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Home > Tuscaloosa Business News

Tuscaloosa Business News - 2012-08


We have news items here related to Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Parents upset over decision to have class on Labor Day - Tuscaloosa County School System parents who made plans for a three-day Labor Day getaway this weekend may have forgotten one minor little detail — school will be in session on Labor Day for all Tuscaloosa County School System students and employees. Schools in the Tuscaloosa City School System will be closed on Labor Day. 17832
August 31st, 2012
Chefs to open new restaurant at old Bottomfeeders site - TUSCALOOSA | Two local chefs who started a catering and food service company three years ago plan to open a new meat-and-three-vegetables style restaurant at the old Bottomfeeders restaurant location at 500 14th St. in Tuscaloosa. 17831
August 31st, 2012
Contest features students robots - Shelton State Community College will begin its 2012 Best Robotics Competition and Best Award Competition for area middle and high school students on Saturday morning. 17830
August 31st, 2012
Teach for America workers got mixed reviews from city - TUSCALOOSA | Tuscaloosa City Schools officials give mixed reviews to the nine Teach for America teachers who were contracted to spend the past school year in Tuscaloosa classrooms. 17829
August 31st, 2012
Tuscaloosa budget reflects tornados impact - TUSCALOOSA | Mayor Walt Maddox’s combined $166.1 million budget for fiscal 2013 ignores spikes in sales tax, building permit and business license fees that are likely related to the recovery efforts from the April 2011 tornado. 17828
August 31st, 2012
Attorney general will examine Uniontowns election results - MONTGOMERY | Attorney General Luther Strange’s office said Thursday that he is looking into unusual voter registration and voter turnout numbers in Uniontown’s Tuesday election. “We are looking into this but have no further comment,” said Joy Patterson, a spokeswoman for the AG’s office. A spokesman for Gov. Robert Bentley said the Uniontown numbers raise serious questions. “We’ll work with the secretary of state’s office and the attorney general’s office in order to get answers about what happened and to take whatever corrective action may be needed,” Bentley spokesman Jeremy King said in a statement. “We believe in accurate elections. If anyone is abusing the system or having any undue influence on a public election, there must be accountability.” The Tuscaloosa News reported on Thursday that, based on 2010 Census figures, the number of votes cast in the Uniontown election exceeded the number of people in the town who are old enough to vote. The News also found that the number of registered voters there — 2,587 — was higher than the town’s overall population, which was 1,775, according to the census. Also, absentee voting was high, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the ballots cast. State records show that the average for absentee voting is 3 to 5 percent. Uniontown had 1,140 people of the minimum voting age of 18 or older, according to the census. On Tuesday, 1,431 votes were cast for mayor and almost the same number for city council positions, according to complete but unofficial results, putting voter turnout at 125 percent of the voting-age population. Although the number of voters 18 or older could have gone up in Uniontown since the census was taken, it’s unlikely it would have increased enough to account for the discrepancy. The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 population estimate for the town in southern Perry County declined to 1,740. But Uniontown officials say that populations for towns in the Black Belt were undercounted in the 2010 Census. House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, said the numbers dramatize why the U.S. Justice Department should approve Alabama’s photo voter identification law in time for the 2014 elections. “It is obvious that the voter rolls there are bloated with the names of dead, relocated or even fictitious residents, a fact that does not inspire confidence in honest and fair elections,” he said. Bill Armistead, Alabama GOP chairman, said voter fraud was going on in Uniontown. “It is completely obvious to anyone who looks at the facts with an open mind that voter fraud is alive and well in Alabama,” he said. Armistead said that only a strictly enforced photo voter ID requirement can return faith “to what is obviously a flawed, broken and likely corrupt elections system.” Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said the numbers “underscore the necessity” to fight potential voter fraud. “We have an obligation to protect the democratic process we hold so dear and will continue working to identify ways to fight against abuse,” he said. Voter registration can be done by mail, as can requests for an absentee ballot. Alabama requires one of 19 acceptable forms of identification, including non-picture IDs, in order to validate a vote. Identification is required when submitting an absentee ballot by mail or in person, said Secretary of State election specialist Ed Packard. The Legislature in 2011 approved the photo voter ID law, which is scheduled to become effective for the 2014 election cycle. It has not been approved by the Justice Department. Republicans, who won a majority in the Alabama Legislature in the 2010 election, also control the voter registrar appointment process. Hubbard said the law provides free photo ID cards to those who do not have one. The Perry County board of registrars is responsible for maintaining voter rolls, including purging dead or disqualified voters, and adding new voters. Of Uniontown’s 2,587 registered voters, 279 were “removable,” which means they wouldn’t be allowed to vote, according to the board of registrars. Board chairwoman Lucy Kynard said Tuesday that people temporarily claim they are new residents of a municipality in order to register to vote. She said that if the address presented is valid, a person must be allowed to register, subject to other qualification provisions. Also, Uniontown City Clerk Alfreda Washington clarified Thursday that 570 absentee ballots had been returned and contained the proper identification, out of 650 that were requested for Tuesday’s election. It was initially reported that 650 absentee ballots were counted. While eliminating dead and felonious voters from the poll list is supposed to occur constantly, voter lists will be culled after the November general election, Packard said. 17827
August 31st, 2012
Refunds available for canceled Chicago concert - TUSCALOOSA | The Chicago and Kool and the Gang concert set for tonight at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater was canceled because of travel issues caused by bad weather. 17826
August 30th, 2012
Alabama Power dispatches teams to help with Isaac recovery - 17825
August 30th, 2012
UWA cancels classes because of severe weather threat - The University of West Alabama cancelled classes on the Livingston campus, as well as its higher education center in Demopolis, because of the threat of tornadoes in the surrounding area, said Betsy Compton, the school’s director of public relations. 17824
August 30th, 2012
Suit against McGregor, VictoryLand settled - MONTGOMERY | A federal lawsuit that resulted in a $64 million jury verdict against the VictoryLand casino in Macon County and its owner Milton McGregor has been settled. 17823
August 30th, 2012
3 children hospitalized after Fayette fire - Three children were hospitalized Wednesday after a fire at a Fayette apartment. 17822
August 30th, 2012
Artur Davis personifies voter bloc of ex-Obama supporters - TAMPA, Fla. | In a presidential campaign filled with sharp criticism, this may be Mitt Romney’s softest sell: persuading people who voted for Democrat Barack Obama and now have some buyer’s remorse to back the Republican instead. 17821
August 30th, 2012
City Board of Education approves magnet IB program - TUSCALOOSA | The Tuscaloosa City Board of Education unanimously approved the implementation of an International Baccalaureate program at the Tuscaloosa Magnet Schools, as well as the addition of four positions that school officials say are needed for TMS to qualify for an IB program. 17820
August 30th, 2012
New lawsuit filed against former coach Bowling - OXFORD, Miss. | A second civil lawsuit has been filed in federal court in Mississippi against former Sulligent High School football coach Dwight Bowling, who is serving time for federal sex crimes. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported that the lawsuit was filed Monday in Oxford by a Smithville High School graduate and his parent. 17819
August 30th, 2012
Three politicians acquitted in bingo case elected - MONTGOMERY | Three Alabama politicians who were acquitted in the 2010 federal bingo corruption case won elections Tuesday. 17818
August 30th, 2012
Election featured two ties, runoffs - Tuesday’s municipal elections across West Alabama were not the end of the race for a number of candidates. Seven races, including three in Eutaw, will require runoffs, and another two races ended in ties that will need to be broken. 17817
August 30th, 2012
Uniontown voting raises questions - MONTGOMERY | The U.S. Justice Department’s voting rights section sent poll watchers to monitor elections in three small Alabama towns Tuesday. Maybe they should have been in tiny Uniontown, where the municipal election produced some extraordinary numbers. Uniontown has a population of 1,775, according to the 2010 census but, according to the Perry County board of registrars, has 2,587 registered voters. The total votes cast there Tuesday — 1,431 — represented a turnout of 55 percent of the number of registered voters and a whopping 80.6 percent of the town’s population. When compared with the 1,140 people in the town who are 18 and older, according to the census, the turnout was 125 percent. Deputy Secretary of State Emily Thompson said Wednesday that it’s possible to have more registered voters than a town’s listed population due to a number of factors, including census error and because voter registrars have strict guidelines in removing voters, even inactive ones. Perry County Board of Registrars chairwoman Lucy Kynard said that 279 of the town’s registered voters were “removable” due to being dead or having been