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Tennessee Valley News Week in Review 7-5-2024

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 Department of Education experienced a data breach last month that may have compromised some student and employee data. AL.com reports that on June 17, information system staff interrupted and stopped an attack on the department’s computer system before hackers could fully access the system. State Superintendent Eric Mackey said staff were able to restore all system data with backups, but there is a possibility that some data was compromised. Officials have launched an ongoing criminal investigation. Updates on the data breach can be found at www.Alabamaachieves.org/databreach.

Students at Madison County Schools will no longer be allowed to connect personal devices to district wifi networks in the new school year. According to a district news release, the step is intended to bolster the learning environment at MCSS by safeguarding their networks, reserving limited bandwidth for educational purposes, and curbing distractions during instructional time. AL.com reports staff will still have access, and buildings also have landlines in case of emergency situations. The Madison City Schools district requires personal devices to connect to a building’s guest wifi network, while school-issued devices connect to the main network. A spokesperson for Huntsville City Schools says the district does not provide access to wifi networks for student personal devices because all students are provided laptops.

Green Research and Technologies will begin its review of over 700 hours of body cam footage and reports from the Decatur Police Department. The review of the department begins today. Nick Perkins, the brother of Steve Perkins who was shot and killed by a Decatur police officer on September 29, 2023, says this should have happened sooner. Perkins tells WAFF TV he hopes this review on policies and procedures can shed light on the department. The review will be completed by January 1, 2025.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced a $1 million grant to help a Madison County rail system upgrade and continue serving industrial clients in the area. The governor’s office says the funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission will assist the Huntsville and Madison County Railroad Authority in its plans to upgrade its rail services and improve industrial transportation. WAFF TV reports the funds will help the rail service replace the Aldridge Creek bridge. Officials say a concrete bridge will replace the existing wood bridge and enhance rail safety while also enabling rail cars to transport larger loads.

Calhoun Community College is offering free construction training courses. The course offers two sessions. The first session is July 8-12 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. located at Calhoun’s Decatur Campus in Workforce Solution Building #8. This session will focus on heavy equipment training. You must be 16 years of age or older to participate. More information is at Calhoun.edu. Calhoun Community College is an underwriter of WLRH.

The Alabama Big 10 Mayors kicked off their second annual statewide photo competition this week. Alabamians can submit their photos from the state’s ten biggest cities: Auburn, Birmingham, Decatur, Dothan, Hoover, Huntsville, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa. Photos from these cities will be submitted to the Alabama Big 10 Mayors Facebook page. The posts will be shared through social media, and the photo that receives the most likes wins. The winner will receive a $500 Visa gift card. The Alabama Political Reporter notes that participants can submit entries until Sept. 2, with voting to conclude on Sept. 8.