A state senator is proposing to take Alabama out of the marriage license business as the state and nation grapple with gay marriage. The Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday approved a bill by Republican Greg Albritton of Conecuh County that would do away with current state marriage licenses issued by probate judges. Instead, couples would take a contract witnessed by a couple's pastor, attorney or other witness and record the document at the court.
A deadly wreck Tuesday morning on Interstate 85 North claimed the life of a Prattville man. Police said 26-year-old Ryan Smith was killed when the car he was driving left the interstate and crashed into a ravine near the railroad tracks. The crash occurred near the Chantilly Parkway Exit ramp at about 8:20 Tuesday morning. Accident investigators are working to determine the cause of the crash.
Officials from several state agencies are planning to meet this week to discuss concerns over illegal drug use in the state. Officials say the group is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Montgomery. The meeting comes after public health officials said that hospitals throughout the state have reported more than 400 people between March 15th and April 20th experiencing symptoms linked to the use of synthetic marijuana, known as "spice."
Tuesday is a potential watershed moment for gay and lesbian couples. After rapid changes that have made same-sex marriage legal in all but 14 states, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments over making it the law of the land. Governor Robert Bentley and Attorney General Luther Strange have urged the high court to uphold the ban on same-sex marriage.
The first-ever Confederate Memorial Day conference was held on the campus of Alabama State University Monday. Event organizer Dr. Derryn Moten, acting chair of the Department of History and Political Science say hosting the groundbreaking seminar is a reflection of Montgomery's unique existence. Moten says the conference explored the role of African-Americans in the Confederacy, Civil War and Civil Rights.
Montgomery Police have charged 25-year-old Kendrick Devonta Williams with attempted murder in connection with Thursday's shooting that left a man with life-threatening injuries. Police say the shooting happened Thursday at the intersection of Highland and Charles Avenue. Authorities say 34-year-old Sequarras Bishop was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. Williams is being on a $30,000 bond at the Montgomery County Jail.
Montgomery Police are investigating a Thursday afternoon shooting that sent an adult male to the hospital with life threatening injuries. The victim's name and medical condition have been unavailable. MPD said the shooting occurred near the corners of Highland Avenue and Charles Street. Lt. Denise Barnes, a police spokeswoman said a suspect was detained and charges are pending.
Alabama prison officials are investigating the fatal stabbing of a prison inmate. The Department of Corrections says 67-year-old Lawrence Utley was killed by another inmate at about 6 a.m. Wednesday morning at the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore. It was the second fatal stabbing at a state prison this month. A 29-year-old inmate was stabbed to death on April 15th at Staton Prison in Elmore.
The Senate Judiciary Committee narrowly approved a bill Wednesday to allow medicinal marijuana in Alabama. Committee members approved the bill on a 4-3 vote. It now moves to the Alabama Senate where even the bill's sponsor, Senator Bobby Singleton realizes he has work to do. The Democrat from Greensboro says the legislation would allow patients with certain medical conditions, including cancer and AIDS, to buy or grow a small amount of marijuana each month. Opponents say not enough is known about the effects of marijuana and that people risked harm by taking the drug as medicine.
Governor Bentley is giving lawmakers what he called an "unvarnished" view of the cuts to state government that will occur without new revenue. The governor last night sent a memo to each member of the Alabama Legislature. The memo describes the emergency operation plans state agencies produced in response to a draft budget before lawmakers. The reductions include the layoff of more than 1,000 state employees, including 600 court employees and 132 law enforcement officers. Legislators have not acted on the governor's tax proposal.