• This morning, the Tuscaloosa News reports that developer Stan Pate has changed the name of McFarland Mall to Encore Tuscaloosa, where many changes are being made, including new restaurants, demolition of the former Dillard's (which is planned to begin in the coming weeks), and a new location for Books-A-Million. However, Pate is having a hard time finding new retailers amid a struggling economy. 

 

  • Since a ban on texting while driving went into effect, Alabama state patrol say they've issued 59 citations, and officials say they've only heard of seven citations being written by other law enforcement agencies in the state. 

 

  • Republicans are said to have not been part of the fiscal cliff discussions in recent days, suggesting much still needs to be done if a deal, even a small one, is to be struck and passed through Congress by Monday.

 

  • "Les Miserables" and "Django Unchained" dominated the Christmas Day box office, taking in $18.1 and $15 million, respectively.