A new task force has been created to examine the state's criminal justice system. Governor Robert Bentley said the state is participating in the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. The Joint Prison Reform Task Force will meet over the next few months; policy options could be available by December.
Customers of Alabama's largest natural gas distributor are going to see a reduction in their rates starting in the fall. The Alabama Public Service Commission voted unanimously Tuesday for Alabama Gas to refund $16.5 million to its customers through lower rates between Oct. 1st and March 31st. PSC members timed the lower rates to coincide with winter heating bills.
A state appeals court has rejected an appeal from the attorney general's office in its prosecution of former state Sen. Lowell Barron. Attorney General Luther Strange's office had asked the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to review ruling by Circuit Judge Randall Cole. The judge ruled in April that the prosecution couldn't present evidence about whether Barron and a former aide had a romantic relationship. The judge also rejected the attorney general's attempt to keep Barron from presenting evidence about what are ordinary campaign expenditures by candidates.
One Loveless Academic Magnet Program senior has earned a top honor. 16-year-old Ruchir Rastogi recently competed in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, California. Rastogi's entry was an anti-biotic to help battle strep throat, an entry that took more than two years to develop. Rastogi said he plans to revisit the project and possibly enhance it for next year's competition.