WVAS Local News
The official state Christmas tree is scheduled for lighting in front of the state Capitol in Montgomery. Gov. Robert Bentley, first lady Dianne Bentley and members of the Garden Club of Alabama are supposed to turn on the lights in a ceremony that begins at 5:15 p.m. today. The state's official Christmas tree this year is a 35-foot eastern red cedar grown in Bullock County. It was donated by Elisabeth Thompson, who owns Feathers Plantation in Fitzpatrick.
Property Tax Lawsuit
A federal appreals court is considering a property tax lawsuit involving disadvantaged students in Alabama. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in the suit Thursday. The plaintiffs, who represent families in Sumter and Lawrence counties, appealed after losing in district court. AL.com reports plaintiffs say the state's property tax system was set up in 1901 to protect wealthy landowners from higher taxes. They say the tax system keeps money from flowing to predominantly black schools. State officials argue public schools are funded equally, and the tax system was established on an economic basis and not a racial one.
The blockbuster announcement earlier this year that Airbus is planning to build a $600 million dollar aircraft assembly plant in Mobile is already paying off. A supplier for Airbus has announced it is also locating in the state. Safran Engineering Services, says it will operate an engineering supporting facility in Mobile that will employ up to 50 people. Governor Robert Bentley says he met with officials during a visit to the Farnborough International Air Show in England earlier this year and encouraged the company to come to Alabama.