Associated Press

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Loxley work center
ADOC

A county sheriff in south Alabama is urging the state of Alabama to close a prison facility where three inmates escaped in a span of 24 hours.

Baldwin County Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack tells WPMI-TV that prisoners are just walking away from the work release center at Loxley.

Three inmates have left the state's minimum-security community work release center this week. Two are back in custody, and a third is still at large as of Wednesday morning.

Police say looking for the escaped prisoners puts a strain on local law enforcement.

pinning
1st Lt. Jermaine Thurston / U.S. Army

A woman from Alabama recently became the first black female pilot in the history of the Alabama National Guard.

News outlets report Second Lieutenant Kayla Freeman graduated from Fort Rucker's Army Aviation School last month. Freeman graduated from Tuskegee University in 2016, where she was enrolled in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps.

A prominent Alabama attorney and a coal company executive have been convicted on federal charges involving bribery of a state lawmaker.

The verdict against Joel Gilbert, a partner with Balch & Bingham law firm, and Drummond Company Vice President David Roberson was announced Friday after a four-week trial. Jurors found the two men guilty of conspiracy, bribery, three counts of honest services wire fraud and money laundering.

The main school system in Alabama’s largest city has received full accreditation for the first time ever.

News outlets report Birmingham City Schools gained the approval from AdvancED. Superintendent Lisa Herring said during a news conference Tuesday this is the first time that Birmingham City Schools has ever been accredited as a system.

Republican voters in Alabama are heading to the polls once again to set the final tickets ahead of November's general election.

They'll be taking part in several heated Republican runoffs for statewide office and in the race for a U.S. Congressional seat in south Alabama.

Armed with an endorsement from President Donald Trump, U.S. Rep. Martha Roby is trying to stave off a challenge from former congressman Bobby Bright and a voter backlash over her criticism of Trump during his Presidential campaign.

A Montgomery judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Attorney General candidate Troy King ahead of Tuesday’s GOP runoff election.

King had sued appointed incumbent Steve Marshall over hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions Marshall has received from the Republican Attorneys General Association.

King argued $735,000 of the contributions Marshall received from the group violated Alabama’s ban on transfers between political action committees, since the association received contribution from other PACs before giving the money to Marshall.

Hyundai Motor Company's labor union says steep auto tariffs could cost U.S. jobs, including here in Alabama.

The labor union at South Korea's largest auto company says if President Donald Trump goes ahead with imposing 25 percent auto tariffs, it will hurt Hyundai's U.S. sales and jeopardize the more than 3,000 jobs at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama facility in Montgomery.

Authorities are investigating after a man bled to death after being apprehended by a police dog in Montgomery.

Captain Joe Herman of the State Bureau of Investigation said yesterday that preliminary autopsy reports show a burglary suspect died as the result of a ruptured femoral artery. The incident remains under review.

Montgomery police say a canine unit responded to a report of a burglary in progress early Sunday morning, and the animal apprehended a man inside the home. That man, identified as Joseph Pettaway, died later at a hospital.

Etowah Co. Jail food
Reuters

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey says the state will no longer give jail food funds to "sheriffs personally" in the wake of criticism that some sheriffs pocketed vast sums by skimping on inmates' meals.

In a memo to the state comptroller yesterday, Ivey rescinded the state's 2008 policy of "paying prisoner food service allowances directly to sheriffs in their personal capacities." The directive says the money must now go to government accounts.

lethal injection chamber
EJI

A lawsuit challenging Alabama’s lethal injection process took an unexpected turn yesterday. Eight of the inmate plaintiffs asked to be put to death instead by the state’s newly-approved execution method – inhaling nitrogen gas.

Both the Alabama attorney general's office and lawyers for inmates submitted a joint motion to dismiss the litigation yesterday. Lawyers say the inmates' claims challenging Alabama’s use of midazolam in executions as inhumane are now moot, since their pending executions will now be carried out by use of nitrogen.

In the race for Alabama's Attorney General, challenger Troy King is making a big issue of incumbent Steve Marshall's heavy financial support from the Republican Attorneys General Association.

King filed an ethics complaint yesterday arguing those donations are a "flagrant violation" of the state ban on transfers between political action committees, since the group took money from PACs.

RAGA attorney Charlie Spies calls the complaint a "desperate ploy" based on an "incorrect reading of the law."

data center render
DC BLOX

A technology company based in Atlanta plans to build a new data center at an old steel-making site in downtown Birmingham.

DC BLOX announced yesterday it will use the 27-acre site of a former Trinity Steel plant to locate a facility that could be valued at some $785 million over the next decade.

DC BLOX currently operates large data centers in Atlanta, Huntsville and Chattanooga and maintains a high-speed and high-capacity private fiber optic network to offer cloud computing to businesses.

The Alabama Blues Project is soon to have its own permanent home.

The organization will be relocating to the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center in Tuscaloosa. That facility is also home to the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra and Tuscaloosa Arts Council.

According to the Tuscaloosa News, the Alabama Blues Project has been bouncing from one available space to another over the past two decades. The nonprofit provides blues music programs and lessons for children and adults.

Authorities say dozens of dogs were recently rescued from a reported puppy mill in central Alabama.

Trussville police Lt. Phil Dillon tells AL.com that last week, officers were called to a home where they found numerous dogs both inside and outside living in unsanitary conditions. Dillon says the owners of the home operated a business selling both puppies and parakeets.

Northport City Hall
WVUA-TV

Less than two months after he took the oath of office, former Northport Mayor Wayne Rose has resigned his appointed position as a representative on the City Council.

The Tuscaloosa News reports Rose was sworn in on May 7 and attended the following council meeting May 21. He was then absent from both meetings in June. Council President Jay Logan announced Rose's resignation on Monday.

