Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center

Lyric and Alabama Theaters
Joe de Sciose

The Alabama House of Representatives approved Gov. Robert Bentley's proposed state lottery last night by an extremely tight margin.

Representatives voted 64-35 for the bill late last night, barely clearing the 63 votes required to clear the 105-seat House. The vote came after 10 hours of back-and-forth debate and two vote attempts.

Lottery supporters cheered in the House as newly-elected Speaker Mac McCutcheon announced the bill's eventual success.

Alabama Senators will be debating how to divvy up the state’s portion of oil spill settlement money amid a looming hole in the Medicaid budget.

The Alabama Senate is expected to take up the settlement bill today. A version of the legislation passed the House last week. Debate on the Senate floor could get contentious, though, as Senators can’t seem to agree on how much money should help Medicaid and how much should go toward road projects on the Alabama coast.

Mobile police shooting
WKRG-TV

A south Alabama police officer shot and killed an 18-year-old man during a traffic stop earlier this week, according to authorities.

Mobile Police Chief James Barber says a city officer saw a vehicle cut off another car Monday evening. The officer stopped the vehicle, carrying driver Michael Moore and two passengers.

Barber says Moore had no driver's license and was asked to step out of the car. At that point, police say the officer noticed that Moore had a gun in his waistband and reached for it.

House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s ethics trial has been postponed once again. APR’s student reporter Miranda Fulmore has more.

Hubbard’s trial was originally scheduled to begin next month, but has been postponed by Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker. Walker postponed the trial after the state’s lead prosecutor faced a knee injury and needs time to recover from surgery.

Walmart.com

The Alabama Joint Transportation Committee will be in Dothan to discuss the state’s infrastructure as well as ways to fund repairs and constructions. One proposal is an increase in the state’s gasoline tax. That’s expected to be a hot topic in the upcoming legislative session starting next week.

Representative Mac McCutcheon is the chairman of the Joint Transportation Committee. He says committee members will definitely consider public input when it’s time to write legislation.

The Alabama Legislature has approved a general fund budget and wrapped up their second special session.

Lawmakers gave final approval to a spending plan that will avoid cuts to critical state agencies such as Medicaid, prisons and mental health. Other state agencies will see cuts of around 5.5%. Gov. Robert Bentley says he expects to sign the budget into law after reviewing it this morning. He praised lawmakers for their hard work.

tuscaloosa.va.gov

NASA scrubbed today’s planned launch of its Orion space capsule. Despite the delay, the City Decatur will be closely watching the test launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. APR student reporter Josh Hoppenstein has more on north Alabama’s role in the blastoff…

va.gov / US. Department of Veterans Affairs

The federal government is helping Alabama pastors learn how to assist veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Veterans Affairs Medical Center is Tuscaloosa is offering a seminar this week to educate pastors, priests and other church leaders about PTSD and depression.

VA chaplain John Bailey says research shows that almost half of veterans will turn to a member of the clergy first before they seek out a mental health provider.

alaska.va.gov

The quality of health care for female veterans will be the highlight at a town hall meeting in Tuscaloosa tonight. The American Legion is hosting the event. It’s the country’s largest organization of war-time veterans. Officials say women now make up about 15 percent of the country’s service members. About 340,000 women veterans are currently enrolled in the VA health-care system, and officials say they expect that number to keep growing. Roscoe Butler is a field representative with the American Legion.