The Alabama Legislature begins the second half of its 2013 session on Tuesday.
Gov. Robert Bentley says his priority for the second half is passing balanced budgets. The former House representative says that's the Legislature's only constitutional duty. A House committee is scheduled to begin work on the education budget Tuesday. The Senate has already approved the General Fund budget and sent it to a House committee.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — The university of Alabama says that former athletic director Mal Moore has died. The school says the 73-year-old Moore died on Saturday at Duke University Medical Center. Moore had been in the Durham, N.C., hospital since March 13 with pulmonary problems. He had been part of 10 football national championships as a Crimson Tide player, coach or administrator. Moore was athletic director since 1999 before stepping down March 20 because of the health problems.
Alabama's unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent in February.
The rate announced by the state Department of Labor is up from 6.9 percent in January and is equal to the rate a year ago. The number of unemployed people looking for work grew by more than 6,000 from January.
The U.S. Department of Interior is cutting more than 217,000 dollars in federal mineral payments to Alabama over the next five months.
The reduction is part of the 110 million dollars in cuts to 35 states that receive the mineral payments as their share of revenue from energy and mineral production that occurred on federal land within the states and offshore.
The Interior Department is making the reduction as part of the automatic federal spending cuts that started this month.
The Alabama Tourism Department says 22 towns across the state will participate in the department's April Walking Tours.
The department's Brian Jones says more than 1,700 tours have been done since the program started 10 years ago. The free, hour-long tours of historic districts and courthouse squares will start at 10 a.m. on April 6, 13, 20 and 27.
The Federal Aviation Administration has announced dates it plans to cut funding to 149 contract air traffic control towers — including two in Alabama.
Federal officials Wednesday announced funding will be cut to regional airports in Tuscaloosa and Dothan on May 5. FAA officials say airport operators have the choice to continue operating as a non-towered airport or continue providing services as a non-federal control tower.
Birmingham's airport is still using a large panel of video monitors similar to one that tipped over and killed a 10-year-old Kansas boy last week.
The approximately 9-foot-tall cabinet was flashing flight information on three screens near baggage claim Wednesday, five days after a similar display killed Luke Bresette one floor higher in the airport.
A small warning sign tells visitors not to touch the cabinet. A portable metal fence on wheels is in place to keep people away.
Alabama is getting nearly $120 million in federal assistance to help with recovery from the deadly tornadoes in April 2011.
Gov. Robert Bentley announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide the state government with $49.2 million to distribute to recovery projects. Tuscaloosa will get $43.9 million, Birmingham $17.5 million, and Jefferson County $9.1 million.
Bentley says the new funding will help several areas of the state that are still suffering long-term effects from the storms.
With Mississippi legalizing home brewing, Alabama is now the only state that doesn't allow citizens to brew small amounts of beer or wine at home for personal use.
Home brewing enthusiasts have been trying since 2009 to get the Alabama Legislature to legalize what several thousand people are already doing illegally. But they have always met with strong opposition. Home brewing bills have won approval from legislative committees and could come up for a vote in the House or Senate soon.