Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he will vote to retain Joseph Silver as president of Alabama State University unless he hears a legitimate reason why Silver should be fired.

Bentley serves as president of the Alabama state Board of Trustees by virtue of his position as governor.

The trustees have scheduled a meeting for 2:30 p.m. Friday and are expected to take a vote on whether to fire Silver two months after he was hired. The president was suspended shortly after he attempted to fire two top administrators.

The Birmingham News, Tamika Moore

Nine local governments in north and west Alabama have been awarded more than $15.7 million in grants to help with tornado recovery.

The grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development include $4.8 million to help rebuild Hackleburg's downtown. Eighteen people were killed and many of the businesses in the Marion County town were destroyed or heavily damaged by an April 27 tornado.

A state task force report will recommend ways to cut Alabama's law enforcement spending, most likely by combining some of the state's 22 law enforcement agencies.

The Anniston Star reports ( that members of the Integrated State Law Enforcement Task Force aren't yet giving specifics of what would be cut under the proposal. The report is to be delivered to Gov. Robert Bentley this weekend.

Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said the recommendations should bring Alabama in line with neighboring states.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead says he's disappointed Gov. Robert Bentley has abandoned him, but he doesn't think it will affect the outcome of his re-election bid.

Bentley held a conference call with members of the Republican Executive Committee Thursday night, where he endorsed Birmingham attorney Matt Fridy for the party's top leadership job. Bentley backed Armistead when he was elected two years ago. Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey and House Speaker Mike Hubbard are also backing Fridy.

The official state Christmas tree is scheduled for lighting in front of the state Capitol in Montgomery.

Gov. Robert Bentley, first lady Dianne Bentley and members of the Garden Club of Alabama are supposed to turn on the lights in a ceremony that begins at 5:15 p.m. Friday.

The state's official Christmas tree this year is a 35-foot eastern red cedar grown in Bullock County. It was donated by Elisabeth Thompson, who owns Feathers Plantation in Fitzpatrick. / The Alabama Legislature

Alabama's governor has appointed Republican state Rep. Jeremy Oden of Vinemont to a vacant seat on the Alabama Public Service Commission.

Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday Oden will resign from his north Alabama House seat before joining the state's utility regulatory board on Monday.

Bentley served with Oden in the House before becoming governor and said Oden will represent the needs of utility consumers in a fair and responsible manner. Oden will fill the seat held by Republican Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh before she was elected president of the PSC on Nov. 6. / Shelby County

Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded the Shelby County Commission nearly $140,000 to fight drug trafficking.

The  money will be given to the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force.

The task force performs undercover operations to bust meth labs, and helps investigate violent crimes.

The unit includes authorities from four law enforcement agencies and a prosecutor from the Shelby County District Attorney's Office.

Officials are particularly concerned about heroin trafficking in the county.

Suspended Alabama State University President Joseph Silver said he did not receive cooperation from top university officials concerning the school's finances.

An executive committee of the board placed Silver on paid administrative leave Monday after Silver tried to fire executive vice president John Knight. Knight is a state representative from Montgomery.

Silver said in a written statement Wednesday that while reviewing the university's financial information, he had questions and no one would give him answers or provide requested documentation.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and other leaders are heading to Europe to promote Alabama at an aviation gathering.

The officials will attend the Aviation Forum 2012 for a special panel presentation about Airbus' decision to build aircraft in Mobile.

WKRG-TV ( reports the two-day gathering will be held in Hamburg, Germany, starting Tuesday.

More than 140 high schools in Alabama are partnering with Microsoft to add business software programs to their curriculum.

The Montgomery Advertiser ( ) reports that Alabama will become the 10th state to use Office software in a partnership with the company.

Gov. Robert Bentley made the announcement Tuesday at the Autauga County Technology Center in Prattville.

Bentley says technology partnerships with 143 schools in the state are essential as industries become increasingly tech-driven.

State of Alabama

Gov. Robert Bentley is defending his decision against creating a state-based health insurance exchange program and expanding Medicaid in Alabama.

Bentley once touted a state-based health insurance exchange, but now he says state control is impractical.

The governor's decision means the federal government can now set up a health insurance marketplace for the state under the new federal health care law.

Bentley says that law is cumbersome and unworkable.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will be joined by officials of the Salvation Army on the Alabama Capitol steps to launch the 2012 Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign in Montgomery.

Bentley will launch the 2012 campaign during a news conference at 11 a.m. Monday on the Capitol steps.

Bentley's office said the campaign provides funds to the Salvation Army for emergency shelter, food, clothing and day-to-day assistance.

The Salvation Army also ministers to the spiritual needs of people in the area.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

The governor is adding his voice to business and education leaders calling for an expansion of Alabama's small pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-olds.

Gov. Robert Bentley says he wants to expand pre-K education and considers it more important than the Alabama Reading Initiative.

