A local jury has sided with some landowners and said the group is entitled to millions of dollars for property now used by the Hyundai plant in west Montgomery. The Montgomery Advertiser reports that the jury returned the verdict Tuesday in the long-running dispute. The jury found that the Montgomery Industrial Development Board owes some landowners more than $4.8 million dollars. The decades-old controversy began when local and state officials faced with the danger of Hyundai losing interest in the site, agreed on a last minute deal to pay $12,000 per acre for land owned by sisters, Joy Shelton and Jeanne Walker. That was nearly triple what other property owners were paid.
Birmingham attorney Donald Watkins is speaking out about the controversy swirling over that preliminary audit on finances at Alabama State University. Watkins said after reading the material he's concluded the findings were deliberately made public to damage the school's positive standing among the state's four year colleges and universities. Watkins also said he understands why ASU officials decided to fight the audit in a California courtroom. Watkins is a member of the ASU presidential search committee.
A world renowned pollster visited Alabama State University Tuesday. John Zoby, founder of the Zoby Poll, participated in ASU's Global Perspective Institute. Zogby discussed his new book, "Managing Understanding & Unleashing the Potential of Our Millennial Generation." The so-called millennial generation are people born between 1979 and 1994.
U.S. Attorney George Beck vowed earlier this year that his office will prosecute individuals for identity theft and tax fraud. Since the start of the year, dozens of people have been convicted. At hearing Monday, a couple from Wetumpka, Christian and Mary Young, each pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to steal names to obtain more than $400,00o dollars in fraudulent tax returns. Federal prosecutors said the Youngs admitted using most of the money to pay for their gambling activities.
In a separate case, a Montgomery man and his mother-in-law were given federal prison terms for stealing identities and filing fraudulent tax returns. Quentin Collick of Montgomery and Deatrice Williams of Duluth, Georgia, were ordered to serve 7 years and more than 4 years in prison respectively.