New census information released at midnight shows that Alabama's population numbers increased a scant .3 from 2012 to 2013. In fact, the Census Bureau reports that more than half of the state's 67 counties lost population. The reports showed that a majority of Alabamians reside in large urban areas. Macon County recorded the largest decline in population at 3.4 percent. The census report showed that Russell County's population soared 3.2 percent and has one of the fastest growth rate in the state.
Alabama State University will play a prominent role for the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March. ASU has joined the city and county in coordinating events that will begin on March 7th, 2015. Mayor Todd Strange said the milestone event could attract as many as 50,000 visitors to the River Region.
A series of instructional audits conducted at several Montgomery Public Schools has found management programs, unusual personnel decisions and poor communications. State School Superintendent Tommy Bice and MPS Margaret Allen shared the information with reporters Thursday. The instructional audits were ordered after reports surfaced about improper grade changing. Dr. Bice said he's confident that MPS Superintendent Margaret Allen will correct all the issues cited in the audits.
The Alabama Senate has approved a bill to allow people to carry loaded handguns in their vehicles without getting a pistol permit. The bill by Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale cleared the Senate 20-7 last night and now goes to the House for consideration. Currently, people without a pistol permit can carry a handgun in their vehicles provided it is unloaded and out of reach. They need to buy a permit from a county sheriff to carry a loaded gun in their vehicles. Beason said citizens shouldn't have to buy a permit to protect themselves. The bill is opposed by the Alabama Sher
Montgomery Police are investigating separate shootings that left two people injured. Police said a female was shot just after midnight Wednesday in the 300 block of Macedonia Drive. A second shooting occurred on West South Boulevard around 4 o'clock Wednesday morning. Police said a male victim sustained a gunshot wound and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Montgomery Police said no arrests have been made in connection with the shootings.
It was a close vote but in the end, the Alabama House approved the Education Trust Fund budget in a 51-47 vote on Tuesday. The spending plan divided lawmakers over the lack of a teacher pay raise. Because of differences in the Senate and House versions, the Education budget will likely go to a conference committee.
A disagreement over the hiring of a deputy county administrator resulted in a sometimes tense meeting at Monday's meeting of the Montgomery County Commission. Commissioners got involved in a discussion over who has the authority to hire the individual, commissioners or County Administrator Donnie Mims. Two county attorneys sided with commissioners. Commissioner Reed Ingram said he would like to seek an attorney general's opinion, but that proposal was rejected by Commission Chairman Elton Dean. In the end, no action was taken.
Alabama's latest unemployment rate is unchanged at 6.1 percent. The Department of Labor says the preliminary jobless rate for January was the same as the December 2013 rate. The unemployment rate of 6.1 percent represents 130,444 people without jobs. The rate is down considerably from a year earlier. The jobless rate for January 2013 was 6.7 percent.
The National Weather Service says winds blowing as strong as 110 mph are responsible for storm damage in the town of Atmore. Two stores were badly damaged when a storm moved through Sunday morning. Falling trees damaged two homes and parts of town lost power. Through it all, no one was hurt. Forecasters said the damage is consistent with a strong downburst of winds sometimes called straight line winds. Powerful, fast moving storms on Sunday also caused sporadic property damage in parts of Mobile, Escambia and Covington counties.
Prattville Police Chief Mark Thompson said the medical condition of a 9-year-old boy who shot Thursday afternoon is improving in a Birmingham hospital. Chief Thompson issued a statement stating the bullet missed the boy's vital organs and the child is stable. Prattville Police have decline to reveal where the shooting occurred or the circumstances that led to the incident. Chief Thompson said he is withholding the information is out of respect for both families. He also called the shooting a tragic event for all involved. Prattville Police say the shooting appears to be an accident.