Alabama

Opelika, AL – An attorney for a man accused of poisoning the two oak trees at Auburn's Toomer's Corner renewed calls for a change of venue and continuance.

A lawyer for Harvey Updyke said Wednesday his client needs a new jury pool after a student newspaper reported that Updyke had confessed.

Attorney Everett Wess said before the second day of jury selection started that Updyke denied telling The Auburn Plainsman during a break that he did it.

The newspaper said on Twitter it stood by the report, and the reporter was subpoenaed.

Montgomery, AL – A joint legislative oversight committee on prisons is planning to meet to discuss reports of increased violence in Alabama prisons.

A legislative panel has scheduled a meeting for 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Joint Briefing Room at the Alabama Statehouse to discuss reports of rising inmate-on-inmate violence in prisons. The Legislature's Joint Prison Oversight Committee will also discuss allegations of prison employees sexually abusing women inmates at Tutwiler Prison in Wetumpka.

More Quit Ala. Public TV Boards After Firings

Jun 19, 2012

Montgomery, AL – Two more leaders have quit Alabama Public Television following last week's firings of two top executives with the network.

Montgomery attorney and former federal judge Vanzetta McPherson has resigned from the Alabama Educational Television Foundation Authority, which lost three members last week. Also, Blue Cross Blue Shield President Terry Kellogg has resigned from the board of the APT foundation.

Montgomery, AL – The Poarch Creek Indians and an attorney for a county commission trying to tax the tribe disagree about the impact of a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

The court ruled Monday that a lawsuit seeking to shut down a Michigan tribe's casino can proceed in court. At issue is whether the casino could be built on tribal land taken into federal trust after the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.

Opelika, AL – Lawyers in the trial of Harvey Updyke want to know about the favorite school of potential jurors.

Jury selection began Tuesday in the trial of the Alabama fan, who's accused of poisoning two oak trees at Auburn's Toomer's Corner. Eighty-five prospective jurors filled Judge Jacob Walker's courtroom.

Among the questions submitted by Updyke's attorneys is one asking whether potential jurors would ``make a decision based upon the defendant being a University of Alabama sports fan.'' The trial is a few miles from Auburn's campus.

Montgomery, AL – Alabama's governor says he will likely be forced to make double-digit spending cuts if voters reject a constitutional amendment that would let him balance the state's General Fund budget by taking money out of a state savings account.

Bentley told a Montgomery civic club Tuesday that more spending reductions aren't a good plan. And he's cautiously optimistic voters will approve taking $146 million from the Alabama Trust Fund annually for three years.

Excitement buzzes in the air of a large arena in Fort Worth, TX as the loudspeakers boom with the announcer's voice. "Ladies and Gentlemen! TGRA would like to welcome you to Fort Worth, Texas!" The Texas Gay Rodeo Association is putting on its 29th gay rodeo and more than 100 people are ready to watch or compete. Excitement buzzes in the air of a large arena in Fort Worth, TX as the loudspeakers boom with the announcer's voice.

Excitement buzzes in the air of a large arena in Fort Worth, TX as the loudspeakers boom with the announcer's voice. "Ladies and Gentlemen! TGRA would like to welcome you to Fort Worth, Texas!" The Texas Gay Rodeo Association is putting on its 29th gay rodeo and more than 100 people are ready to watch or compete. Excitement buzzes in the air of a large arena in Fort Worth, TX as the loudspeakers boom with the announcer's voice.

Montgomery, AL – Some supporters of Don Siegelman want President Barack Obama to grant a pardon that would prevent the former Democratic Alabama governor from returning to prison for his 2006 bribery conviction.

Siegelman is currently out of prison on an appeal bond. But the U.S. Supreme Court recently rejected his appeal, and he may soon face a new sentencing by U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller of Montgomery.

Montgomery, AL – An Alabama fan is about to go on trial on charges of poisoning two oak trees that are fixtures for fans of archrival Auburn.

Attorneys will begin picking a jury in Lee County on Tuesday for the case against 63-year-old Harvey Updyke Jr. The courthouse is less than 10 miles from the Toomer's Corner oaks and Auburn's campus.

Updyke and wife Elva were in court Monday for the deposition of an expert witness who is unavailable later in the week.

Montgomery, AL – A $25 billion national settlement with five big mortgage companies is helping balance Alabama's operating budget during lean times.

The office of Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange received $26 million from the settlement. Of that, $19.3 million will be used from 2013 through 2015 to pay for operations in the attorney general's office and in district attorneys' offices statewide.

Senate budget committee Chairman Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, said that's freeing up money to help other state programs in the $1.68 billion General Fund budget for fiscal 2013.

Montgomery, AL – Alabama immigration activists are praising the Obama administration's decision to quit deporting many younger illegal immigrants.

The Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice says the change announced Friday is a step in the right direction.

Coalition member and recent high school graduate Victor Palafox says he is in the country illegally after being brought to the United States from Mexico by his parents as a child. Palafox says the administration's announcement is an ``enormous victory'' for young people across the country.

Tuscaloosa, AL – The board of the University of Alabama System approved tuition increases Friday for the three campuses, starting with the fall semester.

Tuition for the Tuscaloosa campus will go up 7 percent to $9,200 for two semesters. Birmingham will increase 8.5 percent to $8,400 for two semesters, and Huntsville will rise 8.6 percent to $8,794 for two semesters.

Montgomery, AL – Alabama's unemployment rate has gone up for the first time since last summer.

State officials announced Friday that the rate rose from 7.2 percent in April to 7.4 percent in May.

Gov. Robert Bentley said the increase was expected because the national rate increased form 8.1 percent in April to 8.2 percent in May. He said Alabama's rate traditionally goes up in May when new high school and college graduates join the workforce.

Montgomery, AL – Alabama authorities say two men are now charged with hindering the search for a man suspected of killing three people and wounding three more during a party near Auburn University.

Auburn police say 18-year-old Jeremy Thomas of Montgomery is charged with hindering prosecution after allegedly fleeing the scene of the shooting with the prime suspect, 22-year-old Desmonte Leonard.

Police are still looking for a third person who was with them.

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