Tennessee Valley News Week in Review 9-15-2023
Catch up on the week's biggest stories about people, places, events and activities happening in Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley.
At Thursday’s meeting Huntsville City Council members first voted in favor of a water rate increase, meaning HU customers are set to see an estimated $4 added to their monthly water bills. WHNT TV reports the altered projection is down from the original proposal which would have been around $6 more per month for the average household. After an hour of discussion, they tabled a proposal that would outlaw a driver handling a cell phone. The hands-free driving ordinance, if passed, would strengthen the state’s law that restricts the use of cell phones while driving. AL.com reports the vote on the hands-free ordinance was postponed until the next city council meeting.
Crews are currently working to deconstruct the Saturn 1B Rocket at the Alabama Welcome Center on Interstate 65 in Ardmore. Earlier this year, leaders with the Marshall Space Flight Center announced that the rocket would come down due to its deteriorating state. A statement from Marshall says that once the rocket is on the ground, they will take possession and handle its safe disposal. Leaders with the Space and Rocket center tell WAFF TV it will take 4-5 weeks to completely remove the Saturn 1B which has stood at that site for 44 years.
The executive board of the Alabama Public Library Service voted this week to create a list of books with content that people may find inappropriate for teenagers and children. The proposal, sponsored by Alabama Republican Party chair John Wahl, a member of the board, came after a public comment period. It passed unanimously. The Alabama Reflector reports that under Wahl’s proposal, people can submit books that they believe have questionable themes to the Public Library Service. The forms will then be provided to local libraries. The libraries themselves will decide what to do with the books. Wahl says that local libraries are not required to do anything, and the list is only meant to be a resource for libraries and parents.
The City of Huntsville recently unveiled a $6.8 million project at John Hunt Park. The Get-A-Way Skate Place and Kids’ Space Playground are officially open to the public. WHNT TV reports Kid’s Space is an accessible playground with an open layout and special surfacing designed with mobility aids in mind. The new skate facility is 52,000 square feet and includes custom-made bowls, snake runs, a three-quarter pipe, and a street plaza.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is warning about two species of invasive carp that pose a threat to the state’s native freshwater fish and habitats. Signs are being installed at public boat ramps along the Tennessee River to help identify bighead and silver carp. A statement from the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Section says these fish not only negatively impact native fishes they can also harm boaters by jumping into boats when startled. If you see or catch any of these fish, the Wildlife Freshwater Fisheries asks that you call them at (256) 353-2634 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Officials need the fish’s location, (GPS coordinates if possible) the date, and clear pictures of the fish. If you happen to catch one, officials ask that you DO NOT release it back into the water.