These are some stories from the 9/19/12 version of Tennessee Valley news update (633, 733, 833am, 304, 404, 504, 604pm) …
MONTGOMERY – Alabama voters on Tuesday agreed to transfer more than $437 million over three years from a state trust fund to the state General Fund, which supports courts, prisons, Medicaid and other non-education areas of government. The yes vote was a victory for Gov. Robert Bentley, who warned that failure of the referendum could have led to “devastating“ cuts in General Fund spending. The General Fund is budgeted to spend about $1.7 billion in the 2013 fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1. A no vote could have deeply cut budgeted spending, given strong opposition by Bentley and many lawmakers to broad-based tax increases.
HUNTSVILLE, AL – Alabama A&M University is among 40 institutions in 24 states to receive part of some $18 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure that beginning farmers and ranchers have the tools needed to run productive and sustainable farms. AAMU’s $675,491 grant will help its Small Farms Research Center (SFRC) grow the next generation of farmers, ranchers and entrepreneurs, ultimately boosting both the sustainability and competitiveness of U.S. agriculture. AAMU is one of only two historically black colleges and universities, the other being Kentucky State University, in the nation to be awarded this particular grant this year. AAMU also recently received a $300,000 grant to help improve the success of minority farmers and ranchers in Alabama from the USDA’s Outreach Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (OASDFR) Competitive Grants Program, also known as the “2501 program,” authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill. The OASDFR is administered by USDA’s office of Advocacy and Outreach.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WLRH) - About 100 parents attended a workshop last night at Huntsville High School aimed at answering questions about the school system’s new digital textbooks. Many parents, teachers and students have complained about limited internet access and the inability to print work from the children's laptops. Representatives from the district’s IT department and the curriculum provider were on hand to address concerns. Another workshop is scheduled for tonight at 6:30 at Grissom High.
MONTGOMERY, AL (AP) - The U.S. Department of Education is awarding millions in grants to historically black colleges in Alabama. The five-year grants will affect curriculum and teaching programs, campus building improvements and the purchase of scientific equipment. The department said the Alabama grants include $3.2 million to Alabama A&M University, and nearly $1.6 million to Oakwood University.
CULLMAN, AL (AP) - A Tennessee dentist and his wife died in the crash of a single-engine plane near Cullman. Dr. Gary Cohen's office in Hendersonville confirms that he and his wife Nancy were victims of the crash Monday. They were traveling from Destin, Fla., to the Sumner County Regional Airport in Gallatin, Tenn., when they reported problems shortly before the crash.