Headlines from Alabama 810 News
councilmen charged in corruption investigation
cards are in
Councilmen to plead guilty
claims he was protesting the war in Iraq
Talladega county man was killed this morning in a fire at a home on
woods ferry road north of Lincoln. Officials said that the Lincoln
fire department responded to the call this morning. Sources indicate
that the body of the man was found inside the home. According to
Talladega County Sheriff Jerry Studdard, The state fire marshals
office is investigating the cause of the fire. The name of the victim
has not been released pending notification of next of kin.
cards are in
The State Board
of Education released accountability results for all of Alabama’s
1,364 schools Monday. All but two of the 33 schools in Calhoun county
met 100 percent of their goals, required by state and federal
standards under the No Child Left Behind Act. Anniston City Schools
made the biggest gains among schools in Calhoun County. Six of the
cities seven schools achieved 100 percent of their goals, doubling
last year’s total. Anniston Middle School met 94 percent of its goals
this year. The Statewide Scores came from tests administered in March
and April. Students in grades 3-8 took the Alabama Reading and Math
Test and the Stanford Achievement Test. The state’s 11th-graders took
the Alabama High School Graduation Exam. Schools also were graded on
their daily attendance rates, how much students showed up for the
tests and the high school graduation and dropout rates. If a school
misses even one goal, it is considered to have missed its requirement
to make Adequate Yearly Progress. Schools that come short of AYP for
similar reasons two years in a row are forced into school improvement
programs and must show the state detailed plans for improving results.
Besides Anniston Middle School, Wellborn High School was the county’s
only other school to fall short of AYP. Wellborn High missed the
graduation rate goal this year. The state goal is 90 percent, and the
school’s rate was 76 percent. Both of Jacksonville’s schools met 100
percent of their goals for the first time. Jacksonville High School
jumped from 90 percent of goals met last year to 100 percent this
year. The high school met goals in reading and math for special
education students. Oxford also saw all its schools achieve the 100
percent category this year for the first time, with the middle school
attaining proficiency goals in math and reading for special education
students there as well. The law’s goal is to have 100 percent of
students nationwide meeting proficiency standards by 2016. Three
schools in the Gadsden city school system and two schools in the
Etowah County system were among the 170 school programs in the state
that failed to meet adequate yearly progress under the federal No
Child Left Behind Law, according to reports released Monday by the
state Department of Education. Litchfield High, Gadsden High and Emma
Sansom High were the three schools from the Gadsden city school system
on the list. Those schools have now been consolidated into the Gadsden
City High School, which opened Monday.
County Alternative High School and Gaston High School were the Etowah
County schools on the list. Gaston High School failed to meet AYP
because of its dropout rate, which the county system is attempting to
address through programs like the Alternative High School program.
Even though Emma Sansom High School, Gadsden High School and
Litchfield High School are listed as not making AYP for the 2005-2006
school year, the Gadsden school system issued a press release late
Monday stating all schools, middle, high and elementary, have met AYP
in the tested academic areas of reading and math. The three high
schools listed as failing AYP standards no longer exist because of the
consolidation. Overall, Alabama has 88 percent of its public schools
measuring up to the federal standards, up from 53 percent a year ago.
Out of Alabama's 1,364 public schools during the 2005-2006 school
year, 1,194 showed adequate yearly progress for all different types of
students. A year earlier, 725 of Alabama's 1,366 schools met the
standard. Other Northeast Alabama schools that the state Department
of Education said failed to make adequate yearly progress under the
federal No Child Left Behind Law were:
Appalachian School, Locust Fork High School, Susan Moore High School.
Moody High School, Springville High School.
Councilmen to plead guilty
councilmen and a consultant are expected to enter guilty pleas in
federal court Aug. 17 on conspiracy charges filed last week. Criminal
information documents filed Thursday against consultant Larry Thompson
claim he paid District 3 Councilman Fred Huff, District 6 Councilman
Jim Armstrong and two unnamed council members money disguised as
campaign contributions for their support to give a zoning variance to
Lafferty's Landing and additional tax incentives to the developer,
Rainbow 1 LLC. An order was issued Monday by U.S. District Judge
Scott Coogler setting a plea hearing for 2 p.m. Aug. 17 at the Hugo L.
Black U.S. Courthouse in
Arraignment originally was scheduled for Aug. 15, but has been changed
to Aug. 17 prior to the plea hearing. Thompson's attorney, Dani Bone,
said he could not comment because of the ongoing investigation. The
documents were filed by the public integrity section of the criminal
division of the U.S. Department of Justice. A criminal information is
similar to an indictment except that a defendant is in agreement with
the document and waives his right to have the information presented to
a federal grand jury. Armstrong amended his campaign disclosure form
in February to show that he received $1,050 during 2005. Huff
reported in his form that he had no contributions. The documents also
refer to an unnamed employee of the Gadsden Commercial Development
Authority who Thompson allegedly recruited to assist him in
influencing council members to support the Lafferty's Landing project.
The documents referred to the employee as "the official." Thompson
solicited more than $55,000 from a witness who cooperated with the FBI
from August until Feb. 13, according to the documents filed Thursday.
Armstrong apparently was paid $800 and Huff was paid $1,600, according
Naked Cowboy claims he was
protesting the war in Iraq
man arrested last week for walking naked along a highway while waving
an American flag said he did so to protest the war in Iraq.
52 year old
Gerald Lynn Kelley, said he and his friends were watching a news
at his home and the conversation turned to the war.
Kelley, who said
he's a Vietnam-era veteran, said that prompted a protest where he only
wore a cowboy hat, boots and waved the American flag.
He said he hopes
the incident encourages people to speak out against the war. He said
he realizes he broke the law and does not encourage streaking.
Kelley said he
only marched to the end of his driveway, but regrets a church event
was occurring in a nearby park at the time. He said he marched in the
opposite direction. Kelly was charged with public lewdness and was
released on a $1,500 bond.
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