The Associated Press


Business & Education
6:31 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Experts on Electric Power Restoration Meet in Ala.

Experts on restoring electric power after natural disasters are gathering in Birmingham on Monday and Tuesday to share their best practices.

A spokesman for Alabama Power Co. says experts in storm recovery from nearly 30 electric utilities are scheduled to attend the meeting.

Alabama Power's vice president of distribution, Danny Glover, is co-chair of the meeting along with Keith Hull, who is vice president of distribution at Texas-based Oncor. The meeting is being conducted by an association of electric utilities from across the nation.

Politics & Government
6:24 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Ala. Chief Justice: Budget Plan Wiping Out Courts

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.
Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press

Alabama's new chief justice, Roy Moore, says the judicial system is being cut out of existence.

Moore says the state General Fund appropriation for the court system is less now that when he began his first term in 2001. He said legislation passed last year to increase court fees isn't producing the revenue that state officials forecast for the courts. He predicts that Gov. Robert Bentley's proposed budget for the courts in the new fiscal year will leave a $19 million shortfall and cause more layoffs.

Arts & Life
8:08 am
Sun February 17, 2013

German official to tour Alabama Mercedes-Benz Plant


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Germany's top government representative in the American Southeast is scheduled to visit the Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama. reports Christoph Sander, the German consult general based in Atlanta, will tour the automobile plant in Tuscaloosa County on Monday. He's also scheduled to visit BLG Logistics Inc., a German-owned logistics provider and Mercedes supplier. Later in the week, Sander plans to make his first official trip to Mobile on Wednesday.

Politics & Government
6:57 am
Sat February 16, 2013

Jefferson County lawmen search for suspects in botched robbery


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Jefferson County sheriff's officials say a pharmaceutical delivery driver was seriously injured when three men hit his van head-on in a stolen truck. Sheriff's spokesman Randy Christian says the men were watching the delivery van being loaded at a distribution center then followed it out of the lot. Christian says the men followed the truck from the pharmaceutical distribution center and tried cutting it off but hit it head on. Both vehicles were disabled and the men fled the scene on foot.

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Politics & Government
6:51 am
Sat February 16, 2013

Feds inspect disabled cruiseship in Mobile

2013 Legislative Session
7:27 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Ala. House Approves School Flexibility Legislation

The Alabama House has approved legislation that supporters say will give local school districts the authority to make changes in rules and regulations to improve education in Alabama public schools.

The House voted 65-37 mostly along party lines to pass the legislation called the Local Control Flexibility Act. The Republican majority in the House supported the bill and said it would allow local schools to in some cases change rules and regulations that school officials feel are getting in the way of quality education.

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Carnival Cruise Disaster
7:22 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Passengers Cheer Escape From 'Horrible' Cruise

A passenger kisses the ground after stepping off the Carnival ship at the Alabama Cruise Terminal.

Passengers who finally got to disembark from a disabled Carnival cruise ship in Alabama are checking into hotels or heading home by bus.

The vacation ship carrying some 4,200 people docked late Thursday in Mobile after five numbing days at sea without power.

Passengers raucously cheered the docking after days of what they described as overflowing toilets, food shortages and foul odors.

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Alabama Weather
9:55 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Cold Front Brings Chance of Snow Flurries to Ala.

Forecasters say a cold front approaching Alabama could bring snow flurries to some parts of the state.

Low temperatures are projected to drop below freezing in the Huntsville area Friday night. The National Weather Service is forecasting a slight chance for snow flurries in that area on Saturday.

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2013 Nurses Day at the Capitol
6:31 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Ala. Governor to Address Nurses Statehouse Rally

Nurses Day at the Capitol 2013

As many as 1,000 nurses and nursing students are expected at the Alabama Statehouse for the 2013 Nurses Day at the Capitol event.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is scheduled to address the nurses at a rally on the Statehouse steps at 11 a.m. Thursday. The nurses will also visit lawmakers inside the Statehouse to gather support for issues favored by the nurses.

This year marks 100 years since Alabama nurses began organizing to form the Alabama State Nurses Association.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

2013 Legislative Session
6:25 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Ala. Legislators Address Government Consolidation

Alabama State Capitol

Government consolidation and school flexibility bills will be in front of the Legislature on Thursday.

A spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said he expects the Senate to consider a bill to consolidate some organizations that serve the Legislature, including the bill-writing and budget-writing services. The bill is part of a package by the Senate's Republican leadership to try to save money. The Senate passed bills on Tuesday to consolidate law enforcement agencies and information technology programs.

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Disabled Cruise Ship
5:12 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Mobile Ready For Disabled Cruise Ship To Make Land

The cruise ship Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico on February 11, 2013.
Credit Chief Petty Officer Jason Chambers / U.S. Coast Guard

Mobile is getting ready for the return of the crippled Carnival cruise ship Triumph that is being towed to the port there after an engine room fire left it powerless at sea for days.

It's been more than a year since a cruise ship was based in Mobile. But Sheila Gurganis, who is general manager for the terminal, says it still has the infrastructure needed to accommodate a ship like the Triumph on Thursday. On board are 3,100 passengers and 1,000 crew members.

City spokeswoman Barbara Drummond says Carnival has rented blocks of rooms at two downtown hotels.

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Homeowners Insurance
5:03 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Gov. Bentley Favors Grants For Wind-Proofing Homes

Governor Robert Bentley wants to provide grants to residents of Mobile and Baldwin counties to fortify their homes against high winds.
Credit State of Alabama

Gov. Robert Bentley says he wants to move quickly to implement two recommendations of a commission he appointed to study the availability and rising cost of homeowners insurance.

Bentley received the recommendations of the Affordable Homeowners Insurance Commission Wednesday at the Capitol. He says he will move forward with a recommendation to use part of the money Alabama gets from the BP oil spill to provide grants to residents of Mobile and Baldwin counties to fortify their homes against high winds.

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Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport
8:25 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Airport Project in Birmingham Two-Thirds Complete

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

A project to modernize the terminal at Birmingham's airport is about two-thirds complete. reports ( that Tom Wesley of Birmingham's airport authority provided board members with an update on the project this week.

He said the airport authority has spent 67 percent of the $201.6 million allotted for the entire two-phased project at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

Authorities say the project will mean more amenities for passengers and also bring the airport in line with post-Sept. 11 security standards.

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Politics & Government
6:33 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Alabama Homeowners Insurance Report Coming Out

Governor Robert Bentley will release a report by the Affordable Homeowners Insurance Commission today.

The governor is preparing to release a report by a commission he created to study the availability and rising cost of homeowners insurance.

Gov. Robert Bentley directed the Affordable Homeowners Insurance Commission to address insurance issues caused by hurricanes along the coast and the massive tornado outbreak that hit the state in April 2011. A spokesman for the governor says he will release the report at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Harvey Updyke Trial
6:26 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Updyke Due in Court for Auburn Tree Case

University of Alabama fan Harvey Updyke is accused of poisoning Auburn University's landmark oak trees. His trial is set for April 8, 2013.

University of Alabama fan Harvey Updyke is due in court for a hearing leading up to his trial on charges of poisoning Auburn University's landmark oak trees.

Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob A. Walker III scheduled a hearing for Wednesday.

Walker is set to consider several motions filed by lawyers in the case, possibly including a defense request to move the trial outside of Lee County.

Prosecutors also have asked the court to revoke Updyke's bond.

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