Alabama's new Agricultural Rural Crime Unit has hit the ground running. Governor Robert Bentley used the Trotman Cattle Company in Montgomery County Thursday for a press conference spotlighting the work of the task force. The task force was created on June 4th and since that time has made 14 felony arrests and recovered half a million dollars in stolen farm equipment. The unit has set up a hotline for reporting rural crime, that is 1-855-75 CRIME.
A proposal to plant two area schools inside the old Montgomery Mall was unveiled Thursday. During the Mayor's weekly briefing, Montgomery Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Thompson presented a slide-show of renovations. Under the proposal Love Academic Magnet Program High School would be house in the old Parisians' space and Montgomery's Technical Education Center would be located inside formerly J.C. Penny's. The projects require purchasing 160,000 square feet of mall space. A meeting will be held later this month by the Montgomery County's Board of Education to consider the new proposal.
A coalition of Alabama business groups has endorsed five incumbent appellate court judges for the 2014 elections. The chairman of the Alabama Civil Justice Reform Committee, Tom Dart said the group endorsed early because all five Republican judges have done a good job. The committee endorsed Justice Greg Shaw on the state Supreme Court, Judges Bill Thompson and Scott Donaldson for the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals and Judges Beth Kellum and Mary Windom on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. None of them has an opponent so far.
Three family members are dead following a mobile home fire in north central Alabama. The blaze occurred in the St. Clair County town of Pell City. Sheriff Terry Surles said the mobile home was engulfed in flames when deputies arrived at about 2 a.m. Wednesday. Coroner Dennis Russell said Thomas Devillier and his 9-year-old son were able to get out. But the man lost his wife, a 6-year-old son and his 68-year-old mother. Authorities suspect and electrical problem caused the fire.
Student Loan Rate
Alabama Senator Richard Shelby and Congresswoman Martha Roby of Montgomery are urging their colleagues in the Senate and House to address the student loan rate. Shelby said its time for a permanent fix. Roby issued a statement and called on Senate leaders to rise above politics. A deal that would lower interest rates on student loans appear to be taking shape in Congress. Lawmakers and their aides have been in talks about how they might reduce rates on subsidized Stafford loans. The rate doubled on 6.8 percent last week after Congress failed to act.