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Auditor files new lawsuit over Gulf State Park hotel, Alzheimer's conference in Decatur

The state auditor has re-filed a lawsuit against Gov. Robert Bentley's effort to build a hotel and conference center at Gulf State Park. Auditor Jim Zeigler and state Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, both frequent critics of the governor, filed the lawsuit today in Montgomery court. The filing comes four days after a judge dismissed a similar suit filed by the former conservation director for lack of standing. The lawsuit challenges the state's use of oil spill funds on the project. This is the second lawsuit Zeigler has filed within a week against Bentley's administration. Last week he filed a lawsuit to try to void the contract for the state's accounting software. The heat is rising and Alabama is making sure it isn't from fires. The Alabama State Fire Marshal's Office is holding a fire safety summit today and tomorrow in Tuscaloosa. The event is expected to attract one hundred people who want to learn more about fire prevention. Steven Holmes is with the Fire Marshal's office. He hopes

Auditor files new lawsuit over Gulf State Park hotel, Alzheimer's conference in Decatur

Execution Date Sought for Tommy Arthur, Fire Safety Summit in Tuscaloosa

State lawyers are hoping to set a date for the execution of a death row inmate who unsuccessfully challenged Alabama's lethal injection method as unconstitutional. Last week, the Alabama Attorney General's office asked the Alabama Supreme Court to set an execution date for Thomas Arthur "as soon as possible." The request comes after a federal judge ruled for the state and against Arthur's claims that the state's lethal injection method was unconstitutional earlier this month. Arthur has been on death row since 1983 for the contract killing of Muscle Shoals businessman Troy Wicker in 1982. He's successfully fought off multiple execution dates on appeal. Alabama fire departments are working to help state residents prevent fires in the first place. The Alabama State Fire Marshal's Office will be holding a fire safety summit today and tomorrow in Tuscaloosa. The event is open to the public it will be focused on showing firefighters the right way to respond to an unexpected fire. Steve

Execution Date Sought for Tommy Arthur, Fire Safety Summit in Tuscaloosa

Alabama Supreme Court presides over sheriff's impeachment, Alabama and the DNC

The Alabama Supreme Court is holding an impeachment trial to determine whether a sheriff should be removed from office on grand jury charges of corruption and neglect of duty. Sumter County Sheriff Tyrone Clark Sr. is being tried in the same Supreme Court chambers where justices normally hear appellate cases. His charges are not criminal; the penalty would be removal from office. Clark is accused of allowing an inmate held on drug trafficking charges to leave jail, return with contraband and avoid being searched. Clark didn't immediately respond to a request for comment before his trial began earlier today. Alabama will have several delegates on hand during the Democratic National Convention beginning today in Philadelphia. Members will participate in several meetings with representatives from other states. Nancy Worley is the Alabama Democratic Chairwoman. She says there's a lot more that goes on at the conventions than the speeches seen on TV. "The part that we see on television,

Alabama Supreme Court presides over sheriff's impeachment, Alabama and the DNC

Alabama Legislators Consider State Lottery, AL Delegates at Democratic Nat'l Convention

Alabama lawmakers are currently being polled about support for lottery legislation as Governor Robert Bentley contemplates calling a special session on Medicaid funding. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh says legislative leaders are gauging interest from state legislators. Marsh says the discussions come as Governor Bentley contemplates calling a special session that could include a lottery bill. Last week, Gov. Bentley released a statement saying he would make an announcement soon as to whether he would call a special session on Medicaid funding. He and state Medicaid commissioner Stephanie Azar say the state's Medicaid system lacks $85 million in needed funding. Alabama is one of only six states without a state lottery. Alabama voters rejected a lottery proposal in 1999. The Democratic National Convention kicks off today in the city of brotherly love. APR student reporter Taylor Swinney has more. Alabama will have 72 democratic delegates on hand when the Democratic National

Alabama Legislators Consider State Lottery, AL Delegates at Democratic Nat'l Convention

Tail of a Cat

It has been suggested that the cat uses its tail for balance, and that may be partly true. However, cats born without tails (like the Manx breed) and cats who lose their tails due to injury, still seem to maintain a good sense of balance. *************************

