First Lady Dianne Bentley Delivers “Blankets with a Blessing” to SafeHouse of Shelby County

December 21, 2011

Staff Report

COLUMBIANA—First Lady Dianne Bentley donated fifty-five blankets to the SafeHouse of Shelby County as part of her “Blankets with a Blessing” initiative to provide new quilts and blankets to homeless and displaced families during the holiday season. “Blankets with a Blessing” has provided thousands of blankets since the initiative began in 2004.

An avid quilter herself, Mrs. Bentley donated a handmade blanket to the cause.

“It was heartwarming again, to see the response from Alabamians as we came together to reach out to care for one another. The blankets will serve as a source of comfort for those living in SafeHouse,” said First Lady Dianne Bentley. “The ladies at the center were so appreciative for the blankets and were honored that the people in their care could be the recipients of such a loving gift. It was a wonderful feeling to be able to use my position as First Lady to help those in need and I hope in the years to come I will be able to further help the people of Alabama.”
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Mahindra Calls Alabama Reports “Baseless and Incorrect”

December 21, 2011

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Mahindra has issued a press release denying reports that it will be building its pickup trucks in Alabama.  In the press release, Mahindra calls the reports that Navistar has an agreement with Mahindra to assemble the Indian trucks near Muscle Shoals,  “completely baseless & incorrect.”

The fan blog, Mahindra Planet, still insists that according to their sources Mahindra will begin production at the 2 million square foot plant which Navistar has leased from Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) within six months to have trucks on the market for the 2013 model year.  The writers at the Mahindra Planet Blog report that Navistar will assemble Mahindra TR20 and TR40 pickup trucks from Indian-built components.  Mahindra Planet speculates that Mahindra could also build an SUV at the factory.
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Alabama Governor Bentley wants no earmarks for tax collections to boost General Fund

December 21, 2011

Staff Report

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Alabama’s long history of locking in most of its tax collections for specific uses would make it hard to shift some money now reserved for education to the state’s General Fund, Gov. Robert Bentley said.

Several times the governor has said he might ask lawmakers to shift some money reserved for the Education Trust Fund to the General Fund, but he hasn’t decided whether to do it.
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Bill: Gifts to teachers OK up to $100

December 21, 2011

Staff Report

Students would be able to give teachers individual gifts worth up to $100 and gifts totaling $250 a year under legislation that has been prefiled by Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn, and that is supported by Gov. Robert Bentley.

“We don’t want any teacher or parent to be worried about common sense gifts being given to teachers,” Whatley said in a phone interview Tuesday.

The legislation, aiming to address confusion concerning whether students can provide teachers gifts under the state’s new ethics law, would allow pupils or immediate family members to give “seasonal gifts … under circumstances which make it clear that no quid pro quo was understood or implied.”
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Cullman church leaders urge gov to repeal immigration law

December 21, 2011

Staff Report

Alabama leaders are urging Gov. Robert Bentley to make changes in the state’s immigration law as a matter of fairness and out of respect for the people directly affected.

The Benedictine Sisters and the Benedictine monks of St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman joined with bishops across the state in signing a letter that asks the governor to work for revisions of what they call “an unjust and unfair law.” Leaders of the Roman Catholic, United Methodist and Episcopal churches in Alabama wrote and signed the letter.
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Tuscaloosa Mayor opposes Riverwalk apartments

December 21, 2011

Staff Report

TUSCALOOSA | An Atlanta developer wants to build a $40 million, 856-bed student apartment complex along the city’s Riverwalk.

But the proposed four- to five-story development is running into some opposition from city officials.

Carter, the development company, has proposed a mixed-use complex on the old Tuscaloosa Chevrolet property on Jack Warner Parkway near Greensboro Avenue.

The property is now a vacant lot used for recreational vehicle parking during the football season.
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Election Versus Appointment of Judges

December 21, 2011

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

In the United States, supreme court judges are appointed by the president with the advise and consent of the Senate.  Among the 50 states, supreme court justices, appellate and other judgeships are elected, appointed or a combination of diverse methods.

There is an on-going debate as to which method, election or appointment, is the best way of insuring that the rule of law is upheld.
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What if Ron Paul wins Iowa – and New Hampshire, too?

December 21, 2011

Staff Report

Ron Paul is surging in Iowa. In polls of Hawkeye State Republican voters, Rep. Paul has jumped from about 12 percent support on Dec. 12 to 21.7 percent support today, according to the RealClearPolitics rolling average. With Newt Gingrich’s Iowa support collapsing, Paul is suddenly the GOP frontrunner there – and the caucuses are only two weeks away.

As Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post notes in her “Right Turn” blog, there is now a distinct possibility that Paul will win in Iowa. He’s got both the poll lead and “a ground game with energized followers that is likely to produce results on caucus night,” Ms. Rubin writes.
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Gary Johnson to drop out of GOP primary to run as Libertarian

December 21, 2011

Staff Report

Gary Johnson will quit the Republican primaries and seek the Libertarian Party nomination instead, POLITICO has learned.

The former two-term New Mexico governor, whose campaign for the GOP nomination never caught fire, will make the announcement at a press conference in Santa Fe on Dec. 28. Johnson state directors will be informed of his plans on a campaign conference call Tuesday night, a Johnson campaign source told POLITICO.
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Iowa Evangelicals Issue Mixed Verdict Before Caucus Vote

December 21, 2011

Staff Report

Score one split-decision victory for Rick Santorum. The former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, long admired in the evangelical community, failed to receive the endorsement of the Iowa-based social conservative group the Family Leader, which unexpectedly announced on Tuesday that it would remain neutral in the GOP presidential primary. But he did receive the support of its leader, Bob Vander Plaats, who said he is personally endorsing Santorum.
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