Author: Lee Hedgepeth

The race for governor heats up

Photo via Facebook With a growing list of candidates and millions in campaign cash already on the line, the race for Alabama governor — an election still over a year out — is heating up. So far 10 candidates have formally filed for a principal campaign committee with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office. Of those, one candidate, former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville, has already dissolved his committee and backed out of the gubernatorial arena: “Basically too many negatives for this this thing to add up to being a positive,” he said. The nine remaining candidates with...

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Feds’ request for statewide voter info on hold for now

Secretary of State John Merrill photo via Facebook In the wake of both a lawsuit filed by an electronic privacy group and widespread noncompliance from local officials including here in Alabama, a commission tasked by President Donald Trump with assessing election integrity has put on hold its request for respective states’ voter information. The body, created by an executive order in May, is called the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, and is tasked with identifying “voting systems and practices used for federal elections that could lead to improper voter registrations and improper voting, including fraudulent voter registrations and...

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Court rules state’s treatment of inmates’ mental illness unlawful

(Photo courtesy of Alabama Public Radio) A federal district court judge has ruled that Alabama’s “horrendously inadequate” treatment of mentally ill inmates violates the United States Constitution’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. The decision, written by U.S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson, is only the first in a series considering various phases of a class-action lawsuit filed by Alabama inmates with disabilities alleging unlawful conditions and treatment by the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC). Just over 300 pages long, Thompson’s opinion focuses on mental health treatment, with physical disabilities and accommodations set to be considered in a later...

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Austal secures multimillion-dollar Navy contract

Australian-owned shipbuilder Austal announced it has officially been awarded a $584 million contract to build another littoral combat ship (LCS) for the U.S. Navy in its Mobile shipyard, but not without some controversy. The announcement comes weeks after policymakers scrambled to have an additional LCS ship added to President Donald Trump’s defense budget — the first draft of which kept funding for the frigate program at Obama-era levels. Austal said the 417-foot LCS 28 will be built here in Mobile “employing techniques that would be applied if it wins the Australian government’s $3 billion offshore patrol vessel contract.” “While...

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Beach Express announces lower tolls through Labor Day

Detroit-based American Roads LLC has announced it will lower tolls on the Baldwin County Beach Express for both visitors and residents through Labor Day in an effort to reduce traffic, particularly on the bridge and Highway 59. “Beach Express GO! will cut summer toll rates by more than 20 percent for visitors. Some local residents will see savings of over 70 percent below the standard rate,” American Roads announced. “Designed to immediately ease congestion on Highway 59, the program includes a plan to move traffic more freely over the bridge during periods of high demand.” The company also announced...

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