The Associated Press


Drug Roundup
4:22 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

UA Students Arrested In West Ala. Drug Sweep

Some of the mugshots of the 99 people, most of them students, rounded up in today's drug bust in West Alabama.
Credit Tuscaloosa News

Authorities say a drug sweep centered around the University of Alabama campus has resulted in the arrest of about 100 people, many of them students.

The West Alabama Narcotics Task Force began a series of busts early Tuesday. Authorities say more than two dozen students were arrested on the Alabama campus, many of them in residence halls.

Officials say 99 people were arrested in all, with charges including sale or possession of marijuana. Authorities also confiscated small amounts of cocaine, LSD, ecstasy and prescription medications.

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Campaign Finance
4:10 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Court Will Hear Campaign Donation Limits Appeal

The nation's highest court will hear a challenge from an Alabama man that looks to change campaign finance law.
Credit / Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to campaign finance laws limiting how much an individual can give to political campaigns.

The justices on Tuesday decided to hear an appeal from Shaun McCutcheon of Alabama and the Republican National Committee. They are arguing that it's unconstitutional to stop a donor from giving more than $46,200 to political candidates and $70,800 to political committees and PACs.

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Poarch Band of Creek Indians
8:33 am
Tue February 19, 2013

State of Ala Sues to Close 3 Indian Casinos

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has filed a lawsuit against the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

The state of Alabama is trying to shut down Indian casinos in Atmore, Montgomery and Wetumpka.

Attorney General Luther Strange's office filed suit Tuesday against the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

The lawsuit asks a court to stop the use of illegal slot machines at the group's Wind Creek Casino in Atmore, the Creek Casino in Montgomery and the Creek Casino in Wetumpka.

Federal law doesn't allow state police to enforce state law on Indian lands. But the lawsuit says the Poarch Band can't operate slot machines or lotteries that are illegal everywhere else in Alabama.

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Disabled Cruise Ship
5:10 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Coast Guard Says Cause Of Cruise Ship Fire Was A Leak

U.S. Customs and Border Protection provided assistance to the disabled Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship when it arrived in Mobile Feb. 14.
Credit U.S. Customs and Border Protection / Flickr

A Coast Guard official says the cause of the engine-room fire on the Carnival cruise ship Triumph was a leak in a fuel oil return line.

In a teleconference Monday, Cmdr. Teresa Hatfield estimated that the investigation of the disabled ship would take six months.

She said the Bahamas is leading the investigation, with the Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board leading U.S. interests in the probe.

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Children Deaths-Bridge
4:59 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Ala. To Appeal Ruling For New Trial In Bridge Deaths

The state plans to appeal ruling for a new trial for a man accused of throwing four small children off a coastal bridge in 2009.

Prosecutors say they'll ask the Alabama Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court decision throwing out the 2009 conviction and death sentence of a man accused of throwing four small children off a coastal bridge.

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday ordered a new trial for Lam Luong. The court ruled publicity surrounding the case made it impossible for the suspect to have a fair trial in Mobile where the crime occurred.

Attorney General's office spokeswoman Joy Patterson said Monday the state plans to appeal.

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Birmingham Contamination
4:46 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

B'ham Residents To Get Info On Contamination Tests

Hundres of Birmingham residents will receive letters from the EPA this week detailing the results of contamination testing on their property.
Credit / Environmental Protection Agency

Hundreds of residents of north Birmingham should be receiving letters from federal environmental regulators detailing the results of contamination testing on their property.

The letters are headed for residents of the Harriman Park, Collegeville and Fairmont neighborhoods, which are locate in a federal Superfund area. That gives the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to clean industrial pollution and penalize companies found responsible.

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Auburn University Board of Trustees
7:35 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Black Senators Say Auburn Board Needs Diversity

The Auburn University Board of Trustees, taken before nomination of Wayne Smith and Michael DeMaiorbus.

The Alabama Senate has confirmed two new trustees for the Auburn University Board of Trustees. Both of the new trustees, Wayne Smith of Franklin, Tenn, and Michael DeMaiorbus of Huntsville, are white. That's a point that concerns members of the black caucus in the Senate.

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School Safety
6:45 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Retired Police Officers to Patrol Cullman Schools

Cullman Police resource officer Bill Pagan keeps an eye on Cullman Middle School Friday afternoon. Police have been stationed at every city school in the aftermath of a school shooting in Connecticut.
Trent Moore/The Cullman Times

Armed police officers will continue to be a common sight at Cullman City Schools.

The Cullman Times reports that the city and the local school system have teamed up to station retired officers at every school for the remainder of the school year.

Police were added after the Connecticut school system in December but the temporary arrangement was stretching the police department's resources.

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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