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Al.com reports that Governor Kay Ivey met with officials from Toyota, Mazda and Honda last week. She was a part of discussions with Mazda and Toyota executives in the run-up to construction for the $1.6 billion joint manufacturing plant.

The governor also spoke with Honda about the plant's $85 million expansion along with other issues.

The state says workers left jobless because of severe weather in three north Alabama counties may qualify for unemployment benefits.  

The Department of Labor says people could receive the assistance if they're without work because of the storms that hit Calhoun, Cullman and Etowah counties on March 19 and 20.

Tornadoes and strong winds pummeled cities including Jacksonville, affecting homes, businesses and Jacksonville State University.

The state says workers can apply for assistance under the disaster area approved by President Donald Trump last month.

Alabama’s incumbent governor Kay Ivey is rounding the corner toward the June primary elections with a commanding fundraising lead.

According to fundraising reports filed earlier this week, Ivey has raised a total of $3.6 million. She became governor last year after her predecessor Robert Bentley resigned amid a scandal and impeachment calls.

While Ivey has started spending on TV ads, she still has $1.7 million in hand going into the peak of campaign season.

A major pharmaceutical company previously criticized for raising prices on overdose prevention medication is now donating a large amount of the medication to volunteer rescue squads in Alabama.

Drug manufacturer Kaleo Incorporated announced a donation of 872 boxes of Evzio to be carried in state volunteer rescue vehicles. The device auto-injects the opoid overdose prevention drug naloxone and plays a voice recording that talks an untrained non-medical professional through administering the drug.

Charlotte Meadows LEAD
Mickey Welsh / Montgomery Advertiser

Montgomery's first charter school most likely won't open this year after a judge ruled it failed to receive enough votes for its application to be approved.

The Alabama Education Association sued LEAD Academy after the Alabama Public Charter School Commission approved the charter school in a 5 to 1 vote back in February. The association claimed six votes were necessary to pass.

Montgomery Circuit Judge J.R. Gaines ruled in favor of the AEA yesterday.

The Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education is adding 107 new Pre-K classrooms in 33 counties this fall.

Gov. Kay Ivey made the announcement in a press release yesterday. The new classrooms will expand Alabama's voluntary pre-kindergarten program to nearly 19,000 children in more than 1,000 classes in all 67 counties.

This year, the Alabama legislature also approved an $18.5 million budget expansion of the state's Pre-K program.

Roy Moore has filed a new lawsuit against some of the women who accused him of sexual misconduct shortly before last year’s special election for U.S. Senate.

Moore claims the women were part of a “political conspiracy” to derail his bid for Senate. His campaign was dogged by accusations from multiple women that Moore had pursued sexual or romantic relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was a prosecutor in his 30s.

An Alabama prison official testified in federal court yesterday that a now-dead prisoner was placed on mental health observation, rather than suicide watch, despite a previous attempt to kill himself.

Warden Cynthia Stewart of Holman Correctional Facility near Atmore also testified that the inmate did not receive wellness checks as frequently as a court order demanded.

A police department in south Alabama says it's investigating after video showed a black woman being knocked down by police and arrested inside a restaurant.

The NAACP is calling the arrest troubling, and protestors have stood outside the restaurant with picket signs.

A former police chief in central Alabama has pleaded guilty to violation of an ethics law and fraudulent use of a credit card.

Brian Allan Stilwell was charged for crimes he committed between 2010 and 2015. Stillwell was Police Chief of the Clanton Police Department at the time. He was also treasurer of the Chilton County Fraternal Order of Police.

Prosecutors accused Stillwell of using the Fraternal Order’s bank debit card to take money for personal use. He was also accused of using his position as police chief to take money from the Police Department.

Walter Leroy Moody
ADOC

A man responsible for a wave of terror across the Southeast in the late 1980s was put to death last night.

83-year-old Walter Leroy Moody was pronounced dead at 8:42 p.m. last night following a lethal injection at W.C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama.

Moody was convicted of killing U.S. Circuit Judge Robert S. Vance and Robert Robinson, a black civil rights attorney from Savannah, Georgia, with bombs sent through the mail. Two other bombs, including one mailed to a Florida NAACP office, were intercepted and did not explode.

Robert Vance
Joyce Vance via AP

A package bomber who created a wave of terror across the South is scheduled to be executed in Alabama, nearly 30 years after killing a federal judge with a bomb mailed to his home.

Walter Leroy Moody Jr., 83, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Thursday. At his 1996 trial, prosecutors described Moody as a meticulous coward who committed murder by mail because of his obsession with getting revenge on the legal system, and then committed more bombings to make it look like the Ku Klux Klan was behind the judge's murder.

An Alabama legislator and a lobbyist who once chaired the Alabama Republican Party are scheduled to appear in federal court later today on conspiracy charges.

Alabama Republican Representative Jack D. Williams of Vestavia Hills and lobbyist Marty Connors are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in federal court in Montgomery.

The two were arrested earlier this month, along with G. Ford Gilbert of California, on conspiracy to commit bribery and mail fraud charges.

A student group at the University of Alabama won’t be hosting a speech from a prominent white nationalist this week after all.

The group Students for America First had invited Jared Taylor to speak on campus on Thursday. Taylor is the editor of the website “American Renaissance” and planned to give a talk entitled “Diversity: Is It Good for America?”

