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Veteran Legislature-Cuts
4:49 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Ala. Legislator Discusses Severity Of Budget Cuts

Representative Richard Lindsey of Centre says he's never seen state services cut to their current level.
Credit Alabama House of Representatives

One of the longest serving members of the Legislature, Democratic Rep. Richard Lindsey of Centre, says he's never seen state services cut to their current level.


Lindsey says cuts began in 2008, and they have continued each year since then. Lindsey says prison guards are at a bare minimum, schools don't have enough supplies, and fewer state troopers are patrolling the highways.

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Casino Raid
4:38 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Judge Won't Step Aside From Alabama Casino Case

Attorney General Luther strange asked Judge Tom Young Jr. to step aside from deciding what to do about gambling machines and cash seized from VictoryLand casino.
Credit LutherStrange.com

A Macon County judge has refused to step aside from deciding what to do about gambling machines and cash seized from VictoryLand casino in Shorter.


State Attorney General Luther Strange had asked Circuit Judge Tom Young Jr. to recuse himself on grounds that he is prejudiced against the state's evidence. Young ruled at a hearing Tuesday that he is not prejudiced and will remain on the case rather than sending it to another judge. A spokesman for the attorney general says he is evaluating the next move.

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Alabama Power Outages
6:57 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Nearly 100,000 Still Without Power After Storms

Nearly 100,000 customers were without power across Alabama early Tuesday after storms with the force of hurricane winds toppled trees and utility lines.

Alabama Power said early Tuesday morning that 98,200 customers were without power as of 6 a.m., down from more than 222,000 customers after the Monday storms.


Most of the customers who remained without power -- about 50,000 -- were east of Birmingham in communities such as Gadsden, Oneonta, Anniston and Pell City. Dozens of communities around the state experienced significant damage, authorities said.

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Alabama Branding Initiative
6:46 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Ala. Governor to Unveil New Branding Initiative

Governor Robert Bentley is joining officials with the State Department of Commerce to unveil a new branding initiative for the state.
apr.org

Gov. Robert Bentley and leaders of the Alabama Department of Commerce will unveil a new branding initiative and website aimed at assisting in recruiting new and expanding industries in the state.

The brand will be something that will turn people's attention to Alabama. The governor will unveil the new brand in a news conference at 10 a.m. today on the front steps of the Alabama Capitol.

Alabama Weather
6:36 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Strong Storms Bring High Wind, Hail to State

A member of the University of Alabama Grounds Department surveys damage after an oak tree fell in front of Moore Hall on the University of Alabama campus.
Robert Sutton | The Tuscaloosa News

Strong storms that moved across much of Alabama on Monday plunged thousands in the dark and also pummeled the state with hail, high winds and heavy rainfall.


The National Weather Service said the strongest of the storms had wind gusts nearing 60 mph and there also was hail the size of quarters.

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Richard Scrushy Appeal
6:31 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Court to Hear Scrushy Appeal in Corruption Case

Former Health South CEO Richard Scrushy is appealing a lower court decision denying his request for a new trial.
WBRC

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments as former Health South CEO Richard Scrushy appeals a lower court decision denying his request for a new trial of his 2006 conviction in a government corruption case.

Former Alabama Gov Don Siegelman was also found guilty in that case and is serving a sentence in a federal prison in Louisiana. Scrushy is out of prison and living in Houston after having completed his sentence.

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Alabama Storms
5:07 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Strong Storms Bring High Wind, Hail To State

Severe weather across Alabama today brought a wide arrange of threats including damaging winds and hail.
Credit http://www.srh.noaa.gov/bmx/ / National Weather Service

Strong storms moved across much of Alabama, bringing hail, high winds, and heavy rainfall as a cold front passes through the state.


The National Weather Service warns that the strongest storms will be capable of producing wind gusts up to 60 mph and hail the size of quarters.

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Roy Moore-Rotary Club
4:53 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Ala. Chief Justice Says 300 Court Layoffs Possible

Alabama Chief Justice Chief Justice Roy Moore warns of 300 court layoffs as a result of budget issues.
Credit Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore says the state's court system has $38 million less now than when he took office for the first time in 2001.


