Alabama

Alabama
6:51 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Gov. Bentley's Medicaid Commissioner Resigns

Montgomery, AL – Gov. Robert Bentley's Medicaid commissioner, Bob Mullins Jr., has resigned after 14 months on the job.

Mullins announced his resignation Monday. He was a physician in Valley for more than 37 years and was a longtime friend of Bentley's before joining the governor's Cabinet in January 2011. Mullins said he came into the position with a clinical background, but a different set of skills is needed for the budget issues facing the agency.

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Alabama
6:50 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Ala. Seeks To Reverse Decision In Death Penalty Case

Montgomery, AL – The state of Alabama has asked a federal appeals court to reconsider a decision to allow a death row inmate to challenge the lethal injection procedure.

Assistant Attorney General Clay Crenshaw filed a petition Monday asking the entire 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to take another look at the appeal of Thomas Douglas Arthur.

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Alabama
6:49 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Ala. Judge Sets Trial Dates For Suits Over Chantix

Birmingham, AL – A federal judge in north Alabama has set the first two trials stemming from thousands of lawsuits filed nationwide against pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer over its stop-smoking product Chantix.

The United States Judicial Panel on Multistate Litigation consolidated the Chantix suits and assigned them to U.S. District Judge Inge Johnson.

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Alabama
6:14 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

No Pay Cut For Alabama Agriculture Employees

Montgomery, AL – State Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan has dropped plans to reduce his employees' salaries by 7.5 percent because of state budget cutbacks.

McMillan says he and his staff have found better ways to cut spending than taking it from the paychecks of 300 employees. McMillan said there won't be any additional layoffs either.

McMillan's department was the only one in state government that had considered reducing paychecks.

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Alabama
6:12 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Bills Seek To Reinstate Alabama Tuition Settlement

Montgomery, AL – Two legislative budget chairmen have introduced bills aimed at restoring a settlement over Alabama's financially troubled prepaid college tuition plan.

The settlement called for the Prepaid Affordable College Tuition plan to pay tuition rates at fall 2010 levels instead of current levels.

The Alabama Supreme Court struck down the settlement a week ago. The court said the settlement violated a 2010 state law that provided extra money to the Prepaid Affordable College Tuition plan and said the program would be 100 percent funded.

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Alabama
6:11 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Court Grants Convicted Killer's Stay Of Execution

Montgomery, AL – A federal appeals court has granted a stay of execution for an Alabama man who was set to die next week in a 1982 murder-for-hire case.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday postponed the execution of Thomas Douglas Arthur until further action of the court.

Earlier in the week the court had reversed a judge's decision to dismiss Arthur's appeal, which contended that Alabama's decision to use a new sedative called pentobarbital as part of a three-drug execution combination could be cruel and unusual punishment.

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Alabama
6:10 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

5,000 New Claims Filed After BP Settlement

New Orleans, LA – More than 1,000 claimants have received around $27 million in the two weeks since a court-supervised administrator took over the processing of claims spawned by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from BP PLC's $20 billion compensation fund.

A statement Friday by Patrick Juneau, the new claims administrator, also says nearly 5,000 new claims have been filed since the process shifted from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility to the court on March 8.

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Alabama
6:07 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

NWS Says Flooding Reported In West Alabama

York, AL – The National Weather Service says heavy rains are causing flooding in parts of west Alabama.

Forecasters issued a flash flood warning for Sumter County near the Mississippi line on Friday. Authorities say floodwaters were getting into homes along Alabama 17.

The weather service also has issued a flood warning along the Tombigbee River. Forecasters say the river will crest at nearly a foot above flood level by early Saturday, causing flooding in rural parts of Pickens County. And Livingston could see minor flooding from the Sucarnoochee River.

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Alabama
6:22 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Arthur Attorneys Seek Stay 1 Week Before Execution

Montgomery, AL – Attorneys for an Alabama death row inmate scheduled to die next week have asked a federal appeals court to hold off on the execution to give time for a possible rehearing.

The motion filed Thursday responds to an 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversal of a judge's decision to dismiss Thomas Arthur's appeal.

Arthur is set to be executed on March 29 for the 1982 murder-for-hire killing of Muscle Shoals businessman Troy Wicker.

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Alabama
6:21 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Ala. Attorney General Joins Birth Control Lawsuit

Montgomery, AL – Alabama's attorney general has brought the state into a Catholic broadcaster's lawsuit against the Obama administration's mandate that religious organizations pay for their workers' birth control.

Attorney General Luther Strange filed a motion Thursday to make the state a party to the case. He says the mandate violates the Alabama Constitution's religious freedom amendment.

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Alabama
6:18 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Board Names Interim Chancellor For 2-Year Colleges

Montgomery, AL – The Alabama Board of Education has named an interim leader for the state's system of two-year colleges.

Susan Price, vice chancellor of instructional and student affairs, was named interim chancellor Thursday morning.

The board voted 6-1, with Vice President Randy McKinney dissenting, to name Price to the post.

She has been serving as interim for two weeks, but the board said at that time that it would discuss a more permanent arrangement for the interim position at Thursday's meeting.

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Alabama
6:17 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Rains Bring Flood Threat To Parts Of Alabama

Mobile, AL – Forecasters say heavy rains moving into Alabama are increasing the threat of flooding.

The National Weather Service says 2 to 4 inches of rain is likely in southwest Alabama through Thursday night, and some areas could see as much as 7 inches of rain before the precipitation ends.

The weather service has issued a flood watch for southwest Alabama, and more watches or warnings are possible as the system moves into Alabama from Mississippi.

Forecasters say numerous thunderstorms are also likely across north Alabama, with the rain extending into Saturday.

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Alabama
6:24 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Court Revives Ala. Inmate's Execution Appeal

Atlanta, GA – A federal appeals court has revived an Alabama death row inmate's challenge of his state's new three-drug lethal injection protocol.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday reversed a judge's decision that dismissed Thomas Arthur's appeal.

Arthur is set to be executed on March 29 for the 1982 murder-for-hire killing of Muscle Shoals businessman Troy Wicker. It is unclear whether Wednesday's decision will postpone his execution.

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Alabama
6:22 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Ala. Senate Panel OKs Tax Credits For Film Industry

Montgomery, AL – Film companies making movies in Alabama would be eligible for more money in tax credits under a measure approved by a state senate committee.

Currently the state can only spend $10 million on incentives. The bill's Republican sponsor Rep. Terri Collins says the legislation approved Wednesday would raise that limit to $15 million by 2013.

The limit was originally going to be $25 million, but Collins says many weren't comfortable with that high amount.

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Alabama
6:21 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Senate Panel OKs Public Worker Pension Changes

Montgomery, AL – Most new public employees wouldn't be able to draw their pensions until later in life, but would have to contribute less of their paycheck to retirement under a proposal approved by an Alabama Senate committee.

The bill favorably reported Tuesday now goes before the full Senate.

The proposal calls for setting a retirement age of 62 for most employees and 56 for law enforcement officers and firefighters. Right now, employees can retire after a minimum of 25 years or service. There is no retirement age.

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