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
An Alabama A&M graduate is expressing pride in his role in building the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial, which opened to the public this week. Henry Gilford, a 66-year-old graduate of D.A. Smith High School in Ozark, is chief executive officer of the Maryland-based Gilford Corp. The company was one of four that were part of the MLK memorial's design-build team. ...Read more