Alabama is the latest state to see its ban on gay marriage fall to a federal court ruling, as the issue of same-sex union heads to the U.S. Supreme Court. A federal judge in Mobile ruled Friday in favor of two Mobile women who sued to challenge Alabama's refusal to recognize their 2008 marriage performed in California. However Friday's ruling was put on hold for at least two weeks to allow the Alabama Attorney General's Office to file an appeal.
Alabama's unemployment rate has dropped to 5.7 percent, which is the lowest rate in more than six years. Governor Robert Bentley says December's seasonally adjusted rate is down from 6.0 percent in November, and it is lower than the 6.1 percent recorded a year ago. It is slightly about the national rate of 5.6 percent. Counties with the lowest unemployment rates for December are Shelby, Lee and Cullman. Counties with the highest rates are Wilcox, Bullock and Dallas.
Montgomery Police are investigating a homicide, the second murder to occur this week. MPD said officers and Fire Medics were called to the 900 block of Mill Street early Thursday 12:30 where they found 26-year-old Keandrew Alexander dead from a gunshot wound. Police said Alexander's body was found in front of the former Cleveland Court Apartment complex. No arrests have been made, it was the city's third homicide this year.
The current mayor, Todd Strange announced Thursday he is running for re-election. Strange says he ultimately decided there were too many projects he wanted to see finished. The mayoral race will be held August 25th.
Former Congressman Artur Davis has announced his candidacy for Montgomery's mayoral race. Davis represented the 7th District of Alabama in Congress from 2003 to 2010. The Montgomery native made the announcement via YouTube Thursday. The video presents Davis' view on education, crime and economic development in the city.
Two members of Alabama's congressional delegation have introduced legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to civil rights marchers who walked from Selma to Montgomery in March 1965 to achieve the right to vote. Democrat Terri Sewell of Birmingham and Republican Martha Roby of Montgomery are co-sponsoring the legislation that was introduced Wednesday in the U.S. House. This year will mark the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the 50 Mile March. The Congressional Gold Medal is the nation's highest civilian honor.
Montgomery Police have made an arrest in a shooting death that occurred Tuesday. 41-year-old Reshid Webb of Montgomery has been charged with one count of murder in the death of 45-year-old Marcus Webb. The two are reportedly unrelated. The shooting happened early Tuesday morning in the 800 block of Cloverhill Drive. Investigators believe an ongoing dispute led to the incident. Webb has been placed in the Montgomery County Detention Facility under a $250,000 bond.
President Barack Obama plant to visit Selma to commemorate the 50th anniversary of historic civil rights marches across the state. The White House says the March 7th trip also will highlight the upcoming 50th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act. Mr. Obama last visited Selma for the 2007 anniversary, when he was running for the Democratic presidential nomination against Hillary Rodham Clinton. The President hosted a White House screening of the film "Selma" last week.
An arrest has been made in the shooting of five people in Tuskegee earlier this month. Police say 22-year-old Rishod Shermaine Fields of Tuskegee had been charged with four counts of attempted murder and may face additional charges. Three Tuskegee University students and two others were wounded during the incident at an off-campus party. Still now word on what sparked the shooting, but a verbal dispute is suspected. Fields has been placed in the Macon County jail under a $200,000 bond. All of the victims are expected to recover.
Tough decisions are looming for state leaders over the next four years. That is part of the message from Governor Robert Bentley in his inauguration speech as he ushered in his second term on Monday. A budget shortfall, overcrowded prisons and improving healthcare are among the challenges mentioned. The governor did not go into specifics, but he said the state's economy has improved. Lt. Governor Kay Ivey, Attorney General Luther Strange, Auditor Jim Zeigler, Agriculture Commissioner John McMillian and Secretary of State John Merrill also took their oaths at Monday's ceremonies.
For the first time in Montgomery, two African-American men are holding top law enforcement positions. Derrick Cunningham was officially sworn-in Friday as the first African-American sheriff for Montgomery County. Cunningham said he looks forward to working with Montgomery's new Police Chief Ernest Finley and the law enforcement community. Finely will be sworn-in at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, January 20th at the City Hall Auditorium.