Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

Alabama's unemployment rate has dropped to 6.3 percent, but it remains above the national average.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced Friday that Alabama's rate declined from 6.6 percent in September to 6.3 percent in October. That's the same rate Alabama recorded a year ago. The October rate is higher than the national figure of 5.8 percent.

Bentley says Alabama is seeing healthy growth in jobs and is seeing a decline in the amount of unemployment benefits being paid.

The Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley has selected Alabama Power's top executive to serve as chairman of his inaugural committee.

Bentley says Mark Crosswhite of Birmingham will be in charge of planning an inauguration that brings people together regardless of political affiliation and that celebrates the things that make Alabama great.

Crosswhite is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Alabama Power.

blog.al.com

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he plans to use any leftover campaign funds to benefit the state.

Bentley said Friday he will set up a charitable organization to receive his leftover funds and then distribute them to projects. He said no projects are definite, but one group he would like to help is foster children.

Bentley did something similar with his inaugural fund in 2011. He raised $1.6 million in donations to pay for his inauguration and had more than $300,000 left. He donated that to the state General Fund to support state agencies during a lean budget year.

blog.al.com

Alabama's health officer says his staff has monitored three people who traveled to Alabama from west African countries with Ebola outbreaks, and there have been no problems.

Dr. Don Williamson and Gov. Robert Bentley provided an update Thursday on Alabama's preparations for Ebola.

ADECA

A free program designed to help people after a traffic accident is now available statewide.

Bullock County officials joined Gov. Robert Bentley on Friday to start participating in the Yellow Dot program and complete coverage statewide. The program began in 2009 in Etowah County.

Yellow Dot coordinator Lora Weaver says a Yellow Dot decal is placed in the back window of a vehicle. If a crash occurs, the dot alerts first responders to a yellow information packet in the glove compartment that lists health conditions, medications and emergency contacts.

http://governor.alabama.gov / Office of the Governor

Gov. Robert Bentley has surpassed the $6 million fundraising mark in his quest to win a second term in office.

Bentley has raised $6.1 million over the last two years, according to fundraising reports filed Thursday.

Republican Bentley maintains a lopsided fundraising advantage over Democrat Parker Griffith a month ahead of the November election.

Griffith has raised $347,000 in cash donations since announcing his bid for governor.

The former congressman has also loaned his campaign $391,000.

The Governor's Office

Alabama is whittling down the debt it owes to a state trust fund for money borrowed during the recession.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced Thursday that the state will repay $70 million to the Alabama Trust Fund from fiscal 2014 revenue. Half of that was required by state law, and the other half became available because of extra revenue the state received.

Associated Press

The state teachers' organization, the Alabama Education Association, has become the biggest contributor to Democrat Parker Griffith's campaign for governor.

Griffith filed a campaign finance report late Thursday afternoon showing he had received a $300,000 contribution from AEA. Prior to the contribution, he was reporting $25,050 in his campaign account.

The contribution comes after AEA's political action committee reported borrowing $700,000 from a bank on Sept. 4.

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.

The Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley says anyone with information that leads to a suspect's arrest and conviction in an eight-year-old girl's death will receive a $5,000 reward.

Hiawayi Robinson was reported missing Tuesday, and her body was found on Thursday.

Bentley says in a statement released Friday that he and his wife were heartbroken by Robinson's death. He says state law enforcement agencies have assisted police in the girl's hometown of Prichard, and 10 State Bureau of Investigation agents will remain until an arrest is made.

Associated Press

Republican Gov. Robert Bentley and Democratic challenger Parker Griffith won't be speaking to the same audience at the same time, but they will be speaking on consecutive days.

Bentley is scheduled to address a convention of active and retired public employees Tuesday in Montgomery, and then Griffith talks to the group on Wednesday. Several other candidates for state offices are also on the agenda Wednesday.

The group, known as ARSEA/APEAL, is a combination of the Alabama Retired State Employees' Association and the Alabama Public Employees' Advocacy League.

blog.al.com

A newly-created special commission is expected to help small business startups throughout the state and assist existing businesses in their expansion efforts.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is expected to announce the creation of the Alabama Small Business Commission Monday morning at the state Capitol building along with House Speaker Mike Hubbard, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh and National Federation of Independent Business State Director Rosemary Elebash.

blog.al.com

The head of Gov. Robert Bentley's security detail made $16,918 in August including overtime.

Al.com reports the August income pushed Wendell Ray Lewis' salary, including overtime, so far this fiscal year to $153,000. That's with one month to go in the fiscal year. Lewis' salary is almost $50,000 more than the head of the state Department of Public Safety made in the same period.

Al.com reports that during the last four years on Bentley's security detail, Lewis has made $563,000, or an average of nearly $141,000 per year.

blog.al.com

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is maintaining a large fundraising lead over Democratic challenger Parker Griffith.

The Republican incumbent has raised more than $5 million in contributions in his quest to win a second term.

Campaign fundraising reports filed Wednesday show that Bentley added more than $400,000 to his campaign war chest in August.

istockphoto

Six schools, including four from Mobile County, have been recognized in Montgomery for having high-achieving students that come mostly from low-income homes.

The governor and state education officials held a ceremony Wednesday to honor six Alabama Torchbearer schools selected by the state Department of Education. The schools have at least 80 percent of their students receiving free or reduced-price lunches and score among the top 20 percent in state educational assessments.

