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Filed 11/30/2006 • Updated after 4PM for next day...
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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News 

  • JPA board makeup to change
  • Election Suits consolidated
  • Auto Supplier breaks ground in Pell City
  • Man robs convenience store to pay for lap dance


JPA board makeup to change 

The Joint Powers Authority at McClellan may be headed for a major shakeup.  Widespread criticism and questions about actions involving the the board has prompted many of it’s members to jump at the chance to relinquish their seat to someone else.  Anniston City Councilman Herbert Palmore has said he does not wish to serve saying it is time for other councilmen to share the responsibility.  Anniston Councilman Ben Little along with Councilmen Jeff Fink who are next in line to serve on the JPA, have said that they do not wish to serve but instead want to appoint representatives.  Little made his attempt for an appointee Tuesday night to the Anniston city council.  Littles motion failed for the lack of a second.  Commissioner Herbert Palmore said that Little should serve on the board.  Anniston city councilman Stan Bennett who currently serves on the JPA board said he would be willing to continue on the board, however Little said that there needed to be a minority on the JPA board.  Calhoun County is also looking to place new members on the board.  Commissioner J.D. Hess has expressed an interest not to continue serving on the board and will be replaced by Commissioner Rudy Abbott.  The county Commission is expected to take action tomorrow.  Critics of the JPA say they hope the new blood on the board will bring about a shakeup and a change in the public perception of the JPA.


Election Suits consolidated 

A judge on Tuesday consolidated the two campaign finance violation lawsuits that could ensnare one-third of the Legislature and at least two state appellate court judges.  Montgomery County Circuit Judge Charles Price approved a motion to consolidate a lawsuit filed by Birmingham attorney Mark White with a previous lawsuit filed by Montgomery attorney Mark Montiel.  White's lawsuit seeks to nullify the Nov. 7 re-election of state Sen. Larry Means, D-Attalla, for alleged violation of the Fair Campaign Practices Act that governs campaign finance reporting. The lawsuit says Means did not properly report campaign finance activity and should be disqualified  White wants write-in candidate Jack Lowe Jr. of Gadsden certified as the winner. Lowe apparently received nearly 600 last-minute write-in votes, although they haven't been counted by Etowah County Probate Judge Bobby Junkins.   Rep. Blaine Galliher of Rainbow City has also been drawn into the suits.  Means said the secretary of state's office advised his campaign he didn't have to file reports because he had no primary or general election opposition.  But following a Sept. 7 attorney general's advisory opinion, he filed an amended report.  Montiel's lawsuit sought to disqualify Senate President Lowell Barron, D-Fyffe, and Sens. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, Zeb Little, D-Cullman, and Hank Sanders, D-Selma. They were unopposed also.  The four senators had contributed money to defeat Barron enemy Gerald Dial, D-Lineville, in the June 6 primary but didn't report it until after the primary.  A motion to intervene by Democrats in Montiel's lawsuit alleges that Republican legislators and appellate judges Greg Shaw and Craig Pittman also didn't properly file campaign finance reports.  Republican Sens. Jabo Waggoner of Vestavia Hills, Del Marsh of Anniston, Steve French of Birmingham and Harri Anne Smith of Slocom were added .  



Auto Supplier breaks ground in Pell City 

A German automobile supplier will break ground today at a site in the Pell City industrial park, bringing more than  300 new jobs to the area.

Mayor Adam Stocks said it will be one of the largest employers in the county. WKW Erbsloh Automotive Group will manufacture aluminum molding for automobiles.

Erbsloh Automotive Group is a worldwide company, which employs about 3,000 workers.  Site work for the facility has already begun, and construction should be completed next summer. St. Clair County Commission Chairman Stan Batemon said trips taken by the local economic development team are paying off. This is the third German automobile supplier to locate in Pell City in the past year. Eissmann Automotive Group located came last year, and in July, VST Keller Inc. broke ground on a facility in the industrial park. Both companies are German automobile suppliers.

Batemon said one of the tough selling points for Pell City and St. Clair County when recruiting new companies is the low unemployment rate.  Gov. Bob Riley is expected to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony 


Man robs convenience store to pay for lap dance 

   An Attalla man apparently used money from a robbery to pay a dancer at a nearby lounge early Tuesday.  The 22-year-old man was arrested at Babe's Lounge on U.S. 11 about 30 minutes after he allegedly robbed the Kangaroo convenience store on Alabama 77, next to Interstate 59.  Gadsden police said the man was at the store about midnight and bought about $1 worth of gas, then went inside to pay for it.  He went back and forth into the store a couple of times, apparently to go to the restroom.  The man then went to the clerk at the register, pulled out a pocket knife and demanded cash. The man left the store, and someone got a description of the truck he was driving and got a tag number.  Officers were patrolling in the area when Gadsden officer Josh Partee spotted the truck in the parking lot at Babe's Lounge about 30 minutes later. Partee called for backup from Gadsden and Attalla patrol officers and then went inside the lounge, where the man was arrested. He reportedly used the money from the robbery to pay for a lap dance.  The man is expected to be charged with first-degree robbery.

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