Alabama

District 80 of the Alabama House has a new representative.

Chris Blackshear won the special election after earning more than 1,650 votes in a special election over challengers James McGill and Tommy Pugh.

The Special Election was held earlier this month after the death Lesley Vance in November of last year.

Blackshear claims the seat due to no democratic candidate challenging him for the position.  He will be sworn in on April 13th in Montgomery.

Republicans in the Alabama House say a small business tax credit and a teacher pay raise are among their top priorities for the legislative session that begins Tuesday.

Republicans announced the platform, titled "Right for Alabama."

House Speaker Mike Hubbard says legislators will seek a teacher pay raise in the upcoming session, although they aren't yet specifying an amount.

Tuberculosis epidemic endures

Jan 28, 2016

A few weeks ago, the small town of Marion in Alabama’s black belt came down with a tuberculosis epidemic.  Officials with State Department of Public Health are still seeing people to treat the respiratory disease.  APR’s MacKenzie Bates went back to the Perry County town to check on the progress…

It’s a cold morning outside the Perry County Health Department.  People are walking inside and out of the building to either get screened or find out results of the test for tuberculosis.

A judge is refusing to delay the ethics trial of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, at least for now.

Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker declined Hubbard's request for a postponement after a hearing Tuesday in Opelika.

But the judge noted that the case could still be delayed for other reasons, like an appeal of any of his pretrial decisions.

Hubbard is now set to go on trial on March 28. He had sought a postponement until the fall after his lead attorney left the case earlier this month.

The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from lawyers representing Shelby County who tried to recover $2 million in attorney fees from the U.S. government in a case that nullified a key part of the Voting Rights Act.

The justices let stand a lower court ruling today that said the county's civil rights lawsuit did not advance the law's anti-discriminatory purposes and didn't qualify for fee recovery.

Some parts of Alabama can expect to see one-to-two-inches of snow tonight and into early Saturday morning.

The National Weather service has issued a winter weather advisory for parts of Alabama until six-am on Saturday.

Candy Sumlin is the emergency management officer for Huntsville-Madison County, Alabama. She says the worst weather is expected to hit later in the day…

The number of active tuberculosis cases is getting worse in a small town in West Alabama.  One new active case has been confirmed  27 people have now tested positive for the respiratory illness.

The current case rate for TB in the small Perry County town alone is 100 times higher than the 2014 state average.  Almost 36-hundred people live in Marion and fewer than a third have gotten tested.

Forecasters say a winter storm moving into Alabama is bringing sleet and other precipitation to counties in the far northern part of the state.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory today for five northern Alabama counties: Lauderdale, Limestone, Madison, Jackson and DeKalb.

The weather service says up to one-tenth of an inch of ice could accumulate in the extreme northeast corner of the state.

Two Alabama cities are hoping for the return of a pair of hometown Marines who are among the dozen people missing after two helicopters crashed off the coast of Hawaii.

Yellow ribbons are going up for Marine Sgt. William Josh Turner in his hometown of Florala near the Florida line. He’s a 2009 graduate of Florala High School, where workers remember him as a good student and baseball player.

Counselor Joea (JO uh) McNeil says Turner always wanted to be a Marine.

Forecasters say a wintry mix of weather is possible in northern Alabama.

The National Weather Service says a mix of freezing rain or sleet could fall Wednesday morning in parts of northern Alabama. 

Forecasters say a light glaze of ice is possible, especially in northwest Alabama but any ice will turn to rain by late morning or early afternoon on Wednesday.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says loans administered through the federal Small Business Administration are available to help victims of late December storms repair damage to their property.

Bentley says low-interest loan assistance has been approved for more than 20 counties -- including Jefferson, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa -- based on damage assessments after storms and floods.

Bentley says renters and homeowners can borrow up to $40,000 to replace property or up to $200,000 to replace or repair their home.

Alabama National Championship Team to be Honored

Jan 15, 2016

The Alabama football team will be honored for its College Football Playoff National Championship with a parade beginning at Denny Chimes and a program held on the north steps of Bryant-Denny Stadium at the Walk of Champions on Saturday, January 23.

 

The parade, which will feature head coach Nick Saban, the players and staff along with Director of Athletics Bill Battle and other dignitaries and special guests, will start at 10 a.m., on University Boulevard at Denny Chimes.

 

Alabama's Medicaid program says it will need an additional $157 million to maintain services next year. It's a request that caused lawmakers to lash out at expense of the healthcare program and its recipients.

Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie Azar says the agency will have to cut services if it doesn't get close to that amount. She says the state might also have to abandon an ongoing switch to managed care without enough additional funds.

The final game of the season takes place tonight as the University of Alabama battles undefeated Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

But some citizens in the city of Pelham are having a tough time on who to cheer for.  Tigers coach Dabo Swinney grew up in the town just south of Birmingham.

