The Associated Press


Medicaid Expansion
4:37 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Alabama Democrats Push For Medicaid Expansion

Ala. Senate Democrats has prepared legislation to require the state to expand its Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act.

The Democratic minority in the Alabama Senate has prepared legislation to require Alabama to expand its Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Democratic Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma said Tuesday the legislation is a life-or-death matter for some of the 300,000 people who would be covered by Alabama's Medicaid program.

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School flexibility bill
6:46 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Ala. Senate to Consider School Flexibility Bill

A school flexibility bill recently passed by the Alabama House is slated for debate in the Senate.

The Senate's Republican leadership plans to ask the Senate to pass the bill Tuesday. It is one of the goals for the Legislature's Republican majority this session. The bill would allow schools system to have flexibility in complying with many state education laws, provided the changes are approved by the State Board of Education. Senators say the battle will be over whether to allow flexibility in complying with teacher tenure laws.

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Alabama School Standards
6:39 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Lawmakers Consider Bills to Repeal Core Standards

Legislation has been introduced in the Alabama House and Senate that would repeal common core standards in schools.

The standards are also known as Alabama's College and Career Ready Standards. Supporters say the standards make it easier for Alabama students to transfer to another school or another state without being far behind or ahead.

The standards were adopted by the state Board of Education in 2010 after a number of public hearings were held around the state.

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Gulf Oil Spill-Trial
5:16 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

High-Stakes Trial Begins Over 2010 Gulf Oil Spill

The high-stakes trial to determine who's responsible for the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill began Monday in New Orleans.
Credit The Associated Press

A BP lawyer says other companies that worked on the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon drilling project made crucial mistakes that led to the deaths of 11 workers and the massive 2010 Gulf oil spill.

BP attorney Mike Brock acknowledged during his opening statements Monday for a high-stakes trial that the London-based company also made mistakes and "errors in judgment" before its Macondo well blew out.

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Alabama Severe Weather
7:33 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Heavy Rains, Brisk Winds Forecast for Alabama

Forecasters say severe storms are possible in southwest Alabama. Strong winds likely in North Alabama.

Forecasters say severe storms are possible in southwestern Alabama, and strong winds are likely in north Alabama.

A cold front is moving in from the west, and a warm front is pushing north out of the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Weather Service says the colliding systems are creating a risk of severe storms in Mobile and the surrounding area on Monday. Rainfall totals could exceed 4 inches.

Wind gusts up to 30 mph are possible in central Alabama, along with heavy rains.

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Gulf State Park Convention Hotel
7:17 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Gulf Convention Hotel: Tourism Boom or Boondoggle?

Legislation pending the Alabama Legislature would let the state use money from the BP Gulf oil spill fund to build a conference center and adjoining hotel at Gulf State Park.

One of the most pristine areas in Alabama, a sandy white stretch at Gulf State Park, could become the site of a large hotel and conference center.

Bills pending in the Legislature would let the state use money from BP's Gulf oil spill fund to build a conference center and let a private developer build an adjoining hotel. The Republican sponsors, Sen. Trip Pittman and Rep. Steve McMillan, said the goal is to create an upscale site on the Alabama coast to attract conventions like those drawn to Sandestin in the Florida Panhandle.

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Business & Education
6:53 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Small Ala College Gets $5M Donation, Largest Ever

Concordia College in Selma, AL says it's received a donation of $5 million, its largest financial donation ever.

A small college in Selma says it has received its largest financial donation ever.

Concordia College says it has received a commitment of $5 million from the Marion I. Breen Charitable Foundation, which is based in St. Louis.

School officials say the money will go to new academic programs, capital projects, scholarships and other campus priorities.

The fund making the donation is named for Marion Breen, who was known as a patron of the arts and education, plus religious and social causes.

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Alabama Constitution Revision
6:41 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Marsh Seeks More Diversity in Constitution Rewrite

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh of Anniston got the Senate to pass a resolution that would add two members to the commission to increase the diversity.

The commission working on rewriting parts of Alabama's 112-year-old Constitution may soon become more diverse.

