Montgomery, AL – Alabama's unemployment rate has declined for the ninth straight month to 7.2 percent for April.
That's down from a revised March rate of 7.4 percent. Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday that Alabama's rate hasn't been this low since November 2008. Alabama's rate has been declining each month since hitting 10 percent in July. The state's rate was below the national rate of 8.1 percent.
State Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees said hiring in the automotive and tourism sectors have helped reduce the state's unemployment rate.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama – Last year's retirement of the NASA's Space Shuttle program doesn't mean the end of Congressional budget woes for the U.S. Space Program. The winged spacecraft are being sent to museums, including the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. In their place, NASA hopes to create a brand new four hundred foot tall rocket called the Space Launch System, or SLS, to carry astronauts on missions far from Earth, perhaps to an asteroid, or maybe to the planet Mars.
Montgomery, AL – Alabama craft beer loves got a victory with the passage of a bill to allow bigger brew bottles, but they're still waiting action on a measure to make the state the 49th to allow home brewing.
The Legislature approved the bill to allow bottles up to 25.4 ounces last week. A spokeswoman for Gov. Robert Bentley says he hasn't decided whether to sign it.
The bill to legalize home brewing has been passed by the House, but is still wai ting on action by the Senate. Wednesday is the Legislature's last regular day.
Birmingham, AL – A movie about baseball groundbreaker Jackie Robinson is filming in Birmingham this week.
Crews will be at the downtown Tutwiler Hotel on Monday to film scenes for the film ``42,'' and they will move to the city's Rickwood Field baseball park on Tuesday.
The film is about Robinson's rookie season as the first black major league player in 1947. It stars Chadwick Boseman of ``The Express'' as Jackie Robinson and Harrison Ford of ``Raiders of the Lost Ark'' as Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers executive who brought Robinson into the league.
Tuscaloosa, AL – Alabama's strict new immigration law has been quite the hot button issue. Since passing House Bill 56 last session, immigrants have left the state in droves as expected, but with all the legal challenges to the law Dorthy McDade like many others thought the evacuation would be temporary...
"At the very beginning a lot of them left they were still keeping their jobs."
Montgomery, AL – Organizers say they're planning for a nationally-televised college all-star game in Alabama's capital city early next year.
The game will be played at the Cramton Bowl in downtown Montgomery in January.
Organizers predict financial success, though a title sponsor has not signed up.
Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says the city got assurances that financial backers would foot half of the $750,000 bill. He says the city was also assured there would be a TV contract and that the NFL would support it in competition with the Senior Bowl.
Mobile, AL – Gulf Coast promoters are launching a new marketing campaign to increase sales of Alabama seafood.
The Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission is kicking off a three-year, $5 million marketing drive to increase demand for Alabama seafood. The ads particularly target state consumers and restaurants across the region.
Commission members will gather in Mobile on Friday to unveil the campaign, which is funded with grant money from BP. The campaign will advertisements featured in television, print, online sites and billboards.
Montgomery, AL – The fate of a bill designed to boost tourism spending by extending summer vacation for school children is in limbo as the Alabama Senate has delayed a vote on overriding a veto by Gov. Robert Bentley.
The House voted 71-21 Tuesday to override the governor's veto.
But the Senate on Wednesday delayed action on the bill so senators could debate a measure that would make changes in the state's immigration law.
Kansas City, MO – Major League Baseball and a charitable foundation for players are working with Habitat for Humanity to build nine homes for the tornado-ravaged cities of Joplin and Tuscaloosa, Ala. About half the funding will come from State Farm, the insurance company.
Officials said Wednesday in Kansas City they want to use the effort to remind fans that the communities still need help. To spotlight the need, crews will build frames for two of the homes outside Kauffman Stadium during baseball's All-Star game on July 10.
Montgomery, AL – A joint committee is proposing new districts for the Alabama House and Senate that could force four sitting Democratic representatives to face off against one another in primary elections.
The maps released Wednesday place the homes of Montgomery Democratic Reps. Joe Hubbard and John Knight in the same district. It also groups together Reps. Patricia Todd and Demetrius Newton of Birmingham.
Hubbard says Republicans purposefully pitted white Democrats against blacks in districts that contain a majority of black voters.