The Alabama Senate has voted to end deferred retirement benefits for state employees and school workers. The Senate's Republican majority pushed through the legislation on a 23-12 vote Tuesday, with opposition coming from Democrats. The legislation still must pass the House and be signed by the governor to take effect. It would end the Deferred Retirement Option Program. ...Read more
Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb says anticipated cuts of as much as 10 percent in the budget for Alabama courts in the next fiscal year could mean 400 to 500 court employees would lose their jobs across Alabama. Cobb made the comments Tuesday during her annual "state of the courts" speech to a joint session of the Alabama House and Senate. She said the current funding crisis facing the General Fund budget could be devastating for Alabama courts. ...Read more
Joran van der Sloot's lawyer says his client will plead guilty to killing a young Peruvian woman he met gambling, but the lawyer will argue temporary insanity in a bid for a shorter sentence. Van der Sloot remains a focus of attention in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway on the Caribbean island of Aruba. Van der Sloot's attorney says he client will use the "violent emotion" defense in the Stephany Flores case. ...Read more
AAA says the national average now sits at $3.51 a gallon for regular gasoline. That's up 33 cents in just two weeks. Monday, oil rose above $106 a barrel, but settled at just more than $105. Amid heavy fighting in Libya, the White House says it is holding off on tapping into the strategic oil reserve. Officials say that decision would be based on more than just the price of gasoline.
WVUA wants to hear from you! If you see low gas prices, call the WVUA pump patrol hot line. That number is 205-523-5001.
March 7, 2011
Public school students may get a longer summer break this year. An Alabama lawmaker is proposing a bill to push back the start of public school. Republican Representative Jim Barton of Mobile is proposing to set the start of school on August 22. He says it would improve tourism in coastal regions. Right now, schools across the state start at different times, with some heading back as early as late July. Barton says that means a lot of families cut summer vacation short and that impacts the coast. He says passing the bill could help the Gulf Coast, already struggling from the oil spill. ...Read more
With prom season only weeks away, one group is working to make it less expensive for families. The House of Prom benefits Turning Point, an organization fighting domestic violence in West Alabama. More than 300 dresses have been donated and each one is $10. The House of Prom is located in Midtown Village and is open to the public. The sale is Saturday, March 5, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Bethany Andrews, WVUA News
March 4, 2011