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Filed 12/30/2006 Updated after 4PM for next day...
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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News

  • Jacksonville man indicted for bank robbery
  • Goodyear strike ends
  • New years eve a dry one
  • CDC to investigate pediatric flu outbreak


Jacksonville man indicted for bank robbery 

A federal grand jury indicted an east Alabama man on charges of robbing a northeast Alabama bank of $287,000 in October.  Federal prosecutors in Birmingham say 28-year-old Tyrone Leon Porter of Jacksonville is accused on robbery and weapons charges in the holdup of a Wachovia Bank in Jacksonville on October 24th. U.S. Attorney Alice Martin, in a statement yesterday, said the holdup maybe the largest bank robbery in the history of the Northern District of Alabama.  Porter was arrested the same day and most of the money was recovered, but investigators are still seeking a second suspect.  Porter faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and $250,000 in fines if convicted in the robbery, and he could receive additional time on weapons charges.


Goodyear strike ends 

The Picket lines are gone as Goodyear workers  ended a nearly three month strike Thursday by ratifying a new three year contract proposal. Gadsden Steelworkers Union President Dennis Battles said the deal was endorsed in a 9:30 p. m. conference call by workers. Highlights of The new contract includes  A $1 billion trust fund for retiree medical benefits, about $700 million in cash and the rest in Goodyear stock.A wage structure ranging from $13 per hour to $24 per hour. A Goodyear commitment to invest $550 million in contract-covered U.S. plants over the next three years.  Cost of living allowances will be applied to hourly pay rates, a lump sum payment and the trust fund for retiree health care.  Weekly health care premiums ranging from $5 for a single employee to $18 for family coverage.  Strikers can return to work with full seniority, including the time on strike.  Secures for strikers pay for missed holidays. Replacement workers cannot be retained when strikers return to work.  The new agreement also protects The Goodyear plant in Tyler, Texas from closure through 2007. Goodyear must close a facility not part of the master contract agreement before it can close Tyler. If Tyler closes, any tires Tyler had made that continue to be made must be produced by a USW-covered work force that had been on strike. Tyler employees will be offered $2,000 for every year of service with a minimum payment of $15,000 and a maximum payment capped at $40,000. Medical insurance continued for 24 months. 


New years eve a dry one 

New Year's Eve partiers across most of Alabama will have to remember to stock up on booze ahead of time.
   December 31st falls on Sunday, a day when alcohol sales are illegal in many areas. While partygoers in cities like Birmingham can buy booze on New Year's Eve, the story is very different in most other places, where Sunday sales are banned and bar and restaurant owners say they will suffer.   Some cities and counties in Kentucky were able to amend their  Sunday sales laws for New Year's Eve.   Such a change wasn't an option in Alabama, however. State law
requires a public vote to approve alcohol sales on Sundays -- regardless of whether that particular Sunday falls on a holiday.
   In Anniston, several businesses sought licenses that would let them sell alcohol as private clubs because New Year's fell on Sunday this year.  But the cities ordinance requires that those clubs be a non profit or fraternal club.   Some bars in Anniston plan to open at the stroke of midnight Sunday night since alcohol sales become legal on Monday.
   The last time New Year's Eve fell on a Sunday was in 2000, and the next time will be 2017.

CDC to investigate pediatric flu outbreak 

Five of six children who were on life support fighting severe cases of influenza at Children's Hospital have improved enough to leave the intensive-care unit. But three more children have been admitted in the past week, according to hospital officials.

The severity of pediatric flu cases, many developing in the past three weeks, has raised concerns in the state’s medical community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has been asked to investigate.

 Doctors said that none of the original six children on life support had received a flu vaccine. Doctors have identified the presence of A and B strains of the virus. But the CDC would further research the flu strains that were causing the more severe cases.

Doctors are reminding Parents that they can still have their children vaccinated this flu season.  Doctors say that Each year, the World Health Organization determines what strains of the flu should be covered in the vaccine. Sometimes it is right on the mark, but other times there are mismatches as the virus mutates and spreads throughout the world. Health officials say that Even when the vaccine is not a perfect match, it offers some protection against whatever strain causes an outbreak. Alabama, Florida and Georgia are the three states experiencing widespread outbreaks of flu, according to the CDC.

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