Alabama prison officials are investigating the fatal stabbing of a prison inmate. The Department of Corrections says 67-year-old Lawrence Utley was killed by another inmate at about 6 a.m. Wednesday morning at the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore. It was the second fatal stabbing at a state prison this month. A 29-year-old inmate was stabbed to death on April 15th at Staton Prison in Elmore.
The Senate Judiciary Committee narrowly approved a bill Wednesday to allow medicinal marijuana in Alabama. Committee members approved the bill on a 4-3 vote. It now moves to the Alabama Senate where even the bill's sponsor, Senator Bobby Singleton realizes he has work to do. The Democrat from Greensboro says the legislation would allow patients with certain medical conditions, including cancer and AIDS, to buy or grow a small amount of marijuana each month. Opponents say not enough is known about the effects of marijuana and that people risked harm by taking the drug as medicine.
Governor Bentley is giving lawmakers what he called an "unvarnished" view of the cuts to state government that will occur without new revenue. The governor last night sent a memo to each member of the Alabama Legislature. The memo describes the emergency operation plans state agencies produced in response to a draft budget before lawmakers. The reductions include the layoff of more than 1,000 state employees, including 600 court employees and 132 law enforcement officers. Legislators have not acted on the governor's tax proposal.
Republicans in the Alabama Senate intend to push a constitutional amendment in the second half of the current legislative session that would create a simplified flat tax. The bill's sponsor, Senator Bill Hightower of Mobile says his proposal would allow taxpayers to complete their tax return on an index card. Under the plan, the income tax rate would go from 5 percent to 2.75 and the corporate rate would decrease to 4.59 percent. It would eliminate exemptions, credits, incentives and most deductions.
Montgomery Congresswoman Martha Roby says eight C-130 cargo aircraft will remain at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base. Roby said the information is contained in a report issued Monday by the Air Force. The Republican lawmaker said the report shows a long-term commitment to keep the C-130 planes assigned to the 908th Airlift Wing. Three years ago, members of Alabama's congressional delegation persuaded Air Force officials not to relocate the planes to another base.
Governor Robert Bentley said it will be lawmakers who close state parks and slash other state services, if they fail to approve new revenue for the budget. Bentley spoke Monday at Guntersville State Park, a place he called one of the most beautiful in the state. The Department of Conservation is working on a contingency plan to close 15 of 22 state parks because of anticipated budget cuts. The governor continued his tour of speaking engagements to rally support for his proposed $541 million tax proposal. The governor said he has proposed a solution to prevent the cuts.
Montgomery Police Detectives are investigating separate shootings that left two dead in one incident and five others injured in another case of gun violence. Authorities say the bodies of two people were found last night in a residence in west Montgomery. No other information about the homicides has been immediately available. Also, a shooting late Saturday night sent five people, four women and a man, to the hospital with gunshot wounds. Montgomery police said the shootings occurred just before midnight Saturday in the 1800 block of Gibbs Court.
Gov. Robert Bentley says Alabama's unemployment rate for March is 5.7 percent, down slightly from the previous month. The rate remains below the 7.2 percent seasonally adjusted rate from the same time a year ago. Bentley says the state's jobless rate hasn't been at 5.7 percent or below since July 2008. According to Friday's announcement the largest gains in the last month came from about 3,800 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sectors, followed by about 1,800 additions in trade, transportation and utilities.
The family of a fallen Montgomery Police officer say they've been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. Officer David Colley's relatives held a press conference Thursday to express their gratitude to the police department and area citizens for their words of comfort and prayers. Officer Colley, who was 24, was killed in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Narrow Lane Road and East South Boulevard on the morning of April 4th.
State prison officials are investigating two separate stabbing which included one that left an inmate dead, at prisons in Elmore and St. Clair counties. The Department of Corrections said the violence happened Wednesday night at the Staton Prison in Elmore and St. Clair Prison in Springville. DOC said 29-year-old Scott Turnland was fatally stabbed inside the Elmore facility by another inmate around 7 p.m. Wednesday. A 29-year-old inmate, Edward Doe was detained as a suspect.