Birmingham,Alabama – (AP) - The deadline has arrived for Alabama cities and counties to notify the state if they plan to participate in exempting shoppers from sales taxes on back-to-school purchase made from Aug. 7-9. Despite the recession, most Birmingham-area governments will participate. The holiday, enacted in 2006 to coincide with the beginning of school, exempts shoppers from the state's 4 percent sales tax and cities and counties also may exempt their local sales taxes.
Montgomery,Alabama – (AP) - State Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks is unveiling a major part of his platform in his Democratic campaign for governor. Sparks' campaign says he will announce plans Thursday morning to guarantee advanced education for every child, reduce taxes, increase funding for Medicaid and education, create a disaster relief fund for agriculture, and eliminate illegal gambling in Alabama. Sparks' announcement is scheduled for his Montgomery campaign headquarters at 11 a.m.
New Orleans, Lousiana – (AP) - The federal government has accepted $690.2 million in high bids for 328 offshore petroleum leases off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Seventy energy companies submitted 476 bids on 348 tracts in March's sale of leases in the Central Gulf of Mexico by the federal Minerals Management service. The MMS says it rejected high bids of $12.8 million on 19 tracts because the bids did not reach fair market value. The single highest bid was $65.6 million by Shell Gulf of Mexico
Montgomery,Alabama – A Montgomery resident is being recognized for her life's work in a new book titled "African American National Biography,Volume 6".
Dr. Gwen Patton says she is elated to learn that she has been included int he book featuring many civil rights activists. Dr. Patton recently shared with WVAS some of her recollections of her work with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the form of the Poor People's Campaign.
Dr. Patton remains true to her work as an activist by recently serving on the Selma to Montgomery Historic Trail Advisory Council.