These are some stories from the 10/16/12 version of Tennessee Valley news update (633, 733, 833am, 304, 404, 504, 604pm) …
On Nov. 6, Alabama voters will get another chance to remove racially controversial sections of the Alabama Constitution – language that dates back several decades. Amendment No. 4 on the ballot would remove language from the 1901 Alabama Constitution that includes providing for separate schools for black and white students and levying a poll tax.
Governor Robert Bentley was the keynote speaker at a luncheon at the HudsonAlpha Center for Biotechnology yesterday as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Research Park. In his message, he indicated that about 24,000 jobs could be lost in Alabama if across-the-board federal cuts go into effect as planned in January. The budget cuts, known as sequestration, are set to go into effect on Jan. 2, 2013. Gov. Bentley said these cuts should be of great concern to Huntsville and Alabama. An Aerospace Industries Association report says about 2.14 million jobs could be lost nationwide.
Gov. Bentley also announced plans for a voluntary retirement incentive for state employees aimed at cutting the cost and size of the state workforce. State employees must already be eligible for retirement to participate under the proposal which must be approved by lawmakers. The state would either give the employee $15,000 in two installments or pay the retiree’s health insurance for 2.5 years for family coverage or 5 years for single coverage. There are approximately 35,000 state employees. The governor’s office estimated that about 4,500 employees would qualify for the program. The legislation will be introduced in the legislative session that begins Feb. 5.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) – A record number of Madison County citizens are registered to vote for the November general election. WAFF reports according to the Madison County Board of Registrars, 228,585 people in the county were registered as of 11 AM Monday. Friday, October 26 is the last day to register or make a name or address change to vote in the November 6 election. To register or change information, a form can be filled out online and then printed. It must be delivered to the Madison County Board of Registrars, Madison County Courthouse, 100 Northside Square, Huntsville, Alabama 35801-4820 OR by U.S. Mail postmarked by Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5 PM.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) – One person has been injured in an explosion on Redstone Arsenal. The explosion happened just before 8 AM in building 5400, the Aviation and Missile Research and Development Center. A contract employee was handling a small explosive device when it went off. The area was evacuated and only the employee handling the device was injured. HEMSI transferred the patient to Huntsville Hospital. Redstone Arsenal officials said the patient suffered non-life-threatening injuries. This is the first injury from an explosion reported on the arsenal since two men were killed in an explosion in May, 2010.