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In journalism, we sometimes prepare background information for breaking stories – when the verdict hasn't come back yet, or when the votes are still being counted. When the story breaks, fill in the blanks and click "publish."

Here's what reporter Kyle Whitmire is stuffing away in his file drawer about Alabama's prison problem for one day in the not-too-distant future:
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BrendaD Brown's profile photo
 
My brother was a prison officer at Holman. He said it was a horrible job and situation. Almost drove him mad and into a heart attack. He was disably retired last year at 42 years of age. It is bad for both prison workers and prisoners. I am glad my baby brother is out of that.
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Why is Alabama's SEC Network commercial 1 second shorter than the rest of the SEC?

All jokes aside, here's the real reason: http://ow.ly/w3n7i
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Krewe Maynard's profile photoJohn Livingston's profile photo
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Does the commercial give you chills, Tide fans?
The commercial was shot over two days in February in Tuscaloosa.
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If it's time for your license renewal, you might want to get it done before the shutdown. All services will resume at 8 a.m. on April 30.

Will the shutdown affect you?
The Alabama Department of Public Safety today announced a shutdown of its driver's license database that will begin at 5 p.m. Friday and continue until 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 30.
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Sports columnist Kevin Scarbinsky knows Auburn and Alabama don't play today. But if they did, here's his predicted outcome.

Who do you think would win in a match-up right now, and more importantly, why?
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BrendaD Brown's profile photoJason Hudson's profile photoJeremy Black's profile photo
 
But the thing is they are not playing today. It was just a spring game who knows how things will turn out come November. Let us wait until then before crowning the winner on April 21st.
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Troy University professor Daniel Smith argues that many occupational licensing requirements have little or no benefit to the public and make it harder for people to enter those fields.

Do you know which occupations require licenses? Take our quiz:
Alabama, like every other state, requires workers in certain professions to pay fees, obtain training and pass tests in order to ply their trades. But a study this week detailed that occupational licensing applies to a quarter of Alabama's workforce.
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You may be surprised to find out how many actors you didn't realize were born in Alabama.

If we left anyone out, let us know in the comments!
OK, so you probably knew about a few of these talented actors but you may be surprised to find out how many performers you recognize from films and TV you didn't realize were born in Alabama.
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+BrendaD Brown Jim Nabors was actually born in my hometown of Sylacauga
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Auburn fans, what do you think of the commercial?
It's a camera panning Toomer's Corner after what appears to be the final roll, with "Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'", the song from the musical Oklahoma!, playing over the shot of Auburn's traditional game-winning celebration.
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John Livingston's profile photo
 
I enjoyed it, it was good! War Eagle!
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We're following this gardening newbie to learn a thing or two this summer.

Are there any vegetable or herb gardeners out there? Share your gardening joys, frustrations or tips in the comments!
<a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/7984607/">Are you planting your own vegetable or herb garden this year?</a> The days are growing warmer and you’re eyeing that sunny spot in your yard, thinking, maybe this is the year.Maybe this is the year you’ll finally try...
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You saw the prom photo; now see more photos of this adorable couple as Duck Dynasty's Sadie Robertson and Madison Academy quarterback Blake Coward share relationship via Twitter: http://ow.ly/vZJpg
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www.al.com is Alabama's most interactive, comprehensive online source for news, sports, entertainment, travel, business happenings and classifieds. With content from our partners: The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, and Mobile's Press-Register.
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