Bentley's comments to a Birmingham business group came less than a week after the State Board of Education called for an extra $5 million next year. A coalition of business leaders, educators and children's advocates is pushing for an even bigger increase.

Gov. Robert Bentley has announced no decision yet on whether he wants Alabama to create a health insurance exchange or leave it to the federal government.

Friday is the deadline for states to notify the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about what they intend to do. Exchanges are mandated by the Affordable Care Act for each state, but they can be state run or federally run.

Gov. Robert Bentley has announced no decision yet on whether he wants Alabama to create a health insurance exchange or leave it to the federal government.

Friday is the deadline for states to notify the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about what they intend to do. Exchanges are mandated by the Affordable Care Act for each state, but they can be state run or federally run.

Alabama voters have approved a measure that Gov. Robert Bentley says will help bring jobs to the state.

Amendment 2 allows the state to sell more bonds to get money to offer industries to build or expand plants in Alabama. The constitution already allows the state to sell up to $750 million in bonds to offer as industrial incentives, and the state has issued $720 million.

State of Alabama

Gov. Robert Bentley's administration has abandoned a budgeting process used by former Gov. Bob Riley's administration that required government agencies to set goals and plan their spending to achieve those goals.

The budgeting process, which went by the acronym SMART, was run out of the state's Executive Planning Office. The last person to head that office, Jonathan Barganier, says that data collected was useful, but it often wasn't used by legislators for budget decisions. He said the additional paperwork it required was a challenge.

Alabama's unemployment rate dropped in September after climbing for the four previous months.

Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday that Alabama's rate fell from 8.5 percent in August to 8.3 percent in September. That's below last year's rate of 8.8 percent.

The September figure represents nearly 178,000 Alabamians looking for work. That's down from 183,000 the prior month.

State of Alabama

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley plans to ask legislators to pass a bill offering eligible state employees an incentive if they voluntarily retire. The governor announced details of the plan at a news conference Monday in Huntsville. He said it would either pay 100 percent of monthly premiums for health insurance for five years or offer $15,000 in cash payments. He said the program would help retiring workers while at the same time saving taxpayers between $18 million and $26 million a year.


Alabama's governor says five more counties will be eligible for federal aid aimed at helping communities recover from damage caused by Hurricane Isaac. Gov. Robert Bentley said in a statement Thursday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved the request. Bentley had sent a letter to FEMA saying the five counties -- Covington, Dallas, Geneva, Monroe and Perry -- suffered $2.5 million in damage. The five counties are now added to the list of counties that were already able to apply for federal public assistance. / Office of the Governor

Police say someone has broken into the private home of Gov. Robert Bentley in Tuscaloosa. A police statement issued Wednesday says officers responded to an alarm that went off at Bentley's home shortly before midnight on Sunday. A television was taken, but police say other items weren't reported missing. Police say someone entered the house through a window by force. No arrests have been made, but police say they are investigating. Bentley is a retired dermatologist who lived in Tuscaloosa before being elected governor. He and his wife now live in the governor's mansion in Montgomery.

AP Photo/Jay Reeves

Alabama's governor is asking for federal assistance for five more counties affected by Hurricane Isaac.

Gov. Robert Bentley sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency saying Covington, Dallas, Geneva, Monroe and Perry counties in south and west Alabama suffered $2.5 million in damage. Bentley said that's based on damage assessments completed this week.

Press-Register/Mike Kittrell

State officials are criticizing a plan that would limit lock usage on the Alabama and Chattahoochee rivers.

Citing budget cuts and low river traffic, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said starting Oct. 7 it will allow commercial boats to transit the locks if boat operators make an appointment 72 hours in advance. The locks allow boats to bypass dams that obstruct river travel.

Recreational boats can use the locks only if the locks are being used for another purpose.

Gov. Robert Bentley has appointed a workers compensation attorney to a judgeship in Mobile County.

Jay York will replace retiring District Judge Michael McMaken. The Mobile Press-Register ( ) reports that McMaken's last official day is Sunday.

York was among three lawyers recommended by the Mobile County Judicial Commission. By law, Bentley had to select one of the candidates endorsed by the commission.

Bentley said that York brings experience and "sound judgment" to the court.

Alabama education officials say the state is No. 1 in the nation for the growth in high school students making qualifying scores on Advanced Placement exams for the last five years and for the growth in minority students taking AP courses.

Gov. Robert Bentley, state school Superintendent Tommy Bice and supporters of the A Plus College Ready program announced Monday in Millbrook that qualifying scores have gone up 102 percent and minority participation 318 percent over the last five years. / Office of the Governor

Alabama's governor went to Washington this week to try to secure more money for tornado recovery in Tuscaloosa.

Gov. Robert Bentley says he met with the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan, of Wednesday.

They talked about Bentley's concerns that HUD's formula caused hundreds of rental homes that were damaged or destroyed in Tuscaloosa to be excluded from the recovery assistance funding. Bentley said he's also wrote a letter to the president.