The Associated Press


Science & Health
8:48 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Heroin-Related Deaths Rising in Jefferson County

(Information in the following story is from: The Birmingham News,

The Jefferson County Coroner says 57 people died because of heroin overdoses in 2012 and the figure is nearly double the number of people who died after overdosing on the drug in 2011. reports heroin was also listed as a contributing factor in five other deaths in 2012.

Authorities say 30 people died in Jefferson County from overdoses on the drug in 2011, which was nearly double the number of people who died from overdosing on the drug in 2010.

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Politics & Government
8:42 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Over 1,000 Gather in Ala. to Remember Former Mayor

Former Daphne Mayor Bailey Yelding passed away at his home on Tuesday.

(Information in the following story is from: WALA-TV,

Over 1,000 people gathered in Daphne to remember 72-year-old Bailey Yelding, former mayor of Daphne who died at his home Tuesday after a battle with cancer.

WALA-TV reports well-wishers gathered at the Daphne Civic Center Friday for Yelding's funeral.

Yelding — who was the first black mayor of Daphne — has also served as an assistant school principal and city councilman. He was a member of Macedonia Missionary Church and was buried at Macedonia Memorial Gardens.

Alabama Prison Abuse
4:47 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Fed Study Criticizes Ala. Women's Prison

A new report from the Justice Department is criticizing the way female inmates are treated at Alabama's lone prison for women.
Credit Rivers A. Langley / Wikimedia Commons

A Justice Department report is criticizing the way female inmates are treated at Alabama's lone prison for women.

A study by the National Institute of Corrections says there have been reports of sexual abuse of female prisoners, and officials haven't always treated those complaints in the proper manner.

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Business & Education
10:45 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Auburn Considers Graduate-Level Program in Brewing

Auburn University officials are considering offering a graduate-level degree in brewing sciences.

The degree is among issues expected to be discussed at the school's board of trustees meeting Feb. 1.

The Opelika-Auburn News reports ( that the program would provide graduate-level coursework for students and professionals interested in learning about brewing, including malting, mashing, brewing and fermentation.

The trustees are also expected to discuss a possible graduate-degree program in turf grass management.


Arts & Life
7:33 am
Fri January 25, 2013

NWS Cancels Winter Weather Advisory for North Ala

A snapshot of the National Weather Service forecast for North Alabama.

Forecasters say the threat of freezing rain is over for most of north Alabama.

Temperatures are well above freezing in the Tennessee Valley, and the National Weather Service has canceled a freezing rain advisory for the region.

Forecasters say light coatings of ice are still possible in the east Alabama counties of Cherokee and Cleburne along the Georgia line. But any problems should be gone by mid-morning Friday.

Dozens of schools delayed opening as a precaution against slippery roads.

School Safety
4:49 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Superintendent Praises Alabama School Safety Plan

Alabama School Superintendent Tommy Bice says he feels the state has a good comprehensive safety plan.

Alabama schools superintendent Tommy Bice says the state's schools have a comprehensive safety plan which he feels good about.

Bice's comments came during a Thursday work session of the Alabama Board of Education. The session was called to discuss safety in state schools in the wake of last month's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

The superintendent has asked state public school systems to turn in their school safety plans to him by early next month.

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Business & Education
9:09 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Alabama State Trustee Kathy Sawyer Resigns Post

Kathy Sawyer, member Alabama State University Board of Trustees, resigned from her post.

Officials say Alabama State University trustee Kathy Sawyer has resigned from the institution's board.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports ( ) that Sawyer submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Robert Bentley on Jan. 13.

She stated in her resignation letter that she was unable to fulfill her responsibility "in a manner that benefits both the university and me personally."

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Arts & Life
7:56 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Freezing Rain Possible in North Alabama

Forecasters say north Alabama could be in for another round of wintry weather.

The National Weather Service says as much as one-quarter inch of freezing rain is possible across the Tennessee Valley and as far south as Sylacauga in eastern Alabama.

