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Senate District 35
6:28 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Voters Deciding Alabama Senate District 35 Runoff

State Rep. Jim Barton is facing off Bill Hightower for Senate District 35 in Mobile County.
legislature.state.al.us

State Rep. Jim Barton of Mobile and Mobile businessman Bill Hightower are facing off in the Republican runoff for state Senate District 35 in southern Mobile County.


The polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday.


Hightower finished first in the Republican primary in January and Barton second. The third-place finisher, Nick Matranga, endorsed Barton in the runoff.

Private School Tax Credit
5:07 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Fast Passage Leads To Alabama Legislative Slowdown

Hard feelings over the passage of private school tax credits has resulted in a slowdown in the Alabama Legislature.
Credit Jay Williams / Flickr

A legislative session that began with a rapid pace five weeks ago has been slowed by hard feelings over the passage of private school tax credits.


Democratic opponents of the tax credits are slowing down action in the House and Senate. House Minority Leader Craig Ford says the slowdown will resume when the Legislature meets Tuesday and will continue for the foreseeable future.

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Legislative Transparency
4:45 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Alabama's Legislative Website Fails To Make The Grade

According to the Sunlight Foundation, Alabama's legislative website gets a failing grade when it comes to transparency.
Credit openstates.org / The Sunlight Foundation

An analysis by a nonpartisan nonprofit that focuses on making government transparent and accountable is giving the Alabama Legislature an `F' grade for how it makes legislative information available.


The Sunlight Foundation also gave a failing mark to five other states including Massachusetts, Colorado, and Kentucky.

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Arts & Life
6:40 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Alabama Artist Tapped to Create Veterans Memorial

Artist’s conception of the memorial
Athens State University

An Athens State University art professor is being tapped to create a bronze statue in a Tennessee park to honor veterans.

Al.com reports that the Giles County Chamber of Commerce leadership class in Pulaski, Tenn., has accepted a proposal for the memorial by artist Pamela Keller.


The memorial in Sharewood Park will feature a life-sized likeness of a man sitting on a park bench holding two dog tags close to his face in his left hand while in meditation. There will be a small American flag in his right hand.

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Alabama Barbecue Competition
6:31 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Competition on for Alabama's Best Barbecue

People can go to Facebook and start voting on Alabama's best barbecue restaurant.


The Alabama Tourism Department is sponsoring the competition as part of its Year of Alabama Food. State Tourism Director Lee Sentell says barbecue is part of Alabama's heritage, and there has always been a debate about which restaurant is best.


The competition is in brackets like the NCAA basketball tournament and 32 restaurants are starting. Voting starts Monday, and voting in each bracket lasts for three days. Voting for restaurants in the Final Four will be April 1-5.

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Alabama Barbecue Competition
6:30 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Competition on for Alabama's Best Barbecue

People can go to Facebook and start voting on Alabama's best barbecue restaurant.


The Alabama Tourism Department is sponsoring the competition as part of its Year of Alabama Food. State Tourism Director Lee Sentell says barbecue is part of Alabama's heritage, and there has always been a debate about which restaurant is best.


The competition is in brackets like the NCAA basketball tournament and 32 restaurants are starting. Voting starts Monday, and voting in each bracket lasts for three days. Voting for restaurants in the Final Four will be April 1-5.

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Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport
6:27 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Birmingham Airport Opening Revamped Terminal

A layout of how the airport's new terminal may look like.
globalda.com

Alabama's largest airport is ready to begin operating from its revamped terminal.


Birmingham-Shuttlesworth airport is opening the renovated terminal on Wednesday. Improvements include better parking, a centralized checkpoint between concourses, new concessions and a recreation area for young families.


The project is the first part of a more than $200 million expansion and upgrade to incorporate new security standards.

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Private School Tax Credits
5:03 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

AEA Has Monday Deadline In Tax Credits Lawsuit

The AEA has until Monday to respond to an effort by Republican legislators to get a private school tax credit bill signed.
Credit Alabama Education Association

The Alabama Supreme Court has given the Alabama Education Association until Monday to respond to an effort by Republican legislators to get a private school tax credit legislation signed.


