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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News
 

  • Jacksonville resident continues battle to save trees
  • “Operation Clean Sweep”
  • Gadsden State affected by double dipping policy
  • Honda Pilot sales decline

 

Jacksonville resident continues battle to save trees

Jacksonville resident Barbara Wilson was back in her front yard Monday, chained to her trees.  Wilson said she received a letter from the power company Saturday regarding the public service commissions determination that they had no authority to halt the power companies tree cutting in the city.  Wilson said the letter said they would be in contact with her soon to cut the trees. Alabama power contractors continue to trim and cut trees elsewhere in the city.  Wilson says she will not give up her battle, Wilson said they are looking into hiring an attorney to continue their legal battle.  The Jacksonville Mayor and Council are expected to be given an update Monday evening on what action, if any the city could take.
 

“Operation Clean Sweep” 

Authorities with 40 law enforcement agencies concluded a three day roundup Friday.  Representatives from the FBI held a press conference Friday afternoon in Boaz to comment on the conclusion of “Operation Clean Sweep.”  The 40 agencies worked together in DeKalb, Marshall, St. Clair, Blount and Etowah counties to round up criminals during the week. Ken Kaiser is with the criminal division of the FBI Headquarters in Washington D-C. He says their efforts were impressive.  A total of 350 people were arrested over the three-day period. 120 of those arrests were made in Etowah County. Officials say their message is a simple one. They have zero tolerance for drugs, gangs or any other type of crime.  Authorities said they seized almost 30 guns, including several assault rifles and sawed-off shotguns, along with illegal drugs such as cocaine and crystal meth. Among those arrested were two previously deported illegal immigrants and a convicted sex offender. 

 

 

Gadsden State affected by double dipping policy 

Postsecondary education chancellor Bradley Byrne said he'll ask two-year college presidents who employ legislators to review their work policies to see if legislators followed them.  Gadsden State Community College will be most affected by Byrne's review and by new policies because it employs two legislators, Reps. Blaine Galliher, R-Rainbow City, and Jack Page, D-Gadsden.  The new policies are being challenged by a lawsuit by the Alabama Education Association, a lawsuit that ultimately will be decided by the Alabama Supreme Court.  University of Alabama political science professor emeritus Bill Stewart said because of abuses in the two-year college system he believes the public supports banning legislators from two-year college employment.
The work schedules of Galliher and Page show that neither took sick leave to attend legislative sessions this year. Galliher, a plaintiff in the AEA lawsuit, and Page, said they oppose the new policy that would require them to either leave their jobs or the Legislature in 2010.  Galliher said he would support a policy allowing legislators who work for two-year colleges to attend legislative sessions but lose their college pay on those days. Galliher is the director of training for business and industry at Gadsden State, filling a position that existed before he was hired by then-Ayers State Tech College President Ed Meadows.  Ayers State Tech was merged with Gadsden State and Galliher's position that pays $72,337 morphed into his current one.
Galliher was a senior manager at Gulf States Steel before being elected to the Legislature but he lost his job, pension and benefits when Gulf States Steel closed. He was hired at Ayers Tech after he was elected to the Legislature.  Page is community and external affairs liaison whose job is to assist college administrators in securing local, state and federal grants, and appropriations, among other functions.
He was hired at Gadsden State soon after being elected. He was one of three finalists who was forwarded to Culverhouse, who approved his hiring.

 

Honda Pilot sales decline 

Honda's Alabama-made Pilot sport utility posted a dramatic drop in sales last month, as consumers are increasingly shifting their tastes from light trucks to smaller cars in search of better fuel economy. The Pilot, manufactured at the companies Lincoln facility, is widely expected to undergo a redesign next year.  It  saw its August U.S. sales fall to 9,504 from 19,100 a year ago, a drop of 50.2 percent, according to Honda's daily selling rate. Honda's Odyssey minivan, assembled alongside the Pilot at the  Lincoln plant, saw its August sales rise by 2.9 percent over the year-ago period. Meanwhile, year-to-date sales are behind nearly 10 percent. The Pilot, which is in its fifth model year, is expected to undergo a redesign next year, according to automotive trade journals and Honda business practices. The redesigned Pilot also will be powered by a bigger V-6 engine, according to the trade journal.
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