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Headlines from Alabama 810 News
- Firefighters watching forest fire
- Corts transferred money before he resigned
- Storm death toll continues to rise
Firefighters watching forest fire
Thursdays storms forced firefighters to abandon
efforts to bring a wildfire under control in the Talladega National
Forest near Piedmont. Forest Service officials said that the storms
helped to slow the flames and they continue to monitor the fire to
insure there are no threats to homes and private property. The fires
is near Vigo which is located east, southeast of Piedmont. Forest
service officials say that at least 60 percent of the fire had been
contained Thursday, however the fire had burned more than 425 acres of
national forest land. Fire crews will be returning to the area. The
cause of the fire is under investigation by forest service officials.
Corts transferred money before he resigned
Interim two-year college Chancellor Thomas Corts
sent nearly $26 million of the system's discretionary money to other
agencies and economic development projects, including $17.6 million on
the day he resigned, state officials said Thursday.
State school board members said they didn't know
about the transfers and criticized them, arguing Corts should have
spent the money on projects at community colleges and technical
Agencies that received the money said it will be
spent on work force training or projects that will benefit two-year
Corts discovered after he took over the two-year
colleges in August that lawmakers had placed $57 million in
discretionary money in the system's budget.
Board members said at the time that they were not
aware of the money, and that fired Chancellor Roy Johnson never told
them how the money would be used. Lawmakers had given Johnson, as
chancellor, control of the money.
The $17.6 million that Corts transferred just
before he resigned Wednesday went to the Alabama Industrial
Development Training program. Much of that money will cover training
for workers at new businesses in the state, including Honda.
Two-year college officials Thursday could not
provide a full accounting of the $57 million in discretionary money.
Corts told board members in September that he was
attempting to identify where the $57 million was supposed to go. Bell
said Corts told her shortly after that meeting that Gov. Bob Riley had
staked a claim on $30 million of the discretionary funds, mostly for
economic development projects.
Storm death toll continues to rise
March roared in like a lion Thursday bring severe storms and damaging
winds to the state. While much of East Central Alabama escaped with
little if any storm damage, residents in several south Alabama
communities were not as fortunate. Tornadoes killed at least nine
people in south Alabama on Thursday, including seven at Enterprise
High School, where students were trapped as a hallway roof collapsed.
According to Alabama Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Yasamie
Richardson, One person died elsewhere in Enterprise, in Coffee County,
and one man died in Wilcox County. At least 35 people from the
Enterprise area were hospitalized with injuries. Richardson said said
search and rescue efforts were continuing in Enterprise on Thursday
night, and the number of dead could rise.
The damage at Enterprise High School was
horrific, as rescue personnel scrambled to find trapped students or
staff after the tornado hit around 1 p.m.
Enterprise officials searched for students or
faculty believed trapped at the high school until 6 p.m
Gov. Bob Riley ordered about 100 National Guard
members to the south Alabama city to help in recovery. Dothan sent a
search and rescue team and the Alabama Department of Emergency
Management also sent a team.
Sen. Richard Shelby, along with the entire
Alabama congressional delegation, requested a disaster declaration for
ravaged parts of the state.
The Alabama 810
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