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Tennessee Valley News Week in Review 5/10/2024

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 National Weather Service has confirmed that at least five tornadoes touched down in the Tennessee Valley during a storm late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. The first confirmed tornado hit the Brigadoon neighborhood in Limestone County. WHNT TV reports that after surveying the damage, the weather service reported the area was hit by an EF3 Tornado with wind speeds of at least 135 mph. Authorities have also confirmed an EF2 tornado near the city of Henagar in DeKalb County. The tornado that touched down in the Five Points neighborhood was rated an EF1 tornado meaning it had wind gusts between 85 and 110 mph. A low-end EF2 tornado hit Gurley and an EF0 tornado was confirmed in the Rainbow Mountain and Madison area.

Maple Hill Cemetery will remain closed to the public following Wednesday’s storms. According to the city of Huntsville, the cemetery will be closed except for scheduled burials throughout the weekend of May 10 to 12 for damage assessment and clean-up efforts. Officials tell WAFF TV it is unsafe for vehicles and pedestrians throughout the cemetery. Families of those whose headstones were damaged will be contacted.

Alabama lawmakers finalized a $9.3 billion regular education budget and $1.7 billion in additional spending for K-12 and higher education. AL.com reports State education employees will get a 2% raise, and lawmakers added a $10 million allocation for summer EBT benefits for children for the summer of 2025.

The proposed quarry near the Belle Mina community is likely to have “more than minor detrimental effects” for three endangered snails in Limestone Creek. That’s according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A letter provided by the service contained scientific information to support their concerns and included conservation measures that are necessary to protect the aquatic snails. AL.com reports ADEM is deciding whether to issue air pollution and water quality permits to Grayson Carter & Son Contracting, Inc. of Athens and Stoned, LLC, of Huntsville to construct and operate the quarry on Mooresville Road. The quarry would discharge into Limestone Creek and its tributaries.

Construction has started on a $145 million mixed-use development off Memorial Parkway near Joe Davis Stadium that will feature retail, a parking deck, office space and eventually a hotel and apartments. The $145 million development is planned for the site of a former movie theater between Joe Davis Stadium and Memorial Parkway. AL.com reports the concept is known as Stadium Commons.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced the 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars, and two of the three Alabama scholars are from north Alabama. Manav Aggarwal is a student at Randolph School in Huntsville and Samantha Si-Wai Chan attends Bob Jones High School in Madison.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on academic success, excellence in the arts and in technical education, through essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership.