August 29 Morning Newscast

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What was supposed to be a mundane Birmingham Board of Education work session ended on an explosive note when state Superintendent Tommy Bice adjourned the meeting, saying he felt threatened by a board member.The Birmingham News reports that toward the end of the work session, board member Emanuel Ford told Bice that the fighting between the local board and state officials since April was “just round one.” Bice interrupted Ford, saying he respects the board member but he’s “not going to sit here and be threatened,” and adjourned the meeting. After the meeting, Ford said he was not threatening Bice and said the fighting that led to a court hearing in which a Jefferson County judge granted the state a permanent injunction, allowing them to continue with a state takeover of Birmingham schools, was just “Phase I.” But Ford did threaten to bring a federal lawsuit. Bice left the meeting immediately after he adjourned it. His chief of staff, Craig Pouncey, said the state intervention will continue and Ford’s threat of a federal lawsuit won’t stop state officials..

A judge will decide the fate of a lawsuit that orders City of Birmingham to drop its lawsuit that seeks to block the closure of inpatient services at the county-run Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. The Birmingham News reports that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett ordered an emergency hearing for 9 a.m. Thursday to consider the county’s request. The city of Birmingham had filed a lawsuit earlier this month in an attempt to block any commission action to close the hospital without first having a plan in place to pay for indigent healthcare in the county. Yesterday, the Jefferson County Commission voted to close inpatient care at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. A majority of commissioners have said the county’s ailing general fund has subsidized the hospital $10 million a year for the past three years and can no longer afford the drain. The city argues that closing the hospital without having a plan in place to provide healthcare for indigent patients violates the Alabama Health Care Responsibility Act..

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Forecasters say Alabama is in for more rough weather as Isaac pushes north from the Gulf Coast. Southwest Alabama remains under a tornado watch through this morning, and the weather service says a storm surge of as much as 8 feet could affect northern Mobile Bay. Winds howled and heavy rain pounded the state’s coast as Isaac made landfall in Louisiana on Tuesday night. Forecasters are predicting hours of heavy rains in the region as the large storm moves inland. Isaac left thousands without power along the coast. One question yet to be answered is whether the heavy surf will deposit oil left by the BP spill on gulf beaches. Alabama officials expect some tar balls to be dredged up by Isaac, and they’ll assess beaches as weather improves.

Michael Krall

Michael Krall

Program Director