These are some stories from the 9/26/12 version of Tennessee Valley news update (633, 733, 833am, 304, 404, 504, 604pm) …
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WLRH) – Mayor Tommy Battle and Urban Development Director Shane Davis will officially reopen Meridian Street to through traffic at a Thursday morning news conference. Battle and Davis will be at Meridian Street and Beirne Avenue at 11 AM for the official reopening of the street. Meridian Street was closed to through traffic between Pratt and Oakwood avenues for 18 months to widen it to three lanes.
HARTSELLE, AL (WLRH) - City workers in Hartselle can expect to get a one-time pay raise under a budget the city council approved at Tuesday night’s meeting. The budget calls for a one-time pay raise of 2%. City leaders say it is a way to reward employees without changing the pay scale. The council approved nearly a $10.5 million budget that is about half a million more than the fiscal year 2012 budget.
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) – A program designed to get students ready for college will be cut down drastically for the Decatur Schools system. Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols said they are doing it to increase the choices for students. The International Baccalaureate Middle Years program is for grades 6 through 10. Nichols said it does not leave room for electives. Nichols said the school system will open those options by changing the middle years program from being mandatory for all students to a choice for some starting in the 2013 – 14 school year. The program for junior and senior honor students will stay intact.
MONTGOMERY, AL (AP) – A casino lobbyist who admitted offering bribes to legislators has received probation. U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins gave Jennifer Pouncy three years on probation, 100 hours of community service, and $4,100 in fines and fees at a sentencing hearing in Montgomery. Pouncy was the first person to plead guilty in Alabama’s gambling corruption case. The former lobbyist for Country Crossing Casino admitted offering bribes to legislators to support pro-gambling legislation. Prosecutors had recommended two years in prison, but the judge said there was no benefit to society by sending her to prison.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WLRH) - NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has named Dr. Richard J. Gilbrech as director of the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County. Gilbrech, who currently serves as that center’s deputy director, replaces Patrick Scheuermann, who will become director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. Gilbrech has served as Stennis’ deputy director since 2010. Also, former Marshall director Robert Lightfoot’s position as NASA associate administrator was made permanent yesterday.
HUNTSVILLE, AL – (Huntsville Times) - A Grissom High School alumnus has won $20,000 in a national search to find and nurture the next big ideas in advanced technology. Jiake Liu, a member of Grissom’s Class of 2007, was one of three first prize winners of the Best Buy College Innovator Fund, according to a news release from Best Buy. Liu won for his Typing Glove – Gauntlet Keyboard, a one-hand glove device that functions as a wireless keyboard. Liu is studying computer engineering at UAH.