convicted of felonies. Also, according to election officials, 650 absentee ballots were cast in the Uniontown election, or 45 percent of the total. An absentee ballot is supposed to be given to voters who say they will be out of the city or county on Election Day. The state average for absentee voting is 3 to 5 percent, state records show. When asked Wednesday about the number of registered voters compared with the town’s population, Alfreda Washington, the Uniontown city clerk and election manager, replied, “I haven’t given it a thought.” The board of registrars, not Washington, is responsible for registering voters. Kynard said most people have post office boxes for addresses because mail isn’t delivered to street addresses in Uniontown. Those are used to register to vote, she said. She said would-be voters “transfer” in for election cycles. “We know for a fact that some people don’t live in the city they say they live in,” she said. “The law says if they bring in an application in here we have to register them.” Perry County Commissioner Albert Turner Jr. said he believed the high turnout was the result of a grant and loan the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded to Uniontown earlier this month to upgrade its wastewater treatment system, which has had problems for decades. “They went to the polls to show the incumbent mayor and council their appreciation,” Turner said. “My sense is people had a reason to go vote. You had a 20-year-old problem that was solved.” Incumbent Mayor Jamaal Hunter won re-election with 1,039 of the 1,431 votes cast in the three-person race. Hunter got 73 percent of the votes cast for mayor, according to unofficial but complete results. Slightly fewer, 1,425, voted in the five council races. Uniontown got $4.8 million from the USDA to help it repair and expand the system, which had been cited repeatedly by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management in recent years for spilling raw sewage into nearby bodies of water. Problems with the system have forced the town to increase household water and sewer rates. Voter identification beyond self-listing the last four digits of a Social Security number or a driver’s license number is not required to register to vote in Alabama, although there are supposed to be checks and balances to prevent fraudulent voting. Thompson said voting complaints are referred to the local district attorney and that if a written complaint is received, a copy would go to the Attorney General’s Office. Thompson said Secretary of State Beth Chapman has visited Perry County in the past. “She is absolutely committed to ensuring that only qualified voters are registered in any county but also that registrars follow the correct procedures for removal,” Thompson said. “There are strict federal and state mandates on how someone can be removed from a voter list and voter registrars in every county must be careful to adhere to those guidelines.” The Justice Department sent poll watchers to Lanett, Phenix City and Reform on Tuesday. A department spokesman, Mitchell Rivard, would not say why the three towns were chosen, but he distributed a statement that said poll watchers can monitor elections in counties covered by the Voting Rights Act for past voter discrimination. Patsy Cloninger, administrative secretary for Lanett City Clerk Deborah Daniel, said the Justice Department wanted to know how the town arrived at its voting list. Phenix City in Russell County and Reform in Pickens County got their first black mayors and the mayor of Lanett, who is black, was elected unopposed. Phenix City voters elected former University of Alabama football player Eddie Lowe and voters in Reform elected the town’s first black mayor, Bennie Harton, a town councilman. 17816
August 30th, 2012
New tech center to have new name, curriculum - TUSCALOOSA | The new Tuscaloosa Center for Technology will feature a new name and a revamped curriculum when it opens in August 2013. 17815
August 30th, 2012
Northport leaders off to rocky start - NORTHPORT | It hasn't been two days since Northport elected a mayor and council, but city leaders are already facing off. Judy Hayes, the first woman elected to a council office in District 1, filed a police report against Mayor Bobby Herndon on Tuesday claiming he had threatened her on the phone on Election Day. 17814
August 30th, 2012
Alabama students moniter Isaac's landfall - Two University of Alabama students, Brantley French and Patrick Alan Reilly, tracked and streamed live videos of Hurricane Isaac on Wednesday in New Orleans and Gulfport, Miss. 17813
August 29th, 2012
John Prine to play Bama Theatre Oct. 26 - Grammy-winning singer-songwriter John Prine, whose songs have been covered by artists including Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash, the Everly Brothers, John Denver, Kris Kristofferson, Carly Simon, Ben Harper and Joan Baez, will play a concert at 8 p.m. Oct. 26 in the Bama Theatre. 17812
August 29th, 2012
Suspect in Northport Walmart carjacking, Gordo home invasion caught - The man who tried to carjack an elderly woman at the Northport Walmart Tuesday was one of the three people responsible for a home invasion in Gordo earlier that morning, authorities said. 17811
