The Associated Press

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Moving Judges
5:16 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Bill Sets Up System To Move Alabama Judgeships

A new bill aims to set up a system to shift some Alabama judgeships to areas with heavy caseloads and backlogs in the court system.

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.

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Cancer Center Grant
5:12 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Ala. Cancer Center To Receive $550,000 Donation

The University of Alabama Comprehensive Cancer Center is set to receive a $550,000 donation from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama.
Credit sunsets_for_you / Flickr

The University of Alabama Comprehensive Cancer Center is set to receive a $550,000 donation from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama.


The foundation has donated nearly $4 million to the center since 1996.


Officials say the money will be used to help recruit and retain researchers in hopes of obtaining more high-profile grants.


The University of Alabama Comprehensive Cancer Center employs more than 330 physicians and researchers who help treat more than 5,000 patients annually.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Business & Education
8:42 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Alabama Unemployment Drops to 7.1 Percent

Alabama's unemployment rate has dropped again.


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.

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Arts & Life
7:30 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Calera Band Marching in Obama's Inaugural Parade

The Calera High School Eagle Band will perform in President Obama's inaugural parade.
caleraeagleband.com

The Calera High School Eagle Band is headed to Washington to march in President Barack Obama's inaugural parade.

Band director Ryan Murrell said he sent a video to the inaugural committee in November, and the Calera band got picked to represent Alabama in the parade.


This is not Murrell's first inaugural parade. He participated in the parade for President George W. Bush in 2001 as a student at Homewood High School.


About 140 Calera band members are making the trip to Washington, along with staff and chaperones. They will return on Tuesday.

Arts & Life
6:41 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Ala Thawing Out From Snowy Blast

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.

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House Republican Agenda
5:17 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Republican Alabama House Members Propose Agenda

Alabama House Republicans have announced an agenda for the upcoming legislative session that could put the state at odds with the Obama Administration.
Credit Trance Mist / Flickr

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.

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Politics & Government
6:23 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Alabama Democrats Opening Birmingham Field Office

Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Mark Kennedy
aldemocrats.org

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.

Arts & Life
5:46 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Up to 4 Inches of Snow Possible in Parts of Ala.

www.srh.noaa.gov/bmx

Forecasters say they expect two to three inches of snow to accumulate in parts of Alabama, with some isolated amounts of up to four inches.

Much of the state -- including large parts of northern and central Alabama --- was under a winter storm warning Thursday morning.


National Weather Service officials said periods of heavy snow will be likely, with the heaviest snow falling Thursday morning.

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Alabama Weather
5:29 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

NWS Says Snow Could Follow Rain, Watch Issued

Snowfall is possible for much of the northern part of the state starting Wednesday night.
Credit http://www.srh.noaa.gov/bmx/ / National Weather Service

Forecasters say the rain that's been soaking north Alabama for days could turn into snow before it ends.


The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for much of the area, saying parts of north Alabama could receive 1 to 4 inches of snow.


Forecasters say snow could begin overnight Wednesday and continue possibly into Friday in some places.


Forecasters say the biggest threat is northeast of Birmingham, particularly in higher elevations.

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Sessions Running Again
5:14 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Alabama Senator Will Seek Re-Election In 2014

Senator Jeff Sessions will seek a fourth term in office in 2014.
Credit Photo Courtesy of Senator Jeff Sessions

Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama says he plans to run for a fourth term next year.


Sessions is beginning his 17th year of service in the Senate. The 66-year-old senator said Wednesday in Montgomery he's still enjoying serving in Washington and plans to run again in 2014.

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Alabama Immigration Law
5:07 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Ala. Asks Court To Review Part Of Immigration Law

The state of Alabama is asking the nation's highest court to review part of it's law cracking down on illegal immigration.
Credit longislandwins / Flickr

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.

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Business & Education
9:11 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Defense Contractor Announces Anniston Layoffs

Mechanics at Anniston Army Depot line up an M1 Abrams turret with its hull.
en.wikipedia.org

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.

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Business & Education
8:13 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Auburn Faculty Concerned About Candidate Diversity

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.

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Arts & Life
7:52 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Rains, Flooding Threat Continues in Alabama

A snapshot of today's forecast.
www.srh.noaa.gov

Rivers are rising and flooding continues to be a threat as rain keeps falling in Alabama.


A flood warning is in effect for most of northern and western Alabama, and a flood watch covers the rest of the region.


The National Weather Service says as much as 1 inch of additional rain could fall Wednesday, increasing flooding problems since the ground already is saturated with water.

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Arts & Life
7:18 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Ala Tourism Posters Boast 4NAROW for Football

The BCS Coaches' Trophy was on display a Wal-Mart and Academy stores in the state.
fox43.com

Tourism officials are offering new posters to mark the state of Alabama's run of four consecutive college football titles.

Small posters that say "4NAROW" will be available starting Thursday at state welcome centers and tourism offices.


The mini-posters resemble Alabama car tags and refer to the consecutive Bowl Championship Series crowns won by the University of Alabama and Auburn University.

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