University of Alabama football

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.

It may have been the first time since the 2009 SEC Championship that Alabama wasn't favored to win a game. But the 38-10 result of a rain-soaked contest in Athens left no doubt that the Crimson Tide was the best team on the field.

Despite the weather, Alabama QB Jake Coker had his best game of the season in terms of quarterback rating. He completed nearly 70% of his passes and gained just shy of 200 yards through the air. RB Derrick Henry had a productive day as well, rushing for nearly 150 yards and adding a touchdown.

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.

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
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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.

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.

Alabama lawmakers are returning to Montgomery today for their third attempt at balancing the state’s general fund budget.

The special session begins at 5 PM this afternoon.

So far, legislators haven’t been able to agree on how to handle a projected funding shortfall of at least $200 million for the upcoming fiscal year.

Huntsville Federal Court

Former Madison police officer Eric Parker’s defense team is expected to present their case today as his civil rights trial continues.

Parker is accused of violating the civil rights of 58 year old Indian man Sureshbhai Patel when he assaulted and partially paralyzed him during a police stop in February.

Eric Parker confrontation
Madison Police Department

A former Madison police officer stands trial today on a federal charge of using excessive force against an Indian man who was partially paralyzed during a confrontation.

Eric Sloan Parker is accused of violating the civil rights of 57-year-old Sureshbhai Patel in February when he threw the man to the ground during a police stop.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says he will not back down as he battles with members of his own party over tax increases.

The governor says the cuts currently proposed to state services will cause a tremendous amount of pain to the citizens if lawmakers fail to plug a revenue hole.

The Alabama Senate will vote later today on a budget that slashes $200 million from Alabama’s state agency funding. Governor Bentley calls that budget unworkable and unacceptable. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh says Republican senators remain largely opposed to any tax increases.

Tuscaloosa’s police chief says he hopes releasing more than two hours of video and audio footage dispels any concerns of police misconduct in the death of a man while in custody that occurred Friday.

Yesterday, Tuscaloosa police released footage from the night Anthony Ware died after he was pepper sprayed and handcuffed.

The footage shows a man running into the woods after patrol cars pull up to an apartment block. It later shows officers performing CPR on Ware in the woods. Authorities say the moment Ware was sprayed and detained last Friday wasn't recorded.

Tuscaloosa police have dropped domestic violence charges against Alabama cornerback Cyrus Jones.

Police say that probable cause existed for the charges filed against Jones, but they were dropped because he "in fact attempted to de-escalate the situation by contacting the Tuscaloosa Police Department."

Jones was charged Tuesday night with two domestic violence misdemeanors.  He had allegedly threatened a 22-year-old woman in front of a witness and damaged her phone.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating an accident that occurred during the Tuscaloosa Air Show yesterday.

Two small stunt planes collided during an aerobatic performance by Team Aerodynamix at the Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show yesterday.

Tuscaloosa is competing with nearly 70 other communities for part of a half-billion dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

City officials and residents gathered inside the Rosedale Court Apartment complex yesterday to identify what they see as important points. Members of the recovery operations for Tuscaloosa asked people about resiliency, at-risk populations and overall impacts that could lead to the city winning part of the grant.

Tuscaloosa City Councilor Harrison Taylor says it is all about being prepared.


Tuscaloosa city officials say the economic benefit of the University of Alabama's home football games far outweigh the cost the city spends on staff overtime during game weekends.

Mayor Walt Maddox said Thursday that more than 400 city employees work overtime Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays on home game weekends. Maddox says the city spends roughly $750,000 each season to cover the cost.

Maddox says each of the school's home games has a roughly $17 million to $18 million impact on the city's economy.

(Information in the following story is from: The Tuscaloosa News,

Former players and assistant coaches are remembering Paul "Bear" Bryant on the 30th anniversary of his death.

Bryant led the University of Alabama's football program to 323 wins and six national championships before his death on Jan. 26, 1983. The legendary coach's name has been invoked often as the Crimson Tide again won a national title this month under coach Nick Saban.

University of Alabama

Football fans attending the national championship game Monday night between Alabama and Notre Dame will get to see a public service announcement filmed by University of Alabama students to combat binge drinking.

Students in Alabama's advertising and public relations department created the 60-second PSA directed by Shaquille O'Neal. O'Neal agreed to participate after students generated a Twitter campaign to get him involved. The university announced the PSA will air in Miami Sun Life Stadium during the first quarter of the game.

An Alabama jeweler says he owes customers tens of thousands of dollars since Alabama shut out archrival Auburn in their annual football game last weekend.

Jeff Dennis had promised to refund purchases at his Gardendale jewelry store if either team failed to score.

WIAT-TV ( ) reports that No. 2 Alabama's 49-0 victory over Auburn means Dennis is getting ready to pay up.

Tickets to the SEC Championship football game in Atlanta next weekend continued to climb as Georgia and Alabama each demolished their archrivals.

By early Saturday evening, after Georgia's 41-10 win over Georgia Tech and with Alabama leading Auburn 42-0, the cheapest ticket on was $324. That doesn't include shipping and handling. Those add-ons would push the price closer to $400.

And don't think that would get you nice seats, either. That's just for seats just a few rows from the top of the Georgia Dome in the corner of the end zone.

The University of Alabama is holding a special event for veterans before Saturday's football game in Tuscaloosa against Texas A&M.

The Office of Veteran and Military Affairs is hosting a free pre-game tailgate for veterans, troops and their dependents from both schools.

The tailgate starts at 11:30 a.m. CST on the northwest corner of the Quad, where thousands of fans gather before games.

The tailgate is part of a week of events on campus making Veterans Day, which is next Monday.

No. 1 Alabama plays No. 15 A&M at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.