Moore told members of the Montgomery Rotary Club Monday that the financial situation has become dire. He says there are 498 less court employees now than in 2001, and another 300 may lose their jobs under budget proposals being considered by the Legislature.

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Severe Weather
9:29 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Strong Storms Could Bring High Wind, Hail to State

Strong storms are expected across much of Alabama, bringing the potential for hail and high winds as a cold front passes through the state.

The National Weather Service warns that the strongest storms will capable of producing wind gusts up to 60 mph and hail the size of quarters.

More than a dozen counties on Monday were covered by a severe thunderstorm watch, which is scheduled to be in effect until 3 p.m. Monday. It includes the cities of Athens, Huntsville, Florence, Hamilton and Jasper.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Alabama Unemployment Rate
8:34 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Alabama's Unemployment at 6.9 Percent

Alabama officials say the state's unemployment rate for January is 6.9%.

Alabama's unemployment rate for January is 6.9 percent.

That's up slightly from December's revised rate of 6.8 percent. December's preliminary rate had been 7.1 percent, but it was revised downward.


Gov. Robert Bentley said Alabama now has two consecutive months with unemployment below 7 percent. January's rate is also below the 7.3 percent the state recorded a year ago.


State Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said Alabama is seeing a positive trend, but officials must remain focused on the more than 148,000 Alabamians still looking for work.

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Gulf Shores Obscene Messages Ordinance
5:52 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Ala. Town Seeks to Ban Display of Obscene Messages

Mayor Tony Kennon says he wants to restrict Gulf Shores shops from displaying merchandise that contains vulgar and indecent items.
cityoforangebeach.com

Officials in the city of Orange Beach are pushing for a city law to restrict stores from displaying T-shirts and other merchandise that contains obscene messages.


Mayor Tony Kennon started pushing for the law following a recent trip to an Orange Beach souvenir shop.


Kennon told al.com he was "absolutely mortified" by the messages on some merchandise being sold in Orange Beach. He said many of the shirts containing the obscene messages also said Orange Beach on them. He said he was "disappointed and sickened" by the messages on the shirts.

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Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore
5:44 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Ala. Chief Justice to Address Rotary Club Monday

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is set to speak at the Montgomery Rotary Club Monday March 18, 2013.
Dave Dieter/The Huntsville Times

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is to speak to the Montgomery Rotary Club about the state of the Alabama Judiciary.

Moore is scheduled to address the Rotarians at noon Monday at the RSA Activity Center at 201 Dexter Ave. in Montgomery. He will also address budget matters that affect the judiciary and are currently being discussed in the Legislature.


As chief justice Moore is also the head of the court system in Alabama.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

School ID Badge Policy
5:39 pm
Sun March 17, 2013

Ala. School District to Review ID Badge Policy

(Information in the following story is from: The Dothan Eagle, http://www.dothaneagle.com)


The superintendent of Houston County schools says district officials plan to review a new security policy that requires all students to wear identification badges.


The Dothan Eagle reports Superintendent Tim Pitchford says school officials will take a second look at the effectiveness of the badge requirement in April.

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Jefferson County Bankruptcy
5:32 pm
Sun March 17, 2013

Alabama Lawmaker Proposes Jefferson County Tax

State Rep. John Rogers of Birmingham is proposing to reinstate Jefferson County's .5% occupational tax.
WBRC video

(Information in the following story is from: The Birmingham News, http://www.al.com/birminghamnews)


A state representative from Birmingham has proposed a plan that he says will allow Alabama's largest county to escape from bankruptcy.


Democratic Rep. John Rogers told The Birmingham News that he will introduce a bill in the Legislature to reinstate the Jefferson County 0.5 percent occupational tax and generate as much at $65 to $70 million. Rogers is co-chairman of the Jefferson County legislative delegation.

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Voter Registration
5:25 pm
Sun March 17, 2013

Must Voters Have to Prove Citizenship to Register?

U.S. Supreme Court
leadingage.org

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Monday in a case about whether states can force people to prove their U.S. citizenship before registering to vote.


At issue is the legality of Arizona's voter-approved requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a federal registration form that doesn't require such proof.


A federal appeals court threw out that part of Arizona's Proposition 200.

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