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Tennessee Valley News Update - Week in Review May 5, 2023

Catch up on the biggest news about people, places, events and activities happening in Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley
Catch up on the biggest news about people, places, events and activities happening in Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley

Alabama lawmakers have cut Gov. Kay Ivey’s proposed $400 tax rebate down to $100 per tax filer. That reduces the cost from more than a billion dollars to $275 million. AL.com reports a Senate committee approved the rebate with little discussion other than questions about who is eligible and how the rebate would be sent to taxpayers. The cost would be funded as part of a $2.8 billion supplemental appropriation, which the committee also approved this week.

An Alabama state Senate committee has voted to put on hold a bill that both revises a 2017 law protecting monuments and outlines a plan to replace the deteriorating Saturn 1B rocket at the Ardmore welcome center. AL.com reports the State Governmental Affairs Committee decided to carry it over following a number of questions about why the bill – originally about the rocket – had controversial language about preserving monuments added to it. Sen. Tom Butler, R-Madison, sponsored the bill. He said his original version included only the rocket. He said the language about revising the 2017 monuments law to make it more punitive was added later and he did not know it happened.

Voters in Madison will decide Tuesday, May 9th whether the city will change its form of governance from its current mayor-council format to a city manager-council format. According to Madison city officials, every vote matters. If the measure passes, the mayor would be the president of the city council. A city manager would then be hired by the council to oversee day-to-day operations of the city; appoint and remove department heads; and present a budget to the council. WHNT TV notes that if the measure passes, the change would not go into effect until 2025.

Graduate programs in engineering and nursing at The University of Alabama in Huntsville were recognized for excellence in U.S. News & World Report’s recent rankings of the 2023-2024 Best Graduate Schools. UAH’s College of Engineering is ranked #2 among Best Engineering Schools in the state of Alabama. Its national ranking is tied at #73. The master’s degree program at UAH’s College of Nursing comes in third in Alabama for Best Nursing Schools, and it received a national ranking of #82, also a tie.

A new-to-market grocery retailer is coming to Huntsville. Food City will invest $90 million to build six stores and create 1,350 jobs over the next five years. The first three stores will be in Hampton Cove, on North Memorial Parkway and U.S. 72 East. The second phase will include locations near downtown, on Alabama 53 and County Line Road. A news item from the City of Huntsville says construction on Phase I is expected to start this month with the first store opening this fall.

The City of Huntsville plans to expand its greenway network from South Huntsville to Ditto Landing. The project would add 1.5 miles of new greenway between Hobbs and Green Cove roads and connect the Elgie’s Walk Greenway to Ditto Landing. The final link, along with the Weatherly Road and Aldridge Creek greenway networks, creates a 15-mile greenway loop in South Huntsville.

Ginny Kennedy is a native of Huntsville. She began her radio career as a graduate student in Communications at Georgia State University in Atlanta. An internship at WABE in Atlanta led to a varied career as a classical music host, news anchor, flying traffic reporter, and wacky sidekick on a country station. She has been at WLRH in Huntsville for the past 20 years and feels privileged to be part of a station that serves the community. When not working, Ginny enjoys spending time with her many critters including her horse Alex.