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Home > Tuscaloosa Business News

Tuscaloosa Business News - 2012-06


We have news items here related to Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Tuscaloosa City Council cancels weekly meeting - The Tuscaloosa City Council will not meet next week due to the Independence Day holiday. The council normally meets on Tuesday evenings. The council also canceled its Tuesday afternoon committee meetings next week. 17303
June 30th, 2012
University of Alabama hosts camp for kids with diabetes - An interactive and educational day camp for children ages 6 to 15 diagnosed with diabetes is coming to Tuscaloosa on July 9-11, according to executive director for the Southeastern Diabetes Education Center Rhonda McDavid. The three-day camp, dubbed Camp Sugar Falls, will meet from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day at the University of Alabama’s Student Recreation Center, she said. 17302
June 30th, 2012
Former managing editor dies at 89 - John T. Hamner, a former managing editor at The Tuscaloosa News, died Tuesday in Tallahassee, Fla., at 89. The University of Alabama graduate also worked at the Bradenton Herald, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the Alabama Journal in Montgomery. 17301
June 30th, 2012
Holt grad named Youth of the Year - TUSCALOOSA | An 18-year-old Holt High School graduate is the first person in the Boys & Girls Club of West Alabama’s 51-year-old history to win the club’s Southeast region Youth of the Year competition. 17300
June 30th, 2012
Tractor Supply building 2nd store after less than two years in town - Less than two years after coming to the Tuscaloosa market, Tractor Supply Co. is building a second store here. 17299
June 30th, 2012
Steele returns to civil rights group as CEO - 17298
June 30th, 2012
Grass fire contained on U.S. Highway 43 North - Workers with the Northport Fire Department, the Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service, the Alabama Forestry Service and volunteer fire departments in Carroll’s Creek and Samantha responded to a grass fire off U.S. Highway 43 North at about 4 p.m. Friday. 17297
June 30th, 2012
Officials urge fire safety for Fourth of July holiday - Officials have not issued fire alerts or drought emergency warnings in advance of the Fourth of July holiday next week, but they are still urging people take precautions to avoid fires. 17296
June 29th, 2012
Forest fire causes major traffic delays on Highway 43 - 17295
June 29th, 2012
HUD rules shortchange Tuscaloosa, lawmakers say - MONTGOMERY | Three members of Congress from Alabama are trying to amend federal tornado relief rules that they say don’t provide enough money for housing replacement in Tuscaloosa. 17294
June 29th, 2012
Some Alabama boards not following state law - MONTGOMERY | Some state regulatory boards aren’t abiding by a requirement in Alabama’s immigration law that they check the legal residency of people getting licenses to do business in the state. 17293
June 29th, 2012
Emergency Services asks residents to donate fans - TUSCALOOSA | Temporary Emergency Services has run out of fans to donate to people in need. 17292
June 29th, 2012
Alabama faces decision on expanding Medicaid coverage - MONTGOMERY | State Health Officer Don Williamson said Thursday that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the federal health care law means the state will now have to determine whether to expand its Medicaid coverage. 17291
June 29th, 2012
Mercedes rolls out new SUV - VANCE | Mercedes-Benz officially rolled out Job 1, the first vehicle of the second generation of its upscale GL-Class sport utility vehicle, on Thursday with a celebration at its automotive assembly plant. Company officials at the celebration forecast an even brighter future, including an almost 50 percent increase in the Tuscaloosa County plant’s workforce over the next several years. 17290
June 29th, 2012
Summer running club hits the trails early - Summer may be a time for kids to relax, but some students are still getting up at 7 a.m. each morning, determined to be active. Holy Spirit Catholic School has started a running club that is also open to the public for people of all experience levels. The club, which is free, was started to give cross-country and track athletes a way to maintain fitness over the summer. 17289
June 28th, 2012
Healthcare ruling draws ire of Alabama Republicans - Initial reaction in Alabama to today’s Supreme Court ruling on national health insurance predictably fell along political lines. Gov. Robert Bentley, a Republican, said he was “deeply disappointed in the 5-4 ruling upholding the important part of the law on taxation,” and called on Congress to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 17288
June 28th, 2012
Druid City Brewing Co. to bring locally made beer to Tuscaloosa - Locally made beer will begin flowing from taps at several Tuscaloosa bars this fall under a label reminiscent of the iconic Moon Winx Lodge sign. Bo Hicks and Elliott Roberts' Druid City Brewing Co. was approved by the Tuscaloosa Zoning Board of Adjustment this week, and they plan to start brewing commercially at a 14th Street location in October. 17287
