The Alabama Legislature returns from its spring break today to begin the second half of its 2013 session. Legislators in the House are expected to debate on the Education budget and a bill to legalize home brewing of wind and beer. Another bill pending in the state Senate would rewrite state gun laws and allow people to carry pistols in their vehicles without a concealed permit. Bobby Timmons, Executive Director of the Alabama Sheriff's Association, is strongly opposed to the bill. The Business Council of Alabama has also criticized the bill.
Alabama Department of Transportation officials say more than half of the people killed in car crashes last year were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. State officials released a report based on preliminary data from the Alabama State Troopers indicating that 59 percent of people who died in traffic accidents in 2012 were not wearing seatbelts. Officials say 424 traffic fatality victims were in vehicles where seatbelts were available and 251 were not wearing them at the time of the crash. Officials say a total of 513 people died in crashes investigated by state troopers
A new survey of Alabama teachers finds that a majority of them support having armed security officers in their schools. The same survey found that teachers who responded said they oppose allowing administrators and teachers having guns in school. The survey was conducted by the Capital Survey Research Center, the polling arm of the Alabama Education Association. The survey was conducted with 699 public school teachers across the state in late January, not long after the December school shootings in Connecticut. Overall the survey found that most teachers feel their schools are safe.
Governor Robert Bentley told retired educators Tuesday that he signed a bill providing private school tax credits because of the flexibility it gives public schools to try new ideas to improve learning. Bentley said he knew he would be facing an upset audience when he addressed the Alabama Education Retirees Association in Montgomery, but he did it because of his respect for teachers. Bentley told the retired educators he understand their anger. The Alabama Accountability Act provides tax credits for parents who send their children to a private school rather than a public school rated as
The Internal Revenue Service estimates 440,000 Alabamians will wait until April to file their tax returns. IRS spokesman Dan Boone says people waiting until close to the April 15th deadline should not miss out on earned income tax credits. He said many lower-income workers can qualify. A person who worked some part of 2012 and had a household income below $50,270 dollars may qualify. Boone said there are many IRS-certified volunteers who will prepare and file tax returns for free.
The Federal Aviation Administration says air traffic control towers at the Dothan Regional Airport and the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport are slated to close because of automatic spending cuts. Federal officials released a list of 149 contract towers that will be impacted by the spending cuts.
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is visiting Macon County and the City of Tuskegee. Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford said in a statement he is looking forward to presenting Minister Farrakhan with a key to the city. Ford said he invited Farrakhan to Tuskegee because of his positive leadership on issues ranging from black on black crime and his support for historically black colleges.
The Alabama Legislature has wrapped up the first half of its 2013 session and gone on spring break. Wednesday marked the 15th meeting day of the session. Lawmakers left the capital city last night and will return April 2nd for their final 15 meeting days.
Elmore County Sheriff's officials say an off-duty Montgomery firefighter was fatally shot during a domestic violence call. County Sheriff Bill Franklin says 34-year-old Jeremy Acre was shot once Tuesday night and was pronounced dead on the scene. Franklin says deputies arrived around 11 p.m.