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Birmingham Bombing - Congress
4:37 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Recognition Sought For Church Bombing Victims

Lawmakers want to honor the victims of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963 with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Nearly 50 years ago, white supremacists planted a bomb in a Birmingham, Ala., church that killed four young girls preparing to worship. It was an act of terror that shocked the country and propelled the Congress to pass that historic 1964 Civil Rights Act. Lawmakers now want to honor those victims of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor that Congress can bestow.

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Arts & Life
9:06 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Ala Troopers Re-Evaluating Snow Plans After Jam

Motorists were stuck in Cullman County on I-65 because of snow and ice.
weather.aol.com

A spokesman says Alabama state troopers were caught off guard by last week's snow, which caused an overnight traffic jam on Interstate 65.

Trooper spokesman Curtis Summerville says road conditions worsened faster than officials expected once the snow began coming down.

Summerville tells The Decatur Daily (http://bit.ly/1416Bez ) authorities are looking at ways to do things better in case of a repeat. He says possibilities include using billboard or twitter to inform motorists of blocked roads.

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Arts & Life
7:35 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Temperatures to Continue Falling in Alabama

Temperatures are expected to plunge into the mid-20s early Wednesday morning across much of northern Alabama, with freezing temperatures forecast for the central part of the state.


Forecasters at the National Weather Service say arctic air is in place over much of the nation, and temperatures are expected to be well below average over the next week.


Low temperatures are expected to be around 23 degrees in Huntsville and around 27 degrees in the Birmingham area early Wednesday. In the Montgomery area, the low is expected to be around 31 degrees.

Politics & Government
7:11 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Bentley to Discuss Law Enforcement Efficiency Plan

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley plans a news conference to detail a plan for "increasing efficiency" among state-level law enforcement agencies.


Bentley plans to sign an executive order creating the position of Senior Law Enforcement Adviser. Bentley said in a news release Monday that Alabama Department of Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier will serve in this role and will help coordinate activities among state law enforcement agencies.

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Public Property Database
5:07 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Legislation Proposes Ala. State Property Database

Homewood Rep. Paul Demarco is proposing a bill to bring more transparency and accountability to Alabama's government.
Credit http://www.pljpc.com

An Alabama state lawmaker has pre-filed legislation that would require the state auditor to keep a searchable public database listing any piece of personal property owned by the state and valued at $500 or more.


Homewood Republican Rep. Paul Demarco announced Monday that he is sponsoring the legislation in an attempt to bring more transparency and accountability to government.


DeMarco says taxpayers should be able to see what exactly is being purchased with their tax money.

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King Day Activities
4:51 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Crowd Gathers At Ala. Capitol For King Day Rally

Martin Luther King Jr.
seattletimes.com

More than 500 people attended a rally on the steps of the Alabama Capitol to celebrate civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

King Day fell on the same day that President Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term as the nation's first black president.

Speakers Monday included Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who called the King Day celebration "a great day for America."

Earlier Monday, Southern Christian Leadership Conference President Charles Steele told a Unity Breakfast in Birmingham that there was still much work to be done to fulfill King's dream.

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Arts & Life
5:51 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Alabama remembers legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior

Credit nobelprize.org

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Politics & Government
7:50 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Bill may end State liquor sales

istockphoto

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — One Alabama senator says it's time for the state to get out of the retail liquor business. State Senate budget committee Chairman Arthur Orr is working on a bill for the legislative session beginning Feb. 5 that would do just that. Orr says closing state-run liquor stores and eliminating the 600 employees could save $46 million annually. He wants to use private liquor stores for all retail operations. The administrator of the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, Mac Gipson, says the current system is efficient.

Law Enforcement Consolidation
5:33 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Ala. Officials Differ Over Law Enforcement Merger

Competing plans are being developed to obtain more efficiency in Alabama's law enforcement operations.
Credit istockphotos

Competing plans are being developed for achieving more efficiency in Alabama's law enforcement operations.


Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh unveiled legislation Friday that would consolidate and reorganize the state's many law enforcement functions into a new Public Safety Agency. It would include state troopers, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, marine police, the fire marshal and others. It would abolish the state Department of Homeland Security and divide its duties among other agencies.

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Obit-Hood
5:24 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

1 Of First Black UA students, James Hood, Dies

Plaque commemorating James Hood on the west face of the Autherine Lucy Clock Tower in Malone Hood Plaza on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Credit Ttownfeen / Wikimedia Commons

One of the first black students at the University of Alabama, James Hood of Gadsden, has died. He was 70.


Officials at Adams-Buggs Funeral Home in Gadsden said they are handling arrangements for Hood, who died Thursday. Details concerning Hood's funeral are not complete.


Hood's admission to the University of Alabama in 1963 was made famous by then Alabama Gov. George Wallace's "stand in the schoolhouse door" to keep Hood and Vivian Malone from registering for classes at the University of Alabama.

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Moving Judges
5:16 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Bill Sets Up System To Move Alabama Judgeships

A new bill aims to set up a system to shift some Alabama judgeships to areas with heavy caseloads and backlogs in the court system.

The chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee is working on legislation to shift some Alabama judgeships to areas with heavy caseloads and backlogs in the court system.


Republican Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster said Friday he will offer his bill when the Legislature convenes Feb. 5. It would set up a system to shift judicial positions when a circuit judge retires in a county with a low caseload.

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Cancer Center Grant
5:12 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Ala. Cancer Center To Receive $550,000 Donation

The University of Alabama Comprehensive Cancer Center is set to receive a $550,000 donation from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama.
Credit sunsets_for_you / Flickr

The University of Alabama Comprehensive Cancer Center is set to receive a $550,000 donation from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama.


The foundation has donated nearly $4 million to the center since 1996.


Officials say the money will be used to help recruit and retain researchers in hopes of obtaining more high-profile grants.


The University of Alabama Comprehensive Cancer Center employs more than 330 physicians and researchers who help treat more than 5,000 patients annually.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Business & Education
8:42 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Alabama Unemployment Drops to 7.1 Percent

Alabama's unemployment rate has dropped again.


Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday that December's rate of 7.1 percent is down from 7.5 percent in November. It's the fourth month for a decline since measuring 8.5 percent in August. The December rate is also better than the 8 percent measured a year ago.


The state Department of Labor reports that Alabama gained 7,600 manufacturing jobs during the last year, and professional and business services jobs grew by 4,500.

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Arts & Life
7:30 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Calera Band Marching in Obama's Inaugural Parade

The Calera High School Eagle Band will perform in President Obama's inaugural parade.
caleraeagleband.com

The Calera High School Eagle Band is headed to Washington to march in President Barack Obama's inaugural parade.

Band director Ryan Murrell said he sent a video to the inaugural committee in November, and the Calera band got picked to represent Alabama in the parade.


This is not Murrell's first inaugural parade. He participated in the parade for President George W. Bush in 2001 as a student at Homewood High School.


About 140 Calera band members are making the trip to Washington, along with staff and chaperones. They will return on Tuesday.

Arts & Life
6:41 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Ala Thawing Out From Snowy Blast

North and central Alabama are trying to get back to normal after a winter storm dumped as much as 4 inches of snow on the area.


Dozens of school systems, businesses and government offices planned to open late Friday to let roads thaw out after an overnight freeze. The delays extended from the Tennessee line as far south as metro Birmingham.


But many people won't forget about the storm for a while.

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