Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange

Residents in much of northern and central Alabama are digging out this morning after a winter storm dumped a substantial amount of snow on the region.

Roads are impassable in more than ten Alabama counties. The heaviest snow fell north of Birmingham – forecasters say some areas received upwards of ten inches of snow accumulation.

Paige Colburn is the emergency management officer for the Huntsville – Madison County EMA. She says they’re hoping to avoid a repeat of last Friday, when stuck and abandoned cars caused major problems for emergency crews.

The execution of an Alabama death row inmate has been put on hold.

U.S. District Judge William Keith Watkins granted the emergency stay to Tommy Arthur. The convicted killer is challenging the state’s new execution drug combination on the grounds that it’s cruel and unusual punishment. The cocktail uses the same chemicals used in botched executions in other states.

Project Hope executive director Esther Brown says this form of capital punishment is not that different from policies of the past.

Gay marriage is set to be legalized in Alabama Monday. All that’s left is for U.S. District Judge Callie Granade to lift the stay she imposed last month. At that point, same-sex couples all across the state will be free to apply for marriage licenses. That's despite a robust appeal attempt by the State of Alabama and its Attorney General, Luther Strange.

“Alabama has a law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. It’s my job as Attorney General to defend the laws of the state, so that’s what we’re doing in courts across the state.”

Tuscaloosa is competing with nearly 70 other communities for part of a half-billion dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

City officials and residents gathered inside the Rosedale Court Apartment complex yesterday to identify what they see as important points. Members of the recovery operations for Tuscaloosa asked people about resiliency, at-risk populations and overall impacts that could lead to the city winning part of the grant.

Tuscaloosa City Councilor Harrison Taylor says it is all about being prepared.

Harper Lee
Associated Press

    

A federal appeals court order has cleared the way for same-sex marriages to begin next week in Alabama. The three-judge panel from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange's request for an extended stay.

U.S. District Judge Callie Granade last month ruled that two Alabama laws prohibiting the recognition of same-sex marriages unconstitutional. Granade put a hold on her order until Monday to let the state appeal.

The former CEO of two non-profit Alabama health clinics was arrested yesterday on federal charges.

The Birmingham U.S. Attorney's Office says Jonathan Wade Dunning was arrested on multiple counts of fraud, conspiracy, money-laundering and other charges.

Dunning was at one time CEO of both Birmingham Health Care and Central Alabama Comprehensive Health in Tuskegee. Prosecutors say Dunning left those clinics to run a private business, and are accusing him of funneling substantial amounts of government money from the non-profit health operations into his own company.

China is Alabama’s second biggest trading partner. That economic relationship is the focus of a new series of events at the Birmingham International Center.  The Center will host various cultural, educational, and outreach events between now and May. A large part of the focus is on business and trade with China. Alabama does two and a half billion dollars’ worth of business with China every year.

al.com

Governor Robert Bentley is telling Attorney General Luther Strange that the state has limited resources to fight gambling.   The governor, in a January 13th letter to Strange, says the primary duty rests with local law enforcement.

The governor says he was responding to a memo that Strange sent district attorneys and local law enforcement officials suggesting that state police would be a "valuable resource" to them in trying to shut down gambling operations.  Strange said he expected them to enforce gambling laws.

wikipedia.org

    

Alabama state lawmakers will gather in Montgomery this week. APR’s Pat Duggins reports on orientation week for the state house and senate…

Alabama’s newly elected senators and representatives will hear presentations about the legislative process, state budgets and the role of a legislator. Members will also take a mandatory training course on the requirements of the state ethics law.

wikipedia.org

Attorney General Luther Strange says a phone scam involving jury duty is spreading to more Alabama counties and it often targets the elderly.

The scam involves someone pretending to be with law enforcement or with the local court system. They will call a person and threaten to arrest them for missing jury duty. Then the caller says the matter can be settled without an arrest if the person agrees to purchase a pre-paid credit card and pay an amount over the phone. The attorney general says the court system doesn't work that way. It usually contacts people in writing.

Mike Saechang / Flickr

Twenty-one states are asking a federal appeals court to overturn provisions of Maryland's gun-control law that ban 45 assault weapons and limit gun magazines to 10 rounds.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey led the coalition in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, last week.

The brief says the law violates the Second Amendment right to keep firearms in homes for self-protection.

council of state governments

A lead prosecutor says ethics charges were brought against House Speaker Mike Hubbard because a grand jury found evidence of crimes and not for political reasons.

Acting Attorney General W. Van Davis issued a statement Tuesday responding to accusations by Hubbard that the case is political.

Davis says he has no political allegiances to anyone, including Attorney General Luther Strange, who appointed him.

yazclassaction

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a legal challenge to Alabama's property tax system.

The Supreme Court's decision Monday means one of the nation's lowest property tax rates remains intact.

Attorneys representing families in Lawrence and Sumter counties had challenged the fairness of Alabama's property taxes, particularly the low rates on timber and farm property. They lost in U.S. District Court and at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Then they asked the Supreme Court to review the case.

A deputy state attorney general is asking for the appointment of an independent investigation into accusations that he interfered with a public corruption investigation.

Deputy Attorney General Sonny Reagan sent a letter Monday to his boss, Attorney General Luther Strange, saying he did nothing wrong.

Reagan asked for Strange or Gov. Robert Bentley to appoint an independent person to look into the accusations against him as well as a misconduct complaint Reagan previously filed against Matt Hart, who's a key prosecutor in the corruption probe.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says the state will benefit from a court ruling that could mean billions of dollars in damages for the Gulf oil spill in 2010.

Strange says a judge's decision that oil giant BP caused the spill through reckless conduct means the company will pay additional civil penalties.

Strange says Alabama will receive part of that money, although the exact amount isn't clear.