August 29th, 2012
DNA results lead to arrests in November killing - Two men who investigators have long suspected in the homicide of a woman last year in Green Village Mobile Home Park were charged with capital murder Tuesday. Their suspicions were confirmed last week when DNA evidence matched evidence collected in the murder investigation of Chastity Helton, investigators said. 17810
August 29th, 2012
Dunkin Donuts coming to town - TUSCALOOSA | Tuscaloosa will get its second doughnut shop making hot, fresh doughnuts in less than a month. The city’s first Dunkin’ Donuts shop will have its grand opening on Sept. 4 at the Lakeside Dining Hall at 160 McCorvey Drive on the University of Alabama campus. 17809
August 29th, 2012
State GOP delegates vote for Romney - MONTGOMERY | Alabama's Republican National Convention delegate chairwoman on Tuesday cast the state's 50 GOP presidential nominating votes for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. “We need a job builder who will shrink the $16 trillion debt,” said Kay Ivey, who is also Alabama's lieut- enant governor. 17808
August 29th, 2012
Engineer, planner stepping down - TUSCALOOSA | The departures of two City Hall department heads were announced during Tuesday’s slate of City Council meetings. 17807
August 29th, 2012
Downtown hotel deal moves near completion - TUSCALOOSA | All that’s needed is a final vote of the City Council and the deal for a new downtown hotel will be complete. 17806
August 29th, 2012
Scientists unlock the power of shrimp - Strides are being made in the effort to extract uranium from the ocean. If successful, not only would there be environmental benefits with a reduction in terrestrial mining, but the move would open a vast resource for increased nuclear power production, said one University of Alabama chemist. 17805
August 29th, 2012
Hayes, Sullivan win in Northport along with 3 council incumbents - NORTHPORT | Northport voters returned the three incumbent City Council members who sought re-election to office by hefty landslide margins on Tuesday. 17804
August 29th, 2012
Isaac makes landfall in Louisiana - NEW ORLEANS | Hurricane Isaac spun into the southern Louisiana coast late Tuesday, sending flood-waters surging and unleashing fierce winds as residents hunkered down behind boarded-up windows. New Orleans calmly waited out another storm on the eve of Hurricane Katrina's seventh anniversary, hoping the city's strengthened levees will hold. 17803
August 29th, 2012
Northport mayor re-elected in landslide - NORTHPORT | Northport Mayor Bobby Herndon won by a landslide Tuesday night, beating candidates Frank Chandler, former mayor Harvey Fretwell and former Northport City Councilman Robert Thomas with 68.6 percent of the vote. 17802
August 29th, 2012
Runway for Relief event canceled due to weather - 17801
August 28th, 2012
West Alabama municipal election results - Northport's incumbents retained their seats in tonight's municipal election, while Judy Hayes and Rodney Sullivan will join the council. Incumbent Mayor Bobby Herndon beat Harvey Fretwell, Robert Thomas and Frank Chandler. 17800
August 28th, 2012
Elderly woman foils carjacking attempt in Northport - A woman in her 80s was able to get away from a knife-weilding carjacker Tuesday afternoon. The woman was driving away from a business in he 5700 block of McFarland Boulevard in Northport when the young man jumped into the backseat, said Tuscaloosa County CrimeStoppers coordinator Tuscaloosa Police Sgt. Brent Blankley. 17799
August 28th, 2012
Chicago, Kool & The Gang concert at Tuscaloosa Amphitheater cancelled - The Chicago with Kool & The Gang concert scheduled for this Friday at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater has been cancelled by the artists due to weather conditions that complicated travel plans. 17798
August 28th, 2012
Q&A with Northport candidates - These questions were answered by the candidates in Tuesday's Northport elections. 17797
August 28th, 2012
Robbery suspects caught after chase - 17796
August 28th, 2012
Board approves career tech position - NORTHPORT | The Tuscaloosa County Board of Education unanimously approved the creation of the new position of coordinator of career technical education Monday after tabling the decision two weeks ago. 17795
August 28th, 2012
UA professor wins honor at regional film festival - University of Alabama professor Andrew Grace’s documentary, “Eating Alabama,” won the Best Alabama Film award at the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham this past weekend. 17794
August 28th, 2012
UA astronomers online comic hails discovery - Thousands of citizen scientists have helped astronomers in recent years survey a vast expanse of sky, finding rare objects and space oddities. Those discoveries will again be highlighted in a unique form on Sunday during DragonCon, an annual Atlanta event that has been dubbed the world’s largest fantasy-science fiction convention. 17793
August 28th, 2012
Realtors warn against local rental scam - TUSCALOOSA | On Monday, Chase Adcox saw a couple looking at a house he has for sale across the street from his residence. But when he went to chat with them, he discovered they were not responding to the home-for-sale ad. They were looking at an almost identical ad that listed the home for rent on -Craigslist. 17792
