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Tennessee Valley News Week in Review 3/1/2024

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.

Alabama lawmakers in the House and Senate on passed almost identical bills this week intended to provide legal protections to in vitro fertilization clinics. Supporters acknowledged the legislation was not a permanent solution to questions about the legal status of embryos created through IVF. AL.com reports the House bill passed by a vote of 94-6. It moves to the Senate, which passed a similar bill 34-0 a few hours later. Final passage for a bill from the House or Senate could happen as early as next week.

The Alabama House of Representatives passed the CHOOSE Act this week. It will allow for the creation of education savings accounts, or ESAs. The effort would dramatically expand school choice options and would direct public funding toward private school, home school and other educational costs. AL.com reports HB129 would provide eligible families $7,000 in state tax dollars per student to pay for the cost of educating their child in a participating school or for other eligible expenses. ESAs would become available at the start of the 2025-26 school year.

Madison County Commissioners approved a deal that will eventually widen Wall Triana Highway to five lanes in anticipation of the Costco that will eventually border Hwy. 72. WAFF TV reports construction crews have already been working along Wall Triana preparing the lanes to be widened.

Six doctors from Nebraska operated a surgical robot aboard the International Space Station. The robotic surgical arm was transported to the ISS earlier this year via a SpaceX rocket. Equipped with a camera, surgeons manipulated the arm to interact with 10 rubber bands simulating tissue. The testing took place at Virtual Incision’s headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska, with NASA’s Payload Operations Center at Huntsville’s Marshall Space Flight Center overseeing mission control. Wonderful Engineering.com reports the test’s success not only demonstrates the potential for space surgeries on long missions, but also suggests applications for remote medical procedures on Earth, particularly in rural areas lacking onsite surgical teams.

Raymond W. Jones Community Center officially opened this week at John Hunt Park. It’s located in the old National Guard Armory that closed in 2017. Renovations to the space included a new roof, HVAC system, plumbing, electrical, windows and LED lighting. This $6.3 million project was largely funded through the federal American Rescue Plan Act. It will support programing for seniors. Huntsville Blast reports the space will offer Rock Steady Boxing Parkinson’s classes and house offices for recreation.

The City of Huntsville and AshaKiran Foundation invite you to go fly a kite at the 12th annual Community Kite Festival on Saturday. The free festival is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at John Hunt Park, on Airport Road in Huntsville. Besides kite flying, there will be food trucks, children’s activities and more at the family-friendly festival that celebrates inclusiveness, diversity, equity and harmony in the community. Visit


for more information.