Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and the State Attorney General Luther Strange announced Thursday a settlement with BP over damages from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Alabama is set to receive $2.3 billion. The settlement resolves years of litigation between BP and five Gulf Coast states. Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon, who say his resort community devastated by the disaster, is leery of how the money will be spent.
Officials in four Gulf states, including Governor Robert Bentley and Attorney General Luther Strange, have announced an $18.7 billion settlement with British Petroleum. A settlement that resolves years of court battles over the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The settlement was also announced this morning in Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana. It comes as a federal judge in New Orleans is preparing to rule on how much money BP owed in federal Clean Water Act penalties. The spill sent over 125 million gallons of oil into Gulf waters.
The Independence Day weekend is always one of the most heavily traveled periods of the year. State Trooper Corporal Jess Thornton says at the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency that means all hands on deck. Thornton says authorities will be watching for drunk drivers, aggressive drivers, speeders and those without seatbelts. Other troopers will be assigned to marine patrol watching for similar activity on Alabama waterways. The official holiday period runs from 12:01 Friday morning until midnight Sunday.
The nation's largest civil rights organization has announced plans to hold a march from Selma to Washington, D.C. The NAACP said state chapters across the U.S. will participate in the six-week long march, called "America's Journey for Justice" to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. The 800 plus mile journey will begin August 1st and end on September 15th with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial.
A lawyer for gay couples across Alabama has asked a federal judge to force reluctant probate judges to comply with the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said gay and lesbian couples have a fundamental right to marry. Shannon Minter, legal director of National Center for Lesbian Rights, says that every probate judge is now required to issue marriage licenses on an "equal basis." Minter filed a motion Monday asking U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade to issue a permanent injunction directing probate judges to issue the licenses.
The Alabama Supreme Court is asking parties to weigh in on the impact of the landmark ruling giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry nationwide. State justices Monday directed parties to file motions by July 6 on how the decision impacts the state court's March order for probate judges to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples. The Monday order did not give directions to probate judges. Susan Watson, the head of the ACLU of Alabama, calls the order a stalling tactic from same-sex marriage opponents.
Some Alabama counties have started issuing marriage licenses to gay couples after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. A supervisor in Mobile County's probate court, Russ Davidson, said the court issued its first same-sex marriage license to two women today after months of refusing to sell marriage licenses to anyone. Moral Law Foundation Executive Director Matthew Kidd says the ruling dismantles traditional marriage.
Students, staff and community members gathered at Alabama State University on Thursday night to honor the lives of the victims of the Charleston church shooting during a candlelight vigil. During the service, university students read scripture and poetry. Nine candles were lit as members of the Student Government Association read the names and passed around pictures of the nine victims.
Another big victory in the Supreme Court for President Barack Obama's health care law. In a six to three ruling Thursday, the justices upheld the nationwide tax subsidies that help make insurance affordable for millions of Americans. Alabama Arise is an advocacy group for low-income families. He hopes the decision will lead to Medicaid expansion for people too poor to qualify for subsidies. Governor Robert Bentley has so far declined to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. He was disappointed in the ruling and called it a judicial overstep.
Montgomery's Crampton Bowl Multiplex will be the location of the 2015 Veterans Benefits and Health Fair Supermarket Wednesday. Veterans and vendors are invited to attend the free annual benefits fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Montgomery County Veterans Service Officer, Charles McCray advises job seekers to be professionally dressed and bring a resume. The number to the Montgomery Office of Veterans Affairs is (334) 832-1392.