January 8,2009 – MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A new report shows that Alabama literacy rates improved from 1992 to 2003 but some counties are still double the national average illiteracy rate of 14.5 percent. The study by the National Center for Education Statistics was released Thursday and showed 15 percent of Alabamians lacked basic literacy skills in 2003, an improvement from 21 percent in 1992. The study didn't issue rankings, but 12 states had illiteracy rates that were higher than Alabama's while 36 and the District of
Birmingham, Alabama – BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Two Birmingham-area coal-fired power plants are among the nation's top three for the amounts of arsenic deposited in onsite ash ponds and landfills, according to a new report. A report the Environmental Integrity Project released Thursday listed the Gaston Steam Plant in Shelby County and the Gorgas Steam Plant in Walker County as ranked No. 2 and No. 3 for the amounts of arsenic deposited from 2000 to 2006.
January 8,2009 – Montgomery City Councilman Willie Cook is running for Mayor of Montgomery. Cook, who represents district six, so far, is the only city councilman announcing interest in running for the position.
Montgomery Resident John Down announced his candidacy Wednesday. Qualifying for the race begins January 13th with the special election scheduled for March 10th.
January 8,2009 – A west Alabama family is morning the loss of a woman and her infant son. The two were killed Tuesday when flood waters swept away their vehicle in the town of Reform in Pickens County.
Investigators say -27- year old Chrystal Vaughn and her 18 month old son were traveling on a rural road when a culvert burst and swept her vehicle downstream.
Drenching rains on Monday and Tuesday prompted a series of flash flood warnings in several West Alabama counties.
Jan. 8,2009 – MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - State officials say traffic fatalities on Alabama's rural roads dropped to their lowest level in 23 years in 2008 due to stricter enforcement, new safety features on roads and less driving by motorists due to soaring gas prices. Gov. Riley says state troopers recorded 633 fatal accidents on rural roads in 2008. That's down 17 percent from last year.
Decatur, AL – DECATUR, Ala. (AP) - An affidavit says Decatur police Sgt. Faron White is accused of taking about $70,000 from a safe containing confiscated drug money before he flew off to Las Vegas after trying to fake his own abduction. The affidavit was filed Tuesday by Morgan County authorities in support of the arrest warrant for Sarah Elizabeth Richardson. She is accused of helping White stage his disappearance. The affidavit given by Decatur Sgt. Richard Archer says Richardson was aware that White had stolen about $70,000 and on
Decatur, Alabama – In north Alabama, Morgan County Sheriff Greg Barlett is in the county lockup for failing to adequately feed inmates.
Federal Judge U.W. Clemon ordered Bartlett's arrest after the sheriff testified Wednesday that he legally kept about 212 thousand dollars over the past three years with surplus meal money for inmates, but the sheriff testified the inmates were properly fed.
January 8,2009 – BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A federal judge has ordered the release of an Alabama sheriff he locked up for purposely feeding inmates skimpy meals so he could make money off the jail kitchen. U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon issued a brief order Thursday saying Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett could be freed based on promises from his lawyer, who presented the court with a plan for improving the jailhouse meals. The sheriff's whereabouts weren't immediately clear. But Clemon
Jan.7,2009 – BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The new year has arrived and that signals the start of the tax-filing season. The Internal Revenue Service Tuesday announced new steps to help financially strapped taxpayers meet their tax obligations. The agency is offering to waive late penalties, negotiate new payment plans and postpone asset seizures for delinquent taxpayers. Taxpayers can begin filing tax returns electronically on Jan. 16. To help explain the leniency program, the IRS has posted answers