June 28th, 2012
Airbus to build plant in Mobile - PARIS | Airbus, the European plane maker, plans to build its first assembly line in the United States in Mobile in an aggressive foray into the world’s largest market for single-aisle airplanes, people familiar with the plan said Wednesday. 17286
June 28th, 2012
Rat infestation causes dispute in Tuscaloosa neighborhood - TUSCALOOSA | Residents of a West End neighborhood have an on-going dispute with the leadership at Bethel Baptist Church over a rat-filled tree that's on the church's and a resident's property line. 17285
June 28th, 2012
Gas prices dip below $3 per gallon mark - TUSCALOOSA | Gasoline prices have dipped below $3 a gallon in some parts of Tuscaloosa, reflecting a national trend of average prices hitting levels not seen since summer 2010. 17284
June 28th, 2012
Alabama government, businesses prepare for Supreme Court healthcare ruling - Government planners and private businesses in Alabama are anticipating the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Thursday on the federal health care act. 17283
June 27th, 2012
Triple-digit temperatures to continue through next week - Temperatures are expected to reach the triple digits Thursday and stay there until at least Wednesday, forecasters say. A massive heat wave has caused scorching heat over most of the country, and is expected to move east into Alabama Thursday. 17282
June 27th, 2012
Renasant Banks two-story building approved - Renasant Bank received the City Council’s approval Tuesday to build a two-story bank building in downtown Tuscaloosa. The bank will be built at 2518 University Blvd., which is between southern ends of the Lurleen Wallace Boulevard bridges. 17281
June 27th, 2012
21st Avenue to be closed - TUSCALOOSA | The city engineer’s office said that 21st Avenue between Jack Warner Parkway and University Boulevard will be closed through Friday. 17280
June 27th, 2012
City to spend $28.5 million from insurance settlement - TUSCALOOSA | Mayor Walt Maddox said Tuesday that the city will spend the $28.5 million it received in tornado-related insurance settlement payments to rebuild damaged structures and some additional projects not affected by the storm. 17279
June 27th, 2012
Mercedes-Benz plant to close until July 9 - Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. in Vance will have its regular summer plant shutdown for a week starting Monday. The plant will resume full operations on July 9. 17278
June 27th, 2012
Church replaces tornado-damaged stained glass windows - TUSCALOOSA | The EF4 tornado that swept through Tuscaloosa on April 27, 2011, caused damage to many churches in the city. Covenant Presbyterian Church on Hargrove Road was not spared. The damage the tornado caused has been more difficult to repair than expected. 17277
June 27th, 2012
Ruling favors runoff winner in Hale County - MONTGOMERY | A state Democratic Party committee may have ended Hale County Probate Judge Leland Avery’s chance to serve a fourth term. 17276
June 27th, 2012
Firefighters train on how to use foam to fight fires - Highly volatile materials can lead to high-pressure situations. That's why the Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service held training sessions with environmental health and safety technicians at Hunt Refining to practice fighting fire with foam. 17275
June 27th, 2012
Bruno's pharmacy to close with change in ownership - Wednesday is the last day Bruno's customers will have pharmacy services at the McFarland Boulevard supermarket and prescriptions will be forwarded to Rite Aid stores in the area. The pharmacies in all of the 57 stores owned by Birmingham-based Southern Family Markets, which are being bought by Belle Foods LLC, will be closed. 17274
June 26th, 2012
Mental health commissioner resigns; replaced by Indian Rivers director - Zelia Baugh cited family obligations in her resignation, effective Saturday. Jim Reddoch, head of Indian Rivers Mental Health Center, will take over. 17273
June 26th, 2012
Alabama case sets rules for youth jail time - WASHINGTON | The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that it is unconstitutional for state laws to require juveniles convicted of murder to be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole, siding with the petitioner from Alabama. 17272
June 26th, 2012
Hotel developer gets 2nd extension - TUSCALOOSA | Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said he is hopeful that the City Council has granted its last negotiation deadline extension to the Memphis, Tenn.-based hotel development company that is considering building an upscale hotel in downtown Tuscaloosa. 17271
June 26th, 2012
Bridges to be inspected - TUSCALOOSA | The Alabama Department of Transportation will perform routine bridge inspections on U.S. Highway 82 (McFarland Boulevard) on the Black Warrior River Bridge (Woolsey Finnell Bridge) near milepost 50. 17270
