Top Headlines: Senate to debate gas tax hike, Tornadoes damage state’s timber

Phony Uber driver arrested after unconscious woman found in car
An Alabama man is charged with kidnapping by pretending to be an Uber driver to pick up a university student who was found unconscious in the back seat of his car, police said Monday. Investigators found multiple images on the driver’s cellphone of at least one other college-aged woman who appeared unconscious in the vehicle, said Capt. Gary Hood, commander of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit. – AP

Gas tax hike to be debated today by Alabama Senate
The Alabama Senate will vote on a proposed 10-cent gasoline tax increase in what could be the final day of the special session. Senators will begin debate Tuesday morning on the House-passed proposal and a related oversight bill. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey called lawmakers into special session to consider a 10-cent-a-gallon gas tax increase to fund road and bridge construction. – AP

Tornadoes do $5.8M in damage to state’s timber
The March 3 tornadoes that devastated parts of Alabama and killed 23 people also inflicted an estimated $5.8 million in damage to Alabama’s timber industry. The Alabama Forestry Commission’s preliminary assessment of timber damage found that 5,888 forested acres were damaged in Macon, Lee, and Barbour counties, with 149,130 tons of timber lost. –

Alabama Motor Express expands efforts in Atlanta
Alabama Motor Express has opened a new sales office in Atlanta, expanding the company’s footprint in Freight Alley. The move puts AMX near a major U.S. distribution hub where Home Depot and Delta Airlines are all located. “Building a relationship face-to-face goes a long way,” said Edward Berry, vice president of business development. – HDT

Buffalo Trace, ABC partner for bicentennial commemorative effort
Buffalo Trace Distillery and the Alabama ABC have partnered on a special commemorative release of Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon in recognition of Alabama’s bicentennial celebration this year. This special release will be available in a custom gift box depicting the state flag and historic imagery from Alabama’s 200-year history. – Alabama Political Reporter

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Mike Hubbard, still not in jail, gets a new appeal hearing
The Alabama Supreme Court has agreed to hear former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s appeal of his conviction on felony ethics charges, according to Hubbard defense attorney Bill Baxley.  “We’ve certainly got a good feeling about it,” said Baxley, a former Alabama lieutenant governor and attorney general. “We’ve always felt that way. We’ve felt if an impartial court really looked at it, there was no intent to violate the law on his part.” – Montgomery Advertiser

Poarch Creek Indians covering funeral expenses of tornado victims
Alabama’s only federally recognized Native American tribe is stepping forward to cover the funerary costs of all those who fell victim to the tornado in Lee County last week. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is making a $184,000 donation to pay for the funerals of all 23 tornado victims, as confirmed by CNN with the coroner’s office earlier this week. – GNN

Shipt names new chief executive officer
Birmingham’s Shipt has a new CEO. The tech shopper company announced Monday that Target executive Kelly Caruso will replace founder Bill Smith in the top job. Smith will continue to serve as an advisor to the company. –

Trump budget proposes eliminating EV tax credit
The White House proposed on Monday eliminating a tax credit worth up to $7,500 on the purchase of new electric vehicles, a move it says would save the U.S. government $2.5 billion over a decade. Major automakers have been lobbying Congress to extend the credit that phases out after companies hit 200,000 vehicles sold. – Reuters

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