Alabama residents who have been diagnosed with autism can apply to receive an identification card that can be used to better communicate with first responders and law enforcement officers during potentially stressful situations. A statement from the Alabama Department of Public Health on Thursday says the card explains to others that the person may have difficulty communicating or understanding directions. The billfold-size card also says the person may become agitated if touched.
The City of Montgomery has entered into an Alliance with the county, state and the Advertiser newspaper. It's an effort to remove the Environmental Protection Agency's oversight of the so-called Capitol City Plume. In 1993, the EPA found groundwater tainted with chemicals and petroleum products. EPA's Administrator for the Southeast, Heather McTeer Toney, says the proposal requires the Alliance to oversee cleanup and repay EPA $2.6 million. Mayor Todd Strange said the proposed agreement would prevent EPA from placing a section of the downtown district on a "Superfund" list.
A ceremonial signing was held Wednesday by Governor Robert Bentley for a bill that would move Alabama's presidential primary to March 1st, 2016. Alabama now joins the states of Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia on that date, creating what's being labeled the SEC presidential primary. Secretary of State John Merrill says the state will benefit both politically and economically. Merrill is also hopeful the earlier primary date will spur voter interest and encourage more residents to vote.
The Department of Defense says an Alabama woman has been killed in Afghanistan. 54-year-old Krissie Davis of Talladega died Monday during an indirect fire attack on Bagram Air Force Base near Afghanistan's capital city. The Pentagon said Davis was a veteran civil servant for three decades. She is the first civilian deployer with the Defense Logistics Agency in Anniston to die from combat-related injuries.
Alabama's governor continues to make the case for new revenue to shore up the financially-strapped General Fund budget. Robert Bentley said he's optimistic about getting a budget agreement in a special session this summer despite the gridlock that plagued lawmakers in the regular session. On Monday, Bentley said many legislators have already voted for local tax bills or allowed agencies to raise fees. Last week, Governor Bentley rejected a General Fund budget that would have cut $200 million from state agencies.
The Montgomery Police Department is conducting a homicide investigation after 44-year-old Luke Nelson was found shot to death Wednesday night. Officials found Nelson shot around 9:25 after receiving a report of a subject in the road. Nelson became the city's 20th death and its designated 17th homicide. No arrests have been made. Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 215-STOP or the Secret Witness line at 262-4000.
Governor Robert Bentley has vetoed a general fund budget that he said would hurt the people of Alabama. Bentley says the budget approved by lawmakers Thursday night is unworkable and will hurt the state. He vowed to bring lawmakers back into special session this summer. The budget cuts $200 million from state agencies after lawmakers failed to agree on tax increases or revenue. The House of Representatives overrode Bentley's veto, but the Senate had adjourned for the session so the action was meaningless.
Police have made an arrest in a murder that took place last Thursday. 20-year-old Reo Davis of Montgomery has been charged with murder in the shooting death of 19-year-old Kendre Williams. Davis was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals on Tuesday in Clarke County. The incident reportedly occurred in the 3800 block of South Court Street at around noon May 28th. Investigators say the shooting stemmed from an ongoing dispute. Davis is in the Montgomery County Detention Facility under $250,000 bond.
Alabama senators are seeking to rename Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge, a historic site in the voting rights movement that also bears the name of a Ku Klux Klan officer. Senators on Wednesday approved a resolution to rename it the "Journey to Freedom Bridge." The bridge became a symbol of the fight for voting rights after marchers were beaten by state Troopers in 1965. The Alabama House of Representatives has not voted on the idea.
Governor Robert Bentley has signed the state's nearly $6 billion education budget for the next fiscal year. Bentley announced Tuesday that he had signed the spending plan that includes an additional $10 million to expand the state's prekindergarten program.