June 25th, 2012
Tuscaloosa hit with record-breaking heat - But what's unusual about the heat — and heat isn't an unusual thing in Tuscaloosa — is that it's hotter than it should be for the month of June. In fact, it's hotter than it's ever been in Tuscaloosa at this time of year. Saturday, Sunday and Monday broke the all-time high temperature records for those dates in Tuscaloosa, said Jessica Talley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Birmingham. 17269
June 25th, 2012
Grand jury: Deadly force justified in December shooting - Deady force was justified when a sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a robbery suspect in December, a grand jury ruled. The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed Barry Neal Mullenix Jr. on Dec. 23. Mullenix had attempted to rob Sumners Grocery on Alabama Avenue. 17268
June 25th, 2012
Supreme Court says no more life without parole for juveniles in case involving Alabama teen - The high court on Monday threw out Americans' ability to send children to prison for the rest of their lives with no chance of ever getting out. The 5-4 decision is in line with others the court has made, including ruling out the death penalty for juveniles and life without parole for young people whose crimes did not involve killing. 17267
June 25th, 2012
Supreme Court rejects parts of Arizona immigration law - The Supreme Court has struck down key provisions of Arizona's immigration law. But the court said Monday that one much-debated part of the law could go forward — the portion requiring police to check the status of someone they suspect is not in the United States legally. Even there, though, the justices said the provision could be subject to additional legal challenges. 17266
June 25th, 2012
LOOKING BACK: June 25 - 50 years ago this week: Deaths this week included Roscoe Duncan, 83, retired head of the mechanical engineering department at Bryce Hospital. Duncan had worked at the hospital for almost 50 years. 17265
June 25th, 2012
Region under heat advisory today - The National Weather Service office in Birmingham issued a heat advisory for Tuscaloosa County and most of West Alabama on Sunday that will remain in effect until 9 p.m. tonight. 17264
June 25th, 2012
Tuscaloosa to pay more than $500,000 for Alberta apartments - TUSCALOOSA | City Hall has been ordered to pay the owners of Graceland Apartments in Alberta $536,000 in order to seize the land through its powers of eminent domain. 17263
June 25th, 2012
City considers enacting entertainment districts - TUSCALOOSA | City officials plan to study turning certain popular night spots in Tuscaloosa into state-approved “entertainment districts,” where drinkers could bring open alcoholic beverages into the streets. 17262
June 25th, 2012
Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue personnel honored at awards program - The Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service held its summer awards program on May 17 at the Training and Logistics Center. In recognition of the one-year anniversary of the April 27, 2011, tornado, all personnel were awarded a special commemorative citation bar. 17261
June 24th, 2012
Governor Robert Bentley to promote severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday - MONTGOMERY | Gov. Robert Bentley on Monday will be in Baldwin County to promote the new statewide sales tax holiday for severe weather preparedness items. Bentley plans a news conference at 11:45 a.m. at the Home Depot in Daphne, 7100 U.S. Highway 90, to promote the sales tax holiday from July 6-8 this year, Bentley’s office said Friday. 17260
June 24th, 2012
Uniontown and Hale County governments listed on - The city of Uniontown and the Hale County Commission appear on a list of government bodies that have not given a quarterly update on how they have spent federal stimulus funds, which could affect their ability to secure future grant money. 17259
June 24th, 2012
Immigration policy doesn't change Alabama law - MONTGOMERY | Illegal immigrants will still be subject to arrest under Alabama's immigration law despite President Barack Obama's temporary ban on deporting certain young people. 17258
June 24th, 2012
Veteran earns volunteer of the year honor - Finding the name of Army Sgt. Grover House at Veterans Memorial Park in Tuscaloosa is simple. His name is etched in stone beside the names of other veterans. 17257
June 24th, 2012
Area woman named finalist in Os contest - TUSCALOOSA | A young Tuscaloosa woman has been named one of 12 national finalists in O’Charley’s Greatest Grad Contest. 17256
June 23rd, 2012
Bailey Tabernacle CME celebrates longtime pastors service - TUSCALOOSA | The Rev. Willie Clyde Jones celebrated his 50th year in ministry Friday with a banquet held in his honor at Bailey Tabernacle CME Church, where’s he’s served as pastor for the past 45 years. 17255
June 23rd, 2012
