The chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee is working on legislation to shift some Alabama judgeships to areas with heavy caseloads and backlogs in the court system.
Republican Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster said Friday he will offer his bill when the Legislature convenes Feb. 5. It would set up a system to shift judicial positions when a circuit judge retires in a county with a low caseload.
Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday that December's rate of 7.1 percent is down from 7.5 percent in November. It's the fourth month for a decline since measuring 8.5 percent in August. The December rate is also better than the 8 percent measured a year ago.
The state Department of Labor reports that Alabama gained 7,600 manufacturing jobs during the last year, and professional and business services jobs grew by 4,500.
North and central Alabama are trying to get back to normal after a winter storm dumped as much as 4 inches of snow on the area.
Dozens of school systems, businesses and government offices planned to open late Friday to let roads thaw out after an overnight freeze. The delays extended from the Tennessee line as far south as metro Birmingham.
But many people won't forget about the storm for a while.
Alabama House Republicans have announced an agenda for the upcoming legislative session of items that could put the state at odds with the Obama administration.
The agenda includes a measure aimed at slowing down Obama administration efforts to stiffen gun control regulations through federal laws or executive orders.
House Speaker Mike Hubbard proposed an amendment that would put the right to gun ownership in the Alabama Constitution. He says the amendment would give Alabama the "strongest gun protection" law in the country.
The Alabama Democratic Party is opening a field office in Birmingham.
The party has its headquarters near the Capitol in Montgomery. But party Chairman Mark Kennedy says it will have a field office in downtown Birmingham next to the Harbert Center. Kennedy plans to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon with Birmingham Mayor William Bell and the party's Jefferson County chairman, Richard Mauk.
Jefferson County and Montgomery County were two areas where the party did well in the November election.
The state of Alabama is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review part of its law cracking down on illegal immigration.
The state asked the judges Tuesday to review a section of the law that makes it a crime to assist, harbor or transport anyone who's in the country illegally.
Opponents of the law have called the section inhumane, but the state says it doesn't conflict with federal law. It also says the justices haven't reviewed a similar law in other states including Arizona.
A defense contractor has notified 139 of its roughly 400 employees at its Anniston Army Depot site that they will be laid off in March and April.
The Anniston Star reports (http://bit.ly/11zd3uu ) that General Dynamics Land Systems will employ fewer workers after April due to declining military orders for combat vehicles. The company builds and repairs combat vehicles.
Peter Keating, spokesman for General Dynamics Land Systems, said the layoffs were necessary due to a lack of work at the facility.
Faculty members at Auburn University are expressing concerns about what some consider a lack of diversity among candidates to fill two openings on the school's board of trustees.
One woman and 16 men will be interviewed to fill two openings as Auburn University trustees.
The Opelika-Auburn News reports (http://bit.ly/WJ2PAx) that Auburn Senate Chairman Bill Sauser said he and other Senate members met this week with President Jay Gogue to express their concern about how there was only one woman on the list of nominees.