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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.
southeastfarmpress.com

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.
Credit votesmart.org

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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State Law Enforcement
4:47 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Governor Bentley Proposes Law Enforcement Plan

Governor Bentley has signed an executive order that aims to improve the coordination between state law enforcement agencies.
Credit State of Alabama

Bentley signed the order Tuesday, which makes state Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier the state's senior law enforcement adviser.


One of Collier's responsibilities will be to ensure the maximum number of state law enforcement officers are on the streets. The governor says consolidating administrative duties among departments is a way to accomplish that.


Bentley says his plan would consolidate some administrative functions such as purchasing, fleet maintenance and communications.

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Birmingham Bombing - Congress
4:37 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Recognition Sought For Church Bombing Victims

Lawmakers want to honor the victims of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963 with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Nearly 50 years ago, white supremacists planted a bomb in a Birmingham, Ala., church that killed four young girls preparing to worship. It was an act of terror that shocked the country and propelled the Congress to pass that historic 1964 Civil Rights Act. Lawmakers now want to honor those victims of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor that Congress can bestow.

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Arts & Life
9:06 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Ala Troopers Re-Evaluating Snow Plans After Jam

Motorists were stuck in Cullman County on I-65 because of snow and ice.
weather.aol.com

A spokesman says Alabama state troopers were caught off guard by last week's snow, which caused an overnight traffic jam on Interstate 65.

Trooper spokesman Curtis Summerville says road conditions worsened faster than officials expected once the snow began coming down.

Summerville tells The Decatur Daily (http://bit.ly/1416Bez ) authorities are looking at ways to do things better in case of a repeat. He says possibilities include using billboard or twitter to inform motorists of blocked roads.

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Arts & Life
7:35 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Temperatures to Continue Falling in Alabama

Temperatures are expected to plunge into the mid-20s early Wednesday morning across much of northern Alabama, with freezing temperatures forecast for the central part of the state.


Forecasters at the National Weather Service say arctic air is in place over much of the nation, and temperatures are expected to be well below average over the next week.


Low temperatures are expected to be around 23 degrees in Huntsville and around 27 degrees in the Birmingham area early Wednesday. In the Montgomery area, the low is expected to be around 31 degrees.

Politics & Government
7:11 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Bentley to Discuss Law Enforcement Efficiency Plan

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley plans a news conference to detail a plan for "increasing efficiency" among state-level law enforcement agencies.


Bentley plans to sign an executive order creating the position of Senior Law Enforcement Adviser. Bentley said in a news release Monday that Alabama Department of Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier will serve in this role and will help coordinate activities among state law enforcement agencies.

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Public Property Database
5:07 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Legislation Proposes Ala. State Property Database

Homewood Rep. Paul Demarco is proposing a bill to bring more transparency and accountability to Alabama's government.
Credit http://www.pljpc.com

An Alabama state lawmaker has pre-filed legislation that would require the state auditor to keep a searchable public database listing any piece of personal property owned by the state and valued at $500 or more.


Homewood Republican Rep. Paul Demarco announced Monday that he is sponsoring the legislation in an attempt to bring more transparency and accountability to government.


DeMarco says taxpayers should be able to see what exactly is being purchased with their tax money.

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King Day Activities
4:51 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Crowd Gathers At Ala. Capitol For King Day Rally

Martin Luther King Jr.
seattletimes.com

More than 500 people attended a rally on the steps of the Alabama Capitol to celebrate civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

King Day fell on the same day that President Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term as the nation's first black president.

Speakers Monday included Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who called the King Day celebration "a great day for America."

Earlier Monday, Southern Christian Leadership Conference President Charles Steele told a Unity Breakfast in Birmingham that there was still much work to be done to fulfill King's dream.

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Arts & Life
5:51 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Alabama remembers legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior

Credit nobelprize.org

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Politics & Government
7:50 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Bill may end State liquor sales

istockphoto

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — One Alabama senator says it's time for the state to get out of the retail liquor business. State Senate budget committee Chairman Arthur Orr is working on a bill for the legislative session beginning Feb. 5 that would do just that. Orr says closing state-run liquor stores and eliminating the 600 employees could save $46 million annually. He wants to use private liquor stores for all retail operations. The administrator of the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, Mac Gipson, says the current system is efficient.

Law Enforcement Consolidation
5:33 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Ala. Officials Differ Over Law Enforcement Merger

Competing plans are being developed to obtain more efficiency in Alabama's law enforcement operations.
Credit istockphotos

Competing plans are being developed for achieving more efficiency in Alabama's law enforcement operations.


Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh unveiled legislation Friday that would consolidate and reorganize the state's many law enforcement functions into a new Public Safety Agency. It would include state troopers, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, marine police, the fire marshal and others. It would abolish the state Department of Homeland Security and divide its duties among other agencies.

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Obit-Hood
5:24 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

1 Of First Black UA students, James Hood, Dies

Plaque commemorating James Hood on the west face of the Autherine Lucy Clock Tower in Malone Hood Plaza on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Credit Ttownfeen / Wikimedia Commons

One of the first black students at the University of Alabama, James Hood of Gadsden, has died. He was 70.


Officials at Adams-Buggs Funeral Home in Gadsden said they are handling arrangements for Hood, who died Thursday. Details concerning Hood's funeral are not complete.


Hood's admission to the University of Alabama in 1963 was made famous by then Alabama Gov. George Wallace's "stand in the schoolhouse door" to keep Hood and Vivian Malone from registering for classes at the University of Alabama.

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