These are some stories from the 10/19/12 version of Tennessee Valley news update (633, 733, 833am, 304, 404, 504, 604pm) …
The state Secretary of State’s office says a delay in sending absentee ballots from some overseas and military voters has prompted a 10 day extension of the voting deadline. Ballots must now be postmarked by November 5th in order to be counted. Military and overseas voters typically have 45 days to request, receive and submit absentee ballots. The deadline for regular voters to register is October 26th. You can register to vote at your local city hall, county courthouse or public library … or online at <Alabama votes – dot – gov>.
The topic of bullying came up again at last night’s Huntsville City School Board meeting … first with a protest outside the meeting against alleged bullying by Grissom High JROTC instructor 1st Sgt. Lynn Vanzandt … and then inside by supporters of Vanzandt who called him a man of loyalty, honor and distinction. The Huntsville Times reports VanZandt is accused of pressing his interpretation of the Bible’s views on homosexuality on two students. School board member David Blair said the complaints did not show a pattern of behavior and therefore are not considered bullying.
School officials in Montgomery are investigating claims that administrators in two city high schools were improperly altering student grades. Employees who entered computer data at the schools say they witnessed their supervisors giving students higher grades with little or no work. Data entry worker Edwina Riddlespriger says she was told to change grades, and "was written up" when she refused. The allegations come amidst an investigation into widespread cheating in the Montgomery County public school system.
Administrators at the University of Alabama have shut down fraternity pledging activities at the school following several complaints of hazing filed on its anonymous hazing tip line. The university also issued interim suspensions to one former member and two active members of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity as an investigation of hazing allegations continues. The investigation also brought an indefinite suspension of pledge programs and social activities at Delta Tau Delta. So far, six other fraternities have been cleared of any wrong doing.
The November 6th general election will place a number of constitutional amendments before voters. Amendment 7 place language in the state constitution that says Alabama citizens have a fundamental right to vote for public office and employee representation by secret ballot. However, some union organizers say they will challenge the measure in court. They say if approved by voters, Amendment 7 would also prohibit unions from organizing by card check – a petition style method for seeking workers who want union representation. Supporters of the measure say they want to stop harassment of workers who aren’t interested in unions.