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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News
 

  • Gadsden woman charged with ID theft
  • West End student charged with assault
  • Help coming for Alabama farmers
  • Alabama House approves teacher raises

 

Gadsden woman charged with ID theft 

A 21 year old Gadsden woman is facing identity theft charges that netted her more than $40,000.  Police said that Romona Lisa Staggs made up driver’s license numbers and wrote bad checks that to obtain the money. Staggs was arrested in Cherokee County on Wednesday and has been charged with first-degree felony identity theft.

Police are also searching for a man who they believe may have also been involved in the scam.  Oxford police say that a man and a woman wrote more than 20 bad checks at nine Wal-Marts including Jacksonville, Anniston, Oxford and Talladega. The checks total up to about $43,000.  Detectives say the checks were all “starter” checks, the blank checks where the check writer handwrites their name, address and other information on to the check.  If a cashier asked for a driver’s license number, the pair apparently wrote fictitious numbers on the checks.  Investigators said many of the people whose license numbers were used will have trouble using a check at Wal-Mart because their numbers will be linked to bad checks.  Officials said the Secret Service may take over the case.  
 

West End student charged with assault 

An 18 year old West End High School senior is facing assault charges today after striking a student in the school parking lot Wednesday.  Shayla Diane Brothers, who has a Boaz address but lives in the Walnut Grove community, has been charged with second-degree assault.  Investigators said that a 16-year-old and his sister had just gotten to school and were walking to the building when he was struck by Brothers vehicle.  The teen escaped with a concussion and nine staples.  Investigators said that Brothers got to school, picked up a 17-year-old student and asked him if he wanted to "huff."She left the school property, and the two allegedly inhaled canned electronics cleaner, commonly called canned air.  She drove back into the parking lot, and that is when the 16-year-old was hit.
 

Help coming for Alabama farmers 

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns says he will expedite Alabama's request for a crop disaster declaration in up to 41 counties after last month's late freeze and an ongoing drought have wiped out much of the state's peach, wheat, corn and other crops.  Gov. Bob Riley formally requested the disaster aid in a letter dated Wednesday. After meeting with several members of Alabama's Congressional delegation yesterday afternoon, Johanns said he hoped to make a decision within one week. The declaration would allow farmers to get low-interest loans to replant. Johanns also said he would consider allowing livestock grazing and letting farmers cut hay on land that the government pays farmers to set aside for conservation.State agriculture officials say Alabama farmers sustained at least 75 million dollars in losses over Easter weekend as temperatures across the Southeast plunged below freezing. Particularly hard-hit were peaches and wheat that were soon to be harvested and in which farmers had heavy investments. 

 

 

Alabama House approves teacher raises 

The Alabama House has approved a record six point eight billion dollar education budget that gives teachers and other education employees a seven percent pay raise and retirees a one-time bonus.  The House voted 101 to nothing to give education employees the pay hike and then later approved the education budget on a 99 to
four vote. The budget is about 450 million dollars more than what was spent on education last year.  House Speaker Seth Hammett of Andalusia says the budget fully funds the requests of the Alabama Board of Education for elementary and secondary grads. He says the budget will improve Alabama's historically low ranking nationally for how much the state spends per pupil on education. The budget also increases funding for school buses, school nurses and programs to work with at-risk and gifted students.
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