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Dateline 010/11/2006 Updated after 4PM for next day...
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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News 

  • Jacksonville gets tough on dangerous dogs
  • Goodyear will consider incentives
  • Anniston set to hire Environmental Attorney on PCB issues
  • New Pell City Company begins operations
  • Voters to decide school tax amendment


Jacksonville gets tough on dangerous dogs 

The Jacksonville City Council Monday night suspended its rules to allow the City Council to approve a tougher canine ordinance placing strict regulations of dogs that attack people, or appear to be vicious or threatening.  Mayor Johnny Smith said the new ordinance gives the city the power to control threatening and vicious dogs.   In addition to strengthening the cities ability to seize the animals, the new ordinance also places strict regulations on residents who want to keep vicious or threatening dogs.  Owners would be required to house the dog in a pen with a concrete floor or fencing buried a foot deep to prevent the animal from digging out.  In addition the pen would be required to have a roof to prevent the dog from jumping out of the pen.  In addition, that pen would also have to be surrounded by another 4 foot chain link fence.   Under the ordinance, Owners are also required  post signs  reading “Dangerous Dog” on the premises, and smaller signs on all sides of the kennel are required.  Penalties for violating the ordinance range from not less than $100 on first offense to a maximum penalty of $500 and six months in jail. Under the ordinance, Dogs also may be killed or impounded if responding police officers determine they are a threat.   The ordinance does not affect all dogs, but applies to canines that attack people, cause property damage or attack animals not on the dog owner’s property. The new ordinance will become effective once published in this weeks Jacksonville news.  The new ordinance was prompted by recent attacks on at least two residents in the city.



Goodyear will consider incentives 

Goodyear officials said if the company accepts an incentive package offered by local officials that requires legislation, Goodyear will give the incentive package a chance to pass.  The next regular legislative session begins in March however,  the governor could call a special legislative session to consider an incentive package, which wouldn't be unheard of. Legislators have met before in special session to pass incentive packages to land major industrial prospects.  Rep. Craig Ford of Gadsden said state and local officials including Etowah County's legislative delegation have been part of the negotiations with Goodyear.  Union officials have said that Goodyear planned to close its tire plants in Gadsden and in Tyler, Texas.  Ford said he couldn't reveal what the combined local-state incentive package to Goodyear contains but it beats the reported $87 million package offered in Texas.  Union leaders meanwhile said they could not support any plant closings as they continue to negotiate a new labor contract with the company.


Anniston set to vote on hiring Environmental Attorney on PCB issues 

The Anniston Mayor and City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday night to hire an Environmental Attorney to pursue issues pertaining to Solutia’s South soil management staging area.  The action is being sought by several councilmen who have voiced distrust over the PCB cleanup operations in the city.  Councilmen Little and Palmore, who represent the affected areas on the city council, have voiced their concerns over the new staging area, where contaminated soil is being stored from cleanup operations in the city.  Councilman Ben Little has called on the EPA to require that the contaminated material be moved out of the area and dumped into the ocean.  The city had hired environmental engineers earlier this year to test the contaminates at the site to insure that standards were being followed, the engineers could not find anything that exceeded EPA limits for the site.  In other action,  the City council is scheduled to vote to ask the governor a written confirmation that he will not approve the location of a proposed ABC package store at the intersection of 12th and Wilmer in downtown Anniston.  The governors office has verbally said that the governor would not approve the lease, however the council wants the assurance in writing.  The Anniston council will meet Tuesday night at 7pm at the Anniston City hall. 


New Pell City Company begins operations 

On Monday, VST-Keller's pulse plasma diffusion machine, as it's called, began working on a job for the Pell City plant's first client, a supplier for BMW, which has a factory in South Carolina. The Pell City pulse plasma diffusion machine, which heat-dries parts used in other machines to harden them, is the second largest unit of its kind, behind one used by VST-Keller in Germany. Phillip Read, the firm's executive vice president, declined to say how much the machine cost but he acknowledged the figure "is in the millions of dollars."   VST-Keller's pulse plasma diffusion machine helps prevent high-tech stamping machinery used by suppliers and manufacturers in the automotive process from wearing out. These stamping machines use tremendous force to press out parts such as fenders and body panels from sheet metal.

The VST-Keller warehouse will not be completely finished until mid-December. The company will employ between 10 and 15 workers by year-end and anticipates having up to 30 workers by the end of 2007. Read said the Metropolitan Development Board and St. Clair County economic development officials helped recruit VST-Keller to Pell City.   VST-Keller's German plant works with auto manufacturers and suppliers throughout Europe. Its Pell City plant aims to work with the Honda plant in Lincoln, Hyundai in Montgomery, Mercedes-Benz in Vance, Saturn in Tennessee and the Kia plant planned for West Point, Ga., as well as others.   The company initially planned to locate its first U.S. plant in Detroit. But Pell City was selected after company officials decided it was best to be in the South where most of the new auto manufacturing plants and supplier growth is occurring.  


Voters to decide on School Tax amendment 

The state school superintendent and the leader of the Alabama Education Association say voters should approve a property tax measure on the Nov. 7 ballot because it would provide equity to Alabama schoolchildren.  The lieutenant governor says she plans to vote against it because it's a tax increase for some Alabamians.  The governor says he has concerns about the amendment, but he isn't revealing how he will vote.  Amendment Two on the general election ballot is a constitutional amendment that would require every city and county school system in Alabama to have at least 10 mills of property taxes allocated for public education. About one-fourth of Alabama's school systems fall below 10 mills.   Alabama has 101 city and county school systems with 10 mills or more. But there are 30 systems that have fewer than 10 mills and use other taxes to make up the difference. In most cases, the difference comes from local sales taxes.  For a homeowner with a $100,000 house, each mill of property taxes means an additional $10 in taxes annually. In the systems with the lowest property taxes of 7 mills, the owner of a $100,000 house would be looking at an additional $30 per year.

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