Alabama

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. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation will investigate whether Alabama violated civil rights law with closures and service reductions at rural driver's license offices. A-P-R’s Stan Ingold has more…

 U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says it is critical that license services be free from discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in programs that receive federal funds.

The department says it has not reached any conclusions.

The ride-hailing company Uber says it will soon begin operating in Birmingham after city officials approved new regulations.

City council members voted 7-1 today to approve the ordinance. The city's mayor still must sign it.

Companies have to apply and get approval for a permit and conduct background checks on drivers under the ordinance.

Farmers from all across Alabama are meeting in Montgomery today.

The state capital is hosting the ninety-fourth Alabama Farmers Federation Annual gathering. The group meets every year to elect leaders, recognize volunteers, and discuss agricultural issues. This year over one-thousand two hundred farmers will be in attendance.

Mary Johnson is the director of news services for the federation. She says awards will be given out to both members and volunteers who played a major role in agriculture…

An Alabama man has been sentenced to three years in prison after being accused of assaulting two men. A-P-R’s Stan Ingold reports they were arguing over hot dogs.

Florence police Detective Justin Wright tells the TimesDaily, 66-year-old George Weakley "Old School" Rhodes Jr. was drinking alcohol with two men in June when one of them refused to share hot dogs with the others.

A civil rights group has filed a lawsuit against the state of Alabama, claiming that its law requiring voters to have photo identification will prevent thousands from casting ballots.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Greater Birmingham Ministries filed the federal lawsuit today.

The lawsuit cites state estimates that at least 280,000 people will be disenfranchised because of the law.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was in Alabama today to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery bus boycott. 

Clinton stood in the pulpit where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led the boycott, saying the U.S. is still plagued by injustices such as mass incarceration, an epidemic of gun violence and attempts to roll back voting rights.

Alabama is moving forward with plans to use oil spill settlement funds to build a 350-room hotel and conference center at Gulf State Park.

Gov. Robert Bentley hopes the beachfront facility, intended to handle meeting of up to 1,500 people, can open by 2018.  Bentley says many beachfront conferences now go to Florida because there is not a meeting place large enough on the Alabama coast.

Students at the University of Alabama renewed a list of demands related to diversity at the Tuscaloosa campus.

A rally was held outside of Gorgas Library where organizers repeated eleven requests including, a division of diversity, a safe space for students of color, and a diversity course for freshman.

Elliott Spillers is President of the Student Government association. He says a recent meeting with UA President Stuart Bell was encouraging, but there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done…

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by former Alabama congressman Artur Davis, who sought to run as a Democrat in a county election after he returned to the party from the GOP.

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Truman Hobbs dismissed Davis's case Wednesday. Davis is seeking to run for Montgomery County commissioner.

A lesbian mother in Alabama wants the U.S. Supreme Court to review an Alabama decision declaring adoptions invalid.

In 2007, the woman adopted her long-term partner’s three children. When the couple broke up, the former partner prevented the other from seeing the children. She asked Alabama’s Supreme Court to enforce her visitation rights, but instead the justices declared her adoption invalid.

Governor Robert Bentley is refusing Syrian refugees relocating to Alabama.

Bentley says in a news release on Sunday that, “After full consideration of this weekend's attacks of terror on innocent citizens in Paris, I will oppose any attempt to relocate Syrian refugees to Alabama through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. As your Governor, I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm's way."

There is a new development in the case of an Alabama boy who was taken from his mother thirteen years ago.  APR’s Taylor Swinney has the latest…

Bobby Hernandez is being held on $250,000 bond. Prosecutors claim he abducted his own son thirteen years ago from his home in Vestavia Hills. A preliminary trial that was scheduled for today in Cleveland, Ohio has been cancelled.

Hernandez faces tampering charges in Ohio.

A special election will be held next year to fill the east Alabama legislative seat left vacant by the death of Rep. Lesley Vance.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced the election schedule for the district yesterday that covers portions of Lee and Russell counties.

A primary election will be held Jan. 19 and the general election will be held April 12.

If a primary runoff is required, the general election will be pushed back until May.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says the National Fish and Wildlife   Foundation has approved spending more than $21 million on projects to restore areas of Alabama's Gulf Coast.

Bentley says the money will be used to launch five projects focused on natural resources that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.

Officials say the projects include fisheries and ecosystem monitoring, a project to bolster the state's artificial reef program and strategic land acquisition.

Three Tuscaloosa Police officers are on paid leave following a videotaped incident that went viral on the internet. APR’s Pat Duggins says Police Chief Steven Anderson admits even he was disturbed by it…

The graphic video shot from inside a Tuscaloosa apartment shows local police officers pushing their way inside, and pulling two University of Alabama students out.

Organizers say the National Peanut Festival fairgrounds have been closed because of expected rain in Alabama.

Officials with the festivals the fairgrounds of the 71st annual festival will be closed Sunday. The festival plans to open Monday for all scheduled events if the weather permits.

The festival runs through Nov. 15, honoring peanut growers and to celebrate the harvest season.

Hundreds of vendors have setup for the festival.

Dunn to run for president of Public Service Commission

Nov 8, 2015

Former Alabama Public Service Commissioner Terry Dunn is seeking to return to the state board that regulates utilities.

Dunn filed papers Friday with the Alabama Republican Party to challenge incumbent commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh in the 2016 primary.

Dunn says his name on the ballot will give ratepayers a choice, and he believes the commission needs to do a better job of protecting consumers.

Dunn was elected to the commission in 2010. He was unseated by a Republican challenger Chip Beeker in 2014.

Young seeks rematch against Byrne in congressional race

Nov 8, 2015

Political firebrand Dean Young is seeking a rematch against Rep. Bradley Byrne for the south Alabama congressional seat.

Young  filed papers with the Alabama Republican Party Friday to run against Byrne in next year's GOP primary.

Bryne defeated Young in 2013 for the then open seat. The race drew national attention as an illustration of the internal GOP divide.

Byrne is a former state senator and two-year college chancellor. Young is perhaps best known as a former adviser to Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.

A city-wide planning map is aiming to make Mobile more walkable.

The plan called "Map for Mobile" will go before the city council Tuesday for consideration. The plan outlines methods and approaches the city will follow starting in 2016 to implement zoning, land use, code and ordinance changes and capital improvement priorities.

The map would be the first for South Alabama's largest city in years.

It was approved by the city's planning commission Thursday following a round of mostly positive comments from people involved in the nine-month creation process.

The two Alabama Senate budget chairmen are swapping committees for the upcoming session.

Sen. Trip Pittman of Montrose will head the general fund budget committee. Sen Arthur Orr of Decatur will take over as Education Trust Fund budget chairman.

The Senate Committee on Assignments announced the change on Friday.

Orr says he believes it is healthy to have fresh eyes on the state budgets. Pittman says he is looking forward to a new challenge.

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