Court upholds Stan Pate verdict - MONTGOMERY | The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday upheld the misdemeanor conviction of Tuscaloosa businessman Stan Pate, who was charged with menacing after pulling a shotgun on a former commercial tenant he ordered off his property. 17254
June 23rd, 2012
Northport farmers market adding permanent structure to new location - A farmers market on Fifth Avenue near downtown Northport is gaining in popularity, so much so that the Tuscaloosa County Truckgrowers Association is building a permanent structure to accommodate it. 17253
June 22nd, 2012
Overturned truck catches fire on interstate - No one was injured, but interstate traffic is delayed after a truck overturned and propane tanks exploded. 17252
June 22nd, 2012
Centreville medical clinic gets grant - MONTGOMERY | The Cahaba Medical Care clinic in Centreville has been awarded a federal grant to expand rural health care under the 2010 health care act, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The Cahaba clinic will receive $608,000 in the grant’s first year and $650,000 in the second year. 17251
June 22nd, 2012
Tuscaloosa County schools approve new technology rules - TUSCALOOSA | Students will be allowed to bring cellphones, e-readers and other technological devices to school after the Tuscaloosa County Board of Education on Thursday unanimously approved revisions in the system’s technology policy. 17250
June 22nd, 2012
City Council authorizes land seizures for Loop Road work - City Hall has initiated eminent domain proceedings against six East Tuscaloosa property owners in order to complete the final stage of the Loop Road improvement project. 17249
June 21st, 2012
Alabama budget cuts curb lawmakers trips - House Speaker Mike Hubbard and Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey have told legislators that they won’t approve legislators’ travel requests for the remainder of the fiscal year because budget cuts have put a serious strain on legislative operations. That includes a 10.6 percent cut the governor ordered in March for most state programs because revenues were falling behind appropriations. 17248
June 21st, 2012
Auburn tree poisoning trial delayed - OPELIKA | A judge is delaying the trial of an Alabama fan accused of poisoning Auburn's cherished Toomer's Corner oak trees. Defense attorneys for Harvey Updyke have asked the judge to move the trial to a different location. Judge Jacob Walker said Thursday that he would set a hearing date to consider the request. 17247
June 21st, 2012
Tuscaloosa County studies debris pickup - TUSCALOOSA | Tuscaloosa County residents who live outside the city limits may eventually decide whether they want their grass clippings, limbs and other brush picked up by the county. 17246
June 21st, 2012
Hearing waived in vehicular death case - The man accused of killing an 8-year-old girl after the Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show in March has waived a court appearance that was scheduled for Friday. Danny Ray Smith is charged with vehicular homicide. He is accused of hitting Haylee Burks, her younger sister and their mother while driving on Fifth Street in Northport. His attorneys waived a preliminary hearing because the Tuscaloosa County District Attorney’s Office has already provided them with discovery materials related to the case. It is typical for preliminary hearings to be waived if the attorneys have already shared information, said Tuscaloosa County Deputy District Attorney Scott Holmes. District Judge Jim Guin required Smith to surrender his passport and wear a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet as conditions of his bond requested by the District Attorney’s Office. Smith has been free on $110,000 bail since his arrest on March 31. “The defendant has posted bonds in the cases upon special conditions being imposed by the court upon the district attorney’s motion, including an ankle GPS monitoring bracelet and surrender of his passport,” said Holmes, who is prosecuting the case. “The law requires that bonds be set in all cases except capital murder cases, unless the defendant violates conditions of the bond.” Smith, 65, has been granted permission to travel to Florida to work, but has spent most of his time in Tuscaloosa since he was charged, his attorneys said. Police said that Smith, who owns Dixie Air Inc. and Danny Smith Construction Co. Inc., was hosting a private party for the air show on March 31. According to court documents, the Burks family, from Chilton County, was walking in the grass along Fifth Street in Northport when Smith veered off the road and struck Tanya Burks and her daughters. Haylee, who was 5 feet tall and weighed about 80 pounds, later died at DCH Regional Medical Center. Investigators wrote in reports that the tests indicated Smith’s blood alcohol level as .13 percent at the time, higher than the .08 legal limit in Alabama. Smith is charged with vehicular homicide, first-degree and third-degree assault. He is also charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, after witnesses told police that he continued driving for about 150 yards, got out, walked back to the accident site and returned to his truck, according to the police report. He would not get out of the truck immediately after officers knocked on the window and hood. Tanya Burks, who sustained four fractured vertebrae, has filed a civil wrongful death suit against Smith. He is represented by attorneys Robert Prince, Mary Turner and Hays Webb. “Danny and the entire Smith family are heartbroken over this tragedy and are truly sorry this has happened,” Prince said after the charges were filed. “They also hope anyone who hears or reads about this accident will resist jumping to conclusions, but instead will simply pray for those who were injured and their family.” Reach Stephanie Taylor at stephanie.taylor@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0210. 17245
June 21st, 2012
Opinions mixed a year after county ends TARGET program - A full school year has passed since the Tuscaloosa County Board of Education scuttled its TARGET special education program and replaced it with a once-a-week program at students' home schools. 17244
June 20th, 2012
Cottondale Faurecia workers to vote on joining union - Workers at the Faurecia plant in Cottondale are voting today on whether to form union. About 135 maintenance and production personnel are eligible to vote, according to the National Labor Relations Board, which is conducting the vote. 17243
June 20th, 2012
Homebuyer class graduates to be honored - TUSCALOOSA | The Westside Community Development Corp. will recognize nine people who completed its 12-week “How to Become a Homebuyer” class at 10 a.m. Saturday at the McDonald Hughes Community Center, 3101 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 17242
June 20th, 2012
Dems will meet to settle Hale probate judge issue - The Alabama Democratic Party will hold a public hearing next week to determine who should be the party’s nominee in November for Hale County probate judge. 17241
June 20th, 2012
State mental health director to testify in D.C. - MONTGOMERY | Alabama Mental Health Commissioner Zelia Baugh is scheduled to testify Thursday at a U.S. Senate committee hearing on community-based treatment of people with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities. 17240
June 20th, 2012
City Council denies Bama Wings, Fish and More request for beer, wine licenses - TUSCALOOSA | After tabling a vote on alcohol license petitions for a West End business last week, the City Council returned Tuesday night to unanimously deny Bama Wings, Fish and More the right to sell beer and wine to its customers. 17239
June 20th, 2012
Ambulance service to pay $5.4 million to settle suit - An ambulance company that once operated in Tuscaloosa will pay $5.4 million to settle a federal whistleblower lawsuit. 17238
June 20th, 2012
State colleges get low grades - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s report card on how well the nation’s public colleges and universities prepare students for the workforce had some sobering news for Alabama. The state got mostly Ds and Fs. The state did receive an A for meeting its labor market demand. 17237
June 20th, 2012
New Alberta school to apply for grants - TUSCALOOSA | The Tuscaloosa City Board of Education on Tuesday approved what may be the first step in a partnership between the new Alberta Elementary School, Maude Whatley Health Clinic and the Tuscaloosa Public Library. 17236
June 20th, 2012
Developer withdraws plans for student apartments - TUSCALOOSA | Citing what he believes is a “liberal, socialist agenda” at City Hall, Tuscaloosa developer Stan Pate on Tuesday withdrew his petition to rezone a portion of Hargrove Road to allow the construction of student apartments. Pate's withdrawal came just hours before the City Council was set to vote on the rezoning petition that had been tabled since May 29. The delay was imposed so that Pate and area residents could find an acceptable compromise, but none was reached after four meetings. The developer's request to convert the 17-acre tract near the intersection of Hargrove Road and Second Avenue East to R-4S (Moderate Density Residence) would have allowed him to proceed with the construction of the complex that could have held between 650 and 850 bedrooms. “I concede to the liberals of City Hall,” Pate said, adding that he has no intention of trying again to get the rezoning and development approved. “But you know what I recognize? The city of Tuscaloosa is but a speck on the face of the earth. “It's my opinion that, when it's a major (crisis), government never wastes an opportunity to take away power from the people.” Pate was referring to the tornado of April 27, 2011, that damaged or destroyed about 12 percent of the city and led to the formation of the Tuscaloosa Forward rebuilding plans. The tract, which Pate was seeking to rezone through the Dead Reckoning LLC that he created, lies just at the edge of