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Tennessee Valley News Week in Review 7-28-23

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

Catch up on the week's biggest stories about people, places, events and activities happening in Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley.

Huntsville City Council members held a work session on Tuesday to discuss enacting a policy that would allow Huntsville Police officers to write citations instead of making arrests for some misdemeanor crimes. This includes people caught with small amounts of marijuana. Huntsville City Councilmember Devyn Keith tells WAFF TV this would not decriminalize possession. The offender would still be charged, but Keith believes it will help ease the hours spent on paperwork and processing. Council members will write a resolution to adopt the policy before sending it to state lawmakers for approval. If adopted, it could take up to a year before it becomes law.

Starting this school year, the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act will take effect in Alabama. It aims to equip parents, coaches and student athletes with the tools to respond to sudden cardiac arrest The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jeremy Gray of Opelika, is a former professional athlete. Gray said after Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest in January, he wanted to ensure Alabama had protocols in place for student athletes. He tells WIAT TV in Birmingham the main feature of his law requires coaches go through sudden cardiac arrest training every two years in addition to their CPR and AED certification. The law also requires that parents acknowledge the risks of cardiac arrest and sign off on their child playing sports. It also aims to educate the athletes about the risks.

You may have noticed gas prices have gone up recently. At the start of the week, analyst Patrick DeHaan with GasBuddy.com wrote the nation’s average price of a gallon of gas had risen 2.1 cents in the last week to $3.55 per gallon. Wednesday, DeHaan tweeted the national average was up to $3.67 per gallon. He says the extreme heat – along with supply issues and increased summer travel- are resulting in the rapid price increase. Last week’s average was $3.15; last month’s average was $3.12. AL.com notes the 2023 prices remain far below 2022’s at the same point when the average price of a gallon of gas was $3.89.

Legislation that was incorrectly sent to Gov. Kay Ivey and signed following the regular session is set to take effect in about a month. Lawmakers hinted they might correct the issue during the special session but left Montgomery last week without doing so. WIAT TV in Birmingham reports HB82 in its amended form would charge those who dealt fentanyl to someone who then dies as a result of the drug with manslaughter. The bill the governor signed was an earlier draft that included not just fentanyl but other controlled substances. The regular session starts in February 2024, and the law takes effect this September, leaving at least five months for the wrong bill to be law.

The Alabama Center for the Arts is pleased to announce its newest exhibit, “The Art of Decatur Theatre.” The show is now open in the Main Gallery and will remain on display until Sept. 22. The juried exhibit features props, costumes, puppets, set pieces, sound design, video clips of performances, and photos of lighting and set design. The Athens News Courier reports works from Bank Street Players, Calhoun Theatre, Athenian Players and Dream Weavers Theatre will be on display. “The Art of Decatur Theatre” is free and open to the public. The Alabama Center for the Arts is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m.–8 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m.–12 p.m.

This Saturday from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Huntsville Parks & Recreation and Huntsville Police are teaming up to throw the ultimate Back to School Bash at the Huntsville Jaycee's Building on Airport Road. You can dunk your principal, cool off on an inflatable waterslide, and get pumped for the new school year with band and cheer performances. There will also be dozens of back to school exhibitors, sharing information to help make this the best year ever.