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Toomer's Oaks
6:40 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Auburn Council Sets Date for Toomer's Oaks Removal

The removal of the Toomer's Oaks at Auburn University has been set for April 23.
apr.org

The Auburn City Council has set April 23 as the date when the iconic Toomer's Oaks at Auburn University will be removed.


The Opelika-Auburn News reports removal of the trees will require closing city streets in the area.


City Manager Charlie Duggan said the removal has tentatively been set for 7 a.m. to noon on April 23, but the time is subject to change depending on weather and how long the removal takes.

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Healthiest Alabama County
6:34 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Study Ranks Shelby as Alabama's Healthiest County

A new study finds Shelby County is number one when it comes to the health and quality of life in Alabama.

Shelby County is ranked number one in a new study of the health and quality of life in each of Alabama's the 67 counties.


The analysis was released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.


It examined 25 factors that influence health, including childhood poverty, numbers of smokers, obesity levels, teen birth rates and access to physicians and dentists.

2013 Legislative Session
6:31 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Alabama Legislature on Spring Break

Alabama lawmakers will return to Montgomery April 2 for the second half of the regular Legislative session.
en.wikipedia.org

The Alabama Legislature has wrapped up the first half of its 2013 session and gone on spring break.


Wednesday marked the 15th meeting day of the session. Lawmakers left the capital city Wednesday evening and will return April 2 for their final 15 meeting days.


The issues remaining for the second half of the session include the state education budget and the General Fund budget.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Public Service Commission
6:31 am
Wed March 20, 2013

PSC Sets Meetings on Alabama Power Rates

Alabama's Public Service Commission will meet to discuss rates for Alabama Power Co.
psc.state.al.us

The state's utility regulatory board has scheduled three meetings focusing on the rates for Alabama Power Co.

The Public Service Commission says the public meetings will be May 8, June 18 and July 17 in Montgomery. Each meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. at the PSC's headquarters. The PSC says the structure of each meeting will be announced later.


The PSC's rate stabilization plan for Alabama Power has provided the state's largest electric utility with a rate of return on common equity of 13 percent to 14.5 percent since 1982.

Health Overhaul-Alabama
5:06 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Legislators Hear Comments On Ala. Medicaid Bill

State legislators heard from community groups and managed care companies regarding efforts to reorganize Alabama's Medicaid Program.
Credit Microsoft images

Representatives from community groups and managed care companies are lauding the Legislature's efforts to reorganize Alabama's Medicaid program.


Speakers told House and Senate members Tuesday that the proposal is a major first step, but they also voiced concerns for the bill before it goes to committees for public hearings and revisions.


The bill would change Medicaid from a fee-for-service program to a program where private-sector contractors develop care networks in up to eight regions of the state.

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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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