the tornado's path. The Tuscaloosa Forward plan, Pate said, has led to liberal elitism at City Hall. The developer said that the plan has eliminated the free market's guidance of which development best suits the areas within and near the tornado recovery zone. “The new staff at the city of Tuscaloosa has turned the community toward a very liberal agenda with property owners' rights and free markets becoming second to ‘government knows best,' ” Pate said. He directed much of the blame at John McConnell, the city's director of Planning and Development Services, who served as chair of the Tuscaloosa Forward planning sessions. McConnell was appointed by Mayor Walt Maddox. McConnell declined to comment directly on Pate's accusations, but he said that he serves not as a policy maker but as an adviser to the City Council and as a public servant to the city as a whole. “I try to be fair and honest,” McConnell said. “They (the City Council) don't always take my advice, but their policy decisions are made based on the desires and wishes of their constituents.” Maddox also declined to address Pate's claims directly, but he touted Pate's history of creating quality developments throughout Tuscaloosa and the state. Maddox said the city's recovery effort would benefit from more quality developments. “From the very beginning of this process we've put our faith in the people of Tuscaloosa,” the mayor said, “and we continue to be open and transparent in our search for guidance. “I fully believe Mr. Pate can be a strong player in the redevelopment of this city ... and I hope we can work together to find common ground.” The site of Pate's proposed student housing complex is the same tract where the rezoning for a similar development was defeated in November after an outcry from residents and residents of nearby Forest Lake. Their concerns then were about traffic and the heavy influx of students into an area filled primarily with single- family homes. These same residents had similar concerns about the Dead Reckoning proposal. Residents filled the City Council chambers to standing-room only Tuesday night despite the developer's withdrawal of his rezoning petition. The withdrawal also did not prevent six residents from taking to the podium to reiterate their opposition to the development. Philip Pitts of Glendale Gardens told the City Council that he was among those who spoke out against the prior student housing complex in November. He said he is also opposed to the Pate development. “We're not against all development,” Pitts said, “(but) we would like to see some thought about what goes there. “I feel for the people who own the property and are looking to sell it ... but I think the city is in a position to do something to direct something positive there.” Alex Wilson, 22, described himself as a fifth-year senior at the University of Alabama and said he supported permanent residents who opposed the complex because his fellow college students tend to show little — if any — respect for the homeowners they live near. “Students ... do not respect their neighbors,” Wilson said, “and will bring a lot of noise and garbage with them.” Wilson's comments drew widespread applause. Reach Jason Morton at jason.morton@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0200. 17235
June 20th, 2012
Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter plans $220,000 renovation - TUSCALOOSA | The Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter is planning a $220,000 renovation that will include easier-to-clean kennels for its animals and a better ventilation system for the building. The shelter, built in 1999, serves its purpose, but the kennels need a better design, said the shelter's director, Judy Hill. The current kennels, with chain-link fencing and cinderblock and concrete floors, are not easy to maintain or clean. The shelter's staff is considering using other materials for the new kennels, including stainless steel. The concrete floor will be sealed and a new ventilation system will be installed so that odors will pose less of a problem, Hill said. An isolation room will also be added as part of the project. Currently, animals that need to be isolated are kept in temporary kennels in the facility's garage. The shelter, which can hold about 200 to 250 animals, is full most of the time, especially in the summer, Hill said. June is the peak month for cat breeding, but the shelter was already full, with more than 200 cats and dogs on Tuesday. The renovation will not expand the shelter's capacity but will make the current space better, said Jimbo Woodson, senior associate attorney with the city of Tuscaloosa. Instead of expanding the shelter's facilities, a spay and neuter clinic is being considered as part of a separate project. The clinic, which would be in a separate building, would allow all animals at the shelter to be spayed or neutered before they are adopted, Hill said. It would also allow people to spay and neuter their animals at a low cost, she