August 31 Morning News

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August 31, 2012, Morning News

The Alabama Board of Education will request a permanent state waiver from the No Child Left Behind requirements. The board voted unanimously yesterday to join dozens of other states in requesting a waiver. If the U-S Department of Education approves it, Alabama would be able to rate its schools differently than NCLB requires. Right now, fewer students are meeting the tough standards of NCLB. States had hoped the federal government would revise No Child Left Behind and take out a requirement that all children – including those with special needs – meet reading and math proficiency scores by 2014. The feds have not done that. Alabama will submit its waiver request by next week and hope to have an answer by early next year. For background on NCLB and Alabama, click here and here.

A Virginia medical college plans to build a new facility at Auburn University’s research park area. Auburn officials announced yesterday that the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Va., will open a branch campus in Auburn, with the first class of 150 students proposed for the fall of 2015. The campus in Auburn will be the medical college’s third. The non-profit medical college was established in 2003, affiliated with Virginia Tech, and opened a campus near Wofford College in last year.

Hurricane Isaac dumped as much as 4 feet of sand on roads on Dauphin Island, but damage isn’t bad otherwise. Mayor Jeff Collier says no homes were destroyed on the coastal barrier, even at its vulnerable western end. Collier says conditions may have been worse without a 3.5-mile-long sand pile that was built during the BP oil spill. He says the berm helped stop sand that would have wound up on streets and in sewers. Crews in tractors are moving what sand did end up in the streets.

Alabama’s seafood industry survived Hurricane Issac with barely a scratch compared to Katrina seven years ago, but the storm could still cost millions in lost work. Dozens of shrimp boats remain tied up at docks in Bayou La Batre, and processing plants are closed. But the storm caused virtually no damage to buildings or vessels. The president of the Organized Seafood Association of Alabama says the storm could cost the industry as much as $3 million in lost sales. He says the Gulf Coast seafood industry likely won’t resume operating before next week at the earliest, and the shutdown could last longer where there was more damage in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Officials are responding to allegations of potential voting irregularities in Tuesday’s election in the Perry County town of Uniontown. The Tuscaloosa News reports that according to the 2010 census, Uniontown has a population of 1,775. Only 1,140 of them are of voting age, but the Perry County board of registrars says there are 2,587 registered voters in the town and more than 1,400 of them voted on Tuesday. That’s a 125% voter turnout. Deputy Secretary of State Emily Thompson says a census error, combined with voter registrars with strict guidelines in removing voters, may be to blame. Perry County also has a history of voting rights abuses, according to this report from NPR.