Alabama's new chief justice, Chuck Malone, says he will announce soon whether he will run for a full term next year, but his party chairman predicts he will. State Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead was among more than 250 people who attended Malone's investiture Tuesday in Montgomery. Armistead said he expects an official campaign announcement from Malone very soon. ...Read more
A federal decision to hold up some disaster funding could delay the rebuilding of four Alabama schools destroyed by tornadoes on April 27. The director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, Art Faulkner, told The Associated Press in an interview Monday that children could spend more time in temporary schools because of the action by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. ...Read more
Gov. Robert Bentley has chosen the president and CEO of Protective Life Corp., Johnny Johns, and the publisher of The Birmingham News, Pam Siddall, to lead his Tornado Recovery Action Council. Bentley announced the creation of the council Monday in Clanton. Bentley said retired aerospace executive Ron Gray will serve as executive director.
The governor said the council will hold forums in seven communities affected by the April tornadoes, and it will issue recommendations by mid-January on disaster preparedness, warning, response and recovery. ...Read more
A federal judge in Birmingham has temporarily blocked enforcement of Alabama's new law cracking down on illegal immigration. U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Blackburn's order issued Monday means the law won't take effect as scheduled on Thursday. Blackburn didn't address whether the law is constitutional. Instead, she says she needs more time to consider lawsuits filed by the Justice Department, private groups and individuals that claim the state is overstepping its bounds with the law. The judge says she will issue a longer ruling by Sept. 28. ...Read more
The judge in Alabama's gambling corruption case has told defense attorneys that he wants to know in detail why they think their clients should be acquitted rather than go through a retrial. All seven, including casino owner Milton McGregor, are seeking acquittal based on a lack of evidence. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson set out a schedule Monday that gives defense attorneys until Sept. 9 to explain their reasoning charge by charge. Prosecutors have to respond by Sept. 23 and defense attorneys get a chance to reply by Sept. 30. Then the judge will rule. ...Read more