A ceremonial signing was held Wednesday by Governor Robert Bentley for a bill that would move Alabama's presidential primary to March 1st, 2016. Alabama now joins the states of Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia on that date, creating what's being labeled the SEC presidential primary. Secretary of State John Merrill says the state will benefit both politically and economically. Merrill is also hopeful the earlier primary date will spur voter interest and encourage more residents to vote.
The Department of Defense says an Alabama woman has been killed in Afghanistan. 54-year-old Krissie Davis of Talladega died Monday during an indirect fire attack on Bagram Air Force Base near Afghanistan's capital city. The Pentagon said Davis was a veteran civil servant for three decades. She is the first civilian deployer with the Defense Logistics Agency in Anniston to die from combat-related injuries.
Alabama's governor continues to make the case for new revenue to shore up the financially-strapped General Fund budget. Robert Bentley said he's optimistic about getting a budget agreement in a special session this summer despite the gridlock that plagued lawmakers in the regular session. On Monday, Bentley said many legislators have already voted for local tax bills or allowed agencies to raise fees. Last week, Governor Bentley rejected a General Fund budget that would have cut $200 million from state agencies.
The Montgomery Police Department is conducting a homicide investigation after 44-year-old Luke Nelson was found shot to death Wednesday night. Officials found Nelson shot around 9:25 after receiving a report of a subject in the road. Nelson became the city's 20th death and its designated 17th homicide. No arrests have been made. Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 215-STOP or the Secret Witness line at 262-4000.
Governor Robert Bentley has vetoed a general fund budget that he said would hurt the people of Alabama. Bentley says the budget approved by lawmakers Thursday night is unworkable and will hurt the state. He vowed to bring lawmakers back into special session this summer. The budget cuts $200 million from state agencies after lawmakers failed to agree on tax increases or revenue. The House of Representatives overrode Bentley's veto, but the Senate had adjourned for the session so the action was meaningless.
Police have made an arrest in a murder that took place last Thursday. 20-year-old Reo Davis of Montgomery has been charged with murder in the shooting death of 19-year-old Kendre Williams. Davis was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals on Tuesday in Clarke County. The incident reportedly occurred in the 3800 block of South Court Street at around noon May 28th. Investigators say the shooting stemmed from an ongoing dispute. Davis is in the Montgomery County Detention Facility under $250,000 bond.
Alabama senators are seeking to rename Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge, a historic site in the voting rights movement that also bears the name of a Ku Klux Klan officer. Senators on Wednesday approved a resolution to rename it the "Journey to Freedom Bridge." The bridge became a symbol of the fight for voting rights after marchers were beaten by state Troopers in 1965. The Alabama House of Representatives has not voted on the idea.
Governor Robert Bentley has signed the state's nearly $6 billion education budget for the next fiscal year. Bentley announced Tuesday that he had signed the spending plan that includes an additional $10 million to expand the state's prekindergarten program.
The Atlantic Hurricane season is underway and Alabama Emergency Management officials are urging state residents to make preparations. It's been several years since Alabama has sustained a major blow from a hurricane or tropical storm and this season is also expected to be less, but state EMA Director Art Faulkner says everyone needs a contingency plan. Faulkner advises making an emergency kit with essential documents and provisions; having plans in place for the elderly, disabled and pets; and have provisions prepared in case of power outrage.
A fatal shooting that occurred Thursday in Montgomery is now being considered a homicide. A statement by police says 19-year-old Kendre Williams of Montgomery was taken to a local hospital with gunshot wounds and was later pronounced dead. Emergency personnel were initially called to the 3800 block of South Court Street on the shooting. No arrests have been made and the circumstances surrounding the murder are under investigation.