added. “It's the only way to really reduce the pet population,” Hill said. Currently, people who adopt a pet at the shelter must pay a $50 spay/neuter deposit if the animal is not already spayed or neutered. The owner gets that money back once they have the operation done, but many pet owners still do not spay or neuter, Hill said. “The way that shelters are so full now, you can't operate without a spay and neuter clinic,” Hill said. “You aren't stopping them at the source without spaying and neutering.” With the addition of a spay/neuter clinic, Hill said there would be a “big, big difference” in the number of stray animals in Tuscaloosa County within 10 years. In order for such a clinic to be successful, the local governments and shelter must partner with area veterinarians, Woodson said. The spay/neuter clinic, which is not part of the renovations, is still in the early planning stages and will be discussed in the coming months. Funding for the shelter's renovation has already been approved, with Tuscaloosa County paying 50 percent of the project, the city of Tuscaloosa paying 40 percent and Northport paying 10 percent. The division of the cost is determined on each municipality's use of the shelter. Construction for the renovation will be put out for bid over the next few months, Woodson said. The Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and from 8 a.m.-noon on Wednesdays and Saturdays. For information on adoption, call 205-752-9101. Reach Lydia Seabol Avant at 205-722-0222 or lydia.seabol avant@tuscaloosanews.com. 17234
June 20th, 2012
Siegelman backers push for Obama to grant pardon - MONTGOMERY | Some backers of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman want President Barack Obama to grant a pardon that would prevent the ex-Democratic officeholder from returning to prison for his 2006 bribery conviction. 17233
June 19th, 2012
Jury selection to begin today in tree poisoning trial - MONTGOMERY | The Alabama fan accused of poisoning two oak trees that have been staging points for decades of celebrations at rival Auburn is about to go on trial. Attorneys will begin selecting a jury Tuesday to hear the case against Harvey Updyke Jr., in a courtroom less than 10 miles from Toomer’s Corner and the Auburn campus. 17232
June 19th, 2012
Mortgage payout helping Alabama budget - MONTGOMERY | A $25 billion national settlement with five big mortgage companies is helping balance Alabama’s operating budget during lean times and might help low-income families get into their own homes. 17231
June 19th, 2012
Council to vote tonight on student housing site - TUSCALOOSA | The Tuscaloosa City Council is expected to vote tonight on a rezoning request that will pave the way for a new student housing complex on Hargrove Road. Developer Stan Pate has proposed building a complex that could have between 650 and 850 bedrooms on a 17-acre site near the intersection of Hargrove Road and Second Avenue East. 17230
June 19th, 2012
Court and bond fees set to rise - MONTGOMERY | Higher court and bail bond fees go into effect statewide Thursday, but the state’s court system will still be facing financial troubles if a related constitutional amendment doesn’t pass in September. 17229
June 19th, 2012
Project Rebound counseling to end - TUSCALOOSA | Counselors with Project Rebound, a crisis counseling service that has been helping victims of the April 27, 2011, tornado, will end their work in the Tuscaloosa area on Friday. 17228
June 19th, 2012
UA's Ad Team places second in national competition - The University of Alabama's Ad Team won second place in the American Advertising Federation's National Student Advertising Competition this month. 17227
June 19th, 2012
Birthright Auditorium at Stillman getting new look - One of the central edifices on the Stillman College campus is undergoing a $3 million renovation this summer and fall to repair floors, expand seating, add offices and bring the roof in line with others on campus. 17226
June 19th, 2012
Housing density mires Wood Square development - TUSCALOOSA | On a night that saw the first potential plans for a new Wood Square development publicly unveiled, the Tuscaloosa Planning and Zoning Commission became mired in a debate over whether to let more than three unrelated people live together. 17225
June 19th, 2012
Looking Back: 6/18 - Looking Back: 6/18 17224
June 18th, 2012
Students use University Club as business training ground - TUSCALOOSA | The University Club at the corner of Queen City Avenue and University Boulevard has worn many hats over the years, serving as a doctor’s office and a residence, but it was built for learning. 17223
June 18th, 2012
VA to increase support personnel - To address mental health needs of Iraq, Afghanistan veterans, VA adds more than 1,600 jobs nationwide, including five in Tuscaloosa 17222
June 18th, 2012