However, university officials moved to cancel the event yesterday, saying Students for America First didn’t meet the requirements for a registered student organization.

The city of Birmingham says it did not violate state law when it put up a plywood box around a 52-foot-tall Confederate monument in a city park.

In a court filing yesterday, the city disputed the state of Alabama’s claims that Birmingham violated a law prohibiting the removal or alteration of any monuments more than 40 years old.

Alabama’s interim state superintendent says about 200 teacher positions in Montgomery will have to be eliminated in order to stabilize finances.

Al.com reports interim superintendent Ed Richardson also says Montgomery will need to outsource about 400 support jobs. He says the Alabama Education Association could have prevented those job cuts for Montgomery Public Schools if the group had not gone to court to block his plan to sell Georgia Washington Middle School to the town of Pike Road.

debate
WTVM-TV

The leading Democratic contenders for governor spent much — but not all — of their time agreeing with one another in a debate Wednesday night.

Former Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and former state legislator James Fields appeared in the debate hosted by WVTM in Birmingham Wednesday night.

Failed U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore is countersuing a woman who says he molested her when she was 14 and he was 32.

Moore's attorneys filed the defamation counterclaim on Monday against Leigh Corfman — who has an ongoing defamation lawsuit against Moore — denying Corfman's accusations of sexual misconduct first raised in an interview with the Washington Post. Corfman is among several women who say Moore romantically or sexually pursued them decades ago when they were in their teens and he was in his 30s.

Alabama U.S. Senator Doug Jones, the Democrat who unexpectedly prevailed in one of the country's most Republican states, has a book set to come out next year.

St. Martin's Press told The Associated Press that Jones' "Bending Toward Justice: The Birmingham Church Bombing that Changed the Course of Civil Rights" is scheduled for release in January.

A university in east Alabama still recovering from a tornado strike has released surveillance video showing what the storm looked like as it hit campus.

Jacksonville State University released a video compilation made from multiple cameras as a tornado touched down on campus on March 19.

Birmingham's public transit system is getting $3.6 million in federal grant money to pay for new buses.

The U.S. Department of Transportation says the funding will go to the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority in order to replace old buses that have outlived their usefulness.

The agency says the new vehicles will reduce maintenance and other costs as well as improving reliability.

Alabama lawmakers are stretching out this year's legislative session as tensions and disagreements on Wednesday derailed what they hoped would be their final meeting day.

Legislators abandoned a plan to conclude the session Wednesday as a number of measures had not reached final passage by late evening. They are returning to the State House Thursday morning.

"I think everybody — with clearer heads, at nine in the morning, making reasonable decisions— we'll still end up with a good session," said Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh.

Patricia Todd
via Twitter

Alabama's first openly gay legislator bid farewell to the House of Representatives on Tuesday evening.

Representative Patricia Todd, a Democrat from Birmingham, will not seek re-election after serving 12 years in the state House.

Todd said on the House floor that her colleagues are "incredible, beautiful people" who all treated her with equality, even though some she thought she "would never get along with or like."

Remington AR-15
Phil White / TFB

The city of Huntsville is reiterating its support for a firearms manufacturer that recently filed for bankruptcy.

Huntsville officials released a statement yesterday saying its economic development team will continue engagement with Remington. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sunday.

The statement also acknowledges Remington has fallen behind on job-hiring obligations tied to financial incentives it receives from the city.

 Alabama gambling magnate Milton McGregor, who waged a legal war to keep his electronic bingo casino open and thwarted federal prosecutors attempts to convict him, has died. He was 78. 

Alabama's Department of Mental Health Commissioner Lynn Beshear called for mental health prevention and intervention to ensure school safety in an op-ed Saturday.  

Beshear said the state must focus on identifying behaviors that trigger school violence and proactively treating mental health. The state's school-based mental health services put clinicians into schools to counsel students. Only 36 school systems in Alabama have the services and Beshear advocated for expanding it to the other 106.

Alabama lawmakers are expected to conclude the legislative session this week.

Legislators plan to adjourn Wednesday after a flurry of last-minute work. Lawmakers will put the final touches on the education budget. They could also vote on an ethics law exemption, juvenile justice reform and other bills.

An organization that preserves Civil War battlefields is looking for volunteers to help clean up historical sites across Alabama.

The Civil War Trust says volunteers will be working at more than 160 sites nationwide during its annual cleanup day on April 7.

In Alabama, Fort Morgan is on the list of places slated for work. The red-brick fort located at the tip of the Fort Morgan Peninsula played a key role in the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864.

A German automotive supplier has opened a new $46.3 million plant in central Alabama.

MöllerTech officials say the company will hire 222 employees at the new supply plant by the end of 2019. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held this week almost 16 months after the company announced it would build the plant in Bibb County.

The plant currently has 50 employees.

The supply plant is located next door to Mercedes-Benz's new Global Logistics Center at the Scott G. Davis Industrial Park. The automaker will also have an after-sales North American hub in the park.

Alabama lawmakers are advocating to keep daylight saving time year-round and stop changing clocks.

The Alabama Senate approved a resolution Thursday by Republican Sen. Rusty Glover to "forever put an end to the deadly, energy-wasting, productivity-killing, twice-yearly changing of time." It was co-sponsored by 24 of 35 members and now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives for a final vote.

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