MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has cancelled a trip to the Republican National Convention so he can monitor preparations as Tropical Storm Isaac approaches the United States. Bentley said Saturday that he wants to make sure preparations and resources are in place. The storm had pushed into Cuba on Saturday and was headed northwest, possibly threatening Alabama's coast along the Gulf of Mexico. The governor urged Alabama residents to monitor weather forecasts. He said the storm could bring damaging winds and heavy rain to the state. He urged residents to prepare.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says state officials are keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Isaac in the Caribbean and will decide later if drastic measures are needed such as reversing interstate highway lanes or ordering massive evacuations.
Bentley also says if Isaac appears to threaten Alabama he will stay in the state and cancel plans next week to go to Tampa for the Republican National Convention.
The board that oversees the Alabama Trust Fund is not taking a position on whether voters should approve taking more than $437 million out of the fund to help operate state government.
The board chairman, Gov. Robert Bentley, said he did not ask the board to take a position during a meeting Thursday because the board manages the $2.3 billion fund, but it's up to voters to decide the issue in a statewide referendum Sept. 18.
A former State senator has filed a lawsuit in state court in Montgomery claiming that legislators violated the Alabama Constitution earlier this year by passing a 2013 budget that was not balanced. The 2013 General Fund budget, which goes into effect Oct. 1, relies on a transfer of approximately $467 million from the Alabama Trust Fund into state coffers over the next three years. Voters must approve the transfer in a constitutional amendment on the ballot Sept. 18. If the amendment is rejected, the state budget would have to be cut significantly.
Gov. Robert Bentley has set a special election schedule to fill the seat of Republican Rep. Elwyn Thomas of Oneonta before the Legislature's next regular session. Bentley selected Thomas last week to become executive director of the Alabama Manufactured Housing Commission effective Sept. 1. Thomas is resigning from the Alabama House on Aug. 31. Bentley announced Tuesday that major party candidates for the District 34 seat have until Sept. 7 to qualify with their parties. Primary elections will be Oct. 23 and a runoff, if necessary, on Dec. 11. Then the general election will be Jan. 29.
Gov. Robert Bentley says he and legislative leaders are committed to paying back the money if Alabama voters agree to take more than $437 million from a state trust fund to balance the state General Fund budget for three years.
Gov. Robert Bentley has called a special election to fill the Alabama House seat vacated when Rep. Blaine Galliher of Gadsden joined the administration. Party primaries for the House District 30 seat will be held on Oct. 23, followed by any runoffs that are needed. The general election will be either Dec. 11 or Jan. 29, 2013, depending on whether there's a runoff. The district includes parts of Etowah and St. Clair counties. Galliher held the seat until he resigned to become Bentley's new legislative director.
The State of Alabama is adding more road and bridge projects to a list to be improved with state and local funding. 34 more construction projects are now part of the ongoing program known as A-TRIP. That's short for Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program. Governor Robert Bentley announced the extra work during a speech in Madison County. That area will receive two new bridges over the Flint River and Mill Creek amongst other projects totaling seven million dollars of improvement.
The chief operating officer of Alabama Public Television has written a letter to Gov. Robert Bentley expressing concern that the controversy surrounding the firing of two top officials at Alabama Public Television could lead to the demise of the network in Alabama.
Alabama Public Television Network chief operating officer Charles Grantham said in an interview about the letter that the controversy could lead to the demise in Alabama of popular programs like ``Sesame Street'' and ``Antique Roadshow.''
Greil Memorial Psychiatric Hospital will shut its doors as part of a nationwide move to put patients into community-based care.
The facility will stop taking patients by Aug. 17 and focus on placing its 62 residents elsewhere.
The state Department of Mental Health is working with the directors of three-community based health centers to increase their services ahead of the move. Department Commissioner Jim Reddoch says that patients who cannot be placed in a community setting will be taken to Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa.