$1 Billion Road Bill Going to Committee

April 14, 2010 - 4:42pm

A bill to provide $1 billion, over 10 years, for road and bridge construction in Alabama is headed to a legislative conference committee to try to work out differences between the House and Senate.

The bill sponsored by Democratic Sen. Lowell Barron of Fyffe passed the House Tuesday night, with amendments adding many projects. Wednesday, the Senate voted 26-1 not to go along with changes and to have a conference committee of six legislators try to find a compromise. The House later voted 95-4 to have a conference committee. ...Read more

Legislature Vote on Restricting Access to 911 Calls

April 14, 2010 - 4:37pm

The Alabama Legislature has given final approval to a bill that would restrict the public's access to 911 calls and require a court order for their release.

The Alabama House voted 93-0 Wednesday to go along with Senate changes to the bill by Republican Rep. Ron Johnson of Sylacauga.

The bill now goes to Gov. Bob Riley for his signature. ...Read more

Residents React to Disturbing News

April 13, 2010 - 5:51pm
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Carmel Bay Drive residents are reacting after police and yellow caution tape covered one home in their neighborhood Monday afternoon. Investigators say a locksmith discovered the remains of who they believe to be Sherry Sellers in the trunk of a BMW parked at her home. Sellers had been reported missing by her mother back in January 2009. Since then, investigators have searched Lake Tuscaloosa, Sellers' home, and the area of the car, but they had never searched the vehicle's trunk. ...Read more

West Alabama Agricultural Tour

April 13, 2010 - 5:18pm
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Master Gardeners were out and about in Tuscaloosa County Tuesday.

The Tuscaloosa County Extension Office took gardeners to a few farms in western Tuscaloosa County to take a look at some unique techniques.  The group started out at Randy Hoggle's Worm Farm in Coker.  Hoggle uses a mixture of other nutrients to feed the slippery critters.  Each bed at Hoggle's farm can hold about 50,000 worms.  Hoggle sells the worms to local bait shops, including one at Lake Lurleen State Park.
After Hoggle's Worm Farm, the gardeners gathered at an evergreen farm owned by Tim D ...Read more

Bingo Bill Investigation

April 12, 2010 - 8:02pm

A top Justice Department official says an investigation surrounding a bill to regulate and legalize electronic bingo in Alabama isn't meant to influence an upcoming vote in the Alabama House. The acting chief of the Public Integrity Section, Raymond N. Hulser, made the statement in a letter to Birmingham attorney Doug Jones, who represents the Democratic caucuses in the House and Senate.
...Read more

A Day Offers Trial Run for Parking Solutions

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The game day exodus to Tuscaloosa can pack an additional 125,000 people into Tuscaloosa in about 2 hours on football Saturdays, and with expansion in the south end zone bringing 10,000 additional seats to the stadium the numbers are only looking to go up.  Gina Johnson with Game Day Operations says more fans filling the stadium could mean for even more challenges with finding people parking spaces.  "That's four-thousand more vehicles coming to campus,"Johnson estimates, "and we don't have any more parking resources available on campus.  We're maxed out."
...Read more

Full-Time Faculty Salaries Slide

April 12, 2010 - 4:47pm

A national survey of professor pay shows salaries for full-time faculty at the University of Alabama decreased slightly last year.

Data released Monday by the American Association of University Professors for faculty of all ranks shows an average of $80,200, down 1.5 percent or $1,200 from what university professors made in the 2008-09 academic year.

This academic year was the third straight year without campuswide raises at Alabama.

The figure for Alabama is just below Auburn, where the figure is $81,100, up by $600 from a year ago. ...Read more

Bingo Battle

April 8, 2010 - 6:16pm

Gambling MachineThe governor is telling the state attorney general to step aside, in the battle over bingo in Alabama.  Gov. Bob Riley has sent Attorney General Troy King a sharply worded letter. ...Read more

Child Killed by School Bus

April 8, 2010 - 6:13pm

School Bus AccidentAn 8-year-old girl is dead after being hit by a school bus in south Alabama.  Florala police chief Sonny Bedsole said the accident happened about 3 p.m. Thursday. ...Read more

Former Cash Crop Comeback

April 7, 2010 - 5:45pm
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Advertisements claim that cotton is "the fabric of our lives", but here in Alabama, the former cash crop could become a bigger part of life this farming season.  Officials with the Tuscaloosa County Extension Service say we should see about a forty-percent increase in acreage this season.  "The main reason,"Extension Coordinator, Wayne Ford explains "is because generally corn and soybean prices are going down.  So it's anticipated more cotton crop this year."  According to local farmers, cotton prices had dropped significantly over the past few years for several reasons. ...Read more

Task Force Eyes Victoryland Again

April 7, 2010 - 5:18pm

The Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling is asking the Alabama Supreme Court to throw out a judge's order that keeps it from operating in Macon County and from raiding Victoryland's electronic bingo machines.
The task force filed papers with the Supreme Court on Wednesday saying the governor has the authority to enforce gambling laws in all 67 counties. The task force said Victoryland's power and influence with Macon County officials shouldn't give it immunity. ...Read more

Tuscaloosa's Census Participation

April 6, 2010 - 8:24pm

censusTuscaloosa leaders are disappointed with the city's participation in the 2010 census.  Some parts of Tuscaloosa had high returns, over 65 percent.  Others weren't so swell with under 50 percent.  City leaders told WVUA the areas with less than 50 percent are populated by college students who live off campus.  The national average for census returns is 60 percent.  Tuscaloosa is at 53 percent as of Tuesday Apr ...Read more

Senate Committee Approves Education Budget

April 6, 2010 - 5:56pm

A state senate committee has approved an education budget that's almost identical to the one that was approved by the House last week. The Senate Finance Education Committee decided unanimously for a $5.5 billion budget for the next school year. ...Read more

Final Plans for Foster Auditorium Facelift

April 6, 2010 - 5:50pm
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The final plan for a commemorative plaza in front of Foster Auditorium on the University of Alabama campus has been released. ...Read more

Alabama Senator Claims Bribe for Bingo Vote

April 6, 2010 - 5:40pm

An Alabama legislator says a lobbyist offered him $250,000 if he would commit to voting in favor of electronic bingo.

On Monday, Sen. Paul Sanford of Huntsville said that before he was elected last year, lobbyist Jarrod Massey offered him the money if he would commit to a "yes" vote. Massey's clients include the Country Crossing electronic bingo casino in Dothan.

The Birmingham News says a second state senator says Massey offered a substantial campaign contribution in return for a favorable vote on bingo legislation. ...Read more

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