(Information in the following story is from: Montgomery Advertiser, http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com)
Alabama's state school superintendent says he expects the Montgomery County school system to have a plan by Christmas to make sure grade-changing doesn't occur again.
State Superintendent Tommy Bice said the state Department of Education wants the plan for institutional control in place before the second semester starts. The department will appoint a monitor to make sure the school system carries out its new plan.
The state Board of Education has voted to give nearly $51,000 to a vice chancellor of the two-year college system for serving as interim chancellor for more than six months.
The board decided Thursday to give the money to Vice Chancellor Susan Price because that would have been the difference between her $155,250 annual salary and the chancellor's salary for the time she served.
Price served from March through the hiring of Mark Heinrich in September. The chancellor's base salary is $250,000 annually.
The predominantly black Alabama Democratic Conference and others have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Alabama House and Senate districts that were redrawn earlier this year by the Legislature.
The lawsuit filed Thursday claims legislators drew the districts in a way that caps the number of areas where black candidates have a realistic chance. The lawsuit says the districts adopted by the Republican-majority legislature violate the U.S. and Alabama constitutions and the federal Voting Rights Act.
A former state legislator is to be sentenced Thursday on a charge of having sexual contact with a female student at the high school where he was principal.
Former state Rep. James Thomas is to be sentenced at a hearing at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Wilcox County Courthouse in Camden. A jury last month found the 69-year-old Thomas guilty of the misdemeanor charge while finding him not guilty of a felony sexual abuse charge.
The sheriff of Macon County is planning to inspect new gambling machines being installed in VictoryLand in anticipation of the casino reopening soon.
An attorney for VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor said Sheriff David Warren will be at the casino in Shorter on Wednesday afternoon.
VictoryLand was once Alabama's largest casino with more than 6,000 games. It shut down in 2010 under pressure from the governor's gambling task force. The casino maintained that its games were legal electronic bingo, but the task force labeled them illegal slots.
A federal judge says she will decide next month whether to accept a plea deal that calls for BP PLC to pay a record $4.5 billion in penalties for its role in a deadly 2010 rig explosion and the massive oil spill it triggered in the Gulf of Mexico.
To resolve a Justice Department probe, the London-based oil giant agreed last month to plead guilty to criminal charges involving the deaths of 11 workers and lying to Congress about how much oil spilled from its blown-out well.
Two Republicans appear to be headed to the Alabama State House of Representatives following special elections.
Republican David Standridge, of Hayden, won district 34 on Tuesday with nearly 55 percent of the vote. His Republican opponent Chris Latta, of Oneonta, received 45 percent. Alabama Republican Party Executive Director Timothy James Maloney said there was no Democratic contender. The district covers most of Blount County and part of Jefferson County.
A state task force report will recommend ways to cut Alabama's law enforcement spending, most likely by combining some of the state's 22 law enforcement agencies.
The Anniston Star reports (http://bit.ly/UwnWEE) that members of the Integrated State Law Enforcement Task Force aren't yet giving specifics of what would be cut under the proposal. The report is to be delivered to Gov. Robert Bentley this weekend.
Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said the recommendations should bring Alabama in line with neighboring states.
A council that's supposed to develop a plan to restore the environment and economy after the BP oil spill is holding its first public meeting.
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council meets Tuesday afternoon in Mobile. The council includes federal officials and state officials from the five Gulf Coast states. A spokesman for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said he plans to attend the meeting.
Two Republican legislators are planning to push legislation in the upcoming session to prevent elder abuse and increase the penalties for offenders.
Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster and Rep. Paul DeMarco of Homewood plan to announce the legislation Monday afternoon, along with the state's director of Senior Services, Neal Morrison. . The event will be at the Heardmont Senior Center in Shelby County.