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  • unemployment

    Alabama unemployment drops to 5.8 percent, local communities also report drop

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) _ Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is getting closer to being able to collect a salary, but he is not there yet. The state announced Friday that the unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent in February. Bentley has promised not to accept a paycheck until the state’s unemployment rate drops to 5.2 percent. In Lawrence, Limestone and Morgan counties, the unemployment rate is down overall from January to February 2015. It’s also down from one year ago. Last […]

  • Photo: MGN Online

    Alabama court upholds mandatory life sentences for young offenders

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama will not revisit mandatory life without parole sentences handed down to juvenile offenders. The Alabama Supreme Court on Friday upheld a life sentence for Jimmy Williams Jr. on a 6-2 decision. Williams was convicted of capital murder for a killing committed when he was 15. A 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision banned mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles. Alabama justices say that ruling is not retroactive. Chief Justice Roy Moore dissented in the decision. […]

  • Capture

    Inspectors found faulty work before NYC blast

    NEW YORK (AP) — An hour before an apparent gas explosion sent flames soaring and debris flying at a Manhattan apartment building, injuring 19 people, utility company inspectors decided the work being done there was faulty. The powerful blast on Thursday in the East Village caused the collapse of three buildings and fire damage to a fourth, the fire department said. It left four people in critical condition, more than a dozen others injured and one family searching for a […]

  • Joyce Garrard has been convicted in the death of her granddaughter, Savannah Hardin.

    Jury recommends life sentence for Joyce Garrard in her granddaughter’s running death

    GADSDEN, Ala. – The jury has recommended life in prison for Alabama woman in her granddaughter’s running death. The vote was seven in favor of life in prison and and five in favor of the death sentence. The decision came Thursday on the defendant Joyce Hardin Garrard’s 50th birthday. The same jury convicted Garrard of capital murder last week in the February 2012 death of 9-year-old Savannah Hardin. Prosecutors told jurors the woman deserved to die for making the girl run […]

  • Tornado damaged homes in Moore, Oklahoma. (Image: KFOR)

    Extent of damage becomes clearer following Wednesday evening’s storms

    TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The slow start to the nation’s tornado season came to a violent end Wednesday, when tornadoes raked Tulsa during its evening rush hour, killing one person and injuring others. Tulsa County Sheriff’s Capt. Billy McKelvey said one person was killed in a mobile home park near Sand Springs in the Tulsa area that was nearly destroyed Wednesday amid severe weather. It wasn’t yet clear whether it was a tornado or straight-line winds that hit the mobile […]

  • Joyce Garrard has been convicted in the death of her granddaughter, Savannah Hardin.

    UPDATE: Garrard sentencing resumes, one juror dismissed

    GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) – After a two hour investigation, sentencing for the  Etowah County woman convicted in her granddaughter’s running death will resume. Lawyers asked the judge to throw out the case over allegations of juror misconduct. One juror has been dismissed from the case. Lawyers for Joyce Hardin Garrard told a judge Wednesday that they had evidence of misconduct by at least four jurors. Defense attorney Dani Bone didn’t specify exactly what happened. But the allegations appear to involve […]

  • TRAFFIC CRASH GENERIC IMAGE

    AAA fights to keep helmet law in Tennessee

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – AAA motor club wants to put the brakes on proposed legislation that would allow many motorcyclists to ride without a helmet. Currently, Tennessee law requires all motorcyclists to wear a helmet. But a bill that will be going to committee on Tuesday would allow anyone who is 21 or over who has health coverage, as long as it’s not through TennCare, to be able to legally ride without a helmet. Anyone over the age of 21 […]

  • Alabama State Capitol

    Alabama bill would let adoption agencies turn away gay couples

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – An Alabama lawmaker wants to make sure that faith-based adoption agencies can refuse to place children with same-sex couples. Republican Sen. Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa introduced the bill last week specifying groups that could refuse to participate in adoptions and foster care placements that violate their religious beliefs The bill would also prohibit the state from refusing to license, or renew a contract with, the groups for refusing services to people on religious grounds. Eric Johnston, […]

  • guns

    Tennessee lawmakers pass guns-in-parking-lots update

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ The state House and Senate have passed a bill to allow workers to sue their employers if they are fired for storing guns parked in company lots. The Senate passed the measure on a 28-5 vote on Monday evening, and the House later followed suit on a 78-14 vote. The state in 2013 enacted a law to give handgun carry permit holders the right to store their firearms in vehicles on company lots regardless of their […]

  • police

    Reporting of rapes increased on Tennessee campuses in 2014

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Reports of rape on Tennessee’s college campuses increased significantly in 2014, while total crime reporting was down year-over-year. According to statistics released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the number of forcible rapes reported by Tennessee schools jumped from 26 in 2013 to 46 last year. The TBI did not offer an explanation for the increase, but it comes at a time when awareness of rape on campus is high. Campus authorities said the increase could […]

  • Photo: Alabama Department of Revenue

    Supreme Court to weigh in on Confederate flag license plate

    WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court is weighing a free-speech challenge to Texas’ refusal to issue a license plate bearing the Confederate battle flag. Specialty plates are big business in Texas, where drivers spent $17.6 million last year to choose from among more than 350 messages the state allows on the plates. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles says nearly 877,000 vehicles among more than 19 million vehicles registered in Texas carry a specialty plate. But a state motor vehicle board […]

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    President Obama to visit Alabama next week for economic speech

    WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama will travel to Alabama next week to give a speech about the economy. It’s his second visit to the state this month. Obama will be in Birmingham on Thursday afternoon. The White House hasn’t released any other details about the trip. Earlier in March, Obama traveled to Selma, Alabama, to mark the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday.” Obama led a symbolic march across the bridge where throngs who protested their lack of voting rights […]

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