Politics & Government

Politics & Government
10:34 am
Sun September 30, 2012

Haikala to Take Federal Bench Monday in N. Alabama

blog.al.com The Birmingham News

A new federal judge will soon take the bench in Alabama.

New Orleans native Madeline Haikala will start her new job Monday as a U.S. magistrate judge hearing cases in a district composed of 31 counties in the northern part of Alabama. The Birmingham News reports (http://bit.ly/QpmFyA ) that Haikala is the first new magistrate judge in 14 years.

Magistrate judges hear federal misdemeanor cases and conduct pre-trial proceedings.

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Politics & Government
10:26 am
Sun September 30, 2012

District Attorney Retiring From 35th Circuit

District Attorney Tommy Chapman is stepping down from his post as district attorney for the 35th Judicial Circuit.
http://blog.al.com

The district attorney prosecuting cases in Monroe and Conecuh counties will soon retire.

Tommy Chapman will step down Monday from his post as district attorney for the 35th Judicial Circuit. Gov. Robert Bentley has appointed Chapman's chief assistant, Steve Wadlington, to fill the remainder of Chapman's term.

Gov. Guy Hunt first appointed Chapman as the local district attorney in 1990. He was re-elected four times.

Politics & Government
4:58 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

Army Plan Would Limit Lock Usage on Ala. Rivers

People fish at the downstream lock of he Claiborne Lock and Dam on the Alabama River Wednesday, June 29, 2011, near Claiborne, Alabama. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to restrict traffic through the locks to save money.
Press-Register/Mike Kittrell

State officials are criticizing a plan that would limit lock usage on the Alabama and Chattahoochee rivers.

Citing budget cuts and low river traffic, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said starting Oct. 7 it will allow commercial boats to transit the locks if boat operators make an appointment 72 hours in advance. The locks allow boats to bypass dams that obstruct river travel.

Recreational boats can use the locks only if the locks are being used for another purpose.

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Politics & Government
4:55 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

Bentley Appoints Jay York to Mobile County Court

blog.al.com

Gov. Robert Bentley has appointed a workers compensation attorney to a judgeship in Mobile County.

Jay York will replace retiring District Judge Michael McMaken. The Mobile Press-Register (http://bit.ly/PAil07 ) reports that McMaken's last official day is Sunday.

York was among three lawyers recommended by the Mobile County Judicial Commission. By law, Bentley had to select one of the candidates endorsed by the commission.

Bentley said that York brings experience and "sound judgment" to the court.

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Politics & Government
3:24 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

No Massachusetts Murder Trial for Amy Bishop

Politics & Government
8:23 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Some Animal Clinics Worry About Proposed Rules

Operators of some nonprofit clinics that spay and neuter animals say new rules being considered by a state board could cause them to close their doors.

The Birmingham News reports (http://bit.ly/Uy6Wib) that the proposed rules are under consideration by the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.


If approved, the rules would prohibit non-veterinarians from hiring veterinarians and would prohibit non-veterinarians, including non-profit groups, from owning veterinarian equipment.

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It's All Politics
6:21 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Iowa Voters Who Are — Literally — Done With The Election

Iowans vote Thursday at the Polk County Auditor's Office in Des Moines. Voters lined up before the doors opened at 8 a.m. to cast ballots. At least 200 people had arrived within the first hour.
Sarah McCammon Iowa Public Radio

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 7:53 pm

Early in-person voting has begun in Iowa, the first swing state to open polling sites.

Residents of the battleground state can now vote in person at their local county auditors' offices or turn them in by mail. Some areas will offer additional satellite locations.

At the Polk County Auditor's office in downtown Des Moines Thursday morning, a line of voters stretched down the block as the door opened.

Peter Clay, 62, was among the many supporters of President Obama. He says he's volunteered for the campaign on his days off from his job as a zookeeper.

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Toxic Trailers
5:22 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

$42.6 Million FEMA Trailer Settlements Approved

A judge has approved a class-action settlement regarding toxic trailers after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Ryan Schreiber Flickr

A federal judge gave his final approval Thursday to a $42.6 million class-action settlement between companies that made and installed government-issued trailers after hurricanes in 2005 and Gulf Coast storm victims who claim they were exposed to hazardous fumes while living in the shelters.

U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt ruled from the bench after hearing from attorneys who brokered a deal resolving nearly all remaining court claims over elevated levels of formaldehyde in trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency following hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

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It's All Politics
5:17 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

In 1980s Romney Video From His Bain Days, Profits, Not Jobs, Were Focus

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:30 pm

From the magazine that brought you the infamous, secretly recorded "47 percent" video comes a new one about Republican candidate Mitt Romney — this one offering a very different objective for Bain Capital than the one he brags about on the campaign trail.

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Drug Take Back
5:07 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

State, Federal Officials Unveil Drug Return Plan

Alabama residents are being urged to participate in a program that will allow people to turn in prescription drugs with no questions asked.

Top state and federal criminal justice officials are urging Alabama residents to participate in a program that will allow people to turn in prescription drugs with no questions asked.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, U.S. Attorney George Beck and Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Special Agent in Charge Clay Morris on Thursday announced there would be 60 sites around the state Saturday that would accept prescription drugs being turned in by the public.

Alabama officials said they have expanded the state's participation in what has been a national program.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Netanyahu Calls For 'Red Line' On Iran; Rejects Palestinian's 'Libelous' Charges

At the U.N. today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a graphic to show how far he says Iran will be by mid-2013 in a quest to develop nuclear weapons. He drew the red line to mark where he says Iran must be stopped.
Lucas Jackson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:48 am

Israeli Prime Minister laid out in some detail this afternoon his nation's case for taking stronger action against Iran and his nation's response to what he said are "libelous" accusations about how Israel treats Palestinians.

Taking to the stage just minutes after the head of the Palestinian Authority, Benjamin Netanyahu told United Nations delegates this afternoon that Israelis and Palestinians "won't solve our conflicts with libelous speeches at the U.N."

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Politics & Government
8:41 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Few Violators Nabbed for Texting and Driving

Chris Usher/Time Magazine time.com

Law officers in some eastern Alabama jurisdictions have yet to issue any citations under the state's new law banning texting and driving.

The law went into effect on Aug. 1.


The Anniston Star reports (http://bit.ly/Rkz1er) that the Anniston, Jacksonville and Oxford police departments and the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office all said they've issued no citations for the offense.

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Politics & Government
8:21 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Officials Set Ala. News Conference on Drug Program

Top state and federal criminal justice officials plan to hold a news conference to announce a program that will allow people to turn in prescription drugs with no questions asked.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, U.S. Attorney George Beck and Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Special Agent in Charge Clay Morris will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. Thursday at the U.S Attorney's office in Montgomery.

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It's All Politics
7:59 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Election Day? Expert Says 35 Percent Of All Votes Could Be Cast Before Nov. 6

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 9:52 am

With voters in the swing state of Iowa today joining those in two-dozen other states who can already cast their vote for president, the surge in early voting is necessitating a change in campaign strategy, says Paul Gronke, director of the Early Voting Information Center.

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Politics & Government
8:15 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Police Search Delays School in Guntersville

Authorities say a report of gunshots and the search for a suspect has led to classes being delayed for students in Guntersville.

Administers delayed Wednesday morning's school start in Guntersville City Schools for two hours.


Guntersville Police Chief Jim Peterson tells WAFF-TV (http://bit.ly/SQTtR9) that someone knocked on the door of an apartment on Richardson Street around 2:30 a.m. Authorities say the homeowner chased the man off and called police. The suspect ran into a wooded area and police heard two shots.

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