LEND A HAND: Summer meal program adds enrichment to to its offerings - TUSCALOOSA | Participants in the Summer Food and Fun Project will get a side dish of enrichment with their meals.The six-week summer program, which provides free meals to Tuscaloosa youth, will be held at the McDonald Hughes Center, 3101 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The program began earlier this month and will end in mid-July. 17221
June 17th, 2012
Does ALEC influence politics, laws? - MONTGOMERY | The American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative, Washington, D.C.-based think tank, has come under fire in some quarters lately for allegedly improperly influencing legislation in statehouses around the country, including Alabama. 17220
June 17th, 2012
Controversy is rare in film series history - TUSCALOOSA | The Bama Theatre lights up its marquee 300-something days a year for concerts, theater, movies, readings, pageants, art exhibits, the occasional wedding and more. 17219
June 17th, 2012
Three workers have been at cafeteria more than 30 years - Trone is the head waiter at University Mall’s Piccadilly Cafeteria, where he’s not alone in job longevity. Jackie Wilson, Piccadilly’s head line-server has been there 42 years, and Brenda Mason, a cashier and line server, has worked there for 34 years. 17218
June 17th, 2012
Mosquitoes thrive after warm winter - TUSCALOOSA | Summer is upon us, which means sunscreen, sunglasses and, probably most importantly, bug spray. Mosquitoes have arrived in Tuscaloosa. This may be one of the worst mosquito seasons across the nation in decades. 17217
June 16th, 2012
UA System approves tuition increases - TUSCALOOSA | Students who attend the three schools in the University of Alabama System will be paying more for classes this fall. 17216
June 16th, 2012
Tuscaloosa Countys jobless rate in May hits 7.1 percent - The unemployment rate rose in May to 7.1 percent in Tuscaloosa County, up from 6.8 percent in April. 17215
June 16th, 2012
Tuscaloosa VA dedicates renovated womens wing - TUSCALOOSA | U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby on Friday helped celebrate the opening of the newly renovated women’s wing within the residential rehabilitation treatment program at the Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center. 17214
June 16th, 2012
City plans Fourth of July celebration - 17213
June 15th, 2012
Posh website offers discounts at select businesses in Tuscaloosa area - It’s partly a consumer guide, and a little like a more selective Groupon. Posh Tuscaloosa is an expansion of a concept that began in Birmingham less than two years ago, offering discounted buys to select locations, and designed to not only drive new customers in for the shops, but also to help users find the best of the best. 17212
June 15th, 2012
Alabama Public Radio earns Murrow award - Alabama Public Radio received the Radio Television Digital News Association’s national Edward R. Murrow Award for overall excellence in small market radio. The recognition was for APR’s coverage of the April 27, 2011, tornadoes and its coverage of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. 17211
June 15th, 2012
Longtime Tuscaloosa County attorney Barry Mullins dies - TUSCALOOSA | Longtime Tuscaloosa County attorney Barry Mullins died Wednesday. He was 60. Mullins worked with Tuscaloosa County during an instrumental time for growth, from 1985 through 2000, said Probate Judge Hardy McCollum, chairman of the Tuscaloosa County Commission. 17210
June 15th, 2012
Attorney will seek to move Auburn slaying suspect's trial - OPELIKA | An attorney for a Montgomery man accused of killing three people in a shooting at a party near Auburn University said Thursday that she will ask that his trial be held outside Lee County, where the school is located. 17209
June 15th, 2012
University of Alabama System poised to raise tuition - Cuts in state funding have forced University of Alabama System trustees to consider tuition increases for the fifth straight year. 17208
June 15th, 2012
UA trustees plan to raise tuition at three campuses - The full board of trustees is expected to approve hikes ranging from 7 to 8.6 percent for all three campuses at its meeting Friday. 17207
June 14th, 2012
Governor visits Gulf Coast to promote new homeowners insurance laws - FOLEY | Alabama’s governor visited the Gulf Coast on Wednesday to promote new laws designed to make homeowner’s insurance more affordable after hurricanes drove up prices. Gov. Robert Bentley told Foley residents that he worked with legislators from Mobile and Baldwin counties to enact seven laws during the legislative session that ended in May. 17206
June 14th, 2012
Inmate killed picking up trash on Interstate 10 - LOXLEY | Prison officials said one Alabama inmate was dead and that another was injured after they were struck by a vehicle while picking up trash on Interstate 10 near Loxley. 17205
June 14th, 2012
UA System to consider tuition increase - A tuition and fee increase this fall for students in the University of Alabama System is scheduled to be discussed today. 17204
June 14th, 2012
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