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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.