Logan says Rose told the council that he had to prioritize spending time with his family and running his Northport lumber yard over his responsibilities as councilor.

One candidate in Alabama’s Lieutenant Governor’s race just got a big name endorsement. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is endorsing Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh in the Republican runoff.

Cavanaugh's campaign announced Huckabee's endorsement Monday. Cavanaugh was the state chairwoman of Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign in Alabama.

Monday is the final day to register to vote in the July 17 primary runoffs. 

A number of Republican primaries, including contests for attorney general and lieutenant governor, will be decided in the runoff.

U.S. Representative Martha Roby faces former congressman Bobby Bright in the GOP runoff for the 2nd congressional district.

Attorney General Steve Marshall faces former Attorney General Troy King in the GOP runoff for attorney general.

If you want to catch a shark, Alabama has the place for you.

The state conservation agency says it's expanding a program to allow shark fishing off the pier at Gulf State Park at Gulf Shores.

The department is setting aside eight dates for overnight shark fishing at the pier starting July 8. While the end of the pier will be closed for only people who are going after sharks, the rest of the pier will remain open as normal.

The National Weather Service has confirmed it was a tornado that tore through a northern Alabama county Friday night, uprooting and destroying a mobile home and leaving two adults and two children with minor injuries.

NWS officials confirmed an EF-2 tornado struck the areas of Jones Chapel and Vinemont in Cullman County around 7 p.m. Friday.

One of Alabama's most populous counties has a plan to put armed police officers in each of its public schools.

Officials in Baldwin County on the Gulf Coast say agencies are partnering to provide permanent school resource officers at each of its 46 campuses beginning this August. Currently, only some county schools have officers on duty constantly.

Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack says Baldwin already has 30 school resource officers, meaning 16 more are needed. The sheriff's office and city police departments will have to fill those positions.

A police lieutenant in Alabama’s largest city has resigned amid charges of forcibly raping a teen relative.

Al.com reports Birmingham Police Lt. Pete Williston submitted his resignation Tuesday. Defense attorney Scott Morro says Williston is remorseful and he and his family along with the police department need "healing."

Morris Police Chief Mike Nazarchyk says a 24-year-old woman reported the abuse in May. She told police that Williston sexually abused her from 2008 to 2011, starting when she was 14 years old.

Members of the Mobile City Council are asking Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to approve funding to help restart passenger train service between the port city and New Orleans.

WALA-TV reports members sent Ivey a letter yesterday saying renewed Amtrak service would help increase tourism and economic development in Mobile.

Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi must commit almost $35 million total over three years by today to be eligible for the same amount in federal funds that would let Amtrak trains travel the northern Gulf Coast for the first time since Hurricane Katrina.

Alabama's governor is distancing herself from President Donald Trump on the issue of trade, saying import tariffs like those supported by the Trump administration would hurt the state.

Gov. Kay Ivey released a statement yesterday saying import tariffs could cause retaliatory tariffs that would drive up the cost of items made in Alabama and sold abroad.

The administration already has imposed new tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, plus steel and aluminum from China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

Bill Canary
BCA

Alabama's largest electrical utility is quitting a business group that tries to influence policy and politics in Montgomery.

News outlets report Alabama Power Co. is leaving the Business Council of Alabama in a disagreement over its leadership and other issues.

Tax documents filed by the business group show most of its money comes from dues and assessments, so losing a large member like Alabama Power could affect its future operations.

Gulf State pier
Alabama State Parks

A new pilot program will allow shark fishing two days this month at Gulf State Park.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says the shark fishing events will take place at the park's saltwater fishing pier tomorrow and June 26. Registration is required and fishing is limited to 10 anglers.

Parks Director Greg Lein said the trial program is being implemented after feedback from people who fish at the pier. Lein says many anglers have expressed concern that they can't catch other species because of the abundance of sharks around the pier.

Low-income residents receiving federal assistance in Alabama might soon see their rent go up by more than $800 a year.

Al.com reports the possible rate increase could impact more than 180,000 people and about 83,000 households according to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The center says the average US. Department of Housing and Urban Development rent would go up 20 percent.

Marshall Space Flight Center
NASA

The director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama is retiring.

Marshall officials say Todd May announced his retirement to employees yesterday. It is set to take effect July 27.

A statement from U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks of Huntsville says May is being replaced on an acting basis by Marshall's deputy director, Joan A. "Jody" Singer.

May was first named acting director of Marshall in 2015 and then took over the position on a permanent basis. Before that, the Fairhope native managed the Space Launch System, NASA's heavy-lift rocket that's still in development.

A onetime county official accused of taking three quarters of a million dollars in public funds in north Alabama is going to prison.

News outlets report that Judge Pride Tompkins sentenced former Franklin County administrator Crista Lynn Madden to 20 years in prison during a hearing Monday.

The 49-year-old Madden pleaded guilty in March to felony charges of using her office for personal financial gain.

Josh Coleman
via Facebook

The mayor of Alabama's largest city has hired its first LGBTQ liaison.

AL.com reports Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin announced yesterday at PrideFest that Josh Coleman will serve as both a city spokesman and a representative of LGBTQ interests. Coleman is currently the vice president of Central Alabama Pride, and will start his new city job on June 25.

Woodfin says Coleman's appointment upholds the legacy of "the city that taught the world the importance of inclusion."

An Alabama lawmaker has been indicted on federal charges that he paid kickbacks to a doctor's office that referred Medicare patients to his health care business.

The indictment against Republican state Rep. Ed Henry of Hartselle was unsealed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Montgomery. He is charged with six counts of paying illegal kickbacks and other federal crimes.

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