Governor's Mansion

beachfront mansion
Jay Reeves / AP

Alabama is using a chunk of BP settlement money to renovate a beachfront governor's mansion that's been abandoned on the Gulf Coast for nearly two decades.

Work began earlier this month near Gulf Shores to fix the 7,500-square-foot gubernatorial mansion that was never repaired after Hurricane Danny badly damaged the home in 1997.

A spokeswoman for Governor Robert Bentley says no taxpayer money is being used in the project. She says BP grant money remaining from the 2010 oil spill is being used to cover the cost, estimated at as much as $1.8 million.

http://governor.alabama.gov/firstlady.aspx

Alabama First Lady Dianne Bentley is continuing a program to distribute blankets to homeless and displaced families during the winter months. The first lady announced the start of the program called "Blankets with a Blessing" Monday. She said new quilts and blankets would be collected from businesses and individuals through Nov. 13. The blankets will be donated to a domestic violence shelter somewhere in the state. A total of 55 blankets were donated last year and were given to SafeHouse shelter in Shelby County. "Blankets with a Blessing" started in 2004.