Accountability Act Ruled Unconstitutional
The Alabama Accountability Act has been ruled unconstitutional by a Montgomery judge. Circuit Judge Gene Reese Wednesday struck down the law that allows families to receive tax credits when moving their children from failing public schools to private schools. He said it violates the state Constitution's requirement for the Legislature to have only one subject in a bill. When the Act passed in 2013, it had been added onto a law intended to give local school systems more flexibility. The law was challenged in court by members of the state teachers' organization. A group defending the Alabama Accountability Act, the Institute for Justice, says it will appeal. Judge Reese says his ruling will apply prospectively, and it won't affect the tax credits earned for the 2013-2014 school year.
A few hundred people gathered Wednesday in Wilcox County to celebrate a major economic milestone. The Golden Dragon Copper Plant officially opened in Pine Hill. Congresswoman Terri Sewell was among the elected officials who came out to tour the new facility. GD Copper is the first manufacturing facility to come to the Black Belt since 1967.
Children stormed the playground equipment almost immediately after the ribbon was cut on the new River Region Freedom Park at Maxwell Air Force Base Wednesday morning. Five months in the making, the park features three age-appropriate playgrounds, a walking path and a soccer-sized field. Future plans for the park include more pavilions, picnic areas and a bath house. Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says the park was made possible by more than $400,000 dollars in community donations.
A judge says an Alabama preacher is not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting death of his wife and the wounding of their daughter. Circuit Judge Tommy Nail ruled Wednesday during a non-jury hearing in which a psychologist testified that he and two other experts determined Terry Greer didn't know what he was doing when he opened fire. Dr. Glen Kin also testified that Greer remains a danger to himself and others. Nail agreed and ordered Greer to be committed to a state mental facility.