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Arts & Life
10:38 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Auburn Seeks Input on Future of Toomer's Corner

Toomer's Corner after Auburn won the BCS Championship. Alabama fan Harvey Updyke is awaiting trial after being accused of poisoning the oak trees in 2010.
bleacherreport.com

Auburn University is seeking input from students, faculty and residents on what Toomer's Corner should look like if the iconic oak trees have to be destroyed after they were poisoned.

The Opelika-Auburn News reports (http://bit.ly/11bFHSk) that feedback is being sought in the form of an online survey from now until Jan. 18.


Dan King, assistant vice president for Auburn's facilities department, says officials at the university are being proactive in developing a future plan in the event that the trees must be taken down.

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Politics & Government
7:54 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Judge Sets Feb. 14 Hearing on Transocean Plea Deal

Drilling company Transocean Ltd. plead guilty to charges stemming from the 2010 oil spill.
The Associated Press

A federal judge in New Orleans has scheduled a Feb. 14 hearing to decide whether to accept the Justice Department's criminal settlement with Transocean Ltd. over the company's role in the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


Transocean, which owned the rig that sank after an explosion killed 11 workers and spawned the spill, agreed last Thursday to pay $400 million in criminal penalties and plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of violating the Clean Water Act. The Switzerland-based company also agreed to pay $1 billion in civil penalties.

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Arts & Life
7:40 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Alabama Preps for Severe Weather Preparedness

Alabama's second annual Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday will be the weekend of Feb. 22-24.


The state Revenue Department says the state will waive its 4 percent sales tax on items used to prepare homes and businesses for hurricanes and tornadoes. Some cities and counties will do the same.

Business & Education
11:38 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Former UA President Explains Quick Departure

Former University of Alabama President Guy Bailey
depts.ttu.edu

Former University of Alabama President Guy Bailey says he resigned because his ill wife would drive herself to meet the social obligations of being a president's wife and that would put her life at risk.

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Arts & Life
7:33 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Wednesday Hearing in Auburn Tree Poisoning Case

Harvey Updyke is set to appear in court on Wednesday on charges stemming from an incident in Louisiana.
usatoday.com

A Lee County judge handling the Toomer's Oaks poisoning case will consider a request from prosecutors Wednesday to revoke the bond for 64-year-old Harvey Updyke.

The Opelika-Auburn News(http://bit.ly/UPLpoC ) reports that the district attorney's office based its request on Updyke being arrested in Hammond, La., where he was accused of threatening an employee at a home improvement store.

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Business & Education
7:24 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Emails Reveal Spat Involving Former ASU President

Former ASU President Joseph Silver
article.wn.com

The week prior to being placed on administrative leave, former Alabama State University President Joseph Silver got into a public disagreement with two administrators about the university's annual Turkey Day Classic parade.

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Politics & Government
6:56 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Liquor License Hearing for Ala. Casino Moved Back

Alabama's liquor control agency has moved back a hearing to determine if the newly reopened VictoryLand casino in Shorter will get a license to serve liquor.


The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board initially set the hearing for Jan. 23 and then moved it up to Jan. 10 because VictoryLand requested an earlier date. ABC attorney Bob Hill said Friday the hearing has now been moved back to Jan. 23 because all the participants couldn't make the earlier date.

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Politics & Government
2:56 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

Anniston Nears Completion of New Justice Center

A four-man cell is shown in the incarceration section of the Justin Sollohub Justice Center in Anniston. The center is expected to open its operations sometime this spring.
Trent Penny/Anniston Star

Anniston's new $15 million justice center is scheduled for completion in mid-March.


The 57,500-square-foot building will include a jail, the police department and the municipal court. Police Chief Layton McGrady told The Anniston Star that the jail and the administrative and investigative divisions of the police department should move in late March or early April. The new justice center is named for Officer Justin Sollohub, who was killed in the line of duty in 2011.

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Arts & Life
2:51 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

BCS crowd to see UA PSA combating binge drinking

Shaquille O’Neal with University of Alabama students and faculty
University of Alabama

Football fans attending the national championship game Monday night between Alabama and Notre Dame will get to see a public service announcement filmed by University of Alabama students to combat binge drinking.

Students in Alabama's advertising and public relations department created the 60-second PSA directed by Shaquille O'Neal. O'Neal agreed to participate after students generated a Twitter campaign to get him involved. The university announced the PSA will air in Miami Sun Life Stadium during the first quarter of the game.

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Politics & Government
6:34 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

Alabama AG Commissioner Hires Another Opponent

Rancher Dale Peterson, of Birmingham, Ala. Alabama Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan is hiring 2010 campaign rival Peterson to serve as his confidential assistant at an annual salary of $72,686.
AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File

Alabama Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan is hiring another rival from the 2010 campaign.

Deputy Commissioner Brett Hall says McMillan is bringing Shelby County businessman Dale Peterson on board. Peterson will serve as his confidential assistant with an annual salary of more than $72,000.

The two men faced off in the Republican primary in 2010. McMillan had previously hired the Democratic nominee for agriculture commissioner, Glen Zorn, to be his assistant commissioner.

Business & Education
6:27 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

Shelby County Reviewing School Safety Plans

Sandy Hook Elementary on the morning of the shooting that took place in Newtown, CT.
motherjones.com

School officials in Shelby County are reviewing their security plans after a deadly shooting spree in Connecticut.


Authorities said surveillance cameras will play a role in upcoming security improvements. Al.com (http://bit.ly/SbcjZW ) reports that some schools in the county already have more than 30 such cameras.


Architects are also reviewing school entrances to make additional safety improvements.

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Arts & Life
6:22 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

Carnival Season Kicks Off Along the Gulf Coast

blog.spanishfort.lincolnapts.com

Christmas wreaths and holiday parties are giving way to king cakes and street parades as the Carnival season kicks off this weekend along the Gulf Coast.

In New Orleans, the noisy and colorful streetcar ride of the Phunny Phorty Phellows troupe will mark the first street appearance of the Carnival season. The costumed revelers will board a St. Charles Avenue streetcar on Sunday. That day is Twelfth Night, the traditional start of the Carnival season. For many Christians, it also marks the end of the Christmas season.

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Business & Education
12:55 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Ala. School District Monitoring Grading System

In the wake of a probe into allegations of improper grade changing, Montgomery Public Schools has increased oversight of its grading and credit recovery system.

The Montgomery Advertiser Thursday (http://on.mgmadv.com/10ZhPRL ) reported the Alabama State Department of Education required the city's school district to more closely monitor the grading and credit recovery system to ensure employees are following established guidelines.

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Arts & Life
8:35 am
Fri January 4, 2013

FAA: Plane in north Ala. crash not registered

Rescue crews rush to the scene of the plane crash.
WBRC video

Federal Aviation Administration records show that a plane that crashed in Jasper killing three people wasn't currently registered to fly.

FAA records show HiFlight Aviation of Jasper bought the plane in May 2010. The company applied for registration, but the application was returned to HiFlight in June 2010 for correction. The FAA received no response and canceled the registration.


State business records show that HiFlight was organized in Jasper in 2010. A phone number given by the company at the time of registration is no longer active.

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Business & Education
8:25 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Auburn Trustees to Meet in Search for New Members

facebook.com

The Auburn University Board of Trustees is expected to begin work on selecting two board members next week.

The Opelika-Auburn News reports (http://bit.ly/1382c9c) that Auburn's Trustee Nominee Selection Committee will meet Tuesday in the Lt. Governor's conference room at the state capital in Montgomery.

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