Fort Rucker


Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says the state must solve a budget crisis to avoid deep cuts in government services.

      Bentley rolled out his plans for a special legislative session focusing on the state budget.

      The governor says he is seeking "fair minimal taxes" including a cigarette tax increase, changes to business privilege taxes, and either a soft drink tax or small changes to a state income tax deduction.

The outdoor recreation branch at Fort Rucker has developed a boat to allow wounded warriors and disabled people go fishing and participate in other boating adventures.

   Fort Rucker spokeswoman Janice Erdlitz tells ( ) the boat, named "The Warrior," is customized to fit the needs of physically disabled people. She says the decision to build the boat came after veterans offered feedback on things they felt could improve their quality of life.

An Alabama-based military agency says fatal accidents are declining in the Army.

   The U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center at Fort Rucker says accidental death rates of almost all types have stayed the same or fallen since this time last year.

   The overall accidental death rate in the Army is down 20 percent from the same time in 2012.

   That includes a 19 percent decline in private motor vehicle deaths. On-duty Army combat vehicle deaths declined 75 percent, and aviation deaths are comparable to the year before.

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The Army is trying to thin out the ranks of its civilian helicopter instructor pilots with a 250-pound weight limit.

New military rules set to take effect Monday at the Army's aviation training center in Alabama limit their weight.

The Army is defending the limit, saying heavier pilots increase costs because more fuel is required to keep them aloft.

A union representing civilian pilots at Fort Rucker has filed a federal lawsuit trying to block the new weight restriction, but a judge hasn't ruled.