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Strong Storms Hit Alabama
Thunderstorms brought hail and strong winds to parts of Alabama overnight. The storms approached from Mississippi Monday and rolled to the northeast. Hail was reported in Pickens County this morning. Wind gusts of up to 65 miles per hour were recorded in Lamar County. Weather forecasters said numerous trees were toppled. A mobile home overturned in Marion County, while a roof was torn off a church in the town of Barnesville.
A Veterans Administration audit, released Monday shows medical facilities in Montgomery and Tuskegee have some of the nation's longest waits for new patients. The numbers show VA facilities in central Alabama have an average wait time for new patients of 75 days. That's the seventh-worst nationally. Delays are shorter elsewhere in Alabama. The average wait in Tuscaloosa is 47 days, and the Birmingham VA has an average wait of 31 days for new patients. The central Alabama region also is among the nation's worst for first-time mental patients with an average wait of 57 days.
A Montgomery judge will delay enforcing his decision outlawing tax credits for private school students in Alabama. Circuit Judge Gene Reese issued an order Monday agreeing to delay implementation of his ruling against the Alabama Accountability Act. The judge agreed with the state to block his order, meaning the tax credit program can go ahead while appeals courts consider the issue. The law allows state tax credits for parents who move their children from failing public schools to private schools.
Circuit clerk's offices are going to reopen on Wednesdays. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has issued an order saying the offices will be open to the public each day effectively July 1st. Moore ordered the offices closed to the public on Wednesday last year because he said understaffing had put the offices behind on recording and filing cases. Now Chief Justice Moore said the backlog in paperwork has been reduced and judges have told them the offices are ready to resume a normal schedule.