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Tennessee Valley News Week in Review 10-13-2023

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

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

At Thursday night’s meeting, the Huntsville City Council approved a new ordinance regarding the use of phone or wireless communication devices while driving. WAFF TV reports the amended ordinance will upgrade the city’s current no-text ordinance from a secondary to a primary offense which allows officers to stop a driver when they see a violation and issue a citation. The ordinance will prohibit drivers from using a wireless telecommunications device to write or read at text; Watch, or record a photo or video; talk or even just hold a wireless device. The fine will be $50 for a first conviction; $100 for a second conviction; and $150 for a third conviction and/or community service. The new ordinance will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission approved changes to its rules for awarding business licenses on Thursday. The process was stalled for four months by mistakes and lawsuits. AL.com reports that a key change in the new rules is that business applicants will be allowed to make public presentations to the AMCC before it tries to award licenses for a third time. AMCC Chairman Rex Vaughn said the changes, approved as an emergency rule during a meeting at the Alabama State House, came in response to claims made by applicants in their lawsuits.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle is once again running for reelection. In a campaign kick-off event held on Wednesday, Battle said he intends to continue to focus on education, community investment and responsible government spending. WHNT TV reports that currently, Battle is the only declared candidate for the upcoming election. The 2024 Huntsville Mayor election will take place on Tuesday, August 27, 2024.

Discovery Life Sciences has opened its new global headquarters on the Huntsville campus of HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. Gov. Kay Ivey was there for the ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday. Business Alabama reports Discovery’s services, which include genomics, molecular pathology, and cell biology, will all be under one roof. The facility will also house what the company says is one of the world’s most extensive commercial biospecimen inventories. Discovery says it has already relocated more than 115 jobs to Huntsville since 2022 and will continue to add more.

Southern Living recently published a list of “The Best Places In Every Southern State For Incredible Fall Color.” AL.com reports two places in Alabama made the list -- Lookout Mountain Scenic Parkway and Little River Canyon Nature Preserve. Lookout Mountain Scenic Parkway runs from Gadsden to Chattanooga. More info on Lookout Mountain Scenic Parkway at visitlookoutmountain.com. Little River Falls is located in Fort Payne. More information is on the National Park Service website at nps.gov.

It’s still October, but tickets are already on sale for the Galaxy of Lights at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. The holiday tradition that takes place every November and December. Walking Nights begin November 17th. Dog Walking Nights are Mondays and Tuesdays during Walking Nights. Driving Nights begin December 4th. Tickets and information are at hsvbg.org/galaxy.