Strange commented Thursday after a federal judge in New Orleans ruled BP bears most of the responsibility for the Gulf oil spill.

Glenn Baeske/Huntsville Times

The Alabama attorney general's office is asking a judge to dismiss criminal charges against former state Sen. Lowell Barron and an aide.

Prosecutors filed the request late Monday in DeKalb County. A judge hadn't ruled Tuesday morning.

The state cites a series of court rulings against the prosecution in asking the judge to throw out charges against Barron and former aide Jill Johnson.

Grand jurors indicted Barron and Johnson last year on campaign finance and ethics charges accusing them of misusing campaign funds to help Johnson pay off a home loan from Barron.

iapnews.com

The Democratic challenger to Attorney General Luther Strange accuses him of being an absentee officeholder more interested in cracking down on bingo than violent crime.

Strange says his opponent, Democrat Joe Hubbard, has a campaign largely financed by gambling interests.

With more budget problems likely ahead for the state, some legislative leaders say they're open to the idea of a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

The tribe currently offers bingo games, which resemble slot machines, but would need an agreement with the state to add table games or another location.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh says he's not aware of any ongoing discussions but that everything is on the table as the state seeks long-term budget solutions.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is praising a federal appeals court ruling against an important provision in President Barack Obama's health care law.

Strange says he is proud to have joined other Republican attorneys general who opposed the law before an appeals court in Washington.

The divided court ruled Tuesday that federal subsidies to help millions of low and middle-income people pay insurance premiums apply only in states that set up their own insurance markets under the law. A federal court in Virginia unanimously ruled the opposite way.

www.abc3340.com

A member of the gun rights group BamaCarry got to vote in Shelby County while wearing a holstered pistol, but police later asked him to leave the front of the polling place.

Robert Kennedy showed up with his gun Tuesday at the Pelham First Baptist Church Annex. A sign on the annex said firearms were prohibited, but election officials allowed Kennedy to vote while wearing his gun. Kennedy and members of his group later stood outside the polling place until Pelham police asked them to leave at the request of a poll official.

Alabama's attorney general has issued an advisory opinion saying a county commission does not have the authority to prohibit firearms at polling places.

The Chambers County Commission sought the advice of Attorney General Luther Strange after some people showed up to vote in the June 3 primary election in Chambers and Shelby counties carrying guns.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says he goes to work every day and thinks of a way to sue the Obama administration.

Al.com reports that Strange made the comment in a speech to the Republican Women of Huntsville. He told the group Tuesday that part of his oath of office compelled him in that pursuit. He described it as a full-time job that's the best job in Alabama politics. Strange has sued over the Affordable Care Act, opposed the Obama administration on environmental regulations and filed court briefs in several cases involving federal policy.

The state attorney general's office says its prosecution of former state Senate leader Lowell Barron will be over if an appellate court upholds all three rulings issued by the judge in Barron's case.

The attorney general's office makes the argument in papers filed with the Alabama Supreme Court. It is asking the court to review rulings by a DeKalb County judge.

Barron and former aide Jill Johnson were indicted last year on charges of misusing campaign funds.

lutherstrange.com

Attorney General Luther Strange wants an appeals court to reconsider its ruling striking down Alabama's sexual misconduct law.

The law criminalized all acts of anal and oral sex. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ruled unanimously Friday that the law is unconstitutional because of a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning a Texas law against consensual homosexual conduct.

Alabama's attorney general has selected a new gambling expert to replace one who died.

Attorney General Luther Strange's office notified a Montgomery judge that it will use former FBI agent Bill Holmes of Annandale, Virginia, to testify in a trial involving VictoryLand casino in Shorter. Holmes spent 20 years with the FBI, mostly working on gambling cases.

The attorney general's office had used New Jersey gambling expert Bob Sertell as an expert witness for more than a decade, but he died May 6.

lutherstrange.com

Alabama's attorney general is scheduled to testify to a Senate subcommittee in Washington in opposition to environmental regulations affecting coal-fired power plants.

A spokesman for Attorney General Luther Strange says he was invited by Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to testify Wednesday at a meeting of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety. The subcommittee is focusing on climate change. Sessions is a member of the subcommittee.

americasvoiceonline.org

Alabama's attorney general has been selected to serve as Southeast regional chair of the National Association of Attorneys General.

Officials from state Attorney General Luther Strange's office said Wednesday that he was selected for the position at the group's summer meeting in Michigan.

Strange says he's honored that his colleagues have chosen him to represent Southeastern states and he's committed to serve the interests of the region.

Officials say Strange and other regional leaders will serve on the group's executive committee.

Alabama Foundation for Limited Government

A group that ran TV ads critical of the Republican legislative leadership says it doesn't have to disclose its sources of funding because the ads were for educational purposes only.

An attorney for the Alabama Foundation for Limited Government, J. Brandon Rice, told Attorney General Luther Strange in a letter that the ads were not designed to influence Tuesday's primary election.

The Javorac / Flickr

State officials say more than 9,800 pounds of expired and unwanted prescription drugs were collected during a recent take-back event.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said in a statement Wednesday that he's pleased with the public's response to prescription drug take-back day, which featured more than 100 collection sites throughout the state.

Officials say Alabama's first prescription drug take-back event was held in September of 2010. Since then, more than 34,400 pounds of unwanted or expired prescription drugs have been collected.

americasvoiceonline.org

The judge has delayed a trial over the state attorney general's raid of VictoryLand casino in Shorter.

Attorney General Luther Strange sought the delay because the gambling expert used by the attorney general's office for at least a decade died recently. Bob Sertell died May 6 in Vineland, New Jersey, from cardiac problems.

Circuit Judge William Shashy signed an order Thursday postponing the trial from June 23 to Sept. 9 to give the attorney general time to find a new expert witness.

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