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Headlines from Alabama 810 News
- Federal Judge bans three men from National
- Legislature set to begin regular session
- Daylight Savings time begins this Sunday
Federal Judge bans three men from National
Three East Alabama men have been banned from the
Talladega National Forest for the next two years. Robert Pittard,
Rodney Greenwood of Anniston and Terry Baily of Woodland were banned
from the Talladega National Forest Friday, after pleading guilty in
Federal Court to committing lewd acts in a public place.
The men were seen by Forest Service Law
Enforcement Officers conducting themselves in a lewd manner in the
parking lot at Morgan Lake.
Legislature set to begin regular session
Gov. Bob Riley seeks to reduce the influence of
special interests in the 2007 regular legislative session that begins
at noon Tuesday, Riley's fifth session of his tenure on Goat Hill.
Issues in the upcoming session will include passage of the state's
education and general government budgets for the fiscal year that
begins Oct. 1; prison funding, especially a new women's prison;
attempts to limit property appraisals to once every four years and
annual ad valorem tax increases to no more than 3 percent; removing
the state sales tax on food; 7 percent state teacher and state
employee pay raises; and a major school construction bond issue. The
regular session can last no more than 105 calendar days, so the
session's potential last day is June 18. During the session, the 105
House members and 35 senators could introduce as many as 1,500 bills,
including hundreds of local ones. Most will fail. One House seat is
vacant, but it will be filled by special election on Tuesday.
Democrats could attempt to redraw legislative and congressional
district lines to preserve their hold on the Legislature, the last
bastion of non-local control Democrats have in Alabama. Senate
Democrats in January wrote new rules to make it easier to redraw
legislative and congressional lines last drawn in 2002.
Riley's proposed ethics legislation includes banning the transfer of
campaign contributions through numerous political action committees,
disguising the source. Legislation to ban PAC transfers and to
require even non-profit groups such as the Christian Coalition to
reveal their funding if they get involved in political issues will
Riley may have the support of some powerful lobbyists.
Paul Hubbert of the Alabama Education Association and contract
lobbyists Joe Fine and Bob Geddie, whether by design or by accident,
want to change the system by not allowing their political action
committees to be used to disguise the source of campaign money.
The AEA's PAC spent more than $8 million on political races last year
while Fine and Geddie PACs distributed about $4.5 million.
Riley said he wants legislators, public officials and lobbyists to be
accountable, so he decided to push reform in the session.
Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday
Springing forward for daylight-saving time arrives this Sunday March
11, three weeks earlier than usual this year, affecting daily
routines, computers and play time.
The return to standard time, falling back an
hour, will be a week later than in past years, arriving Nov. 4. The
driving force toward expanding daylight-saving time by four weeks this
year is energy savings. The energy bill of 2005, which was signed by
President Bush, amended the Uniform Time Act, making daylight-saving
time start on the second Sunday of March and end the first Sunday in
Nine months after it takes effect, the U.S.
secretary of energy is supposed to report to Congress on the impact of
the time change on energy consumption.
When it's brighter in the evening, people turn
fewer lights on, using less power.
Daylight-saving time formerly lasted from the
first Sunday of April until the last Sunday of October. Congress in
2005 voted to expand it, effective in 2007.
change has caused a boomlet in worries, likened to the Y2K worries
seven years ago, that older computers would freak out when time stamps
changed from 1999 to 2000. If users can't wait three weeks to see the
correct time, computer program designers have downloadable fixes. The
enforcer of the nation's time is the U.S. Department of
Transportation. A transportation spokesman said daylight-saving time
covers most the United States except for Hawaii, Arizona, American
Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The United States
Naval Observatory, the nation's time keeper, doesn't expect much
hullabaloo at 2 a.m. March 11, when the push is made. The observatory
and its astronomers run on universal time, which is the standard for
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