August 28th, 2012
Feds mum on why Reform vote is being watched - The U.S. Department of Justice will monitor today's municipal elections in Reform and two other Alabama towns. 17791
August 28th, 2012
Tuscaloosa County officials prepare for Isaac - Tropical Storm Isaac is gaining strength as it gets closer to predicted landfall along the northern Gulf Coast. At 5 p.m. Monday, the National Hurricane Center reported that Isaac's top sustained winds had reached 70 mph (113 kph). A tropical system becomes a Category 1 hurricane once winds reach 74 mph (119 kph). 17790
August 27th, 2012
Alabama-Michigan game ticketing leaves students in uproar - Weekend plans for hundreds of University of Alabama students have been wrecked after they were denied ticketed seats to Saturday's Cowboys Classic football game. Those who pre-purchased the $50 tickets earlier in the year were warned as recently as Friday that only 800 student seats were available, with the remainder being offered cheaper, standing-room-only spots for the match-up between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Michigan Wolverines. 17789
August 27th, 2012
TUSCALOOSA CITY COUNCIL AGENDA: 8/27 - 17788
August 27th, 2012
Pastoral assistant retires after 29 years of service - TUSCALOOSA For the past 29 years, Jane Darden, the pastoral assistant at Forest Lake United Methodist Church, has been filling a need. Whether it was teaching Sunday school and leading Bible studies, visiting members of the congregation in nursing homes or volunteering with the Tuscaloosa Housing Authority, Darden has been serving the people, not only in the Forest Lake community, but across Tuscaloosa for almost three decades, according to friends and family. 17787
August 27th, 2012
LOOKING BACK: 8/27 - 17786
August 27th, 2012
UA theater program shifting its focus - When “Hell” came to New York City, University of Alabama students rode it. UA acting professor Seth Panitch wrote his comedy “Hell: Paradise Found” years ago, and staged it with success in Los Angeles, but rewrote it recently to lead students to professional, big-city acting experience. 17785
August 27th, 2012
Robert Vance Jr. promises positive campaign - MONTGOMERY | Democratic Jefferson County Circuit Judge Robert Vance Jr. came off the bench and qualified for the chief justice race when a party committee stripped Harry Lyon of the nomination after a Facebook rant. 17784
August 27th, 2012
City set to ban parking on Jack Warner Parkway - TUSCALOOSA | Football fans who like to park for free along Jack Warner Parkway are going to be disappointed this fall. On Tuesday, the Tuscaloosa City Council is expected to ban parking along the riverside road from the U.S. Highway 82 exit to its transition into Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard just beyond the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. 17783
August 27th, 2012
Governor orders coastal evacuations for Isaac - GULF SHORES | Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has declared a state of emergency and ordered residents along the Alabama coast to evacuate ahead of Tropical Storm Isaac. Bentley issued a mandatory evacuation order Sunday for much of southern Baldwin and Mobile counties. 17782
August 27th, 2012
Streets to be swept in Tuscaloosa this week - 17781
August 27th, 2012
LEND A HAND: Fashion show fundraiser - TUSCALOOSA If you are looking for the hottest new styles to wear at this season’s football games, the Ferguson Center Ballroom on Thursday night is the place to be. 17780
August 26th, 2012
WISH LIST: 8/26 - 17779
August 26th, 2012
TIME TO GIVE: 8/26 - 17778
August 26th, 2012
Scottsboro Boys case lacks closure - MONTGOMERY | It began on March 25, 1931, on a train between Chattanooga and Paint Rock in northeast Alabama. Within weeks, eight of nine falsely accused young black men would be convicted of raping a white woman and girl, and sentenced to death in Alabama’s electric chair. A 12-year-old black boy would be sentenced to life in prison. 17777
August 26th, 2012
Bust of general incites protest - In Selma, a battle over what to do with a bronze bust of a contradictory and controversial Civil War general has lasted far longer than the war itself. 17776
August 26th, 2012
Paying triathlon tribute to fellow athlete - Alec Wheeler dedicated hundreds of hours to creating trails at Lake Lurleen State Park. Over the past five or six years, he led efforts to cut 23 miles of hiking, biking and running trails at the park. 17775
August 26th, 2012
Alabama officials wait and watch tropical storm - MONTGOMERY | Alabama residents should start monitoring the approach of Tropical Storm Isaac and begin making plans for what they would do if it strikes the state's coastline, officials said Saturday. 17774
August 26th, 2012
Northport election blends old, new issues - For Northport voters, Tuesday’s municipal election may feel a little familiar. Several of the candidates who ran in 2008 are running again, including four of the five candidates who ran for mayor. 17773
August 26th, 2012
Shelton president makes top three finalists for job - 17772