Alabama's Constitutional Revision Commission has 16 members and only one, Carolyn McKinstry, is an African-American. McKinstry told The Anniston Star ( ) that she can speak for herself, but not all African-Americans in the state.

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Arts & Life
4:40 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

Jimmie Johnson Wins Second Daytona 500; Danica Patrick Makes Historic Leads

Jimmie Johnson celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 11:59 pm

A big first for Danica Patrick, but an even bigger second for Jimmie Johnson.

Patrick made history out front at the Daytona 500, only to see five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson reclaim his spot at the top in the end.

Johnson won his second Daytona 500 with a late push on Sunday, grabbing the spotlight from Patrick as she faded on the final lap. Patrick became the first woman in history to lead laps in "The Great American Race" and was running third on the last lap, but slipped to eighth in the late push for position.

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Alabama Civil Rights
8:26 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Vice President to Visit Selma Next Weekend

Vice President Joe Biden is expected to participate in Selma's annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee.

Organizers of Selma's annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee say Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, will participate in the events.

Democratic state Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma said Saturday the Bidens will attend a unity brunch and participate in the annual crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 3. Sanders said the Bidens will help observe Selma's historic role in the civil rights movement. The Bridge Crossing Jubilee celebrates the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march that led to passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

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VictoryLand Casino
8:18 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Old Gambling Case Leads to Alabama Casino Raid

The state attorney general's office used a century-old gambling case to get a rare, but not unprecedented, search warrant to raid VictoryLand casino in Shorter.

Macon County Circuit Judge Tom Young initially refused to give the attorney general a search warrant. Attorney General Luther Strange appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court. He cited an 1899 case where a justice of the peace denied an arrest warrant based on an incorrect interpretation of the law, and the Supreme Court ordered it issued.

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Amy Bishop Trial
8:11 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Suits Against Former UAH Prof Set for 2014

Former UAH professor Amy Bishop faces two lawsuits stemming from the 2010 shooting spree at UAH.

A judge in Huntsville has scheduled a trial for March 2014 in two lawsuits against former university professor Amy Bishop.

The two suits were filed by victims of a 2010 shooting spree at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Bishop pleaded guilty to capital murder and got a life sentence in her criminal case.

She wanted fact finding in the civil case to stop while she appeals her capital murder case. Madison County Circuit Judge Billy Bell ruled Friday that he wouldn't delay discovery in the civil case, and he scheduled it for trial on March 10, 2014.

Birmingham Bomber
7:39 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Convicted Bomber Publishes Book From Prison

Convicted bomber Eric Rudolph has published his autobiography from prison. He admitted to bombing an abortion clinic in Birmingham in 1998.
Dave Dieter, Huntsville Times file photo

Convicted bomber Eric Rudolph has published his autobiography from prison, with his brother's help.

Rudolph's work is available online from a website that lets writers publish their own books for a price.

Daniel K. Rudolph is listed as publisher. He's best known for cutting off his hand and videotaping it in what he called a message to the media and FBI while police searched for his brother.

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Alabama Medicaid Program
7:29 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Bill to Prevent Medicaid Abuse Passes Ala. House

Alabama Representative Jim McClendon

The Alabama House has approved a bill aimed at cutting down on fraud and abuse in the state's Medicaid program.

The sponsor, Republican Rep. Jim McClendon of Springville, says the bill is aimed at stopping abuse of a program that exists to provide essential health care to the neediest citizens.

The bill was approved by the House on Thursday by a unanimous 99-0 vote. However, debate lasted for about three hours as some members, mostly Democrats, worked to make sure the measure could not be used to deny Medicaid services to legitimate applicants.

Civil Rights rally
6:39 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Activists Planning Rally at US Supreme Court

Southern Christian Leadership Conference CEO Charles Steele says the group will rally in Washington D.C. before traveling to Alabama on March 1.
David Kohl/

Civil rights advocates plan to rally in Washington, D.C. while the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on whether to uphold Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference CEO Charles Steele says the group of about 150 will leave Washington D.C. Feb. 27 after a rally and press conference outside the U.S. Supreme Court. Section 5 of the act bars states from altering voting qualifications and procedures without federal approval.

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