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Tennessee Valley News Week in Review 4/26/2024

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 House voted this week to make school and public library staff criminally liable for distributing “sexual or gender oriented material” to minors without parental consent. AL.com reports the bill places libraries in the same category as “adult-only” stores, movies and entertainment. It would force school and public librarians to remove a book that someone finds obscene or harmful to minors within seven days of written notice to the library director or principal. If they don’t they could face a misdemeanor. It’s unclear who will determine if the book is obscene.

A bill to adjust the deadline in Alabama law for political parties to certify their nominees for president and vice president in order to get on the ballot in November has passed the state Senate. AL.com reports the bill is in response to the notification two weeks ago by Secretary of State Wes Allen to the Democratic Party that its national convention this year comes too late to make the Alabama deadline. The convention starts Aug. 19, four days after the August 15th deadline.

A Senate committee voted 8-7 to substitute a bill that would give public school educators 12 weeks of parental leave. The new version of the bill will reduce leave to six weeks, and limit eligibility to women who give birth. The substitute also does not cover leave for miscarriages, stillbirths or adoption for both parents. AL.com notes that currently, Alabama educators and school employees must build up a bank of sick leave days or take unpaid leave to care for a newborn or adopted child. Public school teachers generally are given 10 sick days each year.

The Space Launch System — SLS — program in Huntsville is facing slowdowns after NASA pushed back its Artemis II and III launches. Launch delays are impacting work rates for contractors on the project, including Boeing. Boeing confirmed to WHNT TV that staffing changes are coming. The company employs 3,400 people in Huntsville. Boeing declined to say how many of those employees work on the SLS program and did not indicate how many jobs would be cut.

U.S. News & World Report has released its 2024 rankings of public high schools and North Alabama has two in the state’s top ten. AL.com reports Huntsville’s New Century Technology High School is ranked second. The magnet school is up from No. 4 a year ago. And coming in at number 6 is Madison’s James Clemens High School.

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is collecting lightly used eclipse glasses. The center is accepting any glasses with minor wear and new glasses. The center’s education team is collecting the glasses for Astronomers Without Borders. The group will use the glasses to provide astronomy education around the world. WAFF TV reports the center will collect glasses until May 27. The glasses need to be ISO-rated to make sure they’re safe for use.

As work continues on the Town Madison Interchange on I-565 in Madison, drivers should expect nighttime detours for setting bridge girders over the interstate during the next two to three months. Weather permitting, the westbound roadway will be closed and all westbound traffic will be detoured implemented between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. nightly, Sunday, April 28, through Thursday, May 2. All detours will be limited to late night/early morning hours, when traffic volume is lowest, to minimize travel impacts.