August 25th, 2012
12 cases of West Nile found in Alabama - MONTGOMERY | Alabama has recorded 12 cases of West Nile virus this summer, with one death so far, and is on track to have its worst year since 2008. 17771
August 25th, 2012
Newcomers compete in Lake View mayors race - For Tuesday’s municipal elections in Lake View, voters in three council districts will decide whether they want a new council member or are satisfied with their current leadership. 17770
August 25th, 2012
New system will verify liability insurance instantly - MONTGOMERY | A new system that allows the state revenue department to conduct immediate checks on whether drivers are carrying liability insurance will debut in January in 10 counties, including Tuscaloosa. 17769
August 25th, 2012
Alabama braces for strike next week from Isaac - ORANGE BEACH | The weather along Alabama’s coast should be sunny this weekend for one of the season’s last big tourist draws, but officials Friday were urging residents to get ready early for the approach of Isaac next week. 17768
August 25th, 2012
Officials: College remediation has drawbacks - First-year college students sometimes need a refresher before tackling those college-level courses. Some higher education officials, however, believe the drawbacks of remedial education far outweigh the benefits. 17767
August 25th, 2012
Allegations of violence, intimidation swirl in Northport council race - Allegations of harassment, intimidation and violence are flying between the candidates in the Northport City Council District 3 race. Chuck Gerdau and Rodney Sullivan are both vying for the seat, which is being vacated by Councilman William Tunnell, and participated in Thursday night’s candidates forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of Greater Tuscaloosa. 17766
August 24th, 2012
School postcard causes confusion among city's immigrants - TUSCALOOSA | A Tuscaloosa City Schools school enrollment postcard that was sent to about 9,000 Tuscaloosa households a few weeks ago has caused some confusion among unauthorized Hispanic immigrants in the city. 17765
August 24th, 2012
Suspect charged with rape in Gordo - A woman reported to the Gordo Police Department early Thursday that she had been raped. Officers found and arrested a suspect in a wooded area near the woman’s house, said Gordo Police Chief Todd Hall. 17764
August 24th, 2012
Brookwood mayor faces competitors on Aug. 28 - The town of Brookwood has changed immensely since the town’s mayor, Alton C. Hyche, was first elected in 1977. At the time, the tiny town of 500 people had just become incorporated. 17763
August 24th, 2012
Tuscaloosa man pleads guilty in 2008 homicide - A Tuscaloosa man pleaded guilty Thursday in the 2008 murder of a man in Holt. Marcus Washington, 27, pleaded guilty to felony murder and was sentenced to serve life in prison with the possibility of parole. 17762
August 24th, 2012
Two-year college hopefuls interview - MONTGOMERY | The state school board began interviewing eight candidates for postsecondary education chancellor on Thursday and planned to complete the interviews today. 17761
August 24th, 2012
Principal detains students over fee dispute - Camekia Spencer’s eighth- and ninth-grade sons arrived at Pickens County High School on the first day of school Monday expecting to start a new school year as usual. But Spencer received a flood of phone calls from her sons when they arrived at school. The school’s principal, Darrell Woods, kept them in the auditorium and would not allow them to attend class. 17760
August 24th, 2012
City magnet schools close in on goal - TUSCALOOSA | Tuscaloosa Magnet Schools appear to be close to achieving the goal of being affiliated with the International Baccalaureate program. 17759
August 24th, 2012
Texting while driving fine nears $200 in Tuscaloosa - TUSCALOOSA | Those violating the state’s new ban on texting while driving while they’re in the city of Tuscaloosa will now be subject to a fine of at least $187 for a first offense. 17758
August 24th, 2012
Some confused by sites for Northport polls - NORTHPORT | In 2008, many voters in Northport who sought to cast a ballot were confused about where to go because their polling places for the municipal elections were different than the locations for county and statewide elections. Now, Northport officials are worried Tuesday’s election will be even more confusing. 17757
August 24th, 2012
University apologizes to local bakery after cease-and-desist order - The University of Alabama apologized Thursday to a local baker who received a letter threatening legal action because some her hand-decorated cakes and cookies carried UA-related images. 17756
August 23rd, 2012
Mal Moore released from hospital - University of Alabama director of athletics Mal Moore has been released from the hospital, UA announced today. Moore had been hospitalized at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa since Tuesday with an irregular heartbeat. 17755
August 23rd, 2012
Organizers hope for big turnout for E-Cycling Day - A two-day recycling event for old electronics starts Friday at University Mall. The sixth annual E-Cycling Day actually will take place on two days, Friday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the back parking lot of the mall on McFarland Boulevard. 17754
