New 'Sweet Home Alabama' tags attract critics

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Some North Alabama tourism groups and lawmakers are disappointed that the state's newly designed license plates featuring a beach scene didn't include a glimpse of majestic mountains.

John Dersham, executive director of the DeKalb County Tourist Association, would have preferred a design that showed both a beach and a mountain scene to display Alabama's diversity.

Gov. Bob Riley and Alabama tourism director Lee Sentell unveiled the plate on Oct. 7.

The "Sweet Home Alabama" tag will be available on Jan. 1, replacing the old "Stars Fell on Alabama" plate.

Riley assigned the tourism department to design the new plate and chose it to reflect the Gulf Coast's importance to Alabama's tourism industry.

Baldwin and Mobile counties combine to generate more than 30 percent of the state's $9.8 billion tourism revenue.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) AP-NY-11-10-08 1236EST