The University of Alabama’s new basketball coach is into his first full week on the job. UA Athletics Director Bill Battle named Avery Johnson their new head coach last Wednesday at the Mal Moore Athletic Facility. He replaces Anthony Grant, who was fired after six seasons on the job. Johnson was the 2006 NBA Coach of the Year with the Dallas Mavericks and also coached the Brooklyn Nets. Johnson's biggest challenge is working at a school where football is king.
While the University of Alabama Athletic programs are known for championships.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers are trying to shield the identities of companies that provide the state with execution drugs, but even without it, the Alabama Department of Corrections releases little information about the process of putting a person the death.
The prison system declined to release the suppliers and other information about the process of execution. The Associated Press requested information about drug purchases, as well as the execution protocol, including the procedures to make sure an inmate is unconscious.
The 2015 legislative session starts tomorrow. All eyes are on Governor Robert Bentley and what’s expected to be a politically unpopular tax increase proposal.
The big issue is likely a half billion dollar tax hike. Bentley announced his plan on Friday and his annual speech is likely his first big opportunity to sell it to what may be a skeptical Republican majority in the state house and senate.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A new program of the National Governors Association aimed at stopping prescription drug abuse is meeting in Montgomery. Gov. Robert Bentley is co-chairman of the NGA's Prescription Drug Abuse Reduction Policy Academy, and he will address its opening session Monday in Montgomery. The academy is spending a year looking at how to reduce prescription drug abuse in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oregon and Virginia.
ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) — Many state licensing boards have not yet complied with a requirement in Alabama's immigration law to verify the status of legal immigrants by using a federal database. A state official tracking compliance told The Anniston Star that few, if any, of the state's dozens of professional licensing board have been cleared to use the federal government's Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements. The law requires them to use the system to verify that legal status. John Norris of the Examiners of Public Accounts says the applications are filed with the U.S.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A driver's chances of being hit by an uninsured motorist in Alabama may go down after Jan. 1. That is when a new system will start verifying within a few seconds whether a motorist is abiding by Alabama's law requiring liability insurance. County license plate offices will verify insurance information when issuing or renewing car tags. Police will do it when they stop cars for traffic offenses. And the state Revenue Department will do random computer checks.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Department of Revenue is trying to streamline the process for state residents to file taxes and apply for licenses. Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee said Friday making more services available online will speed up the process, cut costs and make the filing and application process easier. . Magee said the new effort includes moving the majority of the remaining business taxes to online. The department sent out notices in June advising residents of plans to move to more electronic filing.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A new U.S. Census report shows the poverty rate in Alabama is mostly unchanged but has gone down some over the last year, while the median income in the state has gone up. The report released Wednesday shows Alabama 42nd among the 50 states in median household income. The census report found Alabama's median household income to be $42,590 compared to the national median household income of $50,054. The U.S. Census Bureau also reported the state was making some progress in the fight on poverty, The Census report showed the poverty rate in Alabama was 15.49 percent.
Flags are flying at half-staff at Alabama's Capitol, and people are pausing statewide to remember victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks 11 years after they occurred. Birmingham fire stations displayed their fire engines with the lights on Tuesday to mark the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. Police in Decatur took time to salute people killed in the attacks. Students at Saint Pius X Catholic School in Mobile are giving out patriotic ribbons on the anniversary. Many people sent tweets about being in school in Tuscaloosa or stuck in traffic in Birmingham when they learned of the attacks.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Authorities say a half-dozen people in Alabama have been diagnosed with the West Nile virus this year. Alabama public health officials tell The Tuscaloosa News (http://bit.ly/NLpY5v ) that it's the highest number of cases in the state in three years. The virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, causes symptoms such as fever, body aches, joint paints, vomiting, diarrhea or rash in about one out of every five people who are infected. Authorities say most people infected with the mosquito-borne virus won't get sick.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is holding a public hearing about crackdowns on illegal immigration in Alabama and other states. The panel will meet in Birmingham on Friday to hear from both supporters and opponents of the laws. Speakers include Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who's pushed for such measures nationwide, and Republican state Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale, a sponsor of Alabama's law. Critics of the measures are on the agenda, but they're complaining that members of what they call hate groups are being allowed to participate.
A new study says Alabama is the nation's fourth-fattest state. The report released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 32 percent of Alabama's adults are obese. That's slightly better than the obesity rates in Mississippi, Louisiana and West Virginia. The state obesity rate for 2011 is a little less than the number from 2010, but the CDC says the two numbers can't be compared because it changed statistical methods. So it's hard to gauge whether there's been any real improvement in fighting obesity. Alabama health officials are trying to get people to slim down.