Weekend Deployment Preparations

Oct 9, 2015

An Air National Guard unit based at Montgomery's Dannelly Field is preparing to deploy to eastern Europe for a training exercise.  150 Airmen and 8 fighters jets from the 187th Fighter Wing will depart today for Romania.  The 187th will train with the Romanian Air Force for about one month.  Another Alabama National Guard unit, the 214th Military Police Company in Alexander City also was called to active duty this week.  The unit's 140 soldiers will deploy to the military facility at Guantanomo Bay, Cuba.

Bentley Meets With Black Legislators About Closings

Oct 8, 2015

The controversy over the closings of driver's license offices in rural counties appears to be growing.  Wednesday, Governor Bentley met with black legislators and Reverend Jesse Jackson.  Bentley said he will work with lawmakers to find solutions.  Reverend Jackson was critical of the governor for calling Alabama Congressman Terri Sewell "impulsive" after she called for a federal probe.  Lawmakers says 11 of the 31 satellite offices that were closed are located in Black Belt counties.  

Elderly Man Found

Members of the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus along with civil rights leader, the Reverend Jesse Jackson held press conferences in Birmingham and Montgomery Wednesday protesting the closure of 31 driver's license offices.  The group contends that the closures will impact voters in rural and poor counties by making it harder for them to obtain driver's licenses.  Democratic Representative Louise Alexander of Bessemer says the governor and secretary of State's argument that people can get photos IDs from probate judges and board of registrars is a non-starter.

New Faces on Montgomery City Council

Oct 7, 2015

The Montgomery City Council has new faces they are: Brantley Lyons in District 2; William Green Jr. in District 5 and Fred Bell in District 6.  Two incumbents C.C. Calhoun and Jon Dow were beaten in Tuesday's municipal runoff.  David Burkette defeated businessman William Boyd to win re-election and retain his seat in District 4.  

Senior Alert

State to Receive Billions in BP Settlement

Oct 5, 2015

Attorney General Luther Strange says Alabama will receive around $2 billion under terms of a settlement arising from the April 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The Justice Department and four other Gulf Coast states will receive a share of a $20 billion payout from BP.  The deal announced Monday resolves all civil claims against BP and ends five years of legal fighting.  

Recycling Shutdown

Sewell Requests Justice Department Investigation

Oct 5, 2015

Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell plans to ask the Justice Department to investigate Alabama's closure of 31 rural drivers' license offices.  The 7th District Democrat said the closing are disproportionately hitting the state's poor, rural and African-American residents.  Sewell said she is particularly appalled because Alabama requires a photo-identification to vote.  Sewell also says transportation is already a problem for many rural residents.  The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says drivers' license renewals can still be done in all counties and online.  

Judge Orders The Return of Gambling Machines

Oct 2, 2015

A judge says Alabama must return seized gambling machines and money to VictoryLand unless it takes legal action against other bingo casinos in the state.  WSFA reported the story, saying Circuit Judge William Shashy handed down the order Friday.  The state in 2013 seized 1,615 of the slot-like machines and $260,000 in cash from VictoryLand.  VictoryLand was the largest of the casinos.  

Outer Loop

ABC To Close 15 state liquor stores

Oct 2, 2015

The Alcoholic Beverage and Control Board says it will close or consolidate 15 state liquor stores because of a budget cut. ABC Administrator Mac Gipson said in a news release that the Legislature moved $5.5 million from the ABC Board to the General Fund for the fiscal year that started Monday.  The ABC Board submitted a budget request of about $77 million for fiscal year 2016.  Gipson said that number was reducted by $3 million, which would have essentially meant level funding.  But the$5.5 million transfer was then added to the budget on the last night of the second special session.

Bentley Divorce Official

Sep 29, 2015

Governor Robert Bentley and former first lady Dianne Bentley are divorced.  Tuscaloosa Family Court Judge Philip Lisenby signed the divorce decree Tuesday, officially ending the couple's 50-year marriage.  A judge had sealed the divorce case at the request of the couple.  Lisenby unsealed the file Tuesday at their request.  

Diversity Summit 2015

Alabama's governor says he is finalizing a list that includes the closings of driver's license offices, National Guard Armories and state parks.  Robert Bentley made the comments in Birmingham Monday.  Bentley said the heads of several state agencies, including the law enforcement agency, Conservation Department and the Alabama National Guard were ordered to draw up a list of possible closures.  The state's General Fund budget that was recently approved in a special session contains budget cuts of 5.5 percent for some state agencies.