This year's tax filing season has a new twist, the Affordable Care Act requirement of accounting for qualifying health insurance on your tax return. Those that purchased insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace will have to reconcile advance payments they received with the amount of premium tax credits they were entitled to based on their actual income. The majority of taxpayers that hold private insurance will simply check a box on their return showing that each member of their family had qualifying health coverage for the year.
Two well known civil rights activists will participate in separate events in Montgomery today. The Reverend Jesse Jackson of Chicago will visit Alabama State University today. Jackson will speak to students about where America needs to go to fulfill the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The event will be held at the Garrick Hardy Student Center; the program is part of ASU's month long celebration of black history.
Alabama Power Company has dispatched about 200 line crews to northeastern states to help restore electricity in areas hard hit by a major winter storm. The utility said the crews are expected to arrive in the region later today and Wednesday. Meanwhile, motorists can get back on the roads in New Jersey and New York City, and subways and buses are restarting. The governors of New York and New Jersey have lifted travel bans after a storm packing blizzard conditions failed to live up to expectations in some areas of the northeast.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange's office has filed notice with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that will challenge the ruling of a U.S. District Judge last week that the state's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. The motion was made after the judge Sunday put her decision on hold for two weeks to allow for an appeal. Alabama's only openly gay legislator, Democratic Representative Patricia Todd of Birmingham, says the U.S. Supreme Court will settle the issue once and for all later this year.
Alabama is the latest state to see its ban on gay marriage fall to a federal court ruling, as the issue of same-sex union heads to the U.S. Supreme Court. A federal judge in Mobile ruled Friday in favor of two Mobile women who sued to challenge Alabama's refusal to recognize their 2008 marriage performed in California. However Friday's ruling was put on hold for at least two weeks to allow the Alabama Attorney General's Office to file an appeal.
Alabama's unemployment rate has dropped to 5.7 percent, which is the lowest rate in more than six years. Governor Robert Bentley says December's seasonally adjusted rate is down from 6.0 percent in November, and it is lower than the 6.1 percent recorded a year ago. It is slightly about the national rate of 5.6 percent. Counties with the lowest unemployment rates for December are Shelby, Lee and Cullman. Counties with the highest rates are Wilcox, Bullock and Dallas.
Montgomery Police are investigating a homicide, the second murder to occur this week. MPD said officers and Fire Medics were called to the 900 block of Mill Street early Thursday 12:30 where they found 26-year-old Keandrew Alexander dead from a gunshot wound. Police said Alexander's body was found in front of the former Cleveland Court Apartment complex. No arrests have been made, it was the city's third homicide this year.
The current mayor, Todd Strange announced Thursday he is running for re-election. Strange says he ultimately decided there were too many projects he wanted to see finished. The mayoral race will be held August 25th.
Former Congressman Artur Davis has announced his candidacy for Montgomery's mayoral race. Davis represented the 7th District of Alabama in Congress from 2003 to 2010. The Montgomery native made the announcement via YouTube Thursday. The video presents Davis' view on education, crime and economic development in the city.
Two members of Alabama's congressional delegation have introduced legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to civil rights marchers who walked from Selma to Montgomery in March 1965 to achieve the right to vote. Democrat Terri Sewell of Birmingham and Republican Martha Roby of Montgomery are co-sponsoring the legislation that was introduced Wednesday in the U.S. House. This year will mark the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the 50 Mile March. The Congressional Gold Medal is the nation's highest civilian honor.
Montgomery Police have made an arrest in a shooting death that occurred Tuesday. 41-year-old Reshid Webb of Montgomery has been charged with one count of murder in the death of 45-year-old Marcus Webb. The two are reportedly unrelated. The shooting happened early Tuesday morning in the 800 block of Cloverhill Drive. Investigators believe an ongoing dispute led to the incident. Webb has been placed in the Montgomery County Detention Facility under a $250,000 bond.