Common Core Options

Mar 3, 2014

A state senator who has sought to repeal the Common Core school standards says he now wants to give local schools system the ability to opt out of them.  Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale says that he is working on legislation that would give systems the ability to choose not to use Common Core.  The state school board adopted the standards in 2010.  Beason says locally elected schools boards should be able to decide what is right for their students.  Thomas Rains, policy director of the A+ Education Partnership, says it would created chaos to have different school systems across the state using different standards.  Beason previously filed legislation to repeal Common Core, but the bill faces a number of hurdles. 

Charges Unlikely

The Tallapoosa County district attorney says it's unlikely that charges will be pursued against the owner of two dogs believed involved in the fatal mauling of a 4-year-old girl near Tallassee.  District Attorney E. Paul Jones told the Montgomery Advertiser that the death is heartbreaking, but he says Tallapoosa County doesn't have a law against dogs running at large.  He says if there is no law, then there can be no charges.  The girl was playing in her yard Wednesday.  Her grandfather went to check on her and noticed a large dog standing over her.  Police impounded two dogs.  Tallassee Police Chief Jimmy Rogers says a court order is being sought to have the dogs put down. 

UWA Investigation

The president of the University of West Alabama wants its board of trustees to investigate his claims that enemies tampered with an evaluation of his performance.  The Tuscaloosa News reports the university's board of trustees is scheduled to consider an extension of President Richard Holland's contract during its meeting today at the Livingston campus.  Holland's contract ends Oct. 1st and he wants to stay on as president until 2016.  Holland released a 19-page report ahead of the meeting saying he wants an investigation into whether trustees and administrators hand-picked respondents to give negative feedback during a consultant's recent evaluation of his work as president.  Trustee Terry Bunn declined to comment on Holland's accusations, saying they would be dealt with "in the appropriate forum." 

Historic Hotel Burned

Authorities are investigating a fire that gutted a historic hotel in northeastern Alabama.  A fire ripped through the Mentone Springs Hotel Saturday night and authorities are unsure of the cause of the fire.  Mentone is about 30 miles east of Scottsboro in DeKalb County.  According to its website, the hotel was built in 1884, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was named in the bestselling book "1,000 Places to See Before You Die."  The hotel's owners took to its Facebook page late Saturday night saying they were devastated by the fire and they're glad no injuries were reported.