood.
A federal agency has struck down an Alabama law aimed at preventing heavy metal coils from falling off trucks and causing wrecks.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found the Alabama law placed "an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce." Passed by state lawmakers in 2009, the law required trucker drivers hauling metal coils on routes that either began or ended in Alabama to be certified in load securement techniques.
Alabama's governor has promoted his homeland security director, Spencer Collier, to secretary of law enforcement.
Collier will lead the creation of the new Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency. The agency is the result of a new state law combining many of Alabama's law enforcement programs, including the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Homeland Security.
Many long-term unemployed Alabamians will see their benefits drop 12.8 percent on April 28.
State Labor Department spokeswoman Tara Hutchison said the reductions are the result of mandatory federal spending cuts that all states must make. The cuts will affect people who have been receiving unemployment benefits for more than six months. Currently, about 16,500 Alabamians receive the extended benefits.