August 14 Morning Newscast

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August 14, 2012, Morning Newscast

The Birmingham school board must accept the authority of state officials who took over the system in June. That includes a directive NOT to fire superintendent, Craig Witherspoon. Jefferson County Circuit Judge Houston Brown (photo above) ruled yesterday that school board President Edward Maddox and his allies must stop interfering in a state takeover of the school system and keep Craig Witherspoon as city superintendent during that time. The Birmingham News reports that in his ruling, Judge Brown wrote that Maddox’s micromanagement has put the district’s accreditation in peril and could have led to a funding loss that would have shut down the school system if the state had not intervened. Brown ruled the June 26 state takeover was valid under the Alabama Constitution and state law and that the Birmingham board’s vote on July 17 to fire Witherspoon after a 60-day leave violated board policy, the superintendent’s contract and a state directive.
Brown also ruled that Maddox and his supporters “failed to cooperate and collaborate in good faith” with state intervention officials..

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Democratic Party will hold a hearing Friday in Birmingham on disqualifying Harry Lyon as the party’s nominee for chief justice.
Lyon says Party Chairman Mark Kennedy ordered the hearing for him to show why he shouldn’t be disqualified. Kennedy’s order says Lyon has violated party bylaws, including one that says people are entitled to honest and ethical government. Lyon said he expects to be kicked off the November ballot because party officials want to name someone else to take on the Republican nominee, Roy Moore. He said the party never expected Moore to win the Republican nomination against two opponents, and now the party wants to change candidates. Friday’s hearing does not involve a complaint from a Huntsville voter about Lyon not filing campaign finance reports on time.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A prominent business group, the Business Council of Alabama, has voted to support approval of a proposed constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot Sept. 18. The amendment would permit the removal of nearly $146 million a year for three years from a state trust fund for use in balancing the state General Fund budget. BCA President William Canary said Alabama is in a “predicament because of a sustained, ongoing failure of leadership,” but imminent hardship will occur if the constitutional amendment is not approved. Canary said BCA would like to see the Legislature pass a bill requiring the money to be repaid in the future to the Alabama Trust Fund.


Michael Krall

Michael Krall

Program Director