Montgomery, Alabama – (AP) - Alabama's unemployment rate rose to 9 percent in March, which is the highest rate in more than 22 years. The last time Alabama hit 9.0 percent was in November 1986. The state Department of Industrial Relations says the March rate is up from 8.4 percent in February. It compares to a national rate of 8.5 percent. The March rate is more than double the 4.3 percent Alabama recorded a year ago. The March rate represents more than 193,000 unemployed Alabamians.
Montgomery, Alabama – Republican U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions says he supports the Obama administration's focus on Afghanistan and lowering U.S. troop levels in Iraq.
Sessions, who serves on the Senate Armed Forces Committee, has just returned from a trip to the Middle East.
Sessions says America will "muddle through" the current economic downturn. He was critical of the economic stimulus plan because he believes it would grow the national deficit which has surged to $1.8 trillion.
Montgomery, Alabama – (AP) - The president pro tem of the Alabama Senate, Democrat Rodger Smitherman of Birmingham, says he won't run for Congress next year. Smitherman had considered the 7th Congressional District seat being vacated by Democrat Artur Davis of Birmingham. But he announced Thursday in Montgomery that he needs to focus on his state duties during difficult economic times. Smitherman said the challenges facing the state are monumental, and he accepted the position of Senate president pro tem in
Tuscaloosa, Alabama – (AP) - The University of Alabama might have to pay more than $80 million to purchase the 188-acre Bryce Hospital property for any future expansion of its campus. Former state Mental Health Commissioner Kathy Sawyer is conducting a study that has found the cost of relocating Bryce's 300 or so residents in Tuscaloosa County and duplicating the hospital's services would be in the mid-$80 million range. An appraisal valued the property at $43 million three years ago.
Montgomery, Alabama – (AP) - A summary of action in the Alabama Legislature on Wednesday, a committee meeting day: COMMITTEES -House Government Appropriations Committee approved a General Fund budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. Goes to House. -House Government Appropriations Committee approved a bill that would allow the Legislative Building Authority to use land and arrange financing to build legislative chambers and offices at the rear of the Capitol in downtown Montgomery. Goes to House.
Atmore, Alabama – (AP) - Convicted killer Jimmy Lee Dill faces lethal injection at Holman prison as attorneys await a decision from the Alabama Supreme Court on his bid for a stay of execution. The 49-year-old Dill is scheduled for lethal injection at 6 p.m. tonight. The Birmingham man has been on death row nearly 20 years. He has been moved to a special cell next to the execution room and visited his two brothers and other family members. Prosecutors say he has exhausted appeals of his May 24, 1989,
Montgomery, Alabama – BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Thousands of Alabama Power customers statewide remain without electricity after storms downed trees and powerlines. Alabama Power spokeswoman Keisa Sharpe said crews hope to restore service by Tuesday night to most of the 61,686 customers who were without power. A total of 33,300 customers were in Birmingham area. Sharpe said several Birmingham area residents might be without power until Wednesday evening. A total of 22,290 customers were without power in the Tuscaloosa