Alabama

Alabama
5:58 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Governor Bentley Signs Bill To Get Schools To Buy Locally

Montgomery, AL – Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has signed into law a bill that's designed to make it easier for local farmers to sell their produce to Alabama public schools.

The Farm to School Procurement Act, signed by the governor Wednesday, requires the state Agriculture Department and the state Department of Education to investigate the potential for schools to purchase local farm products. The House sponsor of the bill, Democratic state Rep. Elaine Beech of Chatom said the law calls for schools to provide training to lunchroom staff on how prepare the fresh food.

Read more
Alabama
6:13 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Ala. Legislative Panel To Discuss Prison Violence

Birmingham, AL – A legislative panel has scheduled a meeting to discuss reports of rising inmate-on-inmate violence in Alabama prisons.

The Legislature's Joint Prison Oversight Committee will also discuss allegations of prison employees sexually abusing women inmates at Tutwiler Prison in Wetumpka.

Committee chairman Cam Ward, a Republican from Alabaster says that at the June 20 meeting legislators hope to hear from prison employees as well as prisons commissioner Kim Thomas.

Read more
Alabama
6:10 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Ala. Law Could Reduce Prison Overcrowding

Anniston, AL – State lawmakers are hoping a bill passed last month will alleviate overcrowding in a state that has the highest prison population growth in the country.

Senate Bill 386 gives the Alabama Sentencing Commission power to shorten prison sentences for various crimes starting in October 2013 unless the Legislature specifically rejects the change. Bill sponsor Sen. Cam Ward, a Republican from Alabaster, said over time the prison population will decline.

Alabama's prisons hold 27,000 inmates but they were built for half that.

Read more
Alabama
6:09 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Siegelman Says 'Heart Is Broken' Over Lost Appeal

Birmingham, AL – Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman says his ``heart is broken'' over the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to refuse an appeal of his federal bribery conviction.

In a statement, Siegelman says law professors plus current and former attorneys general from both political parties backed his appeal. He says he hopes something positive comes out of the case in the future.

The Supreme Court declined Monday to review Siegelman's conviction on charges of accepting a bribe from former HealthSouth Corp. CEO Richard Scrushy, who also lost his appeal.

Read more
Alabama
6:08 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Ban On Public Smoking Takes Effect In Birmingham

Birmingham, AL – Birmingham's new smoking ban is now in effect.

The ordinance prohibits smoking in virtually all public places, including bars. But it goes a step further and also restricts smoking outside of businesses.

While the sight of smokers standing around outside doors of downtown buildings is common, it may be a thing of the past. That's because smokers must now be at least seven feet from any public entrance, and businesses are required to post ``No Smoking'' signs.

Violators can be fined $50, and businesses face a $100 fine.

Read more
Alabama
5:59 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Immigration Groups Say Tourists Should Avoid Ala.

Montgomery, AL – A national coalition of civil rights and labor organizations say they will run advertisements around the country encouraging people not to visit tourist sites in Alabama because of the state's crackdown on illegal immigration.

Leaders of the group said in a telephone news conference Thursday that they also plan to have demonstrations in front of 73 Hyundai dealerships around the county to encourage the South Korean auto manufacturer to publicly take a stance against Alabama's immigration law.

Read more
Alabama
5:57 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Road Projects Totaling $138M Planned In Ala.

Jackson, AL – Gov. Robert Bentley says 105 road and bridge projects worth about $138 million are being planned across Alabama to improve the state's infrastructure.

The projects will be funded by bonds through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, or ATRIP.

Bentley announced the projects during a stop in the southwest Alabama town of Jackson.

The first round of work includes projects in 61 of Alabama's 67 counties.

Read more
Alabama
5:56 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Ala. Wants Earlier Storm Evacuations

Gulf Shores, AL – State leaders are prodding Alabama's coastal counties to make earlier decisions on hurricane evacuations so residents have more time to get away if a major storm threatens the Gulf of Mexico.

With hurricane season starting Friday, officials tell The Associated Press that state leaders have pushed for the change in meetings held as recently as this week.

Read more
Alabama
5:54 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Severe Storms Possible In Alabama

Birmingham, AL – Forecasters say that severe storms are possible in Alabama ahead of an approaching cold front.

The National Weather Service says that any storm that develops will pose a threat of damaging straight-line winds and large hail.

Storms could form in Alabama as early as Thursday afternoon, and the threat of severe weather will continue overnight and into Friday.

Read more
Alabama
6:06 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Montgomery, State Explore Idea Of Passenger Trains

Montgomery, AL – Montgomery city officials are working with state officials on a study to determine whether it's feasible to create a passenger railroad line that would allow residents to travel on trains between Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile.

In 2009, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs received a $200,000 matching grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to fund the study.

Robert Smith, Montgomery's director of planning, said the first part of the study will look at a Birmingham-to-Montgomery connection, and will cost $200,000.

Read more
Alabama
6:04 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Expanded Deal Over FEMA Trailer Fumes Worth $37.5M

New Orleans, LA – An expanded class-action settlement agreement calls for around two dozen companies that manufactured trailers distributed by the government after hurricanes Katrina and Rita to pay a total of $37.5 million to resolve claims that Gulf Coast residents were exposed to dangerous fumes while living in them.

The amount is disclosed in a federal court filing Wednesday. About $22.7 million of the total would be paid by four manufacturers that agreed Monday to participate in the expanded settlement proposal.

Read more
Alabama
6:01 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

17 Veterans Assistance Offices Closing In Alabama

Montgomery, AL – The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs is closing 17 veterans' service offices around the state. This means veterans in some counties will have to travel to get assistance in receiving benefits or help with other issues.

The offices are being closed because of severe funding cuts to agencies funded by the state General Fund budget.

Spokesman for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Robert Horton, says no employees will lose jobs because of the offices being closed. Manpower will be consolidated in the offices remaining open.

Read more
Alabama
5:58 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Gov. Bentley Kills Bill On Tax Appeals

Montgomery, AL – Gov. Robert Bentley has vetoed a bill passed by the Legislature with only one negative vote. It would have set up a new streamlined system for hearing appeals of state and local tax disputes.

Legislators and lawyers who worked on the legislation to create the Alabama Tax Appeals Commission said a compromise was worked out on the final day of the legislative session, but in the rush of the last day, not all of the agreed-upon language got included in the bill that was presented to the Legislature for the nearly unanimous vote

Read more
Alabama
5:57 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Troopers Investigate 3 Fatal Wrecks Over Holiday

Montgomery, AL – The state Department of Public Safety says troopers investigated three fatal crashes this year, down from seven in 2011, over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

The crashes occurred in Walker, Madison and Winston counties. Preliminary investigations indicate that in two of the three crashes, seat belts were not used. In the third fatal crash, a motorcyclist was killed.

The holiday period began at 6 p.m. Friday and ended Monday. Despite heavier-than-usual holiday traffic, troopers were not called to investigate any fatal crashes Sunday or Monday.

Read more
Alabama
6:10 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

New Formula Sees Alabama Graduation Rates Drop

Montgomery, AL – Fewer Alabamians are graduating from high school than previously thought according to a new formula for calculating graduation rates.

State officials said Thursday about 72 percent of Alabama high school students are graduating. That rate was previously thought to be at more than 87 percent under the old methodology.

State officials say the new formula for calculating graduation rates is believed to be more accurate.

Read more

Pages