Back in 1998, Colleen Maxwell, then a 23-year-old student, smoked outside a San Diego bar, just weeks after California became the the first state in the nation to to ban smoking in most bars and gambling casinos.
Savannah, GA – A federal agency says seaports in the Southeast region need the most help getting ready to trade with supersized cargo ships expected to arrive soon through an expanded Panama Canal.
A report to Congress released Thursday by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says ports on the southern Atlantic and Gulf coasts may need up to $5 billion to deepen their harbors to accommodate the giant ships. A major expansion of the Panama Canal is expected to wrap up in 2014, and the U.S. has no ports south of Virginia or between Florida and Texas with waterways deep enough for them.
Birmingham, AL – Three more people have quit a board linked to Alabama Public Television following the firings of two network executives.
An official says chairman Gordon Martin; vice chair William E. Smith; and C. Scott McLain resigned from the Alabama Public Television Foundation Board. That's a private group with duties that include helping the network raise money.
Montgomery, AL – Alabama legislators aren't getting to attend national and regional conventions at state expense this summer.
House Speaker Mike Hubbard and Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey have told legislators that they won't approve travel requests for the remainder of the fiscal year because budget cuts have put a serious strain on legislative operations. That includes a 10.6 percent cut the governor ordered for all state programs in March because state revenues were falling behind appropriations.
Montgomery, AL – A joint legislative oversight committee on prisons is planning to meet to discuss reports of increased violence in Alabama prisons.
A legislative panel has scheduled a meeting for 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Joint Briefing Room at the Alabama Statehouse to discuss reports of rising inmate-on-inmate violence in prisons. The Legislature's Joint Prison Oversight Committee will also discuss allegations of prison employees sexually abusing women inmates at Tutwiler Prison in Wetumpka.
Montgomery, AL – Two more leaders have quit Alabama Public Television following last week's firings of two top executives with the network.
Montgomery attorney and former federal judge Vanzetta McPherson has resigned from the Alabama Educational Television Foundation Authority, which lost three members last week. Also, Blue Cross Blue Shield President Terry Kellogg has resigned from the board of the APT foundation.
Montgomery, AL – The Poarch Creek Indians and an attorney for a county commission trying to tax the tribe disagree about the impact of a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
The court ruled Monday that a lawsuit seeking to shut down a Michigan tribe's casino can proceed in court. At issue is whether the casino could be built on tribal land taken into federal trust after the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.
Opelika, AL – Lawyers in the trial of Harvey Updyke want to know about the favorite school of potential jurors.
Jury selection began Tuesday in the trial of the Alabama fan, who's accused of poisoning two oak trees at Auburn's Toomer's Corner. Eighty-five prospective jurors filled Judge Jacob Walker's courtroom.
Among the questions submitted by Updyke's attorneys is one asking whether potential jurors would ``make a decision based upon the defendant being a University of Alabama sports fan.'' The trial is a few miles from Auburn's campus.
Montgomery, AL – Alabama's governor says he will likely be forced to make double-digit spending cuts if voters reject a constitutional amendment that would let him balance the state's General Fund budget by taking money out of a state savings account.
Bentley told a Montgomery civic club Tuesday that more spending reductions aren't a good plan. And he's cautiously optimistic voters will approve taking $146 million from the Alabama Trust Fund annually for three years.
Excitement buzzes in the air of a large arena in Fort Worth, TX as the loudspeakers boom with the announcer's voice. "Ladies and Gentlemen! TGRA would like to welcome you to Fort Worth, Texas!" The Texas Gay Rodeo Association is putting on its 29th gay rodeo and more than 100 people are ready to watch or compete. Excitement buzzes in the air of a large arena in Fort Worth, TX as the loudspeakers boom with the announcer's voice.