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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News


  • Judge hears arguments in school suit
  • Teachers must file ethics reports
  • Utilities to raise rates


Judge hears arguments in school suit                       

An attorney representing The Anniston school board Friday urged a judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the hiring of Anniston school superintendent Joan Frazier.  hiring, criticizing the lawsuit as "defective" and "fatally flawed." Attorney Burgin Kent said the lawsuit was defective and fatally flawed.  Kent said that state law and an attorney general's opinion back the board's decision to hire Superintendent Joan Frazier without advertising the position. The board hired Frazier on April 24th after she had served as interim superintendent for seven months. A Birmingham education reform group Citizens for Better Schools sued the school board in may, alleging that it had violated the Open Meetings Act by meeting secretly before the meeting at which the Frazier was hired. Friday Circuit Judge John Thomason heard arguments in the case and indicated he would issue a ruling after giving both sides the opportunity to file legal briefs.  



Teachers must file ethics reports 

More than 11,000 teachers now have to file annual financial statements with the Ethics Commission, and they’re not happy about it. Neither is the Ethics Commission.  Because of a 7 percent pay raise, many K-12 public school teachers make more than $50,000, requiring them to file statements of economic interest just like mayors, governors or state legislators. Athletic coaches are included because they’re really considered teachers.  Alabama Education Association Executive Secretary Paul Hubbert said “It’s ridiculous,”.  About 11,400 teachers were required by state law to file statements of economic interest for the first time. Statements are filed in arrears, so this year’s reports cover 2007, the year the pay raise started.


Utilities to raise rates 

Utility customers can expect to seek rate increases in the near future.  According to Cherokee Electric Co-op General Manager, Randall Wilkie, tells the electric cooperatives customers can expect an increase in the cost of heating and cooling both their homes and businesses in the near future. TVA announced this week it will increase the Fuel Cost Adjustment to their customers at a rate of somewhere between 10 and 20%.  Electric Distributors are scheduled to meet with TVA Officials this week to learn exactly what the increase will be. Wilkie said that whatever the increase is, will be passed along to the consumer. It will appear on their electric bill as a line item fuel adjustment charge. He said he expects the fuel adjustment charge to be about 15%, but it could be more or less, adding that TVA is paying more for coal, natural gas and plutonium used to fuel their generation equipment and due to the drought, there is less hydro-power available.  Alabama power has also announced that they too will seek a rate increase because of the rising cost of fuel.  Unlike the Co-Ops, Alabama power must have their increases approved thru the state public service commission.


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