Ricky Hayes has known Swinney all of his life.  He’ll be rooting for Dabo and he expects many in Pelham are having a tough time with this decision as well…

The Alabama Crimson Tide plays for its sixteenth National football Championship against undefeated Clemson tonight in Arizona.  But one Central Alabama town has more to cheer for than just the team from Tuscaloosa.  APR’s MacKenzie Bates traveled to Pelham, a town that’s divided on the outcome of tonight’s game…

It’s a busy time of day on Pelham Parkway.  The town is buzzing for tonight’s game between Alabama and Clemson for the College Football title

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley recently announced that he is suing the federal government over refugees settling in his state.

Governor Bentley argues the U.S. government hasn’t provided Alabama enough information about the refugees to be placed in the state. Bentley says he’s filing the lawsuit out of concern for the safety of Alabama’s residents.

Kristi Graunke is a senior supervising attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center. She says the federal government takes their vetting process seriously.

Alabama has become the second state to sue the U.S. government over refugee resettlement. 

Governor Robert Bentley field the lawsuit today accusing the Obama administration of failing to consult with states on placement of those who have fled their home countries.

President Barack Obama’s executive order regarding gun control is not sitting well with some Alabamians.  Obama is using his powers as president to have more background checks for gun dealers so weapons might not fall in to the hands of criminals.

Eddie Fulmer is the president of Bama Carry, a gun rights group in Northport.  He says Obama bypassing congress with the executive order should be considered government overreach… 

Officials with Triple-A of Alabama are expecting a lot of drivers on the road for New Year’s Eve tomorrow. 

Triple-A of Alabama spokesperson Clay Ingram says with so many people out and about, drivers should give themselves extra time to arrive to your destination safely…

An Alabama death row inmate is once again appealing to have his execution delayed. APR’s Alex AuBuchon has the latest.

Alabama inmate Christopher Brooks is asking the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to halt his execution. His death sentence is currently scheduled to be carried out on January 21.

Brooks’s attorney filed the notice of appeal yesterday. Earlier this month, a federal judge denied an emergency motion for a stay of execution.

The National Weather Service in Mobile will be sending out assessment teams tomorrow following a day of rough weather along the gulf coast. 

Forecasters say residents of Baldwin and Escambia counties were among those dealing with seventeen tornado warnings stretching from Mississippi to Florida.

Alabama had the most with ten.

A grand jury will hear the case of an Alabama man charged with trying to aid terrorists.  However, his attorney and others have raised questions about his mental capacity.

St. Clair County Judge Alan Furr denied a motion to reduce the $1 million bond for 18-year-old Peyton Pruitt of Pell City in a preliminary hearing yesterday.        Court records say Pruitt attempted to provide less than $1,000 in resources to aid terrorists.

More than 100 religious group leaders are pleading to Alabama’s governor to soften his stance on the state accepting Syrian refugees. 

Pastors sent a letter to Governor Robert Bentley’s office in Montgomery, saying faith includes a requirement to welcome strangers and love neighbors.

The letter was signed by dozens of moderate clergy members and other religious leaders from around the state. It was initiated by Greater Birmingham Ministries, an ecumenical organization in the state's largest city.

Alabama's unemployment rate is up slightly from a month ago. A-P-R’s Stan Ingold reports, officials say it isn’t entirely bad news…

Labor statistics released today show the state's jobless rate rose one-tenth of a percent to 6 percent in November.

A statement from Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington says the increase isn't necessarily bad news because it indicates more people are entering the workforce.

An Alabama legislator has asked the governor to remove the Confederate flag from the uniforms of state troopers.

The uniforms include Alabama's coat of arms: A shield with the Confederate battle flag and the flags of Great Britain, France, Spain and the United States — the four nations that have held sovereignty over Alabama.

Montgomery Rep. Alvin Holmes sent a letter to Gov. Robert Bentley yesterday asking him to issue an executive order to change the uniforms.

Forecasters say parts of Alabama could see severe weather including possible tornadoes tonight and tomorrow. APR’s Alex AuBuchon has the details.

The National Weather Service is warning Alabama residents of possible severe weather moving into the area this evening through tomorrow morning.

The Supreme Court has sided with a lesbian mother who wants to see her adopted children, blocking an Alabama court's order that declared the adoption invalid.

The justices issued an order today in a case that puts on display legal challenges facing gay and lesbian parents even after the Supreme Court decided that same-sex couples have the right to marry.

Henry Heisman

Dec 13, 2015

History was made in New York City this past weekend for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Junior running back Derrick Henry became the second player in the school’s history to win college football’s highest individual award.  APR’s MacKenzie Bates files this report on Henry, whose name may always be followed by the words Heisman Trophy winner…

Health officials say a high concentration of red tide cells are being found in waters along the Alabama coast. A-P-R’s Stan Ingold has more…

 An advisory issued by the Health Department says the microscopic sea organisms are being found in waters along the Baldwin County and Mobile coasts.

That includes water off the state's prime beaches plus Mobile Bay, Weeks Bay, the Mississippi Sound and Bayou La Batre.

Twenty-Five Alabama counties are approved for a Natural Disaster Designation from the U-S-D-A. A-P-R’s Stan Ingold has more…

Farmers in the 25 designated counties are eligible to be considered for assistance from the USDA-Farm Service Agency.

Governor Robert Bentley sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack last month, requesting assistance for farmers in Alabama counties or the counties the USDA deemed appropriate. 

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