The Associated Press


Auburn Toomer's Corner
7:28 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Toomer's Oaks to be Removed After April Game

Auburn University officials say students and the public will have one final chance to roll the dying Toomer's Corner oak trees before they're removed in April.

An Auburn University official says the iconic Toomer's Corner oak trees will likely be removed a few days after an April 20 football game.

Auburn University students and the public will get one final chance to roll the dying Toomer's Oaks before they are removed after the A-Day football game.

Dan King, Auburn's assistant vice president of facilities, says tells the Opelika-Auburn News ( that trees will likely be removed within a week or two following the game.

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Tuscaloosa Tornado Recovery
7:21 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Tuscaloosa Council to Vote on Storm Recovery Money

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox walks with President Obama as they tour the storm damage on April 29, 2011.

The city council in Tuscaloosa is expected to vote Tuesday on a contract that would secure a $10 million line of credit to help fund storm recovery efforts.

The Tuscaloosa News reports ( that if approved, it would mark the first money the city would borrow to pay for the millions of dollars in costs associated with rebuilding and cleaning up Tuscaloosa following the tornado of April 27, 2011.

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2013 Legislative Session
6:32 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Alabama Legislature Faces Gun Right Bills

Democratic Rep. Craig Ford is one of a few Alabama lawmakers introducing gun control legislation during the 2013 legislative session.

The Alabama Legislature will face several gun rights bills when it convenes Tuesday for its 2013 session.

Republican Rep. Mike Jones of Andalusia is offering a proposed constitutional amendment that would give Second Amendment rights the benefit of "strict scrutiny." That would require a compelling interest before regulating gun rights and would require that any limits on guns be narrowly tailored. The legislation is patterned after a bill the National Rifle Association got passed in Louisiana.

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Politics & Government
6:25 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Ala. Legislation Would Exonerate Scottsboro Boys

The Scottsboro Boys, with their attorney, under guard by the state militia.

A group of lawmakers and others will have a news conference to announce legislation being introduced to exonerate the nine Scottsboro Boys, accused of raping two white women in 1931.

A news conference has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at the Alabama Statehouse.

A group that includes Democratic and Republican lawmakers says it is supporting a resolution and a bill that would exonerate the men, now deceased, known as the Scottsboro Boys.

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Voting Rights Act
9:23 am
Sun February 3, 2013

US Supreme Court To Hear Alabama Case Feb. 27

The nation's highest court will hear arguments Feb. 27 in efforts by an Alabama county to stop enforcement of part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Credit Matt Wade / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Feb. 27 in efforts by an Alabama county to stop enforcement of part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The court initially agreed in November to hear the case brought by Shelby County, and it has now set the date for attorneys to present their arguments.

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Rosa Parks' 100th
9:12 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Montgomery Observes Rosa Parks' 100th Birthday

Rosa Parks in 1955. Montgomery is honoring civil rights icon Parks with a downtown project.
Credit USIA / Wikimedia Commons

Montgomery is observing the 100th anniversary of the birth of civil rights icon Rosa Parks with a public art project downtown.

A 96-foot by 40-foot wall is covered in chalkboard paint and has space for people to complete the sentence "Before I die I want to..."

Montgomery's director of development, Chad Emerson, told the Montgomery Advertiser that citizens came up with the idea and volunteers did the work.

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Traffic Deaths
9:04 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Ala. Agency Says Trauma Care Has Cut Crash Deaths

Officials say an expanded trauma network has reduced the rate of traffic deaths drastically since 2007
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A new report by Alabama health officials says the rate of traffic deaths has fallen drastically since the state established a trauma network in 2007.

The numbers released by the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Hospital Association show deaths from vehicle crashes dropped from 27.64 per 100,000 people in 2006 to a rate of 18.05 per 100,000 people in 2011.

Dr. John Campbell, the retired state emergency services medical director, says the results show spending on trauma care has paid off for Alabama.

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Midland City Standoff
12:21 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Town Mourns For Slain Bus Driver Amid Standoff

A vigil in Midland City Saturday afternoon for the driver, abductor and child at the center of the days-long standoff.
Credit Danny Tindell / Dothan Eagle

Hundreds of people have turned out at a service to remember an Alabama bus driver who was shot to death trying to protect the young children on his school bus.