Alabama jobless rate unchanged at 6 percent, W.C. Handy Festival underway

Alabama's unemployment rate remains unchanged from a month before. The Alabama Department of Labor announced the jobless rate for June on Friday. The number is the same as May at six percent. It represents 130,439 unemployed people in Alabama. The state says June employment actually rose by almost 34,000 people, but the gain wasn't enough to lower the unemployment number. The jobless rate is slightly lower than the June 2015 rate of 6.1 percent. But Alabama's unemployment rate remains well above the national unemployment rate of 4.9 percent. Shelby County has the state's lowest unemployment rate at 4.8 percent, and Wilcox County is highest at 15.1 percent. Peanut growers from across the nation are gathering in Florida. That includes Alabama's industry, which grows an estimated eighty million dollars' worth of peanuts per year. The 18th annual conference for the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation is meeting at Miramar Beach. Delegates will hear speakers on topics like surviving

Alabama jobless rate unchanged at 6 percent, W.C. Handy Festival underway

Federal Judge Sets Date for Voter ID Trial, W.C. Handy Festival Beginning in Florence

A federal judge says a pending lawsuit over Alabama's voter identification law will go to trial in the fall of next year. U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler has set the trial to begin Sept. 11, 2017, in Birmingham federal court. Greater Birmingham Ministries and the NAACP challenged the state's existing voter ID law as an infringement on voting rights disproportionately affecting black and Latino voters. The plaintiffs have asked Coogler to hold the trial in June to allow for a chance that the case could be decided before 2017's municipal elections.The state of Alabama has objected to that request, noting that the ID requirement was in place for two years before it was challenged. Earlier this year, Judge Coogler refused to suspend the voter ID requirement for all 2016 elections. Music lovers will be pouring into the Shoals this weekend. The annual W.C. Handy festival is back, and it runs into August. The event was created to honor William Christopher Handy, who is known worldwide as

Federal Judge Sets Date for Voter ID Trial, W.C. Handy Festival Beginning in Florence

Heatwave in Alabama, Alabama Courthouse bell dating to 1871 to be relocated

Weather forecasters say conditions are going to be downright brutal for the next few days. Central Alabama is expected to be under the influence of a subtropical ridge. That could means temperatures approaching triple digits in some parts of the state starting today. John DeBlock is with the National Weather Service in Birmingham. He says those temperatures don't even include the heat index, which is how humidity makes it feel outside... "I think we can see temperatures in the mid to upper nineties, perhaps approaching one hundred degrees. When you combine the humidity in there, the effective temperature that you feel, it's going to feel like one hundred and five degrees." DeBlock says there are ways to stay safe and beat the heat. He suggests things like drinking a lot of water and taking frequent breaks if you have to be outside. An 1871 bronze bell in the dome of the Limestone County Courthouse, which once called residents to the town square for important events, will be relocated

Heatwave in Alabama, Alabama Courthouse bell dating to 1871 to be relocated

Judge Recuses Himself from Moore Hearing, YWCA Hosts Conference on Race

One member of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary has recused himself from the upcoming decision on the fate of suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. Opelika attorney John V. Denson is one of nine judges, attorneys and other citizens who serve on Alabama's Court of the Judiciary. He says he is recusing himself from the case to avoid any appearance of impropriety. Denson is the only current member of the Court who also served on the body in 2003, when Chief Justice Moore was first removed from office. Moore was booted from office in November 2003 for refusing to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments from the state judicial building. He was re-elected as Chief Justice in 2012. Moore now faces removal once again for instructing the state's probate judges to disobey a U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. The Court of the Judiciary will hear oral arguments in the case on August 8. An Alabama group is working to address racial tensions simmering in Alabama and

Judge Recuses Himself from Moore Hearing, YWCA Hosts Conference on Race

Bentley mulling special session on budget, Small Business diversity summit

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he is still considering a special session on Medicaid funding but has not made a final decision. The governor says Medicaid needed at least an additional $15 million in order to have adequate funding in the next fiscal year. Bentley adds he expects to announce a decision soon. Lawmakers budgeted $700 million for the state Medicaid program. Bentley said $785 million was needed to maintain the program. Bentley says he might be able to use oil spill settlement funds and other sources to partially close the gap. Bentley declined to name funding options for closing the remainder. He said a lottery and tax increases are all things that could be considered. Minority business owners will be getting some tips on working with their local chamber of commerce tomorrow. The Minority Business Council of West Alabama will be holding its second annual Small Business Diversity Summit tomorrow at Tuscaloosa's University Church of Christ. The summit will include training

Bentley mulling special session on budget, Small Business diversity summit

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