These are some stories from the 9/13/12 version of Tennessee Valley news update (633, 733, 833am, 304, 404, 504, 604pm) …
MONTGOMERY, AL (AP) - Alabama’s two-year college system has a new president. Today, the State Board of Education voted unanimously to select Mark Heinrich (Hein-rick) of Tuscaloosa. Board members says they like the way Heinrich got Shelton State back on sound ground after corruption problems in some of Alabama's two-year colleges. He was chosen over Blake Flanders, who is vice president of workforce development for the Kansas Board of Regents. The board will approve the terms of Heinrich's contract later. He will replace Freida Hill, who stepped down in March under pressure from some board members.
MONTGOMERY, AL (AP) - A small protest was held at the state Capitol in Montgomery today, as about 50 people gathered to push for a "no" vote in Tuesday’s referendum. Tuesday, voters will cast ballots on a constitutional amendment to allow the transfer of 437-million dollars from the Alabama Trust Fund to be used for Medicaid, prisons and other state services. Smart Girl Politics Alabama, on of the protest groups, says balancing the state's General Fund budget by "raiding" the trust fund will not solve financial problems. Supporters of the amendment say the money will be repaid and is critical is protecting important social services.
ATHENS, AL (WLRH) - A public hearing is being held tonight on a plan to process and use weapons grade plutonium at Brown Ferry nuclear plant in Athens. Officials from the US Department of Energy and the Tennessee Valley Authority will be on hand to answer questions from residents. The meeting begins at 5-30 this evening in the conference room of Calhoun Community College’s Aerospace Training Center. You can find more information on our Facebook page.
ALABAMA (WLRH) - A new U.S. Census report shows the poverty rate in Alabama is mostly unchanged but has gone down some over the last year, while the median income in the state has gone up. The report released yesterday shows Alabama 42nd among the 50 states in median household income. The Census report showed the poverty rate in Alabama was 15.49 percent. That's an improvement from 17.2 percent in 2010. But an advocate for the state's poor residents, Alabama Arise executive director Kimble Forrester, said the state has a ways to go to eliminate poverty.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WLRH) - Beginning next month, it'll cost a little more to go to space camp. The commission that oversees the U. S. space and Rocket center approved a budget for the next fiscal year which includes a 30 dollar rate increase for the weeklong camps. The center's CEO, Dr. Deborah Barnhart says there hasn't been a price increase in five years and that they're trying to keep the program as economical as possible.
BIRMINGHAM, AL (AP) - The U.S. attorney's office in Birmingham sponsored a daylong meeting on civil rights and hate crimes. The symposium being held today will focus on legal protections that are available as the nation nears the 50th anniversary of events that made the city a national landmark for civil rights in 1963. The meeting is open to the public.
WASHINGTON DC (AP) - The University of Alabama assistant professor Suzanne Horsley will be honored at the White House tomorrow. She's one of nine people being recognized as "Champions of Change" for the time and effort they have devoted to the American Red Cross.