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Filed 08/12/2006 Updated after 4PM for next day...
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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News 

  • School Boards adopt budgets
  • Jacksonville Police arrest man in check fraud
  • Dial seeks to have opponent who won election disqualified
  • Clay County Courthouse celebrates 100th anniversary


School Boards adopt budgets 


The Anniston City Board of Education Thursday night agreed to project a contribution from the city in order to pass a balanced budget by next week’s state deadline. The projected amount is just enough to balance the school system’s budget for the 2007 fiscal year. The school system’s budget estimates have shown it will spend $177,875 more than projected revenues for the coming year. The budget presented by the board at two public hearings has included a blank line for the city’s allocation. The city over the past several years has contributed about $700,000 to the school systems budget. The school board  projected a city contribution of  $177,875 in order to send a balanced budget to Montgomery by Tuesday’s deadline.

Calhoun County

The Calhoun County Board of Education passed a $75.2 million budget Thursday night . The school systems  2007 fiscal year budget calls for the board to spend about $5 million more than it takes in. To cover the deficit, the school system will use $3 million from its capital projects fund and about $2 million from its reserve account.  The School Board budget includes plans for a $1.6 million classroom addition at Alexandria Elementary and another $1.6 million for renovations to the band room, lunchroom and classrooms at Alexandria High School.


The Jacksonville school board Thursday night approved a $10.7 million budget for the 2007 financial year which includes substantial increases in state funding.

The increases will  fund state initiatives such as nursing programs and 5 percent pay raises and five extra days for most teachers \The budget may get a further boost in September, when the Jacksonville city council will l vote on the city contribution to the school system. The system received $200,000 in city funding last year.  Mayor Johnny Smith said the city, which will vote on school funding in about a month, will likely approve somewhere between that number and the $300,000 that the school system  has asked for.   Extra city money could fund advanced-placement courses, a stand-alone choir program and an enlargement of the school’s Spanish-language program.



Jacksonville Police arrest man in check fraud 

Jacksonville police have arrested a man that they have described as a vagabond in connection with a check-fraud ring in which checks were written from a bank that closed two decades ago. 22 year old Charlie Cosby, has been arrested by Jacksonville Police. Police said they have other suspects and anticipate more arrests as their investigation progresses. According to investigators, at least five of the old checks have been used at Wal-marts in Jacksonville, Anniston and Gadsden. The checks are written on an old account of Ron’s Mobile Home Service at the Jacksonville State Bank. Investigators said that the bank went out of business about 22 years ago and the mobile home service went out of business about 20 years ago. Police believe someone stole the book of checks. Authorities have recovered the book with some checks still intact.


Dial seeks to have opponent who won election disqualified 

State Sen. Gerald Dial of Lineville, who was defeated in the democratic primary, is asking the Alabama Democratic Party to disqualify the primary candidate who defeated him - along with four powerful senators - saying they violated state campaign finance law. Dial, in a letter to Democratic Party Chairman Joe Turnham, asked the party to revoke the nomination of Kim Benefield for Senate District 13. Benefield defeated Dial in the June primary. Dial wrote that Benefield did not list all of her expenditures and contributions on her campaign report, including her qualifying fee.  His petition for a reversal of fortune also targets four powerful Democrats with whom he frequently has clashed through the years. He's challenging the practice, which those four followed, of candidates in the primary not filing campaign finance reports if they are unopposed.   Dial alleges that the senators contributed to a political action committee that helped Benefield's campaign, but did not report those contributions to the secretary of state. The Senate Majority PAC reported more than $500,000 in contributions from the four influential Democrats.   Benefield reported receiving $270,161 worth of advertising from the Senate Majority PAC as an in-kind contribution. The PAC works to elect Democrats. Dial, sometimes called a "dissident Democrat," is aligned with the Senate's Republican minority and a handful of Democrats. Dial believes the four senators should have filed detailed campaign finance reports because they participated in the political process. A 1990 Alabama attorney general's opinion says unopposed candidates do not have to file reports before the primary election because the candidate is the presumed nominee. However, Dial said that opinion did not answer what he thinks is the relevant question: What if the unopposed candidate is contributing to other political campaigns? Dial said he or someone else might request a new opinion from Alabama Attorney General Troy King. The Senators who are a target of Dial’s criticism called Dial's actions unfortunate. Accusing him of  trying to subvert the will of the voters in his district. A spokesman for the Alabama Democratic Party said Dial's letter arrived Thursday afternoon and party lawyers were reviewing it.


Clay County Courthouse celebrates 100th anniversary 

Clay County will be celebrating the 100th birthday of Clay County Courthouse this Saturday.  The festivities begin Saturday at 10am with activities including musical entertainment, arts and crafts, a collector’s trade show and sale, special historical displays, food vendors, story telling as well as competitive game.  The courthouse is located on the town square in Ashland.  The events will culminated Saturday night with a fireworks display.

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