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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News

  • Anniston Bus Company wins New Jersey Contract
  • AEA makes donation to senator a day before leadership vote
  • St Clair teen wounded


Anniston Bus Company wins New Jersey Contract 

NJ Transit board members Tuesday approved a $409 million contract to purchase 1,145 new buses, which will be equipped with security cameras and engines that reduce exhaust emissions by 50 percent.  The board awarded the contract Tuesday to North American Bus Industries Inc., of Anniston, Ala., to build replacements for 80 percent of NJ Transit's fleet of buses. That accounts for 1,070 transit-style buses and 75 suburban-style buses, which both seat 42 passengers.  The $409.9 million purchase will renew the state’s bus fleet over a period of six years and mark the first time that NJ TRANSIT vehicles will be delivered with closed-circuit cameras as standard equipment.  The multi-year contract calls for the delivery of approximately 200 buses per year, replacing transit and suburban buses that will have exceeded their 12-year lifespan and will be eligible for replacement under Federal Transit Administration guidelines.  


AEA makes donation to senator a day before leadership vote 

The Alabama Education Association gave state Sen. Phil Poole a $10,000 campaign contribution the day before he switched sides in a Senate power struggle that put pro-AEA senators in charge. The AEA political action committee's campaign finance report required to be filed this month showed a $10,000 contribution to Poole, D-Tuscaloosa, on Jan. 8. The next day in the Senate's organizational session, Poole voted against his former ally, Sen. Jim Preuitt, D-Talladega, and for Sen. Hinton Mitchem, D-Union Grove, for president pro tem of the Senate.  Poole's vote and a decision by Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, to switch allegiance from Preuitt to Mitchem gave Mitchem and former President Pro Tem Lowell Barron an 18-17 win and control of the 35-member Senate's rules and authority. On Jan. 16, just outside the Senate chamber, Poole was asked to address rumors that he switched allegiance in the power battle because of a lawsuit he has in Tuscaloosa County or because of some inducement or pressure by AEA executive secretary Paul Hubbert, his powerful AEA or any go-between.  Poole denied any pressure or inducement. Poole several times has said he voted for Mitchem because it would be better for his district, which includes the University of Alabama and Shelton State Community College. Hubbert in a Tuesday interview said the $10,000 contribution was not made to buy Poole's allegiance and support for pro-AEA budget committee chairmen.  Hubbert's timeline interested Preuitt, who said Poole was adamant he was still behind him on Monday night before the session.  Preuitt said Poole told him one reason he wanted to side with Preuitt in the pro tem fight was that he was upset with "trial lawyers and was very upset about a court decision in a lawsuit." 




St. Clair teen wounded 

St. Clair County Authorities say that A 17-year-old boy is expected to recover after being shot in the neck as he sat in a vehicle with his father Monday night.  The 17-year-old was with his father when they stopped on the side of the road in the Greensport area to look at deer crossing the road.  A man who lives near where the father and son stopped had words with them and allegedly fired the shot that struck the teen. The father drove his son to the Rainbow City Fire Department, where he was then taken by ambulance to Gadsden Regional Medical Center.  Investigators say that a person of interest is in custody.

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