The Associated Press

Pages

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

Ala. Legislators Address Government Consolidation

Alabama State Capitol
4thgradeblogger.blogspot.com

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

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

Airport Project in Birmingham Two-Thirds Complete

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
en.wikipedia.org

A project to modernize the terminal at Birmingham's airport is about two-thirds complete.


Al.com reports (http://bit.ly/UejcJD) 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.

Read more
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.
en.wikipedia.org

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.
cbssports.com

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.

Read more
Senate Democrats-Medicaid
6:08 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Alabama Senate Democrats Seek Medicaid Expansion

Senate Democrats have made expanding Alabama's Medicaid program their priority for the 2013 legislative session.
Credit texastribune.org

Senate Democrats say their priority for the 2013 legislative session is getting Alabama to expand its Medicaid program.


The Senate Democratic Caucus announced at a news conference Tuesday that it hopes to get Republican Gov. Robert Bentley to reverse his decision not to expand the program under the federal Affordable Care Act. Bentley, a physician, is opposed to enlarging the Medicaid program under the current structure.

Read more
Government Consolidation
5:56 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Alabama Senate Votes For State IT Consolidation

Republican Sen. Phil Williams sponsored the bill to consolidate the information technology operations of all state agencies.
Credit blog.al.com

The Alabama Senate has voted to consolidate the information technology operations of all state agencies under a board that could outsource services.

Read more
Governor-Agriculutre
5:43 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Study: Ag, Forestry Have $70 B Impact On Alabama

Gov. Robert Bentley helped release a study showing Alabama's agricultural and forestry industries economic impact.
Credit blog.al.com

A new study of Alabama's agricultural and forestry industries says they contribute more than $70 billion annually to Alabama's economy and account for 22 percent of the state's workforce.


The Alabama Agribusiness Council and other groups joined Gov. Robert Bentley in releasing the study Tuesday.


Bentley said the last similar study was done in 1989, and the new study by Auburn University shows how important agriculture and forestry are to Alabama's economy.

Read more
Disabled Cruise Ship
5:35 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Tug Boats Tow Disabled Cruise Ship Toward Alabama

Photo of the Carnival Triumph at Half Moon Cay in 2008.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Coast Guard says a second tug boat has reached a disabled cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico and is helping tow it to Mobile, Ala.


More than 3,000 passengers and a crew of more than 1,000 aboard the Carnival Cruise Lines ship Carnival Triumph have had limited services since a fire in an engine room Sunday. The original plan was to tow it to Progreso, Mexico, but currents pushed it north.


No injuries have been reported.

Read more
Fat Tuesday-Alabama
5:27 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Mardi Gras Celebrations Rolling All Day In Alabama

The Joe Cain procession, also called "the people's Mardi Gras parade" is held the Sunday immediately before Fat Tuesday during the Mardi Gras season in Mobile.
Credit AP Photo/Press-Register, Mike Brantley

Plastic beads and moon pies will be flying all day on the Alabama coast.


Parades began in the morning and are scheduled to go into the night in Mobile and Baldwin counties for Fat Tuesday.


Rain is in the forecast, but organizers say the celebration will continue unless the weather turns severe.


Six parades are scheduled in Mobile, home of the nation's oldest Mardi Gras festivities. The beach cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach also have parades.

Read more
Politics & Government
5:49 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Cullman area voters head to the ballot box

Politics & Government
5:42 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Alabama exports up in 2012

istockphoto

Ledbetter Movie
5:29 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Ala.'s Lilly Ledbetter Signs Pact To Make Movie

Lilly Ledbetter with President Barack Obama.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

An Alabama woman has struck a deal with a Hollywood filmmaker to make a movie about her long battle for women to receive equal pay as men.


Lilly Ledbetter's long struggle to receive equal pay for the time she worked as a supervisor at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. plant in Gadsden led to the first bill Barack Obama signed into law as president.


Ledbetter's attorney Jon Goldfarb of Birmingham says she has signed an agreement with Hollywood filmmaker Rachel Feldman.He says details about the cast or where the movie will be made have not been finalized.

Read more
Cutting School Revenue
5:12 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Fiscal Cliff Settlement Costs Ala. Schools $70 M

Experts say the fiscal cliff settlement could cut funding to Alabama public schools by as much as $75M.
Credit istockphoto

Financial experts say the fiscal cliff agreement in Washington will cut funding for Alabama's public schools and colleges by at least $70 million annually.


The fiscal cliff settlement affects Alabama differently than most other states. That's because Alabama is one of the few states that provides its citizens with a state income tax deduction for the federal taxes paid. The federal settlement allowed a temporary reduction in payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare to expire. It also raised the tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.

Read more

Pages