August 23rd, 2012
Audit brings good news to Northport - NORTHPORT | In 2008, auditors from LeCroy Hunter & Co. warned Northport that if serious financial changes weren’t made, the city would soon be bankrupt. 17753
August 23rd, 2012
Area hospice to hold cabaret fundraiser Friday - Hospice isn’t just about end times. It’s about making the best of the time left. 17752
August 23rd, 2012
Moundville candidates put focus on citys growth - Both candidates in the Moundville mayor’s race say that the city’s leadership needs to focus on the Hale County city’s growth. Incumbent Joshua Wyatt will face challenger Tony Lester, a lieutenant with the Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service, in the Aug. 28 municipal election. 17751
August 23rd, 2012
Archives department names new director - 17750
August 23rd, 2012
Jefferson County Circuit Judge Bob Vance lone Democrat in chief justice race - MONTGOMERY | The Alabama Democratic Party named the son of a slain federal judge to take on Alabama’s Ten Commandments judge for chief justice and possibly upended the tradition of business groups supporting Republican Court candidates and plaintiff lawyers backing Democrats. Jefferson County Circuit Judge Bob Vance officially became the Democratic Party’s nominee when no one else signed up by the noon Wednesday deadline to replace ousted nominee Harry Lyon. 17749
August 23rd, 2012
Report: Majority of high school graduates lack college skills - Nearly 70 percent of Alabama graduates may not be prepared for first-year college coursework, a national report revealed. The Condition of College and Career Readiness report released Wednesday shows 18 percent of Alabama's high school graduates who took the ACT college and career readiness exam in 2012 met its benchmark scores in English, mathematics, reading and science, compared to 25 percent nationally. Another 31 percent in Alabama failed to meet any of the benchmarks, while 38 percent met only one or two, compared nationally to 28 percent and 32 percent, respectively. College readiness levels are lowest for Alabama's black students, with only 38 percent of the test-takers meeting the English benchmark, 10 percent math, 22 percent reading and 6 percent science. The benchmarks measure whether a student has a 75 percent chance of earning a C or higher or a 50 percent chance of earning a B or higher in a typical first-year college course. The benchmarks are based on actual grades earned in college by ACT-tested students. Data has shown students who meet the benchmarks are more likely to succeed in those courses, while those who do not typically struggle through the classes and are at greater risk of not graduating, said Ed Colby, ACT spokesman. “(Students not meeting the benchmarks) are more likely to take remedial courses, which don't count toward college credit but still cost money. They are also more likely to hire tutors, and sometimes they give up and quit,” he said. “A student can still pull through if he only misses one benchmark, but if a student is struggling in two or more core subject areas, he could be in trouble.” Many students, particularly in Alabama, take the ACT for their college entrance exam. In 2008, there were 35,590 students tested statewide; that number rose to 39,565 in 2012. Tuscaloosa area students taking the college entrance exam scored comparable to other test takers in the state. The average ACT scores for Tuscaloosa County School students were slightly higher in English and ranked even in reading compared to state averages. Tuscaloosa City School students ranked slightly lower in all areas. Only 15 percent of county school students and 14 percent of city school students met all four benchmarks, but Amanda Cassity, director of secondary instruction for the Tuscaloosa County Board of Education, anticipates scores will increase in the coming years. There is a big push for college and career readiness on a state level, resulting in new curriculum that will increase the rigor of courses, as well as an alignment of the state's testing system with ACT standards, Cassity said. “Our curriculum covered a lot of material, but not in depth,” she said. “The focus of the new curriculum is not as much material, but a more rigorous study of it, allowing students to master those areas.” The ACT will also be administered to all high school juniors beginning in the 2013-14 school year, which may initially result in a drop in scores until students become familiar with the test, Cassity said. “We want all students to succeed, whether they want to go to college, enlist in the military or join the workforce,” she said. “The whole focus of preparing students for the ACT will give them the needed skills and help prepare them for the future.” The state Department of Education released a statement Wednesday saying Alabama's Plan 2020, which will be implemented statewide, is intended to ensure more students are meeting academic expectations. “This ACT report affirms the reason why we are moving our state work toward a new goal of college and career preparedness for all students,” said