These are some stories from the 9/21/12 version of Tennessee Valley news update (633, 733, 833am, 304, 404, 504, 604pm) …
GADSDEN, AL (AP) – The stepmother of a 9-year-old Alabama girl who was allegedly run to death as punishment is asking a judge to lower her bond. Jessica Mae Hardin is due in court today for a hearing on a request to reduce her bond from $500,000 so she can be released.
MONTGOMERY, AL (AP) – A ceremony will be held in Montgomery to commemorate National POW/MIA Recognition Day. The ceremony at 11 o’clock tomorrow morning will be on the south lawn of the Alabama Capitol. Plans call for a motorcycle POW/MIA Honor Ride to the Capitol before the ceremony.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (Huntsville Times) - Huntsville City Council members were unable to reach a consensus last night on whether to expand the list of nonprofit agencies receiving city tax support. During a work session on the proposed 2013 budget, councilman Will Culver suggested an amendment that would spread roughly $500,000 in anticipated leftover tax money among more than a dozen nonprofits. Other council members had different ideas about what to do with the money. The council hopes to vote on the budget at its regular meeting next Thursday.
MONTGOMERY, AL (AP) – Alabama’s unemployment rate has risen for the fourth consecutive month to 8.5 percent for August. The figure announced Friday by the state Department of Industrial Relations represents more than 183,000 unemployed people. Alabama’s unemployment rate has been going u since measuring 7.2 percent in April. It was 7.4 percent in May, 7.8 percent in June and 8.3 percent in July. Alabama’s unemployment rate a year ago was 9.1 percent. Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby at 5.8 percent, Coffee at 7.1 percent, and Blount, Limestone and Madison at 7.2 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox at 19.2 percent, Bullock at 17.1 percent and Dallas at 16.6 percent.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAAY) – Alabama A&M University has been awarded a five-year, $8 million grant from the National Science Foundation to boost physics education in the state’s high schools. WAAY reports that NSF will fund through 2017 a proposal by AAMU physicists to transform secondary physics education with the “Alliance for Physics Excellence” (APEX). APEX aims to integrate the latest teaching practices into the secondary physics programs, ultimately impacting a quarter of the physics teachers in the state’s school systems and more than 40,000 students. Nearly $3 million already has been released as a first installment.