Forecasters have issued a freezing rain advisory in effect from midnight Thursday until 9 a.m. Friday.

The advisory includes the cities of Huntsville, Florence, Gadsden, Fort Payne, Anniston and parts of metro Birmingham.

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Business & Education
7:32 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Ala. Board Expects Ruling in 15 Days on License

VictoryLand now operates 900 electronic bingo machines according to Joe Espy, lawyer for the casino.

The chairman of an Alabama Beverage Control board panel says it expects to rule within 15 days on the Victoryland casino's request for a liquor license.

The committee concluded an all-day meeting about 5 p.m. Wednesday and committee chairman, Joe Adams, says it will now review mounds of evidence.

Deputy Attorney General Sonny Reagan urged the committee to deny the casino's application. VictoryLand attorney Joe Espy says the machines have been declared legal bingo machines by Macon County Sheriff David Warren, and the license should be granted.

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Business & Education
7:17 am
Thu January 24, 2013

School Safety to be Topic at Ala. Board Meeting

Alabama Superintendent Tommy Bice.

The Alabama Board of Education will hold a work session to discuss ways to keep Alabama schools safe.

The work session will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Gordon Persons Building in Montgomery.

Superintendent Tommy Bice has asked superintendents across the state to submit the safety plans for their schools in light of last month's shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

ASU Trustee-Resigns
5:13 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

ASU Trustee Resigns From Board

The lone Alabama State University trustee to vote against a separation agreement with former president Joseph Silver has resigned.
Credit / Alabama State University

The lone Alabama State University trustee to vote against a separation agreement with former president Joseph Silver has resigned.

Kathy Sawyer did not provide Gov. Robert Bentley with a reason for her resignation, but says she does not believe she can make any contributions to the school's board of trustees. The newspaper reports Bentley thanked Sawyer for her service and says she has served with dignity and integrity.

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Business & Education
7:16 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Ala. Farmer Chosen as Spokesman for National Group

Will Gilmer of Lamar County, Ala., was one of four farmers selected in USFRA’s Faces of Farming and Ranching program.

An Alabama dairy farmer has been chosen to serve as a spokesman for a national farmers' association.

Will Gilmer, of Lamar County, will serve as one of four national spokesmen for the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. Officials say Gilmer and other winners were selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants in the national Faces of Farming and Ranching program.

As a spokesman for the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, Gilmer will help educate consumers on how food is grown and cultivated.

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Business & Education
7:11 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Ala. Board to Hear Casino's Liquor License Request

Alabama's liquor control agency is to decide if the newly reopened VictoryLand casino in Shorter will receive a license to sell alcoholic beverages.

The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is to meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday on VictoryLand's application for a license.

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Community College-Courses
5:07 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Ala. Officials Considering Free College Courses

Ala. Community College System Chancellor Mark Heinrich is working on legislation to maximize participation in community college courses by offering them for free
Credit Shelton State Community College

State officials are considering introducing a bill that would allow high school students to enroll in community college courses for free.

Community College System Chancellor Mark Heinrich says he is working with state lawmakers to draft a bill on the issue as early as the 2013 legislative session. Heinrich made the statement Tuesday at the Economic Development Association of Alabama's winter conference.

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Obit-Hinton Mitchem
4:59 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Longtime Ala. Democratic Sen. Hinton Mitchem Dies

Longtime Alabama Democratic Senator Hinton Mitchem has died.

One of Alabama's longest serving legislators, former Democratic state Senate President Pro Tem Hinton Mitchem of Union Grove, has died. He was 74.

Direct Communications President Rick Heartsill, a friend of Mitchem, says the former senator died Tuesday after a long illness.

Mitchem was a longtime tractor dealer in Albertville. He was first elected to the Albertville City Council in 1968 and then to the state House of Representatives in 1974. After serving four years in the House, he was elected to the Senate in 1978 and in 1982.

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