NASA has signed a deal with United Launch Alliance in Decatur that could result in astronauts flying Atlas-V rockets made in northern Alabama. ULA will provide the space agency with detailed data on its steps to qualify the Atlas for carrying humans into space. NASA will double-check the company's steps and provide assistance in overcoming any issues.
Monday, July 18, 2011
School lunch prices are going up a quarter this year in Marshall County. The system's superintendent says the federal government is requiring the increase, and by choosing to hike the price now, the school board won't have to do it again for another three years.
Posted by Newsroom at 8:10 AM
Friday, July 15, 2011
Alabama Power customers are going to be shelling out more for electricity soon, thanks to the storms that smacked the state this year. The utility says it could have been worse...they were expecting 280-million dollars' worth of damage to their system, but it's only 200 million. Expect to see bills go up 3 percent a month -- the elimination of a "storm credit" that customers have had for years. The credit elimination starts in October.
Posted by Newsroom at 11:55 AM
The Madison City School Board has approved step raises for all system employees at a cost amounting to just under a million dollars. The board also filled two open positions while creating another with naming Discovery Middle School Principal Sharon Willis as the system's at-risk coordinator, and Judy Warmath, the new elementary school coordinator.
Posted by Newsroom at 11:53 AM
Employees are back at work today at an Albertville plant after a chemical leak forced an evacuation yesterday. 20 workers were forced to leave the building at Americold Logistics when an ammonia line ruptured. HAZMAT teams were on the scene, shutting off the supply line, and then ventilating the area.
Posted by Newsroom at 7:16 AM
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Close to 20 workers at Americold Logistics were evacuated from the plant today because of a chemical leak. Officials say an ammonia line ruptured at the Albertville plant, and HAZMAT crews went into the building. They shut off the supply line and then ventilated the area. Four fire rescue trucks and a pair of ambulances answered the call.
Posted by Newsroom at 2:17 PM
Alabama could get another shot at a U-S Audi plant. The company's CEO told Automotive News Audi is once again interested in building a U-S facility. A site in Huntsville was the runner-up for the billion dollar Volkswagen plant that ended up going to Chattanooga...and back in the '90s, Audi was eying northern Alabama for a facility site.
Posted by Newsroom at 2:15 PM
Foreclosures in Marshall County are having an impact on the housing market. The head of the county board of realtors says the value of homes is not increasing in the current housing climate. Having foreclosures decreases property values when yards are overgrown next to inhabited properties. Statewide, more than 15-hundred properties were in some form of foreclosure in May.
Posted by Newsroom at 7:36 AM
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Living in the so-called "stroke belt" doesn't do great things for the aging brain, according to a new report. Scientists say those who live in the south...another word for the belt...have greater incidents of cognitive impairment than those who don't live around here.
Posted by Newsroom at 8:21 AM
Fish from overseas that are contaminated with chemicals not allowed in the U.S. food supply are being sold in this country, including in Alabama. Three American fish importers pleaded guilty earlier this year in an Alabama court to federal felony charges of mislabeling seafood. The state's agriculture department says 40 percent of the imported fish they test is positive for banned drugs.
Posted by Newsroom at 8:20 AM
State officials plan to take 460-million dollars from the state trust fund for the next fiscal year...which could provide short-term help for the state. However, the vacuuming of funds could also cause long term problems for the state's general fund, which props up Medicaid, prisons, and other non-educational parts of state government. The Alabama Trust Fund totals more than 2-and-a-half billion dollars -- money gathered from royalties paid by companies that pump natural gas from offshore. The state uses much of the interest and dividends from the trust to bolster the general fund.
Posted by Newsroom at 8:19 AM
Manufacturing continued to slow down in the Southeast last month, even as the factory sector picked up a little momentum nationwide. The Southeast Purchasing Managers Index fell 3-point-6 points in June, to 56-point-6. The index covers Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.
Posted by Newsroom at 8:18 AM
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Lawyers for Country Crossing casino developer Ronnie Gilley say he should return to the witness stand this week in Alabama's gambling corruption trial. Gilley came down with a virus last week and couldn't testify for the prosecution. The defense will have to finish questioning an FBI agent who helped lead the investigation before Gilley is back on the stand.
Posted by Newsroom at 9:57 PM
Alabama's Business Confidence Index is looking shaky for the third quarter of the year. The report found overall attitude toward the business environment and industry prospects declined. The index fell 4-point-4 points to 51-point-4, which indicates that the recovery will move at a slower pace this quarter...and business execs are likely to be more cautious in their planning.
Posted by Newsroom at 9:55 PM
Monday, July 4, 2011
This time next month, area residents in Albertville will be able to help feed hungry kids...and get in a good run. The Blessings in a Backpack Race is set for August 6th during the Main Street Music Festival. Every Friday during the school year, food is placed in the backpacks of qualifying kids at area schools.
A push to make Marshall County residents pay attention to railroad crossing safety got some extra muscle from Operation Lifesaver Alabama. Several near misses in the county inspired hundreds of leaflets on the importance of crossing railroad tracks safely that were handed out over the holiday weekend. Alabama ranks No. 7 in the country for the number of train/vehicle collisions and No. 10 in the country for the number of train collision fatalities.
DeKalb County's superintendent is worried about the state's new immigration law and the impact it could have on school funding. He says if the new law is followed to the letter, local schools in Alabama could lose their federal funding. That funding currently accounts for about a third of the budget for DeKalb County schools.
Posted by Newsroom at 7:27 PM
Albertville's mayor is urging businesses to take pride in their property. Mayor Lyons is personally visiting area companies as part of his Pride in Property campaign. He's asking businesses to sign a form to show their commitment to the beautification and maintenance of their business' building and grounds.
Posted by Newsroom at 7:26 PM
Alabama's congressional delegation is fighting to keep Nasa funding in place, as the final space shuttle launch looms on Friday. Representative Mo Brooks says Congress is having to battle the White House now with the 1.8 billion dollars earmarked for the heavy lift vehicle. A lot of that work would have been done at Huntsville's Marshall Space Flight Center.
Posted by Newsroom at 7:25 PM
Alabama Forestry officials say ground moisture levels in 12 northern counties have increased enough to cut the threat of catastrophic wildfire. The change justifies downgrading these counties from Drought Emergency -- or No Burn -- to Fire Alert. Counties included are: Marshall, Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin, Marion, Limestone, Lawrence, Winston, Madison, Morgan, Jackson, and DeKalb. The Commission will keep monitoring ground moisture levels throughout the state. If ground fuels turn exceptionally dry again, they may have to re-issue a No Burn order in affected areas.
Posted by Newsroom at 4:24 PM
Sunday, July 3, 2011
State forestry officials are worried about the impact of fireworks on vegetation over the holiday. The Alabama Forestry Commission suggests keeping fireworks away from woods and dry grass. They advise anyone using fireworks to have a garden hose or other water supply nearby. In fact, many cities have ordinances against shooting off fireworks in the city limits. It's against the law in Montgomery, Prattville and Wetumpka.
Posted by Newsroom at 7:45 PM
Whether you're traveling down state, or sticking closer to home for daytrips, you get to save at the gas pump this July, compared to last month. Oil Information Price Service says gas prices usually peak in summer, but this year they peaked in early May. In fact, we could see gas 25 to 30 cents per gallon cheaper this summer.
Posted by Newsroom at 7:41 PM
This is not a day for reckless driving...on land or on water. State and marine law enforcement officers will be looking for those who drive dangerously. The head of the state's marine police says his officers will be working "rolling roadblocks" to check for appropriate safety equipment, among other things. So pack your life jackets and flotation devices.
Posted by Newsroom at 7:38 PM