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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News

  • First of Spartan missile motors to be destroyed Friday
  • Fire destroys part of Historic Downtown Talladega
  • $2 million not missing in Anniston City Audit
  • Events getting tourism money


First of Spartan missile motors to be destroyed Friday 

Friday morning, weather permitting, the first of 22 first stage conventional Spartan rocket motors currently in storage at the depot will be destroyed.  The motors were originally designed to be a part of the nation’s Safeguard anti-ballistic missile system.  The Spartan motors have exceeded their shelf life and are no longer in the Army’s inventory of usable weaponry and have been scheduled to be destroyed at the depot’s federal and state approved open burning open detonation grounds.  The motors, which weigh approximately 12,200 pounds each have been in storage at the depot for more than 30 years, increasing the hazard for further deterioration.  Officials say that when the burn takes place, scheduled for around 10 Friday morning, a smoke vapor cloud will develop.  Officials say that the potential pollutants produced by the burn in the smoke plume will be in concentrations far below approved threshold limits.  Officials say they expect the entire 22 motors would be destroyed during the next six months.


Fire destroys part of Historic Downtown Talladega 

A portion of historic downtown Talladega has been destroyed in a fire. The fire started in the old Michael’s Supply building off Court Street after 5:30am, about one block from the historic courthouse.  Officials say that Several businesses are involved in the fire.  There is no word on what started the blaze.


$2 million dollars not missing in Anniston City Audit 

Anniston City Councilman Ben Little said he is pursuing allegations that the city misspent $2 million on capital projects dispite the fact that  the city's auditor says his claims are untrue.  Edgar and Associates, who audits the cities books,  sent a letter to all councilmen this week which says, in part, “($2 million) has not been misappropriated.”  Upon receiving the letter Tuesday, Little said that , he did not care what the auditor says.  Little now is seeking documents on all the city's capital projects since 2000, a request that he made during a may council meeting.

The investigation into Little's claims of missing money focused on two city projects, McClellan's Youth Sports Complex and the repaving Noble Street.  Little said the investigator's focus was in response to a request by Councilman Jeff Fink to examine the costs of those projects. Fink made the request after Little pointed out a figure in brackets that he thought showed the city overspent $2 million on these projects.

The auditor spent 10 to 15 hours investigating both of those projects and Little's questions about the $2 million, as required by law whenever there is an allegation of potentially criminal activity.

The auditor found the council approved these expenditures.

Edgar said Little's response to his conclusions concerned him. He said his company would not charge the city the roughly $800 to $900 it cost his company to investigate Little's initial claims of wrongdoing.


Events getting tourism money 

Alabama's historic and tourist attractions began disappearing from state budgets several years ago, but they've made a comeback.  House and Senate members appropriated nearly $3.6 million for next fiscal year to 70 historic and tourist attractions or events, including $20,000 for Riverfest in Gadsden.
In addition to Riverfest, area attractions to receive money are Attalla's Heritage Day, $10,000, and the Rainbow City Chocolate Festival and Glencoe's Memorial Day celebration, $5,000 each.  Also receiving money in Northeast Alabama, Fall Festival in Centre, Summerfest in Cherokee County, Liberty Day in Cedar Bluff and Leesburg Day, $5,000 each.  The appropriations end the past practice of hiding money in state agency budgets, a practice condemned by Riley as pass-through pork, which he prohibited in agencies under his control.  Agency heads didn't know about the money again this year, although for the first time it's out in the open.  Legislators, mostly senators, put $1.08 million in the budget of the Department of Tourism and Travel for 32 projects.

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