Associated Press

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Parker Griffith is challenging Republican Gov. Robert Bentley to a series of seven debates before the November election.

Griffith says he believes voters want to see the two face off in a debate and explain their visions for Alabama.

Griffith issued his debate challenge last week. On Friday, Griffith hauled a large inflatable duck to Montgomery to accuse Bentley of ducking his debate challenge.

blog.al.com

Gov. Robert Bentley says a country was behind the hacking of a state computer network in January.

Bentley told reporters that he knows which country, but he can't say. He says the only reason he knows is because of his top secret security clearance and that's why he can't reveal the name.

He says the hacking was caught and corrected.

State officials announced in January that employees of the state Information Services Division had discovered the breach, and they said they were beginning a criminal investigation. Bentley says he doesn't expect any criminal case now.

Associated Press

Republican Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and his Democratic opponent, Parker Griffith, faced off Thursday in back-to-back campaign speeches.

Griffith took repeated jabs at Bentley as he addressed county commissioners' annual convention in Orange Beach.

Griffith called Bentley a failed governor who hasn't addressed the state's struggles with education, health care, prisons and unemployment. Griffith said Bentley lets fear of the tea party dictate his policy decisions.

Associated Press

Republican Gov. Robert Bentley and his Democratic opponent, former U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith, will make dueling campaign speeches in Orange Beach.

Bentley and Griffith are scheduled to address the annual convention of county commissioners Thursday afternoon. Griffith will speak first, followed by Bentley. Organizers say the candidates will not debate and will not be on stage at the same time.

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.

blog.al.com

Alabama lawmakers will face another grim budget outlook when they return to Montgomery next year and Gov. Robert Bentley says he wants their ideas for long-term solutions instead of a one-year money fix.

Bentley has asked legislative leaders to bring him ideas in advance of the 2015 session.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh of Anniston says he wants legislators to make bold changes to try to solve the state's long-term problems.

asu.edu

The chairman of the board of trustees at Alabama State University, Elton Dean, says he's resigning.

Dean announced his decision on the campus radio station, WVAS, Thursday afternoon.

Gov. Robert Bentley, who is president of the ASU board, had called for Dean and vice chairman Marvin Wiggins to resign after an accrediting agency gave the university a warning and cited conflicts of interest by Dean and Wiggins.

Wiggins said he's not resigning because he's done nothing wrong.

en.wikipedia.org

Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery could house immigrant children.

A spokeswoman for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says the federal government has notified the governor that Maxwell is being considered. Communications Director Jennifer Ardis says the governor's chief of staff got a call from the Federal Emergency Management Agency late Wednesday afternoon. She said it's not known how many children could be placed or how soon they might be placed

The Governor's Office

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has presented honors to members of the state's National Guard who perform military services during funerals for fallen veterans.

Bentley signed an executive order creating the Alabama Honor Guard Ribbon Monday afternoon and presented honor guard members with the awards at the state Capitol.

The honor guard members are responsible for performing military ceremonies during funerals for eligible veterans. The ceremonies usually include the folding and presentation of an American flag to the veterans' next of kin, and the playing of Taps.

blog.al.com

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has appointed nearly 30 people to a council that will advise state officials and education leaders on tailoring the state's educational programs to the workforce needs of new and existing businesses.

Office of the Governor of Alabama

Alabama Public Safety Director Hugh McCall has retired after more than 30 years in state law enforcement.

McCall's retirement was effective Monday. A spokeswoman for the governor says he's named John Richardson to fill-in as director until the Department of Public Safety merges into the new Alabama Law Enforcement Agency in January. Richardson has been serving as assistant director of the law enforcement division of the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

http://governor.alabama.gov / Office of the Governor

Alabama's unemployment rate dipped slightly in May, but it was higher than the same month a year ago.

Gov. Robert Bentley reported Friday that Alabama measured 6.8 percent unemployment. That's down from 6.9 percent in April, but it is above the 6.4 percent recorded in May 2013.

The seasonally adjusted statistics show there were slightly more than 147,000 Alabamians looking for work in May. That's down about 160 people from the previous months, but it's about 8,600 more than a year ago.

State of Alabama

Alabama's governor says the best part of his job is getting to meet people and help them solve problems.

He says the worst part is having no privacy and having security with him around the clock. He says he can't go to Wal-Mart and Lowe's by himself any more.

Gov. Robert Bentley offered a rare personal glimpse about his life when he talked with Girls State delegates in Montgomery.

The Governor's Office

Gov. Robert Bentley has announced an attempt to overhaul the state's severely overcrowded prison system.

Bentley said Tuesday the state's prisons are filled to nearly twice their collective capacity. The Justice Reinvestment Initiative, a partnership between the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Department of Justice, will examine the system and suggest reforms.

The review comes after a series of stark criticisms. The Department of Justice has called conditions unconstitutional at Alabama's only prison for women.

opensecrets.org

The Democratic nominee for governor, Parker Griffith, calls Republican incumbent Robert Bentley timid and irresponsible.

Griffith says he plans to focus his general election campaign on Bentley refusing to expand the state Medicaid program and not doing enough to increase jobs in the state.

Bentley said Wednesday he doesn't like negative campaigning, and he will focus his campaign on his records and his goals. He says politicians might not be very good candidates if they have to spend their time talking about how bad their opponents are.

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