Mourners who attended a viewing service at a funeral home Saturday night remembered 66-year-old Charles Albert Poland, Jr., as a humble hero who taught Sunday School and often lent a helping hand to others.

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Politics & Government
12:15 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Alabama Republican Party Re-Elects Party Chairman

Bill Armistead won re-election as chairman of Alabama's Republican Party despite strong competition from Matt Fridy.

The Alabama Republican Party has re-elected party Chairman Bill Armistead despite a campaign by the governor and other top Republicans to oust him.

The State Republican Executive Committee voted Saturday in Birmingham, with Armistead defeating challenger Matt Fridy. The winner will lead the GOP into the 2014 elections.

Gov. Robert Bentley, Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey and House Speaker Mike Hubbard supported Fridy. Armistead had the backing of Chief Justice Roy Moore.

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Business & Education
8:26 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Auburn Trustees Select 2 to Board Positions

The Auburn University Board of Trustees has approved two men for positions on the board.

The Opelika-Auburn News reports ( that the board made the decision during a meeting in Montgomery Thursday afternoon.

Mike DeMaioribus was approved as the District 8 trustee; and Wayne Smith was approved as an at-large trustee.

The 58-year-old DeMaioribus is the senior vice president at Dynetics Inc., a Huntsville-based company that specializes in intelligence, missiles, aviation and space.

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Alabama tax filing season
6:36 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Federal Officers Warn of Tax Season Identity Theft

Federal prosecutors and law enforcement officials have warned Alabama residents to be vigilant in watching for identity theft as tax filing season begins.

U.S. Attorney George Beck in the Middle District of Alabama said Thursday nine people have been arrested in recent days and eight are to be sentenced Friday in identity theft cases in the district. He says the cases involve millions of dollars.

He says tax season tends to bring out thieves looking for "easy money" from filing fraudulent returns or from fraudulently preparing someone's returns.

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Baldwin County anti-bullying
6:30 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Ala. Officials Form Anti-Bullying Initiative

The Baldwin County District Attorney's office has partnered with the Baldwin County Public School System to launch a comprehensive anti-bullying initiative.

District Attorney Hallie Dixon says research shows about half of all children experience bullying at some point in their educational careers, and many are repeatedly targeted.

The initiative is aimed at raising awareness, crafting tools for bullying prevention and reporting methods and helping to generate a community-wide response to bullying.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Jefferson County Bankruptcy
5:11 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Hearing Opens In Jefferson County Bankruptcy Case

Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos was one of the first called today in a hearing regarding the county's bankruptcy case.

Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos was among the first witnesses called as a hearing began before a bankruptcy judge.

The hearing this week is aimed at determining whether county sewer bondholders will be allowed to go back to state court to force higher sewer rates.

The hearing before Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Thomas Bennett deals with motions by The Bank of New York Mellon and other creditors that ask him to lift the automatic-stay on legal action against the bankrupt county.

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Midland City Standoff
4:37 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Alabama Governor Calls Mother Of Kidnapped Boy

Governor Robert Bentley has reached out to the mother of the boy being held hostage in a bunker in southeast Alabama.
Credit Al Whitaker / WHNT News 19

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he has called the mother of the 5-year-old Dale County boy kidnapped from his school bus on Tuesday. The boy is being held in a handmade bunker in Dale County in southeast Alabama.

Bentley said he has talked to the mother on the telephone. He described her as being "very distraught as I would be." The governor has four grown sons.

The governor said he and other state officials are "hoping for a peaceful" resolution of the situation.

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Politics & Government
7:17 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Ala. Lieutenant Governor to Meet Senate Leaders

Alabama Lt. Governor Kay Ivey

Alabama Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey is to meet with Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh of Anniston and with Senate Minority Leader Vivian Figures of Mobile in preparation for the 2013 session of the Legislature.

The meeting with Ivey will be at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in the lieutenant governor's office at the Capitol. The session begins Tuesday.

Ivey said each of the Senate leaders will answer questions from the news media and deliver brief remarks,