Wednesday, Apr 1, 2015

City of Anniston Officials have asked the Alabama Department of Transportation to open the portion of Veterans Memorial Parkway that appears to be complete for more easier access to McClellan.   They are seeking the road to be open to  Summerall Gate Road.   ALDOT division engineer DeJarvis Leonard says they will consider the request but there is still a lot of work that would need to be done before that could happen.   DeJarvis says the contractor of the project will be approached about the request.   The parkway has been projected to be completed by this fall.
Federal prosecutors have recommended 190 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervision for Victor Gray Dingler of Glencoe who plead guilty late last year to 5 counts of sexual exploitation of children and two counts of possession of child pornography.   Dingler is scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow.   His crimes include actions and photographs taken with 2 minors under the age of 12.
No Northeast Alabama schools are in the Top 10 in the state for teacher pay according to information released by Alabama School Connection.  The top 10 consist of 4 schools from Birmingham and 6 from the Huntsville Decatur area.   Statewide teachers make an average of over 48 thousand a year.   The Oxford City School system is included in the top 10 systems for principal pay at number 7, with the principal there earning 97,701 dollars annually.   The lowest paid principals in the state are in Macon County and earn around 63,500 dollars per year.
The U.S. Supreme Court Monday declined to hear a challenge to the Affordable Care Act from a law suit filed by Arizona business owners challenging the authority of the Independent Payment Advisory Committee which overseas cost cutting to Medicare claims.   The Supreme Court upheld a ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals throwing out the lawsuit.
Alabama State Parks Director Greg Lein spoke at a meeting at Cheaha State Park Monday and says the state is considering putting more cabins to accommodate more visitors.   Lein says Georgia based group Screaming Eagle Adventures will also open a zip line at Cheaha which should attract more visitors.   Lein says the zip lines could be a key in attracting next generation visitors to the park.   He says the next generation is also looking for wi fi technology.   Cheaha State park is one of the states top 10 visited parks with 210 thousand visits. 
Alabama’s automobile exports continue to grow as Mercedes in Tuscaloosa, Honda in Lincoln, and Hyundai in Montgomery increased the amount of vehicles sent to other countries by 2.8 percent last year.   In all 6.6 billion dollars worth of vehicles were shipped to foreign countries from Alabama mostly from Mercedes.   Canada and China receive the majority of those exported vehicles at around 3.8 billion dollars worth.  It was another record year for automobile production in Alabama, too with the three plants producing just under 1 million vehicles.


Talladega Superspeedway will feature new qualifying when NASCAR hits the big track in May.   Round one of qualifying will feature single cars recording a single lap speed with the 12 fastest cars moving to round two.   There the cars will go out in order from slowest speed to fastest to determine the top 12 positions with the spots for 13 and up determined by first round qualifying speeds.  The Geico 500 is May 3rd at Talladega.
A third Alabama football player is in trouble with the law in the last 4 days.   Suspended running back Tyren Jones was arrested Tuesday and charged with possession of marijuana according to a Tuscaloosa police report.  Jones was placed on indefinite suspension February 10th for conduct not to the standard of Alabama football.   He has not participated in spring practice.
A second name in the Alabama basketball coaching search is being mentioned.   The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Alabama is interested in talking with Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino, son of Louisville coach Rick Pitino.   The younger Pitino was successful at Florida Atlantic before moving to Minnesota where his team won the NIT tournament in his first season but did not make post season play this year.