Nick Saban

A new survey shows the majority of U.S. military veterans aren’t happy with the treatment they get after their service. The Disabled Veterans Pulse Survey found that only 1 in 5 veterans think the government treats them well.

Less than half believe they receive the benefits and support they were promised. Dan Clare is the National Director of Communications for the group Disabled American Veterans. He says many veterans out repeat their service.

Demonstrators emptied liquor bottles outside the Alabama Capitol to protest the closing of driver's license offices in Black Belt counties.

Selma state senator Hank Sanders told the Montgomery Advertiser that state agencies are leaving money-losing liquor stores open in the impoverished areas while closing rural driver's license offices.

The crowd chanted "Give us the ballot, not just the bottle" during the Monday protest.

The event was one of several demonstrations over the closures.

Downtown Rescue Mission

The city of Huntsville is working to make the holiday season special for local families.

Every year the Downtown Rescue Mission helps the homeless and families in need during the Thanksgiving holidays. The Mission provides Thanksgiving boxes filled with items to prepare a Thanksgiving meal. The boxes include a frozen turkey, stuffing, yams, a fruit cocktail and rolls.

Tonia Beverly is the Director of Events and Business Partnership at the Downtown Rescue Mission. She says that these packages give families something to be thankful for during the holidays.

Unemployment in Alabama is down slightly and wages are higher than it’s been in seven years. A-P-R student reporter Nia Craig has more on the state's employment rates…


Employment has increased by 7,200 jobs. According to the governor’s office the state’s jobless rate for October was 5.9 percent. This is one-tenth of a point from 6 percent in September.


The government sector has gained more than half of these jobs. There were also increases in the professional and business services area, plus the trade and transportation sector.


Elliott Spillers
Pete Pajor / Crimson White

Students at the University of Alabama repeated a list of demands for more diversity on the Tuscaloosa campus.

A student march started at Malone-Hood Plaza and ended at Gorgas Library, where the students' eleven goals were restated. The group “We Are Done UA” wants a safe space for students of color, a diversity class for freshmen, and a way to report hate crimes and sexual abuse on campus, among other things.

Alabama’s Governor Robert Bentley is putting his rhetoric against Syrian refugees settling in the state into action.

The governor has directed state agencies to try to block the relocation of any Syrian refugees in Alabama.

Bentley signed an executive order Monday after announcing his opposition to Syrian refugees settling in Alabama over the weekend. The order directs state agencies to use all "lawful means" to prevent the resettlement of refugees.

Governor Robert Bentley has announced he won’t allow any Syrian refugees to relocate to Alabama.

Bentley released a statement Sunday saying, "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. I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm's way."

Tommy Bice

Alabama Department of Education Superintendent Tommy Bice says he will propose raising teacher salaries over the next three years.

Bice said yesterday his department would recommend raising teachers' salaries 5 percent in fiscal year 2017, which begins next October.

The state government will have the final word on public school spending next year. According to the department, the raise would cost $160 million.

Bice says he will seek additional raises in 2018 and 2019, with the goal of bringing teacher salaries in line with inflation.

Three Tuscaloosa Police officers are on paid leave following a videotaped incident that went viral on the internet. According to APR’s Pat Duggins, even Police Chief Steven Anderson admits 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. A Taser and a nightstick are used as the officers forcibly subdue and arrest the young man and woman. Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steven Anderson says the images left him with some questions.

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.

Alabama has reopened most rural driver license offices for one day each month.

The offices began reopening this week on a limited basis following national backlash over a plan to close them permanently.

In September, The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency announced plans to close 31 offices where state workers had given driving tests one day per week.

The agency said the closures were necessary because of budget cuts. Critics said the closures created a hardship for rural residents and only saved the state $100,000 a year in travel costs.

Alabama red snapper fishermen say they’re feeling caught between state and federal regulators.

New numbers from Washington for the amount of snapper caught this year differs from the total from the state. The Federal Marine Recreational Information Program says Alabama anglers caught just over two million pounds of red snapper. Alabama regulators put that number at just over a million pounds. 

Rain is helping efforts to put out a nearly 2,000-acre wildfire that's been burning for more than a week in northwest Alabama.

The U.S. Forest Service says crews were monitoring a fire line in the Sipsey Wilderness today. Officials hope continuing rainfall will extinguish the blaze.

More than 1.5 inches of rain is forecast in an area where the Big Tree wildfire has burned about 1,938 acres since it was first reported on Oct. 16.

Eric Parker
Brynn Anderson / AP

Federal prosecutors are trying for a second time to convict former Madison police officer Eric Parker of using unreasonable force when questioning an Indian man in February.

57 year old Sureshbhai Patel appears to have been slammed to the ground by Parker in a police dash camera video.

Robert Posey is the first assistant U.S. attorney for the northern district. He says the prosecution has good evidence on their side.

Alabama death row inmates are seeking alternative methods for execution. APR student reporter Parker Branton reports on their latest arguments.

Death row inmate Tommy Arthur says he’d rather face a firing squad rather than undergo lethal injection in Alabama.

He and Anthony Boyd are pleading their case to change their method of execution. They join five other death row inmates who have filed lawsuits claiming the state’s current three-drug lethal injection protocol for executions as cruel and unusual punishment under the United States constitution.

Pilgrim's Pride
John Bonzo / Wikimedia

The U.S. Department of Labor has filed multiple lawsuits against chicken processor Pilgrim’s Pride.

