The South is bracing itself for a big fall today. Arctic air is expected to bring in another deep freeze and could usher in light snow, freezing raid and sleet. Forecasters say the polar blast will send wind chills plummeting in some places. The National Weather Service says it's a persistent cold pattern and not a polar vortex, a system of winds that circulate around the North Pole that will push its way into Alabama later today. Meteorologists have issues a winter storm watch for much of Alabama that begins Tuesday morning and runs through late Tuesday night. Residents are urged to s
Alabama's unemployment rate has dropped to 6.1 percent. The last time Alabama has a rate at or below 6.1 percent was October 2008, when the rate was 5.9 percent. The state Labor Department says December's rate of 6.1 percent compares to 6.2 percent in November and 6.8 percent a year ago. Alabama's rate is below the national average of 6.7 percent.
Bitterly cold temperatures overnight and early this morning are expected too give way to a slow warm -up today. However, the mercury is expected to remain around the freezing mark during the day across much of Alabama, particularly in northern parts of the state. Temperatures before dawn dipped to 5 in Haleyville; 8 in Huntsville and 11 in Muscle Shoals, in Montgomery, the thermometer was in the low 20s. The National Weather Service said today's high will only reach the upper 30s.
Federal officials declared the conditions at Tutwiler Prison for Women as unconstitutional in a report released last week. Members of the Alabama Legislature are in talks with the Council of State Governments on conducting a study of the entire state prison system. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh of Anniston said the charges within the Justice Department report are very concerning. Marsh said he expects the study to be complete by the end of the regular session. He hopes recommendations will be made regarding Tutwiler specifically and the overcrowding issue in Alabama's prisons at la
Alabama's coldest temperatures of the week are expected early Friday morning, with lows dropping into the single-digits in northern parts of the state. The National Weather Service will issue a wind chill advisory in effect from 9 p.m. tonight to 6 a.m. for several counties in north Alabama counties. In those areas, forecasters say the wind chill value could be as low as 8 degrees below zero in higher elevations. Wind chill advisories will also be issued for parts of central and southern Alabama.
The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability Committee overwhelmingly approved four bills Wednesday geared toward strengthening the rules for receiving welfare benefits. One of those bills, sponsored by Republican Senator Trip Pittman of Daphne would require drug testing of welfare applicants with a drug conviction within the last five years. Pittman said the measure would hopefully spur an individual to give up drugs. Republican Senator Arthur Orr is sponsoring the other three bills. One increases the penalties for lying to get welfare benefits. Another requires applicants for
A not-so-flattering report from the U.S. Justice Department about conditions at Julia Tutwiler Prison in Wetumpka has prompted a state senator to seek more money for state prisons. Senator Arthur Orr of Decatur tells the Montgomery Advertiser that additional money must be found to correct issues the DOJ contend are unconstitutional. Also, lawmakers have begun debating a bill that would shorten the appeal time in death penalty cases. The Alabama House and Senate will meet today for a rare Wednesday session.
Republican state lawmakers want to be ready in case a state-led constitutional convention is called. Senators Trip Pittman of Daphne and Arthur Orr of Decatur have introduced bills establishing a process by which delegates would be selected and guidelines for them to follow. Senator Pittman said even though such a convention is probably a long way away, rules are needed. 20 states have already voted to support a constitutional convention under Article 5 for passing a federal balanced budget amendment, including Alabama. House Democratic leader Craig Ford said its' a campaign gimmick to
Weather forecasters in Alabama say another blast of bone-chilling air is expected to move into the state later today, bringing temperatures as low as 10 degrees to parts of northern Alabama and high winds across most of the state. By early Friday morning, low temperatures are expected to drop to around 10 degrees across northern counties. Temperatures early Wednesday morning in Montgomery are expected to dip to 20 degrees. The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for most of the state, including central counties.
Despite objections from conservative groups, the Alabama Board of Education accepted a state textbook committee's recommendations for social studies books to be used in public schools. The Eagle Forum of Alabama and ACT! for America had asked for the board to remove 11 books from the recommended list of 500. Voting in the minority, State School Board member Stephanie Bell agreed with those groups that the books didn't treat different religions fairly. Schools Superintendent of Alabama Dr.