Talladega, Alabama – (AP) - PETA is taking on what it describes as a new affront to animals: NASCAR fans doing the chicken dance. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals asked Guinness World Records Inc. on Monday to ignore an attempt to set a world record for the largest group chicken dance at the Talladega Superspeedway, site of the Aaron's 499 race on Sunday. The reason? KFC is the sponsor of the record attempt, and the animal rights group says the fast-food company is cruel to chickens.
Montgomery, Alabama – (AP) - Alabama's unemployment rate rose to 9 percent in March, which is the highest rate in more than 22 years. The last time Alabama hit 9.0 percent was in November 1986. The state Department of Industrial Relations says the March rate is up from 8.4 percent in February. It compares to a national rate of 8.5 percent. The March rate is more than double the 4.3 percent Alabama recorded a year ago. The March rate represents more than 193,000 unemployed Alabamians.
Montgomery, Alabama – (AP) - The president pro tem of the Alabama Senate, Democrat Rodger Smitherman of Birmingham, says he won't run for Congress next year. Smitherman had considered the 7th Congressional District seat being vacated by Democrat Artur Davis of Birmingham. But he announced Thursday in Montgomery that he needs to focus on his state duties during difficult economic times. Smitherman said the challenges facing the state are monumental, and he accepted the position of Senate president pro tem in
Tuscaloosa, Alabama – (AP) - The University of Alabama might have to pay more than $80 million to purchase the 188-acre Bryce Hospital property for any future expansion of its campus. Former state Mental Health Commissioner Kathy Sawyer is conducting a study that has found the cost of relocating Bryce's 300 or so residents in Tuscaloosa County and duplicating the hospital's services would be in the mid-$80 million range. An appraisal valued the property at $43 million three years ago.