According to an report, the agency is accusing the company of discriminatory hiring practices in Alabama and North Carolina.

A complaint filed last month by the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Compliance Programs accuses Pilgrim’s Pride of systematically discriminating against African-American, Caucasian and female job applicants at its poultry plant in Athens.

Elmore County Courthouse
courthouselover / Flickr

A probate judge in Alabama is asking the state's Supreme Court for a way out of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Elmore County Probate Judge John Enslen filed a petition earlier this week saying the federal government should issue same-sex marriage licenses, not state or county offices. Enslen says the federal government is responsible for upholding and enforcing other laws created at the federal level.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the closure of 31 Alabama driver's license offices.

Sewell sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch yesterday saying the closures disproportionately impact rural, African-American and poor communities.

Sewell says the closures will severely limit access to a state issued driver's license, the most popular form of photo identification used in voting.

A judge has set a hearing on House Speaker Mike Hubbard's claims of prosecutorial misconduct and argument that the ethics law is unconstitutional.

Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker says the hearing is on October 26.  Walker says for Hubbard to prevail, he must prove misconduct that substantially impacted a grand jury's decision to indict Hubbard.

Hubbard faces 23 ethics charges accusing him of using his public offices to benefit his businesses.

The Alabama Attorney General's Office is seeking an execution date for a death row inmate convicted in the 1992 rape and murder of a Homewood woman. reports the Attorney General submitted a motion to the Alabama Supreme Court last week saying inmate Christopher Brooks has exhausted his direct appeals and should be scheduled to be executed.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is moving forward with plans to close some driver’s license offices across the state.

Bentley made the remarks today during a trip to Birmingham.

There are 33 possible driver’s license offices in the state that could close.  He will follow the recommendations by Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Director Spencer Collier.

In addition to the license offices, Bentley is expected to close some Alabama National Guard Armories and possibly some state parks. 

A Selma-based auto supplier is continuing its lawsuit against a former employee they fired, after a Montgomery County judge ruled whistleblower protections don’t apply.

Alabama’s Attorney General Luther Strange is asking the state Ethics Commission to reconsider an opinion that he says may undermine the state ethics law.

Strange sent a letter earlier this month asking commissioners to revisit advice they gave to state representative Patricia Todd. The commission told Todd she could advocate and vote on bills backed by her employer, an organization that works on gay and lesbian issues. The opinion says that’s OK, as long as the votes were on issues and not a financial benefit to her employer.

Planned Parenthood
Getty Images

Planned Parenthood is taking the state of Alabama to court after Governor Robert Bentley halted Medicaid payments to the organization's clinics in Alabama.

A federal judge will hold a hearing later this morning on Planned Parenthood Southeast's request for a preliminary injunction. Last month, Governor Bentley announced that he planned to terminate agreements allowing Planned Parenthood to be paid for providing services to Medicaid patients.

Oasis Tabernacle Church
Alaina Denean Deshazo / Selma Times-Journal / AP

Selma police have arrested a man after three people were shot in Selma’s Oasis Tabernacle Church yesterday.

26 year old James Junior Minter is being held without bond in the Dallas County Jail. He’s accused of shooting his former girlfriend, their 1-month-old son, and the church pastor during services yesterday. Authorities believe Minter was most likely upset about a recent breakup and visitation issues with his son.

The 24-year-old woman and her 1-month-old baby were both rushed to Birmingham for medical treatment. Both are currently in stable condition.

The state of Alabama has a general fund budget in place for the new fiscal year beginning in less than two weeks.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed the state's general fund budget yesterday morning. He says the spending plan isn’t perfect, but it is a step in the right direction for the state.

Lawmakers passed a $1.7 billion budget on Wednesday after months of negotiations over a substantial budget shortfall. Legislators approved a 25-cent-per-pack cigarette tax increase and a transfer of $80 million in education funds to minimize cuts to state services.

Alabama State House
Jay Williams / Flickr

Alabama Senators will continue budget talks today after a late-night meeting yesterday failed to end in agreement.

A conference committee will meet again this morning to keep discussing a proposal to shift education funds to the cash-strapped general fund budget.

The committee met for over an hour last night but couldn’t reach an agreement. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh described the talks as productive, but fragile.

Senators want to shift $100 million from education funds. House members voted to move half of that.

Media outlets are asking a judge in Tuscaloosa to unseal the divorce case of Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and first lady Dianne Bentley.

A motion filed today by a group of Alabama television stations and newspapers says the case was sealed last month following a hurried hearing held without notice to the public.

The motion says the divorce is newsworthy and a fair subject for reporting by the media. It says allowing the case to remain closed promotes the spread of rumors.

Indicted House Speaker Mike Hubbard has given a litany of complaints about his case in a recently unsealed document.

Hubbard says the state’s ethics law is unconstitutionally vague, did not apply to him as Republican party chairman and that he had a free speech right to lobby for his clients.

Late last week, a judge unsealed Hubbard's motion to dismiss his ethics case on the grounds that the ethics law is unconstitutional.

The jury has deadlocked in the civil rights trial of former Madison police officer Eric Parker. They will continue deliberating this morning.

U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala instructed the jury to come back today and re-evaluate the evidence and testimony presented in the case. Parker is charged with violating the civil rights of Indian grandfather Sureshbhai Patel when he threw the man to the ground during a police stop. Patel was seriously injured in the fall and remains partially paralyzed.