AEA got a Montgomery judge to issue a temporary restraining order barring the governor from signing the bill into law. Attorneys for Republican legislative leaders appealed to the Supreme Court and asked the court to lift the judge's order. The Supreme Court on Friday gave AEA's lawyers until Monday to respond.

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Voting Rights March
4:49 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

March Re-Enactment Ends In Rally At Ala. Capitol

The Selma to Montgomery march re-enactors arrive at the state capitol building in Montgomery on Friday.
Credit Mickey Welsh / Montgomery Advertiser

About 200 people carried signs and sang spiritual songs at a rally at the Alabama Capitol marking the end of a re-enactment of the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march.


The protesters chanted old civil rights slogans, but also protested current issues. Many of the demonstrators carried signs protesting an education accountability bill that Republican lawmakers recently pushed through the Legislature.

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Angela Davis Honored
4:31 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Alabama Legislature Honors Activist Angela Davis

Activist Angela Davis was a vice presidential nominee for the Communist Party in 1980 and 1984.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Red state politics may have taken on a new meaning in Alabama.


Alabama's Republican-controlled Legislature passed a resolution honoring Angela Davis, who was a vice presidential nominee for the Communist Party in 1980 and 1984.


The resolution by Democratic Rep. Oliver Robinson of Birmingham won approval in the House Feb. 14 and in the Senate Feb. 19. Republican Gov. Robert Bentley declined to sign it, but it still became an official act of the Legislature.

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NCAA Division II Festival
6:41 am
Fri March 8, 2013

NCAA DII Athletes in Winter Competition in Ala

The NCSS Division II Festival will be held at Birmingham's Crossplex Saturday, March 9, 2013.
al.milesplit.com

Birmingham is the gathering spot for more than 1,100 collegiate athletes competing in a nationwide winter sports event.


The NCAA Division II Festival is being held through Saturday at Birmingham's Crossplex.


The 750,000-square-foot indoor venue includes facilities for swimming, diving, track and other sports.


The festival will decide national titles in men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's indoor track and wrestling.

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Selma-to-Montgomery March
6:34 am
Fri March 8, 2013

March Re-enactment to End at Alabama Capitol

Vice President Joe Biden (left) and U.S. Congressman John Lewis (right) prepare to lead a group across the Edmund Pettus Bridge March 3, 2013.
Dave Martin

A group re-enacting the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march is scheduled to complete the journey at the state Capitol.


The group began its walk Monday. They are supposed to complete the last leg from west Montgomery to the downtown Capitol about 11 a.m. Friday. They will stand where Martin Luther King Jr. addressed thousands of marchers in 1965.

School Safety
5:03 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Ala. House Won't Override School Safety Bill Veto

The Alabama House will uphold Governor Bentley's veto of a bill to allow teachers and other school personnel to train as reserve sheriff's deputies.
Credit Trance Mist / Flickr

The Alabama House has voted to uphold Gov. Robert Bentley's veto of a bill to allow teachers and other school personnel to train as reserve sheriff's deputies.


The bill was a school safety measure by Democratic Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow of Red Bay. After training, the teachers could carry firearms in school as protection against shooting incidents.


Morrow says law enforcement officials and educators in his northwest Alabama county had endorsed the measure.

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Court Finances
4:56 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Chief Justice Moore Orders Clerks' Offices Closed Wednesdays

Chief Justice Roy Moore has ordered that Ala. circuit and district clerk offices be closed to the public on Wednesdays starting March 20.
Credit Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has ordered that circuit and district clerk offices in Alabama be closed to the public on Wednesdays because of a financial crisis facing the court system.


The order was released Thursday. Moore ordered the clerks' offices be closed every Wednesday beginning March 20. Moore ordered clerks to place notice of the closings in public places inside and outside their offices. The chief justice said the employees of the clerks' offices would continue to work their regular office hours on Wednesdays.

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Right-To-Work State
4:48 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Ala. Senate Votes To Strengthen Right-To-Work Law

Republican Sen. Gerald Dial sponsored the bill to put Alabama's right-to-work law into the state constitution.
Credit blog.al.com

The Alabama Senate has approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would put Alabama's right-to-work law into the state constitution.


The Senate's 21-10 vote Thursday sent the legislation for the House. If passed by the House, it will require approval by Alabama voters in next year's general election.

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