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A spike in homicides in Montgomery has resulted in discussions on ways to stop gun-related crimes. Recently, the Montgomery Police Department announced new initiatives that include putting more officers on the street. 15 homicides have been recorded since the start of 2013. Violent crime is up 22 percent compared to the same period a year ago.
Legislation providing tax credits to parents who send their children to other public or private schools instead of a failing public school is now law. Governor Robert Bentley said his legal staff reviewed the bill and he signed the legislation late Thursday morning. The law, however, faces a court challenge from the Alabama Education Association.
Bus Driver Honored
The bus driver and children involved in the Midland City school bus abduction were honored Thursday by the Alabama State Board of Education. State schools superintendent Tommy Bice spoke of Charles Poland's bravery and extraordinary sacrifice. Poland's widow and his daughter accepted the honors. Poland died January 29th when a gunman forced his way onto the Dade County school bus he was driving and demanded two children be handed over. Poland resisted, allowing all students but one to escape. A permanent memorial to Poland's heroism has been installed outside the state superintendent's office in Montgomery. Poland's bravery has also been recognized by the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress.
Tax Preparer Sentenced
The former owner of a Montgomery tax preparation business has been sentenced to more than five years in prison in a tax fraud scheme. Bruce King, founder of Premier Tax,was sentenced in Montgomery and is ordered to serve 70 months in prison. Authorities say the man pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to defraud the United States and filing false tax returns. Court documents says King's business operated in Alabama and Georgia and King taught tax preparers how to file fraudulent returns during training sessions. Authorities say his employees have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced. King was also ordered to pay more than $781,000 dollars in restitution to the IRS.