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.
Atmore, Alabama – (AP) - Convicted killer Jimmy Lee Dill faces lethal injection at Holman prison as attorneys await a decision from the Alabama Supreme Court on his bid for a stay of execution. The 49-year-old Dill is scheduled for lethal injection at 6 p.m. tonight. The Birmingham man has been on death row nearly 20 years. He has been moved to a special cell next to the execution room and visited his two brothers and other family members. Prosecutors say he has exhausted appeals of his May 24, 1989,
Wetumpka, Alabama – Wetumpka's Mayor has put his assistant, Linda Lewis, back on the job. This after the Wetumpka City Council decided two weeks ago to move towards termination for alleged abusive language used in a conversation with a former city employee and Wetumpka resident.
Lewis filed suit saying she was improperly targeted for termination by the council. Mayor Jerry Willis says he conducted an investigation among City Hall employees who said they saw nothing improper committed during the alleged interaction between Lewis and the former city employee.
Tuskegee, Alabama – A special event will be held in Tuskegee next week offering discussion on such topics as renewable energy, weatherization, and all of the components of the popular concept of "going green".
The Tuskegee Volunteer Power Corporation will hold its 2009 Agricultural and Energy Summit on April 22 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Washington Chapel AME Church in Tuskegee, Alabama.
Montgomery, Alabama – Four area high school students are receiving a high honor; the Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School, or LAMP, has students who are among 16 students in the state to earn National Achievement Scholarships.
Those honors go to 17 year old Ahmad Jackson, 17 year old George Okeowo, 17 year old Jenae Steele and 18 year old Anthony Todd.
The recognitions are doubly sweet for the school because LAMP is the only high school in Alabama to have multiple students earn National Achievement Scholarships.
Dothan, Alabama – (AP) - Police in Dothan are searching for a serial rapist. Police Chief John Powell says DNA evidence returned last week from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences shows a match in DNA collected from three rapes in Dothan over the past 18 months. There have been no arrests. Police Capt. Steve Parrish says the most recent rape for which the suspect has been matched occurred in May 2008. The victims in all three cases did not appear to know their attacker.