January 9,2009 – MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Former Alabama first lady Cornelia Wallace has died in Sebring, Fla. She was 69. Wallace's cousin, Melissa Boyen, said the former first lady, who died Thursday, had been suffering from cancer. Cornelia Wallace was the niece of former Gov. James E. "Big Jim" Folsom. She married George Wallace in 1971, shortly before his second term as governor, and they divorced in 1978. She threw herself over her husband when he was shot while campaigning for president in Laurel, Md., in 1972.
January 9,2009 – MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Hyundai Motor Co. has cut production at its auto assembly plant in Montgomery because of unstable economic conditions and poor auto sales. The Korean-based automaker said in a statement Thursday, it had implemented a "flexible work schedule" for January. A spokesman for Hyundai declined to elaborate. The factory opened in 2005 and produces the Sonata sedan and the Santa Fe SUV.
Montgomery, Alabama – U.S. Labor Department is reporting a sharp increase in the number of people seeking unemployment benefits putting the national average at 7.2 percent. In Alabama, the unemployment figures for December 2008 will not be available until January 23rd. Meanwhile, November's jobless rate in the state was 6.1 percent, an increase over October.
January 8,2009 – MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A new report shows that Alabama literacy rates improved from 1992 to 2003 but some counties are still double the national average illiteracy rate of 14.5 percent. The study by the National Center for Education Statistics was released Thursday and showed 15 percent of Alabamians lacked basic literacy skills in 2003, an improvement from 21 percent in 1992. The study didn't issue rankings, but 12 states had illiteracy rates that were higher than Alabama's while 36 and the District of
Birmingham, Alabama – BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Two Birmingham-area coal-fired power plants are among the nation's top three for the amounts of arsenic deposited in onsite ash ponds and landfills, according to a new report. A report the Environmental Integrity Project released Thursday listed the Gaston Steam Plant in Shelby County and the Gorgas Steam Plant in Walker County as ranked No. 2 and No. 3 for the amounts of arsenic deposited from 2000 to 2006.
January 8,2009 – Montgomery City Councilman Willie Cook is running for Mayor of Montgomery. Cook, who represents district six, so far, is the only city councilman announcing interest in running for the position.
Montgomery Resident John Down announced his candidacy Wednesday. Qualifying for the race begins January 13th with the special election scheduled for March 10th.
January 8,2009 – A west Alabama family is morning the loss of a woman and her infant son. The two were killed Tuesday when flood waters swept away their vehicle in the town of Reform in Pickens County.
Investigators say -27- year old Chrystal Vaughn and her 18 month old son were traveling on a rural road when a culvert burst and swept her vehicle downstream.
Drenching rains on Monday and Tuesday prompted a series of flash flood warnings in several West Alabama counties.
Jan. 8,2009 – MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - State officials say traffic fatalities on Alabama's rural roads dropped to their lowest level in 23 years in 2008 due to stricter enforcement, new safety features on roads and less driving by motorists due to soaring gas prices. Gov. Riley says state troopers recorded 633 fatal accidents on rural roads in 2008. That's down 17 percent from last year.