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Tennessee Valley News Week in Review 3-8-2024

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.

The Alabama State Legislature passed a bill this week granting civil and criminal immunity for in vitro fertilization service providers and receivers. NPR reports Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill into law within an hour of it passing the Alabama Senate. The legislation is designed to allow patients and clinics to immediately restart IVF treatments in Alabama, without fear of legal repercussions if embryos are damaged or destroyed during the medical procedure or related services like embryo storage and shipment. AL.com notes the bill did not directly address the question of whether embryos in storage have the status of children under state law.

Gov. Kay Ivey signed the CHOOSE Act into law Thursday morning. Eligible Alabama families will now have the option to receive $7,000 to pay for private school tuition. The first Education Savings Accounts will be available in the 2025-26 school year and will be limited to eligible students. AL.com reports all students will be eligible for ESAs at the start of the 2027-28 school year.

The Alabama Senate passed a two-bill proposal for a lottery and state-regulated gambling on Thursday after about eight hours of debate. AL.com reports the vote was 22-11 on the first bill, a proposed constitutional amendment, which required 21 votes. The legislation will return to the House of Representatives, which passed a different version earlier. If it wins final approval in the Legislature, it would go on the ballot for voter approval on Sept. 10.

Entrepreneurs across North Alabama can pitch their ideas in hopes of winning startup funding at the Singing River Trail Launch Tank April 29. Applications are open through March 31 and finalists will be announced April 12 at the Space Camp Operations Center at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. The Huntsville Business Journal reports winners can receive up to $25,000 in startup funds. The competition is open to entrepreneurs in the counties of the Singing River Trail — Jackson, Marshall, Madison, Limestone, Morgan, Lawrence, Lauderdale and Colbert. More information is at https://launch2035.org/entrepreneurship/launch-tank.

Huntsville Animal Services is waiving most of its adult dog adoption fees in March to encourage more people to adopt. The shelter also provides fostering options and sleepovers for anyone unable to adopt immediately. WAFF TV reports adoptable pets are treated with flea and tick preventative, neutered, microchipped, spayed, and vaccinated. The animals also come with a city license and a free bag of pet food while supplies last. The shelter is located on Triana Blvd. It’s open from Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

You’re invited to celebrate National Reading Month at the Orion Amphitheater this Sunday, at the Rocket City Reading Festival. This free family-friendly event is dedicated to the magic of reading from 11AM to 3PM. Participants include Fantasy Playhouse, the Huntsville & Madison County Silent Book Club and the WLRH Sundial Writers. Local food trucks will be onsite, and a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase. More information is at https://theorionhuntsville.com/event/rocket-city-reading-fest.