Tommy Bice, state superintendent of education. ACT scores not only provide colleges another indicator as to how prepared students are to enter college, it also provides educators a framework for thinking about educational content and teaching strategies. Through test preparation, students learn valuable skills like reading, writing, listening, problem solving, critical thinking and basic computation that employers need and demand, said Joyce Stallworth, University of Alabama senior associate dean and professor, secondary English education. “It's not teaching to the test, but those rich classroom experiences that come together so students are ready to take these kinds of tests,” she said. “The majority of students have the ability to do well. It comes down to educators, parents and schools exposing them so they are prepared.” For more information, visit http://act.org/newsroom/data/2012/resourcemenu.html Reach Kim Eaton at kim.eaton@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0209. 17748
August 23rd, 2012
Northport bakery told to stop making treats with script 'A' - On Tuesday, Mary Cesar, owner of Mary’s Cakes & Pastries in downtown Northport, received a letter telling her to stop using “trademarks, name, logos, colors, slogans, mascots and other indicia associated with the University.” The letter came from Collegiate Licensing Co. in Atlanta, which has a contract with UA to provide licensing services for the university’s trademarked items. 17747
August 23rd, 2012
Road will be closed for installation of new pipe - 17746
August 23rd, 2012
Incumbent Herdon seeks to continue growing Northport - Northport Mayor Bobby Herndon said he wants to work to continue improving the city's reputation in an effort to bring more residents and businesses to the city. 17745
August 22nd, 2012
UA professor studying Mars with Curiosity team - Ewing, now an assistant professor in the University of Alabama's Department of Geological Sciences, is collaborating with a University of Texas researcher who is a participating scientist with the Mars mission. The team will be analyzing rock outcrops, the part of a rock formation that appears above the surface, and assessing whether the rocks are derived from wind-blown sediments. 17744
August 22nd, 2012
Krispy Kreme has record-setting reopening in Tuscaloosa - Tuscaloosa residents like their doughnuts. Demand for hot, glazed, fried dough was strong at the grand opening of the Krispy Kreme store on McFarland Boulevard Tuesday. 17743
August 22nd, 2012
Bentley vows to repay trust fund - MONTGOMERY | Gov. Robert Bentley on Tuesday said he is committed to repaying $437 million to the Alabama Trust Fund if voters approve a Sept. 18 constitutional amendment to shift that amount to the state General Fund. 17742
August 22nd, 2012
Justice Dept. to open civil rights unit - BIRMINGHAM | The Justice Department said Tuesday it was establishing its first civil rights unit in Alabama, a move that comes after the state’s crackdown on illegal immigration raised broader concerns about compliance with federal laws. 17741
August 22nd, 2012
Rules relaxed for proposed development - TUSCALOOSA | The Tuscaloosa City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to grant a flood zone variance to Capital Growth-Burkhalter, the company behind the proposed mixed-use development at the former site of the Wood Square shopping center. 17740
August 22nd, 2012
Gun rights a gray area, panel says - NORTHPORT | It is legal to openly carry a gun in Alabama. But where and when is a gray area, according the panelists at the Alabama Gun Rights meeting held in Northport on Tuesday night. 17739
August 22nd, 2012
Red light cameras could debut this fall - TUSCALOOSA | City officials are meeting today with a red light camera manufacturer to finalize the intersections at which the devices will be placed. 17738
August 22nd, 2012
I-20/59 widening to start next year - 17737
August 21st, 2012
Shelton State atrium undergoing $1 million renovation - Shelton State's atrium is undergoing a transformation, one the community college's president hopes will create a more relaxing environment. “The entrance definitely had that ‘wow' factor, but it wasn't warm, friendly and inviting,” said Dr. Mark Heinrich, Shelton's president. “(The renovation) makes it less institutional and more student-friendly.” 17736
August 21st, 2012
Krispy Kreme reopens in Tuscaloosa - Krispy Kreme opened it's doors more than a year after the doughnut shop was destroyed in the April 27, 2011 tornado. 17735
August 21st, 2012
Custody dispute charges dropped - A woman who was arrested by the Tuscaloosa Police Department and spent more than a week in jail on a felony charge should never have been arrested, her attorney said. 17734
August 21st, 2012
Family hopes for arrest of killer - All Debbie Jones has left of her son Treavor is her memories and a stack of photos and letters he wrote to her during his short life. Treavor was fatally shot 11 years ago today while jogging down 25th Avenue East in Alberta. The shooting shocked the community and has become one of the most high-profile unsolved mysteries in Tuscaloosa. 17733
August 21st, 2012
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